Revelling in Ronaldo’s slide, and how long until USA produce an Mbappe or Haaland?

Portugal vs Ghana Credit: Alamy
Portugal vs Ghana Credit: Alamy

One Mailboxer fears they could be enjoying Cristiano Ronaldo’s woes a little too much. Also: United States’ prospects of producing a world-beater; Morocco; and more…

Get your views in to


Enjoying the Ronaldo show
I have so little sympathy for Ronaldo, it worries me I might be a sociopath.
Mikey P, Cardiff


Morocco are mint
Topping a group that contained the second highest ranked team in the world and a finalist from the last world cup is more than I could have hoped for but to be in the quarter finals and having had a penalty shootout but to still not have conceded a goal to anyone but ourselves is a miracle.

Morocco through to the quarter finals for the first time in our history is achievement enough and I doubt I’ll ever get to email in again singing our praises but please oh please can Ronaldo start the next game.
Kal isle of Skye (that Amrabat is a hell of a player almost Kante good)


Pining for the World Cup
F*ck you World Cup, I never loved you anyway.
Chris, on a comedown.


Born in the USA
Read your piece on WC valuations skyrocketing for several players and was hoping that Tyler Adams was included. You did not disappoint. Yes, it’s important to American football fans that our national teamers are recognized when they’re good or having a good tournament. For decades that hasn’t always been the case. In the Bible, Nathaniel asks the mocking question, “What good can come out of Nazareth?” Well it seems to me it’s always been the question on the international football front, “What good can come out of America.”

We’ve had our Landon Donovans, Clint Dempseys & Christian Pulisics, as well at our goalkeepers like Meola, Friedel, & Keller but no one who could even be conceivably compared to your top world stars. I hope that as football continues to gain a foothold in this country, that we’ll eventually see an American player who is comparable to your Mbappes, Haalands, Kanes, or Van Dijks on the world stage. I know that could possibly never happen as well.

Tyler Adams has been fantastic and my first thought that is while I’m sure Leeds won’t want to part with him, he should be worth quite a bit more than what they paid going forward. Also keep an eye out on our other two midfielders Musah & McKennie.

Also, on a side note, this old man may not be a good dancer, but I’ll love watching Richarlison doing his “pigeon” until the day I die.
TX Bill (always love watching breakout stars at the WC knowing Everton won’t have a chance at any of them) EFC


Non-Scottish Scottish XI at the World Cup
Allison, Wallace, Brown, Coates, Anderson, Dumfries, MacAlister, Macbeth, McKay, Campbell, Jackson.

Sounds like a proper Scottish football team doesn’t it? Well it’s not. Looking ahead to Argentina v Netherlands and seeing Dumfries take on Mac Alister, it got me thinking of the other players from this World Cup (and older) who sound like they should be lining up in dark blue. And I got creating my non-Scottish Scottish XI. The only rule I gave myself was no one from English speaking countries where Scottish descendants are easy to find (e.g. Canada, USA, Australia). Gone for 5-3-2 with a couple of shoehorned players, because I only really had 11 names.

GK: Alisson Becker (Brazil): OK, technically Alisson is his first name and technically it should be spelt ‘Allison’ if he were Scottish, but I was struggling to find a keeper so he’ll have to fit the bill.

LWB: Harold Wallace (Costa Rica): One of 2 Costa Ricans in my team. There’s a few Scottish names in Costa Rica, due to migration from the Caribbean. And there are Scottish names in the Caribbean for obvious and quite unpleasant reasons. He was the 10th or 11th name on the team sheet, and I can’t say I knew anything about him before looking at old World Cup squad lists. Never played in Europe but 100 caps for his country so can’t be that bad. He’s also a right back, but never needs must.

CB: Sebastian Coates: The only one on the list where I genuinely know he has Scottish heritage. His surname may now be pronounced “coh-ah-tes” but originally it would have been “coats” (as in the thing you wear). His family emigrated 3 or 4 generations ago so I don’t think he would qualify to play for Scotland and he probably wouldn’t want to.

CB: Melvin Brown (Mexico): You could argue Brown is more British than Scottish but there is a Brown clan, and it’s very common around Fife, and the borders.And don’t forget Craig and Scott (and Gordon). Similar to Wallace, didn’t really know much about him before this. He received 10 caps for Mexico and his dad was Jamaican (which explains the Scottish origins of his name).

CB: Joachin Andersen (Denmark): Alright, I cheated here. It should be Anderson. But close enough. Turns out that taking an idea from 2 players to an entire XI was harder than I thought,

RWB: Denzil Dumfries (The Netherlands). Now that’s a proper Scottish name and a lovely Scottish town. Part of the inspiration for this list. Good player too.

CM: Nicklas Jackson (Senegal): A distant relative of Darren? Maybe. Plays for Villareal and has 1 cap for Senegal. Would probably get into the Scotland team.

CM: MacBeth Sibaya (South Africa): Another one where I had to go for the first name, but what a first name. It’s bad luck to call him by his name, he’s just “The Scottish player” (proud of that joke). Technically I broke my rule on English speaking countries, but South Africa has many languages so I’ll allow it.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister (Argentina): Love the way his surname gets split. After googling, turns out he’s actually of Irish descent, but MacAllister is definitely a Scottish name, so I don’t care:

FW: Joel Campbell (Costa Rica): A man who was on loan more in his career than he ever was at a parent club. Genuinely. Look at his Wikipedia page, his club list is incredible. He’s on loan again now. And we’re taking him on loan to Scotland.

FW: Roy Makaay (Netherlands): The first non-Scot Scot I can remember. Probably has roots somewhere but a long time again. Genuinely brilliant player, the best on the list.

So there you go, about as random an XI as you’ll ever see. Proper mailbox stuff.
Mike, LFC, London


Keane on Roy
Reading Ian’s latest about Roy Keane (yes I know it’s supposed to gain clicks), I can’t help but thinking that he is giving him shit for being open and honest with his opinions.

That’s what I like about Roy Keane, open, honest, no flim flam.

Ian says there is a place for Roy Keane but I don’t think he believes that at all.

In summary Ian’s article was, “man shouts at clouds for man shouting at clouds for man shouting at clouds”.

My wife hates Roy Keane but I think he’s great, especially for daring to be himself, and truthfully, that’s what we want otherwise he wouldn’t have a job, right? Next time F365 complains about a commentator saying “he will have wanted to do better with that” then I will refer you to this article.

For what it’s worth, I like the dancing, but just do it, then get on with the football. That they dance for friggin ages I think is maybe the point here.
Fat Man

Roy Keane during an ITV broadcast Credit: Alamy
Roy Keane during an ITV broadcast Credit: Alamy

Here come Burkina Faso
Not sure what to do with this information, but being a fan of football and geography, I noticed how every African team to make it to the quarter finals of a World Cup has a star in the middle of their flag.
Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010 now joined by Morocco.

If we assume that the flag also has to contain red & green, it’ll surely be Burkina Faso next.
Elias (Lassina Traoré for Golden Boot 2026), Johannesburg


Who’s the tw*t?
So Dave Tickner has an unnecessary pop at one of the princes of pop, Bono. For a supposedly left-leaning publication, I don’t quite understand the irritation with somebody who uses their platform to call out and actually oppose human rights abuses that so far as I can tell from your headlines recently (“This World Cup was already brilliant…), you’re just inclined to have it both ways. Say you’re against something while profiting from it. I’ll leave it there because I’m guessing Dave has the attention span of a cocker spaniel and he’s deep into the Midnights album because what’s current and now is always best. We’re nowhere when we knock people down for trying to do good with their platform. Pointing out that somebody is rich when they try to help the poor isn’t as cunning as it seems; it just makes you an irritating twat.
Niall, Annapolis


Correction corner
While “grumpily” pointing out the errors of Dave from Somewhere, Ash (TRFC) makes one of his/her own.

“Also, Belgium have never reached a major final…” overlooks the excellent Red Devils side that narrowly lost out to West Germany at Euro 80.
Thomas, Cricklewood

Read more: Top ten greatest England finals performances of our lifetime (we are quite old but not *that* old)

The article Revelling in Ronaldo’s slide, and how long until USA produce an Mbappe or Haaland? appeared first on