How many times will Harry Kane take the same penalty in his imagination? How many times has Roberto Baggio hit? Perhaps the answer comes down to the number of times the England captain replays this moment in his mind. He will score all of them, but that’s a different story.
As great as the fate of the winner is, sometimes the tournament is so brutal for the favorite, from whom only victory is expected, and he returns home empty-handed, or worse – he is already on his own land and out of competition.
Football fans witnessed 80 teams at world championships, including the Qatar World Cup and just 8 of them were crowned. Brazil has played in all 22 tournaments. Even the Pentacameones, who have won the most 5 titles, had 17 sets of formations that could not lift the trophy.
The most painful of them are obviously the defeats experienced at home – in 1950 and 2014. In the first, Brazil lost the final to Uruguay, and in the second, they lost 1-7 to Germany in the semi-finals. Such surprises can be recalled from the collective memory of the World Cup, but this article is on another topic.
Team responsibility vs Carrying it individually
Disappointment is one thing, especially when it takes the form of a team responsibility, and personal tragedy is another. Sometimes there comes a time when the arrows of world football choose one, and with all its linear brutal brilliance and those directed towards it, don’t care at all – will this or that person be able to carry such a huge burden of responsibility alone?! This article is about antiheroes.
“It’s something I’ll have to live with, I’ll have to take that punch in the jaw,” – Kane told BBC Sports. And then he addressed the fans and took the responsibility on himself.
Absolutely gutted. We’ve given it everything and it’s come down to a small detail which I take responsibility for. There’s no hiding from it, it hurts and it’ll take some time to get over it but that’s part of sport. pic.twitter.com/lw5Esl4fnA— Harry Kane (@HKane) December 11, 2022
Antiheroes and Ghostbusters
Roberto Baggio, Kevin Keegan, Stuart Pearce, Chris Waddle, Christian Vieri, David Batty, Asamoah Gyan, Gonzalo Higuain, Yakubu Ayegbeni and many others would certainly not refuse to own a time machine.
Undoubtedly Baggio would have left for the USA in 1994. In 38-degree heat in Pasadena, California, he would stand in front of 94,000 fans, wait for Sándor Puhl to start the whistle, and change his entire life.
Kevin Keegan would do the same. In 1982, he’d scored against the host Spain with a header and took his team to the semi-finals.
As Stuart Pearce said, “My world has collapsed.” In 1990, the wingback known as ‘psycho’ will never forget Bodo Ilgner’s feet which deflected the shot.
So are others, those who are on this list and those who could easily be here. In time of those moments the protagonists couldn’t even smile, although their fates were united by that comedy film in 1994, when it was released in the USA. Ghostbusters is a comedy, but aformentioned gentlemen have been haunting ghosts for years.
Or, like Sisyphus, punished many times by the gods, they roll the boulder up the mountain and as soon as they are close to that goal, they return to reality from imagination, where unlike the reality the penalties were scored and like Sisyphus they have to roll the stone up to the peak again.
It’s hard, very hard. And If it was easy to understand, there wouldn’t be the funny memes linking Jonny Wilkinson and Harry Kane and etc.
Herostratus and the tradition of forgetting memories
In the 4th century BC, Herostratus destroyed one of the 7 wonders of the world. The first eponymous crime victim, when he revealed the true motive for the burning of the Ephesian temple of artemis, he started the tradition of forgetting memory – damnatio memoriae. There were strict order not to write his name in history books.
Obviously, this will be the most difficult, but for Kane’s psyche, using this famous technique will be of the utmost importance. Two weeks later, we will see him on the field in a Tottenham shirt.
The Three Lions captain has no shortage of support from the English football family, and beyond. The prime minister of the country also expressed his solidarity with the forward who equaled Wayne Rooney’s 53-goal record.
Rishi Sunak called the players of the national team to raise their heads and then kept his word and congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron on the victory and wished him success in the semi-finals.
Gary Lineker reminded Kane that he had nothing to be ashamed of and the risk of missing a penalty appears to anyone who’s brave enough to go to the spot.
It is significant that, although not at the World Cup, but also at important matches and forums, penalties have been missed at various times by Lineker himself, the head coach Southgate, Bobby Charlton, Tom Finn, Alan Shearer and even David Beckham.
Three Lions – It has been coming home
The Three Lions anthem and its lyrics have indeed changed the times in both senses – instead of it is coming home, now it’s ‘It has been coming home’, although this is not the fault of one particular individual, nor should it be. The main principle of football is often lost in emotions, but we must remember that the team wins and the team loses. So that Go Well, Harry!