The starting whistle
Néstor Pitana will lead the opening match of the World Cup: Russia - Saudi Arabia. I know that when a World Cup starts we don't care about anything and we watch ALL the games, but the truth is that it's good news to put some spice into a game that a priori has the look of being an embole brand cannonball. I don't know any of the 22 players, but I don't care: I know the referee and the line judges (Hernán Maidana and Juan Pablo Bellati). That's enough of that. But the note is not about this, but about a custom I didn't know about: the referees called to the World Cup play a kind of "training" match with players who are especially skilled at smashing themselves in the area and simulating penalties. The purpose is, of course, to see how well they are able to detect which is missing and which is simulated. Pitana, who here's another piece of information he didn't know about, was an actor (will that knowledge be useful to detect when a player simulates?), took three penalties, took two yellow and one red, all in fifteen minutes (which is how long these mini training sessions last). Pitana has already coached 4 matches in the World Cup in Brazil, with the first one in Russia reaching Elizondo, who holds the Argentinean refereeing record with 5 (including the unforgettable final in which Zidane headed Materazzi). The most likely thing is that he will get over it, so no matter what happens, Argentina will set a record in this World Cup. All I'm asking is that, since if the team moves forward, the referees are in the way, they don't lead the final. No semis. No rooms. No offense, Pitana, I think you should feel the same way.