Sure, it’s a team game and there are tactics and systems and stats and tribal allegiances but sometimes an individual just comes out of nowhere and instantly gets under your skin, makes your jaw slacker than a character from Clerks and leaves you, grinning stupidly, processing the near impossible made simple and the simple made sublime. Dani Ceballos, with his brave ball carrying from deep, fighting spirit, direct and positive vision and wonderful press resistant technique was my new love and all I wanted to do was watch. Ceballos has a prohibitively high transfer release fee in the hundreds of millions of Euros but a loan move, for this coming season, to develop for a fuller role in Madrid - particularly as Modric’s career nears its end - could be ideal. Let's take a look at where he could go.
On the 15th of June Group B of the 2018 World Cup begins with Morocco v Iran and Portugal v Spain. As with Group A, we will be previewing the group by highlighting a key element of a team, a star player and a Scottish connection. Our preview kicks off with a look at Spain's creative options before we pick out Cristiano Ronaldo as our star to watch and finally revisit Scotland's last match at a World Cup - 1998's loss to Morocco. Mark Thompson's excellent guide to football stats may be of use throughout the comparison of La Furia Roja's attacking midfielders and the dig into the numbers underlying CR7's extraordinary performance levels.