The two oldest rivals in international football meet this Friday at Wembley.
In the shadow of their dominant neighbor and rival for several decades, Scotland have returned to great competition for the first time since World Cup 98 and a humiliating performance against Morocco in Saint-इटtienne (0–3). To find something to play for during the summer, quietly, the national team has reinvented itself, much more golden than the previous generation. The 23-year wait to renew the thread of the always glorious past, as during Euro 96, when the Scots fell against England, already at Wembley, already in the second group match (2–0).
On that day, almost twenty-five years ago, Paul Gascoigne scored one of his most beautiful goals with the Three Lions, confirming a bit more on this 150-year-old rivalry, which began in Glasgow on November 30, 1872. (0-0) What has gone down in history as the first official international match. Since “tartan army» Lost 48 matches (41 wins) including 13 from the last 20 meetings between the two neighbors.
ghost of failed return
But the two nations face each other less than before, having played each other for longer periods of time each year, as in rugby on the occasion of the Calcutta Cup, the oldest trophy in the history of the Oval. Still, the spirit of revenge remains strong for the Scots, with all emotion going through in the last match in 2017, when Harry Kane equalized in the last seconds after a Scottish upset in the last five minutes (2-2). “As a Scotsman, This Is the Match You Shouldn’t Miss, assures then-double-scorer Leigh Griffiths, who has not been selected for the Euros, because sky game. To play a lot, I can only advise people to take advantage of the moment, even if it is necessary to go for the result.»
And for good reason, in favorable conditions (Scotland played at Hampden Park in Glasgow at home), Liverpoolian teammate Andrew Robertson lost 0–2 in the opening to the Czech Republic and their brilliant striker Patrick Schick. The captain has tasted harsh criticism of the team in the Anglo-Saxon press. “We’re more honored than ever since qualifying for the tournament, but that’s not enough, exposes to the left sky game. The chance to play against England is our chance to prove what Scottish football is capable of.»
Brexit in the background
against «Old Enemy» (Old foe), Scotland will also and above all have to perform to maintain jealousy in this Euro, which could end in further disappointment. Especially since apart from England, Wales (semi-finalists in 2016) are also in the process of qualifying for the next round. What little else lives in the shadow of its neighbors in the United Kingdom. An area that has been discussed regularly since Brexit was voted in 2016 and came into force at the beginning of the year, when 62% of Scots expressed their desire to remain in the EU during the vote. And this is two years after the last referendum on the country’s independence, where “non» Won with 55.3% of the vote.
The first vote calls into question the union of the crowns since 1707, which may have given rise to a new one, since Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s clear victory for independents of the Scottish National Party (SNP) during the legislative elections in early May. . The latter took the opportunity to legitimize his promise to hold a new self-determination ballot. A ballot that can be legally rejected by the English Parliament. And like this Friday in London, where”tartan armyThen facing an opponent who is better equipped, even if he registers the return of Arsenal defender Kieran Trippier, Scotland will not go in favor of the predictions. On the grass field as in politics.