Good news for all the preamble writers out there: Lionel Messi starts for Argentina.
It was once put to Juca Kfouri, the Brazilian football writer, that Zico never won the World Cup. “Well,” he retorted, “that’s the World Cup’s bad luck”.
And in a way, Brazil’s failure to lift the trophy in 1982 – and 1986 – actually elevates their standing, cementing them in our hearts because it’s easier to identify with tragic heroes than heroic heroes. Or, put another way, because – as we always are…