This World Cup in Russia has been nothing short of a massive success so far for the host country.  I’ve watched a number of matches and being a former sports blogger watching Russia’s win over Spain recalled those days of running my Sabre Rattling blog (now lost to the cruelty of time) and my childhood where I spent so much of my time watching professional sports of one form or another.

I don’t claim to be a soccer/football expert but it was clear to me that Spain cracked under the pressure while the Russians simply dug in and gutted out a win.  Once it got down to penalties the difference between the two goalkeepers’ body language was all you needed to know.

I think there’s a metaphor there for geopolitics but, for today, the big winner on the world stage today is Russia, its leadership who did a brilliant job putting on the tournament and the fans from around the world who braved the psychological Iron Curtain and found something wonderful on the other side.

Good for them.

In stark contrast is the situation unfolding in the EU, especially Germany, and the populist uprising in Mexico.  The guard is changing and this is a fascinating time to be alive.

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