Raheem Sterling of England vies with Sime Vrsaljko of Croatia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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Did the World Cup Semi-Finals Prove That a Team Is More Valuable Than a Superstar?

This is one of the first performances in soccer without a truly defining individual effort.

Harry Kane, England’s 24-year-old star, has become one of the great goal scorers in the world by hanging near the box and pummeling opposing keepers with a barrage of shots with both feet. The Ringer writes that only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi averaged more shots per 90 minutes among all players across Europe’s top five league this season. But both Ronaldo and Messi went out in the round of 16, just hours apart, and Kane was knocked out when Croatia beat England to move on to the finals. So if it’s not Kane’s World Cup, then it might as well be anyone’s.

Soccer is already chaos at the club level, writes The Ringer, and the World Cup is basically just a month of madness with no time to breathe. And this year was different in that it was the first World Cup in decades without a defining individual performance. Real Madrid has a star-centric team, but overall, European soccer has been controlled by managers who construct holistic systems in which offense and defense become one, and you win with your weakest players, not your strongest.

Read the full story at The Ringer