World Cup 2018
June 12, 2018 1:07 PM   Subscribe

 
Born into a split family, I've been a Germany fan since I first grasped the concept of sport.

Growing up in America, I had to explain that, "Yes. Yes it matters."

Living now in Holland... ::doubles over in laughter::

It's nice not to have to split loyalties between three teams, no matter how superficial the other leanings might be.

'54, '74, '90, '14, '18! Ja wir stimmen uns alle ein!
posted by Seeba at 1:19 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]


I am so happy that Chile is out of the cup.
posted by signal at 1:25 PM on June 12


More important than what happens on the pitch, the World Cup songs are what really matter. This year, England are unbeatable.
posted by ZipRibbons at 1:48 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Die Mannschaft. This is pretty much all I have known about the World Cup for the last 20 years.
I will say I'm pretty happy that they are making it easier and easier to find games and stream them.
Also very happy that vuvuzela's won't be making an appearance this time arou... oh wait.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 1:49 PM on June 12


Oíd, mortales, el grito sagrado: "¡Argentina! ¡Argentina! ¡Argentina!" I'm looking forward to this, and I thank you for the post.

Stadion Luzhniki in Moscow

Pronunciation guide: the stress is on the last syllable (it's the plural of an old word luzhnik 'meadow'), loozh-nee-KEE.
posted by languagehat at 1:50 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Oíd, mortales, el grito sagrado: "¡Argentina! ¡Argentina! ¡Argentina!" I'm looking forward to this, and I thank you for the post.

Bježite ljudi dok postoji nada jer ovdje igra Hrvatska!

Srce vatreno
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:54 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Hey! Thanks for the post!

The only time I watch soccer -- excuse me, football -- is during World Cup. And here we are!

Thanks again!
posted by cool breeze at 1:55 PM on June 12


I think I'm doing the split support thing as well. One half [REDACTED: The Rudest Word In The Universe], one half to any team that puts Sergio Ramos' head on a pike.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:58 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


Can't believe the World Cup is just two days away because one of the major clubs around here is slowly imploding because their president decided that "having a normal one" as a daily goal is the way to go and the other is up the wazoo in sports corruption and financial fraud investigations. And we're still broke, so that has kinda made all headlines over the past couple of months.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:21 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


I follow soccer (as in the Guardian's football page is either the first or second site I check every day) and knew the World Cup was coming but I wasn't paying too much attention to the exact starting date. I was pretty surprised when my phone started telling me that matches were starting this week.

The one wish I have for this World Cup is to be able to buy Nigeria's jersey because it is quite nice but doesn't seem to be available in Canada.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:24 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Having watched the World Cup religiously since I was a boy it’s odd to have my country represented. Coming from a nation-state of a few hundred thousand people, participating in the World Cup just wasn’t something that could realistically hoped for. And now in a few days Iceland will face Argentina, featuring the world’s greatest player. It’s something else.
posted by Kattullus at 2:25 PM on June 12 [11 favorites]


The only time I watch soccer -- excuse me, football -- is during World Cup. And here we are!

Same here and I do enjoy it but I never really have any idea what's going on when I watch.
posted by octothorpe at 2:26 PM on June 12


messi

my tiny son
posted by poffin boffin at 2:32 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


Wait fuck I haven't paid attention since it was clear the US was out and now I roll up to World Cup 2018 ready to root for my always second team the Netherlands and they didn't make it either?? What am I to do?
posted by DynamiteToast at 2:41 PM on June 12


More from The Guardian: World Cup action must not divert from focus on further Fifa corruption. And Wikipedia has a decent summary of the ongoing corruption case and investigation into FIFA leadership.

Hosting an international event like this in Russia is a grim sort of joke too. Robbie Williams 'selling soul to dictator Putin' in World Cup gig. Also For LGBTQ fans, World Cup in Russia filled with fear and uncertainty.

I like sports too and wish it were free of politics. Football is a beautiful game. Shame the international organization is so awful.
posted by Nelson at 2:46 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


What am I to do?

there are so many precious underdogs to shriek for that i too am at a loss but my usual football fan method is to cheer for anyone who plays for barca regardless of country of origin.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:49 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


although i guess i am contractually obligated to support peru this year especially if i'm getting deported.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:50 PM on June 12


Nelson: I like sports too and wish it were free of politics. Football is a beautiful game. Shame the international organization is so awful.

Supriya Nair had a really interesting article about this issue called Why the global game isn't touched by political turmoil. Here’s an excerpt:
While there is something uniquely, perhaps essentially communitarian about football, democracy has always been a shifting and contingent ideal to its administrators. In this, ironically enough, lies its true global relevance. Its chicanery seems baroque and sinister in countries where this kind of venal under-the-table corruption has disappeared. But it simply does not, and never has, shared its morality with any single political bloc in the world.

The World Cup's most influential participants and teams were not combatants at the forefront of the Cold War, quite unlike the summer Olympics. They were European and Latin American nations recovering from the twentieth century's brutal succession of world wars and imperial repression, with populations and governments often deeply divided by the conflict between capitalism and communism.
posted by Kattullus at 2:58 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


I always support Mexico. They're a perrenially top rank team that always makes the tournament, usually gets out of group, and then falls apart in the knock-out round. This year, it seems possible that they could make a run for it if they can beat Germany in group (a big ask, but not an impossible one).

But if your looking for a scrappy underdog, you really should pick Panama or Iceland, both appearing in their first ever World Cup. Iceland further made history by being the smallest country to ever qualify (a population of 330k makes them just a third the size of the previous smallest qualifier, Trinidad & Tobago). Basically, if you live in Iceland, there's a good chance that one of the players on the team is a friend of a friend.
posted by 256 at 3:11 PM on June 12 [8 favorites]


The only time I watch soccer -- excuse me, football -- is during World Cup. And here we are!

Same here and I do enjoy it but I never really have any idea what's going on when I watch.


Football is a difficult sport to learn from the television, because TV rarely shows the whole field, and it is a game where off-the-ball movements are critical.

I think that it has been posted in comments on other MeFi articles, but SB Nation created a snarky yet still informative Glossary to terms you will surely hear quite often.

And if you do enjoy the game, I'd suggest watching the UEFA Champions Leaguein between World Cups, if not going in all the way and picking a European league to follow. While it will be until autumn before the Big Boys™ show up, the qualifying rounds for the CL start in about two weeks for the minnows. The tournament proper will go all the way until next May with some gaps in the schedule but come mid-winter it will be a riveting competition.

If you do decide to watch one of Europe's leagues, I'd suggest The Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), the Bundesliga (Germany) or Serie A (Italy) as the way to go. La Liga probably has the best football, the Prem probably the most drama and competition.
posted by wolpfack at 3:11 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


Messi! Saturday's match against Iceland will be rough because I want Iceland to go far. Just not far enough to beat Argentina.
posted by ceejaytee at 3:42 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


So this is like Eurovision except you can't use your hands?
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:13 PM on June 12 [12 favorites]


World Cup you say? Play with your pets for Science!
Psychic Pets: can your pet predict the World Cup results?

standupmaths is starting a campaign to collect videos of pets predicting the World Cup and needs you to play with your pets. This is a worthy cause IMHO.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:36 PM on June 12


America, where I live, is out. Ireland, where my grandparents are from, and my usual fallback position, is out. Côte d'Ivoire, where my brother spent a number of years in the Peace Corps, and is therefore a secondary fallback, is out.

Iceland it is, I guess.
posted by curiousgene at 4:45 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


So I cut my own hair, and I think that Guardian athletes page is going to be my reference guide for men's undercuts.
posted by polymodus at 5:14 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Deutschland vor! Noch ein Tor!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:37 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Allez les Bleus! (Go France!) Otherwise, I'd love to see an African or Asian team make a deep run, though I don't know how realistic that is. My guess is the winner will be one of the following: Germany, Brazil, Argentina or Spain. (Not the most daring prediction, granted, but there's a reason those teams are among the favorites literally every time – especially the first three.) As for my native France, of all the countries to have won at least one WC, they're by far the most unpredictable – they could wind up hoisting the trophy, or to the contrary make a speedy first round exit. I predict they'll make it to the quarterfinal or semifinal round, though of course I hope they do more than that.
posted by DavidfromBA at 5:43 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


I randomly went to a Barcelona FC vs Kazan Rubin match in Kazan a few years ago and the security at the stadium was the most insane thing I've ever seen. APCs, machine guns, dogs, the works. For the whole match there were guards in full tactical gear standing shoulder to shoulder around the full perimeter of the pitch, every third one with a dog. I wonder what it will look like this year.

As usual, I'll support Australia until we get eliminated early.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 5:49 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Quick plug for the MetaFilter FIFA WorldCup 2018 Bracket Challenge League! Sign up info is at the top of the linked MeTa post.

Also, 256 has started a FIFA WorldCup 2018 Fantasy League. Details were posted as comments by 256 in the MeTa linked above here and here.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:00 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


I wonder how the cheap seats are selling at Ekaterinburg Arena.
posted by unliteral at 6:08 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


I think I'm rooting for Mexico. Our southern neighbours have taken a serious ration of shit from the US for the last couple of days. Rooting for them seems like the neighbourly thing to do.
posted by COD at 7:39 PM on June 12 [8 favorites]


When I was growing up in Sweden, the definition of soccer was: "Two 11-man teams play for 90 minutes, and the game ends when Germany wins."

This year Sweden have to win over Die Mannschaft. If for no other reason than I am watching the game with German friends, and I don't want to pay for drinks...
posted by Rabarberofficer at 7:42 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


I hope Nigeria does well, because I love watching them play, and am sad that Cote D'Ivorie isnt there
posted by PinkMoose at 7:52 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


can't believe i have to get up at 8am to see my infant child james rodriguez play, this is a microaggression
posted by poffin boffin at 8:01 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


My favorite thing about the World Cup is the Panini Cheapskates, a delightful couple who draw every card in the collectible card set. Only they can't really draw.

They're going to draw all 680 cards for charity before the tournament ends.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:34 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]


Ok. The way to really understand the World Cup:

First, you need two soccer obsessed kids who have hundreds of soccer player cards and have memorized the stats and player ratings of nearly every player.

Second, you need FIFA 18 available for Xbox One, PS4, or Nintendo Switch with The downloaded World Cup update.

Third, you play through the entire bracket 2-3 times while your kids talk about which players to match up against which other players based on their ratings.

In three play-throughs, Spain has won each time. Germany has come close once. I believe Spain is going to win, although I suspect something nefarious in that EA sports seems to consistently have Russia beating France in the semis.

Based on these simulations, my Cinderella team is Uruguay. You heard it here first and I plan to link back to this comment if they win. I have almost taken them all the way and I think I would have won if weren’t for the fact that in multiplayer, your pass automatically goes to the person the other player is controlling and my six year old literally is never open. I’m having to steal the ball from my own teammate to prevent my nine year old from running up the score.

All that having been said, if Iceland makes it out of Group D, the entire world damn well better be rooting the hell out of this team, most of whom have day jobs as kindergarten teachers and milk delivery guys.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:16 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


While we appreciate every ounce of support, I feel I should mention that all members of the Icelandic squad are professional footballers. But please don’t stop rooting for the team.
posted by Kattullus at 11:08 PM on June 12 [8 favorites]


^^ wait, what? That’s not the narrative the world media is promoting. Now I don’t know what to believe. Kattullus says they’re just the same money grubbing pretty-boys. Go Uruguay!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:28 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


So glad I’m able to experience Coppa Mondiale fever right here in Italy. I’m going find a nice big public square where I can join locals and watch the matches and cheer on the Azzur...

Wait, what?

There was a beer ad on tv that shows a sad/angry Buffon, and the “contest” they’re holding seems to be “Make Buffon Laugh” in this time of need. He smiles at the end of the ad so all is ok.
posted by shortfuse at 12:14 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


Oh, hey, looks like Spain has stepped up this year and opted to collapse early.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:43 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


Well, the Spanish FA have been put in an impossible position because of Real Madrid's typical institutional arrogance, and the stupidity and greed of a manager who signed a contract extension for the Spain job less than a month ago.
posted by daveje at 4:10 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


1. one half (of my support) to any team that puts Sergio Ramos' head on a pike.
Yes. A thousand times yes.

2.Wait fuck I haven't paid attention since it was clear the US was out and now I roll up to World Cup 2018 ready to root for my always second team the Netherlands and they didn't make it either?? What am I to do?
Don't count on Italy.

3. Iceland are, clearly, the team to watch. They were e-lec-tri-fy-ing in the Europa Cup and though they likely won't have the fan support this time, if they come close to getting out of the group stage it will be amazing.

4. Champions League final and semi-finals is maybe the best (arguably) introduction to football for any non-football watching regular because in those final games all the teams really really really want to win and they are playing teams they do not regularly play.

5. My dream win would be Argentina simply so the whole Messi Ronaldo discussion can be put to bed for those few who are still deluded enough to think Ronaldo is fit to even tie Messi's shoes.

6. If I were betting I might put money down on Brazil. I'm kind of hoping France win though because they have so many great great players and to see them jell as a team would be a thing to see. Germany winning would be fine, if only for all the editorial pieces about whether or not it's appropriate to feel proud/ how to feel proud without being nationalistic about it. Sadly Boating will be injured ten minutes after he gets on the field and he is a preternatural player who I could watch just moving around the field, for a whole game. Seriously, you could learn a lot about how plays are developed just by watching him take them apart.

7. I feel bad for Buffon.

8. I also feel bad for wishing ill on Ramos but the guy is no good. (I'm not sold he gave Karius a concussion but it was a shit move for which he should have been punished. This was Liverpool's big sin - not defending their goalie with brutal retribution.)

9. Yeah, I got no feelings for Spain except that Iniesta who, seriously now - no hijinks, has to be 45 years old and yet still plays like he's 34. They're a great team and sadly won't be kicked out by any supernatural van Persie play, but there's always hope that that other guy, the one from Portugal, right, Silva or Queresma will do something amazing.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:26 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


I will be supporting England slightly half-heartedly, because I’m not feeling very patriotic these days. Not that the national football team should be identified with grubby tabloid nationalism, but… it still tends to be lots of beery white blokes waving flags, innit. And if we do well, I can just imagine the nauseating bandwagonning from Johnson and Farage.

Still, the fact we’ve got the youngest, least experienced team at the tournament is certainly intriguing. Who knows, maybe some strange alchemy will turn Eric Dier into Xavi for a month.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 4:27 AM on June 13


Oh, and to salve the wounds of those still lamenting Team USA not making the cut: It has officially been announced that the 2026 World Cup will take place in the USA (with a handful of games in Canada and Mexico).
posted by 256 at 5:06 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


I am blown away by the Spain news. As a Barcelona fan, half my team is playing for Spain, including our King, Iniesta, so I want them to do well. On the other hand, our God, Messi, plays for Argentina, and the Devil, Sergio Ramos, plays for Spain, so I'm rooting for Argentina here. I just feel bad that Iniesta's last World Cup is going to be such a mess.
posted by ceejaytee at 5:09 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


I kinda missed Spain doing 90s-style implosions. They even have Hierro, so all it takes is him fucking up and then blame the Basques and Catalans.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:09 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I don't know who to cheer for this year.

USA is moot.

South Korea will probably flame out in epic style from their group against Sweden, Mexico, and Germany. May the soccer gods have mercy on us.

I pulled Serbia out of my work's sweepstakes. Currently ranked 34 and in a group with Switzerland, Brazil and Costa Rica. (I can't catch a break!)

If I want to keep the domestic peace there is no way I can root for England.

I'm somewhat swayed by COD's rationale for backing Mexico and it would be a good excuse to stock up the flat with Mexicana cheese.
posted by like_neon at 5:18 AM on June 13


Mexico: "C'mon what type of food do you really want at your World Cup parties?"
posted by vacapinta at 5:45 AM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I was living in the states for the 2010 cup and I watched almost every Mexico game at a Mexican restaurant. Tacos, Tecate, and uproarious crowds. What better way to enjoy soccer (especially when the games are at noon local time).
posted by 256 at 5:55 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


South Korea will probably flame out in epic style from their group against Sweden, Mexico, and Germany. May the soccer gods have mercy on us.

Every WC it seems like pundits hail how good Japan looks and how bad Korea looks, and usually Korea seems to prove them wrong by doing at least as well as Japan if not better. This time though, Korea looks really bad.

I guess I’m mostly cheering for Lee Seung-Woo to show off what he learned at Barcelona, including trash-talking at opponents in Spanish or grass-rolling like vintage Busquets.
posted by shortfuse at 6:09 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Living now in Holland... ::doubles over in laughter::

Yeah - well, with the dutch team in the same group as Italy and Chili, such strong teams that I 'm pretty sure they're not going to advance to the second round, I wonder if I should bother watching it at all...
posted by DreamerFi at 6:17 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


The Spain news must be music to the ears of Uruguay. Group A is the softest group in the tournament, but that was a real bittersweet boon for Uruguay, since a win in Group A would almost certainly mean a Round of 16 matchup against either Spain or Portugal, neither of which was looking very favourable.

But now, it's looking quite plausible that a win in Group A means a matchup against a disorganized Spain or even Morocco. Neither of those are a walk in the park, but either could be winnable.
posted by 256 at 6:30 AM on June 13


Oh, interesting bit of 2026 trivia: Edmonton and Mexico City are going to be the two furthest apart cities to ever play host to the same world cup.
posted by 256 at 7:03 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]




Slarty Bartfast: Kattullus says they’re just the same money grubbing pretty-boys.

The coach is still a part-time village dentist on a small volcanic island. Is that acceptable?

posted by Kattullus at 7:32 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


the 2026 World Cup will take place in the USA (with a handful of games in Canada and Mexico).

yikes, how's the screaming orange prolapse going to spin that wrt his stupid wall fantasy? anyway ideally the US will fail to qualify again and the majority of the horst wessellness can be avoided.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:56 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Well, absent the shredding of the Constitution (or I suppose a democratic win in 2020 followed by a 78 year-old Trump being elected to a second term in 2024), someone else will be president by then anyhow.

Oh, and the USA will be guaranteed a spot as host (it's still up in the air whether Canada and Mexico will get guaranteed berths as well).
posted by 256 at 8:02 AM on June 13



Slarty Bartfast: Kattullus says they’re just the same money grubbing pretty-boys.

The coach is still a part-time village dentist on a small volcanic island. Is that acceptable?


If he also owns sheep, then yes. I’m trying to write a screenplay here.

posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:16 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I kid. Iceland is amazing and Islanders are amazing and generous and most are not sheep herders and I wish I’d messaged Katullus when I visited last year
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:20 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Did (or "how much") money change hands for Saudi Arabia to play in the opening match, or is that pure coincidence?
posted by clawsoon at 9:23 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Well, the groups are drawn by lot and the host always plays in the first game. And, I believe, the schedule was drawn up before the groups were determined meaning that Russia (as the Pot A seed) was already predetermined to open the tournament against the Pot D seed from their group.

So KSA gets the honour just by being the lowest ranked team in Russia's group.
posted by 256 at 9:33 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Ah, thanks.
posted by clawsoon at 9:42 AM on June 13


There was a beer ad on tv that shows a sad/angry Buffon, and the “contest” they’re holding seems to be “Make Buffon Laugh” in this time of need. He smiles at the end of the ad so all is ok.

It's short but cute (though the two puns - assistere a una parata and papera clamorosa - are untranslateable...).

Italy did qualify for the World Cup, though - but is there going to be anyone watching them?
posted by progosk at 10:13 AM on June 13


I've been rooting for Iceland since they missed qualifying for the last Cup by a hair. I was traveling around the country during the 2006 games, and watching matches in the common rooms of hostels, a different one every night, was an awesome experience.
posted by Quasirandom at 10:38 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


So this is like Eurovision except you can't use your hands?

Tell that to Maradona.
posted by fregoli at 11:08 AM on June 13 [6 favorites]


I'm reading a bunch of the team profiles at the Guardian, and it's making me think about something I heard in a boxing documentary: When Admiral Nelson was sailing for his history-changing meeting with Napoleon's fleet, a highly-anticipated championship boxing match was in preparation. The boxing match got many times more press than Nelson's victory did; pages and pages versus a column inch or two here or there for Nelson.
posted by clawsoon at 2:48 PM on June 13


Nice Guardian backstory-video about Panama’s first shot at the World Cup.
posted by progosk at 3:17 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Absolutely shocking.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:19 PM on June 13 [4 favorites]


World class clickbait. A slow clap is in order.
posted by 256 at 3:28 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Goldman Sachs' statistical simulation picks Brazil as the winner.

The linked article also cites other banks' predictions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, German Commerzbank's pick was Germany, which was also Swiss bank UBS's choice. Danish Danske Bank went with Brazil.
posted by needled at 4:51 PM on June 13


FiveThirtyEight predicts Brazil as the winner in their statistical model, but not with very high confidence. Spain and Germany are trailing very close (although I don't think their model accounts for Spain's coaching implosion). France, England, Belgium, Argentina, and Portugal are all grouped very closely together in the second tier of probability.

Everyone else is pretty much an also ran in their model, barring an incredible upset.
posted by 256 at 5:04 PM on June 13


anyway ideally the US will fail to qualify again and the majority of the horst wessellness can be avoided.

The host country always gets to play. Ie see Russia.

What’s interesting about 2026, does this mean Canada gets to play in the World Cup, eh?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:40 PM on June 13


Nice Guardian backstory-video about Panama’s first shot at the World Cup.

And now I wonder if Panama is the long shot underdog to root for. And Roman Torres is so likable. He has Sideshow Bob hair!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:16 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Technische Universitat Dortmund picks Spain.
posted by unliteral at 7:05 PM on June 13


Underdog-wise I'm rooting for Poland. Semi-realistically, let's go Messi.
posted by mollweide at 7:41 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Our morning radio had a World Cup music theme going, mainly playing all the England songs from previous years.

My husband played Scotland's song, Don't come Home to Soon, which is sounds so prematurely defeatist, and thus very Scottish.

Which made me think about World Cup songs of other nations.

Most google search results are about official World Cup songs, not national team songs. Although I found this snippet that Sergio Ramos released a song for this year's world cup because why not and I really wish there was subtitles for this Russian song which apparently has the line "Our team is, let's be frank, shit" (which sounds like THAT should have been the Scotland song).
posted by like_neon at 2:49 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


I'm a little weirded out by all the Twitter chatter about football widows, but this one made me chortle. The full note is worth clicking through for.

#WorldCupRussia2018 When I got home tonight found this note from my wife
As you will be watching 3 matches a day and 24/7 highlights I have decided to go and stay with my sister during the World Cup. I have left you the following notes to help you get through what will obviously be a very trying time... Please put bins out on the following dates (no matches start before 11.00am so do it first thing)
posted by spamandkimchi at 3:15 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


As a rule, I root for the colonized over the colonizers, but what do I do when it's the same team?
I am tired of supporting European countries, in this year’s work cup, I am supporting our African team France 🇫🇷, go boys #WorldCupRussia2018
posted by spamandkimchi at 3:20 AM on June 14 [3 favorites]


We are up for Mathcday 1 in FANFARE!

Russia scores in 12th minute, 1-0 here in minute 34
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:37 AM on June 14


At the 61th minute, it's 2-0 Russia ahead, with their goalie having made 0 saves.
posted by Quasirandom at 9:26 AM on June 14


Three goals in the last 30 for a 5-0 finish. KSA at least managed to get one on-target shot off that I counted.

This is interesting! Most soccer pundits were predicting a 1-0, 2-0, or 2-1 win for Russia, with a draw definitely seen as a possibility. It was a little hard to say whether this was more Russia overperforming, or KSA falling apart. I suspect it was a bit of both, but maybe more the former. Russia today looked like a side that's on its way to the R16. They didn't exactly look like a side that has a chance against Uruguay, but stranger things have happened with a home field advantage.
posted by 256 at 10:15 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


82 jugadores que no representarán a su país de nacimiento en el Mundial. tl;dt: French players are the majority of 4 teams, France will not win WC.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:21 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


(whispers guiltily)
I'm glad I don't have to do the obligatory watch/cheer/slog through the US matches this time around, our team's play is very occasionally triumphant but always joyless. I'm also way too excited about the Uruguay-Egypt match (my faaavorite unrepentant villain Suarez versus Mo Salah, who still has a heart-eyed naif quality about him).
posted by grandiloquiet at 2:31 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


My favorite thing about the World Cup is the Panini Cheapskates, a delightful couple who draw every card in the collectible card set. Only they can't really draw.

I feel like they're already improving?? This kind of makes me want to start drawing.

I'm so glad I didn't know about Panini stickers during my (obsessive basketball card collecting) youth. I didn't learn about them until I heard about Balotelli's hilarious, collector-crushing stunt in Brazil.
posted by grandiloquiet at 2:42 PM on June 14


7. I feel bad for Buffon.

While I have been chortling with glee as I fill up my bathtub with Italy's tears, I do agree wholeheartedly with this.
posted by nikitabot at 2:51 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


World Cup is the best because there is a strict ranking of sympathy so there's almost always someone to root for.

The Dutch crashed early this time, so allez les Bleus!
My second choice is Brazil and let's hope Brazil doesn't play France or I may become caçado instead of casado.
Germany would be welcome for both of us should the others fail.
It looks unlikely Messi will get the cup he deserves and I wouldn't give many chances to Argentina if they keep their form from the qualifiers.
All underdogs are welcome, especially African teams.
posted by ersatz at 11:37 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I was re-watching some lowlights from Brazil 2014, and I was struck again by how delicate Neymar looked, like a little bird who was destined to be crushed by some brute who wanted to hear the crunch of his bones.

The HGH-fueled robustness of Messi puts one in the opposite mind. Small, yes, but honey-badger-don't-care small.
posted by clawsoon at 5:12 AM on June 15 [3 favorites]


Spain - Portugal is pretty divertido!
posted by ersatz at 12:17 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]


All of the Spain-Portugal watchers on Mefi seem to be over here.
posted by clawsoon at 12:35 PM on June 15


Australian watcher here - 1 all with penalties makes for gripping viewing
posted by unliteral at 4:32 AM on June 16


Bugger
posted by unliteral at 4:37 AM on June 16


I wasn't even watching the game, but managed to be in a car driving past the one of the large parks in Belgrade where everyone was gathered to watch the game right as Serbia made their one goal! Much cheering! Very exciting :)

Good luck like_neon
posted by aetg at 2:00 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]




Japan World Cup 2018 team guide:

The Miracle of Miami involved Japan and Brazil. Who knew? (Does anybody in Miami know?)
posted by clawsoon at 5:09 PM on June 18


The Mexico game was so fun and you coulda knocked me over with the Serbia match. Woohoo!
Even South Korea fared ok, losing to "only" 1-0 and it was for a penalty at that.

Watched the England-Tunisia game at home last night. Excellent first 20 minutes. The Tunisia penalty made things interesting for about 10 mins. Then it really really lagged. I was bracing myself for a week of moaning and groaning from the British media, but thank goodness for the late goal.

As a neutral fan it was amusing to watch the commentators quickly change from "Ugh where has the energy gone!?" to "Perseverance, determination, and resilience paid off. Well done, lads!"
posted by like_neon at 1:32 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


I was bracing myself for a week of moaning and groaning from the British media, but thank goodness for the late goal.

Yup. I found myself wanting England to do well not just because I want them to do well, but because I’d like to avoid all that toxic tabloid bullshit. Given we went in with low expectations, a smooth passage through the group and a heroic failure against one of the big teams in the knock-out stages might be enough to keep the papers from going into a full feeding frenzy.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:46 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]


Heading into Matchday 2, here are the standings:

Group A
1. Russia 2. Uruguay 3. Egypt 4.Saudi Arabia
Group B
1. Iran 2.Portugal 3. Spain 4.Morocco
Group C
1. France 2. Denmark 3. Australia 4. Peru
Group D
1. Croatia 2. Iceland 3. Argentina 4. Nigeria
Group E
1. Serbia 2.Brasil 3. Switzerland 4. Costa Rica
Group F
1. Sweden 2. Mexico 3. South Korea 4. Germany
Group G
1. Belgium 2. England 3. Tunisia 4. Panama
Group H
1. Japan 2. Senegal 3. Poland 4. Colombia

and here are Matchday 2 games:

#1 Russia vs #3 Egypt (Group A) - St Petersburg

Wednesday 20 June
#2 Portugal vs #4 Morocco (Group B) - Moscow (Luzhniki)

#2 Uruguay vs #4 Saudi Arabia (Group A) - Rostov-on-Don

#1 Iran vs #3 Spain (Group B) - Kazan (I think this will be an exciting match!)

Thursday 21 June
#2 Denmark vs #3 Australia (Group C)

#1 France vs #4 Peru (Group C) - Ekaterinburg

#3 Argentina vs #1 Croatia (Group D) - Nizhny Novgorod (I think this will be an exciting match!)

Friday 22 June
#2 Brazil vs #4 Costa Rica (Group E) - St Petersburg

#4 Nigeria vs #2 Iceland (Group D) - Volgograd

#1 Serbia vs #3 Switzerland (Group E) - Kaliningrad

Saturday 23 June
#1 Belgium vs #3 Tunisia (Group G) - Moscow (Spartak)

#3 South Korea vs #2 Mexico (Group F) - Rostov-on-Don (I think this will be an exciting match!)

#4 Germany v #1 Sweden (Group F) - Sochi (I think this will be an exciting match!)

Sunday 24 June
#2 England vs #4 Panama (Group G) - Nizhny Novgorod - 1pm

#1 Japan vs #2 Senegal (Group H) - Ekaterinburg

#3 Poland vs #4 Colombia (Group H) - Kazan

Come watch in the FanFare livewatch thread with us!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:42 AM on June 19




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