2018 World Cup Preview

1200px-2018_fifa_world_cup-svg

Rejoice, people of Earth, for it is finally time to kick off the World Cup, AKA the couple weeks every four years you pretend to care about soccer. Well, unlike you posers, I care about soccer 24/7/365, so if you were waiting for me to give you all the information you need to know to sound smart while watching, you’re in luck. I’ve ran the numbers, done my simulations, and have determined with 100% certainty that this year’s champion will be named somewhere in this post. It’s up to you to find it. You may be wondering why I didn’t release this yesterday before the tournament actually kicked off, but, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m very lazy, and, I assure you, Russia vs. Saudi Arabia will have no lasting impact on this World Cup whatsoever. Anyway, on to the good stuff.

Oh, right. USA. We’re not in it. But, we improbably got awarded the 2026 World Cup (it tells you everything you need to know about FIFA and international sports governing bodies as a whole that a combined USA-Canada-Mexico bid-a bid that in centered around the fact that there are ALREADY SOCCER STADIUMS BUILT- is less likely to happen than Morocco, where they’d have to use slave labor very expendable day laborers to build multiple stadiums in a short period of time, only for those stadiums to be completely abandoned once the tournament is over. Got to love bribery), so who’s really winning? I’ll let you decide for yourself. Also, European giants Italy and the Netherlands also missed out, so even though our qualifying region is infinitely easier, at least we can point and laugh at countries where fútbol is all they have. Italy being out is a big win for anyone who hates the “well USA stinks so I’ll just root for my ancestors’ team” crowd (no, Ireland didn’t make it, either, why do you ask?), and it may even reduce the amount of roid-fueled violence at bars and watch parties without the possibility of an Azzurri loss.

Who’s Good

  • Germany- Everyone on their team was genetically engineered to be dominant at one specific aspect of the sport
  • Brazil- Haven’t been the same since leaving Hulk out of the team, but they’re still stacked as hell
  • France- Some serious 2004 Lakers potential here
  • I bet if you’re reading this I could tell you just about anyone and you’d believe me. I could say Tunisia is the team no one wants to play and you’d pocket that nugget and throw it out to your friends right before they lose 4-0 to Belgium
  • Tunisia- The team no one wants to play

Players to Watch

  • Lionel Messi, Argentina- The fact that Argentines hate him while our national soccer savior is Freddy Adu is sickening
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal- A young upstart looking to make his mark on the world
  • Mo Salah, Egypt- Is Egyptian Messi healthy? It’s what the people are asking
  • Robert Lewandowski, Poland- Poland could make some proverbial noise if he shows up. Only problem is he usually doesn’t for big tournaments
  • Paul Pogba, France- If he’s good every game France wins it all. Book it

Random Players You Can Sound Smart if You Know

  • Hakim Ziyech, Morroco
  • Sergej Milinković-Savić, Serbia

  • Timo Werner, Germany
  • Hirving Lozano, Mexico
  • Christian Cueva, Peru

Trendy Darkhorses

  • Peru
  • Nigeria
  • Morocco
  • Croatia
  • Colombia

Players Most Likely to be Sent to Siberia

  • Everyone on Russia
  • Everyone on Russia’s families
  • Everyone on Russia’s friends
  • Local officials from everyone on Russia’s hometowns
  • 1980 Soviet hockey team for good measure

Best Things About This World Cup

  • Early games- primetime games are so overrated
  • VAR- Replay hate has picked up steam lately (mostly because the NFL is inept), but count me among the radical thinkers who think human error shouldn’t decide major international tournaments
  • You can rest easy knowing the Russian government will use the revenue from this event for the good of their people
  • Impossible to get mad at USA for not beating superior teams if they don’t make it in the first place
  • Flaming hot anthem

Worst Things About This World Cup

  • Say what you will about ESPN, but their international soccer coverage is far superior to Fox’s. They always bring the heat with graphics and video packages. So, despite being helmed by living legend Rob Stone, I’m out on Fox soccer coverage
  • Impossible to get excited about a USA World Cup run if they aren’t there
  • It’s in Russia
  • International soccer is becoming more and more defensive and conservative as club teams assert greater control over players and training time
  • The same group of three commercials that plays on an endless loop

Best Jerseys

  • Nigeria

  • Croatia

  • Brazil

  • Belgium

  • Japan

  • Colombia

Best Snacks to Eat During World Cup 2018

  • I’m on a big Pringles kick lately, don’t know if it’ll last the entire World Cup
  • Borscht
  • Your daily ration of Siberian gruel
  • Caviar
  • Cheez-Its

Who Will Advance From Each Group

  • Group A- Uruguay, Russia
  • Group B- Spain, Morocco
  • Group C- France, Peru
  • Group D- Croatia, Argentina
  • Group E- Brazil, Serbia
  • Group F- Germany, Mexico
  • Group G- Belgium, England
  • Group H- Colombia, Poland

Most Likely to Win Golden Boot

  • Thomas Mueller, Germany
  • Timo Werner, Germany
  • Neymar, Jr., Brazil
  • Robert Lewandowski, Poland
  • (Wild Card) Olivier Giroud, France

Who’s Winning

  • The moment you’ve all been waiting for. The winner of the 2018 World Cup will be………

Brazil

Viva joga bonito

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