Can’t believe it’s already been a month since the World Cup kicked off. We’ve come a long way since Russia decimated Saudi Arabia on opening night, and I think we’re all better people for it. My beloved France (as I said in my All-Hair Team, I took French from 4th grade to my senior year of high school, so if anyone’s allowed to jump on the bandwagon, it’s me) lifted the famous old trophy as
World Cup Champions Champions du Monde. Thrilling final for a thrilling World Cup, and it’s only gotten me more hyped up for the 2022 World Cup, which will inevitably boil down to a USA vs. Ireland final. But before we look too far ahead, let’s take one last look back at the World Cup that was.
- I feel very vindicated as a longtime Paul Pogba stan. I realize I haven’t discussed a ton of footy on here (will try to get more up as the Premier League season approaches), but Pogba is one of my favorite players to watch. He’s so goddamn cool and smooth and talented, and managers simply cannot figure out how to use him right. Jose Mourinho tries to fit a singular talent into his no-frills, no-fun strategy, Didier Deschamps tells him he’ll be spending most of the game as a glorified David Luiz. Just put him out there and let him do whatever he wants. He’s someone who can completely dominate games if you let him, and I just hope someone does soon.
- If I could be anywhere in the world at any point in history, I think I’d choose to be at whatever fast food joint Harry Maguire and Harry Kane went to after losing to Croatia. I’d partake as well, sure, but I’d just want to observe. I know for a fact they each spent at least $25, which is at least $60 in regular, non-fast food money.
- People forget Harry Kane is a huge Pats fan, which means not only is he smarter than he looks, but I am proud to call him my Golden Boot winner. His one open play goal came on a bizarre deflection off his heel, a perfect representation of not only the Harry Kane experience as a whole, but this World Cup in general.
- Congrats on the Golden Generation on achieving what no Golden Generation has done before- winning the World Cup third place game. I can’t imagine how good it feels to prove all the pundits right when they called Belgium the future of the sport.
- Congrats on the other Golden Generation at this World Cup for achieving what no Golden Generation has done before- getting blown out in the final. People forget Croatia had a Golden Generation, too, and their’s actually has some mental toughness. Just ran out of gas against better competition.
- Have to address it: the Putin umbrella picture-Listen, Putin’s a scumbag but if you don’t at least respect this then you’ve never been caught in a rainstorm. If you rule your country with an iron fist, you’d better have an umbrella guy if you want to be taken seriously on the world stage.
- That being said, and not to get too political here, but I’m starting to doubt Putin’s toughness a little bit. You let Pussy Riot dunk on you in public again? Dude, just have them all killed, what are you doing? Unless you want to tell me Pussy Riot is actually run by the state to try and convince the world there’s some political resistance to Putin’s reign, I can’t think of a reason why they’re still alive. If you’re the president of Russia there are literally no laws. You can do whatever you want. Pussy Riot’s been making you look like an idiot for like six years now and they’re still alive? Couldn’t be my dictator, I’ll tell you that much.
- Luka Modric wins Golden Ball as the best player, which I have no issue with, but Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann winning Silver and Bronze Ball, respectively, is incorrect. It should have been Modric Gold, N’Golo Kanté Silver, and either Paul Pogba or Kevin De Bruyne Bronze.
- The haters will say Kanté had a bad final, and he did. But (putting on my snarky internet guy hat) if you actually watched France play you know he was their best player all tournament. They pretty much built their entire strategy around him and his unique skills. If Les Bleus was a sports car, he’s the engine and the driver.
- Big tournament for dads everywhere, as defense claims their first major championship in many, many years.
- Getting your silver medal in the pouring rain seems like the worst thing of all time.
- R.I.P. to one of my favorite things to do- reminding all the n00bs that wonder how much Mbappé will be sold for that he’s already the second most expensive player of all time and PSG would be idiotic (i.e., forced by UEFA) to sell him now.
- The Official Brininho’s Den Team of the Tournament- GK- Thibaut Courtois, Belgium, Defense- Thomas Meunier, Belgium, Raphael Varane, France, Domagoj Vida, Croatia, Benjamin Pavard, France, Midfield- Luka Modric, Croatia, N’Golo Kanté, France, Paul Pogba, France, Forwards- Kylian Mbappé, France, Harry Kane, England, Neymar, Jr., Brazil
- Remember when Robbie Williams performed at the opening ceremony? So weird thinking back on that.
- Best goal of the tournament:
- I hope all the journalists who had been detained for suspicion of possibly complaining about the Russian conditions are released safely, but i wouldn’t count on it. Safer to just keep in the the gulag where they can’t squeal.
- Once more, for old time’s sake
- I didn’t think I would ever see a beatdown quite like the national anthem battle between France and Belgium, but I guess I underestimated the badness of Croatia’s national anthem. Listen to this:
- Now listen to this:
- Honestly amazed they even played the game after that bloodbath.
- While it was nice being able to just enjoy what was easily the most entertaining World Cup since 2014 without having to worry about America’s shortcomings, I’m just itching to see the boys get back out there and start disappointing again. 2022’s gonna be amazing, particularly since they’re going to 48 teams. It’ll be impossible to miss it, now!
That’ll do it for the 2018 World Cup. It was a wild ride, and I won’t be forgetting it for a long, long time. For anyone who was neutral that got hooked on soccer, congratulations. For anyone who was a hater but is warming up to the beautiful game, we’ll be here waiting for you to see the light. And for those of you who might actually care about soccer for more than a month at a time now, welcome to the good side. Club seasons start in less than a month, with Champions League not far behind. Need a team? Fret not, fair reader, for I’ll have you covered in due time. For now, just enjoy the afterglow of a wonderful international tournament as you prepare for the club experience, where there’s more goals and better fútbol. It’s great, trust me. Go Crystal Palace.