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The World Cup is coming.


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There's been some surprising results so far.

And it's got rather political, with the sideshow row about armbands and rainbows and suchlike.

Apparently the match to which you refer is tomorrow (I just googled it).  Celebrate away, if you wish!


No mountains or forests in Qatar.  So nothing much to interest me.  Though I had a friend (now deceased) who lived there for a few years and enjoyed it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

*staggers in with a lampshade on his head*  Wow, now THAT was a party!

Oh, sorry Twinky. I didn't realize you'd posted again, since you said you weren't interested, so I thought the thread never updated.  Since I have a multi-national family, I've got a few teams to root for- up to 3 of them, depending on who qualifies for the World Cup. If all 3 qualify, then the first week gets really, really busy. If they all make the round of 16, it can stay busy, too.  Worse, if they play each other, then we watch on separate TVs then celebrate whichever team moves on. 

In answer to your question, both the US and England moved on to the round of 16, washing out Wales in the process.

It used to be said that "Americans will never embrace Soccer."   I think that's been changing over my lifetime, especially the last 20 years.  The US' soccer league is looking serious, and we now have US players who have been scouted to Europe, and normally play on European leagues.  So, each World Cup, the US seems to be doing better, which I'd expect with more of them playing in the European league (since the US league is still improving.)   Over the next several World Cups, I'm expecting the US to provide some excellent matches, and to work their way into the round of 8, at least, possibly the final 4.

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Soccer, what's that? Oh, do you mean FOOTBALL? Why do Americans call it such a silly name? 

Anyway, I hear Argentina won, worthily so. And France got their nose pushed out of joint.   Exciting at the end, I gather. 

Is that it for four more years? 

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That should be it for about 4 more years.

Nobody consulted me about calling US football "football" and the other one "soccer."  It makes discussing it across languages even more difficult than it need be.

France's nose got pushed worse out of joint because of Mbappe.   In the last match, he scored all of their goals in regular time- 2 of them penalty kicks, one of them a regular goal he scored after crashing into Messi and taking possession of the ball.    Once it went to a penalty shoot-out, I said France was in trouble, because Mbappe could only give them ONE of the necessary goals. (Not to mention it was impossible to cheat any kick in the shootout, with all eyes on the kicker and goalie, the VAR's cameras covering all possible shenanigans...)    I was right.  Mbappe went first and scored a goal, then Messi went and scored a goal.  After that, Argentina's players kept scoring, and France's generally did not- thus the 4-2 result without the 5th kicker from either team brought out.   

When the awards were given out, Mbappe looked like he was being dragged out to accept his award.  I thought that was ridiculous. His team won the previous World Cup. His team made the finals of this World Cup. His team made it to overtime, and then to the penalty kick shootout.  Other than actually winning a second World Cup in a row, that's about the best result one could hope for.  France had reason to celebrate making it to the Finals. 

Well, the problem was what Mbappe said before the World Cup.  When asked about the other teams, he mentioned only the European teams as formidable.  When someone asked about South America, he dismissed them and said he didn't think much of their players.   Now, this came back to bite him for two reasons.  One, his team actually lost to a South American team.  Two, when he returns to work, he will return to professional play in Europe-  alongside lots of South Americans scouted to join the European league because they were better than the Europeans they replaced. (By definition, teams scout the best players, so bringing in players from another continent says something about their quality.)   I don't know how they will react- if they will react- but comments like that don't make for harmonious teams.  Seriously, badmouth 1/4 of your team and see how much they're willing to work with you. 

I don't know about the next World Cup, but Argentina had a number of hot players this time around- Messi, Di Maria, Enzo Fernandez, Julian Alvarez, Mac Allister, and Paredes and Montiel surprised quite a few people in the last match, and that's not even counting the goalie (Emiliano Martinez.) 


Honestly, I can see not cheering for a team when they get the awards, but French fans were BOOING during the awards ceremony. Just cheer for Mbappe and then remain silent or something.  

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