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2018 FIFA World Cup

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  • 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Good day to you all. I know the Forums haven't been terribly active as of late, but I was going to create this thread anyways because I know how many forumers in the past have been such big football/soccer fans (I'm American, so I'm gonna use "soccer" sometimes). And I see no reason why that because of low activity there shouldn't be a World Cup thread here.


    In just over two weeks, thirty-two nations will peacefully compete for the grandest prize in all sport: the World Cup. It is said that our interconnected globe values club football in favor of the international game. Though the attention and money of club play have flourished, the World Cup remains what all of us if we were professional soccer players ourselves would trade domestic glory for. Only eight nations have ever won a World Cup (many English and Uruguayans probably have no direct memories of their respective triumphs), and only 79 nations (less than half the total nations on Earth) have ever qualified for a World Cup.

    Yet the romance of this tournament remains, despite how some nations have such a head start, to win it all for the country one calls home. A golden generation in Egypt is brewing led by their greatest player ever, Mohamed Salah and are not deterred in their first appearance since 1990. With no superstars, Iceland arrive as the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup. And if Euro 2016 was any indication, expect much of the population to be in the stands. The workmanlike Panamanians, too, are making their World Cup debut after bitter last-minute disappointment in qualifying for the 2014 edition. This may be the final World Cup for the two biggest stars of these footballing years Argentina's Lionel Messi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. Absent are world and regional powers considered World Cup furniture: Italy, the Netherlands, Cameroon, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, the United States (to my obvious dismay), and Chile will not be there.

    "There" is Russia. After Sochi hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, the 2018 FIFA World Cup is the final half of a decade of Vladimir Putin's Russia hosting the world's sporting spectacles. This is the first World Cup in forty years (and the first of two consecutive World Cups) to be played under the shadow of authoritarianism and the fallout of the FIFA corruption scandal. Russia has been all but forgiven by the International Olympic Committee for a government-sponsored doping program rivaling the former East Germany's. Racism, homophobia, and hooliganism are concerns heading into these final days of waiting. There is much to worry about the host nation.

    But this much I know: the World Cup will be held, regardless of what may happen in the month to come. I cannot say if, politically, there will be any good that comes this World Cup. Those goods will arrive someday for the Russian people. Soccer, in its complexity, can unleash the most despicable and the most noble aspects of humanity. May that nobility the resilience of human bodies and hearts, the power of optimistic souls be always present for a compelling, twenty-first World Cup.

    The Groups
    And now, the tournament itself ("seeded teams" are listed first):

    Group A
    • Russia
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Egypt
    • Uruguay
    Group B
    • Portugal
    • Spain
    • Morocco
    • Iran
    Group C
    • France
    • Australia
    • Peru
    • Denmark
    Group D
    • Argentina
    • Iceland
    • Croatia
    • Nigeria
    Group E
    • Brazil
    • Switzerland
    • Costa Rica
    • Serbia
    Group F
    • Germany
    • Mexico
    • Sweden
    • South Korea
    Group G
    • Belgium
    • Panama
    • Tunisia
    • England
    Group H
    • Poland
    • Senegal
    • Colombia
    • Japan
    The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins Thursday, June 14 with Russia-Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow at 6 PM local time/8 AM Pacific/11 AM Eastern/4 PM GMT. The final match will be at the Luzhniki Stadium at those same times on July 15.

    What are your predictions for this World Cup (I'll share mine if you folks share yours)? Who are you supporting? What are the most interesting stories for you going into the tournament? How will you be watching/listening?

  • #2
    Well I am somewhat of a soccerphobe (is there such a word?) and would never normally, willingly watch more than 5 minutes of any match.

    However as you say, there is something compelling about the World Cup, especially for us in the UK as England are playing!

    After England, I will be supporting Iceland, who doesn't love an underdog?


    • #3

      Wonderful post Eric!

      Great information too!

      I always watch the world cup of course, not all the countries though.

      I usually support 3-4 of them and watch all the games in their groups.

      Glad we have the same time here as Russia, so it will be easy to watch them.

      At home alone or with friends, or some games maybe

      where I play pool, they have a huge tv!

      I am with England, Portugal, Russia and Serbia.

      My predictions?


      England, Portugal, Russia and Serbia.


      • #4
        Just going to go for Brazil to win it. They have the players to make it happen, with some huge names in their team.


        • #5
          Rooting for Iceland (mainly) and Sweden. Not expecting either to win but it'll be good to finally see Iceland in the WC and hoping they can pull of a few surprises.

          Don't really care who wins it as long as it's not England though. Always a good laugh.


          • #6
            A little more than half of the games played, and I have to say it's been a pretty exciting World Cup. Perhaps too many penalties (thanks VAR?) for my tastes, but seeing so many injury time/late goals and so many of the favorites struggling in their respective games has been refreshing indeed. As has the lack of controversy (not that there hasn't been any at all) from the host nation! And yes, I still care very much for this tournament despite the US not being in it.

            Sorry I haven't been tending to this folks.


            • #7
              Well. if all my predictions came through, i would be down the bookies every day. And i would be very rich right now, lol.


              • #8
                Well I've got Belgium in the sweepstake at work, so I'm feeling confident at the moment ! Never thought I'd say this, but I think England could get thru to the final, only problem is, think we'll face Belgium or France, and they might just be too strong for us (they have lots of UK based players so will know how to play against us) ! But I've enjoyed the Comp so far . . . . been much better than I expected !
                *Oh No, he's retired !


                • #9
                  Enjoy the Final guys


                  • #10
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