2018 FIFA World Cup Revisited

I might have to take back what I said earlier about the FIFA World Cup currently underway in Russia. I’d feared it would be a dreary affair but, while the standard of football hasn’t been that high, the games have certainly been good. Portugal against Spain was a cracker, with Ronaldo’s equaliser as sublime a free-kick as you’ll see. Iran gave Spain a good run, Morocco ran them ragged last night, and Iran versus Portugal was good albeit ruined by the VAR. I watched Sweden versus Germany in a pub with a solitary German and everyone else supporting Sweden; it pains me to say it, but Tony Kroos’ last minute goal was wonderful, and for that alone they deserved the win.

It’s been most amusing to watch Argentina struggle against Iceland and then get thrashed by Croatia, who are looking good. Messi has long been accused of not playing well for his country and thus far in this tournament he’s been absent. France haven’t looked very impressive, but they’ve done enough and who knows what they can pull out of the bag? England have got off to a good start, and while people are downplaying their 6-1 thrashing of Panama, one must remember England traditionally struggled against the minnows and they can only play the team in front of them. I’ll miss the game against Belgium because I’ve stupidly booked myself on a flight to Thailand; even more stupidly I’d booked the return flight during the final, so I’ve had to re-book it for the next day at no small expense. Grrrr.

Russia seems to be doing a good job of hosting the tournament with visitors being rather surprised to find happy, welcoming people interested in having fun instead of granite-faced thugs with shaved heads waiting to slaughter LGBTs in the streets. Not for the first time have foreigners discovered individual Russians are a lot different from how they are collectively portrayed.

So in hindsight I was wrong: this tournament has been highly entertaining so far, and I look forward to the rest of it.

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14 thoughts on “2018 FIFA World Cup Revisited

  1. “””….granite-faced thugs with shaved heads waiting to slaughter LGBTs in the streets……””

    Actually, we have those people and we did this job already. Russia and Eastern Europe are relatively normal because we knew that every form of liberalism must be put down immediately.

    Do not be sexual pervert down here. When I see sexual deviant on the street, I will do something before my country end up like Sweden. When those people want some rights, they are free to move to Chetchnia.

  2. I haven’t managed to follow it, due to travel commitments in Sth Africa, even though everybody there including hotel workers seemed to stop what they were doing to watch it. Back home now but the games are on too late, hope that Aussie get a decent win over Peru tonight. Not having a good sporting run at the moment, went to the Irish rugby test in Melbourne last week just before I left for Africa and got back just in time to watch them take the series in Sydney and then see NSW win the State of Origin on Sunday.

  3. Thanks Tim for the great public service of letting me know what’s going on in the Wendyball. For some technical reason* I’ve not been able to keep up with the competition at all.

    *a prior appointment with slamming my cock repeatedly in a drawer.

  4. Things we have learned from World Cup:

    1) VAR has only added another layer of controversy to the mix. In a fast moving sport there will always be errors of judgement by players and officials but slowing the game up to review matters hasn’t removed much (if any) doubt. Some decisions are ducked whether cameras are available or not;

    2) International football is, as always, not as good as club football. National teams rarely get their act together as an established league team can, so little has changed here;

    3) Commentators are better than they used to be but still prone to utterly stupid statements like “he will be disappointed with that effort” instead of saying as we all think: “That was a fucking awful shot”;

    4) if referees actually had the courage of awarding penalties for wrestling in the area at corners we would have games finishing 7-6, or teams finishing with eight on each side. Alas they won’t, so we see referees once more ducking responsibility (also see point 1 above);

    5) While the overall standard improves in terms of lesser nations being better coached, etc, the cream will always rise to the top. In other words, however awful Germany are early on, they do get better as they go on;

    6) However much people dislike the World Cup, they are far more aware of it than a minor sport like egg-chasing

  5. @watcher

    “However much people dislike the World Cup, they are far more aware of it than a minor sport like egg-chasing”

    That’s what’s known as a “win win” situation.

  6. “1) VAR has only added another layer of controversy to the mix.”

    Yeah, this was apparent in the UK, think it was a cup game involving Palace in January? February?

    The thought occurs that the broadcasters can keep the controversy going by using higher resolution feeds and zooming in on the specific area of the picture, a la Bladerunner. VAR won’t solve anything.

  7. ‘Not for the first time have foreigners discovered individual Russians are a lot different from how they are collectively portrayed.

    Probably the case with lots of countries.

  8. I’m happy you are enjoying it, I’m as I said watching all I can and having a great time with my kids watching games that even with no dog in the fight are fun.

  9. Daimler Trucks HQ in the U.S. just added another proxy server to the corporate network since so many people are watching World Cup. Apparently it’s interesting somebody around here.

  10. Don’t mention the VAR.

    I did once, but I think I got away with it.

  11. I have never ever in my life won a bet. When I drew Germany in the office sweep it was inevitable they’d be knocked out in the first round.

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