Friday, 29 June 2018

Word Cup In Russia - So Far So OMFG!!!

Sports - Football - World Cup - OMFG!!!

And breath. The group stage is over and we have a day to recover from a crazy, unpredictable, just different World Cup in Russia. AND ENGLAND ARE THROUGH!!! Germany are not. That’s a first since 1938! My cheeky fiver on Egypt went down the drain very quickly as well (poor Momo)! So, anyway, I just thought to scribble down the main talking points and my thoughts on them - the best form of therapy for such a traumatic and shocking experience. ;-)


Love it or hate it, it is looooong overdue and definitely makes a difference. Good or bad, in the end it’s always better when you can double-check and it’s up to the ref = still all subjective in the end, so, it is impossible to get everything and everyone 100% and happy. Nearly every other sports have a review system - cricket, rugby, tennis, ... - and it definitely adds to the post-match talking points. But there is still one thing that annoys me most about football and has to change, which brings me to my next point:

Cut the drama!

The players’ attitudes to the game have to change! The way they playact and roll around as if they have been hit by a bullet, or two or three, and in the next breath they jump up and are in the ref’s face - SHOW SOME RESPECT! YOU CALL YOURSELF MEN! STAY UP AND PLAY THE GAME, YOU’RE ON CAMERA FFS!!! And the ref is a (hu)man as well, so, treat him like one and in the end he decides the game, so, like in the other sports - cricket, rugby, tennis, ... - BE PROFESSIONAL ABOUT IT, I mean, come on, the soccer stars get paid enough for it!!! 

The fans

What has entertained and impressed me most is what has been going on off and around the pitch. The fans have been awesome! The costumes, the songs, the unity. It is not often you get Koreans and Mexicans partying together. The Senegalese players dancing. The famous Icelandic shout and clap. Iranian fans partying hard and loud. That's how and why I love football, bringing everyone together! Russia has, so far so good, positively surprised me as the hosts! And their team hasn’t done too bad either! After thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match, Stanislas Cherchesov's men could not have asked for a better start. It is the first time since 1986 the biggest country in the world has qualified past the group stage, which takes me to the next bit:

The records

The stats kept rolling in, every match, every twist, every turn, records tumbling here, there and everywhere. There have already been 24 penalties and that is (more than) double than in the last three completed world cup tournaments, and we're only just at the end of the group stage! Thanks very much to the VAR for that! 
We watched 38 gripping thrillers with goals galore until France and Denmark shared a comfortable goalless draw, the most matches of all world cups without deadlocks (in the 32-team version = since 2002). 
It was the worst World Cup for Africa in 36 years after Senegal's exit on Thursday, with no side from the continent in the knockout stage for the first time since 1982.
And there have been plenty of blunders, wtfs and late late late drama and goals, including England's Harry Kane's winning header against Tunisia and Cristiano Ronaldo's equaliser to make it 3-3 for Portugal against Spain (who sacked their manager Jule Lopetegui just two days before the tournament kicked off for them), headache but also late saviour for Messi and co, not forgetting Maradona's middle fingers. And of course most recently South Korea's winner(s) against Germany, crashing out Joachim Löw's men. 
I could go on and on, here's a good article I read earlier with more on that, including pics and videos.

Last and least, predictions...

Ha! They went out the window a long time ago and I won’t even try it from here! For the first time there is a general feeling of anything can happen and anyone can win (or lose) it! As much as I’m an England fan and want Gareth Southgate and co to win, I love the idea of a surprise winner, the underdogs, against all odds, the OMG moments! And there have been plenty of those already!!!

Click here for my previous article.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC website,this article and match reports, Twitter and beIN sports coverage.