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FIFA WORLD CUP - Russia 2018
#1
Well... I know we're still three weeks away. So I don't expect this thing to get much traction until mid June. But I thought I'd get the ball rolling just the same.

Pun intended.

Have at it gents.

Initial topic of discussion: This schedule is going to be a bit of a bitch for those of us in the Western Hemisphere. Not as bad as it was for Japan/Korea, but still... I mean, at least that one gave you an excuse to stay up late at the pub. This? It's just going to be annoying.
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#2
Go Iceland/Germany/Mexico! Boo Portugal.

Those start times are heinous. At least there is a "late" game everyday at noon my time jeez.
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#3
No Team USA so I'll be going for any of the other teams in the Americas. As long as we get some exciting games and Russia loses in humiliating fashion.
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#4
I'll be rooting for unfancied Peru because (1) they knocked NZ out, so the better they do the better we can feel about that and (2) they have the best shirts.
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#5
There's no Dutch, can't stand England and the home team isn't a fave. Finding it hard to muster lots of excitement but then I'm more about the higher level club football these days.

I will probably root for Egypt since Salah is a wonderful player. If it's any of Germany, Spain, France, Belgium or Portugal, I'll be in their corner. Can't get excited about the modern Brazilians nor the other South American teams. Obviously hoping Panama pull off a shock.

It does look like the TV schedule is going to heavily favour Europe. It's 1pm through 8pm which means the pubs will be doing a roaring trade, especially if England (groans...) do well.
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#6
England do well? Hilarious!
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#7
Yeah... I gotta say the lineup is CRAZY! No Italy? No Holland? And the US always had it so easy with their qualifiers because they've traditionally been in a pushover group. So what does it say about the state of the team that the rest of the group stepped up their game and they...um... didn't?

So, ok... To be fair we're running a little low on "stars" this time in my corner. But that doesn't mean I can't drum up some enthusiasm. Because this does happen only every 4 years. So, here's what I'll be pulling for: 

I'll root for all the South American teams because those are my people. And, when they play each other, I'll root for the underdog. Like... For once in my life, I'm rooting for Peru. Why? Well, they're right next door so I guess it's the next best thing to my boys actually making it out there. 

(Project: BOLIVIA 2022 ... make it happen, kids!)

Far as Europe? Yeah, I'll root for England because, what the hell, I like them. Yes. And they speak my language right? So...gotta support. Will root for boring Spain because they speak my language.

Will root for the African teams. 

Will root against Russia just because. Because fuck Putin and fuck them. Yeah, it's not their fault they're just here to play a good game but still. It's a matter of principle I guess. But I hope Croatia and Serbia kick some ass out there...

I mean, my favorite team has always been Holland and they didn't make it, and that really sucks and ... like ..... WHY? 

But there's enough stuff going on here to keep me invested all the way.

Will be nice to see Brazil get back on their feet after last time, which was so very very unfortunately humiliating.

And so on. Glad to see this forum still has some juice.

Hope to see stelios here even though his Agean Champions didn't make the cut.

Cheers all... Let's have fun.
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#8
Well, Chile got full of itself and bungled up the classification for this one, and Ecuador did worse (Im half chilean, half ecuadorian) so I guess I'll abide by my lineage and support Germany this time around.
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#9
(05-23-2018, 10:28 AM)Munson Wrote: England do well? Hilarious!

It's the kind of pre-Brexit fillip to the jingoists that a malevolent deity would fling my way.
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#10
As a half-Oranje sonofagun myself I'm used to seeing the Dutch contrive not to qualify for a major tournament once in a while, but no Italy is proper weird, especially given that 1982 was the tournament that first turned me on. Along with Brazil, Italy ARE the World Cup to me.

I'd love this to be time England don't somehow cock up and flop out simply because it'd be super entertaining to see how their fans, and especially their press, respond.
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#11
(05-23-2018, 03:04 PM)Bucho Wrote: I'd love this to be time England don't somehow cock up and flop out simply because it'd be super entertaining to see how their fans, and especially their press, respond.

Not if you lived here, it wouldn't.
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#12
Not sure where to post this, but a North American World Cup will be happening in 2026 with Mexico, U.S., and Canada all hosting this international soccer fest.

http://www.espn.com/soccer/fifa-world-cu...sting-vote
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#13
So with the US, Canada, and Mexico hosting will they all get automatic bids with the field jumping to 48 teams? Probably the only time Canada will ever get in.

My only hopes for the Cup

Russia doesn't make it out of the group stage
England loses in a heart breaker
Spain, Germany, Portugal, Brazil don't win

Other than that I'm hoping for tons of upsets
AIt's just tits and dragons. - Ian McShane on Game of Thones
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#14
Umm we made it in 86. But yeah we suck.

I just hope there is some offense. Hopefully the Saudi's get an 8-0 beat down laid on em or something tomorrow.
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#15
Who does one root for in this opening match? You have 2 oppressive regimes that treat their people like shit, no free press and in the case of Saudi Arabia, women exist for the sole purpose of procreation.
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#16
Then don't root for anybody.

On reflection I'm going to support Germany this time around, then any of the other European teams. Might as well own my chauvinism and I've never felt compelled to support the underdog purely on principle.

I'll also put money on England game by game as a hedge for my despondency if they get anywhere in the competition.
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#17
Spain off to a thrilling start.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-13/sp...ed/9867088
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#18
Oh good. I missed the opening show. Here we go.

Not a great match so far, but still a pleasant surprise. Let’s face it... the Saudis are a dreadful mess. But, be that as it may, there were some interesting plays in this first half. Despite what I said before, Russia deserves this one.
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#19
I really don't have more to say except that was more entertaining than I was expecting it to be.

But, basically, this sums it up a lot better than I ever could...

https://deadspin.com/the-shittiest-team-...1826835684
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#20
I don't know the makeup of the Russian team, but after watching Icarus I can't help but feel there's going to be some shenanigans going on there, mitigated by the fact some of them may have clubs that actually test.

I have no faith England will do anything. My Scottish family are already pouring abuse on me (England bus in short stay car park photo, "England are 12-1 which means if you put 10 pounds on England to win you'll lose 10 pounds"

haha.
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#21
Almost hit the 8-0 beat down Germany but on them in 02.

Say what you will about England but at least they are there. I think they might make a run this year, I dunno. 4th place maybe?
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#22
(06-14-2018, 08:14 PM)Munson Wrote: Say what you will about England but at least they are there. I think they might make a run this year, I dunno. 4th place maybe?

S'what I said to the Scottish side of the family.  Got to be in it to win it.

Not sure about 4th place though...
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#23
I guess tomorrow brings us the first "must see" match with Spain vs. Portugal. Though I will be getting up at the crack of dawn to cheer Uruguay on regardless.

I have no idea what shape Spain is in. Canning their coach on the eve of was an odd move.
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#24
My only true hope is that each of the teams Spain plays gives Ramos a good, old fashioned, "Chopper" Harris kicking.

Yes, I am a terrible person.
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#25
Egypt is actually playing out there. Very solid defense. I’m still thinking Uruguay will win this, but it’s not going to be easy.
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#26
Hate to admit it but Uruguay got lucky. Salah’s disappointment was palpable there at the end.

The thing is... this might not go as planned for Russia. They have reason to worry that the Round of 16 is not necessarily a done deal just yet.
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#27
I wouldn't dismiss Uruguay's win as lucky Erix. They were ramping up the pressure toward the end and were inches away twice before the goal with two fine strikes from Cavani. When Jiminez finally put one in the net it didn't feel inevitable but it felt deserved. It was a beautifully executed header too - superb positioning in the box and laser accuracy with the placement.
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#28
You’re right... After mulling it over, I realize Uruguay had many great close calls and well-executed attacks that simply didn’t break through.

Egypt played a terrifically defensive game but didn’t come close nearly as much.

They were counting on holding out for a solid 1 point and then a win with Russia/Saudi Arabia, to carry them through.

Now they have to beat Russia. But the thing is... I think they can.
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#29
Such a marked and clear difference when you’re looking at two evenly matched teams.

I kind of hate Rolando. I hate his smug face. But those were two good shots, I have to admit. My favorite goal of the cup so far though is Costa’s tie-maker... A thrilling duel that delivered a well-deserved score.

And we’ve still got another half to go. The fact they’re both going forward is not stopping them from playing their hearts out.

Now... THIS IS FOOTBALL!
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#30
Fucking Ronaldo, wow. Jesus Christ.

The commentators were making so much out him having a free kick and I was thinking, yeah but only maybe 1 in 3, 1 in 4 go in, and Jesus wept he might as well have picked up the ball and carried into the goal.

What a player. What a game.
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#31
Ha! I get you Erix, CR7 is definitely a villain to me too, but man is it a buzz watching him do his thing.
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#32
I was listening on the radio and the announcers were going on & on about his bad free kicks. Lel. Gotta feel good after Spain slapped that 18 mill fine on him too.
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#33
Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES GOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLL!!!

That was liquid football!!

Yes Ronaoldo is a smug nob but he is anazibg tonight.
"I don't do tag-teams with blood relatives". Kenny Powers.
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#34
It was very exciting waking up in Paris this morning. Yesterday was a day like any other. And now today, the cafes and bakeries are decorated with dozens and dozens of flags. Waiters and check-out girls have their faces painted. Restraunts have installed giant televisions outside for their outside tables. You can feel the excitement in the air. I love it!
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#35
It’s irritating how all the ducks were just lined up for Ronaldo. This is his farewell cup and fate deemed it right to smile upon him like a shining star.

Golden ball is in the bag I guess... He got the hat trick right up front. He’ll probably be racking up a good bunch in the next couple matches (though my guess is he’ll be benched for at least one).

Still... everything just WORKS OUT for that son of a bitch.

Great match in any case.
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