World Cups 5: The Final Cup

Well that’s it for another four and a half years. The tournament is over and we can all go back to not really liking football all that much. There’s just too much to follow when it’s not the World Cup. I watched every game of this tournament, other than the 4am kick-offs because I’m not completely insane — and that’s the right amount for me. Once every four years, binge-watch some football, as you would a boxset — then maybe do the same with the Euros, if the season wasn’t entertaining enough.

This has been the friendliest football tournament I can remember watching, which is pretty ironic considering the country it was played in. I guess the will and spirit of the Russian people triumphed over its dictatorial regime. It helped that a lot of the unfriendly, “dirty, scummy cheating” teams were eliminated early on. Neymar managed to outstay his welcome, but once we got out of the second-round I saw very few dramatic dives — for the most part.

The football didn’t return home, as it was supposed to. It’s gone back out to the store to buy yet another pack of cigarettes. Actually this is English football we’re talking about, so it’s probably gone out to the store wearing a dressing-gown, to buy a six pack of cheap beer and some chicken, which it’ll then offer to an at-large criminal at the side of a river.

“Where’s the football gone Mum?”

“Your father…the football…well he’s — he’s not coming home, okay?”

“Is it my fault the football isn’t coming home?”

“Oh Timmy… Yes. Yes it is.”

England’s semi-final was a painful watch. Everything was going great in the first half, we were a goal up and knocking on the metaphorical door of opportunity, while Croatia had absolutely zero life in them. By the forty-fifth minute they looked dead on their legs.

Then, something happened at half time. England fell apart and acquired some fatigue of their own. Meanwhile, Croatia found a second wind. They were sprinting around like it was the first game of the tournament all over again, and they can’t have had access to Russia’s PEDs, because they’re not on great diplomatic terms right now.

They were just thirstier for that cup of liquid football and reset themselves at half-time — I think I even saw Modric turning the clockwork crank on Vida’s back as they ran back onto the field. Don’t quote me.

Whereas England let things slip. They held Croatia off for a while, but an equaliser seemed inevitable. It came and we were through to extra time. For the first time in English football history, I was hoping it would go to penalties, as they looked like scoring and we didn’t.

Then it happened, and England were eliminated from the 2018 World Cup.

sorryengland

It’s fine now, we can look back at an amazing campaign, and be proud of a young team of egoless players. Gareth Southgate can take his rightful place as King of England, and fans can turn to nationalists and say “If you like this England squad, then you support immigration. Tommy Robinson is in prison.”

That last bit is just an added bonus.

The only heel tactics we got from the lovable French team in their semi-final was some cheeky time-wasting in the final five minutes, to win 1-0. Really it was just to ensure that more money be sent to French charities, through Mbappe playing the maximum number of possible games. That’s assuming that the finalists get paid more than the third-place play-off players, which they should do, because nobody cares about the latter.

And so to the final, to find out who will drink an alcoholic beverage from what I can only assume is the greatest cup in the world. They keep showing shots of this gold thing with a ball on the end, but I’m guessing that’s just a placeholder until the real cup arrives. There’s no way they would go through a “World Cup” for there to be no cup at the end…

Alright, I’ll be back when the final is over.


What a game! I’d been secretly rooting for France over Croatia, so I’m pleased with the outcome. A couple of stupid mistakes from Croatia early on just set them too far back in the game. They looked so threatening at the start of the first half, I thought we were going to see a repeat from the England game.

It wouldn’t have been a Russian event without Pussy Riot getting involved. A few of its members ran onto the pitch and were quickly tackled by stewards. I know I can’t possibly comprehend the level of human rights abuse going on in Russia right now, and I agree with their sentiment completely, but interrupting the most beloved global game is not the way to get people on your side. Let’s hope they make it out of the Gulag.

France had a dominant ten minute run, scoring two more goals to give them a safe three goal lead. A mistake from Lloris gave some hope in the final third of the game, but it wasn’t enough, as France held Croatia off to win 4 – 2, in what was a pretty action-packed World Cup finale.

The ceremony is taking place as I write these words, I still don’t see the mighty golden chalice yet, but I’m hopeful. They’ve brought out that disgusting-looking placeholder, the one that looks like a turkey leg, or an inverted bull’s penis. Putin is looking very dry, under his umbrella. Come on — where’s the cup!

There’s no cup?

That’s the cup!?

cupnotacup.jpg

This has to be a joke? Right?! All that football played, just for a misshapen, veiny eyeball? Well I’m glad England didn’t win, frankly. Harry Kane couldn’t have drunk champagne out of that! What’re the French supposed to do with it?! They should call this tournament the World Dildo.

Well, I’ll do all of this again in four-ish years — I suppose. I might not come back if they don’t get a proper cup. I mean — really?! It looks like it’s made out of cheap Christmas chocolate. “World Cup” indeed, the cheek of FIFA.

Today is Sunday, July 15th and we’re playing Pokemon GO a lot, which is getting us out and about at least.

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