FIFA World Cup 2018 | Give in to the Storming Football Madness

  In 2014 a team lifted it! A country ecstatically celebrated as the championed. With a flag in one hand and a clenched fist in another, its people swarmed the streets singing the hymns of pride and joy. Their celebrations lasted days, weeks, months, and who’s to say not, years. This time too, the reigning victors just like 31 other countries, have rallied to battle their hearts out to share the taste of the glory once again. All teams are wishing for their stars to align for the victory.  In thirty days, sixty-four matches and a ballet-like display of purest football later, the world shall see whose were better aligned. Where else for such a display than the land of the best of them all ballets: Russia. There, the ball will dance to the rhythm because tomorrow begins the FIFA World Cup 2018.


The biggest country in the world is ready to host the biggest showdown in the world of football from the 14th  June to 15th July. Under 8 groups of 4 each, 32 countries will battle to emerge from the group stages to the knockout stages that will start on 30th June. 11 cities and 12 stadiums will hold the gaze of 3 billion spectators around the world while housing a million of them on their own soil. That is until the best two countries fight each other for the prestigious World Cup trophy on the final day, 15th of July. And the winners will parade, just like the last time.


But not everything is like the last time. For the first time in 70 years Italy is not participating in  the World Cup, nor is the runners-up of 2010, Netherlands. But the world football’s newest introduction, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is going to Russia. This was indeed a surprise inclusion given the inconsistencies and still ongoing discussion surrounding the VAR system. Nevertheless, it will be there to review and overturn clear and obvious errors and seriously missed incidents. We will be able to find out whether VAR builds the game or kills the game. One thing is certain though; football fans won’t have to see their teams being outscored by an offside goal anymore.


Of all the countries that will be there, some walk to the World Cup as the favorites. Spain, Germany, and Brazil are the teams the most have their bids on. And for some, the realistic expectation is not winning the World Cup, but playing with courage and relishing their stay at the biggest stage of football. They all want to make their people proud. That is why the stories behind their World Cup journeys are worth knowing. Because as much as it is their football that makes you fall in love with them, it's their story too.


Panama and Iceland are this year's World Cup newbies. From those two, Iceland particularly had an incredible journey as they secured qualification for the World Cup. They are the smallest country ever to reach there. About 0.01% of the population of many participant countries travel to Russia as the spectators when nearly that percentage of Iceland’s entire population have to travel as its players. There they might be the underdogs. But Iceland’s coach says he only has “romantic feelings” about their World Cup campaign. If you have heard their “Viking chant” by any chance, you will too witness romance in the air.


When Brazil reached the semifinals in 2014, that too as the host country believed that the World Cup would certainly be theirs. Instead, it ended in humiliation; beaten, thrashed and bruised by the to-be champions, Germany 7-1. Maybe, it was too cruel. However, the team will forever be remembered as the 7-1 team, and those players know it. They also know that this year, with another World Cup up for the grab, is their best chance for redemption. They are already one of the favorites. And they crave nothing but the biggest prize. “Write it down. Put a stamp on it. Mail it to yourself,” advised Marcelo, “Brazil is coming back!”


Then there are Spain and Germany, who are the two previous World Cup winners. These two teams own  the two most talented squads in the tournament. Germany, having won the Confederation Cup last year, now returns with the hunger to secure their back to back World Cup title. Though its uncharacteristic elimination at 2014 World Cup raised some doubts over the dynasty they were building in international football arena Now, under a new coach, fortified by young and new faces that transcend their aura of football Royalty, Spain has buckled down to pick up where they left off in 2010.


28 years! That is how long it took Egypt to dream for the World Cup. Once again, this time they might even dream a little harder because of one man. The man who received nearly one million votes, the second highest number of votes in 2018 presidential election. The man who wasn't even a presidential candidate. Mo Salah. For Egyptians, he is the new Pharaoh of their country. More so, since his phenomenal exploits in the English Premier League this season. His face covers almost every street, every store, and every wall in Egypt and for one million he was a better fit to be the president than the two candidates that were on paper, so much so that they wrote Mo Salah's name instead. And in him, they see their World Cup dreams. Not necessarily of winning, but enjoying.


Japan, South Korea, Iran, and Saudi Arabia will represent Asia in Russia. Meanwhile, Nigeria has already bettered the rest with a record number of sales for their stunning white and green World Cup t-shirt. France has a talent pool consisted of both youngsters and veterans whose true potential hasn’t been seen by the world yet. Argentina hopes to catch up over the time because “right now they are not among the best”, Luis Suarez, the undisputed champion of the previous World Cup’s biters’ game, will lead his Uruguay team to Russia with the aim of winning, or not biting. James Rodriguez, 2014 World Cup prodigy, returns this year aspiring to inspire the masses again with his Colombian team mates. And there are more. More to everyone.


But now is the time to let the ball to do the talking. It will undoubtedly—from tomorrow on. Right now, it is calling you to join in with over 3 billion fans worldwide to witness the beautiful game. And that opportunity is yours to lose. Just remember: it’s the World Cup 2018!


Article by Anjalee Sudasinghe

Edited by Piyumi Yashodha

Sponsored by Millennium IT


Rate this article: 
Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)


Receive our Newsletter

MoraSpirit Initiative,
125/56A, Peterson Lane,
Colombo 06.
+(94) 78 391 0804
MoraSpirit Logo
Go to top