With the United States Mens National Team missing the cut after failing to qualify for the World Cup, I am a free agent in terms of rooting interest. Lets find us a team shall we?
You don’t necessarily want to ride the coattails of the favorite, but you gotta have a team that actually has a shot at going deep because if you pick Tunisia and they’re out in group play well then you’re back to square one.
Since the last year I bought FIFA was like 2010, I’m a bit dated in my knowledge. Wayne Rooney is on the verge of joining MLS so he’s clearly not playing for Team England. I just learned Schweinsteiger is out on Team Germany. I need to catch up quick.
Rooting for Brazil is like rooting for the Yankees. They have the most talented team in the world just about every year. Plus they have absolutely massive amounts of Team Brazil shit every time I walk into the Marshalls in Watertown. But Neymar though…
Neymar is back and healthy after having his previous World Cup run cut short by what looked like an incredibly painful back injury. Brazil is always fun as all hell to watch though as they just breed soccer players down there.
Russia is apparently instructing its citizens to not have sex with foreigners so they’re out. Its like the Olympic Village except the World Cup is twice as long. If you can’t have some fun with someone who doesn’t even speak the same language then why even go?
Portugal and Argentina are always great to watch with the 2 greatest players in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi leading the way for each squad. Plus this might be the last World Cup for each of them so you could ride off into the sunset with one of those studs if you like that vibe.
If you want to join forces with the country that is voted the Happiest Country in the World just about every year then Denmark is your team. Christian Eriksen is pretty goddamn good at soccer too. The Ringer described him:
“Eriksen’s carrying tool is that ineffable ability to just make the ball do what he wants—stick to him in possession, curve gently to a teammate’s foot or the corner of the net in attack. In Denmark’s last competitive game, Eriksen scored three sublime goals against Ireland to secure qualification.”
If you’re like me and follow the English Premier League like an absolute savage, and by that I mean watching games when you’re hungover on the couch or when you’re out for Hooligan Saturdays drinking a Guinness at 9 am in Cambridge, then the name Eden Hazard is familiar to you. Hazard plays for Chelsea in the EPL, which is the only team I moderately follow, so this is a solid candidate for my team as he leads Belgium into the World Cup.
Egypt is a pretty good choice if you’re looking for an up and coming dark horse as they’re in the World Cup for the first time in 28 years. They’re also led by a dude named Mo Salah who Vox said “took the soccer world by storm in 2017 and seemingly came out of nowhere to become one of the planet’s best players.”
If you want to be a bully and root for the champ then Germany is your team as they’re looking to repeat after winning the World Cup in 2014. Oh and Thomas Müller is a beast with 10 goals in the World Cup including 5 last time around to help Germany take the title.
Just a fan of general, all around assholes? Then you should go with Luis Suarez and Uruguay. He’s the guy that literally bites opposing players on the field and is a bit of a racist.
Are you a degenerate gambler looking to play the odds? Well Brazil is the favorite at 7-2, followed by defending champion Germany at 4-1, and then France is at 6-1. If you want to just burn your money, the biggest long shots are Saudi Arabia (they lost 5-0 to Russia today), Iran, and Panama at +4,000!
So there’s your breakdown of who to watch at the World Cup and some insights if you’re looking for a new team sans the USMNT. As for me? I’m going with Belgium. They’re a healthy -140 and feature by guy Eden Hazard. Lock it up.
Who should I root for? Who are you rooting for? Tweet us @the300sboston to state your case as we all pretend to be soccer hooligans for the next month.