Updated: Jan 1, 2020
Sometimes I forget how much I love soccer. It sounds strange but after recording and editing podcasts and writing pieces and editing those and editing the works of others, it can sometimes feel like a tad bit of a slog. And then I started watching this World Cup. And all of that slog was washed away like a summer rain washing the pollen out of the air. The World Cup has been, by and large, pretty damn amazing. We’ve gotten to see historic goals, historic points, players doing fun things, teams seeing their nation’s colors in the stands. And there are still 40 plus games to go. There have been some great results so far. Let’s take a look at the three that have some big impacts.
Argentina 0 – 0 Japan Argentina has about as much support from their federation as Pope Clement VII had from King Henry VIII. That’s to say support in the negative direction. But they did it. Argentina held for 90 minutes against a young Japanese team. And they didn’t just hold, didn’t just bunker for 90 minutes and try to hold on by the skin of their teeth. They played soccer. They fought. They showed a country which hadn’t really ever been allowed to see this team due to federation neglect that they were ready for the world’s stage. They shouldn’t have to prove themselves to their federation. They should be supported as each men’s national team and women’s national team should be. It frankly sucks that they have to show they can compete before they will get the support they need to go out and win games. But in this game they did show they aren’t going to just roll over after making it to the biggest stage in the world. They have fight. And that was pretty neat to see.
Italy 2 – 1 Australia It’s not really a secret that I am a fan of the Australian team. I find them fun to watch, outside of a backline that leaves me questioning why bad things happen to good people. But watching Italy and Barbara Bonansea leading the charge out there was magnificent. Italy played like they knew the world was watching, and they wanted to put on a show for each and every eyeball on them. Bonansea scored the latest non extra time goal at 90+5 to take 1 point to 3 for the Italians and really put Australia against the ropes for the rest of the group stage. Now matches Australia may not have had to think about all that hard are life and death. And Italy in their green, red and white, have a shot at not only leaving the group but doing so on top. Margherita pizza all around.
France 4 – 0 South Korea One of these matches is not like the others, I get it. But France, sweet France did the damn thing to set off the World Cup on the right foot. France looked like they knew this was their event to win. And really, it is. And while some teams (Canada) have gone in to events and let that weight crush them, it looks like France is going in to the event and letting it lift them up. They have a chance to create a new narrative for themselves as a team that can win the damn thing and not just a super talented team that chokes. The idea of them as the lovable team that can’t get it done might finally be put to rest. And knowing they are on a crash course for a meeting with the US in the quarterfinals only makes watching them more exciting.
What are your favorite moments?