*a 4 minute read*
Believe me when I tell you there is nothing like the World Cup when it comes to football. Since the competition only happens every four years, the hype and uncertainty of it all infuses the whole tournament with a feeling of euphoria. Winning the World Cup is the ultimate form of bragging rights, my friends. Whether or not you watch football, if your country wins, you have the green light to boast and brag about it as much as you please.
The World Cup is a time when fake fans are reborn, loyalties to club football are placed on hold, and where one-hit-wonders come to play and die all in the same setting (yes, we are talking about you, James Rodríguez). After the spectacle we witnessed a few days ago in the final, I can confidently say this is the greatest sport ever and nothing else comes close. Don’t @ me, just accept the truth, and have a merry Christmas. We move (ha, further than Brazil did in the end).
The Chopping Block
Before we go any further, we cannot let the scrubs of the tournament have a free pass. All scrutiny will be maximized by the end of this article — reader discretion is advised.
Germany, Spain, and Belgium — you have blood on your hands. With the talent and stars these three teams possess, there is no reason why they shouldn’t have reached the latter stages of the tournament. We know their teams aren’t what they once used to be, but none of them making it past the group stages is shambolic behaviour. I didn’t expect any one of these teams to win it by any means, but the expectations were not reached and honestly, it’s unacceptable.
This reinforces the point that just because you have a good team on paper, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to qualify at all. While it may be obvious to some, let this be a lesson to you all — if you don’t show up to play properly every single day, you’ll get replaced and left behind quickly.
You aren’t guaranteed anything, especially in sports, so there’s no time to coast. Especially Spain, a team that had so much going for them — their performance was extremely disappointing. But with Morata as your main striker, only Jesus himself could save the Spanish hermanos in the end… too bad he plays for Arsenal and Brazil.
When I was young, my dad’s room was a complete mess, filled with books on top of books about the Bible, theology and psychology. Yet no matter how messi it got, he could always find exactly what he was looking for — even if it took a while (pun intended).
My dad called it “controlled chaos.” It may look chaotic on the outside, but the people who understand what’s happening on the inside aren’t surprised or disjointed by the chaos happening around them.
The World Cup this year is the epitome of controlled chaos. Social media, live TV and fans all across the world enjoyed the mayhem every step of the way — all within a controlled environment (well, for the most part — some of y’all were moving mad, but I understand what sports can do to you).
From the first game, there was chaos right from the first kick. We had Cristiano Ronaldo going on talk shows chatting about he doesn’t respect his club manager days before linking up with the Portugal squad, we had fans switching teams every game because their teams lost, and the amount of last-minute twists and turns we witnessed was a spectacle for the ages.
I know a lot of people lost plenty of money due to Japan being resilient and qualifying for the round of 16 (sorry to the mandem, I know it still hurts). When the Korean Republic qualified for the round of 16 with a last-minute goal against Portugal, the shock and surprise on people’s faces were enough to tell you how special it was.
But we cannot leave here without mentioning Kylian Mbappe’s final performance, because that is something you don’t witness every other game. This was something special. Only a select few could produce what he did on the pitch Sunday.
The carry job Mbappe did was generational and it was almost written in the stars for him to win it. Kylian did everything he could, but the lackluster ending of penalties delivered a special outcome not only the Argentinians were able to enjoy, but also the Messi fans who have been begging for this for decades — Messi finally won the World Cup.
All of this happening within one month is a lot to take in, but as most of you would agree, it was worth it. Who would have thought chaos in a controlled environment would be the right kind of excitement millions of people across the globe needed to enjoy a 90-minute football match?
One and Only GOAT
Regardless of who you believe to be the GOAT when it comes to football, you have to appreciate what Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have done for this beautiful game. Not only has the quality of their play been exceptional, but the consistency and legacy they have created are also unprecedented, playing football in one of the most complex periods and flourishing above their peers. What I have seen both men accomplish in their careers — I am truly grateful I’ve been able to watch Messi and Ronaldo play at their best.
In the final stages of their careers, it was always going to be interesting to see who would edge the other out in the GOAT debate. From the result of what may be the final punch in their more-than-a-decade-long showdown, it looks like Messi has something on his resume Ronaldo will never achieve.
I told y’all at the beginning, winning the World Cup is the ultimate form of bragging rights. For guys like Messi and Ronaldo, at this stage in their careers, this year’s tournament meant everything to them from the very first game. Messi winning this trophy and being crowned the Golden Ball is a flex not many can claim and, whether you like it or not, pushes him to the top of the mountain by some distance. I know some of you will argue all day and night about this, but please just appreciate and respect what Messi was able to do this World Cup, because truthfully — we may not ever see something like him again.
On To The Next
Time moves quickly and the Barclays premier league is back on Boxing Day. The good news we all needed to hear is that we won’t have to wait too long for great football to be back. As for the World Cup, it did everything it needed to this year. It’s going to be extremely difficult to have something as extraordinary as the one hosted by Qatar, but with Canada, the USA and Mexico hosting the next one, there is bound to be controlled chaos maximized in all areas. Let’s wait and see what it brings.
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