This year’s edition of the global soccer tournament reached a comma last night with France taking home the cup, thanks to their 4-2 victory over Croatia.
Le Bleus’ World Cup triumph has not come as a surprise to those who placed it among the favourites to win the cup. Other teams which were tipped to win the cup are Germany, Brazil, Belgium, Spain and Portugal.
The just ended tourney has proved that some of the aforementioned teams’ rating was a mere paperwork. Soccer analysts overlooked underdogs like Russia, Sweden, England, and Croatia as teams that are capable of leaving a mark at such a global stage.
However, they may be forgiven because one of the teams on their list of favourites has ended up winning.
When we claim the 2018 World Cup episode was full of surprises, we mean that the defending Champions Germany failed to pass through the group stages, we also mean that the two most decorated footballers of this generation Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, exited in the first phase of the knockout rounds.
We also mean that Spain which boasts about a myriad world class players like Diego Costa, David De Gea, Andres Iniesta, Gerald Pique, Sergio Ramos, and Sergio Busquets among others were booted out by minnows Russia in the round of 16.
We further mean that Brazil’s Neymar who is considered to be among the best players of this generation, had another World Cup to forget. He may however be forgiven because a top team, Belgium, was the reason for his quarterfinal exit in Russia.
Whoever thought that Argentina, Portugal, and Spain were going to be booted out that early? Whoever thought that England which is synonymous with average performance was going to sail all the way to the semis? And whoever thought that Croatia was going to play in the final?
Well against all odds, they managed to defy the odds. Let’s not forget that surprises started in the qualifying stages where we saw the Netherlands, Italy, and Chile failing to qualify for the tournament.
What a tournament! Full of surprising moments that made it even more competitive. Congrats to the French for being crowned the 2018 FIFA World Cup Champions following their consistent display.