“World Cup is a special time of the year. I just get almost depressed. I’m like, Oh, only two more matches, then one more. What is going to happen to my life after that? I don’t know what I’m going to do for a couple of months. I’m going to be a little bit low.”
Serena Williams perfectly articulated the feelings of millions around the world, who are experiencing a low following the culmination of FIFA 2018, the month-long football extravaganza. For sure there will be league matches to look forward to in August, where Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will revert to their formidable avatar on the pitch, and we would also get to watch erstwhile rivals playing in tandem for the same club; an assurance of quality football that leaves not much room for luck.
Still, the World Cup has a special charm like that of Olympics; it’s all about the four year long wait that culminates in several high-octane matches, that too in a span of one month, rendering a euphoric high that could eventually give withdrawal symptoms.
The 2018 World Cup was all about surprises. Giants like Italy and Holland failed to qualify, while former champions Germany and Spain were shown the door early. On the flip side, it also witnessed the rise of Croatia, and established the stronghold of Belgium, not to mention the rise of teenage star Kylian Mbappe, who became the youngest player since Pele to score in the final.
England’s surge wasn’t enough to bring the cup home, while Messi and Ronaldo once again failed to kiss the coveted trophy. The winning team France’s line-up was lauded by many for featuring diversity, and Adidas too did their share to spice up the GOAT debate by displaying goats on the digital sideboards.
Looking back, the World Cup 2018 has offered us many memories to cherish, laced with mirth, tears, anger and frustration. It’s been only a week since France won the title, and we have 52 more months to go till Qatar 2022. To ease that bitter reality, here are some memorable moments from Russia. (Image credit: Getty)
José Giménez’s tears: Uruguay’s stronghold was their two defenders — Diego Godín and José Giménez. Critics hailed the impregnable wall created by the Atletico Madrid defenders, and they were expected to give a tough time to rivals. Unfortunately, with Cavani’s injury, Uruguay couldn’t put pressure on the French squad who scored two goals. With France lining up for a free-kick at the 88th minute, Giménez couldn’t bear the pain of an impending loss, and was seen crying while Antoine Griezmann was preparing to take the shot.
England’s resurrection: The penalty jinx was finally broken for England in Russia as they defeated Colombia in the round of 16 in shootout. Under Gareth Southgate, England reached the semi final for the first time in 28 years, sending ripples of excitement across his country.England impressed critics with their excellence in set play, and the team captained by Harry Kane managed to pull off what England couldn’t when their line-up boasted of star players from EPL in the last two decades.