But there can only be one winner
Every four years, 32 teams put their hearts and souls out on the field and strive for one thing.
It’s the FIFA World Cup.
It is much more than just the 22 men on the grass -- it’s about the politics, economics, and society.
Footballing nations like Brazil, Spain, France, and England were always been expected to be the stars and possibly take the gold home, but first-timers like Iceland and Panama are pleased to have at least made a valiant fight.
Russia being an Olympics host is doing the same for this year’s World Cup.
The vast nation has been performing its duties well until now. Luzhniki, being the biggest stadium, and Kaliningrad being the smallest, have the capacity to hold thousands -- St Petersburg being no less.
Group stages were filled with mind-blowing and exuberant performances, including assists and shots worth replaying. This year, we have noticed several new faces that came along with the squads. Every loss and every victory so far has provoked heartbreak or happiness for all, especially the fans who contribute a whole lot to the entire celebration.
Uruguay has been playing magnificently, winning all three consecutive matches, which placed them on top according to FIFA standings. The host, not too behind in the same group, has ascended to the quarter finals.
Despite being a strong team, the winners of the 2010 World Cup, Spain, is no longer in the game. As it stands, we will definitely be seeing France, Uruguay, Russia, Croatia, Brazil, and Belgium in the quarter-finals.
Brazil, starting off feebly, pushed its team to new heights, thanks to their unity and team morale -- the two main factors for their enormous fan base around the world. Neymar has been doing a pretty decent job of showing off his skills; Silva, Coutinho, and Marcelo doing no less.
Unfortunately, Germany’s journey was cut short this year. This is the first time they have been eliminated in the first round of a World Cup since 1938. Comments have been blowing up on social media about this loss. Sadly, all Germany is taking back home is a certificate of participation in the World Cup 2018.
Being a five-time Ballon d’or winner, it has still been hard for Messi to balance the whole team on his head.
Tying with Iceland and experiencing a drastic loss to Croatia have left Maradona so down and dejected that the legend, at one point, ended up at the hands of the paramedics. The team needed a huge boost to place a spot on the finals, which, after an intense match against France, did not come their way.
France, a team whose players hailed from diverse backgrounds, has been on track so far. Their determination and teamwork is admirable, and that is what keeps them going.
All teams are giving their best, fighting for the Cup and pushing to new heights. Sadly, this will come to an end on the July 15.
There has to be a winner eventually, but till then, let’s enjoy the goals, off-sides, fouls, free-kicks, penalties, and all the drama that comes with the game.
Saikat Chowdhury is a freelance contributor.