2018 World Cup Wrap Up
The 2018 World Cup will be one that we remember for a long time, or at least until the 2022 Cup kicks off in Qatar. The 2018 Cup was a great tournament though, it had a little bit of everything from break through individual performances to tournament favorites falling early (looking at you Germany, Spain, and Argentina) to incredible goals and everything else in between. I asked James to come back and help me break it down into a few categories: best match, best hair, best goal celebration, best moment, best flop, best goal, and best player.
Before we get to our choices have you checked out the Offended Podcast yet? These guys cover everything in pop culture and sports so make sure to check out their podcast, find them on iHeart Radio, iTunes, and their social media pages.
Kyle: This was one of the best World Cups we have had recently and there were a lot of good matches that gave us some great moments but one match sticks out to me the most, Spain vs Portugal. This match really set the whole tournament in motion as it was one of the first games to be played. This match had everything except for a winner at the end, it ended in a 3-3 tie and there were plenty of great moments. Spain was winning 3-2 in the 88th minute and Portugal won a free kick right outside the box and Ronaldo stepped into take it. After everything else that happened it was destiny for Ronaldo to score and that's exactly what he did to tie the game and finish with a hat trick. The drama of this game, the matchup of these countries, and the stars playing in this game really set the tone for the 2018 World Cup.
James: Like the previous World Cup, the matches were intense and had some spectacular finishes. The best match for me was Belgium vs Japan. Japan, having no business being in the knockout stage and playing dishonorably, played an excellent game against one of the World Cup favorites in Belgium. Japan was up 2-0 in the second half and Belgium stormed all the way, back scoring in stoppage time to win 3-2. It was a tremendous game that ended in dramatic fashion.
Kyle: Soccer might be best sport for hair, athletes from so many countries with some of the best hair styles you will see. I have two guys that stood out for me, both from Croatia Luka Modric and Domagoj Vida. Luka has a classic soccer look with the thin headband holding his long stringy ass hair out of his face and Vida has something I have never seen before. I'm not sure I can put Vida's hairstyle into words so I will post a picture of this bad ass dude. No chance I am messing with him.
James: The best hair belongs to "The Lion" Radamel Falcao of Columbia. It's slick, it's wavy, it has the perfect shave right into a great beard and it's lethal. He knows how to put the ball in the net which makes his hair look even better
Best Goal Celebration:
Kyle: I have two choices for this one as well, Antoine Griezmann of France and Michy Batshuayi from Belgium. When Griezemann scored in the World Cup final against Croatia he proved that Fortnite is a world wide phenomenon. In the game you have emotes you can choose from to use in the game and Antoine pulled out the "Take the L" emote and it was flawless. He had the dance down perfectly. Batshuayi was not as lucky as Griezmann, after Belgium scored against England he grabbed the ball out of the net. Celebrating a goal he did not even score, he blasted the ball but unlucky for him the goalpost was right in his way and the ball ricocheted off the post and right back into his face. It was absolutely hilarious and he knew it, after the game he posted the picture with the caption "The second just before I knew I f***cked up #InternetUndefeated" Way to take it like a champ.
James: I am a sucker for the classics when it comes to celebrations and at this point what could be more classic then a Ronaldo celebration.
Kyle: The World Cup always has great moments and this one is no exception which makes this a really difficult choice. I am going with Neymar's flop as the best moment......just kidding that will come later. My best moment is the goal Toni Kroos scored against Sweden to keep Germany's hopes alive. Tied with about 15 seconds left in extra time and playing a man down, Germany won a free kick to the left of the goal just outside the box. Kroos stepped up and played a short pass to Marco Reus who passed it back to him. The rest was magic, Kroos hit a bending shot into the opposite corner of the net to give Germany the W. It was an incredible goal, James and a few other friends were at my house and we went nuts when it went in.
James: The best moment was watching Russia be defeated and leave the pitch losers. They likely would not have qualified if they were not the hosts and they played in the easiest group. They were extremely undeserving of the spot the landed in.
Kyle: Is there any question who is winning this one? Do I blame him? Of course not, it gave us this incredible video.
James: There is only one correct choice here and that is Antoine Griezmann's flop in the final against Croatia. The match had been dominated by Croatia and France was attacking for the first time. Griezmann falls to the ground without being touched and because he is French, he got the call and that turned the tied of the game. They scored on the ensuing free kick and the game changed after that
Kyle: The World Cup gives us some of the best goals you will ever see in soccer and this tournament can earn a player a big payday (just ask James Rodriguez). I will never forget the goal Maxi Rodriguez scored for Argentina during the 2006 World Cup, if you have not seen it do yourself a favor and watch it now. The goal I will remember from this World Cup is the one that Benjamin Pavard score for France against Argentina, it was the definition of a golazo. As the ball bounces out to him just outside the box he hits an incredible strike, watch the video below. That second angle is just amazing, I could watch that till the day I die and never get sick of it.
James: There are so many good choices for this topic; Ronaldo's free kick against Spain, Pavard's volley against Argentina and Luka Modric's rip from 20 years out against Argentina. Really any goal against Argentina. For me though, the best goal of the tournament came from Toni Kroos of Germany. The difficulty of the shot was important for my decision and this goal had the smallest of angles. It was the last play of the game, Germany was down to 10 men, and that goal was necessary to keep their hopes alive. Ultimately, it wasn't enough for Germany to advance but it won them the three points they needed at the time.
Kyle: Obviously both Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric were incredible during this tournament with Luka winning the Golden Boot recognizing him as the best player. I really enjoyed what I saw out of Kevin DeBruyne from Belgium. He is already one of the best player's in the world and I don't think he gets the recognition he deserves. When he was pressing up the field and attacking, Belgium looked unstoppable. I wish we could have seen him in more attacking situations but Belgium needed him on defense at times. He can do anything on the pitch and is an incredible player, he may not put up huge stat lines but without him Belgium would not be the team they are.
James: This is easy, Luka Modric. He was the engine that propelled Croatia to the final. He uses both feet effectively, manipulates the pitch, and wears the captains band. He was excellent and put on some of the best midfield performances since Zidane in 2006. It's to bad he won't be around for the World Cup in 2022 in Qatar.