The Scene: Sunday, July 15, 2018 France was anointed soccer champions of the world after defeating a tenacious and talented Croatian side 4-2 in the 2018 Fifa World Cup Final in Moscow, Russia. The Finale had it all: a penalty kick awarded from Instant-reply; an own goal; and, of course, the infamous haunting gaffe by French goalie, Hugo Lloris. But, in the end, people will remember one thing: The World Cup trophy is back in France.
• Bela Kirpalani wrote, “1998 champions France will line up against first-time finalists Croatia, the least populous country to ever appear in the final.”
• Also in Kirpalani’s article, one senior from NYU had these words to say about the France team, “I think France is going to beat Croatia. France has been winning fairly convincingly over the people they’ve faced so far and they’ve proved themselves in the unquestionably harder side of the bracket. Also France has been winning in regulation time while the Croatians always have to play 120 minutes and decide the game in penalties.”
• The Daily Iowan writer, Jordan Zuniga, had this to say about the World Cup Final, “there is certainly ample reasoning to the claim that this tournament topped them all. From the plethora of last-minute goals to the number of upsets and unexpected heroes throughout, this was a World Cup that won’t be forgotten soon.”
• “Perhaps the biggest surprise from this tournament was the tournament’s runner-up, Croatia. The squad barely qualified for the World Cup, needing a play-in game in order to stamp its ticket to Russia. You wouldn’t be able to tell that by the way it played.”
• “France is just getting started. At the end of it all, the French team stood victorious over the other teams that traveled to Russia for the World Cup. The French were also the second-youngest team among the 32, which means this could [be] just the beginning for Les Bleus.”
The Bottom Line: Another World Cup has come and gone. It is all too easy to pick and choose which parts of the tournament we like and which parts we find lousy or which teams are “better” or “should’ve” been in the knockout stage (*coughs Germany), but let’s remember what the World Cup is. It’s a fast-paced tournament filled with excitement and unexpected turns. We should be rejoicing in the upsets and surprises. The World Cup, for one month, brings us closer together, and in that sense, it is more than just soccer, it’s The Beautiful Game.