Russia 2018 – The World Cup for Underdogs🏆⚽

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The World Cup is a time I always look forward to. For four years we happily wait to watch the world’s best football teams compete. It’s such a great time because I feel, in one way or another, it brings people together, regardless of which countries we come from. Watching this Russia 2018 was full of surprises for me and it was good to see underdogs finally shine.

Like every other World Cup game, experts predicted one of the previous champions would take the cup. The likes of Germany, Argentina, Spain, France, and Brazil. But these predictions turned out to be wrong, instead, the underdogs stole the show! It was a championship full of surprises, as the world watched the big teams get sent home in the first and second round. Russia, the host country, was one the teams the experts underestimated but they went on to send former world cup winners’ home in the round of 16. Before Spain was knocked out, the German Machine didn’t even get make it out of the group stages. They were humiliated by the South Koreans.

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The English fans were so impressed by the resilient spirit exhibited by their team. As England progressed from stage to stage, the joy of the fans grew, so much so that fans thought the Cup will finally come home. They created a song about the viral hashtag #itscominghome. But, unfortunately, this lasted just long enough to be destroyed by Croatia, changing the hashtag to #itsnotcominghome.

Nigeria was also an underdog but brought joy to Nigerians around the world. We started really bad, losing to Croatia in our opening game. But our next game, the Nigerian Eagles turned up. Again, the pundits felt Iceland had the upper hand, but little did they know, we had a different agenda. With over 190 Million Nigerian viewers, all full of optimism - the boys did not disappoint. The goals lit up the country and brought joy and excitement to Nigerians at home and away. Musa Ahmed, our goal scorer, was praised and some even called him the next president of Nigeria - just for the happiness he brought to many. Too bad we were knocked out by Argentina. We left the tournament knowing that the future is bright for this Eagles’ team. 

This really was the tournament for the underdogs. I never wanted this World Cup to end but as they say – all good thing must surely come to an end.

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We now await the surprises of another World Cup, in the next 4 years. Our hope is that it lives up to excitement and shock of Russia 2018.

Congrats to France, see you in Qatar 2022!

Caleb Williams