Random thoughts on The World Cup

Yes, I know this is very much old news now. I don’t know if its to do with the British weather yo-yoing even more wildly than usual. We had the snow with the Beast from
The East earlier in the year, then we had a heatwave, now we’ve had thunderstorms and downpour, with another heatwave due. But I haven’t been feeling too well in the second half of July, and I want to keep my record of posting something on here every month, so this is one of those posts.

(Now 100 will be up soon.)

I’ve never been much of a football fan, but I got really into the World Cup this year! England were doing a lot better than expected, it felt like they had a chance to win. It was called “uniting the nation”, and which is very divided for a number of reasons, not least a certain dreaded B word.

For a while, it did feel like that, people were all rooting for the England squad. They had such a likeable team. Well, a lot of them were from Yorkshire!

A lot of the key figures in the England team were very charming. The manager Gareth Southgate (I have to admit, I still think of Gareth Southgate Badger from Harry Hill’s Channel 4 TV show in the ’90s when I see his name), captain Harry Kane and goalie Jordan Pickford in particular.

The games getting huge TV viewing figures. I never thought this would happen, but I became one of those people desperate to get home in time for the match!

The heatwave increased the good feeling, England (the country) being able to enjoy hot sunny weather for once. But people were also glued to their TV screens. In a very intense match with Columbia, England won a game on penalties, a rare occasion indeed. England went on to reach the semi-final for the first time since 1990.

Even those of us who aren’t really football fans got into it. I loved that I got a chance to bond with the lads at work and my brothers and dad. Even my sister got into the World Cup a bit!

I’m not sure how many deep down believed that England would win, but it felt good to have hope. ‘Three Lions’ by Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds was number one
again. It took me 22 years to fully “get” that song, but I did! (In the same week, ‘American Idiot’ by Green Day made the top 40 again due to Trump’s visit).

Jordan Pickford is the indie rock fan! He likes tracks such as ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ by The Courteeners and ‘Tea And Toast’ by Lucy Spraggan.

A lot of us will have had players we fancied too. Harry Kane for me, and Antoine Griezmann, the striker for France.

The good feeling didn’t last, of course. England got knocked out in the semi-final, the novelty of the heatwave wore off and politics seem to be getting messier by the day. But it was nice while it lasted. And at least Harry Kane won the Golden Boot.

It ended well for me with France winning, as I had them in the sweepstake!

Interestingly, it’s exactly 20 years after France last won the World Cup in 1998!

Runners up were Croatia, and their president Kolinda Graber-Kitarovic who didn’t miss a single match! (She has the same birthday as me!). My mum really liked her.

The World Cup was very enjoyable this year, whether I will be that interested in football later on I’m not sure, but I’m glad this World Cup gave me a chance to be.

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