Here is the proof I did FAR too much goofing off on my much-needed day off from work today (I worked a late shift at my job Sunday night). And here I present my crudely hand-drawn 2018 World Cup bracket!
I am predicting a Brazil vs. Argentina final in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which would make it a true “Clash of the Football Titans.” If that comes to pass, I will be rooting for team Argentina (I will be your fair weather friend Lionel Messi)! Yes, I’m calling “soccer” football like it is called throughout most of the world. Keep in mind I am NOT a football expert in any way, shape or form! My predictions are based on past team performances in the World Cup and an article I skimmed through about the 2018 World Cup teams in the Daily Telegraph.
Here’s a list of the teams going to the “big dance” in Russia. The teams in bold are the ones I predict will advance out of the group stage:
Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
I really don’t know a whole lot about these teams, but being that Uruguay is from South America, I favor them to win first place in the group stage. I am favoring Egypt as the second place team, mainly because of them having a Liverpool player on their roster.
Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
I don’t think I need to explain myself here. Portugal and Spain are GOING to be the group stage winners, unless someone goes Tonya Harding on 33-year-old Portugal striker and international superstar Christiano Ronaldo in what is likely to be his last (or maybe second-to-last) World Cup appearance. Some soccer players never truly retire, but move to lower profile club teams or to the U.S. to play in MLS.
France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
This will be Peru’s first World Cup appearance in 36 years (since 1982). Though they will certainly be hungry for World Cup glory, they had difficulty securing a spot in their very competitive CONMEBOL division, and Denmark has been playing impressively in previous tournaments. Though France can be very, very good – or very, very bad in the World Cup, I predict they will advance out of the group stage this time.
Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
As fun as it would be to see dark horses Iceland advance out of the group stage, their team is coached by a dentist. Yes, a dentist! Nigeria has managed to qualify for the past five out of six World Cups, and Croatia hasn’t made any real World Cup noise since finishing third in the 1998 World Cup. Though they do have a player from Real Madrid, which could make them dark horses for making it out of the group stage.
Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Brazil advancing is pretty much a given…I was actually kind of torn between choosing Switzerland or Serbia for advancing out of the group stage. I chose Switzerland because they have quite a bit of young blood on their roster, which will certainly be tested playing against Brazil!
Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Korea Republic (aka South Korea)
Defending World Cup champion Germany is a football powerhouse and is likely going to advance out of the group stage. Sweden played impressively during playoffs. Potential dark horse could be Mexico, but Korea Republic’s advancement out of the group stage seems unlikely, though I guess they could surprise us all!
Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
As much as I’d love to see first time World Cup attendees Panama advance out of the group (especially since fellow CONCACAF team United States failed to qualify for the World Cup this time), I’m pretty much predicting team Europe will be the teams advancing out of this group. Belgium was very impressive in the 2014 World Cup even though it was kind of sad seeing them defeat the U.S. team 😦
Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
I am predicting dark horses Senegal will advance along with Colombia, though I was torn between them and Poland. I don’t see any Asian teams advancing out of the group stages, though it would certainly shake up my bracket if they did!