WC Challenge: A look back on an amazing month of football

The 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia is over, and what a month of football it’s been! 

Firstly, congratulations to France. They played some great football over the course of the tournament, and got to the final via the harder side of the knock-out phase, so the trophy is fully deserved. (Shout out to Giroud, who played a part in every game for France but didn’t have one shot on target ... that’s impressive!)

This has definitely been one of the most enjoyable World Cups I can remember, and that’s not only because England got to the semi-finals.
There’s been a lot of unexpected results, some impressive wins by underdogs who had been written off before taking to the pitch, and of course the inclusion of VAR, which added another layer to a tournament, giving football fans a lot to debate between games.

For a fan watching the World Cup finals outside of England for the first time, it did change my experience. There’s something to be said about being surrounded by England’s 12th man. And although I thoroughly enjoyed the finals, seeing the live scenes from Hyde Park, Flat Iron Square, and Box Park when Harry Kane scored in the dying minutes against Tunisia, and when Pickford made that penalty save against Colombia, brought it home that we as a nation can be pretty magical when standing as one, and made me reflect on being so far away from home in those unforgettable moments. 

But doing this little World Cup Challenge project has been a fun way for me to make the most of the finals from overseas. Not only has it brought back memories of World Cups gone by, but I’ve also had messages from fans around the world who don’t live in their home nations either.
And that’s why football is so great. It unites the world like nothing else can. It’s a language we all speak, and cherish. For 90-minutes differences can be put aside, and we can all just enjoy the beautiful game. 

And to Southgate’s Lions: Thank you. Thank you to everybody involved in this summers England squad. Thank you for giving it 100% from kick-off against Tunisia on June 18th, to the final whistle against Belgium on July 14th. Thank you for uniting a nation. And thank you for the memories that will live on for years to come which that will inspire the next generation, who are probably out in parks or their back gardens across the country right now, dreaming of what it’d be like to be the next Harry Maguire or Kieran Trippier.

From a country where the saying is “England Expects”, what you achieved was beyond expected.

This is just the beginning of Gareth Southgate’s legacy, and I can’t wait to see what this team can achieve over the next few years. I’ll be watching, and cheering every step of the way!




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