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gopherguy13gopherguy13
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I saw this on Reddit, the NYT has a preview up for each team: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/sports/world-cup-groups.html

One of the sections for each team is “How to sound smart talking about [Team]”. Here they are all in list form, if you want some water cooler one liners to drop, then walk away, and leave everyone marveling at your in depth knowledge of international soccer. :lol:

Quote:

Russia: “How curious that, after so many years with the Berezutski brothers in defense, Russia now has the Miranchuk twins on the field.”

Saudi Arabia: “I really feel Fahad al-Muwallad could have offered something to Levante, if only he’d been given a chance.”

Egypt: “Salah’s form has been spectacular, but I still wonder what Mohamed Aboutrika could have done if he’d moved to Europe.”

Uruguay: “Of course it’s easy to praise Suárez, but the best example of garra charrua is Diego Godín.”

Portugal: “Arguably, Ricardo Quaresma has just as much natural talent as Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Spain: “It would be a fitting goodbye for Andrés Iniesta for Spain to win this competition.”

Iran: “There will be a few teams hovering around Alireza Jahanbakhsh, given his form for AZ Alkmaar.”

Morocco: “For a team drawn from so many countries, it’s amazing how well Morocco speaks the universal language of soccer.”

France: “The irony of this quarterfinal exit is that France could have named an entire other squad and done just as well.”

Peru: “I think we have to face the very real possibility that Jefferson Farfán is immortal.”

Denmark: “Kasper Dolberg has the talent to be a Danish equivalent to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”

Australia: “I wonder if they’ve tried to tamper with the ball, the way they did in cricket.”

Argentina: “It’s a shame that a team built around Lionel Messi in attack has to be built around Nicolas Otamendi in defense.”

Croatia: “The midfield is as good as anything in the tournament, but I question whether Mario Mandzukic is reliable enough at this level.”

Iceland: “This story really is powerful evidence for nurture in the age-old debate against nature.”

Nigeria: “I have many strong opinions on Ogenyi Onazi, but look at that jersey. It’s just incredible.”

Brazil: “I do wonder if Roberto Firmino should be leading the line here, given his ability to lead a press from the front.”

Switzerland: “It is amazing how one country can produce so many enthusiastic but ineffective strikers.”

Costa Rica: “I’ve never quite understood why Real Madrid spent every summer trying to sign a goalkeeper when they have Navas.”

Serbia: “You can see why they compare Milinkovic-Savic to Paul Pogba when he plays like this.”

Germany: “It was telling that they did not differentiate between midfielders and forwards when announcing the squad: it’s just so fluid.”

Mexico: “Hirving Lozano just needs an impressive tournament and he’ll be leaving PSV Eindhoven, that’s for sure.”

Sweden: “Victor Lindelof has really grown in stature during his year at Manchester United.”

South Korea: “Ki Sung-yueng is as big as Beckham in Seoul, you know.”

Belgium: “They have the players, but does Martínez have the defensive acumen? That’s the question.”

England: “By breaking the last bond with the golden generation, this finally feels like a team worth supporting.”

Tunisia: “Hopefully the squad can overcome the domestic rivalry of Esperance and Etoile du Sahel to come together.”

Panama: “Imagine what this team could do if Julio Dely Valdés was still young enough to be involved.”

Poland: “Lewandowski is just so obvious. Piotr Zielinski’s blend of technical ability and long-range goals is Poland’s real strength.”

Colombia: “Yerry Mina, Stefan Medina, Davinson Sanchez: this Colombia is strong at the back, and that’s the difference.”

Senegal: “Keita Balde has the pedigree to be one of this summer’s breakout stars.”

Japan: “Actually, it was an American, Tom Byer, whose coaching program helped Japan produce the vast majority of this team”