Your 4-Minute Guide to ALL 32 TEAMS at the 2018 World Cup
Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday.
Every four years the 32 best men's national soccer teams
gather together for the World Cup
which is played in whatever country has most successfully bribed FIFA officials.
It's the most watched sporting event in the world!
and the United States… won't be there.
Here's an introduction to the 32 nations that will:
Argentina have Lionel Messi, arguably the best
player never to win the World Cup
Australia's national team are called the Socceroos
which makes them hard to dislike.
Belgium have argyle in their uniforms
so they'll probably win the tournament.
Brazil are consistently a joy to watch
except when they are playing Germany
and they're the favorites to win the World Cup this year.
Colombia's jerseys look like they have an armpit sweat pattern
but I will not let that distract me from
the extraordinary good looks of their star player James Rodriguez.
Costa Rica just passed the United States in life expectancy
in addition to beating us twice in World Cup qualifying, so that's nice for them.
Croatia are notable for having a chessboard on their uniform.
Denmark invented Lego so that makes them fun to root for.
Egypt has qualified for their first World Cup since 1990 and they are
led by noted hero and dreamboat Mohamed Salah
and their goalkeeper is 45 years old which is a real inspiration to old people like me
all in all they are my adopted team for the World Cup.
England. Right, so the deal with England is that
every World Cup all the fans are like
"Our team isn't even that good. We probably won't even make the quarterfinals"
and then they do make the quarterfinals whereupon they lose and all the fans are shocked and devastated
that their national team did EXACTLY what it always does.
France's mascot is a rooster. Also, they're a trendy pick to win the World Cup this year
but they couldn't beat the United States in a friendly over the weekend so I'm a bit dubious.
Germany are very good and they have a manager who always
looks like an aging Beatle trying to hail a cab.
Iceland qualified for the World Cup despite having a population smaller than Wichita, Kansas.
HOW ARE WE NOT GOING TO THE WORLD CUP?
I'm sorry. That is off topic.
Congratulations to Iceland who would be a great pick
for my adopted team if it weren't for my undying love for Mohamed Salah.
Iran's backup goalkeeper slept on the floor of the pizza restaurant where he worked until
signing a professional contract a few years ago.
Almost all of Japan's players play professionally for Japanese teams, which is why it's no excuse to say MLS
isn't good enough to develop World Cup level players.
Mexico are obviously the best team in North America
also they have Rafa Marquez who will be playing in his FIFTH World Cup.
Morocco have a very strong defense which they will need against Spain and Portugal.
Nigeria, meanwhile, have the best kits in the tournament
and if they weren't in the hardest group they might go far. But… they *are* in the hardest group.
Panama have qualified for their first World Cup ever which is
great and I am totally over the fact that they beat the United States in qualifying
HOW DO YOU LOSE TO TRINIDAD?
My friend the writer Daniel Alarcón is Peruvian AND their uniform has a sash AND they've qualified for their first
World Cup since 1982 making them an excellent choice for your adopted team
until and unless you look into these dreamy eyes.
Poland are a good long shot pick to go far in the tournament if their star striker Robert Lewandowski is in form.
Portugal have Cristiano Ronaldo if you're into that kind of thing
I'm sorry, I'm trying to work my way through some of my issues around Real Madrid right now.
Russia is hosting the tournament and I'm not gonna say
anything else because I am genuinely scared of Vladimir Putin.
Saudi Arabia are the biggest underdogs
Serbia has a defense with tons of experience
or, put another way, they're old.
Nobody agrees with me but I think Senegal could go to
the semi-finals because Sadio Mane is really good and no this video has not
been biased by my affection for Liverpool.
South Korea's coach is only four years older than Egypt's goalkeeper.
Spain are kind of the Yankees of soccer.
Sweden no longer has football's biggest personality, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so why bother?
Switzerland specializes in neutrality which is perhaps why they play so many
excruciatingly boring nil-nil draws.
Tunisia's kits look so good I bought one but I fear their World Cup will be brief.
And last but not least, Uruguay are probably best known for having a striker, Luis Suarez,
who has bitten opponents on three separate occasions
but that ignores the important fact that in more than 99% of his competitive games Luis Suarez hasn't bitten ANYONE
a NEARLY perfect record.
I'll be live-tweeting every game of this year's World Cup
at my sports twitter @sportswithjohn I hope to see you there.
Hank, I will see you on Friday.