BY EMMA HUERTA
Families everywhere, including Cooper City, tuned in to the most anticipated soccer tournament this summer- The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup.
On July 15, 2018, France earned its second World Cup title in an exhilarating match against Croatia. Croatia scored two goals, though they could not keep up with France’s two-goal lead that eventually won them the trophy.
“[I felt] happy. I kind of expected [the win]. I’m not really that surprised,” sophomore Lauren Dupoux said. “Since I’m part French (my dad’s side), we both are really honored to be French and we’re so proud of the team for representing the country like that.”
In the first 45 minutes, Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic (17) scored an own goal (benefitting France), starting his team off on the wrong foot. The team quickly recalibrated, resulting in Ivan Perisic’s (4) score, tying up the game. Then, right before the first half ended, France was granted a penalty kick and player Antoine Griezmann (7) delivered. The first half ended with a score of 2-1.
“I knew they were going to win … it was a really great game, probably one of the best finals ever.”
French player Paul Pogba (6) scored the first goal of the second half, putting his team at a strong two-point lead. Soon after, 19-year-old French prodigy Kylian Mbappe (who some are even comparing to legendary Brazilian footballer, Pele) outran the Croatians and scored yet another goal for his nation. Finally, Mandzukic redeemed himself for his team after his critical mistake in the first half and scored a goal for Croatia. This brought up the final score to 4-2, stating France as the winner of the match.
“In the final, I supported Croatia because I wanted to see the world have a new champion in soccer but France was obviously the favored [team] and had the highest percentage of winning,” sophomore Chris Forero said. “I knew they were going to win … it was a really great game, probably one of the best finals ever.”
Croatia was unmatched to France’s faster and younger team, but they did not fail to make the 21FIFA World Cup historic for their country since it was their first-ever participation in a final. Although they did not take home the title of world champions, they made their country proud after proceeding to the final undefeated by other countries in their previous matches.
This brought up the final score to 4-2, stating France as the winner of the match.
The win caused huge celebratory events in France, uniting the country with pride in their team and nationality. The festivities were complete with hoards of people, parades and even jets flying over the Arc de Triomphe in Paris while spewing out red, white and blue smoke.
World Cup spectators all across the globe, such as those in France, felt and celebrated this unity while supporting their country’s teams. Likewise, local Cooper City fans were proud to celebrate their favorite national teams.
“During the World Cup when Colombia would win my mother and I would go out to a Colombian restaurant after they won,” Forero said. “We’d both wear our jerseys and I’d have the flag on my back to represent. It makes us feel happy to be who we are and to have Colombian roots.”
Besides the joy of supporting one’s nationality during the World Cup, it’s also entertaining because of its universality to many people in the world. Other than the actual matches, the FIFA tournament has distinct qualities that attract viewers with differing interests and backgrounds.
“We’d both wear our jerseys and I’d have the flag on my back to represent. It makes us feel happy to be who we are and to have Colombian roots.”
“Since the World Cup is personally the only kind of soccer match I really watch, I think more than anything it’s fun for everyone to anticipate who will take home the championship, along with the little watching parties and the cool commercials,” junior Marissa Sehrt said. “It’s like non-football fans tuning in to the Superbowl, minus the extravagant halftime show.”
Photo by Carly Cuoco