This preview is the third in our World Cup preview series, designed to provide a refreshing breath of Minnesotan air in an otherwise murky swamp of content. To encapsulate that oh-so-true concept of Minnesota nice, we’re looking for the most likeable teams in Russia 2018. To check out looks at other groups, head to our preview hub: https://www.epluribusloonum.com/2018/6/11/17449884/a-2018-world-cup-preview-but-minnesota-style-russia
Peru are already earning a reputation as the darlings of the tournament. First, their best player, all-time leading scorer Paolo Guerrero, was set to be suspended for the World Cup on a drug charge. Because there didn’t seem to be much of a case that Guerrero injested cocaine, his time off was cut in half so that he could participate in Russia. Whether he’ll be fit is another concern, but at least he’ll be there. Their kits are also pretty fun too. And maybe Peru will be the breakout team of the World Cup as well. If you aren’t convinced, watch this goal from a recent game:
Awesome Peru. Watch them closely on WC, very interesting team pic.twitter.com/BKw4yCJyQI— Nikola Janjic (@NikolaJanjic291) June 1, 2018
Australia’s nickname is the Socceroos. Their crest has a kangaroo and a big bird. And this is Australia’s last real shot at the World Cup with their golden generation. They’ll have to fight their way out of Group C, which is a difficult draw both in terms of likeability and in the actual competition.
The Danish have been a surprisingly popular choice for some Americans to root for in the tournament. They are another mashed-up team with players from across Western and Northern Europe, including Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, who will be the main source of offensive production for the Danes. Also look for Pione Sisto, an Ugandan-born winger who has been linked with Arsenal in the past.
In really any other group, the French would probably make it through in terms of likeability. They’re young, full of energy, and full of newly-popular names like Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann (and his fun goal celebration), and Kylian Mbappe. Their style of play is attractive, as are many of their scorelines. Despite play aesthetically pleasing soccer, France just isn’t as likeable as some of the other options in their group.