“The best stories are the ones we live in real life.” Do you know who said that? It was JRR Tolkien.
I’m kidding guys, it just occurred to me. But, you have to admit, I made you think that was deep and provocative for a second.
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But I still think there’s something there, because where else would we get inspiration for our best stories, if not from real life?
In the same way that our life experiences, ups and downs, and obstacles inspire us to sit down and write our stories, entertainment media like wrestling, soccer, basketball, etc. they also have these raw and (sometimes) real stories. along the. In fact, these stories are what add this extra dimension of intrigue and anticipation that make these games so great to watch.
Sometimes, it’s the generic old tale of David versus Goliath. Sometimes it’s the story of two mortal enemies, destined to fight each other on the grandest stage, until the end of time. The history of a team, its players and their own individual stories come together to form more complex and layered stories, all building up like a movie, until a tournament ends.
While club soccer alone has enough storylines and drama throughout a single season, international soccer is really where all the different plot points converge, forming a compelling narrative.
Think back to one of the most memorable international tournaments in recent history, Euro 2016. Eventual champions Portugal found themselves in an interesting position, at least in retrospect, at the start of the tournament.
In terms of raw skill, his squad was probably not the best in the tournament. Yes, they probably had the best European player ever as their captain, but they were still behind the likes of France, Italy and Germany.
Portugal finished third in a group consisting of Hungary, Iceland and Austria, a group they definitely should have beaten. However, after three successive draws, the last of which involved them coming from behind three times from a goal down, they finished third, earning a place in the round of 16.
From there, they would reach the final, mostly thanks to the crazy performances of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani. Reaching the final, they faced a team from France that had topped their group and dominated most of the top teams they had faced on their way to the final.
Just 25 minutes after kick-off, Ronaldo found himself injured. Retired from the field, the captain who had inspired this team to the final found himself limping on the touchline, watching his team try to beat a France team that would win the World Cup just two years later.
Ronaldo encouraged his team from the bench, yelling and yelling to keep them motivated at all times. Going into extra time, both teams seemed to have stamina problems, with Portugal apparently worse than the French.
Somehow, through some moment of magic, where the universe willed Ronaldo’s dream of an international trophy to come true, Portugal would score a goal in the 109th minute to take home the trophy.
If we’re going to talk about the World Cup, instead of the story of a race from start to finish, let’s talk about some of the biggest moments and the backstory. Think of Mario Gotze’s last goal against Argentina, in the 2014 World Cup final.
Throughout the tournament, Gotze only started three out of seven possible matches. Many times, en route to the final, Gotze had been criticized for not being up to the task of starting for Germany. His signing to Bayern Munich, from rivals Borussia Dortmund, a year ago was also a central point in the discussion of why this man was just another overhyped and overrated player.
Gotze’s 113th minute goal against Argentina will go down in history as one of the most memorable goals in a World Cup final. At the same time, it’s really all the legacy a player needs, at least in terms of international competition.
While Gotze may never have lived up to the potential fans who saw the player at Borussia Dortmund, it’s safe to say that this player etched his name in history with a moment that many German fans will remember for the rest of their lives. lives.
This year’s World Cup has plenty of interesting stories, either in the spotlight or lurking behind all the goalless draws we’ve seen so far. Possibly the biggest story is how this is probably the last World Cup where we will see Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, two of the greatest players of all time.
Japan’s victory over Germany, in a close duel to the death, has made us wonder if the four-time champions will be eliminated in the group stage, similar to their exit in the last World Cup.
Saudi Arabia’s upset victory over Argentina is a story in the making and it will be interesting to see what they do next.
All of these stories, whether in the realm of reality or on the field, play a big factor in shaping how we as humans view sports and life. These stories inspire us, give us hope, and reaffirm our faith in the idea that the universe has its own plans for us.
So I suggest you sit back, relax and watch the rest of this World Cup unfold. See where the story goes. Who takes the trophy home? Which team experiences an upset loss? Will one of the great European teams get the elimination of the World Cup only in the group stage?
These are all questions that will be answered in time, but watching the story unfold in front of us is probably the most fun one can have during the World Cup season.
Aaqib Hasib is deputy editor at The Daily Star. Contact him at [email protected]