Winners And Losers From The World Cup


France: Obviously

Kylian Mbappé: Became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pelé, which is in no way resulting in a rash of overblown and unwarranted comparisons

Horrendous goalkeeping errors in high-profile games: With Sven Ulreich, Loris Karius, David de GeaWilly Caballero, Fernando Muslera, and Hugo Lloris all taking part, this hot summer trend is sweeping football stadiums everywhere

Paulinho: His story inspired people the world over, showing that even you—yes, you—can be an undisputed starter in midfield for Brazil even if you’re neither capable nor willing to dribble, pass the ball forward, or defend

Antoine Griezmann: Named the third-best player of the World Cup despite being maybe the third-best player on his own team

Stéphane Guivarc’h: See? See?! It’s not just a fluke that he didn’t score a single goal in 1998! It’s the only way France can win World Cups! Their starting striker cannot score! It all makes sense! See? See?!

Cristiano Ronaldo: Nevertheless, will once again win the Ballon d’Or this year

Video refereeing: The introduction of VAR to the World Cup proved an undeniable success. Well, except for the long wait times, the penalties being retroactively awarded for borderline calls, the many questionable decisions made to not review a play, the inconsistency with which penalties were awarded for holding in the box, the unwillingness of the refs to review or card players for dirty play, the lingering issue of how race and skin color affects referees’ judgment, the

Being good at set pieces and not really anything else: If France and England are anything to go by, this is the new winning strategy in football

Tite: In the single most stunning upset of the World Cup, Brazilians are not calling for their coach’s head despite their early exit

Ronaldinho: Remaining the best football player on the planet while spending every night partying until daybreak? Becoming a poly icon? Serving as the opening act for a World Cup final? He truly is the most interesting man in the world




Croatia, Belgium, England, Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Uruguay, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Japan, Mexico, Denmark, Colombia, Switzerland, Iran, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Korea, Germany, Nigeria, Iceland, Costa Rica, Serbia, Senegal, Poland, Tunisia, Panama, Peru, Australia: Obviously

Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović: Why was French president Emmanuel Macron flanking FIFA president Gianni Infantino but she wasn’t. Why is Putin in her place. Oh god what did he do to her


Neymar: Sadly, nobody appreciates his career-spanning performance art exhibit based on “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”

Didier Deschamps: France won despite the coach’s best efforts to have them play the blandest, dullest football imaginable for a side of their talent, a catastrophic failure for the Brazilian sleeper agent

Ivan Rakitić: This guy grew up to play in a World Cup final:

Philippe Coutinho: All you had to do—all you had to do—was put this shot on frame how did you not ARGH I’m still mad

Luka Modrić: Dragged an unfancied Croatia side all the way to the World Cup final and was deservedly named the best player of the tournament, but I have too many items in the Winners column so I had to bump him down here

Deliberately losing so you can end up on the easier side of the bracket: As England demonstrated, this only works if your team is actually good

Lionel Messi: Hey, at least he has that totally unearned Golden Ball from the last World Cup to look back on

The United States of America: Unable to embarrass themselves in Russia during the World Cup itself, resorted to doing so the day after it ended instead


Top Image: (no, really)