World Cup 2014: Things to say to make it sound like you know something about soccer


England captain Steven Gerrard is no stranger to heartbreak during penalty shootouts. (Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

Headed to the bar to watch USA-Ghana, and know nothing about soccer? Don’t know the difference between a striker and a center back? Don’t worry — here are a few comments that will fool your friends into believing you know what you’re talking about. 

“The Champions League is so much better than the World Cup.”

Many fans think international tournaments are often boring compared to club soccer, where teammates play together more often and have better chemistry. The numbers bear that out —  an average of 2.9 goals were scored per game in this year’s UEFA Champions League, compared to 2.3 in the 2010 World Cup.

“England is going to go out on penalties in the quarterfinal.” (You might want to place a bet on that one, too.)

It happened in three of the past four major tournaments England has played in (the 2004 and 2012 Euros, as well as the 2006 World Cup).

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale lost the birth lottery when he was born in Wales. Real Madrid star Gareth Bale lost the birth lottery when he was born in Wales. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

 

“It’s too bad Gareth Bale will never play in a World Cup.”

The Real Madrid star might be one of the top five players in the world, but he’s from Wales, which hasn’t qualified for a World Cup since 1958.

“Belgium’s pretty good now, but watch out in 2018!”

Goalie Thibaut Courtois is 22, striker Romelu Lukaku is 21, and wingers Eden Hazard and Adnan Januzaj are 23 and 19, respectively. The best is yet to come.

 

 

More World Cup coverage:

2014 World Cup Quiz

World Cup group-by-group breakdown: Favorites, sleepers and predictions

Four things that have to happen for the U.S. to get out of the Group of Death

What your beer says about your World Cup tastes

 

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Michael Cunniff · June 11, 2014