Three Topics of Conversation to make it look like you care about the World Cup
WORDS BY ALEXI BARNSTONE
The World Cup Finals have just begun and suddenly everyone you know is a soccer fan. How is this possible? You don’t know. But not everyone is ready to subsume their personal identity into that of the Australian national team and live vicariously through them. And yet everyone, including you, is at the mercy of incessant conversations about the World Cup. Here are three talking points about the event. These are topics that you can touch on to seamlessly coast through the conversations creating the illusion that you actually care.
Our first talking point? Iceland. National teams that compete in the world cup are comprised of players from that country, so naturally the size of the country plays a significant role in the quality of the team. Iceland have a population of 330,000. And yet, by some miracle they have made it to the World Cup finals, beating 170-odd other competing countries to get there. Both China and India didn’t make it. Just let that sink in…
The second talking point is what most Australians care about: the Australian national team. They are in group C with France, Denmark and Peru. It is a tough group. The French national team is one of the best in the world, and Denmark and Peru are both quality sides. Australia’s best hope is that national team legend, Tim Cahill scores some wonder goal, and goalkeeper, Matt Ryan makes some crazy saves. Matt Ryan and Aaron Mooy, Australia’s goalkeeper and bald midfielder respectively, are two of the best players on the national team and normally play in the English Premier League — one of the best leagues in the world — for Brighton and Huddersfield.
The third talking point is Mohammad Salah. The Egyptian has carried his nation to its first world cup since 1990. Salah plays for English Premier League side Liverpool and scored the most goals ever in the league this year, scoring 32 goals in 38 games. He has totaled 46 goals this year for club and country. In the recent Egypt election, Mahammad Salah received over 1 million votes for president. That is not a joke.
And there you have it. Three key talking points that will help you fit in. And just remember, easiest way to fit in is when somebody yells “Aussie, aussie, aussie!”, respond “Oi, oi, oi!”