A series of essays on the World Cup, guest-edited by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, featuring Vanessa Barbara on Brazil, Francisco Goldman on Mexico, Geoff Dyer on England, Elda Cantú on Peru, Gabriel Pasquini on Argentina, Oumar Ba on Senegal, Laurent Dubois on Belgium, S. Nathan Park on South Korea, Mona Eltahawy on Egypt, Aida Alami on Morocco, Peter L’Official on France, Piotr Orlov on Russia, Christopher de Bellaigue on England, Ivan Sršen on Croatia, and Simon Kuper in Russia.
World Cup 2018: A View from the Stands
The emotional locus of this tournament is more in living rooms and bars around the world than here in the place where the thing is actually happening. That’s not because there is anything wrong with Russia. On the contrary, it’s been very pleasant here.
July 13, 2018
World Cup 2018: Morocco
On Monday, against Spain, we had little left to play for—except, perhaps, some honor. But in an amazing game that twice saw Morocco go ahead against one of the world’s top teams, we earned a 2-2 draw that left Moroccans proud of the national team despite its not making it to the next round.
June 26, 2018
World Cup 2018: South Korea
By 2017, the young people of the 2002 World Cup generation had become the electoral core of Korean society. In the cold of winter, they chanted and sang to demand a restoration of democracy. Like the Taegeuk Warriors team in 2002, against the odds they won.
June 23, 2018
World Cup 2018: Peru
On their way to Russia, the players heard the news: El Capitán Guerrero’s ban had been frozen. Back in Peru, 30 million fans woke up to the revelation, neither an acquittal nor a declaration of innocence. But a suspended sentence had never felt so much like redemption.
June 19, 2018
World Cup 2018: England
I am always shocked by the way it takes hold, this faith in England, the desire for England to go all the way, as they say, in spite of the long record of thwarted hopes, hopes that are so necessary a prelude to the lingering after-taste of ashes in the mouth.
June 17, 2018
World Cup 2018: Mexico
The ball shot off Cuau’s left foot into the net for a spectacular goal—golazo!—that tied the game. At that instant, a passion for Mexican futbol, for El Tri, entered me like a lightning bolt through that antennae held out the window, pointed up at that legendary Mexico City sky.
June 16, 2018
World Cup 2018: Brazil
The nation is now facing a major political and economic crisis with no end in sight, but suddenly, this became only a minor nuisance—out go social equality, political stability, and true democracy; in come Pelé, Ronaldo, and Neymar to let us brag to the rest of the world.
June 15, 2018