Copa Mundial, finals edition

I said previously that they should just call the World Cup the Western Europe/South America championship tournament. And what happened? Argentina will be playing France in the finals!

Argentina is a world football powerhouse. They were World Cup champions in 1978 and again in 1986. They’ve also been runners-up in 1930, 1990, and 2014. France is also a big name in international soccer. They are the defending champions having won the prize four years ago. They were also champions in 1998. They were runners-up in 2006 and have two third-place finishes in 1958 and 1986.

So this year’s final is a heavyweight bout. All the minnows and surprise teams have been eliminated. I won’t get to see a Morocco vs. South Korea final!

That’s what I wanted. I wanted a new champion or at least a champion from somewhere other than Western Europe or South America.

But this showdown is what a lot of football fans expected as well as what they wanted. These are two great, accomplished squads with superstar players. The outcome is too close to call. At one site I saw that Argentina was favored 9-to-5 (1.8/1) to win and France was listed at 21-to-13 (1.6/1)! Everyone is anticipating a close match. The semifinal games were unfortunately a bit lopsided but the previous round (the quarterfinals) produced some excellent contests.

I don’t have the soccer nous to make a prediction and I frankly don’t care who wins. I expect to watch the final and all I hope is that it is a tight, well-played event THAT GETS DECIDED IN REGULATION and does not degenerate to fookin’ penalty kicks! But if I have to make a prediction I will say that it goes to double overtime and gets decided in a shoot-out.

We can get back to baseball when this is all over.

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