7 views 2018-07-15 19:24:42
With only two games to play, the 2018 World Cup Russia is falling its curtain on July 15 after one month’s fierce competitions. Being the center of world’s spotlight, the quadrennial football event of the highest profile and level is a most cherished glory for all countries and regions and the ultimate dream for all football players. Looking back on the schedule, the burning battle fires, the ferocious vying and the splendid warlords have made fans scream.
The games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup are played at 12 stadiums in 11 cities of Russia. [Photo credit: NASA]
After 60 games, only 4 of the total of 32 forces remained for final. France, Belgium, England and Croatia were all ready to jump on the Titan Cup and now the top three has come to the fore. Among them, there are both youthful storms with unlimited potential and new forces never noticed in history. No matter who they are, it is only one battle’s distance from Moscow’s podium.
Germany, defending champion of the last World Cup in Brazil, which has been receiving much attention, suffered Waterloo in its first combats; Traditional powers such as the United States and Italy have straightly missed the Russian World Cup; Britain struggled and was exhausted to achieve the final victory; and France “fishes in the muddy water”, but was victorious. Such an ending looks so much like a “yesterday once more” of the World War II that people often joked, “I have finally understood the “reason” behind this World Cup and it was WWII.”
Called “war on the green fields”, a football game, smokeless and bloodless though, is also a war of tactics and comrades. How the “clouds” of World War II are repeated in the World Cup in Russia and what are the amazing similarities between them? Let’s take a look.
US standing-by from the European continent and China flourishing in the rear area
The 2018 World Cup has become a sorrow of the traditional powers including Italy, the Netherlands, Chile, and the United States. In particular, the United States, as one of the hegemons of the Central American and Caribbean Division, had never expected to fight such a hard fight in qualifiers and eventually missed the event, which has directly led the head coach Arena to resign. Fans joked that it was probably that Americans still do not want to go to Russia, and they deliberately lost this opportunity.
Jokes are jokes. The Americans has always been a power in terms of not only economy and military but also athletics. It has been at the forefront of the medal list for many years in the Olympics. Its men’s football team is in the middle and upper level, ranking second in North America only to Mexico. It has attended the sports event for 10 times and won the third place in the first World Cup in 1930. Whereas this time, this ambitious eagle unexpectedly disassociated itself from the game, leaving itself cooking with a dish eye at the other end of the Atlantic Ocean, its exact same deed in the early stage of WWII.
An image of Northrop P-61 Black Widow in October 1945. The P-61 was developed during World War II specifically for nighttime attacks. It was the largest and heaviest US fighter in the war. To facilitate its nighttime missions, the P-61 was painted black and carried a radar system in its nose. [Photo credit: NASA]
It is not a big surprise that no Chinese team is seen in this World Cup. Held for 21 sessions, only the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan was attended by the country which it automatically qualified for. CCTV’s famous host Bai Yansong’s has ridiculed “Russia World Cup, all China has basically gone for it except for the football team.” New York Times also published an article recently saying that there is a country where the national team has never shot a ball in the World Cups. But it still considers itself to be the future of the sport. This country is China. Only football can bring people around the world together. It is a global language that China has not grasped but eager to do so.
Having missed the World Cup once again, though, the Chinese elements are particularly eye-catching during the event. The official ball Telstar 18 (TV Star 18) is a “Made in China”. The mascot——a Siberian plain wolf named “Zabivaka” and its peripheral products are “Made in China”. Chinese advertising sponsors occupied almost half the brands in Russia’s World Cup. There is an unrivaled cast of the enthusiastic Chinese football fans, along with 100,000 spicy, garlic, thirteen fragrant Hubei crayfish rode the Central European train to Moscow’s games. Nevertheless, China is still one of the protagonist on this battlefield, even though it is on the rear one that it thrives like what it did during the past world war.
According FIFA’s statistics, Chinese football fans have purchased a total of 40,000 tickets for this World Cup, ranking the ninth among all countries.
Germans repeat same mistake in old place and its allies neither spared
The strong German team has had a lot of glorious scores in the history of the World Cup. It is the team that has fought a most 100 games, participated in 18 World Cups with 13 times in semi-finals and 8 times in finals. It has won 4 championships, 4 runners-up and 4 thirds and crowned the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. As the champion of 2014 Brazil World Cup, the German team broke the European team’s zero-record curse in the Americas. In this year’s World Cup in Russia, the defending champion had a total of 10 battles’ victory in qualifiers. Its tough and aggressive style with fast and concise passing and cutting are with the same features of Nazy Germany’s blitz in World War II.
A satellite image of Berlin, the capital of Germany. After WWII, the city was divided into the Eastern and Western parts. Now the Berlin wall was already torn down. [Photo courtesy of Changguang Satellite Technology]
More than seven decades later, Germany is now back on the old battlefield Moscow. However, it is no longer the team of invincibility here and was out after losing the opener to Mexico with 0:1 and another group match to South Korea 0:2. What is the magic of the land of Russia? Why is that no matter how powerful the Germans are, they have basically not gained anything here? The most famous example World War II may provide some clue.
During the War, Germany relying on its robust air forces combined with tanks, carried out blitz on the European allied and struck France and Poland and hammered Britain. In June of 1941, it tore the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and struck the Soviet Union in three ways with its Axis mates. It advanced all the way through the Baltic, Minsk, and Kiev until they came to Moscow.
In response, Stalin mobilized well-equipped elite troops from the Far East and called on the entire city of Moscow to build a solid fortress. The extremely cold weather in Moscow also brought down Germany’s operations and disabled the blitz. Since that, Germany began to suffer from the long-lasting two battle lines and eventually the lone wolf was defeated by the big bear which had been provided with ample foreign aids and supplies. Now 70 years later, Germans lost the battle again on the same old field, corresponding to Stalin’s “Germany has never harvested on the land of the Soviet Union, and it is impossible to succeed in what they want to do.”
Satellite imagery shows Moscow is arranged as a series of concentric transportation routes crossed by straight spokes which lead away from the Kremlin at the city center. Very large high-rise buildings were erected after World War II. [Photo credit: NASA]
As the champion of four World Cups in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 and the European Football Championship, the cock-a-hoop Italian Blue Shirts lost to Sweden with 0:1 in two rounds in the preliminaries of this World Cup and missed the World Cup for the first time after 60 years.
The high-blown teammates of the Nazy Germany has provoked war with France and Ethiopia but has never won and finally surrendered the earliest in the Axis countries in 1943.
Another teammate of Germany Japan was successful again in sneak attacks. Its attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 composited the prelude of the Pacific War. This time, the Japanese team was clearly more and more skilled and overcame the Colombian on 2:1.
A contrast of the Battleship Row during the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and a detailed satellite view of today’s Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, still in use as a major United States Navy installation. [Photo credit: NASA]
French always profits from muddy waters while England torn to pieces to win
In the Second World War, Britain and France, as members of the Allied, eventually became victors. Although the former was captured by Hitler, it was one of the victors under the leadership of its allies in the end. The United Kingdom, all the way tough struggling to the end, finally enjoyed the fruits of victory.
In the history of the World Cup, the Gallo Rooster reached the semi-finals six times. In 1998 and 2006, it won the championship and the runner-up respectively. No matter when it fights in a war or plays football, France will show you their luck and ability to fish in troubled waters. In the group match, the French team is divided into Group C with opponents Australia, Peru and Denmark all that France is advantageous over. Without the potent rival Germany, it had smoothly entered the final and will confront Croatia for the championship on the last day.
While its ally the Great Britain have not fought such an easy fight. The whole process can be described as hard and dangerous, much like its fate in WWII. This is the third time in the history of the England team to reach the World Cup semi-finals with the first two in 1966 and 1990. The Three Lions Legion only reached the final in 1966 and held a World Cup at home.
Germany carried out Blitz on London during WWII.
England remained unbeaten in the 10 games of the qualifier, and the first team to advance to the 2018 World Cup. It had also had a similarly good performance in bankrupting Germany’s Operation Sea Lion, broke the invincible myth of the German army, and became the only place in Western Europe that was not occupied by Germany, which had greatly strengthened the confidence of the Allied people in the victory of the anti-fascist war.
In the G group, England’s scored a narrow win over Tunisia with 2-1. It seems that the Three Lions are still in the shadow of the Tunisia Campaign 1942-1943 in North Africa. In the early stage, Britain was beaten badly by Germans while after receiving assistance from America, it beat off Germany and forced it to retreat to the Tunisia border. The triumph in the campaign was seen as the turning point of the WWII and the begin of fascist’s collapse, which crushed Axis’s plan of taking Egypt and controlling the Suez Canal and the oil fields in the Middle East.
A satellite image shows the city of London. The Thames River runs peacefully through the metropolis today. [Photo courtesy of Changguang Satellite Technology]
In the second game, the team has won a marvelous 6-1 victory over Panama; shortly, it lost to Belgium 0-1 in the last round; to guarantee the team’s qualifying, it again successfully entered the lower half of the weaker. In the 1/8 finals, it had a 1-1 tie with Colombia. In the penalty shootout, England thrilled and broke the spell that the team would lose every penalty. In the quarter-finals, England eliminated the Swedish team with two headers and successfully entered the semi-finals.
Struggling to the end with ups and downs, Churchill did not yield and England was ultimately victorious both on battle fields and green football pitches.
Until now, the Russian World Cup has entered the countdown. What will happen in the end and who will eventually win the Cup? Can the new king of Croatia break the “cloud” of World War II and become a dark horse that rewrites history? No matter what the outcome is, the Allied is still victorious. In fact, there may not be links between the two matters. Whereas the wonderful misplacement and coincidences make history a humor writer.