How to Do a World Cup Bracket
How to Do a World Cup Bracket
The World Cup comes around every four years. If you didn't make a World Cup bracket this time, use this guide so you're more prepared in 2022 or make half a bracket now. Goal!
Keyword(s): world cup bracket
Doing your World up bracket is serious business. It doesn't matter if you have $5 on the line or just pride, you want to win.
During one month every four years, everything stops for soccer. In Iceland, a nation of 330,000 people, 99.6% of people in Iceland watched Iceland's World Cup opener.
It makes you wonder what the .04% of people who weren't watching were doing.
In Mexico, fans gathered in Mexico City to watch their team take on Germany. When Mexico scored, fans were so happy that they set off earthquake sensors.
Even if you're a little late to the World Cup fun, it's not too late to fill out your bracket for 2018. FIFA offers a bracket challenge for each stage of the competition.
You can take those lessons to France in 2019 and Qatar in 2022.
Read on to learn how you can fill out your World Cup bracket to win.
Don't Get Sucked in By the Name
There are historical powers in soccer. Traditionally strong teams like Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, and Germany are usually sure bets to go through to the knockout stages.
Or are they?
Italy and the Netherlands didn't even qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Argentina only qualified thanks to a last-gasp hat trick by Leo Messi.
You might be tempted to look at your World Cup bracket and pick these 'sure bets' to go through.
Don't do it.
There's a better way to look at your bracket objectively and pick the best teams to go through.
Don't Listen to the "Experts"
Everyone is an expert when it comes to soccer.
It could be the guy at your office who thinks that just because a player has an English accent, he's a superstar.
The pundits don't know any more than you do.
It might be tempting to look at the expert picks, but the reality is that you're better off ignoring them and taking an objective look at each team.
Take the Whole Team into Account
Just as you shouldn't get drawn to a team because they have a long history, you shouldn't get drawn to a team just because they have one great player.
Portugal relies on Cristiano Ronaldo to score goals, and he's one of the all-time greats. He'd also be the first to say that he can't do it alone.
Argentina is the Leo Messi show. If you look at that roster, they should be amazing. Yet, they struggled to qualify.
The media tend to focus on a team's star players. You have to remember that just because a team has one good player, it doesn't mean that they're going to get out of the Group Stage.
Soccer is a team sport and it's beyond one single player. That single player can rarely have an impact if the coaching and supporting team members are sub-par.
It seems that in World Cups, there is at least one team that succumbs to the enormous pressure and has some kind of drama within the team.
2018 is no exception.
No one could have predicted that three days before Spain's first match, Spanish club powerhouse Real Madrid would announce that La Rioja's head coach Julen Lopetegui took the head coaching job at Real Madrid and would leave his position as Spain's National Team manager after the World Cup.
Even fewer people could have predicted that the newly elected president of the Real Federacion Espa?ola de Futbol would relieve Lopetegui of his position the next day and install a caretaker manager.
Under Lopetegui, Spain was one of the favorites heading into the 2018 World Cup. They were 14-0-6 under Lopetegui.
Team drama is something that you need to pay attention as you're picking your bracket. There are teams like the Netherlands and France that are well known for in-fighting.
In 2010, France flamed out of South Africa in spectacular fashion. Infighting took that team over and it left that competition in disgrace.
You'll want to follow the news in the months leading up to the World Cup for any signs of drama and infighting.
That's a good sign that the infighting will distract the players from performing at their best.
There's at Least One Cinderella Story
It seems that at every competition, there's at least one Cinderella story.
In Euro 2016, that was Iceland. They famously beat England in the Round of 16, which was the shock of the tournament.
When you pick your bracket, you can be sure there's going to be one team that comes out of nowhere to take over the competition. You won't even see them on the teams to watch list.
In 2014, it was Costa Rica. In 2010 Ghana made a statement.
Who will the next Cinderella be?
How Did the Team Qualify?
There's no way to tell how a team will do in a World Cup. However, recent past performance can be a predictor of
Look at how each team qualified. Did they struggle? Did they blow away the competition?
Take a look at the teams they played to qualify and the result. Also, take a look at friendly matches over the last year.
Those results are a good indication of the direction of the team. The team's recent performance is probably the best method to use when you're picking your bracket.
It does take a little time, but a winning World Cup bracket makes it worth it.
Get Your Kids Involved
You can make your bracket a family event.
Include your kids in filling out your bracket and ask for their opinions. They might choose teams based on kit colors.
It's an opportunity to teach them about the sport and you can share your love for the sport and continue to make soccer fun.
It's also good to remember that there's a Men's World Cup and a Women's World Cup. Set a good example for your kids and pick brackets for both competitions.
You'll also have to explain to your kids why the U.S. Women's National Team is a perennial favorite, while the men's side continues to struggle.
Make Your World Cup Bracket a Winner
Filling out a World Cup bracket is a fun way to get into the action. It's even more fun when you win.
As you're filling out the bracket, remember that anything can happen at a World Cup. That's true now more than ever.
The main thing to remember when you're filling out your bracket, you want to set aside the expert predictions and historical performance. Focus on the qualification process and have fun.
If you think that it's hard now, wait until 2026 when the competition expands from 32 to 48 teams. It's a World Cup and anything can happen.
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