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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Football World Cup, World Class Show-off

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar on Sunday. Great news for my detractors, I once again failed to qualify for the United States Men’s National Team, who played their first match of the tournament on Tuesday against Wales. It’s a shame, because my presence in the team would have been an underdog story for posterity.

Football is the most popular sport in the world. Its biggest stars carry the hopes of millions – and millions of dollars worth of natural diamond jewelry on their necks, wrists and fingers. When I started, at the ripe old age of five, I remember feeling like a knight going into battle, risking bloody knees and bruised shins for the glory of bringing home that little trophy of plastic championship. I didn’t get very far (more details to come) but I can imagine that as you progress the little plastic trophy doesn’t have the same effect. Indeed, you should see the material these guys are adorning themselves with!

In elementary school, my friend John and I shared the caretaker job when we played soccer at recess while munching on snacks we’d smuggled out of the canteen. We were going back and forth in fear of seeing Mikey tumble from the opposing team. Mikey, you see, mastered the sombrero kick, famous pass where you run over the ball and somehow you tip it on your heel and pass it to yourself over your head. With the same talent he snubbed us with his overturns, another pass which consists of jumping in the sky and doing a half backflip while shooting the ball in the air. We were 10 years old, for God’s sake! I just wanted to eat my snack!

A few years later, I took a test to join the football team that played away, because that was what we did at the time. I had recently started wearing glasses and during the evaluation, when the ball flew towards me, I had the brilliant idea to do what real football players do: Look at me, coach, I will show you a head shot! What really happened: I misjudged my jump and the ball hit me in the face. I collapsed to the floor in shock, my glasses askew and my nose bleeding from the bridge and nostril. Needless to say, I wasn’t part of the team.

Football World Cup, World Class Show-off
Yes it’s me.

A few years later, I was working at a local seafood restaurant (the Bridgwaye in Humarock, MA) where almost all of the kitchen staff were Brazilian. They taught me a few rude words that I still remember, and they asked me one night if I wanted to join them for their Sunday morning soccer game. It looked nice, I said OK! It was a disaster. They put up plays, were seasoned dribblers, skilled passers and sharpshooters – even the guys who were past their golden years. Not only was I overwhelmed in all phases of the game, but I was also a handicap for my team. But hey, it was fun.

I tell you this because I believe my childhood football escapades are emblematic of the general attitude of Americans towards what the rest of the world calls football. I gravitated towards baseball and American football. Children who were good at the sport seemed to me to have been born with this ability; it was not my case. And rather than participate, I was content to sit idly by with my buddy John, cracking jokes and eating chicken nuggets.

Since those heady days, I have become an international man. I was on my honeymoon in Rome when the Italy team won the European Cup. My wife and I were eating in a restaurant in the middle of a square surrounded by houses when Italy faced Belgium in the quarter-finals. The lights in all the windows flashed in sync, the televisions tuned to the same channel, the oohs and ahhs, swear words and cheers echoed all around us as the game raged on. And during those ninety minutes, I was an unconditional fan of the Italian team.

I watched the last two World Cup tournaments with enthusiasm, and then my interest in football waned. I don’t have a deep enough understanding of the game to fully appreciate its nuances – I need the chauvinistic hysteria to be really attracted. But I don’t know, you watch enough of it and you start to wonder. The square of this Italian city vibrated far more intensely than any Super Bowl party I’ve ever attended. A sixty-minute American football game lasts an average of three and a half hours, with the ball only being in play for eleven minutes in total. Nationally, the most talked about parts of the Big Game are the commercials and the halftime show. A football match is made up of two halves of forty-five minutes which take place without interruption, followed by a few additional minutes and possibly one or two extensions. It’s a lot more mesmerizing if you can put your phone down and focus on the game. And even if I don’t understand all the nuances, I don’t forget what I learned playing with Mikey in third grade: giving the ball to whoever is the best to put it in the net. Maybe this time I’ll break free from my American roots and fall deeper in love with this global obsession.

If you’re not used to paying attention to the world of football, you might have no idea just how incredibly famous these players are and how much money the various clubs – with their absurdly deep pockets – are willing to pay to have the best stars in their team. So here are some of the brightest football stars to watch this World Cup, along with some of the most incredible natural diamond jewelry they’ve invested their winnings in:

Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic is the best player the United States has produced lately. The United States team is undoubtedly an underdog in this tournament, but if they fight for the title, this man’s feet will certainly have something to do with it. Here he wears a pendant adorned with white and black diamonds with his initials.

Photo Credit: Instagram/leokhusro

Harry Kane

Harry Kane is the regular and extremely successful captain of the Three Lions of England. He’s not very spectacular, but he still does a good job. You won’t often see him dressed too flashy, but he gave his high school sweetheart Kate that big pebble when he asked her to marry him in 2017.

Photo credit: Instagram/katekanex
Photo credit: Instagram/katekanex

Note: I’m 32 now. Almost all the players in the tournament are younger than me. Kane is 29 and Pulisic 24, but they look older than me. Maybe it’s because I guess they can beat me. In short !

Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappé is the Parisian superstar of the France team. Four years ago, at the ripe old age of 19, he became the second player in history to score a goal in a World Cup final as a teenager. Despite signing a huge contract with Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappé has managed to retain the aura of a happy kid playing his favorite game.

He’s started collecting high-class watches, which seems like a rite of passage for professional footballers, but he seems to refrain from over-buying, at least until he finds out if he’s going to. change clubs next year. If such a thing were to happen, it would cost the club $300 million to get him back. When he’s not wearing a silver bear pendant, Kylian wears a diamond-studded military dog ​​tag with his initials.

Neymar Jr.

Neymar Jr. is perhaps known as the most spectacular flop champion football has ever seen (for the uninitiated, one part of the game that many, if not all fans, would like to see gone is players that simulate injuries to delay the game). But that aside, he’s also an incredibly talented striker in the Brazil squad (where the players are only known by one name).

Neymar isn’t afraid to roll around on the pitch, and he’s not afraid to cover himself in jewelry.

Photo credit: Instagram/neymarjr

Lionel Messi

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi will make what is most likely his last World Cup appearance at this tournament, as he is 35 years old, an age absolutely gone! Lionel has an extensive collection of watches, the centerpiece of which is pictured here: a white gold Rolex Submariner with blue baguette sapphires and baguette diamonds on the indexes, and other diamonds on the lugs and crown guard. You don’t have to be the highest paid athlete in the world to afford one of these watches. Just make sure you have $92,000 in small denominations.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal’s global icon and star Cristiano Ronaldo also making his final World Cup appearance. It’s amazing how far you can go when you’re an incredibly beautiful and talented athlete.

Photo credit: Instagram/Cristianoronaldo

I wonder what it’s like to wear jewelry worth over $750,000 on your wrist and fingers just to go out. Not something you borrowed – something you bought with your money, something you earned, because you’re better than everyone else at football. Is it a burden? I think it must be. If Ronaldo lost his Rolex covered in 30 carats of diamonds and Mbappé lost his little silver bear pendant, who do you think would be the most distraught? Honestly, I do not know.

Each his own ! Hope you enjoy all the matches.

Go team!

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