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I’m sure most of you clicked on this Cover 3 column expecting to see the usual: a statistical observation of a player, coach or scheme along with some film work to go with it. But, this week we’re taking a break from that to embrace a special time in the sports world and something that happens just once every four years: The World Cup.
Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking, “it’s called Pewter Report and not Soccer Report for a reason, Trev.” First of all, that doesn’t make any sense, and second, soccer gets a bad rap for some of the overly dramatic physical encounters that happen – very opposite from the game of football, most of the time – but beyond that truly is a beautiful game that requires strategy, skill, timing, luck, leadership and, of course, a life-long dream to achieve.
Futbol and football aren’t so different when it comes to the complexities of the game all coming together. That’s why I’ve decided to give you, the football fan, a World Cup preview in your own language by pairing all 32 World Cup teams you’ll be watching over the next month with an NFL franchise that most closely resembles them. The reasons for these links and comparisons can be anything from star players to types of supporting casts, historical dominance, coaching situations or even the schemes and philosophies in which they deploy to try to win.
I did this for the first time four years ago and it was a blast to not only write but also go back, discuss and reflect as the World Cup tournament went on. Let me know what team comps you agree with and which ones you might change if you were to do something like this yourself. And make sure to tell me which team you’re rooting for, too. My heritage includes Dutch, Italian and Polish, and since the U.S.A, the Netherlands and Italy aren’t in it, I’m all in on the Poles.
I hope you enjoy this and the coming World Cup, even if our home country with all the resources and third highest population in the world couldn’t even freaking get through an easy qualifying group to be on this list.
But, I digress.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
just to mention, Messi will not gonna be the GOAT, maybe on this Era and i think Ronaldo has been better, but all time should Be Pele or Maradona, or the real Ronaldo (Brazilian) or my fav, Ronaldinho.
Those are all phenomenal players, but Messi is only 30, and if he were to win this World Cup, that would allow him to have a career we’ve hardly ever seen before, depending on how long he plays.
But all of those guys you mentioned were so damn good.
One comparison with the Bucs and Senegal that you didn’t make was Chris Conte to Cheikhou Kouyaté, both look good going forward, but can’t play a lick of defense going back. I’m just glad you didn’t compare the Bucs to Nigeria.
It’s kinda crazy how some teams just totally line up. Sports aren’t as different as we think.
Good effort Trevor! My only change would be Brazil as New England, since both teams seem to play for the world championship every other year. The Bucs as Senegal…very intriguing! Great athletes on both teams, that’s for sure.
Last time Brasil played the WC final was in 2002 😉
How in the hell can you compare Harry Kane, arguably the best striker in the premier league, to Patrick Mahomes? Be gone with you, sir! Be gone!
Both are young and very, very good. It was a compliment.
Not interested in soccer nor any compassion to football; I tried to open the pages, but got bored quickly. Trevor, please don’t become like the Bolt fanastics on 1010 Sports!
Soccer is a very Boring game and no one is going to change my mind.
I realized this article would not be for everyone, but in the same sense it likely brought in some new fans to the Cover 3, too. We’ll be back to your regularly schedule Bucs-centric column next week.
No sweat, just wanted to let you know.
Trev, Don’t let anyone say that after the man-bun was removed, that it drained you of all of your football insight! Fun comparisons here…
Nah the Bucs, most comparable comp is the U.S.A, wastes talent cause they don’t take it seriously. Our women are phenomenal at futbol if you wanna include that. But this country will most likely never win a men’s World Cup. We don’t have the appreciation for it, took the U.S an extremely long time to even catch up to the rest of the world in Hockey. And hockey and futbol are even more closely related in terms of you accomplish winning and playing styles. This is an extremely weird article Trevor.
Trevor, this will be my first negative comment for you and PR. I am an American Football fan and definitely not a soccer fan. The sport, IMO, is boring and full of fake drama. The only thing I can liken the sport to here in America is baskeball which is also full of flopping.
This is definitely not what I come to PR.com for….just being honest.
I understand! It’s not for everyone, but I also know some really enjoyed it.
We will have many (all, really) Bucs articles as soon as hours after this one.
Great piece, Trevor!
It is always fun to see parallels between sports.
There are only two comments I’d like to make:
1- I agree with “aldobucs” and Messi is NOT the best ever, you gotta have the rings to do so and he does not have.
2- Spain and Steelers, I understood your pointo but Spain in terms of tradition is almost irrelevant to soccer when you compare the Steelers to the NFL, you know?
But it is very hard to make those 32 links so I don’t think you have anything to worry about LOL
Fair! And yes of course there won’t be exact one-and-one correlations. Glad you still enjoyed it, though.
As Bucs fan from a futbol loving country I loved this! I imagine that some people in the states may not understand this, but the World Cup is the BIGGEST SHOW ON EARTH in terms of number of people that tune in for it.
Great idea Trevor!
Like your comparison of Germany and the Vikings, New England would have been a good fit in terms of consistency as well (Germany only once finished worse than 1/2 finals in World Cups or European Championships since 2002).
For France, my comparison would be the Rams. Maybe the best players on paper, but can they play as a Team?
Bucs and Senegal is great, I have Senegal on my list for a Cinderella Story!
Appreciate this article for fun Trevor – thanks.
1) yikes…if we’re best compared to Senegal then we’re in for a very long year.
2) Wouldn’t make the comparison of Atlanta to Brazil…Brazil has suffered injuries over the years (see Neymar) whereas Atlanta routinely has one of the lowest starter-games-lost due to injury.
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