No matter how full the more cosmopolitan bars and boîtes of Seattle get every four years, no event in the United States comes close to rivaling the mania that grips the nations of nearly every other continent on Earth during World Cup time. This is why you should be glad you're not in England right now, because until less than an hour ago, when Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal during the second period of extra time in the semi-final match against England, the entire United Kingdom seemed certain that its (frankly astounding) team was not only likely, but destined to win the whole tournament. Even if you don't care about sports, the result was a heartbreaker.
But alas, #itsnotcominghome after all, which is a massive disappointment for the UK, but an even greater lift to Croatia, which will compete in its first ever World Cup final against France—which is both the team to beat and the apparent heel of 2018—on Sunday at 8am Pacific time. Sretno, gospodo, and bonne chance, messieurs.
When he was 6, his grandfather was shot dead.
His family became refugees, in a warzone.
He grew up to the sound of grenades exploding.
Coaches said he was too weak and too shy to play football.
Today, Luka Modric just led Croatia its first ever #WorldCup final.#CROENG pic.twitter.com/plOsy9nQcq
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) July 11, 2018