There’s good news and bad news for soccer fans around the world.
The good news is the FIFA World Cup final is a week away. And that is also the bad news.
This year’s World Cup in Russia has been one of the most exciting, unpredictable and extraordinary tournaments ever.
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From defending champion Germany’s disastrous derailment in the group stage to the host nation’s surprising run in the knockout stage, Russia 2018 has been a blast, and it’s not over yet.
Three games remain — technically four when you include the third-place game, but no one pays attention to that one.
The semifinals are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday and pit Belgium against France on one side of the bracket and England versus Croatia on the other side, with the winners squaring off on Sunday.
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All four squads possess some all-world talent, including Antoine Griezmann, Kevin De Bruyne, Harry Kane and Luka Modrić, and both games could prove to be offensive showcases or nail-biting affairs that end on penalties.
The Belgium-France game is a toss-up, but I’ll go with the Red Devils to finally live up to their potential and dispatch Les Bleus.
In the other semi, the Three Lions will top Croatia to advance to their first World Cup final since winning it all in 1966.
But hey, this World Cup has been so wild that I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong.