Tag Archives: worldcup

Spain vs Germany

Last match of the trip, and one would have thought best match of the first round. At the end it was a 1-1 tie in which Spain deserved to win.

Before the match, we went to The Pearl, the artificial island full of fancy things.

México vs Argentina

The main event. The match with the highest demand for tickets out of all 64 matches including the Final.

We stopped at Lusail Mall before the game.

USA vs England

This was one of the most attractive games for us. It was a good game but unfortunately not very spectacular: 0-0. Al Bayt is both the farthest (about 1 hour drive) and the most beautiful stadium we’ve visited. It’s made to look like a Bedouin tent, impressive.

Brazil vs Serbia

Brazil looked very, very strong. After seeing them it’s clear it won’t be easy to knock them out.

3-2-1 Qatari Olympic and Sports Museum

Located next to the Khalifa Stadium, this is a brand new and very impressive museum. Like many other things – it was eerily deserted – but is a definite recommendation.

Next stop: Mexico vs Poland.

I beat the robo-goalie, no easy feat.

USA vs Wales

Straight out of one game we headed out to the next one at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. Time to support my adoptive country and fellow CONCACAF team.

This ended in a 1-1 draw that the US deserved to win. After the match we ended up eating Lebanese food at 1 AM in the Mall of Qatar across the street. Pretty pretty pretty good.

¡Nos vamos al Mundial!

It was a rough first day.

My flights were: AUS-DFW, DFW-LHR, LHR-DOH.

American Airlines was quick to mess with my plans by delaying the AUS-DFW flight. But only 10 minutes at a time so that I can’t look for alternatives before missing a connection. I made it to the gate of my connecting flight 3 minutes after it closed.

The saddest photo.

I was instead forced to stay the night in Dallas (not the airline’s fault of course, so hotel’s on me) and put on a flight that lands me in Doha with barely enough time to get to my first match with suitcase and all.

Thankfully, I went to the airport early and straight to beg to a really nice AA lady, using my best sad kitten eyes face 🥹. She got me on an earlier flight direct to Doha! That gave me enough time to go to the apartment, shower, eat, nap, then to the two matches! Sure, it was a middle seat all the way to the back in a 15 hour flight. But I was going to make it! No complaints.

Left to right: Marcos, very nice Qatar Airways flight attendant, and Fred – former player for San Jose Earthquakes and Bora’s close friend with the best soccer stories.

I was impressed at the big and modern airport. And most impressed at the speed and efficiency of immigration. Wow! Will everything in Qatar be this fast and efficient? (Narrator: no, it won’t).

The apartment we got is in a small building that is definitely not new in some random Doha neighborhood. It absolutely demolished my expectations though. It is simple with no luxury, but perfect: Large, comfortable, newly renovated. Two bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, kitchen, fridge, washing machine, TV. Everything looks fairly new. AC works like a champ. There’s several places to eat and buy groceries around it that are quite cheap. Everyone speaks serviceable English – probably better than Arabic.

The best Panini stickers

It took an eternity to go through the extremely buggy app. And it took an eternity for them to arrive over mail. But we finally – and just 2 days before kick off – receive the very last and most important Panini stickers for our album.

They sell for a lot of money in the black market. Best of luck.

2022 Panini World Cup Sticker album

Once again, the World Cup is coming. Qatar welcomes the world in a message of peace, love, and tolerance <ahem>.

It also means there’s a new Panini Sticker Album, and any self-respecting long time reader of The MKX®  knows I collect them.

Unlike in previous tournaments, my kids are old enough to tag team with me. Fortunately, my kids don’t “like” things. They are either absolutely obsessed with something or they are completely indifferent. The Panini World Cup album fell into the first category.

So they did most of the work and they did it very quickly. As in: they’d wake up at 5 AM to work on it every day. Our album was completed with 2+ months to spare. You can read all about it on Ilán’s website, I highly recommend it.

Hard at work.
This is what the kitchen trashcan looked like every morning during most of September.

Ruskipolla 2018 results

Vive La France. The World Cup is now over, which means we can go back to feeling a sense of emptiness and lack of purpose in our lives but instead of lasting 47 months, this time it will be for 53 months.

That said, Ruskipolla 2018 was a big success with 211 participants. And on a whim, right before the tournament, I entered with my second non-admin account “marcos” which was originally created for test purposes.

And I’m glad I did, as I managed to make it to third place, beat that cheater “Rolando”, and win a modest percentage of the polla.

Congratulations to the winners. We had a three-way tie in first place and a two-way tie in second place. Ties weren’t that common with less people playing but this is something I’ll have in mind for next time.

And an unexpectedly high percentage of those who played took some time to  submitted feedback, 74 and counting. I don’t know when or if there will be another polla, but rest assured I have a bunch of improvements in mind, many of them coming from you.  This usually means I won’t be able to help myself so…

Women’s World Cup, anyone?