Well, what a summer of football that was! The FIFA World Cup in Russia surpassed everyone’s expectations and is now widely regarded as one of the best Football World Cups in living memory. Prior to the tournament lots of the media coverage revolved around the violence that visiting fans would almost definitely be subjected to. The view of many, especially in England, was that it would be too risky to travel. Needless to say it was a tournament of great football, excellent hospitality and integration between fans of all nations. That maybe had something to do with the 2500 ‘dodgy’ people who were locked up by the Russian government prior to the tournament…but lets not talk about that.
I decided before the tournament that I wanted to record the World Cup in some way thorough-out the competition. I wasn’t exactly sure how I would do this but I wanted to create an illustrative diary of sorts to document the tournament. Inspired by score-charts I used to fill in for every tournament when I was younger, I decided to create the drawing on one sheet of paper that was updated after each day of play. I would include scores, highlights and general observations about the games and tournament as a whole
In the initial stages of the tournament the main talking point was VAR…I’ve got to say that personally as it is now, I’m not a fan. However it did cause some serious entertainment. There were slow starts from teams that we expected to do well; France, Brazil and Germany. There were teams out-performing the pre-tournament expectations, Russia for one and Japan.
To quote Gary Lineker’s famous quote, “Football is a simple game — 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”
Not this time Gary, the German’s were terrible and crashed out of the tournament after getting beat 2-0 by South Korea. Ronaldo and Messi both got knocked out (along with their teams) on the same day…there was to be no final World Cup glory for either.
England on the other hand…for a moment we all believed that football was coming home. Before the tournament the country, for a change, was expecting nothing from England, but things just kept falling into place for us. We qualified from the group in the ‘better’ side of the draw. Gareth Southgate introduced the “Love Train” to our set pieces and there was no stopping us…except there was unfortunately in the semi final against Croatia. Refreshingly though there was no post-tournament barrage by the media calling for everyone’s head. I’m sure I reflect the mood of the nation when I say, “bring on the Euros!”.
The final was a great match between Croatia and France that had everything. France came out on top with a 4-2 win featuring goals from Griezmann, Pogba and the young player of the tournament Kylian Mbappe.
I had no preconceived ideas of how I wanted the design to turn out prior to starting it. The process was quite organic and I was so pleased with the outcome. The final drawing is captivating and hopefully it brings back memories of a great tournament for those who have purchased prints. I was lucky enough to have the final design featured on BBC Sport and BBC Football Instagram accounts and the feedback was excellent.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of the football World Cup 2018 print click here. It is available as an A4 or A3 print, in black and white or custom team colours.