World Cup 101: Who To Root For Based On Your Favorite Pro Team
I’ll put it bluntly. You should follow your home country when the World Cup comes around. Period.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say you want a secondary team just in case the Americans can’t overcome the toughest schedule of the World Cup. Then who should you pick? Great question! We here at the Crave World Headquarters are here to help.
We looked at each of the 32 World Cup teams and found equivalents in the NBA, NFL or MLB to help you out. Find your favorite team and… BAM … you have a team that won’t make you change much.
If you’re a fan of the…
Chicago Cubs or Oakland Raiders
You love the fans and the experience more than any championships in your lifetime. Sure each season you think and hope and pray that this is the year. But no matter how much you want to win, the team will fall short of any expectations. At least you have your fellow fans.
You should follow England.
San Antonio Spurs
You love strong team play even though it isn't very exciting at time. A machine like work ethic and execution is great. Your team may run into better, more fun teams but season in an season out you know what to expect – high quality team play.
You should follow Germany.
Colorado Rockies or Carolina Panthers
Your favorite teams are hot teams for the first time. You like the dark horse candidate … the darling sleeper pick. The kind that are just flashy enough that you like them without them being obnoxious. Likable because they have no history of anyone disliking them.
You should follow Belgium.
Miami Heat or Seattle Seahawks
(and live nowhere near those cities)
You jump on the bandwagon of the champs! Who cares if some of the players have loud mouths because you’ve been wearing their jersey for a whole year?
You should follow Spain.
Hip and cool pick that's dangerous but lacks the confidence to go far.
You should follow Croatia and Chile.
Tampa Bay Rays or Cincinnati Reds
Your beloved team has had many, many great teams but even more bad luck. They’re always on the verge but always fall short. They are exciting and well balanced. As a bonus, there is an unreal ratio of small population versus the output of big names.
You should follow Netherlands.
Detroit Tigers or Los Angeles Dodgers
You love a well-balanced team that can bring the pain on both sides of the ball. It’s just a matter of time before they overcome and take home the banners (again) if they don’t flake at the end.
You should follow Uruguay
Atlanta Falcons or Dallas Cowboys
You love a team with great players and potential but have watched too many choked performances when the expectations rise.
You should follow Ghana or Portugal.
Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle SuperSonics or Washington Capitals
Everyone else can have the rings; we have the best player. But push comes to shove when you can trot out old banners.
You should follow Argentina.
Denver Broncos or Texas Rangers
Offense. Offense. Offense. So much offense you forget about defense sometimes… but who cares because … offense!
You should follow Brazil.
Los Angeles Lakers
Sure you’re favorite team is old but they’re very talented. They are a dark horse if they have enough in those old legs.
You should follow Ivory Coast.
Oakland A’s or Minnesota Twins
You love those scrappy underdog teams who have more heart than skill. Sure they are consistently screwed but you can hold onto memories of some upsets. More often than not they are always seem to draw higher seeds against better teams. You love a Boise State sort of team who is always in the mix against the big boys.
You should follow Unites States.
Boston Bruins or (recent) New York Yankees
You are okay with any way your team gets into the playoffs. Dirty play? No prob. Overspending? Alright. Weak schedule and luck? All about the playoffs. Now if they can remember team chemistry and quality team play when the time comes.
You should follow Mexico.
Los Angeles Clippers or Washington [censored]
You can’t like the team because of the owner, no matter what they say or do.
You should follow Iran.
Cleveland Browns or Houston Astros
From ruins comes young guys who bring tons of hope, don’t you think? Especially if the ruins were caused by horrible mismanagement.
You should follow Bosnia-Herzegovina.
New York Jets or New England Patriots
All hail the coach! Underrated players, but they can be elevated by a mighty coach.
You should follow Russia.
You can respect a team that dismantles an aging ineffective team in two years and flipped them into a much younger squad that won the African cup this year. Sure, your fellow fans are not always happy with seeing the old guys go. Bonus – you can get behind a soccer team nicknamed the Super Eagles.
You should follow Nigeria.
You love a team that is fun to watch, tough to play against, and have the potential to be perennially playoff contenders. That is if they didn’t play in a division dominated by much bigger guys like the Seahawks (Brazil) or 49ers (Argentina). In other words, you love a team that plays with a chip on their shoulders.
You should follow Columbia.
San Francisco 49ers & Giants
You can drown out the calls that your fanbase is whiny. Or Elitist. Or Complainers. You’ll hear each time they call the team winners. While they don’t flop (the falling kind) like the Blues, they do raise the flags like the Blues do. Sure they deserve to be prideful but there’s a thin line between obnoxious and swagger. Bonus – Jon Harbaugh would make an amazing Serie A coach, especially the proud Juventus.
You should follow Italy.
Kansas City Royals or Minnesota T-Wolves
Even you can’t admit there is a real chance.
You should follow Algeria, Australia or Honduras.
You are surprised as everyone else that your team gets a top seed. What they don’t know, and you do, is that your team is young and will surprise everyone with how well they will advance. No one will object because no one hates them. Then people will stop saying, “oh, they’re made the playoffs?” In other words, you know its not a fluke but your beloved team has made ‘the Jump.’
You should follow Switzerland.
Los Angeles Kings or St. Louis Rams
You’re a special kind of fan. One who can handle the ‘Jekyl and Hyde’ team personality that either wins big or loses miserably. They can beat a potential champ but then be blown out by a scrub. Lots of come from behind moments mixed with “WTF” games.
You should follow France.
Golden State Warriors or Detroit Lions
Under the radar, fast paced, high scoring and extremely fun to watch but you know…. You just know in your heart of hearts they lack the big men on D to come thru.
You should follow Japan.
Great pride in their pitching (defense line in soccer) going up against a death squad of offense. You’re okay with having the face Italy, England and Urguay who could all win it all.
You should follow Costa Rica.
Their coach knows how to draw up a fun, creative, free-wheeling offense. You love the team is led by two of the world’s best players… or, rather they were years ago.
You should follow Cameroon.
No rally cry plays out like a rallying cry for a fallen comrade. If you care less about the team’s ability to beat bigger foes and more about their underdog status with a great story then you need to look up Christian Benitez.
You should follow Ecuador.
Toronto Blue Jays or Chicago Bears
It is easy to see why some people pick them to go far, but … you know the truth so you just sit back and enjoy the short ride while it lasts.
You should follow South Korea.
You’re okay with a boring defensive-orientated team that hasn’t changed since their last championship.
You should follow Greece.
Photo Credit: Getty
Additional help: Bryce Wilson