In Latest World Cup Upset Freedonia Stuns Ruritania

LUSAIL, Qatar.  First it was lowly Saudi Arabia defeating perennial powerhouse Argentina, 2-1.  Then Japan stunned Germany, 2-1, scoring two goals in the last fifteen minutes with substitutes Ritsu Dean and Takuya Asano.  But last night was perhaps the greatest upset in World Cup history as Freedonia, a nation whose only previous score in World Cup play was an “own goal” against Uzbekistan in 1966, bested Ruritania 1-0 in the Fictional Nation Group.

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“My children will remember this forever,” said attacking midfielder Zurrz Clomix, who scored the lone goal of the match when Ruritanian goalie Sergio Luvicio Androvo took a cigarette break but forgot to call time out.  When this reporter points out that the average life expectancy in Freedonia is 63.2 years due to the high number of industrial and agricultural accidents and thus it is unlikely that his children will live forever, Clomix fell to the ground to fake a knee injury, a talent that has won him a spot in the hearts of Freedonian fans, right above the left ventricle.

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Ruritania has a proud soccer history, having won four games since it was created by Anthony Hope as the setting of his 1894 adventure novel “The Prisoner of Zenda.”  “I do not know how we will ever live this down,” said Ruritanian Minister of Exercise Lupo “Wolf” Gioscevo Moldano.  “I think we must consider execution of a fullback or two to convey the seriousness of this offense to our national pride.”

Soccer is a game played with a ball and feet, hence the name “futbol” by which it is known in those regions of the globe that do not have NFL or college football teams.  “We have tried to teach them the correct spelling of ‘football,’ also to pick up the damn ball and pass it or at least run with it,” says Texas Southeastern University middle linebacker coach Jim Roy Suggins.  “No wonder they’re so far behind America, where each weekend millions of people enjoy the spectacle of grown men incurring brain damage over a little inflated pig’s bladder.”

Freedonia and Ruritania are generally considered the two most powerful fictional nations on earth, although neither has developed a nuclear arsenal.  “We will someday,” says Freedonian Defense Minister Oblag Nukolkst.  “Eventually US and Russia will have gigantic clearance sale, then we make our move.”

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