The 2018 world Cup is just under six months away and there’s been some surprising new entries and some surprising exits from some major international soccer power houses. Italy and the Netherlands both made exits after dramatic final games where they both lost. Both teams have been finalists and semi-finalists in past World Cups. Each team has made history, from Robin Van Persie’s wonder goal against Spain in the 2014 World Cup for the Netherlands to the four-time winners Italy and their yearly dominance in international play.

Gianluigi Buffon and Leonardo Bonucci heart break after loss to Sweden.

Five exits have surprised the world: Wales, Italy, Netherlands, Chile, and the United States were all eliminated from qualifiers. These teams have past impressive displays of talent and superstars, with the likes of Christian Pulisic from the USA, Gareth Bale from Wales, Gianluigi Buffon from Italy, Alexis Sanchez from Chile, and Arjen Robben from the Netherlands. All of them will not appear next year. A few passionate Riverside teachers who are Italian soccer fans had some emotional and angered words to say about Italy’s defeat and unsuccessful attempt to qualify. “The World Cup will be missing out on an international team of legends, and you get what you get if you play scared to attack,” said Mr. David Romani. As well, some students, who enjoyed watching Italy and the Netherlands in the past, had some disappointment about next year’s World Cup. “This World Cup is sure to miss out on some excellent displays of world class soccer,” said Lucas Kayat a grade 12 at Riverside Secondary school.

Kendall Waston’s last minute winner for Costa Rica against Honduras.

With the traditional powerhouse teams not making it, there are some surprising and new international teams hopeful to make a name for themselves in this year’s World Cup. Kendall Waston’s scored Costa Rica’s last minute winning goal against Honduras and Sweden’s caused a major upset of Italy without their captain Zlatan Ibrahimović. The World Cup looks to be losing more high-class players than gaining, and it can be hard for soccer fans to watch these teams who have been to most, if not all, World Cups not be able to qualify. The talent that has been lost and may never return to the international stage.

The World cup is for teams to put their best of the best players to perform and challenge themselves. It’s a place of national and cultural fun and expressions, and a great place for families to watch a fantastic sport. With or without these teams being in the world cup, there are sure to be upsets, and Cinderella stories. “It’s going to be a World Cup to remember that’s for sure,” said Luca Stork a grade 12 at Riverside Secondary. The new and up and coming players, such as Kylian Mbappe for France and Dele Alli for England who were named the top two players under 21, are sure to entertain and keep everyone with their eyes locked on the T.V. at this years World Cup.