Top eight International Football Teams and their Cricket Equivalents
Some of the coincidences between some teams are just mind-blowing
Whenever the World Cups of cricket and football are held, the world halts as the atmosphere becomes electrifying. The Cricket World 2023 has been making waves around the World Cup with splendid cricket and records.
With the Indian team writing a script similar to what Argentina did last year, this year’s cricket World Cup has all the echoes of last year’s Qatar World Cup. Cricket and football are often compared because of their thrills and teams who have similar fortunes in both sports. Let’s take a look at the International Football equivalents to cricket-playing nations because of the similar characteristics they hold.
England (Football): South Africa (Cricket)
Unlike the cricket team that won both the T20 and 50-over World Cups in recent times, the English football team has choked at big stages similar to what the South African cricket team is known for. The recent semi-final defeat to Australia was the best example of how South Africa struggled to overcome their mental block in big stages.
During last year’s quarterfinals with France, England dominated, but Harry Kane missed a crucial penalty which cost them the game. In more than one instance, both sides have suffered from bad fortunes, whether England choked in the Euro final or South Africa lost to Netherlands in the T20 World Cup last year.
Netherlands (Football): Sri Lanka (Cricket)
If you remember the Netherlands of 2010 and World Cup 2014, then you will understand why they are similar to Sri Lanka. Both teams dominated those phases and lost in the finals. The Netherlands suffered at World Cup 2010 and 2014, while Sri Lanka suffered at the World Cup 2007, T20 World Cup 2009, World Cup 2011, T20 World Cup 2012 and World Cup 2015.
Both teams are currently in transition after their legends retired after 2015, which is an interesting coincidence. Both teams have some rising stars and will be competitive in the future.
Uruguay (Football): West Indies (Cricket)
It was Uruguay who won the first World Cup and stamped their authority in the World of Football. West Indies followed their path in cricket and won the first two World Cups. After that, both teams have suffered declines and have lost their charm.
With Marco Bielsa in charge, Uruguay are starting to pick up pace, similar to West Indies, whose big talents include Hetmyer and Pooran. Both sides have a lot of potential and will hope to once again dominate.
Portugal (Football): England (Cricket)
In the aftermath of Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival, Portugal reached a new level that was not the case before. They won Euro 2016, and the Nations League, and are now a regular fixture at World Cups. After 2015, Eoin Morgan also revolutionized English cricket and led them to win the World Cup in 2019 and the T20 World Cup last year was only possible because of his path.
As a result of that generational shift, both teams now boast stars, but they have yet to win anything. Despite having stars, Portugal failed to impress at the World Cup 2022 while England, defending champions, didn’t even make it past the group stages despite having stars.
Croatia (Football): New Zealand (Cricket)
Both Croatia and New Zealand are the teams of the nicest guys and the second favourite team of every fan in the world. Both teams have the same fortunes, they are never the favourites but make it to the finals or semifinals at least but fail to make that final step.
Croatia did that in the 2018 World Cup and 2022 and New Zealand has been doing that for years in cricket. They reached the 2015 and 2019 World Cup finals and 2021 T20 Finals but failed to take the silverware home.
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Germany (Football): Pakistan (Cricket)
The German team has lost its charm since winning the 2014 World Cup and, despite having some of the world’s best players in their camp, they have not even made it past the group stage. In the same vein, Pakistan also failed to make it past the group stages of 2019 and 2023, despite having Babar Azam and Afridi in their lineup.
Germany last year even failed to get past the group stage which was shocking considering their big lineup. They won the 2014 World Cup and since then, they have seen a slump which is similar to Pakistan who won the 2017 Champions Trophy and since then have been in a slump.
Brazil (Football): Australia (Cricket)
Apart from the yellow jersey, both teams have more than that in common. Both sides have won the most World Cups and always finish in the top 3 of almost every event. They know when to pick up the pace and hit the sixth gear.
Australia have stars like David Warner and Steve Smith who can win any game in any situation, similar to Brazil which has big superstars like Neymar, Vinicius, Ederson and many more. The DNA of both teams is all about winning only.
Argentina (Football): India (Cricket)
A lot of coincidences occur on both sides of Argentina and India. The poster boys of both sides are Lionel Messi and Virat Kohli, global icons in their respective sports. Despite giving their best, both sides were really unlucky with finals and didn’t get the results they deserved.
Lionel Messi won the 2022 World Cup and hopefully, India will win the 2023 World Cup to give Virat Kohli a fairytale turn to his fortunes. India were on the wrong side of the 2014 T20 World Cup final while Argentina had the same fortune in the 2014 World Cup. These things again repeated in 2015 with India losing in the semis, and Argentina losing in the finals, again the same in 2016 where India lost in the semis and Argentina lost in the finals.
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