***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS FROM MY BALCONY ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is only about 10 moons away (depending on your own set of lunar circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall you learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Ecuador, who have qualified for the World Cup three times, in 2002, 2006 and 2014.
Neither here, nor there
Nickname: La Tri
FIFA Ranking: 44 (Feb 2022)
Situated on the equator, the Ecuadorian national team is neither here nor there. Not excellent, not wrenched. It’s not that they’re not bad per se, but you can’t say they’re good either. Not great, not terrible; just kind of in the middle. Throughout it 96 years as part of FIFA, El Tri’s vanillaness has taken the form of not even one world cup appearance until 2002 (but a whopping 3 since), never finishing higher than 4th in over 80 years of participation in the Copa America and only a fifth place result in their one and only participation at something called the Pan American Games (in 1995).
Both historically and presently, La Tri are simply a bunch of plain-flavoured meh, really. Like so-so. Going through the motions. A tepid bath. A middle-aged, middle-class suburbanite on anti-depressants whose hobby it is to hurt themselves occasionally just to feel something. And although they did manage to successfully progress out of the group stages at the 2006 World Cup, soon enough they listed out of the event, keeling over slowly without a whimper by uneventfully succumbing to England by a single goal, while, needless to say, not scoring a goal themselves.
Now at the pointy end of qualifying for 2022. the Ecuadorians are, as expected, cruising. Not overly impressive, however not underwhelming, the bass guitar of South American soccer has eeked out enough positive results to have them sitting around about the middle of the table (They even recently drew 1-1 with Brazil, not good enough to beat them, not bad enough to lose). If La Tri do in fact go on and book their place at Qlamqtar 2022, well, don’t worry about buckling your seatbelt, but do at least hold onto it, because, well, I wouldn’t say it’s gonna be a bumpy ride, but you know, there might be a couple unexpected speed humps along the way and who knows, it might even get so crazy that they may even stop for ice cream. Vanilla of course.
One to watch: The mutable tree frog
Found in the Ecuadorean Andes, the mutable tree frog is the only amphibian that can change its skin texture. In just a few minutes, it can alter its skin surface from spiky to smooth, in an apparent strategy to mimic its surroundings. The physiological mechanism behind its epidermic plasticity is unknown but really, who gives a flying fuck. If you find one, just watch it. Closely as shit. Follow it wherever it goes. Quit your job, tell your family you’re gonna be away for a while and just follow this thorned wet god dubbed the ‘punk rocker’ frog on tour, whether through the lush valleys of the Amazon or up through the oxygen-starved peaks of the Andes. Make the frog your entire life. Follow it and watch its every move closely. Don’t look at or even think about anything else. The frog shall be your life now. Watch it. Cherish it, imbibe it. Because seriously… I mean, spiky to smooth, smooth to spiky. smooth to spiky, spiky to smooth. Fuck me, is there anything cooler… Spiky. Smooth. Spiky. Smooth. Spike. Smooth. Shit fucking yeah.
The Highpoint: Meh… dunno… none really… but also no real low point… if you’ve gotta choose… the 2006 World Cup, I mean I guess…
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 | GROUP STAGE
20 Nov 2022
QATAR 🇶🇦 x 🇪🇨 ECUADOR
25 Nov 2022
NETHERLANDS 🇳🇱 x 🇪🇨 ECUADOR
29 Nov 2022
ECUADOR 🇪🇨 x 🇸🇳 SENEGAL
WORLD CUP QUALIFYING – CONMEBOL
March 24, 2022
PARAGUAY 🇵🇾 x 🇪🇨 ECUADOR
March 29, 2022
ECUADOR 🇪🇨 x 🇦🇷 ARGENTINA