***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 fourteen 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 ye 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 Luxembourg, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Officially the team that killed the luck of the Irish
Nickname: D’Roud Léiwen/Les Lions Rouges/Die Roten Löwen (The Red Lions)
FIFA Ranking: 93 (August 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from group stage (UEFA) finishing below Serbia, Portugal, Republic of Ireland and above Azerbaijan
Having competed in more World Cup qualifying campaigns without success than any other nation, In March 2021, Luxembourg’s win in Dublin against the Republic of Ireland in qualifying for Qatar 2022 officially put to bed the myth of the luck of Irish.
All the moments and instances and shamrock key-rings that previously had inspired the luck of the Irish were finally laid to rest on that fateful day in March 2021 in Dublin where a 85th minute winner condemned the Irish team to its lowest and unluckiest day in the nation’s history.
Luxembourg have entered every World Cup since 1934 and European Championship since 1964 and have failed to qualify even a single time for either tournament. However, after progressively improved performances and famous wins over Switzerland (in Switzerland) in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup and against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin, the Red Lions are heading in the right direction.
Aside from casting the luck of the Irish away forever and doing away with the Toby Flenderson of international football, Luxembourg have started to create their own luck. Whereas 10 or 20 years ago, they were considered Europe’s whipping boys, where even a 3-0 loss to Poland (who were awful, lame rubbish back then) was considered a win, they now can take it to any opponent in Europe, even recently picking up a point from their Nations League match against Turkey in Istanbul (a match they lead late). The Red Lions now routinely sweep aside the weaker nations in Europe, and with the side now close to its highest ever ranking (83, reached in 2017, its players now knocking about in the top flights in Germany, The Netherlands and the English championship, all the while playing out of a glittering new home stadium, the luck of the Luxembourgers gets better and better.
One to watch: Luxembourg’s Grand Duke Henri
What young boy or girl doesn’t dream of living like royalty, in their very own Disney fairytale? Even getting a glimpse of the grandeur of Europe’s last remaining monarchy can make a little girl or boy weak at the knees so keep a watchful eye out for Grand Duke Henri and who knows, maybe you too can become a magical prince or princess, living an enchanted life in a tiny landlocked patch of woodlands in central Europe with no major sports team, notable music festivals or even a goddamn casino of note. (sidenote: the Grand Duke’s wife, the Grand Duchess is from Cuba, proving there’s hope for all of us.)
The Highpoint: Defeating Switzerland, World Cup 2010
Sure, it’s nice to beat the Irish at anything, but there’s nothing sweeter than beating your big brother or your next door neighbour who is also your big brother. This 2008 win by Luxembourg in qualifying for South Africa 2010 remains its finest hour, and was a sign of things to come, with the team now establishing itself among the middle tier of Europe’s international ladder.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 QUALIFYING (UEFA)
9 Oct 2022
LUXEMBOURG 🇱🇺 x 🇷🇸 SERBIA
12 Oct 2022
PORTUGAL 🇵🇹 x 🇱🇺 LUXEMBOURG