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How to fake being a football fan for the World Cup final

The FIFA World Cup 2018 for dummies

Fake football fan

So you don't know a whole lot about football, but your friends have invited you to watch the final with them and you don't want to look like a newb. Or perhaps everyone at the office has been talking nonstop about the World Cup and you just want to get in on all the the excitement. If you want to pretend you know your stuff – even if the only football player you know is David Beckham – don’t worry because we've got you covered. Here are some interesting tips and tricks for you to use in order to fake your way into being a World Cup fan, just in time for the showdown between France and Croatia. By Sarah Moran

RECOMMENDED: Now that you know your stuff, find a place to watch the World Cup Final this Sunday.

Bluffer's guide to football

Fake World Cup fan

FIFA history 101

You don’t need to master the entire history of wins and losses, but it's helpful to know some basic facts about the World Cup, which happens once every four years. The sitting champion is Germany – who was unceremoniously kicked out during the group stages this year. Brazil won five times, Germany and Italy each have four titles, Argentina and Uruguay have two titles each, while England, France, and Spain have one title each. This means that France stands to win its second World Cup on Sunday, while Croatia is a first-time contender for the coveted gold trophy.

Fake World Cup fan

Choose a team to back

This is an easy one  – there's only one match left so it’s either France or Croatia. Once you’ve picked your team, memorise the names of some of its key players (for example, Kylian Mbappé for France, Luka Modrić for Croatia) and Google the teams’ scores for the last few games so you can reference these casually throughout the evening. Alternatively, if you really want to stand out, play the part of the disgruntled fan, whose favourite team was robbed of a chance for World Cup glory this year.

Fake World Cup fan

Learn how it works

It probably helps to know how the final is structured. Each game is made up of two 45-minutes halves with a 15-minutes break in between. For the final, if the score is tied at the end of 90 minutes, then the game goes onto 30 minutes of overtime. If the score is still tied, then there’s a penalty shootout with each team getting five penalty kicks, taking the game to the wee hours of the morning, at which point you would've probably had too many drinks to function properly at the office on Monday. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that.

Fake World Cup fan

Pick the correct drink

Speaking of drinks, if you really want to blend in with the crowd, the only acceptable type of boozing during football is a pint or a bottle of beer. It can be craft beer if you're fancy.

Fake World Cup fan

Make a joke about Neymar

This World Cup saw Brazilian football sensation Neymar take the stage – just not in the way his country had hoped for. Neymar's on-pitch diving antics irked football fans worldwide and online, resulting in the #NeymarChallenge with people mimicking him by dropping to the floor and tumbling dramatically as soon as someone brushes past with minimal contact. If you want to seem like you’re in the know, look for any opportunity to work this reference into Sunday’s conversations.

Fake World Cup fan

Let others do the talking

If all else fails, just let others do most of the commentary while you sit and nod, or act surprised. If someone does ask you for your opnion, keep it generic with something like: “The world cup this year has been crazy! Nothing went the way I expected.”

Watch the game

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Bars and pubs

Where to watch the 2018 World Cup in Hong Kong

World Cup 2018 is here! If respectable, sedate appreciation of the beautiful game from the comfort of your home isn’t your thing, there are plenty of lively bars showing many, if not all, games this tournament. Here are our top picks for places to soak up the atmosphere and savour the action.

More to explore