I'm very proud to have finished 3rd in the 2018 Bench Sumo World Cup, almost as proud as my neighbors in Belgium are with their team finishing 3rd in the real World Cup!
Congratulations to overall Bench Cup winner Nantonoyama, runner-up Jejima and 4th placed Pitinosato; Bench Plate winner Krisachiyama and runner-up Furanohana; Bench Bowl winner Maeden and runner-up Benihana; Bench Saucer winner Kuroelwin and runner-up Fujiko; and very well done and thanks to everyone else who participated!
Many thanks to the game's creator and Rijicho/Refioji Jejima and to all of the other Refioji Achiyama, Atenzan, Fukurou, Jakusotsu, Nekonishiki and Pandaazuma! You all have my sincere thanks for playing a vital part in managing a very enjoyable game which has added much to my enjoyment of the real world cup!
As for the real 2018 FIFA World Cup, I quite enjoyed the tournament! If I had to rank it according to its entertainment value I would put it in about 8th place out of the 21 tournaments that have now been completed. I have seen nearly all of the World Cup matches -as far as it was possible for me to do so- since 1974 (I own all of the official FIFA World Cup films on DVD - except the one for 2014 which was never released to the general public), and so 8th place is not bad - for comparison: I have Brazil 2014 ranked 10th and South Africa 2010 9th.
In my opinion France was the strongest team from the start and always were the odds on tournament favorites to win for me (it's why I chose them from the Yokozuna group) and so I feel they indeed deserved to win this World Cup (which hasn't happened that often), despite the fact that they almost always seemed to play with the handbrakes on, never really displayed full steam attacking football (which they are capable of), and always put the accent on their defense - too much so for my taste.
Belgium were the team that played the most enjoyable football in my opinion and I'm glad they ended up with a prize (if only the bronze medal). Croatia played a great tournament as well and I'm sorry they slightly ran out of steam in the final. England played above their ability, I feel, but they deserve many kudos for their well organized, disciplined approach (even though it lacked a certain "je ne sais quoi") and the enthusiasm of their fans. Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Portugal all disappointed in various ways. Portugal, Uruguay, Colombia, Sweden, Senegal, Denmark and Russia about played to their ability; Japan rose above expectations, and Poland and Germany were the biggest disappointments as far as I'm concerned.
Hope to see you all for a 2020 Bench Sumo edition of Euro 2020! It promises to be interesting already, not in the least because the real matches will be played in 12 different cities throughout Europe: Wembley Stadium (London, England) will host a total of 7 matches (including the semi-finals, the 3rd/4th place match and the final of the tournament). The opening match, 2 other group matches and a semi-final will take place at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy. The other host cities are Munich (Germany), Baku (Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).