Even though the USA are not going to the World Cup 2018 in Russia, ESPN The Magazine is giving football fans the tips on who to follow.
France’s Paul Pogba, one of the most exciting and personable stars in soccer, graces the cover of the World Football issue and is the subject of a feature by Wright Thompson.
World Football deep dives
Mexico: Writer Gustavo Arellano looks at why the most patriotic thing Americans can do this World Cup is root for El Tri.
Egypt: When Mohamed Salah was taken down in the Champions League final, 100 million people felt his pain. Egyptian-American writer Mona Eltahawy explores an anguished Egypt that awaits its star’s return.
Brazil: Sachin Dave Chandan, Gus Elvin and Dan Hajducky break down the offense, defense and superstar of one of the tournament favorites.
Iceland: Bruce Schoenfeld looks at how Iceland, a country of 340,000 people, became the smallest country to ever qualify for the World Cup.
Russia: Global sports contributor Sam Borden goes inside the subculture of Russian soccer hooligans who meet in forests to fight each other.
Plus, ESPN The Magazine gazes at its crystal ball to figure out how the USMNT will find its way back to the World Cup, and the expat experts give their 2018 World Cup predictions.
Also in this issue
NUMBERS: Peter Keating predicts the underdogs and giant killers of the World Cup.
MLB: Mexican writer Alvaro Enrigue’s story connects a family over four generations through a love of baseball. It begins in Cordoba, Mexico, with the Coffee Drinkers of Cordoba, then moves to Baltimore with the Orioles. When a father and son return to their old summer ritual of an Orioles game, the father comes to understand something new about the past.
“Overheard at the Derby”: Anonymous quotes from the Kentucky Derby. By Hallie Grossman and Dotun Akintoye
Horse Racing: Previewing the 2018 Belmont Stakes as Justify goes for the Triple Crown.
Tiny Oral History: Forget his no-hitter or his 16-K game—Mariners starter James Paxton’s most memorable moment of 2018 might actually be that time a confused bald eagle landed on his shoulder. By Anna Katherine Clemmons
Pan-Sport: Katie Barnes’ piece examines high school transgender athletes and the various social and political circumstances that influence their lives as they play sports. It takes a look at Mack Beggs, a trans boy wrestling against girls in Texas, and Andraya Yearwood, a trans girl who runs track in Connecticut.
How She Got That Body: Featuring softball player A.J. Andrews, who posed in the 2017 BODY issue. By Charlotte Gibson