***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 under a single moon 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 Bolivia, which has qualified for the World Cup three times.
Here’s a tip: Thanking your host by spelling it out on your shirts as a team doesn’t work
Nickname: La Verde
FIFA Ranking: 81 (October 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to qualify, finishing bottom of South America zone (CONMEBOL)
The first ever World Cup in 1930 was the tournament’s only edition without qualifying and Bolivia were one of the 13 invitees who actually said yes to the expensive headfuck of somehow getting to the fledgling football competition. And before their first ever World Cup match, the whole team spelled out ‘VIVA URUGUAY’ as team by each painting a letter on their shirts to thank their generous hosts. While a lovely gesture, it did nothing to help the goodwill of their opponents, as Uruguay turned out to be the backdrop to Bolivia getting pounded 4-0 in both of their outings, by Brazil and Yugoslavia.
Sticking to their guns, La Verde went for round two at the 1946 South American Championship (the precursor to the Copa America) with each member of the team painting a letter on their chest to spell out ‘VIVA CHILE’. Yeah, they finished that tournament second from bottom, didn’t win a game and their worst loss was actually a 5-0 trampling at the hands of the hosts. Strike two.
With Bolivia being awarded a slot at the 1950 World Cup only due to three South American sides withdrawing, they faced a sudden death matchup against 1930 host Uruguay. And you would’ve thought some residual warmth from Bolivia’s heartwarming gesture twenty years prior still remained, but no, Uruguay didn’t give a fuck about Bolivia’s bullshit little shirt painting thing, and obliterated them by a then equal World Cup record 8-0, eliminating them from the tournament in the process. Yeah, thanks Uruguay. That’s the last time Bolivia does anything nice for your ungrateful ass.
At their most recent World Cup in 1994, and this time without their chests emblazoned with some bullshit, relatively speaking, Bolivia actually had some success-ish, just falling short to a controversial penalty in their opener against Germany, then getting their first ever World Cup point in 0-0 draw with South Korea and scoring their first ever goal in their final match, despite losing 3-1 to Spain. With a Copa America win in 1963 and a runners-up in 1997 (both thankfully played on home soil, meaning thanking the hosts by painting a shirt would’ve been as stupid as it can get), after many years, Bolivia’s finally learnt that as long as it wears regulation shirts without dumb shit splayed across them, it’s actually got a shot at some sort of success.
One to watch: The clock on La Paz’s congress building (good one, David Choquehuanca)
Aiming to inspire Bolivians to think outside the box and inspire creativity, the clock on La Paz’s congress building has been reversed, with the clock running anti-clockwise. The idea first floated by former foreign minister David Choquehuanca was carried out in 2014 and the clock continues to run in the opposite direction today. The change was was also made in objection to modern clocks being based on the movement of sunlight in the northern hemisphere, and since according to Choquehuanca Bolivia’s in the southern hemisphere, so he thought this was a much better idea. Even though it’s the only clock of its kind on the continent or for that matter, the country. Good one, Choquehuanca, ya Choquehuanca.
The Highpoint: The goal it scored, 1994 World Cup (That’s right! A South American team has not only competed at the World Cup, but it’s also scored a goal!)
What’s that? Wondering if South American countries are good at soccer too? Well, let me tell you that yep, they’re not too shabby! In fact, Bolivia, one of the many fine South American nations, not only plays soccer but actually reached a World Cup, and even scored one goal (in their three trips and six matches). Yep, BELIEVE IT, it’s true!!!
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
19 Nov 2022
BOLIVIA 🇧🇴 x 🇵🇪 PERU