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Soccer, football, call it what you like – that and summer movies leave room for little else

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By Igordebraga and Stormy clouds
This traffic report is adapted from the Top 25 Report, prepared with commentary by Stormy clouds (June 24 to 30, July 15 to 22) and Igordebraga (July 1 to 7, July 8 to 14).

Fifty (two) years of hurt, never stopped me dreaming (June 24 to 30)

Player scoring a goal after a failed block

Soccer! "'Football', said the rest of the fucking world." Bilbo Baggins is my spirit animal. Once again, the report is dominated by football, as the World Cup continues to infect Wikipedians worldwide like a chaotically cascading contagion. World Cup fever is tangible, especially across the pond. Apparently, it's coming home. They're even dropping 'arry and losing intentionally to dodge Brazil, the madlads. Shia LaBeouf seems to be excelling at this game of 4-D chess he's playing. With a "handy" run to the semi-finals, hopefully he can put it away this time.

Anyway, other stuff has the audacity to occur during the World Cup, including death, Google Doodles, retirement, and other intrigues, diversifying the report to a certain extent. However, it is dwarfed by the swarms of interest provoked by World Cup fever. A great manager once said that football is much more important than life or death. This iteration of the report lays credence to that claim. I hope you enjoy it.

Without further ado, for the week of June 24 to 30, 2018, the 25 most popular articles on Wikipedia as determined from the WP:5000 report were:

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes
1 2018 FIFA World Cup 4,855,112
The top 5 all relate directly to the ongoing World Cup, and I despise inefficiency, so let us attempt to address all five items in a succinctly synopsised fashion:
  • Unless you live under a rock (or happen to be American), you are likely aware of the ongoing footballing festival in Russia, as the world's greatest teams (and Saudi Arabia) compete for the famous trophy. The tournament has been utterly compelling and has induced feverous fanaticism globally, as evinced by the massive number of views it has received. The Telstar has been involved in a copious number of screamers, including this peach, and has kept the eyes of the world on Russia.
  • One of the greatest footballers of his era, Lionel Messi looks destined to end his career without a World Cup victory, after his native Argentina were eliminated by Mbappé (#7) and France. Whilst he is the proud recipient of five Ballons d'Or, he has failed to emulate his Argentinian peer and footballing legend Diego Maradona, and seems destined to linger in his shadow; at the age of 31, he seems increasingly unlikely to lift the Jules Rimet trophy. His individual talent has led millions to adore him, but he has come up short on the world's greatest stage once again—in fact, he has never scored in the knockout stages of the World Cup, a monkey on the back that he will not shake in Russia.
  • Once again, the popularity of the World Cup has led Wikipedians to research its history, both in terms of its origins and the various vibrant locales where it has been hosted. As all football aficionados know, the first tournament was held in Uruguay in 1930 and was an invitational event. Conceived by Jules Rimet (then President of FIFA), the World Cup sought to breed unity and grow the prestige of the game globally, which I feel it has achieved greatly. Uruguay claimed victory in 1930, lifting the Jules Rimet trophy for the first time in glory, and the World Cup has only grown since, becoming the sporting behemoth which we know and love today. The original trophy, incidentally, was awarded in perpetuity to Brazil following their third win in 1970, and was replaced by the [[:|iconic trophy]] which is to be awarded this year.
  • One of the greatest footballers of his era, Cristiano Ronaldo looks destined to end his career without a World Cup victory, after his native Portugal were eliminated by Cavani and Uruguay (#20). Whilst he is the proud recipient of five Ballons d'Or, he has failed to emulate his Brazilian namesake, and at the age of 33 seems increasingly unlikely to lift the FIFA World Cup Trophy. His individual talent has led millions to adore him, but he has come up short on the world's greatest stage once again—in fact, he has never scored in the knockout stages of the World Cup, a monkey on the back that he will not shake in Russia. (Weird parallels, huh?)
2 Lionel Messi 1,266,982
3 FIFA World Cup
4 Cristiano Ronaldo 1,243,989
5 List of FIFA World Cup finals 1,042,913
6 Richard Benjamin Harrison 970,703
The "Old Man" on Pawn Stars died this week following a lengthy bout with Parkinson's disease, driving a typhoon of views towards his article from fans of the extremely popular History Channel show. Harrison founded the shop in Las Vegas in 1981 along with his son, following a twenty-year tenure in the US Navy, and spawned a pawn-powered empire as a result.
7 Kylian Mbappé 852,932
France, in my view, have been one of the stand-out performers of the World Cup thus far, having dispatched with Messi & Co. just yesterday. The star of their squad is probably Antoine Griezmann, but their best player to date has been the young Mbappé, only 19 and already dominating the game. He hit headlines last year following his €180 million ($203 million) transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, and he has justified that lofty valuation with some stoic performances for Les Bleus.
8 Diego Maradona 828,139
While opinion differs as to whether or not he can be considered the greatest player ever, (a certain Brazilian may disagree), Maradona's status as a legend of the game cannot be denied. The man behind the Goal of the Century, divine intervention, a near-solo World Cup win, and the meteoric rise of Napoli as a footballing power, Maradona revolutionised the way football was played. He has recently been a stalwart at the World Cup, attending every game played by Argentina, and courting controversy in doing so.
9 Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis 806,907
Mahalanobis was an Indian mathematician and scientist, best known for his pioneering work in statistics and his eponymous distance. He was honoured this week with a Google doodle, which drove many curious perusers of the encyclopedia to investigate his work in greater depth and detail on his article. The statistician went by P.C., but remarkably did the vast majority of his mathematics without the aid of computation.
10 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 805,172
The mixed reception to the latest installment in the paleontologic Jurassic Park has not prevented it from roaring its way to massive box office receipts as audiences flock to the multiplexes to see the latest exploits of featherless creatures. I found the film to be derivative and dull, but to each their own—many are enamoured by Peter Quill and his carnivorous pals.

And Moscow football makes me sing and shout (July 1 to 7)

As expected, the FIFA World Cup is still dominating. And given recent developments in the Russian fields, you might notice my attempts at venting off tournament frustrations (my Welsh and Irish Report colleagues have already done it, so why not me?). The only entries not related to football are superheroes out of Hollywood (both live-action from Marvel and animated from Cartoon Network), action star biopics out of Bollywood, basketball stars gone Hollywood, holidays out of the U.S., historical figures out of Google Doodles, and those out of the 2018 deaths category.

For the week of July 1 to 8, 2018, the 25 most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the WP:5000 report were:

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes
1 2018 FIFA World Cup 3,640,351
In spite of many, many matches where teams seem to have forgotten how to score, the tournament has had its share of fun and surprises. Except when it involves your national team getting eliminated, double if it involves bad playing and/or incompetence (scoring at your own net!), along with the refs refusing to give your team a penalty. Anyways, with four teams from the Old World in the semifinals, Russia also involuntarily became host of an edition of the UEFA European Championship.
2 FIFA World Cup 1,418,501
Every four years, football fans have a whole month of the best the sport has to offer. And given 2022 will be in a country with no sport tradition that is so hot that the event will happen during the winter, followed by 2026 screwing up the formula by adding 16 teams and putting everyone in groups of 3, we'd best cherish the 2018 edition while it doesn't end.
3 List of FIFA World Cup finals 1,334,534
2018 can have a new team getting to the decision end of the tournament. Still, whoever gets there will still be a far cry from Brazil's 5 titles.
4 Sanju 1,294,947
India is currently giving big crore to the biopic of a Bollywood action star (played by Ranbir Kapoor, pictured), depicting his turbulent rise to prominence and subsequent fall from grace (including an arrest for possessing illegal firearms).
5 Sanjay Dutt 1,246,193
6 Cristiano Ronaldo 1,137,751
The last time Brazil won the World Cup, they had two Ronaldos, one of whom was the tournament's top player and scorer. Eventually, colonizer Portugal got their own Ronaldo, who—following four attempts—will probably retire from the national team without lifting the FIFA trophy. Still, we have to admire CR7's penchant for challenge: tired of winning everything with Real Madrid, he's signing with Juventus F.C..
7 LeBron James 1,128,107
After eight straight seasons winning the NBA's Eastern Conference, LeBron is finally letting someone else have a chance by going west and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Here's to the Golden State Warriors struggling against him all year long!
8 Ant-Man and the Wasp 1,006,275
For the second time, Marvel follows an Avengers movie with a flick about this size-shifting superhero. Only this time, as the title makes clear, there is a female co-lead to help Ant-Man in his fight (next year comes the woman-centered Captain Marvel). Given Ant-Man and the Wasp is both the latest installment in a license to print money while providing the levity that fans need following the downer that was the ending of Avengers: Infinity War (to the point it's getting even better reviews than that movie!), expect big box office numbers and article views.
9 Jordan Pickford 993,723
England pulled off what many thought to be impossible: winning a penalty shootout! Following three defeats apiece in both the Euro and the World Cup, the defeat of Colombia owed much to goalkeeper Pickford saving one of the South American kicks. Another good performance followed in the quarterfinals, and the Everton keeper will surely aim to emulate his stoic performance against Luka Modrić and his Croat colleagues.
10 Kylian Mbappé 926,100
At the age of just 19, Mbappé already has three goals in the FIFA World Cup. And for personal reasons, I'm all for him reaching the finals, by Toutatis!

We Are the Champions, My Friend (July 8 to 14)

One last FIFA World Cup-heavy list, even if the final happening on a Sunday ensures next week will still feature some more of the tournament. Along with a blockbuster transaction that happened after a superstar was out of the Russian fields, football is even present in an incident where a Thai team was stranded in a flooded cave. Otherwise, we have tennis in Wimbledon, American politics, celebrities and blockbusters, Indian movies and Netflix shows, and that death list that just won't go.

For the week of July 8 to 15, 2018, the 25 most popular articles on Wikipedia as determined from the WP:5000 report were:

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes
1 2018 FIFA World Cup 2,424,759
The most beloved month for football fans ended today in Moscow with the French team winning their second title. Plenty of good moments happened, though the organization should be ashamed of the cruel and unusual punishment that is featuring "Seven Nation Army" in every game.
2 Croatia 2,259,554
A former Yugoslav nation smaller than 41 of the U.S. states and less than half the population of London, Croatia is gathering huge attention for the unexpected success of its national football team. In the meantime, people have discovered many interesting things about the country, such as their blonde president who went to the World Cup out of her own salary and the rallying cry with fascist roots.
3 Hailey Baldwin 2,122,321
This model, daughter of actor Stephen (and subsequently niece of Alec and cousin to another model, Ireland), has announced her engagement to Justin Bieber (#21). Hope she can put some reason into his head!
4 Brett Kavanaugh 1,804,185
The newest proposed member of the Supreme Court of the United States, nominated by President Trump to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy.
5 Cristiano Ronaldo 1,353,021
CR7 was not in the World Cup final (and seems unlikely he'll lead Portugal there in 2022, when he'll be 37), but still gathered loads of views through the week as it was confirmed he is going to Juventus (#16) for an incredible €100 million ($113 million) plus additional expenses.
6 List of FIFA World Cup finals 1,140,242
Croatia (#2, #10), became the 13th country to contest for the World Cup; and the victorious French team (pictured) got its second title, matching two teams they beat in the playoffs (Argentina and Uruguay).
7 FIFA World Cup 1,120,613
The 21st edition ended today. The next one is sadly more than "just" 4 years from now, given it will be in November–December so that the players don't get boiled by the scorching Middle Eastern summer (just one of the many, many downsides of giving the hosting rights to Qatar!).
8 Ant-Man and the Wasp 927,310
After a high stakes interplanetary war that does not end well, Marvel decided to just let viewers have fun again at their movies with a return to this size-shifting superhero, now joined by size-shifting superheroine with wings and blasters, fighting among other adversaries an intangible girl. Ant-Man and the Wasp got great reviews and is already nearing $300 million worldwide (numbers that will only grow as it hits European markets that decided to release the movie after the World Cup was over).
9 Stephen Baldwin 919,838
Stephen's career might be in a downfall (from Born on the Fourth of July and The Usual Suspects to Christploitation films such as God's Club and Faith of Our Fathers), but the fact his daughter (#3) is marrying Justin Bieber (#21) brought in some attention.
10 Croatia national football team 829,225
Known for their checkered shirts (compared to either tablecloths or racing flags), the Croats have a distinction of having surprised the football world twice. In their 1998 debut, Davor Šuker and friends went all the way to the World Cup semifinals against hosts France and scored first before a comeback, but then won the third place match. Twenty years later, the squad led by Luka Modrić (#13) managed to go one stage and position further: Croatia won a comeback in the semifinals against England before losing the final against that same France. Part of it must have been exhaustion: all the previous knockout games went to extra time, meaning the Croats played the equivalent of seven games in six!

Elle est revenue en France (July 15 to 22)

L'équipe de France a gagné la Coupe du Monde pour la deuxième fois dimanche dernier, et je crois que personne ne s'étonnera de constater que le foot est encore une fois le sujet dominant de la semaine.

To avoid causing further offence to any aghast Francophones with my abhorrent standard of la langue française, I will switch to a strictly anglophilic perspective hereafter. As with the last several iterations of the report, football is dominant, with the French victory in the Luzhniki Stadium resonating throughout the week, and accounting for a large bulk of the items in the list. My soccer (Ugh) aficionado has been left bored in the absence of the footy, but with monster transfers and massive pre-season friendlies, I need not despair. Aside from the football, the list is populated by television shows, deaths (real and fictional), and sublime acting. Hopefully next week, we will have a new contender at number one, without the necessity of a shocking death. We await eagerly, but for now let us rejoice in the elegance and formidability of the Bleus (last one, I promise!).

Without any further delay, for the week of July 15 to 21, 2018, the 25 most popular articles on Wikipedia as determined from the WP:5000 report were:

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes
1 2018 FIFA World Cup 1,932,942
And, as swiftly as it arrived on the collective television screens of the world, the football fiesta is finito, with France finding their way to a second victory, having already tasted glory as hosts in 1998. The French team, captained by goalie Hugo Lloris (the Premier League's second best sweeper keeper), swept aside the Croatian challenge with a two-goal margin in a convincing 4–2 win, capping off a great tournament and hoisting the fabled trophy once again.
2 Croatia 1,732,037
Finishing as the second most-read article of the week are the defeated finalists of #1. Readers of Wikipedia were propelled by the football to research the Balkan state, which finally received just attention and plaudits for their soccer exploits, led by captain Luka Modrić (#9). Croatia's road to the final is remarkably impressive for a wide array of reasons—the country was forced to qualify for the tournament through the dreaded play-offs and has a miniscule population of merely 4.1 million. The young nation has had a tumultous, turbulent infancy, and many of the stars of the team were refugees. They deserve immense praise for overcoming such odds to reach the pinnacle of the game.
3 Kylian Mbappé 1,717,026
The newest wunderkind on the footballing block, Mbappé ascended to world stardom owing to his supreme performances in the World Cup, where he was integral to the French victory. The perfect blend of speed and skill, the nineteen year old is already capable of decimating defences, and, in a frankly ridiculous twist of events, is making €180 million ($203 million) look like a bargain for Paris Saint-Germain. He will doubtless claim many more accolades to accompany his newest title.
4 List of FIFA World Cup finals 987,029
As we see out the twenty first tournament, many Wikipedians sought a concise list of all of the quadrennial contests. The list dates back to 1930, where the first iteration of the footballing tourney was won by the hosts, Uruguay—the first of two victories for the small CONMEBOL nation.
5 Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović 919,210
With the exception of Mbappé, no BLP article drew more readers following the World Cup than that of the Croatian President, who attended the final alongside her French counterpart to cheer for the boys in red and white. The fact that viewers watching the largest sports event on the planet were more interested in googling the gorgeous politician in the stand than the play on the pitch says a significant amount about the degree to which filthy casuals watch the World Cup. All I can say is that we live in a society.
6 FIFA World Cup
Attentive fans of the Top 25 Report should be more than acquainted with this article, which has lurked in the top ten for the guts of a month at this stage. While the majority of readers gravitated towards the 2018 article, curiosity for the general topic, and the intriguing history of the Jules Rimet Trophy and the FIFA president behind it, has remained persistent, and did so in the wake of the tournament's conclusion.
7 France national football team 889,159
During their link race through Russia-related articles, football fanatics would doubtlessly have investigated the victors, who claimed victory under the astute stewardship of Didier Deschamps. Their glory in Moscow allowed the cockerel to avenge their loss to Eder in the final of the Euros two years ago. Looking at the abundant talent and youth of the squad, plenty more wins lie in the future of French football. At least now, they have put to bed the rumour that Frenchmen can't succeed in Russia—they just need to do so in the summer.
8 Rowan Atkinson 874,908
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Twain's famous quip (so famous, in fact, that he never said it) proved accurate once again this week as a hoax circulated online claiming that the seminal British comedian, who portrayed Mr. Bean and Blackadder, had met his end. Thankfully, this was false, and Atkinson is entirely healthy, and prepared to don the tuxedo of a clumsy English spy once more.
9 Luka Modrić 821,664
Now we turn our attention to two of the stars of the World Cup, both of whom participated in the final last Sunday, with vastly variant degrees of success. Both share multiple similarities, from the fact that they play their club football in the Spanish capital to their propensities to hit sublime goals from outside the 18-yard box. However, it was the Fortnite-loving Frenchman who claimed victory in dubious circumstances. Nonetheless, Modrić's performances were recognised as he received the Golden Ball. Guess Antoine should just take the L on this one; not that he'll mind.
10 Antoine Griezmann 793,075


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Disappointed that "we live in a society" wasn't linked to George Costanza. ~ Amory (utc) 01:30, 1 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Amory: Sofixit? :) — OwenBlacker (talk; please {{ping}} me in replies) 10:44, 11 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]


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