Before the 2014 World Cup kicked off, the USA team was hotly tipped to endure a depressing tournament typified by abject failure. Against expectations though, Jurgen Klinsmann’s star-spangled army beat Ghana 2-1 in their opening group game.
So with an air of optimism sweeping the nation, what better way to keep football fever percolating than with a look at the Internet’s finest soccer-playing cats? Here are seven of the best future U.S. internationals.
In an inspiring scene that could have been plucked from a Rio favela, this dedicated domestic cat makes up for his lack of a real soccer ball by improvising with a citrus fruit.
An exquisite first touch kills the impromptu ball dead, giving this canny feline the time and space to feint, spin away, and then accelerate off with a blistering turn of pace. A graceful match winning move that Jozy Altidore could only fantasize about.
Showing unbridled commitment and belief in his own physicality, this outdoors chap runs full-pelt after a people-sized football — before sensibly cowering away at the last minute. Some battles are just not worth entertaining.
The close control and step-overs here are positively Messi-esque, while the bushy tail harks back to the Maradona and Batista era of the ’80s.
This kitten’s commitment to a regular training regime is to be applauded — and is the sort of grassroots revolution the U.S. game will need to embrace if it is to prosper in future years. (Light beer sponsorship mandatory.)
In which the dignified Henri-like kitty shows his utter disdain for the playacting antics of his opponent. Stay on your paws, cats!
Remember: Never let the confines of the actual pitch limit your soccer playing. This enthusiastic scamp will probably still be dribbling alongside his IKEA bathmats by the time the World Cup ends.
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About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.