“Hope People Don’t Hate Me”: Max Verstappen Makes Harsh England Prediction for 2022 FIFA WC

Published 07/13/2022, 8:15 AM EDT

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via Reuters

Many make the mistake of not recognizing Formula 1 as a team sport. An individual working on the car engine is as crucial for the team’s success as the driver’s performance. However, for most people, the ultimate team sport remains to be the game of soccer.

Soccer is where all the 11 players on the field need to be in sync to have a shot at glory at the end of 90 minutes. It is one of the biggest sports in the world, given its huge fanbase. Even Formula 1 drivers are big soccer fans and tune in to watch their favorite clubs play on the weekend.


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In the past, Max Verstappen has shown great interest in the beautiful game. He claimed to be a supporter of PSV Eindhoven, and Barcelona internationally. At the British GP, the Dutch soccer players, Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake were also in the Red Bull camp supporting Verstappen.

The 2022 Fifa World Cup is set to commence later this year in November. The Holland national team has not performed up to its standards in the last few tournaments. In 2018, the orange team failed to even qualify for the world cup. Later, in 2020, at the Euros, the team crashed out very early in the tournament.

In a game with LADbible TV, Verstappen and Sergio Perez were asked if they believed “The Netherlands can win the 2022 world cup”. While Max agreed with the statement, the Mexican was quick to show his dissent. He quickly followed it up with an apology to his Dutch teammate.

The 24-year-old explained his stance by saying, “I have to be positive. I mean, you have to have the positive attitude going into the tournament. You have to believe that you can win it, otherwise what’s the point of even going”

Furthermore, the interviewer asked Max “what do you think about England’s chances? Do you think it could home?”  

The defending world champion replied, “I hope we finish in front of England, yeah. I think they had their best shot at the Euros. I hope people don’t hate me now. I am honest, you know. ” 

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Perez added to the conversation by saying “You should be rooting for Brazil”

Verstappen then laid down his favorites for the world cup “It goes like this: Holland, if they are kicked out, then Belgium, if Belgium is kicked out, then I will switch to Brazil” 

The interviewer asked, “How far down your list is England, Max?”

The Hollander concluded by saying, “It’s not on the list” 

Max Verstappen: The FIFA Fanatic

When not setting the fastest laps on the track, the Red Bull driver enjoys engaging in the game of FIFA. Notably, in 2019, he was ranked among the top 30 players in the virtual soccer game.


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The driver, recognized by the gamer tag “crgboy007” has spent around 14 hours playing FIFA during a race weekend. Last year at the United States GP, Verstappen reportedly spent 14 hours behind the screen playing the soccer game.


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Red Bull boss, Christian Horner revealed the same in an interview by saying “There’s probably quite a lot you don’t know about Max. He’s probably done about 14 hours of FIFA football this weekend while he’s been here.” 


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Nevertheless, FIFA does not seem to hinder the performance of the reigning world champion. He won the Austin GP despite spending multiple hours behind a screen. Also, in the present season, he is the championship leader and is on track for another world title.


Written by:

Anish Arora


One take at a time

Anish Arora is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. It is the competitive nature of the sport that not only made him an adherent follower of F1, but also inspired him to start his journey as an author for the most prestigious racing series in the world. Anish initially started writing for Formula 1 during his undergrad and now is a huge fan of the 'Silver Arrows'.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh