The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off June 14 in Russia. Meet the South Florida fans of every country in the tournament and learn about their best memories, favorite players and predictions.
Name: Nick Sharp.
Lives: Miami, for 6 years.
Memories of national team: 2006 World Cup where Australia got into the second round and were robbed by a penalty against Italy in the 95th minute.
Favorite players: Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell, Mark Schwarzer and Mark Viduka.
Where will you watch the World Cup: Our new coffee roastery (Deco Coffee Co.) in Allapattah.
Favorite national cheer/chant: Australia La La La La La La Laaaa.
Best local spot to get Australian food: (Best/Only) Threefold Café in South Miami/ Edge Steakhouse.
World Cup prediction: To suffer three pretty major touch ups in the first round and be on a plane home by the end of June.
Name: Thomas Krough-Poulsen.
Lives: Coconut Grove, moved here 1986.
Memories of national team: I have very particular memories of the 1986 national team because it was our first time in the World Cup. I was 23, had just moved to Miami. Morten Olsen was the sweeper then, and went on to coach the Danish team for 15 years.
Favorite players: Michael Laudrup, Brian Laudrup, Peter Schmeichel, Christian Eriksen.
Where will you watch the World Cup: With Peruvians. I like to watch with our opposing fans.
Favorite national cheer/chant: We are red! We are white! We are Danish Dyna mite! (we stand next to each other and fight).
Best local spot to get Danish food: Two Chefs, off US-1 in South Miami. Their chef is Danish.
World Cup prediction: It would be lovely to get out of the first round, then it’s going to be hard. Couple of stars, not stacked. We’d have to overperform. We’ll play for second in the group along with Peru and Australia.
Name: Georges Farge.
Lives: Brickell, been in Miami 25 years.
Memories of national team: My early memory is of the 1986 French team, which beat Brazil in PK’s in the World Cup quarterfinal, and then lost to Germany in the semis. I was 14 at the time. Michel Platini was on that team.
Favorite players: My hero is Zinedine Zidane. He’s the best we ever had, and now one of the best coaches in the world, what he did with Real Madrid, winning 3 Champions League titles in a row.
Where will you watch the World Cup: Normally, I would have watched in my restaurant (George’s in South Miami), but I just closed last Sunday, so I will watch with friends, maybe go to Fritz and Franz.
Favorite national cheer/chant: “Allez Les Bleus!”
Best local spot to get French food: Now that I’m closed, I’ll say Le Bouchon du Grove.
World Cup prediction: I would love for France to win it all. It is possible.
Name: Augusto Luna.
Lives: Kendall, since 1986.
Memories of national team: 1978 World Cup. I was 7. My parents bought our first color TV for that World Cup, which was a luxury there, and a bunch of people showed up to watch those games with us.
Favorite players: Teofilo “Nene” Cubillas, Roberto Palacios, Nolberto Solano, Paolo Guerrero.
Where will you watch the World Cup: In Russia! This will be the fourth World Cup I attend. I went to France in ’98, Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010. This is the first time since 1982 Peru is in the World Cup, and I am super excited. As soon as Peru qualified, I told my wife, `I’m going to Russia! No debate!’”
Favorite national cheer/chant: “Arriba Peru!” and “Contigo Peru!”
Best local spot to get Peruvian food: Dr. Limon Ceviche Bar, Ceviche 105.
World Cup prediction: I see us finishing second in the group behind France, advancing to the Round of 16.