By Michael Lewis Editor

Yours truly has seen enough World Cups over the years to realize that sometimes the more things change, the more things stay the same.

In other words, events and news tend to repeat themselves.

With the kickoff of Qatar 2022 only two days away, I thought I would share with you 30 things that are bound to happen at a World Cup:

* A Third World country will surprise a soccer power with a victory or a tie.

* A player will argue with this coach and will be sent home.

* A team will go undefeated in the first round, but will not move on.

* A gaffe by a referee or linesman will decide a close game.

* A star player will miss a key penalty kick or a during a tie-breaker.

* One country will offer a team, a myriad of riches if it advances or does well.

* A coach will be ejected.

* A local newspaper will severely criticize the performance of the host country’s team, even when it’s playing well.

* Brazil’s fans will samba for 31 days.

* Back home, Brazilians will die while celebrating a victory or mourning a loss.

* When the host team wins a game, its fans will party all night (well, we will see about Qatar).

* The broadcast signal for a particular game will be sent to the wrong country.

* A player will be suspended for taking drugs.

* A relatively unknown player will be given international acclaim for scoring a vital goal.

* At least one coach will be fired a day after his team is eliminated.

* A player will score an own goal to decide a close game.

* A superpower will finish second in its group, but will get an easier way to advance through the tournament.

* A superstar will experience a miserable World Cup.

* Another superstar will be severely injured after a brutal foul.

* An eliminated team will return home amidst a hostile crowd and get vegetables thrown at them.

* A teenager will make a dynamic debut.

* A veteran will play in his final competition in an emotional farewell.

* You will hear of a fan incident in which a friend kills a friend over an argument about a match or a husband killing his wife over the use of the TV.

* A star player will be benched for a ridiculous reason.

* There will be at least one incident at the airport concerning the media and arriving teams.

* At least one country will accuse another of spying on its practice session.

* A team will threaten to go on strike unless it receives more bonus money.

* A star will miss a game because his stomach has not adapted to the environment.

* A team that has done horrendously during its World Cup warm-ups will surprise observers and pundits.

* A team will win or tie a game while playing with only 10 men after a player is ejected.