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Few spectacles can match World Cup soccer for affirming a fatalistic sense—unless you’re German, and expect to win—that your people were born under a bad sign. To be English, in the world of the World Cup, is to gird oneself for watching your once-great nation crash out on penalties. To be Mexican is to be from a nation forever fated to reach the round of sixteen, but then get eliminated by a bad call or bad luck. Perhaps we can all agree—unless we’re fans of Portugal—on a loathing of Cristiano Ronaldo’s preening antics. But the World Cup looks different depending on where you watch from, as our series featuring writers exploring the Cup’s meanings from the vantage of varied nations taking part aims to show.