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Sharks Aren’t As Excited About World Cup As You Might Expect

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

The FIFA World Cup has begun, but some of the San Jose Sharks aren’t as excited about it as you might expect.

Augsburg native Nico Sturm, who cheers for perennial power Germany, is usually very excited about the World Cup, but this year is different.

“I gotta be honest, when it’s in the summer, I watch every game,” Sturm told San Jose Hockey Now. “Every group stage game, not just Germany, but any game. I have to admit, with how it’s now in the winter and the time change, I really have been totally out of touch with it for the first time in forever.”

Sturm also said that when the World Cup takes place in the summer, he can work out and then watch games in the afternoon through to the evening.

It’s not just the timing of this year’s World Cup too. San Jose Sharks players are aware of the controversy of hosting the tournament in Qatar too.

“It’s always fun when there is soccer on, but obviously, with Qatar, it’s kind of a little bit weird,” Timo Meier said Monday morning. “I don’t really know how I feel about all that stuff.”

Meier is referring to how Qatar became the host, as well as the host nation’s prejudice against LGBTQ+. However, the Swiss-born forward will be cheering on his home nation as they look to get through Group G and into the knockout rounds.

Germany and Switzerland are fixtures at the World Cup, but it’s just Canada’s second appearance, after their 1986 debut.

This will probably help explain Logan Couture’s excitement for it. The Guelph native, born in 1989, has never seen Canada at the World Cup. He also revealed a surprise second country that he’s rooting for.

“Cheering for England [too] just because I watched a ton of Premier League games,” the San Jose Sharks captain shared.

England is in Group B, which happens to be the same group as USA.

“I’m getting married next summer, so I can be a U.S. citizen soon after that. Maybe then I can cheer for [USA],” Couture joked.

There doesn’t appear to be a San Jose Sharks locker room World Cup pool or fantasy league, but many players are having fun with friends in their native country.

“I got some of my buddies back [home] where we put in the results, and you get points if you have results the right way,” Meier said. Couture noted that Tomas Hertl is doing something similar with his Czech friends.

So it’s not quite World Cup fever in the San Jose Sharks locker room this year. But maybe next time?

“From what I’ve heard, a lot of people are kind of out of touch with it a little bit,” Sturm said. “The next one is [in] the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, right? That’s something that I’m really excited for, and that makes a lot more sense.”

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