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How to Talk About the World Cup and Sound Reasonably Smart

Don’t know anything about soccer, but know you’ll be forced to care? We’ve got you covered.

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One of Russia’s five goals on Thursday in its 5-0 victory against Saudi Arabia in Moscow.CreditAlexander Nemenov/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The World Cup started on Thursday. You may not be the world’s biggest soccer fan, but you want to at least pretend, right? Excellent. We’ve got you covered. Here is our sixstep plan to sounding smart wherever you might be watching the 2018 World Cup.

Where is this thing, anyway?

This year’s tournament is in Russia. The first game, on Thursday, between the host and Saudi Arabia, was in Moscow. Over the next month, games will be played in 11 cities: as far east as Yekaterinburg (which is closer to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, than it is to Moscow) and as far north as St. Petersburg.

The time difference means most games will be broadcast between early morning and late afternoon in the United States.

People watched Russia’s match on Thursday in a fan zone near the main building at Moscow State University.CreditMaxim Zmeyev/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Know who’s playing … and who’s not

Let’s start here: The…

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