It is fever-pitch time for football fans as the FIFA World Cup countdown winds down to its final week.
Sensing this, it is not only the players and managers who are starting to feel the weight of responsibility, but apparently the media teams of national football associations as well.
As the lists of 26 men from each participating nation begin to get turned in to FIFA before the 13th of November deadline, a few of the official Twitter handles of these associations have come up with creative ways to announce their Qatar-bound cavalries.
Squads have been revealed with the aid of promotional videos designed to get the juices flowing amongst fans.
Given that there is quite a selection out there, we thought we would scour the football universe to try to figure out who did the best job of rousing their fans through these videos.
The Three Lions went with a quirky vibe in their animated video, going with a retro video game menu-style selection of players going to the World Cup amongst other graphics.
The concept seems to surround the life of an average young English supporter, with players revealed through wall posters, pin-ups on notice boards in schools, and of course, pubs involved.
Depending on how the campaign transpires for the English fans, it sure seems like one to get nostalgic about in a decade’s time, should England win.
The Dutch have gone with a more straightforward concept, with Louis van Gaal’s side being named out by the former Barcelona manager himself.
Very simple indeed yet the solemnness of it is definitely not lost on us and shouldn’t be on the Oranje fans as well.
The Red Devils have put out a video featuring the very players who will be on their way to the quadrennial event, with the goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and attacking options all featuring in close-up shots with subdued lighting effects.
Definitely conventional but effective nonetheless, it certainly helps that the world’s number 2 footballing side isn’t just going to Qatar to make up the numbers.
United States of America
The Americans’ video features snippets of interviews with the 26 players going to Qatar, each recounting their journey through their years in professional football and the sacrifices of those close to them on their way to making the squad.
It is apt given how young the USMNT squad is and this serves as a good way to endear them to their fans.
Each of the players’ interviews should be revealed in due course as the days until kick-off approach zero.
Denmark’s promotional video is certainly one that appears to have had quite some effort put into it and begins in the dressing room of Denmark’s home, the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, featuring manager Kasper Hjulmand.
He gets the ball rolling with each player and then is revealed by Danish people of all ages in various settings.
The shots feature various Danish urban and rural landscapes and culminate with a return shot of the manager inside the dressing room, looking contently over a tactics board with a line-up from the chosen players.
Also, watch out for the cameo from former Arsenal player Nicklas Bendtner!
The efforts of all the above national associations are commendable, to say the least, but La Celeste has outdone them with their promotional video.
It features manager Diego Alonso scanning a map of Uruguay, marking out the provinces that each of the 26 players selected represents or comes from.
This shot from what looks like his study is intermittently shown amongst shots of people from all walks of life holding up Uruguay’s kit with the selected players’ names on them, while in others the top is seen hanging out in random places.
A lot of work seems to have gone into creating this gem, with contributions from the Ministry of Tourism as well, but the result is the hands-down winner.
Now, it remains to be seen if any other association can follow suit and manage to do what Selección Uruguaya have achieved.
While many countries like Argentina and Brazil have gone with the not-too-flashy route, creativity by others in trying to galvanize their supporters goes to show the crescendo of emotions that teams playing a FIFA World Cup must ride.