Philosophers World Cup: Group Stage – June 17

Welcome to the sixth day of the Philosophers World Cup. Today sees the end of the first round of matches and the beginning of the second. It features matches including Belgium vs Algeria, Brazil vs Mexico, and Russia vs South Korea. Below, you can find match reports and scores. As always, refer to the introduction for what this feature series is about.




Belgium vs Algeria

Like all of today’s matches, the two teams involved in this match have the same preferred language corpus—in this case French—meaning that there is no need for a random draw.

First Half: Justus Lipsius (BEL) vs Albert Camus (ALG)

Rarely have two teams appeared so solemn and bereft of emotion. Nevertheless, Algeria comes out swinging, with Camus working very hard to penetrate the Belgian defense. His tireless efforts lead to two goals for Algeria, giving Camus’ life a sense of purpose in a chaotic and meaningless universe.

First Half Goals: Belgium 0, Algeria 2


Second Half: Henry of Ghent (BEL) vs Jacques Derrida (ALG)

More of the same in the second half, with Belgium again turning to a solemn theologian (perhaps the solemn theologian) and Algeria relying on another Pied-Noir player. Algeria drawing two Pied-Noir thinkers in the same match is the nightmare scenario that every team in Group H was hoping to avoid. Derrida relentless picks apart the Belgian defenders, holding up a single aspect of their play and exposing it ad nauseam. Henry of Ghent’s scholasticism is no match for a spot of post-strucuralist play, and Belgium goes down hard against this dangerous Algerian team.

Second Half Goals:  Belgium 0, Algeria 2


Final Score:
Belgium  0 – 4  Algeria

Brazil vs Mexico

This match will in all likelihood determine the winner of Group A. It will take place in the Spanish corpus.

First Half: Leonardo Boff (BRA) vs Manuel de Landa (MEX)

Mexico kicks things off with a contemporary continental philosopher while Brazil turns to one of the most famous exponents of liberation theology. The crowd erupts when Boff strikes from the wings, netting the first goal of the match. Landa looks all out of sorts toward the end of the half, which Boff exploits for another thrilling goal. Mexico exits the field for halftime looking absolutely dumbstruck by Brazil’s play.

First Half Goals: Brazil 2, Mexico 0


Second Half: Raimundo Teixeira Mendes (BRA) vs José Vasconcelos (MEX)

Brazil’s play in the second half is dominated by the man who coined their national motto, while Mexico in a bit of desperation sends out José Vasconcelos, widely considered their best player. Vasconcelos’ play is out of this world (some might say cosmic) in the second half, slicing through Brazil’s defense as effortlessly as Boff had Mexico’s in the first half. Vasconcelos scores two goals, causing the match to end in a draw.

Second Half Goals: Brazil 0, Mexico 2


Final Score:
Brazil  2 – 2  Mexico

Russia vs South Korea

This match takes place using the English corpus. Both of these teams are looking to keep pace with Algeria in Group H, and are relieved to see Algeria burn through two of their heavyweights in one match.

First Half: Mikhail Bakhtin (RUS) vs Koun (KOR)

This is a tough ask for the Koreans, with Koun (now more commonly known as Choe Chiwon) drawn against one of the premier semiotic thinkers of the twentieth-century. Indeed, Bakhtin has no trouble parsing through the midfield of South Korea, becoming involved in two goals.

First Half Goals: Russia 2, South Korea 0


Second Half: Sergius of Radonezh (RUS) vs Uisang (KOR)

Is South Korea capable of scoring two goals in the second half and leaving with a draw? It looks like it might be getting easier, with Russia primarily relying on the play of early Orthodox theologian Sergius of Radonezh. However, Russia is able to continue stymying the attacking efforts by the Korean side. Late in the match, Usiang is awarded a controversial penalty which he converts. Korean spirits are lifted momentarily, but not long after the penalty the whistle for full-time blows allowing Russia to celebrate their well-earned victory.

Second Half Goals:  Russia 0, South Korea 1


Final Score:
Russia  2 – 1  South Korea


Brazil is currently poised to win Group A on goal differential with only a match against Cameroon remaining. Mexico will likely have to settle for second, unless Brazil struggles in their match. Algeria is off to a fine start in Group H, with a massive goal differential lead over Russia and a win over favorites Belgium. However, Algeria used perhaps their two best players today, casting some doubt on their ability to defeat both Russia and South Korea. Russia too utilized their premier player, which could make their match against Belgium tricky. Although South Korea lost today, they must at least be happy with their goal differential, especially relative to Belgium’s. Belgium’s match was a disaster, but they still have a roster full of solid players and will be favorites against both Russia and South Korea. It is obvious that Belgium lacks the talent to deal with elite level players, but should be competitive against second-tier philosophers.

Relevant Group Standing
Group A
Brazil 4 pts, +4
Mexico 4 pts, +3
Cameroon 0 pts, -3
Croatia 0 pts, -4

Group H
Algeria 3 pts, +4
Russia 3 pts, +1
South Korea 0 pts, -1
Belgium 0 pts, -4

Complete group standings can be viewed here.


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