I recently saw an ESPN E:60 that was focused on FIFA and Sepp Blatter, and used the name “Game of Thrones.” As an avid Game of Thrones fan myself, I thought it would be awesome to do our own little edition of character comparisons. Here is our football Game of Thrones. I won’t be spoiling anything too serious, but I’ll do my best not to ruin anything awesome. (Season 1 spoilers).

The Game of Football – Daenerys Targaryen:

They seem to change people in ways that didn’t seem possible. They are both likely to help spark positive change in the worlds they reside, but cannot simply do so on their own. They are extremely powerful, and we absolutely cannot imagine the world without them.

Sepp Blatter – King Joffrey:

Sepp Blatter is the King Joffrey of the football world. Like Joffrey, Blatter lives in his own little cocoon, and is seemingly oblivious to the rest of the world. Both have mountains of gold/cash, but insist on bringing in more income. Neither have anyone really to answer to, doing whatever they like. They each have their respective worlds under their thumb, and it will take a massive effort to take either one down. Nothing describes these guys better than the phrase “Everyone Hates Him.”

Qatar World Cup bid – Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish:

Both just reek with slime and deception. No one has been able to nail them down, but everyone knows that they stink of immoral plotting. Both have a primary source of income (oil/brothels), which have allowed them to climb the ladder of wealth and power. While battles seem to always happen elsewhere, they simply gain status and positions by letting others do their battling for them. No one is going to take them down without drastic action.

Michael van Praag – Brienne of Tarth:

van Praag, like Lady Brienne, just wants to do what is best for the world they live in. Unfortunately, they simply don’t have the ability or resources to do so. They will certainly give their best to protect the things they love, but in these worlds, that is just not enough. They are still a major player, and will still have a part to play in the future.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein – Ned Stark:

They represent a very real threat to the ruler (Sepp Blatter/Joffrey), and have some pretty real evidence that backs up their claims. If things fall their way, they will be in charge, and likely a huge improvement from the previous regime. Unfortunately, the deck is stacked against them, and it will take a real miracle to pull it off.

Russia 2018 World Cup – Poderick Payne:

Some people like them, some people want to kill them, but the majority of people are pretty indifferent to them. Sometimes they get into some tricky situations, but something else comes along to draw the attention off of them. They are a continued presence in a time of turmoil. People will likely shrug at their success or failure.

Lionel Messi – Grey Worm & Cristiano Ronaldo – Daario Naharis:

These two are seemingly always competing in everything they do. They are Football/Daenerys’ best players/fighters. Messi-Grey Worm is more of a silent type, of a smaller stature, who prefers to let his craft do the talking. Ronaldo-Daario on the other hand, is a more brash character who relies on his looks and words, but also has incredible skill. Either way, these two will continue to compete for the foreseeable future.

FIFA – Jon Snow:

They want to make the right decisions but tend to get distracted by people with their own agendas. They seem to make as many successful moves as they do mistakes. A lot of people around them really dislike them simply because of their status. They are both naïve, to the point that they make some obviously dumb mistakes. They need to learn how to communicate and be more transparent with people around them.

Jurgen Klinsmann – Lord Varys:

No one is quite sure whether they hate him, love him, or simply tolerate him. He has tons of connections, and can pull information (nationalities) about people like it is nobody’s business. Sometimes they don’t make the easy decision, instead questioning the reasoning for certain decisions. The only thing that we know for sure about these guys, is that they elevate those in their company.

Michael Bradley – Tyrion Lannister:

Usually a calm, level headed person, he can occasionally get a bit hostile in stressful situations with those who have wronged him. They are the high IQ character, who very much is the unsung hero in a lot of cases. People don’t give him the credit he deserves, but he isn’t too torn up about it. When it comes to tactics and smart moves, this is the guy you want to go to.

Jerome Valcke – Tywin Lannister:

An incredibly powerful figure, who is more of a behind the scenes guy, than in front of the crowds. He is part of a organization/family that a lot of people dislike, but don’t have the means to overthrow. Sometimes these guys seem willfully ignorant to the world around them, especially to their organization/family. They are a highly important figure behind the man in charge.


Each of the respective worlds are in a state of disarray and confusion. The battle for control over the most popular sport in the world is far from over. The election at the end of this month is only the beginning in this Game of Thrones.


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