The Atlantic

The Improbable Beauty of Lukaku’s Hop

One of the most generous and intelligent moves of the World Cup helps explain why people all over the planet are obsessed with soccer.  
Source: Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

Romelu Lukaku’s hop was, to me, the most beautiful moment in the World Cup so far.

It was 2–2, Belgium and Japan even, the game about to go into overtime. The play had been so beautiful that, even though I was rooting intently for a Belgium win, I also didn’t want the game to end. I wanted to see more.

When it comes to the soccer played on the field, this World Cup tournament has been a study in contrasts. From the beginning, there were some riveting, flowing,

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