7 Differences Between The TV Version Of The World Cup And The Novel

The time is finally here: The latest entry in J. Michael Friedman’s smash series of novels, The World Cup: Brazilian Nocturne, is now a TV mini-series that is airing over the next month. While it’s exciting for Cupper fans, there are several key differences between the book and the TV version. Here are the biggest ones so far. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. Stop reading here if you aren’t current on the books!)


1. In the novels, the story is told using first-person accounts of different soccer players every chapter, whereas the adaptation is told primarily from the perspective of television broadcasters. 

Via ESPN
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2. Throughout the book series, Friedman describes soccer balls as “not bigger than the size of an orange, lumpy sorts of things,” but for TV, producers beefed up the soccer balls to a whopping circumference of 68 centimeters and made them perfectly round.


3. In the novel, Portugal’s striker Cristiano Ronaldo is described as a “slight man with thinning hair and a long scar cascading down the right side of his face.” In the TV version, Ronaldo is portrayed by handsome, scarless actor Philippé Cardoza.

Via telegraph.co.uk
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4. Ivan Strinić plays midfield for Croatia in the novel, and makes a crucial downfield pass in stoppage time against Cameroon. This character was cut for the TV adaptation.

Via brazil14.org
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5. The large-scale demonstrations protesting the relocation of impoverished Brazilians are largely glossed over by the TV version, whereas they are a prominent storyline in the book.

Via the18.com
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6. In Friedman’s novel, the character Lionel Messi dies in the middle of the quarterfinal match against France. In the miniseries, he dies in the semifinal match against the Netherlands.

Via news.abnxcess.com
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7. The word “Visa” is said more than 600 times in the TV version. In the book, this word is never used.

Via www.sportsbusiness.ro
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