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You can read my last World Cup newsletter here.

Published daily during the tournament in Russia, it was for people who like soccer — and anyone who relishes the drama and inanity of life on our planet. It may be just a game, but soccer is an elaborate backdrop to the endless debates that dominate global conversations.

France's victory in Russia this summer is an excellent example.

For a month, we got to watch world-class soccer played by the most talented players on earth. As they ran around the fields of Russia wearing their countries' colors and their sponsors' shoes, we got to discuss matters of race, class, economics, history, science, technology and politics.

During the tournament, I published dozens of issues of The Banter, an easy-to-read email with smart, funny, irreverent stories about the World Cup — the rivalries, controversies, heroes and villains. There was some history, a little politics and lots of banter.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. After writing about international soccer, among other things, for The New York Times, it was fun to write about it for you.

You could listen, read and comment about the game on lots of places on the internet;  I included links to some of the best to save you from hunting for them. And I shared originally reported features that aimed to tell you something new.

Hopefully, by reading The Banter, you were the smartest one in the pub when talk turned to the World Cup this summer, and you were able to enjoy the stories that make soccer interesting beyond just 90 minutes.

To stay in touch, you can email me at, and follow me on Twitter @jeffdmarcus.

Thanks for the banter,



Subscribers received a daily email with the most interesting stories from Russia, with original reporting and analysis to be smart about the World Cup.