World Cup: The Top 5 Internet Memes of the Tournament So Far

Senegal Manager Aliou Cisse
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Allison's no-nonsense Brazilian balloon pop, Neymar's haircut and the intensity of Senegalese manger Aliou Cisse have been the World Cup moments that caught fire online.

What would the World Cup be without memes?

As soccer's premiere event heads into its second week, we look back at the match moments at Russia 2018 that have inspired social media to go viral.

Alisson's Brazilian Balloon Popp/> During Brazil's Sunday match against Switzerland, goalkeeper Alisson resolutely popped a stray red balloon that flew to the box area. The image became an instant viral sensation.

While some fans saw the image as a metaphor for life or their own psychology—“I'm the balloon, Allison's my mother,” wrote one —others jumped on the opportunity to quote 80s stand-up comedian Yakov Smirnoff. and the popular “In Soviet Russia...” meme, noting that: “in Soviet Russia, the balloon pops you.”


Neymar's New Hairstyle

The performance of tournament favorites Brazil in their opening match against Switzerland failed to impress, with the teams drawing 1-1. But at least Neymar's hair didn't disappoint. Fans rushed online to comment on the superstar striker's new 'do, comparing it to everything from Gerorge Michael's Wham-era coif to a cup of noodles. Ex-French soccer star and sometime actor

Eric Cantona dubbed Neymar's style “spaghetti al dente."


Fastidious Japanese Fans Clean Up

Japanese fans set a good example by staying behind after their team's historic win against Columbia on Tuesday and cleaning the stands, littered with food waste, wrappers and cups.  The goodwill gesture earned them praise and inspired other nations to follow suit.


Mexican Chihuahua Defeats German Shepherd

Mexican fans, were quick to celebrate on social media after their team's shock 1-0 upset of defending World Cup champions Germany. Versions of this meme, where the tiny canine symbol of Mexico beats up a larger, tougher German Shepherd, were everywhere.


Aliou Cisse's Fist Pump

But the real social media star of this year's World Cup is Senegalese manager Aliou Cisse. His intense stare and celebratory fist pump, after his squad beat Poland 2-1, had fans calling on Hollywood to cast him in Black Panther 2.