How Each Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Chooses a World Cup Team

The World Cup is upon us and even if you’re not a fan, you can at least identify with how your type would be involved. Since the USA failed to qualify this year (ouch.), it means we are all free to choose another country to root for, and each type is wired to do so very differently…

ISTJ: Will be loyal to the USA—even though they’re not in the cup. Forced to choose another team, she will base her decision on spreadsheets she creates, measuring each country’s performances for the past 8 years. She will miss watching most of the games because of the endless list of things she has to do for other people.

ISFJ: Will root for the team of whichever friend he happens to be watching a game with. When the TV shows the faces of the losing team, (as they watch 4 years of hard work evaporate—along with the hope of their respective nation) the ISFJ will tear up. He will believe that getting sent home for losing one game is cruel and unjust, but won’t speak up about it.

INFJ: Will support the country that she feels is the most mistreated on the global stage. Her social-media posts will include light information about the country’s soccer performance, and heavy information about their global plight; all will feature links to non-profits working in that country.

INTJ: Will select a country based on his objective observation of the countries during qualification—and his gut. He will write a letter to the team manager with well-researched strategic suggestions and a competitive analysis of each country they will face.

ISTP: Will personally research the existing teams, weighing their individual talent and cohesiveness as a group. She will hire out statistical research on the countries since the beginning of the World Cup. She will pick three teams to support, each with a weighted % to win, and she’ll adjust those percentages with real-time data during the Cup.

ISFP: He will meditate for some time about which country he feels most aligned with, based on his personal values. He will quietly enjoy the games with friends, being sensitive toward them if their team looses. He will know if any of the players are wrestling with personal issues, and have an idea of how that situation may impact their play.

INFP: Will select the country based on a powerful dream she had before the tournament. She will watch art-house documentaries about her adopted country (in the original language), and read a book by their most notorious author. She will idealize their chosen country and chat with her friends about sweeping, long-range ways to improve their culture. She will be late to the watch-parties for all the games.

INTP: After researching each country’s tactical plans, he will skeptically follow the one he feels is most intellectually sound. He will grudgingly attend the watch-parties, entertaining everyone with quiet sarcasm. He will be the first call out coaches’ and players’ mistakes—accurately predicting how those mistakes will impact not just the game, but the entire Cup and the economies of the nations involved.

ESTP: She will choose the country with the brightest colors and most fun-loving culture. She’ll throw last-minute watch-parties, somehow decorating them with the flags and colors from the competing nations (sometimes she’ll assemble those parties on the wrong nights). When the internet connection goes out at one of the parties, she’ll troubleshoot it quickly and get the game back on.

ESFP: Will resist selecting a team, just enjoying each match to the fullest, in the moment. At the watch-parties, she’ll bring amazing food, be dressed fabulously, and somehow get everyone to play Charades while watching the game. After the match, when a fight breaks out between her friends, she’ll help everyone make peace by suggesting they all go shopping together.

ENFP: Will enthusiastically back the country he has visited most recently by permanently dying his hair the same colors as their flag. He will be annoyingly optimistic about his team’s chances throughout the Cup. On a whim, he will persuade four of his friends to purchase last-minute plane tickets to Russia to watch his team play in person, and while there, talk security into letting them onto the pitch for selfies with players.

ENTP: Will back the country most likely to win. She will purchase an authentic jersey. She will cleverly taunt and mock others for favoring any other team. If her team wins, she will remind you that she predicted it. If her team looses, through a hypnotic argument, she will convince you that she actually predicted their loss and that she was backing someone else the whole time.

ESTJ: After he farms out two lines of research: the history and stats for each country’s World Cup runs; and details about their squad’s practical circumstances that will influence their success; he’ll select the country that has the most realistic chance of wining. He’ll share his idea for having the watch-parties rotate between his friends, but he’ll have his friends put the actual schedule together for his review. He’ll create a system to track everyone’s predictions for the Cup.

ESFJ: Will enlist her friends to plan an elaborate kick-off party, using the traditional “last name” method to determine who brings a meat, salad, desert, or drinks. At the party, she’ll warmly greet everyone by name, asking them about their families. She’ll make sure everyone’s drink is topped off and that no one is left out. She will surprise everyone by baking cookies decorated to look like the flags of all the countries in the cup. She’ll have selected her team based on the culture she most identifies with, but she won’t cheer for them at the expense of her guests.

ENFJ: Will root for the underdog in each game, hoping they can grow beyond their potential and show the world who they can be. When watching the games, she’ll draw out the quietest person, enthusiastically challenging her in a significant area of her life, then scheduling a follow-up meeting to introduce her to another friend who has had similar struggles.

ENTJ: Will study and then criticize existing systems for sports-prediction, ultimately devising his own method (which ends up successfully predicting the winner of the cup). He’ll challenge many of his friends’ team selections with well-reasoned arguments and facts. When there’s division about where to watch each game, he will come up with a strategic solution that is seen as very fair by all parties. He’ll go on to turn that solution into a scheduling app that makes millions of dollars.

Whatever your type, and whichever your team, enjoy the 2018 World Cup!