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fotballiesta
July 20, 2014 | by  | in Features Homepage |
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Football Fiesta

Overview

On 12 June, the opening night of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 32 of the best international teams were stationed in Brazil with dreams of taking home the world’s most sought-after sports trophy. One month and one day later, we were admiring the efficiency and clinical nature of Germany, who stood on the winner’s podium holding football’s holy grail at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium after beating Argentina in the final.

The tournament proved why many consider the Football World Cup the best sports event on the planet. Not only were the globe’s biggest football superstars present and matches of the highest quality on display, but we also got to appreciate some of Europe’s and South America’s finest talent thanks to the stealthy work of FIFA’s best cameramen.

Biggest Winners

  • James Rodríguez: We all love a young superstar, and the footballing world certainly showed its appreciation for the Colombian striker, who scored six goals in Brazil to take home the Golden Boot award. Not only does the 22-year-old have one of the biggest futures in the beautiful game, he’s also the proud owner of perhaps the most crowded bandwagon in world sport, with online fans and international news outlets creating a media frenzy over the Colombian hero.

  • USA: I know they weren’t the most impressive side at the tournament, but American ‘soccer’ might just be the biggest winner from the World Cup. Despite widely considering the sport an after-school activity for uncool kids, Americans were captivated by their national side’s progress in Brazil. 25 million American viewers tuned in for the USA’s second pool match against Portugal, making it the most-watched ‘soccer’ match in American history and putting it ahead of the NBA Finals series and Baseball’s World Series.

Biggest Losers

  • Spain: Defending World Cup champions and ranked number one in the world before this year’s tournament, Spain simply failed to fire in Brazil. Humiliated 5–1 by a rampant Dutch side in their first match, the Spanish were sent packing after losing their second match to Chile 2–0.

  • England: Did we really expect them to go far? Not really. However, their failure to win a match, inability to show any real spark, and at times dreadful defence were still sad realities of their short stay in Brazil.

  • Brazil’s defence: Including the likes of David Luiz and Thiago Silva, the home side’s defence should have held a lot steadier than it did. Remarkably, Brazil became just the third team to concede 12 goals in the current World Cup format, alongside Saudi Arabia and North Korea. In their defence (excuse the pun), the extra matches they played didn’t help, especially considering they conceded 10 goals in their last two matches.

  • Fred: He was awful. Just awful. The Brazilian so-called ‘striker’ looked ordinary at the tournament and scored just one goal, making his exploits on the football field about as exciting as his name.

 

4 things this World Cup will be remembered for

4. Luis Suárez: Initially, the Uruguayan and former Liverpool superstar made headlines for the right reasons, returning prematurely from knee surgery to score a double against England and ultimately end the Poms’ World Cup campaign. However, the cheeky little nibbler simply couldn’t help himself in Uruguay’s final pool match against Italy, biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder to receive a four-month ban from FIFA, the sport’s international governing body. Incredibly, it’s the third time Suarez has been cautioned for biting an on-field opponent, raising serious questions about his integrity and sanity.

3. Football: It may seem rather obvious that the world’s biggest football tournament will be remembered for football, but it is worth noting the exceptional on-field action that was on offer. We were treated to some dramatic matches and saw some thrilling football. A total of 171 goals were scored throughout the tournament, an average of 2.7 goals per match, making it equal with France 1998 as the highest-scoring tournament in history.

2. That result: Eight goals in a World Cup semifinal; who would have thought? Historically speaking, Germany has a reputation of not knowing their limits when humiliating an ethnic group. Their national football side certainly reinforced that perception when they embarrassed Brazil 7–1 to advance to the tournament decider. The match may just be the most record-breaking match in football history, both on and off the pitch. The result was Brazil’s largest defeat ever, the biggest World Cup semifinal scoreline ever, and saw Miroslav Klose become the outright top World Cup goalscorer with 16 goals over four tournaments. It also became the most-talked-about sports match on Twitter, generating 35.6 million tweets.

1. Deutschland: You have to give it to the Germans: they know how to win. Whether it’s a 7–1 hiding or an extra-time thriller, the victors showed their class from day one and fully deserved their fourth World Cup title. Who needs Neymar, Ronaldo or Messi when you have a near-flawless set of 11?

Aftermath

  • According to businessinsider.com.au, which I’m assuming is a credible source as it has a fancy website and colourful charts reinforcing their figures, FIFA will make profits of approximately $US2.61 billion from the tournament. And that’s excluding the bribes and lavish gifts.

  • As if Brazilians weren’t emotional enough, their limp exit from the World Cup sparked scenes of shock and mourning throughout the host nation. We all know how much Brazil loves football, and we all saw the tears streaming down faces of fans and players following (and during) their semifinal loss at Belo Horizonte’s Estadio Mineirão. There are suggestions that the consequences of the hosts nation’s inability to win the tournament on home soil could be more than emotional, with political commentators predicting the result will have a detrimental effect on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s re-election campaign later this year.

  • Following the tournament, Nigeria was suspended from all international football by FIFA. The drastic action came as a result of Nigeria’s government dissolving the country’s Football Federation after the national side supposedly had a poor showing in Brazil, despite making the second round. It comes four years after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared the national side were banned from competing at all for two years after an unsuccessful World Cup campaign in South Africa. What a ridiculous country.

Tournament team v tournament twats

Tournament team:

Keeper
Manuel Neuer (GER)

Defenders
Daley Blind (NED)
Mats Hummels (GER)
Ezequiel Garay (ARG)
Philipp Lahm (GER).

Midfield
Javier Mascherano (ARG)
Toni Kroos (GER)
James Rodríguez (COL)

Forwards
Arjen Robben (NED)
Thomas Müller (GER)
André Schürrle (GER)

Tournament twats

Keeper
Iker Casillas (ESP)

Defenders
Maicon (BRA)
Leighton Baines (ENG)
David Luiz (BRA)
Pepe (POR)

Midfield
Steven Gerrard (ENG)
Shinji Kagawa (JAP)
Eden Hazard (BEL)
Yaya Touré (CIV)

Forwards
Diego Costa (ESP)
Fred (BRA)

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