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Jun 27 2014

11 Things I Learnt from the World Cup

Can you believe its already been two weeks? This tournament has been so enthralling that its flown faster than you can say “Fred”. This week saw the round up of the group matches. It was action packed and with a healthy share of controversy. Heres what I learnt from the Brazil 2014 so far:

Football will unite people
People I’ve never spoken football with are now ready to discuss the latest game. The world Cup hype and excitement can bring together almost anyone.

Everyone is now a football expert:
On the same vein of thought, all those now watching seem to have an opinion on everything and everyone. Some of these humble folk actually know squat about football – like, not even the offside rule, or what a back pass is. Some can’t even tell the difference between the Boateng brothers. Worse still, some are so footy naive they still believe FIFA is a trustworthy custodian of football, cos you know, for staging “such an awesome world cup” and “banning that cheat Suarez.” Sigh. Two more weeks and the fakers will go back to their knitting.

Suarez is a biter

So much has been said about this. He bit before and has bit again. The ban was handed down – whether it’s fair or not, its up to you to decide. He will probably still take a nibble now and then, but is it worth exiling one of the best players of the ball?

Money still talks in this game
I am of course talking about Ghana and the disgraceful images of Boye kissing his share of the $3 million (John Boye also scored an own goal against Portugal – coincidence? #justsaying). Lets also not forget Cameroon almost didn’t make it to the World Cup because their players refused to board their flight until they got their bonuses. What ever happened to playing for national pride?

Winning too much can get old
We saw a completely uninterested Spain at this tournament. I truly believe they (the players and coach) have just won too much and have no drive to succeed. What else, other than boredom, could have driven Del Bosque’s team selection?

Being a footballer = bad hair (unless you’re Adrea Pirlo)
This is a fact based on history. Remember Ronaldo in Korea/Japan 2002? His namesake, Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to be channeling him this year with what I can only describe as a landing strip for a haircut. There are other culprits too: David Luiz, Neymar…

Cristiano Ronaldo sporting a new hair do

Cristiano Ronaldo sporting a new hair do

Do not underestimate the underdogs
The USA were the underdogs in group G. None would have rated Algeria to progress. In a group with both the Netherlands and Spain, Chile had an outside chance – but all these teams have qualified for the round of 16.

The dark horses are boring
Ok by dark horses I mean one dark horse, Belgium. Gosh, for a side that possesses that much talent they sure do provide one giant snooze fest. Hopefully the USA can neutralize them and bring some entertainment to their next game. Zzzz

The 12th man is important
Aka the crowd/support. We’ve seen some impressive support this tournament. Brazil’s home support. English fans always come in drones and cheer their team to no avail. Chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” got me all patriotic, and I’m not even American…

Fans of the Three Lions

Fans of the Three Lions

The refs love vanishing spray
We’ve all seen them do it, brandishing that can with so much gusto. Hell, I think they award some free kicks just so they can pull it out – it would explain some shady decisions we’ve seen

The Refs love their Vanishing Spray

The Refs love their Vanishing Spray

JLo & Pitbull’s song We are One (Ole Ola) still sucks
I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt before the tournament, you know, maybe the song will grow on people. But nope, its still bad. Period.

-P

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