Yes, I am well aware of how late this is, but I’ve always been fond of the cliché “Better late than never”, so allow me to share some of my random ruminations, observations and verdicts on the fifth World Cup of my football-supporting life:
Germany. Die Mannschaft. The Krauts. The Nutella Gang. Whatever you choose to call them, there’s only 4 words that can aptly sum up their WC 2014 campaign: They deserved to win.
Mario Goetze made the record books as the first super sub to score a winning goal in a World Cup Final. Bet he never imagined that a single goal would change his life forever when he woke up that morning. Not bad for one day’s work.
Speaking of super players, Miroslav Klose has broken Ronaldo’s long-standing record of most goals scored in the World Cup. Not a bad way to end an international career, eh? What a legend.
Germany’s Manuel Neuer deserved to win the Golden Glove and then some. He was an absolute beast and a mountain that rival players could not get through. Move over, Iker Casillas*. There’s a new boss in between the sticks now.
(*Don’t worry, San Iker, I still love you.)
Please watch the Die Mannschaft’s Victory Party/Homecoming Celebrations. It’s 50 Shades of Hilarious, I tell you.
Spain. To say it was a horrific title defence would be the understatement of the year. They were made to look like amateurs. Their first two matches were absolute trainwrecks and yet I could not stop watching. Time to rebuild and start over, La Roja. You had a good six years.
England. Dear, oh dear. How did it get that bad?
Hardcore fans may not always take the USA MNT seriously, but in this tournament, they have managed to achieve what the likes of the so-called “powerhouses” Spain, Italy, Portugal and England have not: survive the knockout stages, and in the Group of Death at that. Major props, dudes. Major props.
That vanishing spray. Yet another new thingamajig that got a lot of football fans going, “huh?” It always reminded me of shaving mousse and whipped cream. The geek in me thought, “Isn’t that interfering with the ball’s trajectory in some way?” But then again, apparently not because it’s now being adopted in this upcoming English Premier League season. The spray is here to stay!
Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball, making him the “best” player of the tournament. Nothing against him, he’s a brilliant player and all that, but I personally think there were 3 or 4 players that deserved that award more than him. Also, if he’s such the dog’s bollocks, how come he was not included in the FIFA XI of the tournament?!
James Rodriguez, meanwhile, seems to be the newest “It Player”. The Colombian managed to win the Golden Ball even if his team didn’t reach that far in the tournament, but for some reason, I’m not quite sold on him yet. Now that he’s moved to Real Madrid, we shall see if he can sustain the good form he had in the WC and prove he’s really the next big thing.
Luis Suarez. Ayayay. I groaned and facepalmed so badly when I saw that biting incident. What the hell is up with him and that kind of oral fixation?! As a Liverpool fan, I didn’t even attempt to rationalize or defend his actions. They say genius and madness are sometimes mutually-inclusive, but this is just ridiculous. Enjoy your ban, Luis, and perhaps try to squeeze in some sessions with a shrink during your break.
Pundits, journos and other fans may continue to sing the praises of Lionel Messi, James Rodriguez and the like, but for me, the true breakout star of this World Cup was Germany’s Toni Kroos. Trust me, that guy’s going to be huge.
Best kit of the tournament? For me it belongs to France. Classic and with just the right amount of badassery.
Sadly, the Official World Cup 2014 Song “We Are One” just didn’t do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s…okay, just not catchy and engaging enough for me. I mean, I found myself humming Shakira’s “Waka Waka” and Ricky Martin’s “Cup Of Life” more during the tournament, so it must have missed the mark somewhere.
Retirements from international football came down like an unwelcome torrential rain post-WC. I don’t even know where to begin or who to pay tribute to first. Thanks for making me feel like such a dinosaur, guys.
Ever notice that the players seem to become much-more attractive when they’re donning their national team kits? I’ve done a very non-scientific poll among my football-loving friends (both ladies and gents alike) and they all agreed that players all have that extra je ne sais quoi when they play for their NTs. Proof that patriotism can be sexy.
However, now that the return of club football is drawing near, that extra attractiveness and je ne sais quoi are sure to disappear as tribal rivalries shall be renewed. Oh well, I suppose that’s just the way the football bounces…