I am a huge fan of "football", and was eagerly awaiting World Cup 2014. Early on I chose the German side to be winners, that one I got right. Further on in this blog I will discuss certain questions, such as; was the final a good "summing up" of the World Cup? Why did Brasil preform so poorly, and other topics/questions that I unravel as I am writing.
My favorite teams are usually the Netherlands and Germany. Both teams have a rich and dense history of World Cup tournament-play. It is fair to say that both teams have performed well during most of the World Cups. I also cheer for England every time they play, but they often disappoint.
Germany had a pretty powerful tournament bashing Ronaldo's Portugal 4-0 in their opener. The next game was an intense struggle between Ghana and Germany that finally ended 2-2- a real thriller. I would say that Germany fully deserved their spot in the finals. A natural finalist, coming in to the tournament ranked as the 2nd best team in the world. Germany cruised to the semi-finals by beating Algerie 2-1 in an interesting game. Algerie really gave it their all; they gave a great performance, but had to submit to Die Mannschaft in the end. Another win over a tired France saw them move on to face Brasil in the semi-final. This was suppose to be a huge game, and, in some ways ended up to be a match for the books. Germany destroyed Brasil 7-1 in a hilarious game. Brasil was left in tears.
Argentina eased their way to the final by winning every game in their group, earning nine points and Switzerland in their "Round of 16". They won against the Swiss force and moved on to defeat Belgium 1-0 in a lackluster game. In the semi-finals they came up against my favorite team, the Netherlands. An amazing performance by the Dutch side wasn't enough to grasp the victory which was attained after penalty-shootouts. Argentina barely won. The Netherlands went on to beat Brasil 3-0 for the bronze.
Argentina did everything right to be a contender in the finals, but could just as easily been replaced by any other side; Netherlands showed the world a fantastic team that can tackle any obstacle. They deserved a place in the final, but I guess I am biased.
Brasil... I have never liked Brasil. They have always been considered to be amongst the greatest teams in the world, and yes; this goes for the past, but this years performance was a lackluster showcase. Here's the thing; many teams have good players, maybe one or two brilliant ones, but Brasil is supposed to have 11+ + brilliant players. It just doesn't work. I know it sounds weird, and it is! On the paper Brasil should be among the best teams of the tournament. Granted, they did come 4th, but that is not good enough for Brasil. My opinion is that Brasil has lost their x-factor, yes, I used that word, but bear with me. Brasil used to be all about the "Samba-football". Samba-football is basically creative, unorthodox football played with great pace and surprise, trickery and "wrong choices". It worked for them. Now I feel they all have become fairly tainted by the europeen style of football, and they can't handle that kind of football. Europe know european football...no great surprise there. I say, Brasil! Go back to your roots! Don't blame it on Neymar's injury.
I was hoping that Columbia would trash Brasil, and they nearly did... oh, a semi-final between Columbia and Germany. What a game that would've been.
The disappointments: Spain and England? Spain went out with only one(!) win. Poor performance, although one more victory than England. Poor, poor England. They never seem to play well during World Cups. Many beautifully great players, but one poor team. Both Italy and England where unlucky as they both had to exit and make way for Costa Rica and Uruguay. Costa Rica had an excellent tournament, though. Good for them! England doesn't surprise me anymore... I always hope that they will have a good tournament, score plenty of goals and win everything, but they always end up losing early (groups or 16th).
Anyway: congratulations to Germany! You were the best team and fully deserved to win the World Cup! Now that the World Cup is over I can cancel my tv-service again, patiently waiting for the Premier League to start up in August. Thank you for reading and feel free to ask me questions or comment.