Football is all the easier to love, or hate, because it is unquantifiable

July 22, 2014

July 9, 2014. “Sometime around the fourth goal, I descended into hysterics. No exaggeration – as Toni Kroos nicked the ball from Paulinho on the 25th minute and slotted the ball into the back of the net, almost from kickoff, moving and passing around Brazil’s backline like cones laid out on a training pitch, I convulsed with hysterical laughter. When the rational disappears, we must confront the irrational and unexpected, and there was little as unexpected as Brazil capitulating as they did last night. When the fifth went in I had to leave the room.” News Statesman

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Explaining the difference between Germany’s and Italy’s World Cup wins

July 22, 2014

July 15, 2014. “As Germany evens Italy’s four World Cups, Brazil 2014 teaches us a lesson on the difference between Germany and Italy: the former win when they should, the latter win when they shouldn’t. On the day in which Germany pulled even with Italy, winning their fourth World Cup (they both trail Brazil with five) the two European football giants have never been so distant. And this isn’t just because the Nationalmannschaft literally dominated this Brazilian edition while Italy languished miserably, failing to qualify for the R-16 for the second straight time. This World Cup actually teaches us a lesson on how deeply different the Azzurri and the Germans are, even at football.” Bundesliga Fanatic


The Post-Mortem: World Cup 2014 – England

July 21, 2014

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“The Breakdown. This was not a tournament to remember for England. A miserly one point from three games was England’s lowest-ever return in a World Cup group stage and this was the first World Cup that England have been eliminated from at the group stage since 1958. Valiant defeat to Italy (2-1) gave way to a gut-wrenching late defeat to Uruguay (again, 2-1). So by the time Roy Hodgson’s team took to the field for their last game against Costa Rica, they were out – Los Ticos’ 1-0 win over Italy sealing England’s fate without a ball being kicked. Joe Hart was already back home sat on his settee while his ‘we all know it will go down to penalties’ adverts continued to run on our TV screens and Daniel Sturridge was back in time to replicate his own pre-tournament advert, order a six inch chicken teriyaki Subway, find a TV and watch the real teams contest the World Cup knockout stages. All in all, a pretty meek, dispiriting World Cup.” Just Football – England

Part I – Portugal, Part II – Italy, Part III – Ivory Coast, Part IV – Brazil, Part V – Spain


Howler #5 | World Cup edition | Summer 2014

July 21, 2014

“The World Cup issue, filled with everything you could possibly want to know about the tournament. A 36-page timeline of its history. Bin Laden’s plot to blow up France ’98. Ashley Cole, Philipp Lahm, Tim Howard, and Carles Puyol on how to stop Cristiano Ronaldo. Profiles of Aron Johannsson, Graham Zusi, and Matt Besler. Eight reasons we’re optimistic for the U.S. national team. The official songs and films of the Cup. So much more. $15 Howler


The unforgettable sea of blue and white

July 21, 2014

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“After a major tournament, the global media fly off home with brutal speed. There is little chance of catching up with old friends and mulling over what has happened – Brazil 2014, then, was like a good meal when you are unable to prolong the experience with a leisurely chat over coffee.” SBS – Tim Vickery


Brazil’s World Cup Was Never Simple, Always Irresistible

July 19, 2014

“They had a soccer tournament, and the best team won. If only the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were as simple as that. Let’s look backward—before Germany’s extra-time victory over Argentina in the final, before the host country’s agonizing, indelible 7-1 loss in the semifinals, before the individual greatness of Lionel Messi, Miroslav Klose, James Rodríguez, Neymar Jr. and Tim Howard. Before 20,000 fans jammed Grant Park in Chicago to watch the U.S. team. Before Luis Suárez launched his infamous incisors. Let’s go back to the beginning, to the original idea: a World Cup in Brazil.” WSJ


Best of 2014 World Cup In Brazil: Games, Goals, Underdogs and More

July 19, 2014

“The people who don’t steadfastly admit that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil has been the best ever edition of the great tournament will at least grant this: It’s the best World Cup in ‘recent memory.’ Or, in other words, this may not be the best World Cup ever but I can’t remember a better one. It has been an incredible month. It’s been the event the World Cup needed, just as ridiculous claims that the Champions League was growing bigger and relegating the World Cup to a place of lesser importance. Never has the passion, drama, and heartening value of the World Cup been higher. Now, it’s time to celebrate the best of what we saw in Brazil. World Cup 2018 can’t come soon enough.” World Soccer Talk