A Dummy’s Guide to the World Cup – can YOU blag your way through it? STOP PRESS edition 13 July DAY 32

James Rodriguez Colombia Top Goalscorer (6 goals – scored in EVERY game)james 220px-Lionel_Messi_Player_of_the_Year_2011Messi Argentina (Captain) – greatest player of all time? A joint third highest scorer at 2014 WC (4 goals) & top MoM awards (4)

STOP PRESS: the World Cup games to keep all us Dummy’s aware, and able to hold out own against the football fanatics!

[SHOCKINGLY a total of 10 RED cards & 175 YELLOW cards in only 62 games of this World Cup of the TOP teams!]

 

THE FINAL – 30 Teams had gone out and the last 2 did battle (Germany had been winners 3 times & Argentina 2 times – all a long time ago though [they have faced each other in the Final twice before with each winning one!]

2014 WINNER GERMANY  after extra time

Sunday 13 July

FINAL: Germany [rank 2]      0   Argentina[rank 5]  0  Germany win 1-0 after EXTRA TIME   in Rio de Janeiro   when we found out if top scorers Germany’s power play against Brazil was a one off or whether clean playing Argentina would prick their bubble. Germany had scored 17 goals and Argentina a low 8 goals before. Germany field two top goal scorers in Muller & Schurrie, while Argentina had captain and amazing player Messi (but have they recovered from a goalless draw and penalty shoot out?). The two fairest teams met in this match: Germany with 71 Fouls committed and 4 Yellow cards: Argentina with 64 Fouls committed and 6 Yellow cards.

Exciting first half with missed chances on both sides but Germany were really rattled  (marred by 2 German Yellow cards – one a DREADFUL tackle). Second half a disappointment with more  cheating and  glaring missed chances so no surprise it ended totally goaless. Ended near the end of Extra time with a GERMAN goal and other Argintina misses (what a poor Final)

UK TV BBC & ITV 8pm

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Saturday 12 July – THIRD PLACE: Brazil [rank 3] 0 Holland [rank 15] 3 in Brazilia when we found out that Brazil could NOT recover any national pride against lower ranked Holland. Brazil had scored 11 goals and Holland 12 goals before. Brazil of course were without their talisman captain severly injured Neymar, while Holland certainly fielded striker & known diver Robben – but van Persie was the executioner with a penalty after only 3 mins. There is no discrace in not winning a World Cup even if you are the host nation – but Brazil lost without showing any spunk [The two biggest cheats met in this match: Brazil with 109 Fouls committed 11 Yellow cards and 1 Penalty: Holland with 106 Fouls committed 9 Yellow cards].

Wednesday 9 July  – 2nd SEMI FINAL: Holland [rank 15]  0 Argentina [rank 5]   0    after EXTRA TIME ended in in a penalty  shoot out  for  Argentina to win  4-2  in San Paulo when PREVIOUS top goal scorers Holland fielding striking pair van Persie & Robben (went missing in this match)  faced the individual genius of king dribbler Lionel Messi and a team that have had 3 clean sheets and most wins (5) . Brilliant exciting start to this match until it became a boring meanigless  tension filled first half marred with fouls   Then a seconh half to  forget. EXTRA TIME follows & headed for PENALTIES  but it  was a worrying fact that one of these team may  become World Cup Champions later  – undesrved on this showing. Messi didnt score but was Holland’s downfall – they put all there attention on him instead of attack (not a single shot on goal in the first half!).  / Tuesday 8 July1st SEMI FINAL: : Brazil [rank 3] 1 Germany [rank 2] 7 in Belo Horizonte for what promised to be a fascinating game with well matched teams but turned out to be a first half rout of Brazil the best defenders by Germany the best passers. 4 goals in 6mins unbelievable & embarrassing – pressure of expectation too high for Brazil?

 

Gone Home now  Croatia, Cameroon, Spain, Australia, England, Honduras, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Iran, Ecuador, Ghana, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Greece, Nigeria, Algeria, Switzerland, USA, France, Colombia, Belgium, Costa Rica, Brazil, Holland , Argentina

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It doesn’t matter how disinterested you are in football. It doesn’t matter if you know nothing about football. It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter if you move to a desert island. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female. It doesn’t matter if you are ill or old and infirm. It doesn’t matter what TV or Radio channel or Newspaper you favour. It doesn’t matter who you vote for. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are. It doesn’t matter who you vote for or what car you drive or who you work for or how many children you have got.

No, the Football World Cup 2014 is going to invade your life for the next month or so. Whatever you do you will not be able to avoid it. It will forever in your face, will constantly be in the news broadcasts, and all your favourite programs will be cancelled. Sorry!

That being said how can you survive it? There is a saying ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ So become an ‘expert’ no less. There are a few simple things for you to know though that will get you through the next few weeks and you will be seen in a new light by all around you!

Right, here we go. This is a World football competition (soccer NOT rugby). It starts on 12 June and lasts a month. Of all the countries that took part, there are many knocked out already so that there are only 32 Countries left and their teams are playing in these ‘FINALS’ Some Counties have ‘really good’ teams, others ‘good’ teams, others ‘averagely good’ teams, and a few ‘rubbishy good’ teams.

At some stage you might be dragged into which is a good or the ‘best’ team! Your view is that a particular team ‘has potential’. If challenged about how well a particular team might do there is a simple answer – you ‘think it will do better than expected’. Teams that lose simply ‘have had a bad run of luck’ in your view. Don’t bother about how the various teams get on, and don’t bother either with what those TV soccer pundits say (they get paid a lot but know little), just go with the flow.

This competition is being held it is said in Rio (Rio de Janeiro) Brazil, but in fact most matches will be played in a dozen stadia many hundreds of miles from Rio itself. The one thing that you can be certain of though is that wherever a game is played it will be ‘bloody hot and humid’. Therein lies a problem for most teams and certainly England. In this country if you go to a sauna there are warning notices cautioning you not to linger in too long – in Brazil the players wont be seeing such notices! The South America teams are most likely to do well because they are more likely to survive the conditions. The hosts Brazil are therefore favourites. Our poor English team will wilt beyond belief, but they will come back very slim however many games they get to play!

The way things are organised is that it starts with a ‘Group Stage’ where there are 4 teams in each group and 2 of then get eliminated. So then we end up with the ‘Last 16’, followed by the Quarter Finalists, then the Semi Finalists, and subsequently the Finalists – and at the end the WINNER of course.

So what do you drop into the conversation mix to impress? You can say ‘I will be surprised if team x don’t get out of the group stage’ or I will be disappointed if team x don’t get in the last 16; or say perhaps even ‘team x reaching the quarters would be amazing, or team x deserve to be in the semis, etc. Just blag anything to make it sound as if you know it all & really rate the World Cup! [A clever thing to know is that they always these days ‘invent’ a new football for each World Cup – always a good excuse for teams who lose who say the ball didn’t behave well: YOU could always remark that the new ball is working well].

Internationally each of the World’s teams get a rating based on their past performance in competitive international matches. Current rankings put Spain, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, and Argentina at the front and indeed they are also at these Rio finals. Success doesn’t always follow rankings in these competitions of course, as so much depends on how well teams cope with the conditions, the travelling, and the pitches, as well as the fitness of players and their injuries as well. Then of course there is Lady Luck who plays often the greatest part! So if anyone tells you they ‘know’ who is going to win, is a bigger idiot than the rest of us football ignorant and unknowing individuals!

How will England do? Not very well at all we suspect (despite manager Roy Hodgson claiming he was going there to WIN no less! Perhaps he believes in miracles?). However YOU must never utter such a view in public – you could be accused of treason you see, and get locked up in the Tower. The ONLY people in the UK who are allowed to say the England team is rubbish and a bunch of no hopers, are the Scots (who hate all the English squads with a vengeance and pray for them to fail!) – but we feel sorry for the Scots and pity them, because their team NEVER gets to the Finals!

If England, a young inexperienced group, lose to Italy in their opening match (as they are likely to do unfortunately) we can kiss goodby to progressing out of the Group stage.

It would be an advantage to know some of the names of the best known in England of the players there, so you can throw their names about willy-nilly – doesn’t matter about the context, just pretend you know about them!

Neymar playing for BRAZIL (a Barcelona player), Luka Modric playing for CROATIA (a real Madrid player), Javier Hermandez playing for MEXICO (a Manchester United player), Samuel Eto’o playing for CAMEROON (a Chelsea player), Cesc Fabregas playing for SPAIN (a Barcelona player), David Silva playing for SPAIN (a Manchester City player), Fernando Torres playing for SPAIN (a Chelsea player), Robin Van Persie playing for HOLLAND (a Manchester United player), Alexis Sanchez playing for CHILE (a Barcelona player), Tim Cahill playing for AUSTRALIA (a NY Red Bulls player), Jackson Martinez playing for COLUMBIA (a Porto player), Yaya Toure playing for IVORY COAST (a Galatasaray player), Didier Drogba playing for IVORY COAST (a Manchester City player), Shinji Kagawa playing for JAPAN (a Manchester United player), Luis Suarez playing for URUGUAY (a Liverpool player), Wayne Rooney playing for ENGLAND (a Manchester United player), Andrea Pirio playing for ITALY (a Juventus player), Antonio Valencia playing for ECUADOR (a Manchester United player), Karim Benzema playing for FRANCE (a Real Madrid player)Mesut Ozil playing for GERMANY (an Arsenal player), Lionel Messi playing for ARGENTINA (a Barcelona player), Sergio Aquero playing for ARGENTINA (a Manchester City player), Edin Dzeko playing for BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (a Manchester City player), Reza Ghoochanneyjhad playing for IRAN (a Charlton player), John Obi Mikel playing for NIGERIA (a Chelsea player), Cristiano Ronaldo playing for PORTUGAL (a Real Madrid player), Eden Hazard playing for BELGIUM (a Chelsea player), Park Chu-young playing for SOUTH KOREA (an Arsenal player).

[Once you have survived these World Cup Finals you will have another 4 years before having to face the next one]

THE 32 Rio FINALISTS?

Group A

Brazil, rank 3, key player Neymar (forward)

Croatia, rank 18, key player Modric (midfielder)

Mexico, rank 20, key player Hernandez ((forward)

Cameroon, rank 56, key player Eto’o (forward)

Group B

Spain, rank 1, key player Iniesta (midfielder)

Holland, rank 15, key player van Persie (forward)

Chile, rank 14, key player Vidal (midfielder)

Australia, rank 62, key player Cahill (forward)

Group C

Colombia rank 8, key player Martinez(forward)

Greece, rank 12, key player Salpingidis (forward)

Ivory Coast, rank 23, key player Toure (midfielder)

Japan, rank 45, key player Kagawa (midfielder)

Group D

Uruguay rank 7, key player Suarez (forward)

Costa Rica, rank 28, key player Ruiz (forward)

England, rank 10, key player Rooney (forward)

Italy, rank 9, key player Pirio (midfielder)

Group E

Ecuador rank 26, key player Caicedo (forward)

France, rank 17, key player Pogba (midfielder)

Honduras, rank 33, key player Bengtson (forward)

Switzerland, rank 6, key player Shaqiri (midfielder)

Group F

Argentina rank 5, key player Messi (forward)

Bosnia-Herzegovina, rank 21, key player Dzeko (forward)

Iran, rank 43, key player Ghoochannejhad (forward)

Nigeria, rank 44, key player Mikel (midfielder)

Group G

Germany rank 2, key player Ozil (midfielder)

Ghana, rank 37, key player Gyan (forward)

Portugal, rank 4, key player Ronaldo (forward)

United States, rank 13, key player Dempsey (forward)

Group H

Algeria rank 22, key player Feghouli (forward)

Belgium, rank 11, key player Hazard (midfielder)

Russia, rank 19, key player Kerzakov (forward)

South Korea, rank 57, key player Ja-cheol (forward)

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