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Quick thoughts on World Cup

with 3 comments

So much to write about………and the usual lame excuse of so little time. I guess a major topic of discussion should be the knockout stage of the World Cup. Two excellent games on Saturday with a possible contender for the best goal of the tournament, followed by a few insipid games and one high-octane wrestling match where the referee took center stage. 

Germany streamrolling the SwedesKlose and Podolski forming a lethal combination up front, Ballack passing with (as the cliche goes) pinpoint accuracy, Lahm making some dazzling runs through the flank and my hero, Klinsmann celebrating like (yet another cliche) a child on Christmas morning . What’s not to love ?  Perhaps their only proverbial fly in the ointment is the sight of a somber-faced Oliver Kahn sitting on the German bench. He is not happy and is letting people know it.

Btw, is Klinsmann, and perhaps Van Basten, the fittest looking coaches around ? I guess there is some correlation to them being the youngest coaches as well but still, you would think football coaches would carry around a little less tire around the waist.

Mexico gave it their best – but looked visibly tired towards the end of the game – and there isn’t much defending you can do against Maxi Rodrigues’ shot.

England – are they going to be the 2002 Germany World Cup team of 2006 – playing badly but still reaching the later stages ? I fervently hope not. Does anyone else agree that England will actually score more goals (and not just from set-pieces) if someone more mobile and creative plays in the midfield other than David Beckham ? I know about all that bending, curving and dipping the ball from the spot – but I have a feeling that with Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard and perhaps Crouch, England has enough fire-power for scoring – what they need is another fast player in the midfield. Of course, I could just be speaking crap. 

I was a little upset (to use a mild term) at Ecuador for not trying hard enough to eliminate England.

Portugal-Holland – oh god – what a crazy game ! Can’t add much to the discussion other than this conspiracy theory I figured out about the referee being controlled by the Russian mafia, which for some reason has a strong interest in seeing England through to the semi-finals. 

Italy-Australia/Ukraine-Switzerland: I dozed off during both games. The Italians again showed that they spend as much time in acting classes as in training session. (Update: Abhishek at Silly Point has an excellent post on the Italian’s lack of sportmanship). The Swiss inability to score on penalties, prompted a blog post by economist Steve Levitt.On the same blog, Steve Dubner briefly comments on a possible inadvertent effect of  the poor refereeing in this World Cup on a certain profession.

Finally, can someone please explain the meaning of celebrating a goal by sucking your thumb ? A quick Google search reveals that it is the favorite celebration of Spanish player, Luis Garcia – he apparently does it to "to commemorate his first-born son" – which by itself does not explain much and what about other players ? I thought I saw the Italians do it too. (Btw, here are two related articles on goal celebrations: from the World Cup site on Yahoo! and the Wikipedia entry )

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Written by BongoP'o'ndit

June 27, 2006 at 7:59 am

Posted in Soccer, Sports, World Cup

3 Responses

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  1. Too bad Luis Garcia can no longer suck his thumb after the Spanish sucked royally against France which surprisingly came out strong. Truly, Spain are the chokers of the first order. Supporting them is a hard life.

    Patrix

    June 27, 2006 at 9:57 pm

  2. Germany vs Argentina will be a thrilling tie! Klinsmann has done wonders to German football, giving the dearth of quality players available at his disposal….it’s anyone’s game! 🙂

    Gallivanter

    June 28, 2006 at 1:54 am

  3. @ Patrix: France thoroughly deserved this victory – Zidane was quite brilliant. But I was very disappointed by Henry’s acting when he was fouled by Puyol – he was definitely trying to draw the red there ala Figo.

    @Gallivanter: Yes – I am looking forward to that game. My heart says Germany but mind says Argentina. We’ll see.

    BongoP'o'ndit

    June 28, 2006 at 8:17 am


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