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5 Stars missed FIFA 2014 World Cup

1. Petr Cech:

Petr Cech, misses world cup
Petr Cech, the wall—-image via: theshedender.com

This Chelsea player has long been established as one of the top goalkeepers in the world. With over 100 international caps Cech has proved a veritable rock for his country, Czech Republic. His strength and reliability coming out on corners and set pieces. You have to earn a goal against stunning reflexes. Strikers will be happier that Petr Cech is not around Brazil. Petr Cech is one of the finest stars missed FIFA 2014 world cup.

2. Christian Eriksen:

Christian Eriksen, 5 stars missed the World cup
2. Christian Eriksen—-image via: www.fmsweden.se

Major tournaments like World Cup usually reveal a rising star, such as 20 year-old EnzoScifo for Belgium and Michael Laudrup for Denmark in 1986. When Laudrup shone in Mexico, he was just 21, the same age as Christian Eriksen is now. Eriksen is seen as the future of Denish football as his silky skill and quick-thinking brain has drawn comparisons to the legend Laudrup. The Denish must be disappointed not to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He is indeed one of the stars missed FIFA 2014 world cup in our list.

3. Gareth Bale:

Gareth bale, gareth bale misses world cup
Gareth Bale—–image via: www.thetimes.co.uk

 

 

The Wales winger Gareth Bale will be hoping he doesn’t follow the footsteps of his illustrious countryman Ryan Giggs-who won everything with his club Manchester United but never played in a World Cup. Bale had a stunning last season with 21 goals for Spurs, fair enough to draw the attention of Real Madrid. His combination of power, searing pace and incredibly hard shot make him a nightmare to defend against. Defenders in Brazil world cup will be thankful to him for his absence. He is one of the stars missed FIFA 2014 world cup.

4. Robert Lewandowski:

Robert Lewandowski, Robert Lewandowski misses world cup
Robert Lewandowski —-image via: soccerlens.com

This Borussia Dortmund striker outshone Cristiano Ronaldo when he scored four goals against Real Madrid in the last season’s Champions League semifinals. He has scored 63 goals in 110 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund and he is widely regarded as one of the best forwards in Europe. Unfortunately, Poland ended up finishing fourth in a tough qualifying group leaving the chance for England, Ukraine and Montenegro.

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Zlatan Ibrahimovic misses world cup
Zlatan Ibrahimovic—-image via: en.wikipedia.org

His fans are saying,

‘ there is no point of watching the World cup because Ibrahimovic won’t be playing in it.”

Zlatan, the 32-years is in the best form of his career. His reputation of making some spectacular goals are well known to his fans, like the martial arts-style volleys, dipping shots from all angles, his overhead kicks from 30 meters out.

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Dengue fever concerns for World Cup in Brazil

Dengue, a threat in brazil world cup football 2014:

dengue, dengue fever
Dengue prevalence throughout the world, some areas of Brazil in red zone—–image via: en.wikipedia.org

The new research suggests there are some concerns about the FIFA World Cup, taking place in Brazil later this summer, could result in serious outbreaks of dengue fever. A study carried out by international scientists has revealed the cases of dengue outbreaks could be set to soar over the summer, as approximately 1 million football fans will be travelling across Brazil between 12 cities from 12 June to 30 July.

The research of Dengue fever:

dengue hemorrhagic fever,  dengue, aedes mosquito
Aedes mosquito, carrier of dengue—-image via: commons.wikimedia.org

From the explanation of Dr. Rachel Lowe, the lead researcher from the Catalan Institute of climate sciences in Barcelona, there are the possibility of a large dengue fever outbreaks during the World cup in Brazil. She also suggested that the outbreaks is capable of infecting visitors and spreading dengue back to their country of origin. Although it depends on a combination of many factors, including large numbers of mosquitoes, a susceptible population and high rate of mosquito-human contact, the concerned authority should treat it as a threat.

Areas affected by Dengue in Brazil:

Three certain areas of Brazil may be most affected while the football fans visiting there for watching the matches. These three locations are Natal, Fortaleza and Recife. If England wins its group, they will play in Recife on 29th June.

Dengue and Brazil:

brazil world cup football 2014, brazil tourism
Tourists in Brazil should be conscious —-image via: www.flickr.com

However, warnings of dengue have been issued to 553 areas throughout Brazil, after analyzing the data relating to rain fall, average temperature, altitude and density of population recorded between 1981 and 2013.

Since 2000, dengue fever is a prevalent problem in Brazil, with more cases –around 7 million in total-in this country than anywhere else in the world.

Dengue is a viral infection and it is carried by Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue fever can quickly develop into a serious life threatening condition named ‘Dengue Haemorrhagic fever’. No preventive vaccines or other treatments are available currently to fight the disease.

The preventive measures of Dengue:

The researchers have urged the tourists to use mosquito repellent take advantage of air-conditioning systems and consider using screens to shield themselves from aedes mosquitoes.

As these warnings have come before the tournament begins, local Brazilian authorities have taken the chance to prepare enough preventive measures.

It is being advised that if anyone does return home ill following the world cup, they must seek immediate treatment from a doctor as soon as possible to prevent the disease from spreading further.

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FIFA World Cup 2014: Bastian Schweinsteiger in Injuries, Worry German Squad

German midfield general Bastian Schweinsteiger left Bayern’s final Bundesliga match of the season with a knee injury. The injury gave the German fans another anxiety ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

The need of Schweinsteiger:

German’s are desperate in need of Schweinsteiger to be fit in their campaign for world cup. It has been a season of many absences for the German and none is giving a guarantee that he will be fit to start the Brazil campaign.

bastian schweinsteiger, schweinsteiger
bastian schweinsteiger, the integral part of German team—-image via; www.zimbio.com

Schweinsteiger, the 29-year-old will celebrate a decade in the German Squad just before their opening Group G game against Portugal on June 16 having won his 101st cap in the 1-0 win over Chile in last March.

A defensive midfield shoo-in for country as well as club, Schweinsteiger’s presence for Bayern Munich this season has been restricted by a trio of injuries.

Injury became part of his life:

In the preseason period back to back ankle surgeries hampered him badly. Then in January he suffered an inflamed knee ligament at a training camp in Qatar.

Bastian Schweinsteiger returned with a vengeance on his full 90 minutes appearance in mid-March when he curled home a free-kick for the winner as Bayer Leverkusen lost 2-1 in Munich.

bastian schweinsteiger, bastian schweinsteiger injury, bayern injury
Schweinsteiger in injury—-image via: www.4-4-2europe.com

While playing against Arsenal at home, he scored in 1-1 draw as Bayern reached the Champions League Quarter-finals 3-1 on aggregate, then netted in their 2-0 league win at Mainz.

Bastian Schweinsteiger gained valuable match fitness in 2014 as he played only 16 of Bayern Munich’s first 27 league matches. In the Champions League semifinals Bayern Munich was defeated by Real Madrid. The match put a great deal of psychological blow and the knock to the knee last weekend didn’t help.

German coach Joachim Loew said,

“with his class and experience, he has a big influence on our game.”

By measuring his value he added,

“When he is able to play 90 minutes, with his confidence on the ball and tactical awareness, Other players respond when they see Bastian is playing well.”

He is the part of German Strategy:

Schweinsteiger claimed his 7th German league title when Bayern Munich finally confirmed Bundesliga champions with a record seven games to spare.

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm switched from right-back to accompany him in the defensive midfield and Joachim Loew could repeat the action in Brazil too.

Loew lacks defensive mid-field options to partner Schweinsteiger with Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira struggling with a knee injury.

bastian schweinsteiger, bayern munich
Schweinsteiger—–image via: hiilkubad.com

The options like Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan has not played since August with a back injury while Dortmund’s Sven Bender is out with a pelvis injury. They all face a race against time to be fit for Brazil.

Bayern Munich’s Toni Kross has proved himself a better option as he has had a stellar season in the attacking midfield role for the European Champions and he may be dropped back into the number six position or Philipp Lahm could be moved across from right back.

No replacement for Schweinsteiger:

When Germany finished third at the 2006 World Cup on home soil, Schweinsteiger played a key role for the team. At Euro 2004, Schweinsteiger at the age of 19, had his debut.

He was awarded man-of-the –match with two long range strikes in the 3-1 play-off win against Portugal and he nearly finished with a hat-trick.

Just before the last World Cup when Michael Ballack was injured, Schweinsteiger filled his midfield role and when fit, he is Loew’s first choice in midfield.

In claiming a fourth World Cup title in Brazil, he will be the heart of Germany’s bid.

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France team preview for Brazil World Cup 2014

A generation of viewers came into their fandom around France’s 1998 World Cup triumph that Les Bleus will always be a world power. However the recent reality is less flattering. After the 2006 Germany World Cup France has qualified for three major tournament but failed to make an impact. Zinedine Zidane just retired that year. At the recent two events of 2008 Euro and 2010 Africa, France failed to advance out of its group. At the Euro 2012, Laurent Blanc’s team make a meek exit at the quarterfinals.

France team preview for Brazil World Cup 2014, France football team squad
France National Football team ; image credit www.tottenhamhotspur.com

There are a number of reasons for their Failure to live up to the global reputation. France team has failed to replace their icons like Lilian Thuram, Zidane and Thierry Henry. This time France team has a great chance with an easy group for the Brazil world cup. Coach Didier Deschamps is hoping for the Les Bleus to take in a new height.

 

Qualifying to the finals:

Hopes of unseating Spain in Europe’s Group I were given a boost in Madrid with Les Bleus’ third qualifiers. But the France team gave that point back with a 1-0 home loss to the world champions. So they were destined to return to the playoffs.

But France team got near verge of missing the finals by losing a 2-0 first leg to Ukraine. Finally they managed to switch in formation to turn the tide in Saint-Denis. Karim Benzema and Mamadou Sakho provided the first half goals. And the second half winner from Sakho led the team through to its fifth consecutive World Cup final event.

 

Group:

Many of the others wanted to draw with Switzerland. It was the seeded team for others. But when Ecuador and Honduras joined them, group E became one of the tournament’s easiest groups.

Undoubtedly France team is favorite in their group. France’s name value makes the nation favorite in the eyes of some. This group will prove kinder than most France could have been drawn into.

 

Schedule:

France vs. Honduras – 15 June, 15:00, Porto Alegre

Switzerland vs. France – 20 June, 16:00, Salvador

Ecuador vs. France – 25 June, 16:00, Rio de Janeiro

France team, Franck Ribery
Franck Ribéry ; image credit de.wikipedia.org

France team star: Franck Ribéry

Frank Ribery is the reigning French Player of the Year. His one-on-one ability could prove lethal wide left of Les Bleus’s dangerous midfield. Deschamps has a threesome plan with Yohan and Matuidi to force the opponents to dedicate numbers to the problem. Ribery has an average of 14 goals per season with Bayern Munich. The more he gets room to score the more the chances for the France team to last in Brazil World Cup 2014.

Secret weapon: Blaise Matuidi

Matuidi’s virtues in Ligue 1 tend to be underappreciated. He provides the strong two-way connecting force for Paris Saint-Germain. He could serve a similar role for Les Bleus. His influence at either end of the pitch could prove just as important. The former Troyes and Saint-Etienne man continues to show his value going forward with 15 goals over the last two years at PSG.

France team preview for Brazil World Cup 2014, French coach, Didier Deschamps
French Coach Deschamps ; image credit www1.skysports.com

Manager: Didier Deschamps

Didier Deschamps was hired in the wake of Euro 2012. He is the former midfielder of Juventus. He has slowly instilled some of his reputed steel into his national team. Hopefully it will be assured in the more robust 4-3-3 the coach has used after experimenting with 4-2-3-1 and various versions of a 4-4-2. Excluding one of the team’s most talented players, Samir Nasri, was another symptom of that edge. A former World Cup and European champion as a player, Didier Deschamps is trying to lift France to the same heights as a coach.

Prediction:

There is a slight chance of three way fight to get out of group E. it depends on Ecuador proving strong in the South American World Cup. Otherwise France team finishes ahead of Switzerland will depend on Les Bleus playing to their potential. France team must be expecting to get to the knockout round.

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France hopes still survive after Franck Ribery injured

Franck Ribery, missing World Cup
Franck Ribery ; image credit en.wikipedia.org

France football team managed to finish their FIFA World Cup preparations, probably in a best possible way. They achieved 8-0 win over Jamaica at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille on Sunday. After having been blown by the news Franck Ribery injured and will not be fit for the tournament, Didier Deschamps’ men went proving that they could still manage hopes for the France team in Brazil World Cup.

Karim Benzema, Blaise Matuidi and Antoine Griezmann scored two goals each. Yohan Cabaye and Olivier Giroud added the other two goals. The fear caused by Ribery’s confirmed absence earlier in the week was well and truly blown away after this preparation match.

Deschamps finally sought another way to improve Les Bleus’ potency going forward. He decided to deploy Benzema on the left of a loose three-man attacking unit. Now it becomes the familiar 4-3-3 formation. Giroud has to reprise his central role and Mathieu Valbuena once again featuring on the right side.

The evidence of this result can be considered a masterstroke from the 45-year-old coach.

Though Valbuena was unable to find the net himself, he was the star once again. He proved why he is the man whom opponents will have to fear when faced with the French. He was the key in a handful of goals, especially for the first three, he linked up superbly with Giroud and Karim Benzema.

Even Karim Benzema’s roaming role empowered Valbuena. He managed to get the best out of both creatively. Benzema also showed great accuracy in front of goal this night. His club performance was a bit disappointing this season. But now he appears to be in perfect form heading to Brazil world cup 2014. Possibly he will remain key to Deschamps’ strategies.

Karim Benzema, Madrid Star, French hero
Karim Benzema ; image credit www.telegraph.co.uk

The Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema was another major positive on the night. He is continuing to show the confidence that has grown exponentially. The first against Australia back in October and then the second goal in 3-0 play-off win over Ukraine.

Benzema showed in his 80-minute display that he is capable of stepping up and playing one of the decisive roles. He got his two goals exceptionally well. He also linked up superbly with Giroud and particularly Valbuena.

May be these positives should also be tempered by the fact that we have seen this before.

Just before the 2012 UEFA European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, Karim Benzema looked unplayable. But at the final round he failed to score and did precious little else as Laurent Blanc’s side ended its campaign scathingly.

The France team knows what Benzema is capable of. Just he needs to produce these sorts of performances once Les Tricolores arrive in South America. Not only in meaningless friendly matches but also in real competitions.

Along with the system and the shape, France team managed to bring out the best out of the 26-year-old. He was able to roam freely which in turn freed Valbuena too, for that night.

After Franck Ribery injured, France still have four in-form attacking talents heading to Brazil. Which should definitely frighten opponents. For the first two matches it was three as Benzema missed them because of Champions League Final.

France hopes still survive after Franck Ribery injured, missing Brazil 2014
French Star Ribery ; image credit en.wikipedia.org

This kind of impressive performance will be needed to advance from Group E comfortably. Switzerland is arguably the better of their three group-stage adversaries. They managed only a 1-0 win over the same Jamaica side just over one week earlier of this practice match.

Deschamps is probably a little worried about his defense, as it was not really tested. But the forward is quite a cause for him to be happy after Franck Ribery injured. And with an improved performance he can prepare to travel to Brazil.

The French camp has proven that they can be still hopeful after Franck Ribery injured.

Though the Bayern man will be a sore miss at the tournament. Perhaps he will be missed much by those who were keen to see the player who finished third in the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or award, in the World Cup. But Les Bleus, on this evidence probably will not miss him greatly. There are truly other talented options who now appear capable of stepping up in his absence for the Team.

Though a lot will depend on the upcoming week, but this early signs can be considered blessings for France.

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Marco Reus missing the World Cup: Replacement defender Mustafi!!

Marco Reus, Dortmund striker
Marco Reus ; image credit eurofootballweb.com

With all the injuries suffered so far, the German team may have been dealt their biggest blow on Friday. Their key player Marco Reus suffered an ankle injury that eventually ruled him out of the World Cup 2014, Brazil.

Marco Reus was diagnosed with a torn ligament on Saturday. Promptly he was ruled out on the day the team was meant to leave for Brazil. Coach Joachim Loew and his team of arguably their most in-form player heading into the tournament without this key attacker.

Two years ago at the European Championships he featured the bench only. Now Reus becomes an integral part of the team. He helped the team in qualifying and was set to break out on the international stage in the upcoming world event.

But now, as a matter of fact, he will have to wait four more years to get his chance. Joachim Loew just needs to find a way to compensate for the team’s best big-game player.

Now come to the main question!! Is there any alternatives?? Is it compensable?? How??

Finally coach Loew has answered with the idea of replacing Reus by the defender Shkodran Mustafi.

Initially Marco Reus was thought to be missing out. Kevin Volland was the suggestion to replace him. But miserably Volland just missed out after being in the provisional squad while participating in the team’s training campaign.

Anyway, Loew surprised everyone by selecting Sampdoria’s Mustafi on Saturday morning for the team. He was also in the provisional squad. But he was obviously meant to be excluded as there had already been five central defenders on the squad.

May be the first step to understanding Loew’s decision-making is to admit that there is no direct replacement for Reus as well.

The 25-year-old attacker elevated his game to another level this season with Dortmund. He started continuing his prolific scoring with 23 goals but also setting up 23 more for others.

Marco Reus missing the World Cup, German attacker, Dortmund Reus
Reus missing the World Cup ; image credit blogs.independent.co.uk

Many Germany supporters were hoping to see that versatility and output from Reus this summer. As there is no real striker available and also Mesut Ozil struggling to rediscover his form, Marco Reus was the only hope in this circumstances.

It was Marco Reus who tried to make Germany’s system work without a traditional striker. With his combination, Andre Schurrle and Thomas Mueller constantly were interchanging inside and around the box. This was extremely promising and productive against Armenia last night.

Definitely the coach was not looking for direct replacement but to reinforce the defense.

“It was not about finding a like-for-like replacement for Marco. We have a great deal of quality in that position behind the forwards.”

Loew admitted via ESPN FC

The only thing that Germany have been able to count on with so many injuries is their considerable depth in the attack. Probably that is another reason why Loew was able to afford bringing only one out-and-out forward in Miroslav Klose.

It is true that they have enough alternatives like Andre Schurrle, Thomas Muller, Julian Draxler, Lukas Podolski, Toni Kroos , Mario Gotze and Mesut Ozil. So another attacking player is not that much necessary for the team with this situation.

“That is why we have chosen an extra option for defense. We know we can rely on Shkodran [Mustafi] 100 percent,”

Loew remarked.

Loew’s first choice up top with Mueller is Schurrle. And Klose can be deemed only an option off the bench. Meanwhile Goetze has been the attacking midfielder used most frequently in that false-nine role. He offers a similar combination of mobility and a nose for goal.

Marco Reus has been Germany’s most complete attacking player. Others bring something else for the table. Loew will have to choose wisely.

Losing Marco Reus is a bitter blow for sure. But for now it can be considered as Germany’s golden generation. And with these countless attacking players we will find out what they can result in Brazil.

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Oscar or Willian : Whom do you prefer for Brazil?

Oscar or Willian: Whom do you prefer for Brazil?, Brazil midfielder
Oscar or Willian ; image credit bleacherreport.com

It is almost time for us. After a very few moments, Brazil will open the FIFA World Cup against Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.

At the beginning of May, Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari named his 23-man squad for the tournament. He did not pull any great surprises for the spectators. Like the definition, his team is as good as was proclaimed through the last 12 months.

But the thing that can’t be overlooked from the last two friendlies is the promising performances of Chelsea midfielder Willian. The 2002 World Cup winners must have thought about this great option. It is Oscar himself, who casted his Chelsea teammate into the limelight. The last two friendly matches are probably poling the position to take the central midfield role in front of Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho.

Willian Borges da Silva’s performances for Brazil have brought doubt over Oscar’s place in the team.

Under Scolari’s tenure, Oscar has never been threaten before like this. Some others like have already tried to make the Selecao playmaking role his own. Lucas Moura, Paulo Henrique Ganso and Philippe Coutinho are few of them. Now the greatest rival comes for him in the form of a player. He must also admit that the other one’s versatility has seen him make a sharp ascension to the national ranks.

Immediately after the Friday match against Serbia, Scolari said that his team is physically prepared. And he believes there is still time to prepare the side tactically before Thursday’s kick-off.

Definitely his plan will finally deploy either of the players between Oscar or Willian. But it is previously confirmed that with Oscar, it is more likely to bend towards the commonly favored 4-2-3-1 formation.

Oscar, attacking mid, number 10 Brazil
Oscar ;image credit pt.fifa.com

Oscar is far more inclined to get forward and aid Fred and Neymar in attack. And always looking for goals, more likely with double figures for the Stamford Bridge. Oscar truly has the ability to pries open defenses. Something like, with only one focused center-forward, he is definitely the key asset for the Brazilians during the World Cup 2014.

On the contrary, Willian is more defensively minded. Though his eye for a pass is also intact. Watching his displays last week, we can say that he gave all the right signals that he could be a fantastic midfielder for Brazil.

If we have to put an end to the question: Oscar or Willian, then he is likely to start in a more withdrawn role than Oscar, probably by resembling a 4-3-3 combination.

Yes Willian can pass, dribble and shoot. But the vital most thing about him, he is capable of tracking back and is willing to put in a defensive shift for the team. Paired with Paulinho in the middle of the park, they can make the opportunity to develop a potentially fruitful understanding between them.

And it is already proved that Paulinho can develop a better midfield partnership with Willian than Oscar.

As Oscar is always an advanced habitat, there is limited opportunities for Paulinho to burst forward. And if he is caught out of position, both Luiz Gustavo and the entire back line would be exposed.

Again with Willian in the centre of midfield, they can easily shuffle their position. The tactic is only feasible with Willian, not with Oscar. Obviously Oscar doesn’t have that kind of physical strength to compete in what could turn into a scrappy midfield tussle.

During Brazil’s last two friendlies, Willian’s impact was greater than that of Oscar. Oscar looked jaded after a long season and the birth of his first child. So for the circumstance, Brazil is likely more threatening prospect with Oscar had departed.

In a short competition like World Cup (with a maximum of seven games) Willian could well have the upper hand in Scolari’s mind.

Still Oscar is an established part of Scolari’s Selecao setup. As he was ever-present during the side’s run to the Confederations Cup crown. Everyone believes that he had done more than enough to merit inclusion.

May be Felipao’s philosophy admits for familiarity and confidence. And that has assured Brazil make such rapid progress under his tutorship. Back when he named this World Cup squad, Oscar was named with especial praise. Scolari has always described him as one of the best of the world. So, probably Scolari would have to be in a ruthless mood to decide, Oscar or Willian as he has to decide just one!!

But like every Brazilian fans, we believe that this team has grown together. Now they can win together.

Oscar or Willian: Whom do you prefer for Brazil?, Selecao setup
Brazil team ;image credit en.africatopsports.com
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Spain vs Netherlands: nothing like the 2010 final

Spain vs Netherlands: nothing like the 2010 final, Spain vs Holland
Flying Persie ; image credit www.sfgate.com/Bernat Armangue

Everyone has already started talking, Manchester United have found themselves a real manager after Sir Alex Ferguson.

Coaches can find their methods rendered obsolete very quickly in football. Many greats even never see it coming. Various Champions League and domestic league titles that have long littered Louis van Gaal’s coaching CV already stood as testament to his abilities.

Yes of course, we are talking about the Spain vs Netherlands match of world cup 2014, Brazil.

Yesterday it just looked like he had organized and motivated his Netherlands side worked to perfection. And they eviscerated World Cup holders Spain 5-1 in Salvador last Friday. Probably it was a sweet revenge, four years after losing the final in Johannesburg 2010.

Spain vs Netherlands: As it happened

Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben were the two architects of the match structure. But you can easily see Van Gaal’s fingerprints over the match results. Again, probably the manager’s innovative 5-2-1-2 wingback system worked too well for the team. He can also thank Van Persie’s marvelous header for the turn over.

Alongside some mistakes, it appeared to be the best defense in the competition so far. Though Wesley Sneijder was a brilliant foil to Robben and Van Persie, everything else was enough to compensate the situation.

Van Persie told NOS,

“The match has gone exactly as the coaching staff predicted. We went on, and on, and on”

Via sky sports.

Now let’s see the Spaniards for the Spain vs Netherlands match. Only six of the players on the Dutch squad were also around in 2010. Whereas 17 of Vicente Del Bosque‘s contingent were at 2010 World Cup. But there seemed to be a certain staleness about their play. Although, Diego Costa won the penalty, which put them ahead at the very first hour.

There was intricate passing as always. But we can note the lack of real incision in the final third. Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique were often in different postcodes at the back sometimes.

Yes, 5-1 may have flattered the Dutch performance. As David Silva had a great chance to effectively kill the game off at 1-0 at some hour. But it was not that much. On the next game, they are going to face Chile. This is probably another team with same attacking traits and potentials to pose problems for the opponents.

Dutch fans can be relaxed now. Only a victory over Australia will almost certainly send them on to the knockout stages for sure. But as they have just beaten the last Champions, they may now be setting sights a bit higher than that.

Bad day, Diego!!

Diego Costa won a penalty for the team at the first hour. Yes, won is the word. Pretty much an operative word. This put his team ahead. But the end was not a happy one. He had to suffer a painful evening before being substituted for Torres. It wouldn’t be a problem if they were winning. And if, this is not the end of such embarrassment, Diego Costa must be trying to forget the tournament before going to Chelsea. So definitely it can be counted a genuine bad day for the Atletico star.

Final Result: Spain vs Netherlands

Spain 1 – 5 Netherlands

(Alonso; Van Persie (2), Robben (2), De Vrij)
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Spain vs Chile: Defending Champions are the first to be eliminated!

Spain vs Chile: Defending Champions are the first to be eliminated!, defending champions, world cup 2014, Brazil 2014, group events
Spain vs Chile ; image credit o.canada.com/ David Ramos

Is there actually any explanation? The Spain manager, Vicente del Bosque couldn’t have one! Truly the defending champions are the first team to get back home from the tournament, after the unbelievable match, Spain vs Chile.

Probably now we can conclude that the era is ended, unexpectedly ended with a sigh. Two European Championships and one World Cup, good time it was. But it’s over, at least it appears like the very end.

After Brazil steamrollered Spain 3-0 in the Confederations Cup, Del Bosque had to face situations like this. There were quite the same puzzles around. But the last 12 months suggested that he had found some of the answers. You can off-course say that, especially when Spain won eight of their next ten fixtures in preparation for their return to the leadership. Though there was a thrilling 2-2 draw with the same opponent in September was one of only two setbacks for the defending Champions.

After the Confederations Cup final Del Bosque admitted that Brazil were better than them. At that time he also congratulated them for the victory. He said,

“They had more energy than us and they channeled that into every move they made”

And the history just repeated itself on Wednesday as Chile swarmed Spain’s midfield and pressed with rabid persistence. Defending Champions were overwhelmed. Also there was a matter to be noticed, their former conductor Xavi Hernandez was completely left unused on the side bench.

Year ago, it appeared like the Spain team probably need to search for a new striker. Del Bosque had to react that Fernando Torres’ time had undeniably passed. Again a few months later Fernando Llorente failed to take his chance against South Africa. Though he proved himself with his impressive season for Juventus. Yes and obvious, these were not the answers for Del Bosque at that time. Alvaro Negredo couldn’t also let himself to be chosen for World Cup 2014.

May be the plan was to answer the problem exposed by Brazil, by a Brazilian. Spain rushed through Diego Costa’s international transfer and then rushed the striker back to fitness following a hamstring injury. Spain hoped, Costa will provide a similarly brusque finish, like the way Fred’s two goals tore Spain apart in June 2013.

When Costa trudged off after 64 minutes at Maracana, we could easily understand that the plan didn’t actually work. The Atletico Madrid forward has failed to manage a single shot on target for the defending champions. And now the man he is expected to replace at Chelsea this summer. But Roman Abramovich may now have to think twice about another expensive striking gamble.

We know, Costa is more effective than his performance last day. But Chile simply didn’t allow him the space to be at his devastating best. Along with all their individual skills, Jorge Sampaoli’s side can now be considered genuine contenders for the trophy this time. Spain previously employed their quick and transitional tiki-taka to slice open opponents. But may be Chile were comfortably aware of the game plan and the way to hurt the defending champions back.

Sampaoli at the press briefing said,

“I’ll never forget today’s match and I feel very proud of my boys. They believe in one idea and that’s why we’re so dangerous”

He is also expecting to determine this Chile team as the best ever for them.

The Spaniard are now left to ponder their return to the pedestal. This time the future of the exaggerated tiki-taka is well well predictable. Hope for the youth ranks and the players who just missed out on the World Cup squad, will come back stronger at France 2016. There are probable chances to have changes in every prospective aspects, even for the managerial post for Del Bosque himself. As he admitted,

“It’s true that when such things happen during the World Cup there are consequences, we will have to take a decision for what is best for Spanish football and that applies to myself as well”

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Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to start against United States

Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to start against United States, Portugal hope, World Cup 2014, ready against US
Cristiano Ronaldo ; image credit pt.wikipedia.org

The United States football team is pretty much hopeful against Portugal. Especially after the Germany vs Portugal match. Pepe saw red card before the half time because of head butting Thomas Muller. And after that Muller just went on to a hat-trick. Germany won the match 4-0.

But one thing USMNT must be worried about. Portugal’s star player, Cristiano Ronaldo was not at his best that day. He is not even fit right now. But may be ready for the game. Portugal is hoping for the Real Madrid star to Start against US.

The World NO. 1 player of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 31 goals in 31 La Liga games for Real Madrid this season. During the final weeks of this season he was attacked with a knee injury. And finally he carried it out to the World Cup 2014, Brazil.

Cristiano Ronaldo is ready against US:

Most obviously, this kind of injury is hampering the player’s performance. He is struggling against it and before that he is quite ineffective for the team, which in turn making the whole eleven weak.

Plenty of news (mostly rumors) are swirling about regarding the superstar’s present condition. Team Portugal is even denying to reports on him. Some say, Ronaldo’s doctor advised him to drop out of the World Cup. He needs more time to recover. Otherwise it can harm his total career. even if everybody feels, Cristiano Ronaldo is ready.

Still the team has yet to release anything official on Ronaldo’s status. They are hopeful for the good second start. Though Cristiano Ronaldo himself is confident about the game. Some say, he is inspired even with risking his future career for the World Cup event. As he mustn’t be wanting to watch the dream World Cup sitting. His teammates are also hopeful. Probably Cristiano Ronaldo is ready truly.

Miguel Veloso, one of his teammate tries to sum things up optimistic,

“I’m not a doctor but, from what I see, Ronaldo is fine. He is training, he is jumping and he is shooting. There is not much else to say”

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann remains wary of Ronaldo’s threat. He can only hope, nothing more. As they need to survive this match to continue the journey for the lucrative Cup.

The USMNT coach said,

“Now they will come into Manaus pretty angry and I don’t know how Ronaldo is going to perform when he is angry”

He expects from his team, they will show their opponent that how good they are.

These words sounds more like they are preparing for a fully fit Ronaldo. That means Klinsmann is unlikely to show signs of complacency. Fans of USMNT would be happy learning this. They are in fact with advantage, as they will be through to the knockout stage just winning this particular match. Especially after Germany had a draw against Ghana Saturday night. Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to overcome the disadvantages.

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Portugal vs US: Reasons for US optimism, match preview

Portugal vs US: Reasons for US optimism, match preview, USMNT
Portugal vs US ; image credit u90soccer.com

As always, it’s really easy to put too much pressure on any US football team during international competitions. This particular team at this particular time in the history of the sport in this country is pretty different. Especially with this particular coach at the helm of the entire program. Practically they are having as much pressure as any U.S. soccer team ever had in history.

After the World Cup draw, many thought the team had been placed in the Group of Death. As two of the top five teams were with them. And Ghana was the United States’ personal World Cup executioner in each of the last two.

But after the first nine days, things are a little bit changed. Life and death in a World Cup are proving to be different from reality. Fans can now just start proving their own group as the group of death. For England and Spain, they are all the same.

There have been much more surprises around the tournament so far. Many of which could have the United States feeling rather optimistic about its own chances to create.

No matter what the group is, even death is often diagnosed wrong at the World Cup.

Getting three points from a match against Ghana, will make the USMNT confident before the Portugal vs US match. They outplayed their opponents for 80 of the 90 minutes. So why worry about the death, rather they can easily enjoy the rest games.

The US team should be hopeful for the upcoming games. They will be assured the knockout stage with only a win from the Portugal vs US match on Sunday.

Portugal vs US match preview:

United States team must be thinking of their loss of Jozy Altidore. On the other hand Portugal team is not so happy either. They are also losing Pepe to a horrible suspension after head butting Germany’s Thomas Mueller. Fabio Coentrao and Hugo Almeida are out of the tournament because of injury. Even Cristiano can be a matter of disappointment for the Portugal team.

From the Portugal team perspectives, they will be needing two of their last games win. As they can easily figure out that it would be tough to get out of the goal difference disadvantage, already created. So they will be desperate to bring three points from the Portugal vs US match.

US fans must be hoping for something more too. Just look at Chile, Costa Rica and even Mexico. Expectations can change during a tournament. No one ever had expected US team to take down Portugal or Germany. But now, it’s time for at least to provide the challenge.
May be don’t lose, would be the perfect thinking over the top ranked teams for USMNT. Just maintaining this strategy twice, they are guaranteed the next round of the tournament.

Despite the heat and humidity in Manaus, they have to hope multiple non-contact injuries won’t hit. As a one more match to come up.

This week, speaking with the media Bradley said via US Soccer,

“We talked five minutes after the Ghana game ended about being excited and proud of the way we started off but also realizing that one game doesn’t mean anything”

He knew very well, that night was not the sharpest of him. But he emphasized on keeping importance of following up on those three points with a positive result against Portugal. They need to follow up the first game with a good result. They are focused for the game three needing a result or looking at the other game.

If there is a call for optimism heading into the match against Portugal, surely it starts with Bradley. USMNT must make this player understand that he needs to play better. There is no telling, how much better the USMNT will be, when Bradley plays his best. What do you think? Will it be enough for the Portugal team? Probably the Portugal vs US match will reply in a more optimistic way.

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Switzerland vs France: Didier Deschamps shaping the France World Cup Team

Switzerland vs France: Didier Deschamps shaping the France World Cup Team, France vitory, qualifying 2nd round,world cup 2014
Benzema’s another attack ; image credit o.canada.com/Elsa

Former French teammate Eric Cantona once described him as the water carrier. After lifting the trophy at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Didier Deschamps is now coaching his country at this summer’s Brazil World Cup.

The 45-year old has always been Solid and reliable for the Les Blues’. He has been the most trusted players and one of the most important members of those two tournament-winning sides for France. Now, he has been charged with the task of restoring France to greatness. For the last eleven years he has been coaching at club level.

The French have been anything but unspectacular in South America so far. On their last match against Switzerland, they got the unbelievable 5-2 victory. The Friday match is a clear is a clear indication that Deschamps is finally starting to stamp his mark on this french youngsters.

 The team is going to be modeled in their coach’s own image. Also the benefits are starting to become apparent for them.

Switzerland vs France: As it happened

After the 2-0 defeat in Ukraine in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying, it appeared as if the challenge of coaching his country was becoming too much for the former captain. But certainly he has responded well to adversity.

Didier Deschamps has changed his team in terms of both personnel and formation. He tried to find out the boys he could trust better. That’s the way like a 103 times capped former player.

He has already been awarded for his bold decisions. The 3-0 win at Stade de France secured France’s berth in Brazil.

On the Friday match, France tried routing Switzerland 5-2, at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

By only half time, France stormed to a 3-0 lead in a magnificent attacking performance. If Karim Benzema had not missed a penalty, there were possibilities for more. On the 17th minute, Olivier Giroud opened the scoring. Blaise Matuidi doubled Les Bleus’ lead only a minute later. In the 40th minute, Mathieu Valbuena then finished off a blistering counter to make it 3-0 at the break.

After the half time, Pogba unlocked Switzerland’s defense with a brilliant pass into the box toward Benzema. And Benzema finished this time to make it 4-0.

Still, they were not done yet. Just after two minutes, at 71st instant, Sissoko made it five at the other end. Watching deeply, you can easily figure out that Benzema was the catalyst again. He unlocked the Swiss defense. he helped the Switzerland vs France match end with +3 gd victory.

With time running down, the Switzerland side attempted to make an improbable comeback. Dzemaili and Xhaka added their two goals at the very last moments of the game.

Switzerland vs France: Aftermath

Les Bleus also benefited from an early injury. Von Bergen left the match in the ninth minute after having his face bloodied by Giroud’s boot. He was replaced by Philippe Senderos. France quickly gave Switzerland’s makeshift defense look ordinary.

 France went on top of the group E. They have six points already and undoubtedly qualifying for the next round.

On the other hand, Switzerland must regroup before facing Honduras on Wednesday. Goal difference can be the ultimate problem for them to qualify.

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Argentina vs Iran: finally Lionel Messi becomes the ultimate hope for Argentina

Argentina vs Iran: finally Lionel Messi becomes the ultimate hope for Argentina, against Iran, world cup 2014, Brazil
Lionel Messi ; image credit www.telegraph.co.uk

Probably most of the people, especially Argentine fans all around the World, became a slight confused watching the Argentina vs Iran match, Saturday night. Unbelievably people saw Argentina’s desperately tight clash with Iran moved into injury time deadlocked with the score line 0-0. Suddenly the screen showed Lionel Messi slowly advancing on the implacable red defense. And once again, finally he had to be the ultimate hope for Argentina and frustrate his opponents.

The Iran supporters were already exploding in screams of delight. But at the end of the day they had to admit the inevitable, brilliant curling shot eluded Alireza Haghighi’s desperate dive. This was Lio’s second goal in 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil.

For once again, Lionel Messi’s individual brilliance had pulled Argentina out of their footballing anguish. A lot more thousands of supporters decked in the Albiceleste and refused to leave the spot. It seemed like, they just don’t want to miss a little moment from Mineirao stadium.

Mostly Argentina vs Iran match was quite a mediocre one for Alejandro Sabella‘s men. But the conclusion was more like a dream, especially after the starkly disappointing 90 minutes (without injury time).

It was clearly an ecstasy strike from the captain. The coach told the reporters from TYC sports,

“Having Messi, anything is possible”

But he also had to admit that the team performance did not really make him happy, as being desperate for glory from the Brazil world Cup.

Argentina vs Iran: As it happened

Mostly, Argentina’s starting tactics depend on two key factors. Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Segio Aguero and Angel Di Maria combine to fire a 4-3-3 setup that leans heavily on the counter attack. And the other one is to let the opponent to push forward, which leaves their holes exploited for the Argentines.

May be the resolute coach was not prepared enough for the upset. From the very beginning of the game, Iran set out to defend with up to eight or nine men in and around the box. They always picked their illustrious rival to come and get the win.

For a moment, it appeared like Argentina did not desire the victory. Each of their steps started to become labored and clumsy approaches. Although, Higuain looked the most likely to damage. But he must be unhappy seeing a one-on-one saved in the first half. And for most of the time Messi was starved of space. Which was enough for the Argentines to break down themselves.

Meanwhile, Aguero and Di Maria will have every reason to be disappointed with their performance in Argentina vs Iran match. None of their touches were creative or inventive to break open the opponent solid defense. Probably all of their possible passes went astray and the crosses flew over the heads all the time.

After a few more minutes in the Second half, Messi intervened with another majestic goal. But no result. Then it came for a situation, when Iran almost was taking on a victory, if not saved by Sergio Romero. Yes, of course, this kind of save can easily prove his critics wrong.

Think for moment!! Such a defeat could have precipitated a real crisis for the pre-World Cup favorites.

Now, two goals in two opening matches. Perhaps, Lio is trying to prove that he will not wilt under the pressure of a nation this time. But it is unfair to expect the spark in every games from one player, even from the Barcelona genius (Lionel Messi). They have to be cautious, as results cannot always revolve around the magic left foot of their captain. So it’s high time to find for plan B.

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Brazil Vs Colombia: Neymar Jr. is out of the world cup with the broken back

neymar injury, brazil vs colombia, neymar
The moment of agony: image via: www.independent.co.uk

The newspapers on 5th July said it all. On Friday night, The host Brazil may have reached the semi-final beating Columbia, but the full cost of their quarter-final victory was being counted. Neymar Jr, the 22 year old super star of this world tournament, the player has kept the weight of Brazilian expectation with calm and some extraordinary good grace, is out of the world cup with a fractured vertebra.

It put thousands of football fans in mourning while watching a newsstand to see image after image of Neymar in agony, being stretchered off the pitch. As Neymar departed down the tunnel, a hush of agony fell over the Fortaleza Stadium as well as over the fan parks across Brazil. The news on O Tempo said that Brazil won the game but lost his star. The Lance demanded in their front page,

“ Play for him”.

“The World Cup was Neymar’s dream and for years he has been thinking about it”,

Neymar’s friend and agent Wagner Ribeiro said.

Neymar was flown to Galeao air base, Rio de Janeiro after the match. Then he was taken by ambulance to Grange Comay Hospital in Teresopolis, the Brazil training base. Outside the hospital, hundreds of fans gathered holding the banners saying “ Forca Neymar”. The phrase also trended on Twitter by Brazil’s 1970 World Cup winning Captain Carlos Alberto Torres. Now, all Brazil is with Neymar with a hope of his recovery and return to the pitch soon.

brazil football, neymar foul, neymar injury
Neymar on strecher—-image via: www.usnews.com

There was a burst of anger among the fans alongside the sadness and the realization of what this might mean to Brazil in winning the world cup on home soil. The headline of Extra said it all,

“ COVARDIA-cowardice.”

The match possessed 54 fouls in total, more than in any other game at this World Cup. However, 31 of them were committed by Brazil. Rotating the offender to avoid cards, tactical fouling, have been the pattern of Brazil’s play throughout this World Cup. The hosts committed 28 of total 51 fouls in their last match against Chile, the second most fouls match of this tournament.

If there was anger in Brazil, there was even more fury in Colombia too. The newspaper Hoy, Diario del Magdalena was in doubt who was to blame for their defeat. It screamed on the front page accusing the Spanish referee.

The incident of the injury didn’t seem noteworthy in the context of a robust game. Zuniga leapt for a high ball while Neymar didn’t. In that, he failed with the Colombian Defender Zuniga making clean contact with the ball. The Spanish referee Carlos Carballo decided the challenge as clean. The defender’s knee caught Neymar in the back in this incident. It is difficult to say whether there was a deliberate attempt to injure or whether he was simply trying retaining the balance.

For Zuniga it was a normal action. He said,

”I never intended to cause harm the player, although we have to play tough on the field.”

The former Brazilian striker and the World Cup top scorer Ronaldo mentioned the action ‘very violent’. The phenomenon sent his condolences to Neymar saying the whole country is proud of him. The team is now determined to win the world Cup and dedicate to him.

However, winning the hexa with Neymar in the Hospital and Thiago Silva in the bench will be harder than anytime for this Brazil team.

Lets see .

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FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened

Perhaps the football world has found the unchanged favorites. And the nation has just ripped Brazil’s dreams to shreds in the semifinals and also won its fourth World Cup after a tense 1-0 victory over Argentina in the FIFA World Cup 2014 final.

Mario Gotze’s strike ensured Germany’s 24-year thirst for the glory, at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened, winner 2014, World Cup 2014
World Cup 2014 Champions ; image credit www.dailymail.co.uk

For the Brazilians, FIFA World Cup 2014 final could have been calamitous. There was only one thing worse than their national team’s losing. And that thing is, their neighbor country Argentina to win the trophy. Surely that hung heavy over the fans at Maracana on Sunday.

There was actually no coronation for Lionel Messi and no party for Brazil’s greatest ever rivals, Argentina. Instead it was Germany, which celebrated its fourth World Cup title.

Many have said, no European side would or could ever win the World Cup on South America. But now we have to believe that there is always one team to refuse such proclamations.

Even words like ‘organized’, ‘machine’, ‘ruthless’, ‘efficient’ etc. would not be enough appropriate to describe this German side. The world have to admit the wonderful talent which passes through the veins of each and every player of this 2014 World Cup German squad. Germany has long threatened to rule the world football.

It came close in a tournament held in its own country. But they had to undergo the painful defeat by Italy at the semifinal stage in FIFA World Cup 2006.

In 2008, Germany was beaten in the final of the European Championships by Spain before the same opposition ended its World Cup dream in South Africa 2010.

The Germans have made it to the knockout stage in 16 consecutive World Cups. Still it’s their first trophy since 1990. And for the first time, they are the only European team to prevail in a World Cup in the Americas.

The German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said,

“We’re going to celebrate for at least five weeks now”

We can easily understand, how much did Brazilian fans want to see Argentina lose? After Götze scored in the 113th minute, plenty of fans in Brazil’s yellow jerseys in the stadium, erupted. Though this very team just eliminated Brazil from the tournament in the semifinals. But any team other than Argentina winning the trophy would please the home fans.

Obviously the winning team has been the team of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

Their opening game against Portugal, just indicated their urge for victory this time. And their mesmerizing 7-1 victory against Brazil in the semifinals probably ensured their final glory. they fit most for the FIFA World Cup 2014 final.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened, Germany vs Argentina, Brazil World Cup 2014
Ozil trying for the breakthrough ; image credit commons.wikimedia.org

They have secured this win through guts and fights. Also a moment of magic was needed from one of its brightest new stars to overcome the most difficult hurdle for Germany. The Bayern Munich star Gotze provided the game’s defining moment. He took Schurrle’s pass on his chest and displayed the exquisite technique to volley the ball past Sergio Romero.

Finally, Argentina couldn’t find an equalizer for the 1990 World Cup 1-0 loose against West Germany.

Meanwhile, the Argentine fans and players have hung their heads. Lionel Messi is often praised as the best player in the world. And often being compared with Diego Maradona. But Messi has failed to gain universal acclaim in Argentina, where Diego Maradona at least delivered a World Cup title in 1986.

The golden ball has been given to him, but this honor of the most valuable player in the tournament is little comfort for the magical Messi. He just missed the opportunity to cement his legacy. Whatever he has already earned or will earn in future, but this could be his biggest achievement for lifetime!

Messi said,

“All I wanted was to raise the Cup. Right now, nothing else is important”

Probably, it was left to another wonderful talent and his left foot to steal the headlines from Messi with the decisive goal. And yes, off course Brazil can smile once again. Surely there is not enough beer in the entire country to distract from the prospect of an Argentine party on the Copacabana.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: as it happened

Having scored seven in its previous game against Brazil, Germany began to wake from its slumber and only a fine save from Romero prevented Kroos’ fierce drive. It was surely supposed to nest at the corner.

Kroos’ corner dissected the Argentine defense. Benedikt Howedes also had flown through the air before sending a thunderous header against the post.

Just before a minute of the first half remaining, dramatic circumstances forced Romero to thank the woodwork as it seemed like Argentina is getting out of jail.

Germany constantly tried to regroup the South American side. They were eager to use the flanks to exploit a lack of pace in their opponent defense line.

Finally Argentina created the move, which was was thought to be the crucial breakthrough. From the right flank Ezequiel Lavezzi found some space and delivered the perfect cross for Higuain to fire from close range.

Everything was ok and perfect along with the celebration. But it did go again against the Argentines. As the flag of the assistant referee was held aloft after the forward was correctly adjudged to be offside.

Javier Mascherano grabbed his head in disbelief after seeing Higuaín’s first miss. And said,

“The pain will be for life because this was our opportunity”

Tired limbs and minds began to show down the pace of the contest. Both sets of players continuously failed to create any kind of chance for their own good.

Meanwhile Javier Mascherano was quite fortunate to escape a second yellow card. And Schweinsteiger was left with a blood pouring from his face after a clash with Sergio Aguero.

Even the extra time was slower. So, Penalties seemed inevitable.

Then, Germany finally seized its moment seven minutes before the end of the game. André Schürrle powered down the left side of the field and floated a tantalizing ball toward the six-yard box. Substitute, Götze showed good speed to arrive under the ball and chest it down. Lashed the ball past Romero and into the net. His teammates on the field and also on the side bench poured onto the field in delight.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened, World Cup final, Brazil, 2014
just before the score ; image credit commons.wikimedia.org

Surely it was like dream becoming true.

Götze said,

“It is absolutely sensational, a dream became reality”

Also Argentina had a few last-ditch rushes up field. But they were unable to penetrate Neuer’s penalty area. The team was left with a final opportunity when Messi lined up a free kick from about 20 yards.

But there was no magic as Messi’s shot flew over the net. And so it was over. FIFA World Cup 2014 final found its result. Messi kicked the dirt up in the stands. The German fans as well as the Brazilians shouted out with glee. And Frustration was the only thing left for the Argentines.

Like they said, even with the miraculous Messi, Argentina was unable to take the game to penalties.

Such a thrilling finish could fit with a tournament that ended up being more about the games than pessimists had predicted earlier. But the organizers worry completely proved wrong. It didn’t happen like the last year’s Confederations Cup, which was marred by violent protests. Even after Brazil’s national team was embarrassed in the semifinal, also lost the third place game, forecasts of widespread tumult were never realized.

The Argentine president couldn’t be in Brazil. She had to decline an invitation from President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil for illness and a desire to celebrate her grandson’s first birthday. Chancellor Angela Markel of Germany and Russian president Vladimir Putin did make the trans-Atlantic trip. As Russia will host the upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2018. So. We have to wait another four years for another mesmerizing party, a total football party.