Mystery Doc's Word
Luis mate, I've stood up for you for a while now, defending you from the likes of the Wildcard who despises you. You're making it bloody tough mate. You've got the footballing world watching you perform, you're showcasing your talents to millions who have possibly never even heard of you, so what do ya do!? You fulfill your evil potential.
I don't know whether I'm sad for Suarez, he could have made this World Cup his own. I'm not sure if I'm sad for myself cos I won't get to see Suarez dominate defenders or because we've seen stupidity ... again. Ah Luis, good luck my friend. Good luck.
Both Italy and England not making it out of Group D? Geez Louise, not sure many would have picked that but it's good. It's awesome in fact because you've got a team like Costa Rica topping the group. Then you've got Mexico joining the Brazilians in Group A and Chile joining the Dutch in Group B. That's why I'm enjoying this World Cup because it's got the mix, the right mix of underdogs, top dogs and pure entertainment.
Here's hoping the Germans can touch up USA.
Three times. Three times in his career, Luis Suarez has *bitten* another player. The first time it was just weird. The second we made our jokes. The third, well it is a joke. How can a grown man possibly think that biting another person is in anyway ever an appropriate response to anything? And to do it THREE SEPARATE TIMES in his career! He’s a mad man. A genius of a player, that’s beyond doubt but also the single biggest scumbag in the game. I thought it was shameful of the Liverpool players to defend him so publically when he had his racist spat with Patrice Evra and he’s only continued to act like a psychopath since. We can’t keep making excuses for him because he scores great goals. Dammit I hate this guy.
But I love Miguel Herrera. The Mexican coach took a massive risk when he picked only home based players against New Zealand in the qualifiers, but it paid off. Now just look at the passion and the camaraderie that he’s got in his team – best embodied by Herrera himself, the man of many emotions. It’s great to watch and hard not to cheer for a team and a coach so emotionally invested in what they’re achieving. It’s pretty awesome to remember that these Mexicans had to go through Glen Moss and co. to be where they are. Rafa Marquez has played at Westpac Stadium!
I did my very best to avoid precious sleep and watch the final England game, and I was bored off my nuts. Terrible stuff. I like Frank Lampard but I think that’ll be his last England game (he was pretty decent, to be fair), and I wouldn’t complain if Gerrard wandered off too. Rooney is clearly the most creative player they have yet Hodgson kept marginalising him, while I’m struggling to imagine how Sturridge scored 20+ goals last season with finishing instincts like that. On the plus side though, Adam Lallana is good value, I still love Phil Jones (PUT HIM AT CENTRE-BACK, VAN GAAL!) and Ross Barkley is outstanding. Don’t ever change, Ross.
Greece were awful the first two games, but seemed to save the best for last. So devastating for Ivory Coast to lose like that, though Greece deserved it. Also, why do we have to call them Côte d'Ivoire? We still call Spain Spain and not Espana. We call Brazil Brazil and not Brasil (pronounced Bra-seeeel). One rule for all, please FIFA. Greece may even sneak into the quarters given they have Costa Rica to play next. The team y’all gotta watch out for is Colombia though. I think they’re the most fun team in the comp and they boast some of the best young talent in the world (read: James Rodriguez). If all’s fair in the world (which it ain’t), they’ll fustigate the Uruguayans. ¡Vamos Colombia!
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Rafael Marquez (Mexico) – The legendary Mexican captain and centre back has worn the armband at four World Cups now, and has scored in three. The latter thanks to his opening goal against Croatia that helped propel the Mexicans into the next round where they’ll no doubt give the Dutch one hell of a test.
Neymar (Brazil) – All the pressure in the world on this lad’s shoulders and he plays like that!? It’s not just the goals, it’s the flair and the energy. Chasing down long balls, creating chances for others, tirelessly working. He doesn’t even dive much!
Faryd Mondragon (Colombia) – The oldest man to ever play at the World Cup. His being subbed on against Japan was a bit of a farce, but at least it made for a nice moment. He turned 43 on the weekend, and played all three of Colombia’s games in 1998, as well as travelling to the 1994 Cup. Diego Maradona played at that Cup. Wow.
Ivory Coast – Ah, man. Greece deserved to win, to be fair, but no team deserves to go out in the way that they did – to a last second penalty. I don’t think the penalty was all that controversial, it’s just that obviously fans need something/someone to blame when they have the rug taken away from under their feet like that. Brutal.
Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – It’s been said.
Claudio Marchisio (Italy) – Look, despite all of the other drama, Italy should have been cruising towards the kind of suffocating draw that they are so good at getting. And they were, until Marchisio needlessly raised his boot into an opponent and was sent off. Tough call or not, he had the possession of the ball, yet jumped into a tackle! Hard to defend that. Mario Balotelli deserves a slap too for playing football like a Kardashian having to do the laundry.
Golden Boot Watch
4 – Neymar (Brazil)
3 – Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
3 – Robin Van Persie (Netherlands)
3 – Thomas Muller (Germany)
3 – Karim Benzema (France)
3 – James Rodriguez (Colombia)