FIFA did well to schedule the final stages of the World Cup with the school holidays, but I’d have preferred if they’d started a couple of weeks later so we had games every morning.
The last couple of days have been murder trying to get work done in a house with two young boys going at it from sun up to after sun down. I work from my home office most days and it usually works well, but it’s a full house at the moment with the boys home along with a six week old baby and my wife.
At least if we’d have had the football on this week and next then that time could have been allocated distraction time and I wouldn’t have been battling with something I couldn’t beat.
Something to think about for next time Sepp. Thanks.
The quarter-finals weren’t much fun, but then I think we expected that. The four big guns made it through, with varying degrees of control, and so we’re set for a couple of potentially classic semi-finals. There’s that ‘P’ word again.
This stage of a competition is not about entertainment for the fans, though. It’s about winning. It’s about hitting the target once and holding on. If you want an open attacking game at this stage of the tournament then you’ll have to wait for the 3rd place play-off. Those games usually have lots of goals but they’re never classics because no-one cares whether they win or lose. There’s not much at stake.
The semi-finals and final, however, have far more of a chance of being classic matches. Why? Of course, there’s still so much at stake, but the stories surrounding the teams and players still mean so much because they still have a chance of a happy ending.
For Brazil it’s all about winning at home and erasing the tragedy of 1950. The Germans are the nearly team – so consistent yet they haven’t won anything since 1996. With Argentina we have the Maradona throw-back with Messi trying to single-handedly carry his team to the title. The Dutch have been runners-up three times – the best side to never win.
The sport is overshadowed by everything else. A good game is just a bonus.
In a Kiwi context, we can look back to the 2011 Rugby World Cup final for a comparison. The game, the actual sporting component, was so poor that if isolated it would have turned even rugby diehards off the game. But it was epic because of what that win meant to our country, after so many years of choking and failure, where it was played and the feel good factor of a great local event. And the fact it didn’t come easy. The quality of the game itself was irrelevant.
What will the next couple of days bring?
Picks for Day 26
Brazil 0-1 Germany. I just think the Brazilians will be too underpowered without Neymar and Thiago Silva. Unless someone slips some dodgy chicken into the Germans’ dinner then the game will be up for the hosts. It could happen though…