Last weekend saw the quarter finals and first up was France v Germany and a very tactical affair which saw the French play badly and Ze Germans win 1-0….business as usual.
Brazil v Colombia was a more lively affair and the wonderful David Luiz free kick goal being overshadowed by the injury (and YES I predicted it!) to star player Neymar, who was kicked in the back by Juan Zuniga’s challenge, suffered an injury to the spine and was stretchered off straight to hospital where it was apparent his World Cup was over. To add to their woes, even though they won 2-1, Thiago Silva, their rock in defence and captain, received a second yellow card and ultimately missed the semi-final…………..
Cue Argentina v Belgium and a highly anticipated affair and settled by an early goal by Gonzalo Higuain and the Argentine team shut up shop and they progress.
The second talking point was the Holland v Costa Rica game and after a fantastic display of football and the bar and goalposts being hit by the Dutch, it went to extra-time and then penalties. Netherlands boss Luis Van Gaal, who will take charge of Manchester United at the end of the tournament, brought Newcastle’s goalie Tim Krul on for Netherlands keeper Jasper Cillessen in added time at the end of 120 minutes. And Krul’s two saves proved decisive, as the Dutch who had lost all their last previous matches that went to extra time, converted all four of their spot kicks and the plucky Costa Rican side were sent home but with their pride intact and the real surprise or the tournament.
Staying with our clog wearing friends the semi final versus the Argies was a very drab affair with few chances and again going to penalties but this time the diminutive Cillessen was beaten four times and big shout out to Sergio Romero the Argentinian keeper who stepped up to the mark and saved two of the spot-kicks. Argentina and Lionel Messi are in the final!
Now to the biggest talking point in football and possibly in the history of the game : the other semi-final between Brazil and Germany.
Brazil were missing their talisman Neymar and their leader Silva and during the singing of the national anthem 200 million Brazilians were convinced that even though they had looked unconvincing throughout the tournament, that a higher power would help them overcome any obstacle. Even Big Phil Scolari, the samba boys manager, citing the memory of Brazilian hero and Formula One triple world champion Ayrton Senna as an inspiration for a glorious victory for the people of this wonderful country.
Nobody told the Germans and they were 5-0 up in 29 minutes! Brazil, without Neymar and Silva, capitulated and looked like they were playing a reserve game in Gillingham!
Capitulated has been the most used work in every account of this match and in the future when they revise the Oxford dictionary and they have the explanation of the word, they are obliged to show a picture of that current Brazil side.
In the press someone said that if the Brazil team had spent more time practising, like the Germans, and less time getting tattoos and haircuts, like the England team, then maybe we would have seen something that resembled a football team.
Hero in the last match David Luiz was undoubtedly still in the clouds as he failed to captain his side and was on more than one occasion seen walking back to the Brazilian half after losing the ball and possibly expecting the missing Silva to mop up. Cue two more goals by the Germans and its 7-0 YES 7-0!
Germany looked like they were gonna score on every attack and it was unbelievable to hear the Brazilian crowd ole-ing the passes and then clapping the wonderful German side in appreciation of them showing the supposed masters of football the cruellest master-class that will NEVER be forgotten.
Oscar’s late goal was absolutely no consolation and Scolari said it was the saddest day of his life……and to many the saddest day in football.
Lets not take anything away from the now favourite German team who were organised and majestic in their passing, defence, attack etc
German striker Miroslav Klose scored and became the World Cup’s record goalscorer with 16 goals in 23 games and beating Brazil’s Ronaldo’s record in the process.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourihno said “ I think everyone who is a player, everyone who is a coach, everyone who is not involved in the World Cup, we are all feeling really sorry for the Brazilians. In 50 years, kids will still know that Brazil lost 1-7 to Germany.
Fact : Jose just sold David Luiz to Paris Saint Germain for £50 million and apparently the PSG directors were looking through their waste paper baskets for the receipt : O )
So its a third place playoff today between Brazil and Holland and what would usually be a consolation game now has significant importance as the host nation vow to win.
Its more than just a game, its religion in Brazil and lets hope they re-build their reputation and pride of a nation of very hurt people.
Argentina versus Germany in the World Cup Final has supreme meaning. As well as crowning the champions, the Argies are the arch-enemy team of Brazil and to see them win the title on the soil of the greatest football stadium in the world in the Maracana in Rio, would undoubtedly rub salt into very sore Brazilian wounds…………BUT I think the Germans will have something to say about that! : O )
So its goodnight from me and its goodnight from him!
Roll on 2018 in Russia! Zabotit'sya
Steve’ Hand Of God’ Sidelnyk