As you know, the 2014 Men’s World Cup was the most awesomest awesome in the history of awesomeness. Or was it?
The tournament had plenty of problems, of course. There were the construction tragedies at stadiums and road building sites, the security issues at various stadiums like the Maracanã, the stifling heat at many of the stadiums, the fact that most of the host cities were not connected by regular direct flights, the illegible television graphics, the absence of Landon Donovan, the presence of Luis Suárez, and the presence of Luis Suárez’s teeth.
But even with all these problems, many memorable moments took place during these last two fortnights. Some of the 736 participating players stood above their colleagues, and others should be standing in a trench. Let’s find out which is which, with the help of the GoobNet Football Committee.
Note: The answer to the above question was yes.
|Round of sixteen||P||W||D||L||GF||GA||Pts|
|Eliminated in group phase||P||W||D||L||GF||GA||Pts|
Australia 02-03 Netherlands
Edvard says: The Socceroos ended up with no points on the tournament, but not for lack of effort. They gave me quite a scare in this match, not least due to the delightful equaliser by Tim Cahill. Australia gave the Netherlands the tough test that we had all expected Spain to pose in their first match.
Netherlands 00-00 Argentina [F/OT; pen: 02-04]
Reg says: The semifinals of the Men’s World Cup are difficult to predict. The teams are one step away from the final, but will they throw caution to the wind and try to storm past their opponent, or will they play cautiously and try to avoid gifting their opponent a place in the final? In this match, of course, both teams chose the second option. Dishonourable mention to another goalless draw, the one between Iran and Nigeria [far fewer people were watching that one, at least].
Nigeria 02-03 Argentina
Reg says: Lionel Messi scored twice, but each was followed shortly by Ahmed Musa equalising for the Super Eagles. The first two goals came in the first five minutes, and the other goals were all clustered around either side of halftime. But then after that, the teams realised that Bosnia-Herzegovina were leading Iran, a result that would put both Nigeria and Argentina into the round of sixteen. So both teams took it easy from then on, with Messi being substituted out.
John BOYE, Ghana
Reg says: This tournament had a whopping five own goals, including Marcelo’s to open the tournament. But the one from John Boye, angled off his boot and over his keeper’s arms, was the most spectacular.
Debbie says: The Brazilian supporters were delightful throughout the tournament, even at the semifinal against Germany. By the end of the match, they gamely cheered their conquerors. They reserved their scorn only for someone who deserved it: Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose game plan needed work.
Edvard says: You mean, his game plan needed a game plan.
Debbie says: Yes, it needed work because he clearly didn’t put any into it.
Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER, Germany
Debbie says: You have not lived until you have heard Brazilian commentators try to pronounce “Schweinsteiger”. Honourable mention to Lazaros Christodoulopoulos of Greece, owner of the longest name in the tournament [though he would have won this award had he worn his surname on his jersey rather than his first name].
Ciro IMMOBILE, Italy
Edvard says: He is also a description of his team’s defending against Costa Rica.
Wen says: In the GoobNet SPEED offices, speculation was rife on the cause of his name. The current leading theory is that his mother was too lazy to write the rest of the last letter on the birth certificate.
Wen says: A few Brazilian players were equipped with fros, but it was Willian who showed the rest how it is done. Honourable mention to the bald beard combination best displayed by the US’s Tim Howard and Belgium’s Anthony Vanden Borre.
Kyle BECKERMAN, United States
Wen says: Jermaine Jones, be a dear and instruct your teammate on the proper use of dreadlocks, would you? Thanks.
Alexandre SONG, Cameroon
Wen says: Congratulations to Alexandre for introducing the sideways mullet: business on the sides, party on the top. Honourable mention to Germany manager Joachim “Beatlemania” Löw.
Edvard says: Hey, remember when everybody thought it was a great idea to concentrate on maintaining possession so that your opponent couldn’t score a goal? Yeah, how’d that work out, Spain?
Nicola RIZZOLI, Italy
Edvard says: Taking charge of four matches, including the final, Rizzoli did a fine job in each. Furthermore, whilst FIFA still has not introduced a standard protocol for dealing with concussed players, Rizzoli handled Christoph Kramer’s head injury in the final as best he could: he informed Kramer’s teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger that Kramer had asked what match he was playing in. A few minutes later, Joachim Löw took Kramer off the pitch.
Carlos VELASCO CARBALLO, Spain
Edvard says: Velasco completely lost control of the quarterfinal between Brazil and Colombia. The match had 54 total fouls, including many on the star strikers, James Rodríguez and Neymar. Neymar, of course, was felled by a reckless challenge by Juan Camilo Zúñiga that Velasco either did not see or did not care about.
Marco Antonio RODRÍGUEZ, Mexico
Reg says: Rodríguez took charge of three matches during the tournament before announcing his retirement this week. He was the referee for Belgium’s 2-1 win over Algeria and the Mineirazo, both good performances for him. But in his other match, Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy, he and his assistants failed to observe The Bite, a particularly ironic situation considering that Mexicans know Rodríguez as “Dracula”.
Igor AKINFEEV, Russia
Reg says: Four years ago, we thought we would never see another goalkeeping blunder like Green’s at the Men’s World Cup. Well, Akinfeev nearly bested that with his mishandling of Lee Keun Ho’s shot from distance. It was headed right for Akinfeev’s gloves, but then it suddenly spiralled over his head and across the line.
Primary kit, Cameroon
Debbie says: The Indomitable Lions were anything but, although their kits were a striking update of their traditional green, red, and yellow. The pattern on the shirt was inspired by cave paintings by early residents of the country.
Secondary kit, Mexico
Debbie says: We here at GoobNet remain opposed to the recent trend of teams wearing goalkeeper kits as normal kits. Spain’s second kit receives a dishonourable mention for the same reason.
Third kit, Spain
Debbie says: FIFA totally fucked the Spain-Netherlands match up. Normally, Spain would wear their red first kit, and the Netherlands would wear their blue second kit. But FIFA insisted that this combination would not work. So Spain should wear their second black kit, and the Netherlands should wear their first orange kit, right? No, FIFA demanded that Spain create an entirely new kit for no reason whatsoever. To make matters worse, FIFA actually did permit a red-blue combination in the Switzerland-Ecuador match.
Debbie says: No doubt Germans no longer care that their Weltmeisters wear white shorts rather than black. But we do. Stop it, Adidas. This is an even greater offence to championship fashion than Germany FR’s 1990 kits. Three other teams outfitted by Adidas – Argentina, Colombia, and Spain – also wore the wrong trousers, though Argentina at least brought back their black shorts for the semifinal against the Netherlands.
Luis SUÁREZ, Uruguay
Wen says: Remember when you were watching the Italy-Uruguay match? Your friend said, “Wait, did he just bite that guy?” You said, “Yes.” Your friend said, “Why would he do that?” You simply said, “Because Luis Suárez.” From this moment forward, this award is to be known as the Luis Suárez ‘Dafuq? Oh, Of Course’ Award for the Most Inexplicable Inevitability.
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