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Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

England’s Pain: A Fan’s Perspective

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England's Pain

Yes, the World Cup is over, and with today’s attention span being as long as a Twitter post, it’s already long forgotten, especially by American World Cup watchers. Sure, some will remember Spain won, although, it’s doubtful they’ll remember who scored to put Spain over the top of the Netherlands (Andres Iniesta, for those of you who forgot). While I’m still fascinated by how quick the news cycle works, this post isn’t about that. Instead, I’ve asked a great friend of mine to share her feelings about England’s less-than-stellar showing in South Africa.

After the jump, Deb Harrison, a loving mom, wife, and an underrated Internet marketer — British readers, if you have any web marketing tasks, you should check Deb’s services out here — and a voracious football fan gives us a glimpse into the disappointment the English team returned home with after such a lackluster appearance. Her perspective also reminds us being a fan doesn’t always mean cheering for championships.

There’s a lot of sorrow involved as well, right Cleveland fans?

A British fan’s take on a failed World Cup appearance >>

DiCaprio Doesn’t Suck, He Blows

Leonardo DiCaprio

Vuvuzelas, that is; and if you’re any type of follower of IF, you already know we approve of anything having to do with the World Cup and vuvuzelas, unlike those hating gossip blogs. Plus, Leo stars in Inception which, quite possibly, looks like the best movie ever. According to the gossip post, the image(s) of DiCaprio and his trusty vuvuzela came from the Germany/Argentina game.

Hopefully, Leo was pulling for ze Germans, otherwise, he didn’t have much reason to toot his own horn.

More images here.

Carles Puyol Sends Spain to the World Cup Finals

Well, his header did, anyway. So here’s what we’ve got: Spain versus Holland on Sunday for the gold trophy. Who ya got? One thing’s for sure, whichever team you have, you’ll be rooting for what will be first-time World Cup winner, regardless of which team you choose.

I’m picking the Netherlands, 3-1.

Van Bronckhorst’s Awesome Firecracker Goal

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst

Yet another entry into the “best goal of the World Cup” competition, and while there’s no real consensus on the best of the bunch — Tevez’ goal, Siphiwe Tshabalala’s opening rocket of the tournament, the Suarez and Maicon goals; all are worthy of recognition — Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s should be right up at the top. Thing is, it wasn’t just an awesome shot from a good player either. There was some significance attached to it.

First, the goal:


Now for the significance:

Van Bronckhorst will retire from professional football after Sunday’s final in Johannesburg, after playing a massive part in getting the Dutch side there.

The 35-year-old not only smashed in what was arguably the best goal of his career to give Holland the lead but also headed a shot off the line to deny Uruguay.

Not only did the goal broke the ice in the game, while providing the Dutch with the winning margin, it’s also a goal that has a great deal of emotional and professional significance as well. All things considered — the skill involved and what the goal meant on a personal level — it’s hard to argue it’s position when it comes to being one of the best goals of the 2010 World Cup.

Weak-Sauce, Cristiano

That, friends, is Cristiano Ronaldo spitting towards the camera, evidently, in a fit of disgust after Portugal’s ouster at the hands (feet) of David Villa. Now, being upset after losing is completely understandable. Spitting on or towards a person that had nothing to do with the loss? Not so much.

Save for Ronaldo’s acrobatic goal, the Portuguese superstar had quite the mediocre World Cup. Perhaps the saliva rocket was intended for his performance.

H/t to HuffingtonPost for the find.

No World Cup Action Today

… Or tomorrow and here’s what I think of that distinction:


And this:


Granted, like a friend from my office said, FIFA could use this time off to hold a referee basics refresher course, but I’m not liking this “no World Cup” stuff at all. It doesn’t bode well for after July 11, but I’m not looking that far ahead right now. Out of sight, out of mind and all that.

David Villa’s Sends Portugal Home

David Villa

And then there were eight. The first round of the knockout stage of the World Cup is completed, and thanks to David Villa’s second half goal — courtesy of some fantastic passing in close quarters — Portugal will not be participating in the 2010 World Cup any longer. So long, Cristiano. Sorry there were no nifty eye-winks for you to enjoy this time out.

For what it’s worth, Villa’s finish also deserves a wink, if, for nothing else, just how sublime the passes that freed him to score were. Villa’s sticktoitiveness should also get a great deal of credit, because his first shot attempt was deflected nicely by Eduardo, the Portuguese goalkeeper. The second attempt? Not so much:

Next up for Spain is Paraguay, who beat Japan after winning their penalty shoot-out. If Spain continues their advancement towards the final and beats Paraguay, the winner of the Argentina/Germany game awaits.

The idea of that game, alone, is enough for me to root for Spain over the Paraguayans. On the other hand, however, if the Larissa-Riquelme-will-run-naked rumor is true, perhaps I should change allegiances.

FIFA Chief Apologizes, Considers Replay

Sepp Blatter Tweet

Apparently, one can only embrace controversy for so long before said controversy grows into something resembling dissent and outright revolt. Of course, considering the refereeing mistakes endured by England and Mexico, perhaps open revolt is the only way to bring about such change. Evidently, FIFA Chief Sepp Blatter felt this as well, and in an effort to put a cork in the dissension, Blatter apologized to both Mexico and England — which I’m sure made everything better — and mentioned the need to review “the use of technology” in future World Cups.

Consequently, the principle [use of technology] will not be changed for this competition. But with what we have experienced here, it would be nonsense to not reopen the file on technology at the next business meeting of the IFAB on 20 and 21 July in Wales.

Unfortunately, the 2010 version has been mired in numerous bad calls, some that have decided the fate of the suffering team. Again, there’s no guarantee England would’ve beaten Germany (nor Mexico for that matter), but surely they should have the chance to play the game on level ground; especially when they, you know, earned such an opportunity.

I suppose we should be satisfied FIFA is actually considering using modern technology in future events, but for some reason, it feels like a “too little, too late” situation.