As the carnival of football ends in Brazil, we bring you a comprehensive analysis of the Good, Bad and Ugly of the FIFA World Cup 2014
Some of those moments which remain this tournament’s highlight for today and many years to come.
Mario Götze Breaks Latin American Jinx
Germany lifted their fourth world cup in Maracanã, Rio after a very tight match which extended goalless till extra time. The Bayern Munich attacking midfielder Mario Götze came off the bench and scored for Die Mannschaft in the 113th minute to seal the deal. Germany were crowned World Cup winners for the first time in 24 years, it is also their first cup after reunification.
The followers of Japan at the FIFA World Cup 2014 waved blue trash bags as balloons to support their national side. Later, they used these bags to collect the trash that had accumulated during the game. This beautiful gesture has inspired many.
James Rodriguez Claims the Golden Boot
The Colombian star James Rodriguez scored six goals in the tournament and claimed the Golden Boot Award. Thomas Muller of Germany who won the Golden Boot four years ago in South Africa scored five goals this year too. 145 goals were scored in the previous segment, though this year the tally has improved significantly to touch the 171 goals mark. The German side has scored the most number of goals in the whole tournament (18).
Miroslav Klose continued his dream run in this World Cup too and scored 2 goals to replace Brazilian Ronaldo as the all-time highest goal scorer at the World Cup. He now has 16 goals in four FIFA World Cups. He is only the second player in history to score 5 goals in two different World Cups.
Keylor Navas, Guillermo Ochoa, Manuel Neuer, Sergio Romero and Tim Krul were some of the brilliant goalkeepers of this World Cup who changed the script by themselves. Manuel Neuer kept the opponents off the score sheet; thanks to his world class Sweeper-Keeper display. His best performance came against Argentina in the Finals where is succeeded in keeping the Argentine attackers form scoring. For making 25 saves and conceding only 4 goals he has been awarded the Golden Glove.
Group of Death humbled by Costa Rica
Being placed amongst footballing power houses like Uruguay, Italy and England, for many Costa Rica never existed in the tournament. But against all speculations Costa Rica not only managed to qualify for the Round of 16, but they did so as the leaders of their group. They managed to reach the Quarter-finals as well. This was their best performance in World Cup history
Messi became the youngest player to represent Argentina at a World Cup when he came on as a substitute for Maxi Rodríguez in the 74th minute against Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, since then the “Best Ever” football player for many had managed to score only once in the last two editions of the World Cup, but this year turned out to be a delight for him and his lovers. He scored 4 times in Brazil but failed to deliver in the Final against Germany. For his dynamic performance he has been awarded the Golden Ball.
Some of those moments which left us cringing!
Espana hits the ocean bed
The reigning champions Spain were expected to mesmerise the football universe yet again with their Tiki-Taka, following from their success in recent years. But rather their performance in this tournament turned out a gross embarrassment, as they lost 5 goals to 1 against the Netherlands in their opening match. Spain could not recover from the after effects of the Dutch onslaught in their first match and were eliminated at the group stage itself after their 0-2 loss to Chile.
Neymar fractured a vertebra during the quarterfinal match of the tournament against Columbia, following a challenge form Colombian defender Juan Zuniga. He was injured in the 86th minute of play and was immediately carried off the field. Later Rodrigo Lasmar the team doctor told reporters “He will not be in condition to play; he will need a few weeks to be fit again. He is very, very sad.” Pundits believe that his absence gave Germany the edge psychologically way before the Semi-final kick off.
Diego Costa jeered
Diego Costa, the Brazil born Chelsea Striker owed his allegiance to Spain before the World Cup kick off, naturally this ignited discontent amongst the Brazilians. In the group stage match between Spain and Netherlands, whenever Costa made contact with the ball it drew boos from the Brazilian crowd that were repeated throughout. Soon chants of “Costa, deer” took the centre stage (deer is slang for “gay”).
Two Croatian photographers in their quest to get an exclusive story went beyond desired limits. They hid themselves in the bushes and photographed some of the Croatian players, who were lying naked by the swimming pool. These pictures were wildly publicised through print and social media.
As a result the Croatian team management decided to boycott the media while in Brazil.
They were the hosts and the favourites; their take-off was like Apollo 11 but when it was most crucial they failed to deliver and crashed under the pressure of expectations and ambition. Their exit from the home tournament came in the most humiliating manner possible; losing both the Semi-final match as well as the Third Place match on home soil. They suffered their first defeat in a competitive game on home soil since 1975 at the hands of clinical Germany in the Semi-finals. This defeat of 1-7 is now their worst ever defeat. They lost to Netherlands 3-0 in the Third Place match.
Nigerian national football federation banned
FIFA has suspended Nigeria from international football citing government interference in the administration of its national federation.
This means no Nigerian team, can play in regional, continental or international competitions.
After Nigeria’s defeat at the hands France at the Round 16 of the World Cup, the High Court of Nigeria ruled that its federation would cease to run the national team, handing over the role to a government civil servant.
This interference breaches the FIFA rules by which member associations are obliged to manage their own affairs “independently and with no influence from third parties.”
Most unfortunate incidents which should not have happened
Racism haunts yet again
FIFA for long has campaigned against racism and tried to keep the beautiful game away from any such controversies. President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil also pledged a “World Cup against racism,” declaring “Sports should be no place for prejudice.” Still on various occasions racist elements blemished the event. According to the Fare Report, FIFA has significantly failed to punish such incidents, such as the “homophobic” chanting’s by the Brazilian and Mexico supporters, explicit banners displayed by followers of Russia, Germany and Croatia.
Neymar’s unceremonious exit from the tournament triggered the torrent of racist insults against the Colombian, Juan Camilo Zúñiga, expressing fury over Neymar’s injury, some Brazilians took to social media to express their rage with racial slurs, showing how far the host of the World Cup and FIFA remains from achieving that goal.
Hannibal strikes again
Luis Suarez has been banned for four months from all football-related activities, ruling him out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup midway. Uruguay team management said they will appeal against the decision, calling it an “excessive decision” for which “there was not enough evidence”. This strict action has been triggered by Suarez’s third biting incident in his football career. Giorgio Chiellini of Italy became his prey during a group stage match.This incident was certainly the most shameful and unfortunate, throughout this year’s tournament.