World Cup things

July 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

There is nothing more disturbing than this year’s World Cup, because I went into it with the expectations of having Brazil there until the end. When they crashed out, I was all like, “Say whaaat?” I’m not even sure what made them go apeshit like they did. Are the Dutch really, you know, EVIL? Questions to ponder for the next four years. Right now, I’m thinking that Brazil went apeshit because they were guided by Dunga-Devil.

(Trust me, life is always much simpler when you have unvarnished, focused blame directed towards one thing, event, or person. Never fails.)

I had miniscule hopes for Ghana; logically knew they wouldn’t make it to the semis, yet I irrationally could not stop hoping for it to happen. Plus, so much hope resting on this team. After Ivory Coast came in, showed their nipples under skin-tight jerseys, and left, we’ve only ever had Ghana to rely on. I’ve been rooting for them since I saw them in 2006. Their crashing out at the Hand of God (and Mother Mary ) was so bizarre, emotional and disconcerting that I had to take a Panadol to relieve me from the stress of the game. (Fair enough – the game itself was exhilarating.) Up until then, I was all “Uruguay, Uruguay!” Uruguay has played very well throughout; and Forlan and Suarez made excellent moves together until Suarez became… yup… the Hand. Who says football support is ever reasonable? Anyhow, so that was the end of the Uruguay support. I think I’m still wondering why Gyan missed that penalty shot post-handofgodincident but perhaps that question will dim in time.

I mean, surely Suarez is a Parseltongue on top of everything else. But never mind, I will let it go.

So forgetting that, I didn’t come into the tournament expecting to support Germany. But support I did, because they mesmerized while on the pitch. They perhaps were not consistent; but they dazzled. I mean, Germany? Who would expect them to dazzle? But then they crashed out to Spain; in fact, they crashed out to Spain while appearing not to do a thing at all. Which is why I link to this article, because I ranted on Twitter, perhaps unfairly or perhaps correctly, that Spain played masturbatory football. However, the whole world (especially the half of the world with a better understanding of football than I do) seems to think they played exquisite football. I thought it pertinent that one of the comments in the article above was: “The perceived dullness of games involving Spain is far more a factor of how teams play against them as opposed to Spain themselves.”

See, I’m open to comments about Spain that talk about their non-masturbatory football. I’m open-minded and shit. Anyhow, links to stuff other eloquent, passionate people said about the games below:

  • Supriya Nair writes beautifully enough when she’s writing about books; but as others have often mentioned, she’s one of the rare few who writes about football like it’s intelligent (and intelligible) poetry. This is one of her more incisive pieces (full disclosure: I have, on occasion, been a “highbrow soccer dork” *facepalm*).
  • Over at The Run of Play, there was this excellent piece on the deliriousness of the two days of the semi-finals.
  • Despite knowing, intellectually, that Luis Suarez’s handball was “just a part of the game,” it must be said that I felt more like this. Again, let me just say – no one said football was reasonable. I mean, the refusal for video technology is to preserve the sanctity of the mess – strategic, on the pitch – or emotional, on and off of it.
  • Over at The New Republic’s Goal Post, I enjoyed Daniel Alarcon’s Best and Worst of the World Cup 2010.  Also, Leon Krauze’s list. Regardless of how I feel about Suarez, Uruguay as a team was strong – and Forlan? I’ve heard him been called Goldilocks, and a nancy boy, but he’s never wavered nor diminished himself in any way while playing. He WAS “graceful, charismatic and disciplined: utterly charming.”
  • And finally… the discovery of the tourney: not the first, nope… not the second… yes, the third. Again, I’ve heard him being called a goldfish… a tadpole… a Romantic poet… but he reminds me of a sprite I’d just like to sit with in a forest. What? Oh yeah, no, the guy plays football like… a sprite would; fleet-footed, swift, swooping in gently from corners.

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