Friday, July 4, 2014

Au Revoir Les Bleus

Christ the redeemer
What more the fans worldwide would ask for, a quarterfinal match between two formidable West European nations, Germany versus France. A clash between the titans you can call it. I was super excited and thought it would be a cracker of a match, but it turned out to be everything but a nail biter. Looking at their past performances in this world cup it was pedestrian I would say. Nevertheless Germany had the last laugh and they beat the French by a solitary goal, thanks to Mats Hummel. The French never looked menacing except for some time in the second half, when Karim Benzema was lurking dangerously near the German goal post. German Goalie Manuel Neur thwarted all the French attempts and helped Germany sail through.

France loses the fight againts Germans
Germany beats France
Going by the stars German team had, they had an upper hand over the French and were the favorites to win the encounter, which they did. French team might have missed the services of their veteran striker Franck Ribbery, but at this stage if’s and but’s have no meaning. The French team is laden with newbies as compared to the German’s who have veterans like Podolski, Klose, Khedira, Lahm, Schweinsteiger etc. This gives them an edge over their opponents. French coach Didier Deschamps lauded the French team and the way they played. He did admit the German’s were too hot to handle. The French will now have to wait for another 4 years to make an attempt to grab the coveted trophy. On the other hand the German’s are inching forward though not convincingly. Their next match is against the hosts Brazil. German’s will have to play out of their skin to get pass through them. This would be a tough test for the European nation, with nearly a billion people rooting for Brazil. For Brazil this match would be more than just wining, for they would inch towards the title, which they want to dedicate it to their country, which is going through a rough patch. With Neymar Jr out of the world cup due to injury, is a tough blow to their prospects, but they will have to forget all the adversaries and play like champions to realize their dream.

Brazil defeated Columbia by a one goal margin. This ended the dream run of the Colombians who played like Champions throughout. No one expected them to reach so far, but they surprised one and all. Their star was undoubtedly James Rodriguez, with his boyish charm, he looks more like a hero of a romantic movie rather than a tough footballer. He was inconsolable after the loss and that was obvious, nevertheless they bowed out of this world cup with heads high and winning a lot of hearts and fans worldwide with their style of football. The Brazilians are through to the semi-final but at the expense of their star Neymar Jr who broke his back and is out of this competition. He would be badly missed is what many say. More than the skills, what is working for the Brazilians is the well wishes of the fans worldwide who want them to win, this would assuage to a great extent the pain the turmoil the country is going through. Let’s wish Neymar a speedy recovery. 

Neymar to miss WC due to injury
Neymar Get Well Soon
Messi, Messi and Messi, he is everywhere. This diminutive powerhouse is a talisman for the Argentinian team, and he leads from the front. Whenever he is in control of the ball, something extraordinary happens and is a treat to watch. I would go ahead and say his legs are magnetic and the ball simply does not wish to go away. This was also said of the great wizard of Indian hockey, Major Dhyanchand, his dribbling skills were such that the ball rarely left the hockey stick. Taking a cue from Messi are his team mates, Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuin. They complement him beautifully and have proven to be a headache for the opponents. The other day Di Maria named Angel rescued the team and took them through against the Swiss. Gonzalo Higuin living up-to his reputation scored against the French and bid them Adieu. They all are peaking at the right time and this is good news for the South Americans. This would relieve Messi of some of the responsibilities and the expectations. They are in semis and business end of the competition, any mistake or lethargy can prove costly for them and would send them home empty handed. Watch out Messi and Co.
Argentina stars want the cup
Argentina the hot favorites
The Dutch are on a roll, they got through the resurgent Costa Ricans but only in the penalties. The tiny South American nation stretched the mighty Dutch beyond the extra time to loose in the penalty shootout. This world cup has brought to the fore the emergence of teams from Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Iran etc. They were considered minnows but they proved to be a thorn in the flesh of their opponents. The Dutch are really looking like a team who want the cup at any cost. The players are delivering when it really matters. Sneijder, Robben, Depay, Huntelaar, RVP is a deadly combination and a severe threat. Going by their performances in this world cup, they stand the best chance to raise the trophy. Time will tell who lay hands on the coveted trophy. Keep Watching.

Dutch are on a roll
Dutch to win the WC?

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