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Tag Archives: World Cup

Qatar and Russia World Cup Hosting Rights Update

Ever since Russia and Qatar were granted the rights to host World Cup 2018 and 2022, the world went mad. Now, it is another moment of truth when a new decision might see the light and change the shape of the future.

The Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups might be moved away from one, or both, or none of the nations. The endless speculations and rumors will end soon.

We shall know some real and solid answers post the third-quarter FIFA executive committee meeting on 26 September 2014 in Zurich.

This meeting will review the status and progress in the two hosting countries and will have its recommendations in the shape of affirmative decisions.

No one is excited more than the haters of both countries and more than the English media who has been living off the endless news and rumors about Qatar.

For the records, it is good to remind everyone that Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup ahead of Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands joint bids and England, while Qatar overcame competition from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to be named as 2022 hosts.

Let us wait and see rather than just listening to rumors and ‘credible’ sources.

Sheikha Moza with the World Cup trophy

 

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Attempts to Empathize with Messi and Argentina in the World Cup

The World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany is now another game that will haunt me forever.

Argentina had better chances – or actually gifts from the German defenders – to score, but it was exactly what Gary Lineker said one day: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”

Looking back at how Argentina performed throughout the tournament, it was a joy for the eye.

Well, if you were expecting the best forward players in the world to score 10 goals a game, then you were surely disappointed. Argentina played beautiful defence, whether you liked it or not. Before Sabella existed, Argentina never knew how to defend. Sabella did the best thing to ensure this squad makes it to the semi-finals – at least – for the first time in 24 years. He created a defensive system that I haven’t seen anything like it when it comes to the Argentina National Team. He knew his team’s weaknesses and worked hard to turn them into strength. Sabella succeeded in doing so, and showed extraordinary skills crafting the system he played with during the tournament.

However, while paying extra attention to the defence – which, again, was the only way to make it to the semi-finals – Sabella undermined the super attack he had and disengaged the midfield from the front line. He only depended on Messi to do what Messi wanted to do. Messi in return, scored half the team’s goals and created many others. He sacrificed himself for the team and always had 2 or 3 defenders from the opposition trying to take him down. He did not sit in the attack and waited for balls that will never reach him but rather sat deep in the second third of the pitch and created something out of nothing. He may have disappeared in the semi-final match, and in the second half of the final match, too, but he was instrumental why Argentina reached a World Cup Final for the first time in 24 years.

Brazil Soccer WCup Argentina Bosnia

The “disappearance” of Messi resulted in anger by the fans when he was handed the tournament’s best player. I was the first to slaughter Messi and refute the choice, but I was wrong to an extent. I forgot the golden rule that humans should not make statements or take action when under any kind of extreme emotional influence.

To be fair with Messi we should list the following:

  • Messi was over pressurized by media, fans, and everyone to win the World Cup on his own. He was asked to be a god.
  • Comparisons with Maradona were the only thing he ever heard; to the extent he forgot his own name.
  • Muscular burnout and fatigue were obvious to the eye but we decided to overlook them. He was vomiting all over the pitch, in the Final, while we were criticizing him.
  • Without Messi’s goals, Argentina would have earned only 2 points in the Group Stage and left the competition early. That’s how Argentina is weak, even though the opponents were mediocre teams at that stage.
  • Messi was given the role of the leader and he only accepted it so as not to be faced with treason. He never led a squad by his spirit or presence and always depended on his performance and goals to gain popularity.
  • Aguero, Higuain, and some others did not play well, but were not criticized as heavily as was Messi.
  • Sabella chose Gago to sit in the playmaker role, and both failed miserably, while Pastore and some other names could have done a better and much needed job.
  • Lavezzi played a great first half against Germany, but it will remain unknown why he was subbed off at halftime.

Messi was made the scapegoat when Argentina failed to win the Final. Fact is: If Argentina won, no one would even care about the physical and mental state of Messi.

lionel messi after the world cup final loss to germany

I am disappointed that Argentina did not win, and sort of confused if I should celebrate the best tournament achievement in 24 years or retreat in tears.

But what I am sure of is that I am worried about Messi. Is Messi’s body failing him? Is he mentally obsessed with stuff we do not know? Is he stuffed with titles and trophies that he doesn’t have anything to play for anymore? Did he lose passion for the ball? He needs to be checked by a psychologist, physiotherapist, and every possible doctor alive.

Between 2008 and 2014, Messi gave us some mesmerizing football. We should be thankful for that. For the better of the game, and for our own benefit, let us hope that he gives us at least four more years of extraordinary displays and plenty of goals.


Maradona Singing: Brasil, Decime Que Se Siete!

Adding salt to the wound, the legendary Maradona joined the crowds. Maradona was seen from inside the World Cup’s International Broadcast Center in Rio de Janeiro celebrating Brazil’s loss with the staff of an Argentine television network. He was singing the now famous “Brasil, Decime Que Se Siente” but changed the word ‘siente’ with ‘siete’ to indicate number 7 and point out the 1-7 loss of Brazil.

 

Maradona Brasil Decime Que Se Siete

 

Enjoy the video!

 


Argentina Song For the World Cup: Brasil Decime Que Se Siente

If you have been following the World Cup in Brasil 2014, you surely couldn’t miss the one song that is repeated and heard everywhere by everyone.

The song is titled: Brasil Decime Que Se Siente.

 

Brasil Decime Que Se Siente

It is set to the tune of “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival — and predicts not just triumph for Argentina, but deep humiliation for Brazil. And the players themselves have joined the choir [Check this video from the locker room of Argentina after the win over Belgium >>> HERE].

The same song and tune have been around for some years, but the lyrics are altered to fit the occasion of the World Cup – Brazil 2014. The words focus on Argentina’s celebration on Brazilian ground, with reference to four main things: 1- Brazilian humiliation at home by Argentinians 2- The goal that Claudio Cannigia scored in the World Cup – Italy 1990, against Brazil [check HERE] 3- Messi winning the World Cup in Brazil 4- Maradona is greater than Pele.

The lyrics of the song in English are sort of not structured (you can blame Google Translate for that), but here they are in a way or another:

 

Brazil, tell me how it feels

Having your Daddy here at home

I swear after all these years

We are never going to forget

That Diego slipped it by 

To Cani who banged it home

You have been crying since Italy

Messi with no doubt

Will bring the Cup to us

Maradona is greater than Pele!

The Spanish words for the song are almost the following [You can download a clean version HERE]:

 

Brasil, decime qué se siente
tener en casa a tu papá…
Te juro que aunque pasen los años
nunca nos vamos a olvidar…
Que el Diego te gambeteó
que Cani te vacunó
que estás llorando desde Italia hasta hoy

A Messi lo vas a ver
la Copa nos va a traer
Maradona es más grande que Pelé…

 

Enjoy the song… Enjoy the atmosphere… Enjoy the videos below from everywhere…

 

 

 

 


Brazil VS Germany: World Cup 2014 Semi-Finals Quick Thoughts

The Clash of Titans!

It’s the match between the biggest two names in world football.

Shocking enough, Brazil and Germany only met once in the history of World Cup tournaments.

My only memory of that match is Oliver Kahn and his two mistakes that led to the two goals scored by Ronaldo.

The previous encounter was in a World Cup final and this time it’s in a semi-finals stage. The two occasions are too big and just pay tribute to two big teams.

Brazil at this stage are the favorites because they’re the host nation. But that’s not enough. They are missing Neymar and Thiago Silva, while the Germans are fully equipped and have the dream of avenging the 2002 catastrophe.

Let’s hope we see a match worth the names of the two teams.

As a neutral, there’s one extra wish: Klose to surpass Ronaldo’s record.

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Kick Off Times for World Cup Matches – Quarter Finals – Semi Finals – Final

Matches Times are according to Dubai – United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and GMT Timezones

World Cup Matches - Quarter Finals - Time Lebanon Dubai GMT

 

OR; You can download the .pdf version of the table here>>> World Cup Matches – Quarter Finals – Time Lebanon Dubai GMT


KickOff Times for World Cup Matches – Playoffs (Round of 16)

Matches Times are according to Dubai – United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and GMT Timezones

 

World Cup Matches - Round of 16 - Time Lebanon Dubai GMT

 

OR; You can download the .pdf version of the table here>>> World Cup Matches – Round of 16 – Time Lebanon Dubai GMT


Brazil 2014: World Cup of Lies and Propaganda

Hold on! This is not about people finally discovering that Balotelli is overrated and overrated.

Brazil 2014 has by far been the best tournament since 1998 (or at least that’s what I think). However, and before it kicked off, there have been many incidents off the field that portrayed a different image about a football mad country. To name a few, there are the protests, the prostitution, the robberies, and other stuff.

I wouldn’t care about any of the above as long as we can focus on football itself. Yet, the yellow tabloids and media world showed hunger for stories that do not exist and created a lot of propaganda about the footballing aspects in this tournaments.

The amount of lies and fake news during this World Cup has exceeded my expectations and showed that social media is run and fueled by the slightest rumor. I am picking up 3 stories to highlight as fake, and you can either believe them or me or whoever wrote them.

  • NO! Mexico’s Goalkeeper does NOT have 6 fingers: After his heroic displays against Brazil, Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was hailed as a hero in his country and around the world. His miraculous saves were compared to those of legends and the search after the secret of his super powers ended up with the claim that he has six fingers.
  • Messi is not perfect and he did NOT meet the boy mascot: Well, Messi may not be human in football terms, but he is a human being who is allowed to miss out on shaking the hand of a young boy before a football game. Stories about Messi meeting the boy later on – and which were circulating to add to the image of holiness upon Messi – are only fake.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo loves his hair but did NOT shave it in solidarity with a dying kid: The zig-zag in Ronaldo’s hair was said to be in tribute to a young fan, Erik Ortiz Cruz, who had a brain surgery. The mother of the kid denied that. End of story.

All the above may look stupid stories and not worth following, but social media, and sick media are full with similar ones.

world cup of lies

 

FOCUS ON FOOTBALL! THIS THE WORLD CUP! NOT THE OH MY GOD HOW SWEET OR NASTY TOURNAMENT!


Brazil World Cup 2014: Clarifying Tie-Break Rules

With the start of Match Day 3 of the Group Stage of the World Cup, some teams may need a tiebreaker.

FIFA has already set the rules before the start of the World Cup. Here is how teams will be separated in case they end up with equal points after each team plays 3 matches (I was also confused, for some reason, but I will try to re-write them with some explanations):

The ranking of each team in each group shall be determined as follows:

a) greatest number of points obtained in all the group matches;
b) goal difference in the group matches;
c) greatest number of goals scored in the group matches.

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their ranking will be determined as follows:

d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
g) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.

 

In my explanation, and how it will be done:

  1. The first thing looked at is the goal difference (A simple calculation of each team’s goals scored and conceded is done – the team with the better difference is ranked higher)
  2. Second, and in case goal difference is equal, the number of goals scored in all 3 matches of each team decides who is ranked higher (team with bigger number of goals scored)
  3. Third, and in case two (or more) teams have equal goal difference and the same number of goals scored, the direct encounters of the teams involved decide who is ranked higher (obviously, the team who won over the other is the one with the advantage)
  4. Fourth, and in case all of the above doesn’t work, the goal difference from the matches between the teams involved is the decisive factor (the result of both teams – while overlooking the results against non involved teams – and the calculations are done based on less number of matches in this case)
  5. Fifth, and if all of the above is still confusingly equal, the goals scored of the teams involved – after overlooking the goals scored against the non-involved teams – decide who is ranked higher.
  6. Sixth, if nothing works, a draw by FIFA Organizing Committee is conducted (a simple draw where names are picked versus the rank)

Hope this helps!

world-cup


A Retrospective Of Brasil’s Yellow Jersey by NIKE

Thanks to NIKE, I just realized (because I was not even interested before) that the Brazil National Team did not start wearing the now famous yellow jersey before the 1954 World Cup.

The Brasil national team home jersey wasn’t always yellow. It took a devastating defeat in the 1950 final at home to initiate a color scheme change. After wearing white and blue for half a century, the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) debuted a new kit in yellow, green and blue — the colors of Brasil’s flag — in 1954. The design was the result of a national competition, and the new colors stuck.

Nike started making kits for CBF in 1997, after signing on as the team’s official apparel sponsor the year prior. Here, a look inside the process of creating Brasil’s national team home kit for the major competitions of 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Here is one of the Brazil jerseys that I remember as if they were wearing it yesterday.

For the full NIKE – Brazil history, check this link: 1996-2014 Nike’s designs

Nike_Brasil_Jersey_Genome_2002_large


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