O Redação do Esporte mudou de hospedagem! Acesse nosso conteúdo atualizado em:

sexta-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2013

The World Cup on backyard > Bring on the World Cup!

The anticipation of watching 32 balls come out of a pot! Though a ball won’t be kicked for months I couldn’t fake disinterest in the glitzy affair fronted by the rather white looking Brazilian presenters. Have they ever fielded a team so white? Schizophrenic attitudes to race apart, the event was well organised and built up the tension well.

After benefitting from seeding and being drawn in the ‘group of life’ in 2010 with Algeria, Slovenia and the United States, the last thing I wanted personally was to be drawn with Switzerland, clearly the weakest of the seeds. The effect of being in an ‘easy’ group is the accompanying rise in expectation, which puts more pressure on the players.

The World Cup is cruel: just one mistake and you can be labelled as a choker for life. Just ask Brazil’s 1950 goalkepper, Moacir Barbosa. The last thing you want is extra pressure and expectation. The apparently easy group Brazil have for 2014 should ensure them easy passage: Cameroon and Croatia are not the forces they once were and Mexico go from crisis to crisis change their manager every week.

Roy Hodgson commented in an interview that he didn’t want to go to Manaus, offending the mayor of the city and its citizens. Inevitably England will start there in the humid climate. The English media have painted the draw as a difficult one for England. It could be much worse: Uruguay are a mediocre unit carried by two excellent forwards, Italy are a respectable outfit, but nowhere near the level of Spain, Germany or even Holland. Costa Rica look the 4th best team on paper, may that be their motivation!

Outside of the England group, Chile must feel cursed as maybe the best side in their history must now negotiate Spain and Holland to qualify. Argentina should be able to score 10-12 goals in a group that looks straightforward for them, but will their creaky defence be ready for a big test in the knockout rounds? Meanwhile much fancied outsiders Belgium and Colombia both look good to progress easily and get their chance to embarrass the traditional forces in the 2nd round and beyond. Germany may face stiff competition from a strong Ghana side, a stubborn Portugal and a much underrated United States, under the stewardship of Jurgen Klinsmann, who will struggle with divided loyalties against his country of birth.

The 2.00am UK time kick off will not suit UK viewers, but surely the players will be grateful to take to the field at 10pm in the evening when the climate will be less oppressive. Just thinking about the late kick offs brings back memories of USA’94 as a child. This time the games will be watched in drunken bars.

Bring on the World Cup!

Click here to read de portuguese version.

* In Column World Cup on Backyard you go into the atmosphere of Brazil's World Cup, with the analysis about the most important national teams who will visit us by 2014.

by Mark Biram | from Newcastle (England) | @markbiram |

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário