We’re nearly two weeks into the World Cup and it’s fair to say that here at Kettle, we are loving it! So here are a few things that have caught our attention and made our World Cup viewing very enjoyable!
The American enthusiasm
Now I know what you’re thinking. Americans aren’t traditionally the greatest lovers of football or “soccer” as they like to call it over there but this World Cup has shown us that they’re more than willing to get into the spirit.
For instance, they are the team with the greatest number of travelling fans in Brazil and they’re loving every minute of it. We’ve seen some fantastic displays of passion from them during the first two group games—they’ve been sporting some fantastic fancy dress outfits that represent their country and we’ve seen some wonderful displays of emotion that symbolise what this really means to them.
Take their game against Portugal, for example, there were in the lead for nearly fifteen minutes. They almost knocked out their opponents and sealed their spot in the final 16 but when the last minute header from Varela went in, you could see the utter disbelief and heartbreak on their faces.
USA are now among the dark horses of the competition and with strong support behind them, there is no reason why they can’t go far in this competition.
The quality of football
Having seen around 28 of the games that have been played so far, I can safely say that there have only been a few that have lacked quality.
Want proof? Well out of the first 32 games of this tournament we have only seen THREE 0-0 draws. 96 goals have been scored and some of them have been spectacular.
But it’s not just the goal quantity that has been impressive, we have seen so many lower-ranked teams go out there and give it absolutely everything; Australia and Iran immediately spring into mind. Just because results haven’t gone their way, this doesn’t mean that they haven’t cared or they haven’t bothered – they simply haven’t been able to reach the high quality that has been set by their opponents and this is something that they look back on and come out fighting in four years time.
Personally, this I feel that this World Cup will be hard to match and with some saying it’s the best since Italia 90, Russia have a lot to live up to in 2018.
The “shock” exit
We have already seen defending champions Spain make their World Cup exit as they have failed to click as a unit in this tournament. It is a team full of players who need to be moved on to make way for a new generation to put their mark on the kings of tika-taka.
And even though they’ve been in decline since winning Euro 2012, this first-round exit is still be seen as a shock and we will have to wait and see if this has repercussions on manager Vicente del Bosque.
However this does mean one thing—we will be seeing a new team lift the World Cup on July 13th.
Goal-line technology? Pfft, it’s all about the magic foam!
This tournament has seen the introduction of goal-line technology but we still haven’t seen what it can really do and how it can aid officials. In fact, the only good I have seen it do is confuse commentators and make them forget the basic principles of the game.
However, one piece of technology that has been a resounding success is the introduction of the magic disappearing foam that referees are using to mark the spot where free-kicks are to be taken from and how far back the defensive wall needs to be.
This appears to have gone down well with players who are respecting the use of it by staying the position they’ve been placed in by the referee and in an era where the player-official relationship is forever tested, this can only be a good thing.
It has been used in South American football for some years but for the more global-audience this is a concept that has gone down remarkably well and I don’t think it will be long before we see it take on a more global purpose.
What has been your highlight of the World Cup? Have your say in the comments section below.