Tag Archives: world cup 2014

World Cup Wrap Up

One year ago, someone asked me who would hoist the World Cup in the Maracana. I said that Germany and Brazil would face off in the final and the Germans would raise the Cup. It was a straightforward question and I provided a clear answer but that was long before the groups were made and so much more has happened since that time. (I, personally, wish I wrong. France is my team and I wanted Ivory Coast to make it very far because Drogba is my favorite player.)

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That same person of course asked a few other questions including who else would make the semi-finals and what impact it being in Brazil would have for the host nation. I answered Holland and Spain, and that if the tournament was not in Brazil, the hosts would not make it as far. Simply put. But again, a lot has transpired and it’s worth discussing some of the key points. Here are a few to wrap up the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

1. The Germans were the best balance of talent and teamwork throughout the whole tournament. That is why they won. Add a few fortunate events in their favor in the final and everything works out in their favor. You could easily argue that they earned those favorable happenings including some awful misses by the Argentine strikers. 

2. Despite a poor performance, or rather effort, in the final, Messi was the best single player in the tournament. I’m not saying he deserved the Golden Ball, he wasn’t resilient enough in the final to cement the award, but he made the difference in the group stage and the first knockout stage to send Argentina through. I was shocked by how far Argentina made it, although their path was not the most challenging. Robben and James obviously were the clear contenders for that award. Robben, however, reflected a negative behavior of football by diving often, and James already received the Golden Boot, so the choice is not unreasonable.

3. Injuries had a major impact on results. Some teams were far less fortunate than others. I think France would have made the quarters and even semi finals with Ribery. I think the result of the Germany-Brazil match would have been different with Neymar (and Thiago Silva). With a healthy Aguero and Di Maria in the final, Argentina may very well be holding the World Cup. But the best part of the World Cup is that anything can happen and while we feel bad for those players, such is the nature of the game. I do wish Neymar a full recovery.

4. Some outstanding young players helped themselves get noticed on this grand stage. Alexis Sanchez was immediately signed to the Gunners after his explosive performances. Ochoa and Navas showed themselves to be competitive with some of the biggest names in keeping in the world. James, again, raised his stock immeasurably by carrying an average Colombian team into the knockout stages among a very challenging and potentially second group of death.

5. Finally, the former champions who I still see as the best team in the world failed miserably to defend their crown. While I did think Spain would make the semis, I was not surprised to see them exit early. Italy suffered a similar fate after winning in 2006 with an awful performance in South Africa. Every player on Spain has accomplished many great feats in the world of football and it really just seemed as if this World Cup did not mean much to them. We will see how they rebound.

In exciting news, my club team (Arsenal) has revealed some nice new Puma kits while Manchester United has revealed some hideous Nike/Chevrolet kits. I am anxious to see what Adidas has in store for Man U. Congratulations to Pogba, James, Neuer, Messi, and Germany! I hope everyone continues to watch football even though the World Cup is over. Don’t forget… the women’s World Cup will be in Canada next June so if you are planning on attending let us know because we will be there!

Playing football is an amazing way to build a strong lower back, and stay hungry and fit!

So Long, U.S. Men’s National Team

It was fun. It really was! But through poor playing and being outmatched, it’s finally time to go home. We made it out of the Group of Death, which is something to be proud of, but now we turn our tails before we get to Quarterfinals. I honestly didn’t believe we would get this far. We should all be proud of  the team that they progressed to that point. 

The American team is like no other. We are spontaneous, we are either there or we’re not. If we don’t score early, we’re in trouble. We’re either on or we’re off. There’s no medium, there’s no average for us. We play hard or show up late. There’s no half-way for the American team. And yesterday, they simply didn’t show up. For the most part, anyhow.

And for the “most part,” I mean Tim Howard was the absolute exception. What an inspiration. What a hero. This wall of a goalie saved the U.S. from suffering a more embarrassing defeat. He actually set a record. An American set a record in the World Cup! Tim Howard did the most saves in recorded World Cup history in one game. If you’re going to be proud of one player, it should be Tim Howard.

I can’t exactly figure out who I’m rooting for now. France, Germany, and Brazil run through my mind. I want to see some good games. We are excited for Friday, to see some high-quality futbol! I will restate how much I love the World Cup…all the countries together, leaving problems behind, and just playing a great sport. Cheers to all! As always, stay hungry and fit!

BONUS PUPPY PIC

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Top 3 World Cup Commercials

With all great sporting events, come great commercials. The World Cup is certainly not excluded in this. True, not all Americans will “get” them because Americans aren’t super into soccer. But still, I think anyone can appreciate these commercials. It was tough to choose between the many that different companies have put out, but we have narrowed it down to a Top 3 with a few honorable mentions. 

3. The Last Game (Nike). This commercial is long, so you will mostly likely not see the entire thing aired. However, it is awesome. It’s set in the future where they’ve replaced the “Greats” with clones who can do no wrong. Ronaldo goes around to recruit the Greats back from where they’ve slunk off to (Neymar turns into a barber). They train together and face the Clones to bring back true football. Who will win?!

2. House Match (Adidas). This is just hilarious because you get two all-time “retired” greats–Zidanne and Beckham. You also get two current players, Bale and Moura. The younger players are playing themselves in a video game and Beckham proposes they play actually football. The hilarity ensues as they play two on two, wrecking Beckham’s house. Pure classic. 

1. #BecauseFutbol (Hyundai). Although it’s the shortest commercial of the bunch, I think it’s the best. It has the most genuine, puts-a-grin-on-my-face feeling. A pregnant couple walk into the hospital, only to be surrounded by other expecting parents. Nurses are struggling to find places to put newborns and wonder what happened 9 months ago. And what of course was 9 months ago in this commercial? The Spain winning the World Cup. It shows a flashback and shows the genuine joy you feel as your team wins. I love it. It always leaves a huge smile on my face. 

Honorable Mentions: You can see for yourself…it was tough not to put these in the top 3. 

1. Adriana Lima Transforms a Man Cave (Kia). Simply classic making fun of Americans. 

2. “Avoidance” (#BecauseFutbol) (Hyundai). Literally me at work. 

I hope you enjoyed our selection of favorite World Cup commercials. I could watch them over and over. I hope you are enjoying the World Cup itself, as well! Cheer on! As always, stay hungry and fit!

*Question of the Day: What’s YOUR favorite World Cup commercial?