I wanted to post a review of what I thought about the World Cup. I am a big fan of the World Cup, EURO, Winter and Summer Olympics. Watch it obsessively. I never watch TV. But it is during these events that I am so into these games. I am also not a sports fan, never watch of play sports, but I just love these four events. They are fun to watch but also I love the idea of peace. The goal behind the championships of soccer and Olympics is to promote peace over war. Whether it really succeeds or not is a different question but as far the idea goes it definitely has my support.
Before I give my review I wanted to tell how well I made predictions. I made some predictions back here if you want to look at them again. But before FIFA even started I made the following predictions (some of them are explicit in my June post). My first prediction was that France will embarrass itself without Zidane, he was what made the team great. I was correct, most people were wrong. My second prediction was that Brazil, unlike as many or perhaps most guessed, will not reach the semi-finals. I was correct. My third prediction was that Italy, Spain and Germany will reach the semi-finals. I was almost correct, Italy did not even get out of group stages, surprisingly. My fourth prediction was that, depending on the playoff chart, Germany will take either 2nd or 3rd place. I was correct. My firth prediction was that the US will embarrass itself. I was almost correct. The US was a bad team, as I said, but it earned by respect, it has some great moments. My sixth prediction was my grand prediction, I predicted that Spain would win the World Cup, despite the surprise of many people after they heard my prediction, I was correct. What does this all mean? It means I know my soccer well, I know what I am talking about.
FIFA should be divided into two halves the first two weeks and the last two weeks. The first two weeks were terrible, the last two weeks were great. The problem with the first two weeks was the refereeing. Terrible, embarrassing at the decisions the referees made. It is about time that we looked at all the terrible decisions by the referees and realized that we need to install cameras to judge the game also. Every other professional sport has cameras to look at the plays from all different angles, only soccer is so backwards that we rely on the ancient practice of using referees to make all the decisions without any cameras and without any replays. This lead to so many disastrous decisions, here are just some examples that really bothered me: 1)Miroslav Klose (Germany) receives a red card for the simplest of all fouls, Germany is one of the smoothest playing teams, they never get red carded, for Klose to be red carded is ridiculous, the commentators watching the game were all shocked and angry at the referee's decision, just ruined Germany's game against Serbia. 2)Thomas Muller (Germany) receives double yellow card for a handball, even though it was an accidental handball, Muller is sent off from the next game in the semi-finals, that ruined the Germany team for the semi-finals. 3)United States got denied a goal against Slovenia. This was just ridiculous on all levels. The United States, behind 0-2 to Slovenia after the first half had a miraculous second half when they caught up to Slovenia 2-2 and then scored a goal in the 86' minute, wow, that is amazing. But for some retarded reason the referee did not give them that goal, it was not even explained, no offside, no foul, clean goal. At least the referee got fired. 4)United States got denied a goal against Algeria in the first half. The goal was a clean goal and what is surprisingly is that this is the second goal in the row to be denied to the US! Luckily, in a dramatic finish, the United States managed to score a victory goal in stoppage time. 5)England got denied a goal against Germany. In the first half England scored a goal that bounced over the line and then out of the goal again. From every camera angle it was clear that was a goal. But the referees did not see. So a goal was stolen away from England. Again, this is the reason why we need cameras. 6)Argentina scored an illegal goal against Mexico, their first goal. Clearly an offside goal. Everyone watching FIFA on their TV's was easily able to see the offside goal. All the replays show an offside goal. Argentina scores an illegal goal. Mexico starts complaining to the referee against the goal. Instead the referee checking on camera to see if he made a correct decision the referee ignores all of their complaints and gives Argentina a goal. There are more of these dumb calls, but I guess these are enough examples. This FIFA was a perfect demonstration of why we cannot rely on old fashioned referee "technology", we need to use cameras so that referees can rejudge their decisions immediately.
Not let me get to the parts I liked and disliked about FIFA.
I disliked that Klose was robbed so many opportunities to scored one more goal, a goal that would have tied him with Ronaldo (Brazil) for the most number of goals. First he gets red carded unfairly. Second he misses the next match against Ghana form his red card. Third the coach for some pathetic reason did not put Klose to play in the 3rd place match against Uruguay, why not?! That was the man's final match! Let him play. Let him score. We all wanted to see Klose score that one more goal. He really got robbed of so many opportunities. He scored 4 goals in 4 games he played, quite positive that he would have scored at least 5 goals in all 7 games he should have played.
I loved the play by Suarez (Uruguay) against Ghana in the last second. I know a lot of players are saying that Suarez cheated but they are being stupid. It would be cheating if Suarez did what he did without anything happening to him. Suarez got red carded. He got banned from playing in his next game. Ghana received a free penalty kick. And they missed. How is that cheating? That is exactly what should have happened. Suarez was the man of the match in that game. Nicely done, he did what he had to do.
I disliked Germany's final game for 3rd place against Uruguay. Yes Germany is my favorite team and they won but they won with a brand new team. About 80% of everyone playing on that team was the substitute players. Even the goal keeper. Coach replaced Neuer with Butt, yes that was his name, Butt. And he sucked as a keeper. Neuer is alright as a keeper, Neuer should have played. Besides Germany looked bored. Uninterested in playing their 3rd game match, not very serious about winning.
I really liked Thomas Muller from Germany. Just 20 years old and he won the golden boot award for most goals! And he was given the best young player award of 2006. I am sure that Muller will be a big player for Germany in 2012 in EURO and 2014 in FIFA again. I think that when Klose retires Muller should be put into the striker position. He would score lots of goals.
And I was so happy when I heard that Diego Forlan from Uruguay received the best player of FIFA award. Absolutely deserved. Forlan was outstanding. Any list of top ten goals in FIFA must include 3 or 4 of his 5 goals on that list. That is just how awesome of a striker he is. He is the main reason why Uruguay got so far as they did.
I really enjoyed the Uruguayan goalkeeper Muslera. He is so sexy! It was pleasing to the eyes to watch him play. When he bended over to pick up the soccer ball I had some sexual thoughts haha. Any girls agree with me here?
Finally I was glad to see Germany reach the semi-finals for the third straight championship. Germany was never the #1 soccer team in the world. They were the world champions three times but that, I think, is because they had a little luck in winning the finals. What Germany really is the #3 soccer team in the world. But Germany is by far the most consistent soccer team I have ever seen. No other team can match the consistency of Germany. Year after year for the past 50 years Germany has ended up in the quarterfinals. Ended up in the semi-finals 12 times, far more than other other team. That is outstanding consistency. Other teams rise and fall it was only Germany that has maintained their consistency all these years. And in the end it was their consistency that paid off and made them win those three times in FIFA. I hope to see Germany again in the semi-finals in 2014 and probably in the finals in the European championships of 2012.
Oh I forgot to mention the best part of FIFA. Those were the vuvuzelas! Those things are awesome. I should have got one, but never did sadly. They look really fun to blow.
So thanks for Africa for hosting these funs games.