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Showing posts with label World Cup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Cup. Show all posts

Dec 1, 2022

Just over a decade ago, Spanish football was in the midst of its greatest-ever era. Firstly under Luis Aragonés and then under Vicente Del Bosque, Las Rojas romped to back-to-back European Championships, with a first and only World Cup success sandwiched in the middle. And that success was built off the back of one club, FC Barcelona.

Back in 2008, Luis Aragonés led a new-look Spanish side to Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland. Out went the old guard such as Real Madrid legend Raul and in came a wealth of younger technical players, including the likes of Cesc Fabregas and David Silva. But the jewel in the Spanish crown was of course the Catalonian duo of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Sep 30, 2022

How all are you feeling with the World Cup around the corner? With just 50 days to the start, most of us are slowly getting into the spirit of the World Cup. For the starter, this will be a winter World Cup, a unique occurrence in itself. Since most leagues are in their starting phase, the players for this World Cup could be in pretty good shape.

If you want to check how your favourite team could progress to the final or just need a spreadsheet to track each result - you are in for a treat. Please download the Excel Spreadsheet World Cup Simulator and make this world cup a beautiful experience.

Jul 2, 2018

And it ended, may be in a spectacular fashion than everyone anticipated. Lionel Messi bowed out of yet another World Cup with more questions than answers! Despite this Argentina being one of the most horrible teams, everyone agrees that they putup quite a show before they bowed out. The fans would have some consolation that they went out to a better team and their team performed better than their abilities suggest.

Jun 27, 2018

Argentina pulled out the 'Miracle of the Tournament' with a late goal from Marcos Rojo, which take them to the knock-out stage of 2018 FIFA World Cup.

An entire nation, their fans across the World and the Players all breathing a sigh of relief after Argentina pulled out a late victory to prevent getting eliminated from FIFA World Cup 2018. It took a late goal from an unlikely candidate, Marcos Rojo and like many pundits pointed out with a strike from his weaker foot; to take Argentina through. Lionel Messi earlier put Argentina in the lead in first half; but a second half penalty given away by Mascherano tied thetally for Nigeria.

Jun 25, 2018

With two rounds of the group stage over, every group remains pretty volatile! Almost all the match in the thrid round of Group stage remains crucial for determining the destiny of the Tournament.

This World Cup from the start has surprised many with the kind of quality which has been put up in display. Usually, going by the last three world cup trends; the Group stage usually is pretty non-exciting. There could be some upset result here and there but most of matches would have gone by the script.

This edition was different in this behaviour. Ususally the first round matches of Group stage would see a lot of Mourinho like approach. But not in this World cup; there have been very few stale matches in the first two rounds.

Jun 24, 2018

Will Lionel Messi be able to Produce the magic to take Argentina into the Knock Out stage.

Nigeria Gives Messi One more Chance at World Cup Redemption!

HHope has returned to Argentina; not only to the players but to a whole nation and to the fans across the World. A nation which was shattered last night; courtesy of three killer goals from Croatia; may have regained hope, at least a slimmer of!

For Lionel Messi, who cut a totally dejected figure last night; now there is hope. By his standard it can be done; but the big question is whether he be able to find his standard in Russia. The Lionel Messi of Barcelona has been always different from the Messi of Argentina. But the way Messi got them qualified, felt like we may see the Barca Messi in Russia. But so far, nothing has changed!

Jun 10, 2018

With Just Days for World Cup to Start, it appears an entire hope of 44 Million Argentinians depend on only one person, Lionel Messi.

Once again the whole attention of another World Cup is majorly focussed on one Man, Lionel Messi; or at least for those who support Lionel Messi and Argentina. Many builds it as Lionel Messi's last chance to secure a World Cup and end the debate of the "Greatest of All Time" once and forever. Some claim it would be his last tournament but I think people are going over board. Unless something untowards happens; you would all see Lionel Messi in the Doha World Cup 2022 and may be even in the World Cup of 2026 even at the age of 38.

Jul 17, 2014

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit. Napoleon Hill

This will be tough, even for a person like Lionel Messi - who to his credit keeps his emotions under check at most of the situation. After losing the final it was clear that he never wanted to spend anymore minute on the pitch. But he has to. He was the losing Captain! His colleagues, many who towers him in size couldn't hide their tears. Aguero, Mascherano, Garay, Demechelis all were crying like little children but not Lionel Messi. There was disappointment in the face but no tears. But one look in to those eyes told a different story. Inside we were crying, screaming, breaking down; but still presented an emotionless face. It didn't end their! He has to make that long walk up the stairs twice - first to collect the Golden Ball Award, then to the mandatory medal for the losing team. It was too cruel!

Jul 12, 2014

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. John Quincy Adams

This has to be Lionel Messi's moment of reckoning - the chance to permanently etch his name among the pantheon of the greatest in football. Frankly he don't have to win the World Cup to be considered as one of the greatest of all time; but then some people just wouldn't shut up. So a victory tomorrow night in the final of the greatest competition in the footballing world will silence the critics forever. Or at least for sometime! You cannot judge the greatest players of teams on what they won. In that case the greatest Dutch team ever featuring Cryuff wouldn't make the list. That would be a tragedy. The bigger tragedy would be thinking the likes of Italian team of 2006 or the Brazil of 1994 making the list because they won the damn thing! The same with players. The greatest should be judged on whether they have revolutionized the game or not. In that simple criteria, Messi made the list a long time ago.

Jul 8, 2014

Messi at the World Cup
A leader is a dealer in hope. Napoleon Bonaparte

With a confident 1-0 victory against the Belgians in the Quarter Finals, Argentina has surpassed a huge mental barrier on its own - The Quarter Finals. A look at the rich Argentinian history at the World cup shows that the two time World Champions have stumbled at the last eight more often than any other country. From 1986, when the knock-out stages were officially introduced as we have now, Argentina have exited three times at the Quarter Finals. The two times they managed to get past their Quarter-Final opponents, they have managed to reach the tournament finals. Now that's a nice statistics to focus as Argentina needs a lot of history to back them up when they meet the Dutch on Wednesday. Since the 1990 World Cup, Argentina has never managed to go beyond Quarter Finals. In that sense this team has already succeeded where many of its illustrious predecessors failed. But then for this team led by the Mercurial Lionel Messi anything short of the ultimate triumph is a disaster.

Jul 4, 2014

Messi at the World Cup
It's not what you achieve, it's what you overcome. That's what defines your career. Carlton Fisk

Quarter-Finals, that has been quite a dreaded word in every Argentinian football fans dictionary for some time! There is rather good reason for it too. In three of the last four tournaments they featured, they made unceremonious exit at this stage. And funny Messi was an integral part of all the three. In 2006, José Pekerman's decision not to bring a young Messi drew huge criticism and it's safe to say that it resulted in their exit. In 2010 World Cup it was Messi's inability to inspire his team which resulted in an absolute thumping at the hands of Germany, which also took the only entertainer in the competition, Diego Maradona out of sight. The case was no different in 2011, even though Tevez was one who missed the penalty; Messi's lack of effectiveness was questioned as Argentina failed to make a fist of the challenge thrown by eventual champions Uruguay. So yet another Quarter Final beckons; a chance for Lionel Messi to correct a lot of wrong!

Jun 26, 2014

  • Lionel Messi scored the opening two goals for Argentina against Nigeria.
  • Messi has now equalled Maradona's feat of scoring four consecutive goals for his country.
Sensational Lionel Messi helps Argentina Top the Group
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way John C. Maxwell

They said he is crap as he can't score at the international stage with his country. Once he started doing that, they said he still is crap, since he has only scored once in the World Cup. I am not sure what will be their excuse this time around. But trust me they will find some odd statistics to say he still is crap. "He has not yet scored with his head in a World Cup" could be the ideal line for defense of Lionel Messi haters; don't worry you will most probably here it soon. For those who followed him closely, which most the entire world does; this is not any surprise. He always has done one thing - score goals and tons of them. So Argentina has scored 5 goals in the tournament so far, not surprisingly four of them came from one player - Lionel Messi. The likes of Lavezzi, Aguero, Higuain, Di Maria all are yet to find the net, but no one is worried about that. Messi is scoring for all of them for the time being. Like Barca may Argentina is also realising slowly that you can't escape Messidependencia, not that they are complaining!

Jun 21, 2014

Logic! Good gracious! What rubbish! E. M. Forster

Can we call this a Miracle? May be not! Calling this one could be equivalent to demeaning the Costa Ricans. For them this wasn't any miracle; they simply won two matches in which they clearly were the better team. The only problem was that the two sides which lost to them were Italy and Uruguay. And they were made to look pretty ordinary by a Costa Rican team whom many know nothing about. I swear to myself that the only player I knew in the squad was Navas, the Keeper. He has been the best Goal Keeper in La Liga last season. But then having a very good Goalkeeper counts for nothing especially when you are paired with three former Champions - England, Italy and Uruguay; in a group which everyone considered as the "Group of Death". In my preview for both Uruguay, Italy and England I have mentioned how all those teams could murder Costa Rica as in the end everything could come to goal difference. How much more Wrong can I be?

Jun 19, 2014

  • Spain lost 2-0 to Chile ending any World Cup hopes.
  • Both Chile and Netherlands have qualified from Group B.
Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it Thomas Paine

For a second time in running, the defending Champion in a World Cup has said good-bye before the tournament has kicked into his third gear. Last World Cup Italy suffered the indignity of exiting in the Group stages, this time Spain continued that tradition. This is the third time in a row this is happening with a European side. In 2002, France ended at the bottom of the Group, 2010 Italy maintained that tradition by securing the bottom place and now it Spain looks to be on course. By current playing form Australia looks more dangerous that Spain. So a bottom place finish is beckoning, will the Spaniards Oblige? May be this is the in-trend with the European World Champions.

Jun 16, 2014

  • Brilliant Lionel Messi strike secures Argentina match victory.
  • Despite victory, Tactical formation becomes a head ache for Sabella.
It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem. Gilbert K. Chesterton

It's the same story all again. Lionel Messi mesmerised the world once again scoring one of the best goals in the tournament to give Argentina the victory; but that wasn't without the usual criticism. Despite the victory, Argentina struggled to impose their will on the game. They struggled to control the game for long and was pretty lucky to have the lead going in to the break. They didn't deserve the lead at that point of time. As expected many of the criticism were directed at Lionel Messi without much sense. For those who watched the first half properly, it was so easy to identify the problem with the formation. The 5-3-2 formation never suited Argentina's attacking talent and the two forwards , Aguerro and Messi were getting isolated so often. This forced Lionel Messi to drop deep and deep in to the midfield; for some reason people question that also? One has to ask the question What was he supposed to do? He simply had no choice as their was no midfield in the game.

Jun 14, 2014

  • Spain's alternative playing style fail big time against Netherlands
  • Spain needs to win their rest of two match and hope other results go their way to qualify

No one expected such a result; forget the thrashing. The worst many of us was expected was a a tight defeat which could have been the result of the Dutch seizing the important moments. But this was hiding in every way. It was so surprising to see a team which looked pretty assuring in the first half to just wilt down completely in the second half. Had it not be for some late saves by Casillas, the scoreline would have looked even worse. The line-up looked brilliant for the Spanish but it never combined from the beginning. And it all went down hill once David Silva failed to increase the lead to 2-0 after an exquisite through ball from Iniesta put him through. Dutch equalised soon and that momentum they multiplied and carried in to the second half big time.

Jun 13, 2014

Neymar started his World Cup campaign in some style scoring two goals and securing Brazil a vital three points. In the match between two teams which everyone expect to come through the Group, the Barca striker's actions were decisive. In his first World Cup match, Neymar secured himself the first yellow card of 2014 World Cup and then helped Brazil comeback from behind. Along with Oscar, he was the best player wearing the reverred yellow jersey on the field. Usually the opening match of a World Cup will see a conservative match. But this one was different, it was thoroughly entertaining, made by both team's deficiencies.

Jun 12, 2014

World Cup 2014 will kick off tonight with a mouth-watering match between host Brazil and Croatia. With that a month long festival of football will officially begin. New heroes will emerge along with some greats who will consolidate their place in history books. This promises to be one of the most exciting Football World Cup with so many teams featuring excellent attacking talents. The top contenders Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Uruguay, Italy, Belgium etc. all have an exciting attacking line-up. That could make this World Cup one of the most entertaining in living memory. Last World Cup in South Africa had its fair share of criticism especially about being negative, but this one at least on paper looks more promising. I don't think many team will try playing a defensive style especially considering where the World Cup is taking place. For all the entertainment Brazilian players have provided us, this World Cup is obligated to return in kind.

Jun 11, 2014

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Jim Rohn

A look through the odds set by the leading betting houses would give a picture of the front runners at this World cup. It does not surprise anyone to see Brazil placed on the top, with an odd of 3/1. Argentina surprisingly (at least for me!) is placed second at 4/1 ahead of Germany at 6/1 and Spain at 13/2. One may argue about placing Argentina ahead of Germany and Spain (may be the location being in South America mattered) but there is no argument about Brazil being favourites. They have been the favourites from the time they thrashed Spain at last year's confederation cup. Many pundits believe that they have got the most balanced squad in the competition and some even believe that they will just annihilate every opposition in the path.

Jun 8, 2014

Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer. Rick Pitino

Germany lands in Brazil as one of the clear favourites to win the 2014 World Cup. They did suffer a set back in the form of Marco Reus injury. Any team will miss a player like Reus, that's a fact without any question. But with the kind of depth Germany has, his injury may not matter much at all. The squad strength of the current German World cup squad will give shivers to opponent coaches. They have so many options and quality players in every position other than the forward. It's puzzled many who have followed the German youth set up. Germany is struggling to find quality strikers to fill in the squad. Out of the all squad in World Cup, they could be the only one with proper center forward, an ageing Miraslav Klose. The personal feud between Stefan Kießling and coach Joachim Löw is not helping either. Will this deficiency hurt German at the World Cup?

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