Four years of painful waiting for the time you want to watch your favourite team pulp the ones who had knocked them out in 2010 world cup. Ninety minutes later the wait starts again. Hiding from mocks and the jabs of your friends the next morning becomes a common procedure. Yes, I have gone through it and probably you have too, if you are a supporter of either one of the ‘BIG BOYS’ like Spain, Portugal, England, Italy or Japan or Russia. Support ‘big teams ‘they said… they always win they said! No one ever mentioned the unpredictability of the biggest tournament of the beautiful game… Well, blame it on the weather in Brazil of on the coaches… the big boys just fell out of the competition, dragging with them names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Andrea Pirlo and Andres Iniesta amongst many others!
Algeria, Nigeria and Costa Rica were winning games in the WC finals after decades. In the latest edition of the world cup, unpredictability is the new normal. Out of the teams that were knocked out of the world cup, almost half were European. Stats say they that they had done nothing wrong! More shots on target, more attempts, higher pass completion percentage than their American counterparts. Yep! Blame it on the continent!
Costa Rica has their best squad since the golden era of 1990. The squad does not depend on individual talent, is faster than almost all other countries on the break due to their superior fitness and strength. What they lack in the innovative style of play they make up with superior upper body strength. Their win is hardly luck if you look at it closely. A different surprise was delivered by England who had clearly changed a lot in their style of play. A presently underperforming Rooney on a not so preferred flank was probably what was wrong as some say. I remember my friend taunting another one and calling him Rooney after he sent the corner way off!
Talking about surprises, not mentioning the 5-1 romping of Spain cannot possibly be left out. Two to Robben, a pair for the ‘flying Dutchman’ RVP and one for De Vrij settled the score. Holland was clearly the better team, but what had shocked everyone was Spain’s unexpectedly poor performance. A shocking under-performance of Cristiano Ronaldo was met with boos and curses. Iker’s misses, Toure’s poor conversion rates and Ochoa’s no misses were some other highlights telling you that this world cup is unpredictable.
Now we are collecting information on Colombia’s back four, and James Rodriguez, who has recorded five goals in four matches along with two assists in four games and put Colombia in the last 8. Digging up the facts on the starting 11 of Costa Rica’s team and frantically looking up facts to base your bets on is becoming commonplace. My advice? Leave the stats and watch the beautiful game unfold even more, on a more global level. Catch fans that are being seen in stadiums after a decade or so and watch out for the Brazilian beauties!! (Be sure to watch out for memes and trolls on biting Suarez!!)