by Sonali Kamboj
The world had expected a spectacle when the teams and officials headed out to Brazil for the 2014 world cup and that’s exactly what we got. The South American country is known for its rich and diverse culture and that’s exactly what made the tournament truly spectacular in spite of teething problems at the start and talk of unrest over the huge budget it took to bring the games to life despite rising unemployment and job cuts in the country.
We were treated to spectacular views of the country’s beaches and sea-side as pundits analysed games on TV sets overlooking stunning views.
Even the final match drew in Hollywood glam with A-Listers Rihanna and David Beckham among the thousands who gathered to watch Germany win the world cup. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was of course on hand to witness the victory- enthusiastically patting the players after their 1-0 victory, along with President Putin of Russia, nothing like football to unite a troubled world eh?
World Cup Highlights
Germany made history on Sunday after it beat Argentina 1-0 and emerged as the winner of the FIFA World Cup 2014 after 17 year trophy drought.
A brilliant goal in the extra-time by Mario Götze, a last-minute substitute mid-fielder, was responsible for Germany’s victory. The 22-year old Götze claimed his moment of glory when he scored a goal in the 115th minute and made Germany the first European country to win in the Americas.
Although Argentina lost the title, they beat all odds to reach the Finals after 24 years, since being led by Diego Maradona in 1990 in Italy.
A dejected looking Lionel Messi, accepted the Golden Ball for being the Best player, although some critics have questioned the award with his fellow kinsman Diego Maradona disagreeing with the decision calling it FIFA’s ‘marketing plan’. The Golden Glove for the Best Goalkeeper was claimed by Manuel Neuer of Germany while James Rodriguez of Colombia was awarded the Golden Boot for scoring 6 goals in the tournament.
Miroslav Klose, striker for Germany, became the all time top-scorer of FIFA, after crossing Cristiano Ronaldo’s record by scoring 16 goals in four World Cups. Despite breaking Ronaldo’s record, Klose acknowledged him as ‘the most complete player ever’.
In total, 171 goals were scored in the 2014 edition of the World Cup with host country Brazil coming fourth after two humiliating defeats by Germany and Netherlands, prompting a resignation from the coach.
Costa Rica emerged as the surprise team of the tournament as they knocked out England and Italy and reached the quarter-finals. Even though they were eliminated in the quarter-finals, they managed to cross the round of 16 for the first time in their history.
Luis Suárez of Uruguay was meted out the ‘meme’ treatment after he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini. As a result, FIFA banned him from football for four months. Suárez has bitten players on two previous occasions as well.
The countdown to the 2018 World Cup in Russia has begun just as the country released 11 promotional posters for the next tournament.
Now that all the sporting action is over, we wonder what on earth we’ll be spending our time doing for the next few weeks (at least until the Nottinghill carnival). If you’re having withdrawal symptoms already, here are some highlights to remind you of the best moments of the tournament.