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European fiasco at the football World Cup - i.m/u.r

European fiasco at the football World Cup

WorldCup2014, Brazil-Croatia, Neymar before a free-kick

The fans, the players, but especially the press, theyAi??are allAi??running amokAi??about the early exit of World Cup contenders such as Spain, Italy, England, Portugal, and even Russia and Croatia.

First common trait: they are all European.
Second: they were upended by non-EuropeanAi??competition.

Let us go back the the second day of the World Cup: scandal blowsAi??as the Netherlands applyAi??an old fashioned 5-1 beating of holders and favourites Spain, putting them in the same uncomfortable situation they faced 4 years ago, when they lost 0-1 to Switzerland to start their successful campaign in South Africa.

For those who watched itAi??closely, the scandal was merely the result and not the match itself, as Spain had the opportunity of goingAi??2-0 before halftimeAi??(after a poor finish by David SilvaAi??was saved by the dutch goalkeeper) just one minute before Robbie Van Persie’s notorious flight put the result even, 1Ai??all.
And then, on the 65th minute,Ai??the 3-1Ai??is preceded by a clear foul over the now-disgraced Spanish goalkeeper, Iker Casillas.
And it took only another 4 minutes for Spain to suffer another blow in their match aspirations, when David Silva scored for Spain… but some milimetres offside, something that would cost them dearly.

Which isAi??the player and team you don’t want to face if you are pushing forward and allowing some space for fast-breaks?
Answer: Arjen Robben andAi??the Netherlands.

The real problem for Spain was their second match, 5 days later, when they faced South American side, Chile, off from a moralising victory over Australia to start their campaign.
The final result sent the Spanish side packing, whatever the result of their third game might haveAi??been – and they did beat Australia 3-0 on their way out.

Similar to that, the Portuguese case: with Cristiano Ronaldo at 70% (an optimistic figure, most will say), Portugal was thrashed 4-0 by Germany, who rested their aging veterans, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose.
If a defeat to Germany is only normal (0-1 or 0-4 both equal 0 points), Portugal’s real problem was the factAi??they weren’t able to beat the USA on their Group G second match even after they scored an early 4th-minute opener. The americans “turned the table around”Ai??during the second half and Portugal’sAi??equaliser only cameAi??on injury time.
They would have had to beat Ghana by more than 4 goals (a modest 2-1 was the final result) while expecting Germany to help and beat the Americans, which they did (1-0).

As usual, there was also a “Group of Death”, where Italy and England were somewhat favoured to overcome Uruguay and Costa Rica, in Group D.
Nothing could be farther from the true outcome: after surprising the “celeste” 3-1 in the group opener, Costa Rica (1-0 vs Italy, and 0-0 vs England) went 1st, Uruguay (2-1 vs England, and 1-0 vs Italy) went 2nd, and both European powerhouses exited the competitionAi??long before they thought they would.

Croatia showed some good form early on against Brazil, but a 2nd half doubtful penalty for the hosts crushed theirAi??hopes in the World Cup inaugural day. After sinking Cameroon 4-0 and staying in cheap nolvadex online, cheap dapoxetine. contention for 2nd Place, they lost 1-3 to Mexico and also earned their trip home.

Russia won their qualifying group ahead of Portugal and they wereAi??surely expecting a Group Stage qualification, but after aAi??disappointing 1-1 draw with South Korea and 0-1 loss to eventual group winners, Belgium (the Russian keeper, Igor Akinfeev, played a decisive yet shameful part in the firstAi??one), they failed to hold on to an early 1-0 lead against Algeria on Day 3, who qualified from the Group Stage for the first time in their World Cup history.

There was also room for “normality”: in Group E, where seed Switzerland (2nd Place) and luckiest-of-the-draw France (1st Place) prevailed over Ecuador and Honduras; also,Ai??Greece overcame the Ivory Coast in their last gasp (a late clumsy penalty costed the African side their qualification), somewhat minimising the sinking of the European fleet in Brazil.

Note: being a “Pot 3″ team (with “1” being the seeds and “4” the weekest teams), France were luckily drawn into Switzerland’s group when they could have faced Brazil, Germany, Spain and Holland instead.

Fact: out of the 13 European National Squads that arrived in Brazil, 7 areAi??prematurely out.

HistoricalAi??odds are against Europe, this year.

Looking back, the World Cup tournament first took place in 1930, in MontevideoAi??- there was no qualification stage as 16 participants were invited to join the competition (4 of them withdrew later, due to transportation difficulties), after Uruguay was selected as host.

Since those early days, only one European side has lifted the trophy outside the “Old Continent”, and very recently. Spain achieved this feat in South Africa 2010 by edging the Netherlands 1-0 after extra time.
But the same applies to non-Europeans when the World Cup is held in Europe, where only Brazil succeeded in 1958, defeating hosts Sweden in the final.

  • 1930 in Uruguay, winners: Uruguay (4-2 vs Argentina);
  • 1934 in Italy, winners: Italy (2-1 vs Czechoslovakia, aet);
  • 1938 in France, winners: Italy (4-2 vs Hungary);
  • 1950 in Brazil, winners: Uruguay (2-1 vs Brazil – final group stage);
  • 1954 in Switzerland, winners: West Germany (2-1 vs Hungary);
  • 1958 in Sweden, winners: Brazil (5-2 vs Sweden);
  • 1962 in Chile, winners: Brazil (3-1 vs Czechoslovakia);
  • 1966 in England, winners: England (4-2 vs West Germany, aet);
  • 1970 in Mexico, winners: Brazil (4-1 vs Italy);
  • 1974 in West Germany, winners: West Germany (2-1 vs Holland);
  • 1978 in Argentina, winners: Argentina (3-1 vs Holland, aet);
  • 1982 in Spain, winners: Italy (3-1 vs West Germany);
  • 1986 in Mexico, winners: Argentina (3-2Ai??vs West Germany);
  • 1990 in Italy, winners: West Germany (1-0 vs Argentina);
  • 1994 in the United States, winners: Brazil (0-0 vs Italy, 3-2 pen);
  • 1998 in France, winners: France (3-0 vs Brazil);
  • 2002 in South Korea and Japan, winners: Brazil (2-0 vs Germany);
  • 2006 in Germany, winners: Italy (1-1 vs France, 5-3 pen);
  • 2010 in South Africa, winners: Spain (1-0 vs Holland, aet).
Note: in 1950, the champion was decided in a final round of 4 teams (Brazil, Spain, Sweden, and Uruguay); on the final day, and after beating Sweden 7-1 and Spain 6-1, Brazil only needed a draw against Uruguay, who had beaten Sweden 3-2 and drawn 2-2 with Spain; Brazil led 1-0 by halftime but ended up conceding 2 goals (the second one, a result of poor defending by goalkeeper Barbosa) in front of more than 170,000 spectators.

But, of course, this year’s World Cup hasn’t been and won’t be decided on statistics.

The fact is that, even for teams such as Germany – who traveled to Brazil a whole month before competition began – adapting to the climate (especially the air humidity percentage) takes a long time and South American natives will always have a physical advantage.
For example, Portugal’s midfielder JoA?o Moutinho admitted:

When we first trained in Manaus, I couldn’t explain how I got so tired after a regular 30-minute workout.
Even without pushing it too hard, us players felt somewhat breathless, almost finding it difficult to breathe.

FIFA’s decision of scheduling matches for 3PM doesn’t help either even if medical reports have been made public, revealing that not even 3 months would have been enough for players to adapt to climate shif. But, as increasingly common as it is, selling television transmissions to European, American and Asian markets seems to take precedence over players’ match conditions.
Worse than Brazil ’14, only Mexico ’86, when matches were scheduled for noon and 4PM, much to the dismay of all the players there, namely Diego Maradona, who repeatedly “pointed the finger” at FIFA and then-Chairman, JoA?o Havelange.

When comparing cities around the world for their average temperature, humidity and sun hours per month (for the month of June), the humidity differences becomeAi??flagrant:

  • London (England) – 280Ai??hours of sun, 25Ai??A?C, humidity 65%;
  • ParisAi??(France) – 200Ai??hours of sun, 20 A?C, humidity 70%;
  • New York (USA)Ai??- 200 hours of sun, 19 A?C, humidity 60%;
  • Tokyo (Japan) -Ai??Ai??- 120Ai??hours of sun, 26Ai??A?C, humidity 72%;
  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Ai??- 150Ai??hours of sun, 25 A?C, humidity 80%;
  • SA?o PauloAi??(Brazil)Ai??Ai??- 220Ai??hours of sun, 22 A?C, humidity 75%;
  • ManausAi??(Brazil)Ai??Ai??- 180Ai??hours of sun, 32 A?C, humidity 85%.

While history doesn’t repeat itself, it is only natural to say that Brazil, Argentina and Colombia are going to feel more “at home” asAi??the number of matches played increase, the same can you get viagra in amsterdam way it is natural to say that German, Dutch, French and Belgian players will increasingly feel the weight of the tropical Winter.

But, then again, it is all nothing butAi??football… and, as Jacques de la Palice would say, them who score the most will proceed and conquer the world.

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