The world’s most awaited sports festival the 20th Fifa World Cup which started on 12th June 2014 must have culminated after a month long celebration but the memories are going to be fresh till the next world cup begins. Sports is indeed a game of surprises. When everyone was expecting the five-time champions who were also hosting the game for this year to lift the trophy it was ultimately Germany which emerged victorious. With various teams around the world taking part in the tournament with some debutants competing for the first time the month-long football festival was a treat to the eyes and the fans loved every moment of the game. Whether in office or home all eyes were glued to the TV sets so that they can catch the action live.
If you are among the people sitting and wondering – What’s the big deal it’s just football? Why is the world so intensely interested in it? What is all the uproar all about? Let us try to get answers for the questions that you are pondering upon.
To start with anyone as long as you can kick a ball is qualified to enter this tournament. After the initial rounds 32 teams are selected and make it to the World Cup finals. Among 32, 31 of them have to tussle against other teams from their continents to qualify as the other team qualifies by default as they are the hosts. After these teams have managed to qualify, they are placed into eight groups of four and the two best performing teams from each group advance to the knockout rounds. Only four make it to the semi-finals by winning their first two knockout matches. The losers of each semi-final will again play in a 3rd place playoff and the winners qualify for the finals. I hope now you have a fair idea about what the game is and have stopped scratching your heads.
Germany, Italy, Brazil, Spain and Argentina were some of the big players for this season each team having won the World Cup before. At the beginning of the tournament everyone was talking about Messi and Ronaldo , but to everyone’s disappointment, Ronaldo lost quietly in the group’s stage and Messi also could not win a third title for his country, Argentina. Also for the much touted Brazilians the 2014 World Cup was a big disillusion. First they lost Neymar to injury in the quarterfinals and then Verde Amarela was taken to task by Germany. The humiliating 3-0 defeat against the Netherlands was another blow to them.
The ultimate lesson taught to us by 2014 World Cup is that predictions don’t always work. From the first days of the groups stage, several things stood out, some more surprising than others. Team like Spain the 2010 World Cup champions, succumbed in their debut match against the Netherlands. No one ever thought that Spain will leave the 2014 World Cup in such a way.
One thing to remember about this World Cup tournament is how fun it was to watch. No one will ever forget how James Rodriguez from Colombia at a young age of just 23, was successful in eliminating strong rivals like Robben and Messi and went on to score the highest number of goals and become the top scorer of the tournament with six goals. Everyone’s eyes will be on the 2018 World Cup so see how this young lad will transform as a player.
Costa Rica surprised everybody by finishing first in a group which had three former World Cup champions; Italy, England, and Uruguay. They showed unrelenting passion under pressure and never showed their nervousness when competing with the superpowers. They even made history by advancing to the knockout stage of the World Cup. However they lost to Colombia, who was also battling for their lives to win the matches.
Teams which no one expected to win proved everyone wrong and made every match look very unpredictable. Tim Howard of United States who broke all the records with his spectacular 16-saves against Belgium has become a famous name among the increasing fans in the US. The 2014 World Cup was one tournament to watch for which the entire world enjoyed. Adieu to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions, Germany until the next world cup this scheduled in 2018 and will be hosted by Russia.