Category Archives: BRAZIL 2014
Crisis brewing, egos clashing and a deference to arrogance. That has always been the story told of the Netherlands. An international football team which is prescribed on its own philosophy rarely lives up to the expectations demanded. The ambitions have only ever been met in 1988. Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten added international glory to Rinus Michels’s CV at the European Championships in Germany.
They have never gotten as close again.
Indeed, maybe they have. At the 2010 World Cup, they were in the final and were four minutes away from Read the rest of this entry
It was not as heart-breaking as 1950, neither as regrettable as 1982. Brazil’s 7-1 semi-final loss to Germany was downright embarrassing.
Indeed, a stadium and a nation endured a harrowing experience. The rollercoaster of emotions flowed one way — downwards. Shock turned into despair, gasp, and finally a delusional reality. Was Brazil really that bad? Was the weight of a nation too much of a burden to carry? In the end, it was a little of both.
Not only was it the weight of a nation; it was also the scales of history. The most successful nation in World Cup history had not won the World Cup on Read the rest of this entry
by Dennis Odera
Prior to the World Cup, there was a lot of fuss about two players: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Other players like Frank Ribery and Neymar da Silva had stirred and shaken the football waters but these two have caused hurricanes for different reasons.
For the first time in years, there were questions raised as to whether Hurricane Messi was the best player in Read the rest of this entry
Among other things, Jurgen Klopp’s conclusion was clear and simple. “You can’t mark Di Maria,” was what he said after Borussia Dortmund had played Real Madrid during the 2012-2013 Champions League group stages.
Klopp would find a way as his Dortmund later on defeated Madrid in that season’s Champions League semis. But after meeting them again in the knockout rounds of the 2013-2014 Champions League, Klopp had to watch once more as Angel Di Maria ran rings around his defence.
It does help that Di Maria is at Real Madrid — the most expensively assembled team in football history. It also helps that alongside him is Cristiano Ronaldo — one of the greatest footballers of his generation and definitely among the pantheon of the greats. The other player of that calibre is Lionel Messi. He is Di Maria’s teammate at international level.
A rare prestige thus falls upon Di Maria. For club and country, he plays with two of the game’s immortals. As such though, that privilege is in itself Read the rest of this entry