Who is going to be the champions?

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Who is going to win the World Cup?

[ 7 ]
35% [35%] 
[ 3 ]
15% [15%] 
[ 1 ]
5% [5%] 
[ 2 ]
10% [10%] 
[ 0 ]
0% [0%] 
[ 2 ]
10% [10%] 
[ 1 ]
5% [5%] 
[ 0 ]
0% [0%] 
[ 0 ]
0% [0%] 
[ 2 ]
10% [10%] 
[ 0 ]
0% [0%] 
[ 2 ]
10% [10%] 

Total Votes: 20
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mongrel hawk

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by mongrel hawk on Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:59 pm

Brian 2468 wrote:Makes sense Brazil Argentina Final nothing wrong in saying this from his point of view.

Thing is, Argentina will have the Brazilian crowd against them in every game. On the other hand, thousands and thousands of Argentines are coming. Hope there won't be fights among the supporters.

Brian 2468

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Brian 2468 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:03 pm

I know some Argentina fans here in Calgary the whole family was going to the finals but called it off for that very reason.
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by blutgraetsche on Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:42 am

World Cup 2014 squads – broken down by club, age and height

Fifa has released the signed-off final World Cup squads for the 2014 finals. Which country is the tallest on average? And which club has had the most players picked?

http://www.theguardian.com/football/datablog/2014/jun/06/world-cup-squads-rosters-broken-down-club-age-height

Formerly known as sheva7

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Formerly known as sheva7 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:38 am

mongrel hawk wrote:
Brian 2468 wrote:Makes sense Brazil Argentina Final nothing wrong in saying this from his point of view.

Thing is, Argentina will have the Brazilian crowd against them in every game. On the other hand, thousands and thousands of Argentines are coming. Hope there won't be fights among the supporters.

According to argentinian press, hundreds of "barras brabas" are coming to Brasil. Add the fact the alcohol drinks will be allowed in the stadiums. Fights are likely to happen especialy in the knockout stages, when brazilian fans will strongly support anyone who plays against Argentina.
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:57 am

World Cup 2014: what to expect tactically in Brazil

Who will press high, who will play three at the back and who may even favour the Christmas tree? Everything you need to know about tactics at the 2014 World Cup

1 Midfield pressing

The stifling heat in many host cities makes it impossible to press relentlessly high up the pitch but few teams are secure enough defensively to sit deep, soaking up pressure for long periods. The inevitable compromise is to allow the opposing centre-backs to have possession, before springing into action when the ball is played into midfield.

Atlético Madrid specialised in this approach throughout 2013-14, and it was a crucial part of their La Liga title success and run to the European Cup final. It allows teams to play attack-minded football without necessarily dominating possession.

Only Spain and Chile excelled at pressing in South Africa four years ago but the former’s success had an obvious impact on Germany, whom they defeated in the semi-finals in 2010. Joachim Löw has encouraged his midfielders to play a more proactive game since that defeat, winning possession as quickly as possible. In the warm-up matches, it’s also been notable that Louis van Gaal’s Holland and Marc Wilmots’ Belgium press intensely in midfield too, while young, energetic sides such as Switzerland and Algeria might be best suited to closing down for long periods.

2 Variety in formations

The dominant system at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 was 4-2-3-1. It will probably be the most utilised formation this time around, too, with many of the top sides favouring it – but there’s a decent amount of variety across the 32 teams. Not everyone will deploy a four-man defence. Mexico will play a back three for the third consecutive tournament, with the intelligent centre-back Rafael Márquez sweeping behind his two defensive colleagues, then moving in front to start passing moves. Chile will switch between a three-man defence and a four-man defence depending on how many strikers the opposing team are playing – their coach, Jorge Sampaoli, always wants a spare man at the back.

Van Gaal might do something similar with Holland – his use of a three-man defence throughout the pre-tournament friendlies was highly surprising, but it now appears to be his default system.

Jürgen Klinsmann has been experimenting with a diamond midfield system in order to get the best from the USA’s rampaging central midfielder Michael Bradley, who is allowed to play a more attacking role.

Italy’s Cesare Prandelli could also use a diamond, or a 3-5-2, or even a Christmas tree system. As always, the Italians remain the masters of tactical unpredictability.

3 Selfless centre-forwards

It is becoming increasingly difficult to predict golden boot winners at major international tournaments, with goals spread across a number of attacking players, rather than being dominated by one greedy central striker.

Colombia’s Radamel Falcao was set to be the purest No9 in the competition but the Monaco striker has been ruled out through injury. A common feature among the top sides is the use of a selfless – and sometimes goal-shy – player up front.

There are essentially two contrasting types of players who serve this purpose – to bring attacking midfielders into play. The first is the classic hold-up man, and while Brazil’s Fred scored five goals in five games at the Confederations Cup last year, his primary role in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side is to win aerial battles, hold up the ball and create space for Neymar, who cuts inside from the left. This is similar to the role played by Hélder Postiga for Portugal. He’s not a world-class player, but he has consistently helped to bring the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Alternatively, possession-based sides can use a false nine. Spain have the option of the Brazilian-born Diego Costa, but could instead use Cesc Fábregas as the closest thing to a centre-forward, while Löw seems determined to play Mario Götze in that role for Germany.

4 Clever use of the squad

The last two World Cup-winning managers utilised their entire squads brilliantly, rather than simply depending on their starting XI. In 2006, the Italy coach Marcello Lippi took six forwards to Germany – Francesco Totti, Luca Toni, Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Del Piero, Vincenzo Iaquinta and Alberto Gilardino – and all six scored.

Four years ago in South Africa, Spain’s Vicente del Bosque started matches with ball retention in mind, but then introduced direct players like Pedro, Fernando Llorente, Jesús Navas and Fábregas to provide attacking thrust. Judging by these two examples, the winning manager will use a consistent back four but vary things intelligently in the final third.

Substitutions will be especially important in Brazil considering the climate – the simple concept of a fresh pair of legs could be vital. For games in Manaus, for example, a winger will probably have more impact in a 30-minute substitute appearance than if he starts the game and is removed after an hour.

It is also about keeping the squad happy, of course. Managers of international sides are increasingly keen to stress the importance of togetherness and harmony, and the obvious way to keep players happy off the field is to give the majority playing time on it.

5 Weak left-backs

The number of contenders with a big problem as left-back is surprising. Spain’s Jordi Alba, Brazil’s Marcelo and Portugal’s Fábio Coentrão are the best in the competition but even those three are not immune to defensive errors.

Argentina are the obvious example, with Marcos Rojo widely viewed as the weak link. Often playing centre-back at club level, he looks extremely uncomfortable when tricky right-wingers dribble at him, and could be Argentina’s downfall.

Belgium will also be playing a centre-back in that position – Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen prefers to play in the middle but the lack of recognised full-backs means he will be pushed out to the flank.

Holland do not have an obvious option at left-back. Terence Kongolo and Bruno Martins Indi are left-footed centre-backs, while Daley Blind is a superb player but happier in the centre of midfield. Germany could use Erik Durm, who has only one cap, and is not a regular for Borussia Dortmund. Italy lack a left-footed left-back, with the right-sided Mattia De Sciglio set to fill in. It looks as though right-wingers could be crucial in the knockout stages. This could be a tournament for such as Pedro, Colombia’s Juan Cuadrado and England’s Raheem Sterling to shine, as they will often find themselves running at the opposition’s weakest player.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/jun/10/world-cup-2014-tactics-brazil
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:29 am

Already posted a similar article in German in the Germany thread, here's one in English:

Ribery, Reus & Ronaldo injured - too much football is to blame

COMMENT: The increase in the number of games on the calendar has reached worrying levels and has damaged the most magical sporting event in the world

Frank Ribery, Radamel Falcao and Marco Reus head a lengthy list of star players who will be missing in Brazil over the next month after having their World Cup dreams shattered by injury.

Other big-name players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa and Luis Suarez, will struggle through the tournament despite lacking fitness and sharpness due to injury problems.

There has never been a World Cup ravaged by injuries like the 2014 edition and it is already threatening to ruin the tournament.

The reason is simple: there is too much football being played.

The increase in games over the past two decades has left players exhausted every time a major international tournament rolls around in June.

"It's not surprising that many top footballers are either injured or unfit for the upcoming World Cup,” Dr. Vincent Gouttebarge, Chief Medical Officer of FIFPro - the worldwide representative organisation for all professional players – told Goal.

“They have been exposed during the whole season to a high workload due to training and competition, while recovery periods are scarce during a football season.

"The cumulative exposure to highly intensive competitive matches in domestic, continental and international competitions is one of the main reasons for the unavailability of several top players in Brazil.

"The need to limit the workload on players is an urgent priority."

Back in 1982, Italy’s World Cup winners played on average 20 games less than Spain’s champions of 2010 where Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Pedro all broke the 60-game mark.

It reflects a worrying trend. The expansion of the Champions League, for example, means it takes a minimum of 13 matches to become European champions when a team would play a maximum of nine games to win the old European Cup.

It is no surprise that 2012-13’s Champions League finalists, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, were subsequently rocked by injuries throughout 2013-14 and seven players from the two clubs will miss the World Cup. From this year’s Champions League finalists, the star men from both Real Madrid and Atletico – Ronaldo and Diego Costa – are struggling for fitness.

To win the Europa League today, a team can play up to 23 games compared to its predecessor, the Uefa Cup, which would take no more than 12 games.

The obvious need for fewer matches is unlikely to be granted, because matches create the commercial and TV revenue that generates vast wealth for clubs, leagues, associations and sponsors.

The estimated gross commercial revenue from the Champions League and Uefa Super Cup for the past season was a mind-blowing €1.34 billion. According to Deloitte, the money generated from Premier League clubs surpassed the €3bn mark for 2013-14.

Pre-season tours have also become very profitable. Eighteen of the 20 Premier League clubs last summer embarked on round trips abroad, clocking up more than 200,000 air miles. Manchester United, for example, travelled to Bangkok, Sydney, Yokohama, Osaka and Hong Kong.

Last summer, Barcelona travelled to Germany, Norway, Poland, Thailand and Malaysia; while Real Madrid played matches in England, France, Sweden, and the United States. Italian clubs regularly travel to the US during pre-season and the Italian Super Cup has been moved out to Beijing in China.

These exertions have filled the coffers and grown the brand, but they have elongated the season and exhausted the players. There is simply no rest time.

The World Cup only comes along once every four years, and remains the most prestigious of sporting tournaments. But its magic disappears when the best players in the world are either unable to compete or are too tired to perform at their best.

Paulo Castro, who lives in Copenhagen but has bought tickets to watch Ivory Coast, Italy and Germany play in the city of his birth, Recife, is just one supporter who feels robbed by the World Cup’s glut of injuries.

“It has been 64 years since the World Cup has been in Brazil and with all the protests that have gone on, our city at least deserves to see champions like Giuseppe Rossi and Marco Reus,” he said.

Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated football over the past six years, but both have performed poorly by their high standards at international tournaments. It is no surprise when the Argentine averages 62 matches a season since 2008 and Ronaldo 61 games over the past four campaigns.

Do not be surprised to see them struggle in Brazil too. And don’t be surprised, either, if Diego Costa, Suarez, Arturo Vidal and the superstars who limped to Brazil also disappoint. Or, just as likely, break down again and join Ribery, Reus and Co. on the plane home.

http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2014/06/11/4871351/ribery-reus-ronaldo-injured-too-much-football-is-to-blame?ICID=HP_FT_3
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mongrel hawk

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by mongrel hawk on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:09 pm

Formerly known as sheva7 wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:
Brian 2468 wrote:Makes sense Brazil Argentina Final nothing wrong in saying this from his point of view.

Thing is, Argentina will have the Brazilian crowd against them in every game. On the other hand, thousands and thousands of Argentines are coming. Hope there won't be fights among the supporters.

According to argentinian press, hundreds of "barras brabas" are coming to Brasil. Add the fact the alcohol drinks will be allowed in the stadiums. Fights are likely to happen especialy in the knockout stages, when brazilian fans will strongly support anyone who plays against Argentina.

A group of Brazilians broke a finger of an Argentine who was carrying an Argentina flag in his car window in Belo Horizonte:

http://g1.globo.com/minas-gerais/noticia/2014/06/argentino-e-agredido-ao-segurar-bandeira-em-belo-horizonte.html
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:26 pm

Roy Hodgson trails Fabio Capello as the highest paid managers at the World Cup

* England boss second highest earner at the World Cup
* Fabio Capello, now Russia manager, is the best paid
* Seven bosses on more than £2m a year
* Niko Kova earns ‘only’ 19 times as much as the average Croatian - the closest of any manager to their fans


Roy Hodgson is modestly paid by extravagant FA standards compared to some other recent England managers - but with earnings of £3.5m per year he will still be the second-highest boss among the 32 nations at this summer’s World Cup.

And the only other manager earning more is Hodgson’s England predecessor, Fabio Capello, who is now in charge of Russia and taking home almost £7m a year.

A MailSport review of what the managers of the World Cup nations earn shows that seven bosses are earning more than £2m per year as they seek the biggest prize in their global game for their employers, who are increasingly not their own nations.

Capello’s £6.7m guaranteed pay puts him far and away in first place with almost double the salary of Hodgson.

Two years with Russia will earn Capello £14m in addition to the £24m he earned as England boss with the FA between the start of 2008 and early 2012.

Italy’s Cesare Prandelli (£2.58m a year) is the third biggest earner ahead of Luiz Felipe Scolari of Brazil in fourth (£2.4m), Ottmar Hitzfeld of Switzerland in fifth (£2.2m), Joachim Low of Germany in sixth (£2.1m) and Vicente Del Bosque of holders Spain in seventh (£2.02m).

Six of the 32 managers have worked in England as either players or managers: Capello, Hodgson, Scolari, the USA’s Jurgen Klinsmann, France’s Didier Deschamps and Iran’s Carlos Queiroz.

Louis van Gaal of Holland is set to be added to that list them when he starts work for Manchester United later this summer.

The most common nationality of manager at the World Cup will be German, with Germans in charge of Switzerland (Hitzfeld), Germany (Low), USA (Klinsmann) and Cameroon (Volker Finke).

There will also be three Italians (in charge of Russia, Italy and Japan), three Agentineans (in charge of Chile, Colombia, Argentina), three Portuguese (in charge of Portugal, Iran and Greece) and three Colombians, although none of them in charge of Colombia (with Honduras, Ecaudor, Costa Rica).

Eighteen of the 32 nations will be managed by coaches from their own country and 14 by foreigners.

The five lowest-paid managers are all nationals of their own countries, and in order of smallest pay are Miguel Herrera of Mexico (£125,000 per year), James Kwesi Appiah of Ghana (£150,000), Niko Kovac of Croatia (£162,000), Safet Susic of Bosnia (£210,000) and Stephen Keshi of Nigeria (£234,000).

Kovac’s salary for managing Croatia is the closest in size to the average citizens income in his country, being ‘only’ 19 times as much as the average Croatian earns - using United Nations per capita income figures as a guide. The average Croatian makes £8,767 a year.

Sabri Lamouchi of the Ivory Coast, a Frenchman with a Tunisian heritage, earns the salary that is most extreme compared to the average wage in his country of employment.

His annual pay of £618,125 is a staggering 795 times as much as the average annual pay of £778 per year in the Ivory Coast - or £14.96 per week.

Capello is the next most lavishly rewarded when measured in the same way, earning 763 times as much as the average Russian person (£6,693,750 against £8,773).

Roy Hodgson earns ‘only’ 143 times as much as the average England fan.

The combined annual salaries of the 32 bosses add up to £39.1m, making the average pay £1.2m.  All the managers who have worked in England previously are picking up £1.25m per year or more.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2014/article-2654453/Roy-Hodgson-trails-Fabio-Capello-highest-paid-managers-World-Cup.html
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mongrel hawk

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by mongrel hawk on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:38 pm

Diego Costa is being treated like the c**t that he is. He was booed and called traitor by Brazilians in Curitiba. And this is just the beginning. How stupid was he to decide to play for Spain in a WC in Brazil.  Doh
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by blutgraetsche on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:54 pm

mongrel hawk wrote:How stupid was he to decide to play for Spain in a WC in Brazil.  Doh

Not if Spain defend the title.
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mongrel hawk

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by mongrel hawk on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:58 pm

blutgraetsche wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:How stupid was he to decide to play for Spain in a WC in Brazil.  Doh

Not if Spain defend the title.

It's obvious for me that it was a decision based on money only. Where do you think he'll live after he retire? He'll come to Brazil, because he is not Spanish, and Spain is not his country. I despise Diego Costa and I hope he'll break his leg and never play football again.
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Kimbo

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Kimbo on Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:17 pm

Maybe he thinks Brazilians are c**ts?
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Jaime

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Jaime on Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:28 pm

mongrel hawk wrote:
blutgraetsche wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:How stupid was he to decide to play for Spain in a WC in Brazil.  Doh

Not if Spain defend the title.

It's obvious for me that it was a decision based on money only. Where do you think he'll live after he retire? He'll come to Brazil, because he is not Spanish, and Spain is not his country. I despise Diego Costa and I hope he'll break his leg and never play football again.

I have a feeling that he will have a rather limited role if he plays. Del Bosque is most likely gonna stick with the oldies Torres and Villa who have shown a lot better form than Costa with Spain or even Cesc as false 9.

Obviously players play for countries other than their country of birth all the time (not that I agree but it is 2014 I guess) but the bizarre thing about Costa is that he played for Brazil and then changed his mind. At least with someone like Marcos Senna he never was called to the Brazil team before he played for Spain. His decision seemed very opportunistic.
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mongrel hawk

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by mongrel hawk on Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:48 pm

Jaime wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:
blutgraetsche wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:How stupid was he to decide to play for Spain in a WC in Brazil.  Doh

Not if Spain defend the title.

It's obvious for me that it was a decision based on money only. Where do you think he'll live after he retire? He'll come to Brazil, because he is not Spanish, and Spain is not his country. I despise Diego Costa and I hope he'll break his leg and never play football again.

I have a feeling that he will have a rather limited role if he plays. Del Bosque is most likely gonna stick with the oldies Torres and Villa who have shown a lot better form than Costa with Spain or even Cesc as false 9.

Obviously players play for countries other than their country of birth all the time (not that I agree but it is 2014 I guess) but the bizarre thing about Costa is that he played for Brazil and then changed his mind. At least with someone like Marcos Senna he never was called to the Brazil team before he played for Spain. His decision seemed very opportunistic.

I agree. As far as I know, he may even be a reserve, which would suit him alright. I think Spain shouldn't even have called him. He's taking the place of a Spanish player that should be there. The WC is all about different cultures, different football schools. Things like this should stop, otherwise the WC will lose its meaning.

Anyway, I know it's not a good, noble feeling, but I loved when he played only 8 minutes in the CL final.
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Jaime

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Jaime on Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:00 pm

mongrel hawk wrote:
Jaime wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:
blutgraetsche wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:How stupid was he to decide to play for Spain in a WC in Brazil.  Doh

Not if Spain defend the title.

It's obvious for me that it was a decision based on money only. Where do you think he'll live after he retire? He'll come to Brazil, because he is not Spanish, and Spain is not his country. I despise Diego Costa and I hope he'll break his leg and never play football again.

I have a feeling that he will have a rather limited role if he plays. Del Bosque is most likely gonna stick with the oldies Torres and Villa who have shown a lot better form than Costa with Spain or even Cesc as false 9.

Obviously players play for countries other than their country of birth all the time (not that I agree but it is 2014 I guess) but the bizarre thing about Costa is that he played for Brazil and then changed his mind. At least with someone like Marcos Senna he never was called to the Brazil team before he played for Spain. His decision seemed very opportunistic.

I agree. As far as I know, he may even be a reserve, which would suit him alright. I think Spain shouldn't even have called him. He's taking the place of a Spanish player that should be there. The WC is all about different cultures, different football schools. Things like this should stop, otherwise the WC will lose its meaning.

Anyway, I know it's not a good, noble feeling, but I loved when he played only 8 minutes in the CL final.

Ale

Formerly known as sheva7

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Formerly known as sheva7 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:13 am

mongrel hawk wrote:
Jaime wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:
blutgraetsche wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:How stupid was he to decide to play for Spain in a WC in Brazil.  Doh

Not if Spain defend the title.

It's obvious for me that it was a decision based on money only. Where do you think he'll live after he retire? He'll come to Brazil, because he is not Spanish, and Spain is not his country. I despise Diego Costa and I hope he'll break his leg and never play football again.

I have a feeling that he will have a rather limited role if he plays. Del Bosque is most likely gonna stick with the oldies Torres and Villa who have shown a lot better form than Costa with Spain or even Cesc as false 9.

Obviously players play for countries other than their country of birth all the time (not that I agree but it is 2014 I guess) but the bizarre thing about Costa is that he played for Brazil and then changed his mind. At least with someone like Marcos Senna he never was called to the Brazil team before he played for Spain. His decision seemed very opportunistic.

I agree. As far as I know, he may even be a reserve, which would suit him alright. I think Spain shouldn't even have called him. He's taking the place of a Spanish player that should be there. The WC is all about different cultures, different football schools. Things like this should stop, otherwise the WC will lose its meaning.

Anyway, I know it's not a good, noble feeling, but I loved when he played only 8 minutes in the CL final.

I understand his decision. He chose to play for Spain because he thought that he would have more chances of being called up for the world cup. Last september Diego Costa was the topscorer and arguably the best player of La Liga at that point of the season and Scolari insisted on calling up deadwood players like Pato to replace Fred in a friendly.


110%

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by 110% on Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:13 am

It's easy for fans to be critical of players for these things, because they don't understand the reality of the situation. Being in that position they'd most likely do the same thing. For most normal people, you and your family have a higher priority than your country. So I see it as quite normal that a player chooses for himself to have a chance to play in a world cup, or to earn more money for his family, rather than thinking the next national coach may like me so I'll just wait because I love my country so much.
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by blutgraetsche on Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:11 am

Messi fooled by Ronaldinho lookalike

The Argentina attacker was met by a pitch invader he momentarily took for his former Barcelona team-mate in the Albiceleste's training session on Wednesday


http://www.goal.com/en/news/3790/world-cup-2014/2014/06/12/4876563/messi-fooled-by-ronaldinho-lookalike?ICID=HP_BN_10

Laughing
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blutgraetsche

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by blutgraetsche on Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:19 am

The Question: should we expect goals galore at World Cup 2014?

The emphasis on a systematic approach to football has made club teams more attacking but World Cup ones more defensive

Posted by
Jonathan Wilson
Thursday 12 June 2014 10.04 BST


After the 1990 World Cup had yielded only 2.21 goals per game, Fifa was so concerned that it brought in three points for a win, outlawed the tackle from behind and began the process of liberalising the offside law. The last World Cup produced fewer goals per game than any tournament since 1990, with just 2.27. In terms of tinkering with the laws, though, Fifa has done nothing – although, as the Sunday papers remind us every week, it has not been entirely inactive in the four years since.

It is not just the endless fight against corruption allegations that has prevented Fifa from taking action, though: there is also the fact that club football suggests there is no need for any tinkering with the laws. The Premier League last season brought an average of 2.76 goals per game, lower than the previous season’s average of 2.80, which in turn was lower than the 2.81 of 2011-12, but the fifth season in a row in which more than 2.7 goals have been scored.

In the Bundesliga there were 3.16 goals per game, in La Liga 2.75, in Serie A 2.72 and in Ligue 1 2.45. The Champions League brought 2.90. High-level club football, in other words, produces roughly half a goal per game more than top-level international football. Nor was 2010 an outlier: since the 2.71 achieved in 1994, there has been a decline in goals per game in every tournament.

The reasons for that are probably twofold. The major issue is that international teams have less time to prepare than club sides. While a club manager will have his players every day for perhaps 40 weeks of the year, a national manager will work with his players for perhaps two or three days half a dozen times a year, plus two to three weeks before major tournaments. “The level of detail that goes into games still, to this day, amazes me,” said the Secret Footballer in the Guardian of top-level club football. “Every player has his own script, what to do, when to do it, information on the player he’s up against … We memorise every single set piece, where we have to stand, run and end up. We even memorise this for the other players so we know where everyone else will be at any given time.

“You know that pass when you say to yourself: ‘How did he spot that?’ Often he didn’t need to; he knew the player would be there because the night before in the hotel, he read about the runs he would be making. It’s exactly the same pass after which sometimes you might find yourself saying: ‘Who was that to?’ The receiving player either forgot to be there or was taken out of the game by a tactical manoeuvre by his opposite number. Football at this level is very chess-like, maybe not to those outside of football but certainly to those inside.”

There simply is not time at international level to achieve that level of mutual understanding. Defences, of course, are also less sophisticated at national level but as José Mourinho and Brendan Rodgers have both pointed out this season, it is far easier to achieve a basic level of defensive soundness than the attacking fluidity needed to overwhelm it. Defence is about structure: there are minor variations, but one back four is much the same as another. Attacks, though, are anti-structure, about creativity and establishing a pattern in which self-expression can best be deployed – and that is far more dependent on the individual characteristics of players.

That relates to the second factor, which is the attitude of coaches, many of whom, at international level, prefer to focus on their defence. That is understandable: it is the factor they can more easily control and also the thing they will be blamed for if it goes wrong. If a defence is disorganised it is manifestly the coach’s fault; if an attack fails to spark, the players share the blame.

This is the paradox of the systematisation of football that has been going on since the 1960s and has accelerated over the past 20 years: it makes club football more attacking and international football more defensive. There are exceptions, of course. Chile, under Jorge Sampaoli, have a highly systematised approach, rooted in hard pressing high up the pitch. But their six friendlies since the end of qualifying have produced 17 goals – which would be standard for a club side. Germany’s qualifiers averaged 4.6 goals per game, an indication both of their attacking prowess and their lack of defensive solidity. A recent 2-2 draw against Cameroon and a 6-1 win over Armenia suggest that nothing much has changed.

Holland were second-highest scorers in European qualifying with 34 goals in 10 games, but they are unlikely to find many opponents as accommodating as Hungary, whom they beat 8-1 in one qualifier. Bosnia scored 30 in 10 matches with an attacking 4-4-2, but all their preparations seem to have been focused on switching to a 4-2-3-1 and looking to control a game through midfield.

Argentina top-scored in South America, bagging 35 and conceding 15 in 16 matches, but their last five friendlies suggest a tightening up: seven goals scored and none conceded.

This, perhaps, is just the way of things. Come a tournament, caution takes over. Weaker sides look to avoid embarrassment and see honour in a narrow defeat, while stronger sides become wary in the knowledge that one slip can lead to elimination.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/jun/12/world-cup-goals-brazil
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blutgraetsche

Number of posts : 23328
Supports : Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft
Registration date : 2006-08-09

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by blutgraetsche on Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:39 pm

QUIZ TIME!

Which World Cup team are you?

Today's football quiz is guilty of gross stereotyping

http://www.theguardian.com/football/quiz/2014/jun/12/world-cup-2014-team-quiz-england-germany-spain-holland-portugal


My result:


Congratulations. If you were a World Cup team, you would be GERMANY. That, my friend, is the best score you can get on this lowly quiz. You are a winner. You are powerful, successful and you rarely fail at anything. You are not afraid of confrontation, but you are smart enough to hold your tongue and keep the peace when required. You have too many strengths to mention in one short paragraph: you move with the times, you get things done, and people respect and fear you in equal measure. Perhaps you could work on being a little more spontaneous, but who couldn't.

Laughing
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Murray

Number of posts : 10197
Age : 47
Registration date : 2006-08-07

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Murray on Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:24 pm

blutgraetsche wrote:QUIZ TIME!

Which World Cup team are you?

Today's football quiz is guilty of gross stereotyping

http://www.theguardian.com/football/quiz/2014/jun/12/world-cup-2014-team-quiz-england-germany-spain-holland-portugal



Yikes  Grr 

Oh dear, you are ENGLAND. You were once a creator, an innovator and a contender, but now you are content to just turn up, do you humdrum job and take part. Sorry to say it, but you have become more than a little drab. If someone were to mumble your praises, they would use words like "dependable", "honest" and "hardworking". You need to loosen up a bit and regain some of your mojo. To your credit, you are admired at home and your efficiency is generally respected at work, but a little more flair could bring back your glory days. You are well paid and you have hit heights that others will never achieve, but your star is fading.
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Kimbo

Number of posts : 38170
Registration date : 2006-08-06

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Kimbo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:41 pm

If you were a World Cup team, you would be PORTUGAL. Well, aren't you interesting. You're not that successful; you're not that rich; and you have never really had any power, but you are capable of producing a kind of magic that is immensely attractive. You are neither a mover nor a shaker, but you are quick-witted and you possess something everyone wants: a touch of genius.


Anyone want to feel my magic?
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mongrel hawk

Number of posts : 4757
Age : 37
Supports : Corinthians
Registration date : 2006-08-08

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by mongrel hawk on Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:33 pm

Formerly known as sheva7 wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:
Jaime wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:
blutgraetsche wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:How stupid was he to decide to play for Spain in a WC in Brazil.  Doh

Not if Spain defend the title.

It's obvious for me that it was a decision based on money only. Where do you think he'll live after he retire? He'll come to Brazil, because he is not Spanish, and Spain is not his country. I despise Diego Costa and I hope he'll break his leg and never play football again.

I have a feeling that he will have a rather limited role if he plays. Del Bosque is most likely gonna stick with the oldies Torres and Villa who have shown a lot better form than Costa with Spain or even Cesc as false 9.

Obviously players play for countries other than their country of birth all the time (not that I agree but it is 2014 I guess) but the bizarre thing about Costa is that he played for Brazil and then changed his mind. At least with someone like Marcos Senna he never was called to the Brazil team before he played for Spain. His decision seemed very opportunistic.

I agree. As far as I know, he may even be a reserve, which would suit him alright. I think Spain shouldn't even have called him. He's taking the place of a Spanish player that should be there. The WC is all about different cultures, different football schools. Things like this should stop, otherwise the WC will lose its meaning.

Anyway, I know it's not a good, noble feeling, but I loved when he played only 8 minutes in the CL final.

I understand his decision. He chose to play for Spain because he thought that he would have more chances of being called up for the world cup. Last september Diego Costa was the topscorer and arguably the best player of La Liga at that point of the season and Scolari insisted on calling up deadwood players like Pato to replace Fred in a friendly.


Sheva, a WC is not about "having more chances of being called up". A WC is about playing for your country. If the coach of your national team don't call you, you shut up and wait. It's obvious to me that his agent convinced him to play for Spain to sell his image and earn more money. I think it's disgusting. He's not Spanish, therefore he should not play for Spain. I think the same about all the opportunist players that do it.

Formerly known as sheva7

Number of posts : 1898
Age : 33
Registration date : 2006-08-07

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Formerly known as sheva7 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:56 pm

mongrel hawk wrote:
Formerly known as sheva7 wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:
Jaime wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:
blutgraetsche wrote:
mongrel hawk wrote:How stupid was he to decide to play for Spain in a WC in Brazil.  Doh

Not if Spain defend the title.

It's obvious for me that it was a decision based on money only. Where do you think he'll live after he retire? He'll come to Brazil, because he is not Spanish, and Spain is not his country. I despise Diego Costa and I hope he'll break his leg and never play football again.

I have a feeling that he will have a rather limited role if he plays. Del Bosque is most likely gonna stick with the oldies Torres and Villa who have shown a lot better form than Costa with Spain or even Cesc as false 9.

Obviously players play for countries other than their country of birth all the time (not that I agree but it is 2014 I guess) but the bizarre thing about Costa is that he played for Brazil and then changed his mind. At least with someone like Marcos Senna he never was called to the Brazil team before he played for Spain. His decision seemed very opportunistic.

I agree. As far as I know, he may even be a reserve, which would suit him alright. I think Spain shouldn't even have called him. He's taking the place of a Spanish player that should be there. The WC is all about different cultures, different football schools. Things like this should stop, otherwise the WC will lose its meaning.

Anyway, I know it's not a good, noble feeling, but I loved when he played only 8 minutes in the CL final.

I understand his decision. He chose to play for Spain because he thought that he would have more chances of being called up for the world cup. Last september Diego Costa was the topscorer and arguably the best player of La Liga at that point of the season and Scolari insisted on calling up deadwood players like Pato to replace Fred in a friendly.


Sheva, a WC is not about "having more chances of being called up". A WC is about playing for your country. If the coach of your national team don't call you, you shut up and wait. It's obvious to me that his agent convinced him to play for Spain to sell his image and earn more money. I think it's disgusting. He's not Spanish, therefore he should not play for Spain. I think the same about all the opportunist players that do it.  

He spent his whole career playing in Spain. He never played professionally in Brazil. I'm not in position to judge him because I don't know how are his feelings about Spain.
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Allez les rouges

Number of posts : 8098
Age : 100
Supports : Deutschland, Arsenal
Favourite Player : Jens Lehmann
Registration date : 2006-08-07

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Allez les rouges on Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:14 pm

blutgraetsche wrote:QUIZ TIME!

Which World Cup team are you?

Today's football quiz is guilty of gross stereotyping

http://www.theguardian.com/football/quiz/2014/jun/12/world-cup-2014-team-quiz-england-germany-spain-holland-portugal


My result:


Congratulations. If you were a World Cup team, you would be GERMANY. That, my friend, is the best score you can get on this lowly quiz. You are a winner. You are powerful, successful and you rarely fail at anything. You are not afraid of confrontation, but you are smart enough to hold your tongue and keep the peace when required. You have too many strengths to mention in one short paragraph: you move with the times, you get things done, and people respect and fear you in equal measure. Perhaps you could work on being a little more spontaneous, but who couldn't.
Laughing

If you were a World Cup team, you would be SPAIN. Your brand of obsessive perfectionism doesn't make you popular with everyone, but you are the ultimate team player and you should be proud of your success in life. You were erratic and unpredictable in your younger years but that flakiness has been replaced with a newfound mental sturdiness. You are confident, you know who you are and you have strong ideas about the meaning of life. You are a winner. If people are too jealous to appreciate you for who you are, that's their problem.

scratch Erm
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Pierre Littbarski

Number of posts : 12424
Age : 107
Registration date : 2006-08-07

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Pierre Littbarski on Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:49 pm

Winner: Brazil

Dark Horse: France

Darker Horse: Chile

Darkest Horse: Japan



Big name flops: Germany, Holland, England


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEgWxfI03lc  cheers 
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Kimbo

Number of posts : 38170
Registration date : 2006-08-06

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Kimbo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:28 pm

I'm not sure it's even possible for Holland and England to flop. England would have to be as bad as they were in 2010.
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Fey

Number of posts : 35347
Supports : Feyenoord and Manchester United
Favourite Player : ??#$ Error, John Guidetti, Jordy Clasie
Registration date : 2006-08-07

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by Fey on Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:40 pm



France might be worth a bet btw

Brazil3/13/13/13/13/13/111/43/111/4
Argentina4/14/14/17/24/14/14/14/17/2
Spain13/213/26/113/213/213/26/15/16/1
Germany5/113/26/17/111/26/16/113/213/2
Belgium16/120/122/122/114/120/120/122/120/1
France22/125/122/125/120/125/122/125/122/1
Italy25/125/125/125/125/125/125/125/125/1
Portugal20/128/128/128/125/128/122/125/125/1
Uruguay28/128/128/128/128/125/128/128/125/1
England28/128/128/128/128/125/125/128/125/1
Netherlands25/135/133/133/128/133/128/133/128/1

110%

Number of posts : 8978
Age : 43
Registration date : 2006-08-07

Re: Who is going to be the champions?

Post by 110% on Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:15 pm

The world cup of everything else:
http://graphicsweb.wsj.com/documents/WORLDCUPTOEE/#/?lang=en&metrics=Lowest%20Traffic%20Death%20Rate

England would win if there was a world cup for lowest death rate in a car accident

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Re: Who is going to be the champions?

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