50. World Cup Semi-Final Preview: Brazil vs Germany…

So it’s come to this.

After all of the (c)upsets, near-knockouts and fun and games, there are four teams left, two from Europe, two from South America, three former World Cup winners who are in the top five ranked teams in the world, and one almost-team hoping to be the second successive first-time winner.

Brazil face Germany today, and Argentina take on Holland tomorrow to decide whether or not there is any chance whatsoever of me getting a ticket to Sunday’s final.

These Mexicans haven't forgotten how Holland got to the final...

These Mexicans haven’t forgotten how Holland got to the final…

(If Brazil make it, I give myself a 0.01% chance: if they don’t, but Argentina do, it won’t be much better, except that maybe the suicidal Brazilians would rather sell/give their ticket to me than to Continue reading

43. World Cup Day 18: Luck and Skill…

Finally, a South American team in yellow playing exciting, passionate football with a killer instinct.

It just wasn’t Brazil.

Colombia sent home the 2014 Pantomime Villains, Uruguay, with a stunning display and yet another contender for goal of the tournament from current top scorer, James Rodriguez, taking a ball on the chest outside the area after a bout of headed ping-pong, controlling it onto his left foot and volleying stunningly off the keeper’s hand and down off the underside of the bar into the net.

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James…more or less…

Anyone who read yesterday’s blog can’t say they weren’t warned, and since Continue reading

42. World Cup Day 17: Ding Ding, Round 2…

After yesterday’s relaxing day off, we are back and ready to go with the meat of the competition: the knock-out phase.

The last sixteen as us boring English speakers call it; the ‘oitavos’ to the locals.

Today’s pair of matches is a strangely South American affair: due to an irony of the draw, (or a complete cock-up, depending on your view of FIFA), there are four South American teams all battling it out for a single semi-final spot.

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Two of those teams will take the Continue reading

41. World Cup Day Who Even Knows Anymore…

Finally, a final round of games which produced some excitement!

The late kick-offs were mildly tense, although sadly I was stuck watching the wrong match, The Red Devils of Belgium yet again proving to be horribly tedious, yet winning by a single goal, this time down to ten men against a South Korea side who proved to be even more dismal. Belgium next take on the USA, and will have to show a lot more devilry if they are to go any further in the tournament.

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The boys will have been wearing these jacket-jerseys with pride tonight…

That meant I was missing the Russia vs Algeria game, which saw Continue reading

39. World Cup Live Match Report pt.IV: Iran vs Bosnia vs Hercegovina…

Yes, it’s the one the world has been waiting for: Iran vs Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Not a fair fight, really, considering the Iran team has been under sanctions so long that they didn’t even have player photos up on the giant screens when they announced the teams before the match.

And they were playing against two countries.

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Bosnia on the left, Hercegovina on the right…

I began the tournament Continue reading

38. World Cup Day 14: insert your own ‘bite’ pun here…

Just when the games were threatening to get a little boring…

The last game of the day provided enough excitement for an entire week of blogging. Former World Champions Italy sent home? Check. Red card given to one team and not another? Check. Booming headed goal by booming headed goal maestro, Diego Godín? Check.

Oh, and then Luís Suarez bit another player.

Again.

For the third time.

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‘Gnasher’ Suarez…

And then rolled around on the floor, with the audacity to hold his teeth, pretending to have been elbowed or something.

Check.

Either he bit him or, Continue reading

33. World Cup Day 8: England’s inevitable capitulation…

The first day of the second week of the World Cup began in incredible style for me when I received a message from a journalist back in Portugal who, I had forgotten, had interviewed me by email and then written a massive and flattering article for maisfutebol, one of the biggest websites in Portugal, about my love of Benfica and my passion for following World Cups across the globe.

Anyone who wants to practice their Portuguese, or enjoy a couple of pictures of me, can see the full article here.

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Spreading Benfica around the world since 2013…even to the enemy!

To jump forward to the end of the day: after Continue reading