|By Sanjib Guha| Who is the God of football? In most cases, there would be two answers — Edson Arantes do Nascimento ‘Pele’ and Diego Armando Maradona. But stakes were high for Argentina’s Lionel Messi to join the panel of ‘Gods’ in build-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. What Pele did in 1958 & 1970 or Maradona in 1986 was ...Read More »
Germany v Argentina: who will raise the 2014 World Cup?
|By Keith Lyons, The Conversation| After four weeks, we’re finally at the pointy end of the 2014 World Cup. Germany and Argentina meet in the final in the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro this weekend. Germany came into the tournament ranked second in the FIFA rankings, three positions higher than Argentina. And in the world football Elo ratings, Germany was ...Read More »
FIFA 2014: A World Cup of upsets
|By Sanjib Guha| This World Cup has indeed been one full of disappointments and surprises. One that started with The Netherlands drubbing defending champions Spain 5-1 on the very second day of the FIFA 2014 World Cup hasn’t stopped as yet. If Spain’s humiliation wasn’t enough, minnows Costa Rica came from nowhere to thrash two-time world champion Uruguay 3-1 on ...Read More »
Italy’s World Cup Exit : A debacle that was to happen
|By Sanjib Guha| Four-time world champions (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), twice finalists (1970 and 1994), one third-place finish (1990) and came fourth once (1970). Yes, we are talking of Italy – the second most successful country in the history of FIFA World Cup after Brazil — who has been a pale shadow of themselves for the last two editions ...Read More »
Balotelli is the scapegoat, but Italy faces a much deeper crisis
|By John Foot,University of Bristol| The Conversation| It started with a bang, but it ended with a whisper, a scandal, two immediate resignations (the manager and the head of the football federation), and a bite that shook the world. Italy’s 2014 World Cup campaign moved from a sense of triumph to one of total disaster in just a few days.Read More »
Raising a Dutch storm: Netherlands unstoppable
|By Sanjib Guha| Lionel Messi’s slices of brilliance, Neymar’s reaction to Cameroon’s petty tactics to demolish them or Miroslav Klose’s record equaling goal-scoring feat may have been some delightful moments for football aficionados over the past 10 days or so. But as a team, Brazil, Argentina and Germany looked a bit rusty. The country which boasts of producing players like Johan Cruyff, Marco ...Read More »
Dawn of the new custodians: Bravo Ochoa!
|By Sanjib Guha| Europe has a glorious history of producing great goalkeepers – be it Lev Yashin of the then Soviet Union or England’s Gordon Banks.The legacy continued through Peter Shilton (England), Dino Zoff (Italy), Oliver Khan and many others. In the present day contest, Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Manuel Neuer (France), Iker Casillase (Spain) are carrying the baton and are ...Read More »
World Cup swansong for Gerrard, Lampard?
|By Sanjib Guha| Following Italy’s 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica, it can be said with certainty that England is out of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. And with that, the showpiece event loses another host of colourful stars in Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard (benched in 2014), Daniel Sturridge and few more. True, Rooney (28) and Sturridge ...Read More »
Eight years of glory comes to an end : Spain goes out
The first National Football Team to be eliminated from the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil are the defending World Champions SPAIN which lost 0 – 2 to Chile. A devastating blow to the Spain football team. Sanjib Guha walks through their 8 years of domination in World Soccer. Since their debut in 1920, the Spanish team had never created havoc in the world of ...Read More »
World Cup fever? How different climates will affect performance
|By Alan Ruddock, Sheffield Hallam University |The Conversation| No matter who’s playing, the first game of a World Cup is always special – full of excitement, anticipation and hope for tournament filled with skills, goals and drama. This time, hosts Brazil take on a solid Croatian side in Sao Paulo, in a match suited to Brazilian flair and, most importantly, ...Read More »