Archive | World Cup

Winner of the World Cup Prediction Pool Game Thing

Nope, I haven’t forgotten about this.

(Can I get a drumroll, please?)

The winner of the first BFB World Cup Predictions Game is…

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Posted in Contests, World Cup161 Comments

GOATS, success, failure and Lionel Messi, aka “Be here now.”

messi

The World Cup is over and now the debates begin about Messi, roiling tempests that reduce the actual winner of the tournament to a seeming afterthought.

And they are so predictable that it’s almost lazy, as if by rote the same lines are drawn by the same groups of people:

– Look at the stats. He’s the best.
– He failed on the big stage, so he isn’t the GOAT.
– Y’all need to leave him alone, he is still the GOAT.
– Etc, etc, ad infinitum.

The truth is that there is no truth. It’s all immaterial.
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Posted in Messi, Thoughts, World Cup280 Comments

The Argentina Primer: You’re a Hot Mess…

…but I’m still into you.

 

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Posted in Analysis, World Cup288 Comments

Forget Last Season and the World Cup, 2014/15 will be Barca’s Season

barcelona-trivia-fans

Prepare for 2014/15 with the Best Barca Apps

The World Cup was a tumultuous time for Barcelona fans. Spain exited the tournament after losing two games with only a nonsensical 3-0 win over Australia being the only high point. We didn’t get to see the brilliance of Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets and Alba in the light we expected to. But they weren’t the major disappointments of the tournament.

Initiating the signing of Luis Saurez was meant to be a wondrous occasion but then came that ill fated moment with Chiellini – a moment that will be remembered by all football fans across the globe. Unfortunately or fortunately for Barca fans, this somewhat helped push through his transfer to Spain and although this moment marred his World Cup, we did however get to see him single handedly demolish England – showing the world that he truly belongs among the world’s elite.

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Posted in World Cup0 Comments

International Break Thread

I knowthis is a bit late given that most of the games are over, but what the hey, here’s a nice little space for you to discuss the international break. Asian WCQs, friendlies, and even U23 matches. Have at it, folks. More soon from your favoritest writing crew, perhaps even within this particular post given that there are some highlights worth showing.

First up, Clint Dempsey scoring for the US against Italy, in Italy (h/t Dirty Tackle)

You may not care about Clint Dempsey or the USMNT, but, well, I don’t think that matters, now does it? Plus, he beat Thiago Motta. First time the US has ever beaten Italy and they did it in Genoa against a team that hadn’t given up a goal at home in any of their Euro2012 qualifiers. Say what you will about the team on hand (shouldn’t Balotelli have been there?), but the US did their thing.

Okay, so Barça-related:

Messi gets his first hat trick for Argentina, though with 1 of those being a penalty. Good to see him getting some goals for the albiceleste.

Iniesta with the first was lovely to see. And, as far as I can tell, no one got hurt, which is actually far lovelier.

Abidal played 90 minutes and left seemingly completely intact. This is good.

H/T on both to 101 Goals

Not Barça-related:

The Dutch beat England with 2 wonderful goals from Arjen Robben that are worth watching.

Scott Parker fall down go boom.

Posted in International Friendlies, World Cup105 Comments

Sepp Blatter’s Slippery Slope

I was all ready to go. I had a decent little theory about the shirt sponsorship written down and I had some ginned up outrage planned, it was all set. Then I wake up this morning to find that everyone’s favorite benevolent football dictator (no, not Laporta, though that title might have applied last year) has used his bully pulpit to weigh in on human rights and his own ham-fisted morality ideals. Responding to criticism of FIFAs decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which has very strict laws concerning consensual homosexual conduct between adults, Blatter stated:

I would say they should refrain from any sexual activities. . . . We are definitely living in a world of freedom and I’m sure when the World Cup will be in Qatar in 2022, there will be no problems. You see in the Middle East the opening of this culture, it’s another culture because it’s another religion, but in football we have no boundaries. We open everything to everybody and I think there shall not be any discrimination against any human beings be it on this side or that side, be it left, right or whatever.

With these comments, Blatter has not only pissed off a ton of commentators and groups, he’s also taking FIFA down a slippery slope that I am sure is inadvisable: not only setting your games up in Qatar under highly dubious circumstances, but then butting into the personal sexual lives of fans. Er, um, like I am going to let this slide. Continue Reading

Posted in Soap Box, World Cup174 Comments

World Cup Review: Final

Iniestazo… azo… AZO! Or, as Jose Antonio Camacho, former Madridista and Spain left back exclaimed: “Iniesta de my vida”. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I won’t say the World Cup final degenerated into an awful spectacle of fouling and anti-football, because in order to have degenerated into that, it would have had to have started out better. Regardless, La Furia Roja took home their first Jules Rimet trophy, and were the more worthy team in having done so. Please join me won’t you, for one final review before we move back into the realm of the club. Once more into the breach.

Lars Baron/Getty Images Europe

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Posted in Barcelona, World Cup43 Comments

Champions of the World: España

AP Photo/Luca Bruno

Felicidades, Furia Roja, you have won the World Cup for the first time and done it after an excellent tournament.

Posted in World Cup139 Comments

Spain in the World Cup Final

Puyiiiiiii

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images Europe

The scoreboard read Barça Spain 1 – 0 Germany and I yelled, clapped, high-fived my friends, and hugged them. We cheered, paid our bill, and spilled out into the street. Or, well, walked out into the heat wave we’re experiencing and couldn’t muster the energy to cheer anymore. It’s an oven here. Regardless, I went home buzzed on happiness and a few Cokes and am already looking forward to Sunday’s final.

What are your plans for the final? What will you do if Spain wins? A friend of mine swore he’d go run with the bulls at next year’s San Fermin festival. Another told me not to jinx them. Another said a string of curse words and probably should lay off the beer during matches sometimes. I’m just going to cheer and scream and whoop and holler and then maybe I’l think of something awesome.

Posted in World Cup96 Comments

World Cup Review: Quarterfinals

It is hard for me to continually write intros for these things. But this round of games, wow. It is rare that games incorporate excitement; open discussions of the ethics of punishment, utilitarianism, and the greater good; and brutal emotions usually not laid bare by such matters. So here we are, 4 teams left, every one of them gets 2 more games, although 1 of those games might be less important than the others. So come on in, and enjoy it, won’t you?

Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe

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Posted in Barcelona, World Cup39 Comments

World Cup Review: Round of 16

32 teams in, 24 teams down. Whereas the First Round proved a fitting, if up-and-down beginning, the Round of 16 have basically held the course with interesting and intense games, but with the favorites winning in nearly every situation. However, this would not be a World Cup without controversy, and we have it in spades. Plus the US going out, Ghana moving forward, and South America still representing. So join me, won’t you?

MESSIah

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Posted in Barcelona, World Cup66 Comments

World Cup Review #5: 6/23-6/25

The Round of 16 is set. Half the teams are gone and the hand-wringing is beginning back home for those boys. A few shocks are sticking around and this is shaping up to be the most wide open Round of 16 in a very long time. But enough of all this, let’s get to the recaps Luke.

I heart Bill Clinton

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Posted in Barcelona, World Cup28 Comments

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