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.
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. Read MoreSepp Blatter’s Slippery Slope
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. Read MoreWorld Cup Review: Final
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? Read MoreWorld Cup Review: Quarterfinals
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? Read MoreWorld Cup Review: Round of 16
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. Read MoreWorld Cup Review #5: 6/23-6/25