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Old 08-09-2014, 07:43 AM   #1
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What We Learn From FIFA World Cup 2014?


1. Superstars don't necessarily pledge titles.
The four prevalent stars coming into this World Cup, based on club team performance, were Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Luis Suarez. All but Messi were less than 100% fit for this tournament. Suarez bit someone, Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra and Ronaldo was eliminated in the first stage. Of the bunch, Messi performed the best, but even that wasn’t good enough to defeat a more balanced, superstar-less German side.
2. FIFA must establish an on-field procedure to deal with concussions.
As stupid as Blatter has looked in the past, he appeared infinitely dumber at this World Cup by allowing teams to return players onto the field just minutes after their heads were seriously banged. The ultimate outrage occurred in the final, when Christoph Kramer collapsed on the pitch after he was sent back into the match. It’s obvious that trained doctors independent of the teams need to be along the sidelines to make these decisions.
3. CONCACAF deserves more respect.
Three of the four federation’s teams advanced to the second round, while Costa Rica very nearly made it to the semifinals. Still, the U.S. remains the highest-ranked CONCACAF team in the latest FIFA computer ratings at a relatively low No. 15, down from No. 13.
4. Soccer misses David Beckham.
Only three goals, one a beauty from Messi, were scored in the whole tournament on direct kicks. Few are bending them like Beckham anymore, which means defenders feel freer to foul outside the box. One possible cure that will never happen: Force the wall back another two yards, or at least enforce the rule that doesn’t allow defenders to anticipate the kick and charge forward.
5. It still pays to try to score.
Despite all the cautious organization we saw from teams like Argentina and Switzerland, an attacking side won the title. Germany scored 18 goals at this World Cup, the most since Brazil equaled that total in 2002. There is hope for watchable soccer, after all.
6. Diving still pays off, unfortunately.
Referees had been told to discourage such swan dives, yet only one player (Oscar) was carded for flopping in the entire tournament, and he was legitimately tripped. Arjen Robben made an art of the dive and got away with it.
7. Racism remains a real issue in the stands.
Even the ever-rosy Blatter had to admit on Monday, “I am not at all happy with the way we fought against racism.” Mexican and other fans stubbornly hurled gay slurs at opponents without any repercussions. Blatter said he planned to make this a priority for the next World Cup, assuming he’s re-elected as FIFA president next May — which he seems to think will happen.
8. Referees still don't know what they're seeing, and there's nothing that can be done about it.
While the officials showed greater, smarter restraint in this tournament (only eight red cards were shown), calls were blown all over the field, often by some of the top-rated refs. In the third-place match alone, the referee Djamel Haimoudi called for a penalty on a foul outside the box shortly before an assistant ref failed to flag an offside that should have nullified a second goal.
Suggestions of possible instant replays make little sense on foul calls, given the subjectivity of such judgment whistles. Offside calls, however, could be reviewed if FIFA were willing to stop matches for such replays. That might be good for business, too, if networks could sneak in a Pepsi commercial.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:59 AM   #2
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I think we also learned SOCCER SUCKS. If I wanted to just sit and watch a bunch of guys trying to score for 90 minutes I would go to the local bar.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:57 AM   #3
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I tend to agree but other sports like curling suck also. For some people who actually play them it is a good sport but for us non players it is boring. We have contact sports like football and hockey where grown men get to hit each other and fight. I guess baseball has that too.
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