7th July, 2006

World Cup: Best and Worst bits

The FIFA World Cup is almost over, bar the Third-Place Play-Off and the Final.


In the hope that these two remaining games produces footballing magic the likes of which we could never imagine, I have compiled my Top 10 Best, and my Top 10 Worst moments. In other words, the final is usually so dull that it is sure to be incredible now that I have declared my best bits.

If you are Portuguese, I beg you to go easy on me. Alternatively, cry wolf, start protesting because everything isn’t going your way, and pretend you got a kick in the bollocks…

The 10 Best Bits

  1. The beginning, when I still believe England are the best team and am full of optimism.
  2. The Italian team’s performance in the semi-final. I’m used to seeing them defending a slender lead and killing games, so to witness their determination, sleek passing and grit against the Germans was special. Kudos to both teams for a brilliant display of sportsmanship in that game also.
  3. Joe Cole’s ridiculously good goal against Sweden. Ashley and Joe Cole, Ferdinand, Terry, Lennon bright sparks in an otherwise shite England team.
  4. That Argentina goal: Cambiasso’s finish after 24 passes. Slickest move of the tournament.
  5. The Australians. Finally scored a World Cup goal, and then caught fire. Played with spirit, and were unlucky to go out to a late Italian penalty.
  6. Zinedine Zidane’s virtuoso performance against the underwhelming Brazilians.
  7. Argentina again: The Maxi Rodriguez chest and volley against Mexico. A wonder-goal in a truly fantastic game.
  8. Portugal’s Deco and Holland’s Van Bronckhorst sitting with each other as the game neared it’s end, trying to work out how they got sent off in the ugly second-round tie.
  9. The German population. Finally comfortable with celebrating their nationality through flag-waving. Quite right too. A great World Cup needs a great atmosphere and great organisation, and the hosts need to make traveling fans welcome. The Germans did this with style.
  10. BBC TV and web coverage. Still the best.

The 10 Worst Bits

  1. 90 minutes after England kick-off, when I realise that they are still shit.
  2. Racism. It is a crime to be black, apparently. Football fans are still thick as pigshit.
  3. Holland Vs. Portugal. A dirty, ill-fought game refereed by a madman called Valentin Ivanov, who handed out a record 16 yellow and 4 red cards. Piss-poor.
  4. Inconsistent refereeing as a whole, and way too many red/yellow cards. Sort it out, FIFA.
  5. The Ivory Coast failing to progress despite playing some of the best football of the whole tournament (tough group).
  6. Thierry Henry pretending to have been struck in the face. Atypical behavior and not good to see.
  7. Cristiano Ronaldo ensuring the referee sent Wayne Rooney to an early bath. At least 60,000 people booed him in the semi-final. Good luck for the new Premiership season, Cristiano…
  8. Graham Poll’s inability to count, giving three yellow cards to one player. How can England win the World Cup if we don’t even know the rules.
  9. “Team” USA. Worked hard, but had no invention. Unlucky against Italy, and victims of some gruesome challenges. Big shame for the Yanks who made the quarter-finals in 2002.
  10. ITV coverage. Still the worst, especially for pundits. Jay-Jay Okocha Vs. paint drying? I’ll take the paint.


How much does Big Phil Scolari (left) look like Gene Hackman (right)?


Come on then, tell me I’m wrong…

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