Friday, June 06, 2014

Memories of the World Cup

My first memories of the FIFA World Cup are from the 1986 tournament - seeing Maradona's sublime goal (and the 'hand of god' goal) against England. Strangely enough, I have recollections of watching the end of the Denmark-Germany group stage game, but none of the Final.

I saw more of the 1990 World Cup - Germany winning the final courtesy of a dubious penalty - reversing the 1986 result.  Cameroon coming to the Football world's attention during this tournament, beating Argentina 1-0 in their first match, and being eliminated in the second round (after a 2-3 loss to England in extra time).

Favourite Memor(ies):
So many to chose from, but New Zealand's performance against Italy in South Africa (1-1); Australia's 3-1 win over Japan in Germany 2006 are two that stand out.  The performance of Sth Korea during the 2002 World Cup was impressive; losing their Semi-Final 0-1 to Germany and eventually finishing fourth.

Favourite Goal:
So many to chose from - do a Google search for the best goals from the World Cup and stacks of videos will come up. Two of my favourites are - Maradona (v England 1986) & Berkamp (v Argentina 1998).

Predictions for 2014:
Hard to predict how Australia will go. They are clearly building for the Asian Cup 2015 (and qualification for the 2018 World Cup). My hope, is we see an Australian out there taking to the competition (even if they go down in flames in the process).

Australia isn't tipped to get out of the group; a win may be a challenge, but at the same time, once the team crosses the white line anything can happen.  (Read this article..) I'll be disappointed if Van Persie is ruled out with injury, as you want to see the best players on the field.

Would love to see a dark horse go through to the final (Ivory Coast, Japan), or The Netherlands. Belgium has been mentioned as another darkhorse; but I suspect it will be a former winner lifting in the trophy in July.

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