Football player Neymar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sachin Tendulkar (Photo credit: ali_pk)
Maria Sharapova (Photo credit: D. Piris)
Will it be an all South American final or an all European one?
Or is it to be a fifty-fifty split? Only the soccer gods know for sure.
Neymar’s horrendous ouster from the World Cup—kneed from behind by his Colombian opponent Juan Camilo Zúñiga—left a sour taste in the mouth.
Is this the end of Brazil’s World Cup?
Does it really matter? Did Sharapova need to know who the demi-god of India cricket is to win her five slams?
For that matter, does Tendulkar need to be aware of tennis heroes and heroines to score on the cricket field?
Or do you and I need to know who the President of India is to do our jobs? Not unless your job needs you to know this trivia. But I digress.
Do you think Tendulkar cares that the ruling diva of women’s tennis does not recognise him or his name or his lauded achievements? He will probably breathe a sigh of relief that there’s one less bothersome fan in the world.
Is Sharapova to blame for her ignorance? Does it not have to do with the insular sports coverage of Western media specifically in Russia and the US? But why blame these states? How many Test-playing countries are there? Barely a handful.
Till next week. Adios, for now.
Ten days into the soccer (or as the world prefers to term it, football) World Cup 2014 and it’s been a tale of upsets and surprises galore.
The Group of Death has witnessed sudden death for England; Costa Rica wielding the surgeon’s knife without actually playing their victims yet.
The defending champions, Spain, have done anything but defend; their citadel torn to shreds by the Dutch and the Chileans.
(I have not caught up with the games live; the interesting games are played early in the morning by Indian Standard Time (IST) but then there’s always the highlights capsule on Sony Six. A time-saver indeed and less onerous on my beauty sleep and my health.)
France appear ominous and are the current favorites by anyone’s reckoning; the Dutch struggled against the Aussies. The socceroos were plain unlucky not to have a draw on their hands. They faded out of the tournaments gloriously indeed.
Costa Rica are the surprise of the tournament; can we anoint them ‘neo’ dark horses ahead of Belgium?
Argentina and Brazil have been less than impressive; Argentina faring slightly better with Messi performing the star turn on both occasions. Neymar is no Pele yet, is he?
That’s about all for now. Enjoy your World Cup! See you again, next week, maybe!
What he said:
"It seems Pele took the wrong medication."
Diego Maradona takes issue with Pele’s remarks that Brazilian teenager, Neymar, is as good as Maradona or Lionel Messi.
They talk about Maradona and Messi, but we have Neymar – he is a great talent to have.
Santos is a factory of stars, creating several players without spending anything. It is a lucky team.
Pele advised the Santos forward to become smarter and stronger on the pitch.
It’s not about fighting back, it is about learning to defend himself.
He is very skilled, he is the best player on the team, so of course will be marked. He has to learn to defend himself.
Maradona, reacting to Pele’s comments, said (via Times Of India):
Instead of taking his night pill, he took the morning pill. He got confused and didn’t know what he was talking about … I suggest next time he take the right pills before making any suggestions and that he should change his doctor.
What he really meant:
“If I’m not the greatest footballer ever, it must be Messi. Anything else is heresy.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I know exactly what to do about ‘foot-in-the-mouth’ syndrome. It’s my bete noire. ”