I like the Asian teams this year; they are real racers in this World Cup, always ready to bring their opponents to task, sometimes just by running for their own lives. Although North Korea’s role in the loosing column looked to possibly end with their promising start and their relatively small defeat by the Brazilians, this was not to remain so in the following group matches.
The subsequent 0:7 result against Portugal can be attributed to Portuguese professionalism, as resistance seemed futile, however the North Koreans showed their pride. Not much could be said afterward, and that was basically confirmed by their very popular trainer, who said that it wasn’t necessary for his team to give all against such strong teams. Anyway, the North Koreans never really coordinated their defense and offense to become a truly world-dominating team.
The South Koreans and Japanese, however, were more successful. We already knew from the 2002 World Cup that they put forth great effort, and go to the limit, hounding their enemy until the very end, while others do not.
But what the South Koreans do, in contrast to their northern neighbors, can easily be seen. With the South Koreans, anyone can see the huge amount of spirit with which the team plays, although it was not enough to take them to the next round, in comparison with the rather quieter Japanese team which was not expected to get as far as it did. For sure, next time around, this team will reach for more.
Good bye, Italy.
Good bye, France.
Nothing left to say.
Everyone already saw it.
But there is. As French fans continued to be involved in the tournament, wanting their team to do something, anything during their match, Les Bleus seemed athletically unable, led by a kind of egotist, unsure of how to leave the situation in which he found himself. This should make us appreciate Germany’s coach, Jogi Löw.
And what’s going on with the Brazilian team, the Selecao, I still ask myself. The strategy of their head coach known commonly as “Dunga” was clear to see after their group matches; even their fans seemed less than enthralled with their play, despite their easy qualification to the Group of 16. It seemed they used little of the artistry that their players boast. Maybe though, they will still earn the title of World Champions.
Many of the legendary coaches were also out after the first round – Ottmar Hitzfeld, Sven-Göran Eriksson and Marcello Lippi. Many of these national teams seem ready for a new generation of coaches and training creativity.
Poor Mexico! The irregular goal that the referees missed brought their tragedy to the stage, part of a decades-long dogma by the old higher-ups at FIFA that disallows computer technology to assist referees. The German national team had similar luck due to a referee error, our Wembley Stadium is now named Bloemfontaine, a reference to the irregular goal that England was granted against Germany in their 1966 World Cup match. It was sad to watch the way the Mexican team lost their dominance though, after the mistake by the referee. The only hope of the Central Americans it seems, is that one day, in the quarter finals, they will have an opponent other than Argentina.
So, what can we still look forward to in this World Cup? There are still some interesting teams that can play a prominent role in the tournament. There remain exciting and unusual matches to be played at new levels. I look forward to watching the teams from Paraguay, Uruguay and Ghana. And I am sure that at least one of these teams will go far. I hope that it’s all the way to the final round!
This blogpost is translated and interpreted by Angela Boskovitch from a German article authored by Marius Hulpe.