A.k.a. the Spanish, the Brazilians & the French.
But Spain first. They won! Against Honduras. It was not an easy game. The Hondurans were playing a very physical game, quite like the Ivorians against Brazil a few days ago, which I think is just so sad. Football is a beautiful game. It's a game that requires skill and presence of mind, not brute force. I agree that each country has its own style of football. For instance, Germany's style of playing is very different from that of Brazil, who are very different from say, the Italians. But teams that resort to roughing up their opponents, intentional fouls, unfair tackles, cheating and play-acting to win a corner, free kick or penalty just go on to prove that they are the inferior team and lack the skill required for the game.
Coming back to Spain, they're the second team I'm supporting apart from Brazil (who else?). I'll be equally happy if either go on to win the Cup. But I'm concerned for both teams. Spain shouldn't have lost their opening game against Switzerland and should have won against Honduras by a bigger margin. They could easily have scored 5-6 goals...Torres & Ramos had enough shots at the goal, and there was no reason for David Villa to miss an easy penalty kick after the mindblowing goals he scored. Spain are such a talented side...they have such a fluid game (have you seen them pass the ball between players?)...but they seem to be having trouble finishing. I hope they sort it out sooner rather than later because they're likely to face Portugal in the pre-quarters and Argentina or Germany in the semis if they manage to go past Denmark/Italy in the quarter finals. I'd hate to see them lose.
Brazil seem to have recovered from their indifferent performance in their opening game against North Korea. One of their 3 goals against Cote d'Ivoire was a handball, so they scored only 2 goals legitimately. While that was enough to win them the game against Cote d'Ivoire, it may not be enough to see them all the way to the finals. The bookies are placing their money on Brazil winning this Cup and I hope they are right! A Brazil vs Spain final would be out of this world!
And what's the deal with Les Blues?? I can't believe the way the French have been behaving the past few days. First the French Football Federation expels one of their star strikers for his public tirade against coach Raymond Domenech, who looks like he's perpetually chewing on sour grapes. Then the players revolt against the Federation and the coach by refusing to train, and some of the key players even refuse to play! That's not only immature, it's also stupid. Imbecility, as the French would call it. Not to mention that it's terribly insulting to the French people who, like most other Europeans are passionate about football and would like to see their country win the World Cup.
Don't get me wrong - I think the French players have every right to protest against their coach if they have issues with his management tactics. I also think Anelka needn't have been suspended for his outburst against the coach - France is not a dictatorship after all. But by refusing to train and play the matches, the French players not only let their country down, they also proved that they don't value the opportunity to represent their country on such an international platform and bring it glory. Quite predictably, they're out of the tournament in the first round itself. Sad to see Zidane's team go out like this.
England get a last shot at redeeming themselves tonite. I hope they do - they are a group of very talented players. But if they haven't scored a single goal within the first 15 minutes, I request ESPN to focus their cameras entirely on David Beckham in the sidelines rather than on the field, for it might be our last chance to see this gorgeous man for the rest of this tournament.
Here's your eye candy for the day.
Ummmm....can I have a double serving of THAT please?
PS: In case you are wondering why there are so many pictures of semi-naked men on my blog, here's your answer....Football season = Gorgeous men = Will pose shirtless. So who are we to refuse??!!!