Tag Archives: football

A Copa – a look back

Despite the fears and worries it started with, the world cup turned out to be quite an organizational success. In football terms, most Brazilians could have done without that semi-final* against Germany…

Though even after that stunning game and painful defeat, our Brazilian friends continued to be fantastic hosts. Having wisely made the decision to watch the semi-final apart, we came back together for the final and found our friends  cheering louder for Germany than we did. In a room that was beautifully decorated in German colours.

I probably made this comment before, still: Brazil might have many political, social and economic problems, but the people are great. The hospitality we experienced, the passion for futebol, and the cheerful yet critical pride in their own nation & its football team – it really makes a good place to live.

* Interesting side note: As the Brazilian team progressed through the world cup, the coach became “Felipão” the great Felipe – in the newspapers and on TV. After the 7-1 defeat, he was referred to as Luis Felipe Scolari again.



The Brazilian passion for futebol

has cooled down lately. Especially the excitement of hosting the Worldcup which was supposed to be the achievement of the modern, rising & growing Brazil has all but disappeared.

The preparations for the Worldcup have so effectively exposed some underlying weaknesses – corruption, mismanagement and incompetence, that some wish it would never have come to their country in the first place. During conversations in recent weeks, many Brazilian friends left no doubt that they’d prefer Brazil losing the Worldcup for fear that if the seleção won, it should be reinterpreted as a belated justification for all the expenses.

As a German, I would of course love to see Germany winning the tournament, but witnessing Brazilians turning so harshly against their own country and finding only faults in it or problems were none are, pains me. Last week, after two very cold nights with minimum degrees reaching -2°C, a newspaper commented on the temperatues with “Imagina na copa…” As if hosting the games during Winter & raining season had been the decision of the government that Brazilians  now ought to apologise for.

And while no crime, no displacement, no floundering of public resources is justified by the preparations of the cup, I still look forward to watching futebol and to enjoy the sport.  And I hope that Brazilians will be able to do this too.

Because after all, football is a democratic sport bringing old and young out into a field where skin color, social class or job title are forgotten for a while. No matter if it’s next to the road, on an empty field by the village, on the beach or on a nice green pitch, football brings passion, brings enthusiasm, brings laughter & joy.

The Fifa might be selling out football, but that should not harm the sport itself. So instead of falling in with the lamenting, I recommend this photo series from the BBC that shows the beauty of it all:

Fullscreen capture 682014 44436 PM

Sometimes I hate

to be right.

You know you are getting old

when all the football players of your favourite team are younger than you. Or almost.

Remember the times when you would look up to this experienced team with its tough defense, the brilliant striker and the always reliable goalkeeper? Only to think now that these youngsters are playing to win the cup.


South Africa, the media and that round leather thing

It has started. After all the time with tedious articles about delayed stadiums, unsafe townships and the usual stereotypes, the World Cup has finally begun. Even though I fear that the media have prepared the perfect ground for every purse robbery to be qualified as proof of how much safer it would have been in Europe, I hope and wish that it will be a great cup. And that bafana bafana makes it at least in the second round.

South Africa deserves it.

You wanna bet?

For all those that are willing to try their football knowledge, support their favourite team or just want to see how others get it totally wrong, you are hereby invited to join a free worldcup football pool (please ignore the subtitle).

Simply go to www.wcpool.com, register and join the subleague ‘Gugulethu’. If you have any trouble, questions, suggestions; leave them in the comments and I shall come back to you.

May the best win,

La puce

PS: The winner gets a box of football shaped chocolates. Or something like that…

Why Germany is not going to win the 2010 World Cup

Looking back in history, it seems to me that Germany winning the World Cup, was closely related to some major developments in politics.

In 1954, Germany (West) was back on its feed after the 2nd World War. The economy was booming, Germany was starting to be recognised again internationally, and the national football team is allowed to participate in the world cup. They came as underdogs though. Winning the World Cup was something most people hadn’t believed possible, maybe dreamed about. But it gave the young democracy self confidence. Germany was back on stage.

1974, first round, Germany West plays Germany East. Germany West loses 0:1 but makes it in the second round nevertheless. The end of the story is known. What matters however is the normalisation of the relation between the two parts of Germany. One playing the other, in a mayor tournament; East Germany scores a good will point, but loses the game in the end.

1990 – the one World Cup where everything comes together. It’s not even a year ago that the wall came down, the official unification is still to come but all of Germany is supporting one single team. And then happens what otherwise would have been too beautiful to be true: it is as if history decided that the Germans needed a coup de pouce, something to cheer at all together. Germany wins and in the end, it looks as if it were meant to be.

*Unfortunately, I don’t see any similarly important changes going on right now. Maybe I’m wrong and in a few years time, history will show that we were just at a start of a new area. Maybe…