Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Boring Brazil, boring World Cup

Brazilians, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Here we were two weeks ago.

It was summer in Amsterdam - 28 degrees. henk and I weer out cycling above Amsterdam, swimming in the lake. We met up with Fred and Annemiek in town and had a few drinks outside, watching the world go by.

Brazil were to play their first match of the World Cup and we were looking forward to see the favourites play. Life looked good. A hot summer and great football to look forward to.

That evening, Brazil gave a ve laboured display of football, beating Croatia a mere 1-0. That night the clouds came over and summer evaporated, back only sporadically for a couple of days at a time. The World Cup has been like the weather.

Today tBrazil have won 3-0 against Ghana but they were booed and whistled off the field. Very disappointing, just scoring off counters, with help of the referee, who did not give one definite offside and another probable offside, in the meantime taking one Ghanaian off the field. Whatever, Brazil hardly deserved to win the match, let alone 3-0. They showed very little falir or ambition.

In fact, this World Cup is fast becoming one of the most boring I have ever seen. Few goals, very few surprises and far too much time watching footballers fall and roll around on the ground. So boring.

Exciting matches would be Argentina v Serbia, Germany v Poland, Italy v USA, Argentina v Mexico and..... what else? Not so many.

Football has always had a difficult time living up to its reputation as a beautiful game. We saw it in the Champions League, especially in the performances of Barcelona and Arsenal, but too little here in the World Cup. A pity.

At least Germany and Italy have shown themselves to be in attacking moods, with Germany doing better than Italy in the business of scoring goals. Argentina have done very well and so might Portugal (or England). Maybe one of these teams will be properly rewarded for their efforts.

By the way..... one of the best bets ever to be had is the 11/4 against Portugal beating England on Saturday. I will not be betting as I cannot afford to and I don't really want to bet against the house, but it'd be a good insurance policy against the worst happening to England.


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