With only 8 teams left in the World Cup, it is only fitting that I give you a few random lists of top 8’s.
Eight Reasons to keep watching the World Cup post-USA:
- From here on out there are no longer any lopsided match-ups. Any team is capable of winning it all at this point. Make sure to call off of work for Germany vs. Argentina on July 3 at 10 a.m. (ET). This game is going to be the match of the tournament thus far. It’s a shame this isn’t the final. Then again, that would mean Argentina’s manager Diego Maradona would be that much closer to streaking…..
- No longer are the games at 7:30 a.m. There are two more 10 a.m. games, while the rest are at 1:30 p.m. It’s no longer possible to use the excuse of sleeping through a game. If 10 a.m. is too early, then you have serious issues.
- With only one African team left in the World Cup, Ghana, the vuvuzelas have quieted down a bit. They are still able to be heard, but aren’t as annoying. Just when I was starting to like them…..Just kidding.
- There won’t be any instant replay, at least for the rest of this year’s World Cup, but the refs can only get better. FIFA has apologized to Mexico and England, which are baby steps considering how they handled the U.S.-Slovenia game.
- No more ties. This is probably my favorite reason, because it just isn’t right to end any game in a tie. There has to be a winner and a loser. Granted, I don’t like how penalty kicks can decide the outcome of a game either, but beggars can’t be choosers. Can someone explain what is wrong with just playing extra time until a team scores?
- Jim Rome, the soccer scrooge, is talking about soccer. He admits he doesn’t necessarily like it, but just the fact that he’s talking about it is revolutionary. If he can watch it, anyone can.
- Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Netherlands and Germany. What do they all have in common? They all love to score goals, and lots of them. The goalies will be busy going forward.
- Whether it’s a controversial call, a flopping player or a close game, there will be plenty more drama from here on out.
By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta
Teams I’m rooting for (in order):
- Uruguay: I have been on their bandwagon since day one, predicting the semis, so I’m not hoping off now. Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez form one of the best scoring duos in all of soccer.
- Germany: People always doubt this team, but they produce the same impressive results year in and year out. Consistency is king.
- Netherlands: Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Robin Van Persie. Need I say more? This team’s “total futbol” style is exciting to watch.
- Ghana: The typical response as a U.S. fan is to be bitter and root against this team. However, they are the only African team left in South Africa. How can I root against that?
- Spain: For such a powerhouse country, they haven’t made it past the quarterfinals in 60 years. As a cubs fan, I feel their pain.
- Argentina: Love him or hate him, but the reality is that the longer Diego Maradona is in the World Cup, the more exciting it is.
- Brazil: They are favored to win the World Cup every four years. It doesn’t make a difference if I root for them or not.
- Paraguay: A nice story, but frankly I just can’t cheer for a team that is about to get annihilated by Spain.
Eight fun facts heading into the quarterfinals:
- Germany’s Miroslav Klose needs 3 more goals to tie Ronaldo of Brazil for the most goals in the World Cup (15). He is currently tied with Pele at 12 goals.
- No team has ever won the World Cup after losing their first game. Spain lost 1-0 to Switzerland in the first game of the group stage.
- Ghana can become the first African team ever to make the semifinals of the World Cup.
- Don’t forget that Diego Maradona promised he would go streaking in the streets of Buenos Aires if Argentina won the World Cup. Picture Will Ferrell streaking in the movie Old School…..
- Brazil is undefeated in their past 10 games and the Netherlands are on a 23-game unbeaten streak. Something has to give.
- Uruguay (population of 3.5 million) is the smallest team to make the quarterfinals since Ireland in 1990 (also 3.5 million).
- No player has scored more than one goal for Paraguay in this year’s World Cup.
- No European team has ever won the World Cup away from Europe. If we played the games on paper that would rule out Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
Read more blogs by Justin Mertes-Mistretta hereFollow paulmbanks