Sunday, July 4, 2010

302.BETWEEN SKILLS, TEAMWORK, PLAY ACTING, HANDS AND UPSETS...

Four quarterfinal matches played to the highest quality. There were upsets, disappointments, youth brilliance, superb play acting and foul hands that determined the destiny of teams finally placing Holland, Germany, Spain from Europe and Uruguay from Latin American to compete for the two places in the final.

Such was the intensity of the competition of a game called soccer that was supposed to be played with both feet and head eventually ended in the frustration of the whole of Africa because stinking hands were used to deny Ghana from a semi final place in the World Cup due to an Uruguayan striker who decided both his hands were better served to prevent a certain winning goal for Ghana.

I was fascinated by the performance of Ghana, Africa's sole representative in the quarterfinals. Their silky skills and the fluidity of their game was sheer delight to watch. With Michael Essien missing from the squad, not much hope was given to the Ghana team yet the players were undeterred and played like African warriors. 

The blend of youth in Asamoah Gyan, Jonathan Mensah, Ayew and Kevin Prince Boateng and the experience of Sulley Muntari carried the African hope very well into the dying seconds of the quarterfinal match only to be denied what would have been the winning goal by the hands of Suarez. So cruel!

To be fair, I thought the referee should have allowed that goal and let Ghana took their rightful place in the semi final. Alas, soccer is not about fairness but about moving forward to make the game much more exciting to watch in the future. 

The match between Holland and Brazil managed to prove a point which I have noticed all along the tournament. Soccer is now one of the best places to perfect players acting skills. There were plenty of play acting executed perfectly that many players could easily walk into Hollywood or Bollywood to start acting careers when they finally hang their soccer boots. Such was the perfect play acting displays of some players that at moments, I felt like watching good Tamil movies.

Nonetheless, Holland was magnificent, coming back from a goal down to turn the table on Brazil. Sneijder was just phenomenal and I would love to see Sir Alex Ferguson bringing him over to Man United to bolster the average midfield. Well, just a wishful thinking...

The youthful German team again proved that with a proper youth development programme, a world beating team could be produced.  M√úller, Ozil, Boateng and Khedira were full of steam and plenty of skills.

In Neuer, Germany has a pair of safe hands to man the goal for many years to come.

Philip Lahm at 26 years old proved to be a very able captain leading by example. 

A four-goals present to Australia, another four-goals gift to England and yet another four more goals memento to Argentina  are real generous gifts indeed from the German youthful team spearheaded at the front by the master sharpshooter Miroslav Klose. 

Even, Chancellor Merkel was up and jumping with joy at the magical display of her German team.

The Argentine performance was plain mediocre. Messi, the world footballer of the year, after so much hype, like Rooney ended as World Cup flop, registering a zero goal throughout the tournament.

Diego Maradona, with all his skills and experiences as a player could only watched in despair from the sidelines.

Spain, one of the pre-tournament favourites, after the early stutter, managed to live up to the expectation. David Villa who is now the tournament top scorer is really outstanding.

The other Spanish players except for Xavi are still finding their mark to reproduce their clubs performances.

Fernando Torres in particular, is a real disappointment. He needs to pull up his socks fast to avoid being in the same World Cup rubbish bin as Messi and Rooney.

Simply love to see Uruguay and Germany in the final. Nothing would be more interesting that to watch a clash between Europe and Latin America.

Still, a repeat of 1974 final between Germany and Holland would not be too bad after all.

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