On the day the World Cup starts a few things stand out to me. First, the potential for political and social unrest in Brazil. I have spoken to many middle class Brazilian citizens who are outraged with the politicians and government of Brazil. They have flat out lied to the people about what they would spend their money on. They promised to spend on education, healthcare and infrastructure for the people, but instead they spent it on the World Cup and the soon coming Olympic games. Brazil doesn’t even profit from the World Cup (except tourism) FiFA collects all the stadium ticket sales and all the TV money. Brazil (tax dollars) builds the stadiums and get nothing in return – except the honor of hosting the cup. Just look at what happened to Greece who spent so much to build stadiums to host the Olympics! Those stadiums are chained up, falling apart and getting no use as the country is bankrupt. The stadium that is built in the rain forest doesn’t even have a soccer pro team or anyone who will use it after the World Cup! They built that stadium for 4 games only! I can understand why the people of Brazil are so upset. Imagine if Brazil are knocked out in the first round? The country would go nuts. Spending all the peoples money and their team is knocked out in the first round. This kind of pressure will be hard for the national team to cope with. The only other team I can think of that had this much pressure was Colombia in 1994. I hope Brazil plays well and goes far but nothing less than a world cup championship will do for them. Even if they do win, it may still not be enough to repair the damage the people feel. Healthcare & education vs Soccer Tournament! Not Good!
Next up is a re-occuring topic for me – Jurgen Klinsmann the USA Coach. He just can’t seem to say the right thing. How is the guy going to say we have “no chance to win”. What message does that send to the team? The team is working so hard everyday for what? To lose? Come on! I firmly believe any team on any given day with the right game plan can pull off an upset. The USA Team is good enough to sit back, pack 10 men behind the ball and win 2-1 or 1-0 or tie 1-1 against any team. I understand that Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Germany and others are better than us. However, we are good enough on the right day with the right game plan to win. I’m still pissed off about the Donovan thing as well. The USA team is playing for each other and the country. At this point they probably just listen to 50% of what Klinsmann says. Why would US Soccer renew the guys contract for another 4 years before the World Cup is even played? Not so smart in my opinion! After watching Portugal and Ghana this week – they both can beat if we sit. Ghana is very shaky at the back – Portugal was better than Ghana for sure. If we beat Ghana and tie Portugal we have a real shot. If Klinsmann decides to attack and go at teams – we lose all three. One last thing, it’s about time Beckerman is respected. He should have been a starter for the last 10 years. Beckerman is a defensive center mid – newsflash “Mike Bradley is a #10 or Passing Center Mid”. Bradley is not a defensive center mid. So when people say how can we play Jones, Beckerman and Bradley in the middle as three defensive center mids – Bradley is as an attacking guy.
Finally the team I never used to like in the World Cup. The only reason I didn’t like them before was because they never produced anything. The way they played was boring and not entertaining at all. I have to go back to Euro 1996 (I believe) and 1990 World Cup to think of a England Side I really enjoyed watching (I did like Michael Owen in 1998). But this is the year. England have a mix of pace, skill and youth that just feels right. They have the potential to be dangerous at any moment and not put you to sleep like some of the England teams of the past. I really hope they field a side with the young players who have pace. If you can’t root for a team that has Gerrard who can you root for? I am picking England to make the round of 16.
I will be writing all during the World Cup so stay tuned!