long way round

2010 World Cup Semifinal Review

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The Orange Dream Machine
Now everyone knew that Uruguay without Suarez and his Hand of Diablo was not going to make it out against the Dutch. So, the real question and concern on everyone's mind was in which manner would the Dutch win? Will they show an appreciation for style and the "beautiful game"? Or, will they eek by with some defensive game like so many games displayed by Chelsea and Inter Milan? Fortunately, Gio Van Bronckhorst decided to shake things up in the 18th minute of the game with a totally unmarked shot from 42 yards out of the box. At the beginning of the tournament a friend and I were reminiscing how useless Van Bronckhorst is to the team, and how much of a liability he has been over the years. Funny how easily that reputation can be changed with one beautiful kick.

If Netherlands wins the whole thing, Sneijder will have racked up so much silverware in one year, it won't even be funny. And he was integral to all of those trophies, so good for him. But truly the unsung hero among the Dutch is Dirk Kuyt. He has been hustling like James Brown all over the field, defending, marking, pushing the ball up, chasing loose balls, and setting up his teammates for goal. Without him, the Dutch would have languished early on. 

And what can I say about Van Bommel? Is he a genius? Is he a punk? There's some talk that in this tournament, the holding midfielders have made the difference (the final four have arguably the best holding midfielders of the tournament: Alonso, Van Bommel, Schweinsteiger, Egidio Arevalo) and that's probably a very accurate observation. But Van Bommel's incessant bullying has paid off, and now the Oranje have a ticket to the final. And if it's truly up to the holding midfielders, then my money is on Netherlands, because not only does Van Bommel act like even bigger bully than Gattuso, but he also has the uncanny ability to avoid getting carded. 

Klose But No Cigar

Beautifulpeople.com allows you to rate the most attractive and the ugliest footballers of the world cup. Not only that, but they've managed to compile an average "beauty" score for each team. The winner is Spain. Funny how the best looking players also happen to be the best footballers so far. And coincidentally the North Korean team ranked lowest in beauty. 

But Spain didn't just win on good looks. They played their typical possession football, stringing pass after pass, as if to weave an intricate pattern with the ball on the pitch. In effect, they lullibied the German baby to sleep before going in for the lethal header by Puyol. It was perhaps their best performance of the tournament, even though the scoreline only showed one goal. So this pits two nations to fight for the World Cup title. Neither country has ever done this so whoever wins, it will be history in the making. 

So many questions remain in light of this World Cup saga. Will it be the Oranje and their pragmatic approach that vaguely reminisces total football? Or will it be Spain and their tiki taka? Will Robin Van Persie score a goal? Will Paul the Octopus be sautéed before getting a chance to guess the final?  

And for those who are still downtrodden about England's early exit, rest assured their future will be on the shoulders of Jack Wilshere and Josh McEachran

And this is what a nutmeg is. 

And as a parting gift, I present to you, my man Julio Cesar schooling Materazzi.

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Written by shindz

July 9, 2010 at 3:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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