Football Champions

North Korea

The bid nonsurprise today was that there was a mild surprise – Qatar – which poked its way through to World Cup glory. Russia was always one of the likely candidates, but everyone had thought the United States and their safe bid would conquer the day.

Not so, and legacy building was apparently more important to FIFA than a bit of a cash guarantee.

These are the breakdowns for voting on the bids, via the Guardian.

Two major, major surprises from the tallies:

i. England never had a prayer, some of which may be sour grapes due to the BBC… Continue reading

Life as a player for the North Korean national team is probably pretty difficult as it stands what with living through that 7-0 to Portugal and a much improved 3-0 loss in their final two games. Their passion for the motherland combined with their pride as athletes surely took a belting hit as they headed back to the land of mystery.

Seems this was the least of their worries, as they were publicly humiliated for “betraying the trust of Kim Jong-un” – a phrase which is getting more and more play by the day. (Feels like I may have done… Continue reading

In one of his pre-World Cup posts, Chris provided the average ages of all the teams and listed them youngest to oldest.  In hindsight- the list is even more fascinating to me.  After revisiting this list, I think its fair to say some of the most exciting teams to watch at the World Cup were some of the youngest- Ghana (24.1), North Korea (24.8), Germany (25), Cameroon (25.2), Spain (25.9) and Chile (25.9) were the six youngest teams at this tournament.

And not only were these teams exciting- but they were also some of the best success… Continue reading

Team of the Day: Iberian peninsula? Sort of a mixed bag here. Both teams have arguments for and against. Spain played brilliantly but once again couldn’t find that “goal” thing they’re always yapping about, save for David Villa. And Portugal hit 7 against….nobody. North Korea just didn’t show in the second half. It was astonishing and unwatchable, like fish in a barrel an automatic weapon. They simply quit.

Push. Player of the Day: It’s probably Tiago, who was exemplary and effective (!) in replacing Deco in the Portuguese midfield – even before North Korea torpedoed itself. Which officially makes… Continue reading

THE BIG PICTURE After a disappointing start against the Ivory Coast, Portugal will be hoping to come to life here, but the question is can North Korea match their performance against Brazil? 90 minutes of gruelling work will surely still be affecting them and it remains to be seen whether they can motivate themselves to perform for a second time at that level. Their late goal against the Brazilians will give them hope though and Portugal will just be praying that Cristiano Ronaldo can find a way through a stubborn North Korean defence. Deco is likely to miss out for… Continue reading

Team of the Day, Man of the Day: When looking at the Swiss it’s pretty easy to forget they’re headed by one of the best coaches in the world presently, of his lengthy generation and some may even say history. But it took very little genius to realize that Spain were going to press them back…and back…and back…and that either they could do it involuntarily in tatters, or do it by plan, giving them a chance.

By plan it was, and was it magnificent. Of course that’s not to say Ottmar Hitzfeld doesn’t deserve the credit – he’s not known… Continue reading

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