World Cup: Round of 16

Now that the World Cup preliminaries are over, we get down to serious business: The Round of 16. Win 4 consecutive matches and you are World Champion. It’s easier said than done and many factors – including luck, home field advantage, scheduling of games and the corrupt practices of FIFA – come into play. That being said, let us talk about the “high points” and the “low points” of the World Cup so far. First, the “high points:”

  • Brazil was up to the task and has certainly delivered a far more exciting World Cup than South Africa;
  • Kudos to Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia and Algeria for some unexpected yet very compelling football;
  • Not having to see Ronaldo take off his shirt after scoring a goal.
Celebrating Suarez's dental artistry with a sense of humor.

Celebrating Suarez’s dental artistry with a sense of humor.

Now, the “low points:”

  • Luis “Hannibal Lecter” Suarez chowing down on an opponent;
  • Brazil getting the FIFA-edge with a non-existent penalty in the first match.

While Suarez has been barred for the rest of the tournament (and several more games after that), the only real losers are fans having to sit through an important World Cup match featuring Uruguay without Dracula in the leading role.  While I am happy for Colombia – their adversary – I would far prefer to see Italy playing instead of Uruguay.  For those interested in more Suarez humor, found below are a few goodies circulating around the Internet:

  • Messi’s carrying Argentina, Neymar’s carrying Brazil, Chiellini’s carrying rabies;
  • Luis Suarez would like to thank his fangs for their support;
  • Luis Suárez says that when he retires from football he wants to become an MP. They also specialize in taking chunks out of people;
  • Luis Suarez: Still in the queue for teeth while God was handing out brains.

In the Round of 16 you must “win or go home.”  Games that end in a tie after the overtime are “resolved” by penalty kicks.   Found below is a brief overview of the games:

  • Saturday, June 28th
    • Brazil/Chile –  I would love for the entertaining Piscos to hammer the Caipirinhas, but don’t see it happening.  Nevertheless, it should be a very entertaining game.
    • Colombia/Uruguay – I just hope that Colombia is not afraid of the big occasion and sends Uruguay home – something the Italians should have done.
  • Sunday, June 29th
    • Netherlands/Mexico – The Wooden Shoes are very strong and I expect them to stomp on the Tacos, who are both lucky and overrated.  van Persie and Robben are magnificent.
    • Costa Rica/Greece – I am surprised to see either team in final 16, but hope the inspiring play of Costa Rica will continue – why not?
  • Monday, June 30th
    • France/Nigeria – I think you need to give the edge to the French, but would love to see an upset.
    • Germany/Algeria – Sadly, Algeria’s great run comes to an end!
  • Tuesday, July 1
    • Argentina/Switzerland – Although the Swiss are playing a little less inhibited than usual, I don’t see them making a dent in Argentina.  Don’t mess with Messi – the best player in the tournament.
    • U.S.A./Belgium – Love the grit of the Gringos, but the young lads of Belgium are simply better.  Game will be close, but Belgium should win.

Personally, I like the Quarterfinals best, but there should be some very entertaining games over the next few days.  Enjoy.

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