Germany and Argentina in World Cup Final

Now that Hannibal Lecter (aka Luis Suarez) has been sent home and the tearful Brazilian lads will be playing for 3rd place in the God-forsaken city of Brasilia, we can get down to the serious business of determining who will be World Champion on Sunday: Germany or Argentina?  (Editor’s Note:  Actually, Suarez is being transferred from Liverpool to Barcelona as he has found Mediterranean cuisine more to his liking.)

Maracana-Stadium-in-Rio-do-Janeiro

The World Cup Final for 2014 will be played in the fabled stadium of Maracana – recently modernized at huge taxpayer expense – where Brazil suffered a historic defeat in the 1950 World Cup Final at the hands of Uruguay. Thanks to the Germans, the Brazilian national team can now play a meaningless game against Holland in front of all of the politicos who have enriched themselves building these soon-to-be-forgotten stadiums and their equally corrupt accomplices: the mercenaries of FIFA.

Other than seeing the artistry of Lionel Messi one more time, I have no great interest in this game other than the faint hope that it will a memorable one. Come on guys, let’s score a few goals and give each other a little space to work magic with the ball. Surprise me!

mark-oneOn behalf of Brazilian football fans, I can’t think of anything more revolting than an Argentine victory on Brazilian soil. If this were to occur, I suspect that Maracana will need to be demolished since no reputable Brazilian could live with the shame of having the Argentine dogs mark their territory in historic Maracana. As such, I am hopeful that Germany will raise their level of play and show Argentina and the muddled lads from Brazil that the “jogo bonito” is still very much alive elsewhere.

Frankly, I think this has been a great World Cup celebrated in a Brazilian style that brings merit to this great country. Unfortunately, Brazilian soccer was having a “down year” as its players seemed more interested in promoting silly electronic products than playing great football. I suspect that this will change soon. In any event, football finally captured the imagination and interest of millions of Americans and I hope that this interest is not short-lived.

In a lovely Opinion in The New York Times by David Brooks quoting extensively from Simon Critchley, he argues that soccer is far closer to “living” than baseball in ways we never imagined:

Finally, Critchley notes that soccer is like a 90-minute anxiety dream — one of those frustrating dreams when you’re trying to get somewhere but something is always in the way. This is yet another way soccer is like life.

Indeed, who am I to argue?  “Sheila, will you please unlock the door?”

Kraut and Bratwurst Tonight

Following Brazil’s 7-1 thrashing at the hands – read feet – of the Germans, I will be dining on Bratwurst and Sauerkraut tonight rather than my traditional caipirinha.

Well done, Germany!  What a clinical display of football.  It was a joy to watch, but I wished the Brazilians had shown a bit more spirit. In fact, it was downright disgraceful. I won’t soon forget this game.

Even FIFA can’t FIX this shoddy display of Brazilian football.

World Cup Semifinals

This afternoon Brazil will play Germany in the first World Cup Semifinal match without Neymar and Thiago Silva. Frankly, I don’t think Neymar will be missed given his lackluster performance to date, but Thiago Silva is another matter.

Germany will certainly field the more imposing team, but I still believe THE BIG FIX IS IN and Brazil will reach the finals.

Now, I had thought Belgium would beat Argentina in the Quarterfinals. While the pomme frites certainly played better for most of the game, the Argentine defense was impenetrable and Messi was magnificent. Having Lionel Messi on your team is like having an additional player up front. His level of creativity, vision and balance are simply unmatched in professional football today. What a joy to watch!

It is a mistake to bet against Messi which argues that The Shoes will try and stomp him into submission early in the other semifinal match tomorrow as they did against Spanish players in the World Cup Final four years ago. Sadly, this game is likely to be determined by how firm the referee is on giving Messi a bit of room to maneuver. On the Dutch side, keep an eye on Robben who displays supernatural athletic skills and has Greg Louganis diving skills.

The Dutch are still smarting from being ousted by Argentina in the 1978 World Cup Final hosted by the Generals in Argentina. What a great day for Military Dictatorships!

I am giving the nod to Argentina, which would then setup a battle to the death in the World Cup final with Brazil. These two countries simply don’t like each other!

In closing, I would like to pay tribute to Alfredo Di Stefano who died in Spain recently at the age of 88. I never had the opportunity to see him play, but he was the consummate superstar for Real Madrid in the 50s and one of the first foreign mercenaries from Argentina to play in Europe.