In case you haven’t heard, the 2014 World Cup final is set: Germany vs. Argentina. Or, Lionel Messi vs. THE MACHINE, as Jon Champion so eloquently put it.
One thing immediately became clear: Just 24 hours after Germany handed Brazil its most humiliating defeat of all time, the hosts couldn’t jump on Germany’s bandwagon quick enough. Funny how this game goes sometimes:
We are a nation of 200 million Germans.— Fernando Duarte (@Fernando_Duarte)July 9, 2014
Speaking of, Wednesday’s semifinal (or should I say, zzzzzz-emifinal) between Argentina and the Netherlands was NOTHING like Germany’s rout.
All you really need to know is that the Dutch and Albiceleste combined for five shots on goal for the entire 90 minutes and extra-time, the same number of goals Germany scored in 19 minutes of the first half on Tuesday. Yeah…
So how did we get to this World Cup final rematch of 1990 and 1986, the “rubber match” if you will between Germany and Argentina? Check out the best tweets:
The big story of the first half was Javier Mascherano visibly seeing stars after a head-to-head collision, then being allowed to play on. Yet another concussion controversy in soccer. Ho-hum:
Replay is awful. Delayed reaction. You can see Masch losing consciousness.— Richard Whittall (@RWhittall)July 9, 2014
That replay was horrible. No idea where he was at that moment.— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven)July 9, 2014
It’s OK. Mascherano just got his bell rung. … …. …. …. …— Mike Foss (@themikefoss)July 9, 2014
I mean obviously Mascherano looks concussed. I have no idea if he was. Problem is neither does his team or anybody else.— Mike L. Goodman (@TheM_L_G)July 9, 2014
FIFA needs new regulations regarding concussions. It cannot be the player’s decision if they can continue— Yael Averbuch (@Yael_Averbuch)July 9, 2014
Honest to God soccer: when a guy clearly has a head injury could we maybe take five seconds to look him over first?!?!?!— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT)July 9, 2014
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman)July 9, 2014
It’s kind of neat, actually. FIFA’s official position on concussions was conceived by someone in the middle of experiencing one.— Brian Phillips (@runofplay)July 9, 2014
Absolutely unacceptable. Pereira, now Mascherano. FIFA is playing with fire. Forget team physicians, time for independent medical advice.— Andrew Orsatti (@AndrewOrsatti)July 9, 2014
Somehow, that was literally the only talking point of the first half
Just a friendly reminder: at this point yesterday we had already seen five goals. Let’s go, #NEDvsARG— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer)July 9, 2014
Remember the good old days when stuff used to happen in World Cup semifinals? You know, yesterday?— Ryan Bailey (@RyanJayBailey)July 9, 2014
THAT, my friends, is what a World Cup semifinal looks like.— Alexander Abnos (@AnAbnos)July 9, 2014
This game needs a German.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider)July 9, 2014
Alas, the second 45 minutes were much like the first:
— Frases de Canciones (@PhrasesMusicES)July 9, 2014
— Paul Kennedy (@pkedit)July 9, 2014
There’s a very real danger here that Ron Vlaar could be the MOM. That’s not necessarily a good a thing.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker)July 9, 2014
I have seen 26 World Cup semifinals, and this might be the worst ever.— MisterChip (English) (@MisterChiping)July 9, 2014
I’ve never seen so much standing on the ball in a WC match. The two Semi Final matches couldn’t be more opposite. #NEDvARG— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13)July 9, 2014
Does Alexi Lalas have the best flowing locks in World Cup history?!
Here’s Team USA hero Cobi Jones breaking down the World Cup of Hair.
You knew it was only a matter of time.
Robin van Persie’s epic goal against Spain, which already locked up its place in Oranje World Cup lore, has become its own meme.
Here are the best ones of the bunch:
— christian (@christivn_)June 13, 2014
— Danny smith (@doglab)June 13, 2014
RVP belongs to this family!!! pic.twitter.com/yTCLlwODpA— Epic Football (@TheEpicFootball)June 14, 2014
Oh, and then there is this:
— Football Funnys (@FootballFunnys)June 14, 2014
What an incredible night yest v spain a night Holland will never forget! We got to push on and make our time in Brasil even more special!!— Robin van Persie (@Persie_Official) June 14, 2014
What was supposed to be a symbol of peace had a tragic ending. Two of the three doves released during the World Cup opening ceremony instantly flew to their deaths.
Errrr, think one of those doves is dead already. Flew straight into stand and went down.— Jonathan Wilson (@jonawils)June 12, 2014
(Bad news for world peace: two of the doves appear to have crashed into the stands)— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman)June 12, 2014
But not to worry, one of the doves found safety in the press box, so hope for world peace is still alive and well.
Exciting dove update: The one remaining dove has flown into the press box! pic.twitter.com/JA8rQC1KtK— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) June 12, 2014
Remember this? Of course you do.
You’re not going to believe this, but Spain’s Xabi Alonso, the victim of Nigel De Jong’s infamous kung-fu kick to the chest, does as well. In fact, he played off the lasting image of the 2010 World Cup final in a tongue-in-cheek photoshoot for adidas.
In the shoot, Alonso is seen wearing a chest bandage marked by De Jong’s bloody footprint. Gross.
Image via Marca
Let’s hope the two sides take it a little easier in their Group B opener on Friday. After all, it’s just the group stage.
The long four year wait is finally over and 2014 World Cup is upon us. In case you hadn’t heard, this edition of the tournament is being held in Brazil, the home of joga bonito.
Many impostors may try to emulate their unique style, but there is only one Brazil. Their rhythm is matched to music — and it’s quite the catchy beat:
If this doesn’t get you dancing in your seat, you might want to check your pulse.