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July 10, 2010 11:17 AM   Subscribe

The World Cup Final is almost here, only 24 hours and 30 minutes away: Sunday Night, 19:30 GMT

After 63 Games, Spain and the Netherlands (formerly Holland) will fight it out to see who has the honour of being crowned world champions and lifting the World Cup Trophy. FIFA are hopeful that Nelson Mandela will be at the game and will present the trophy to the winners.

We have had: goals that weren't, offsides that were but also weren't, handball controversies, Ball controversies, Penalty Shootouts, and a Psychic Octopus. Oh and a visit from a Queen.

And now all we need to do is let Germany and Uraguay play the 3rd place-playoff, at 19:30 GMT on Saturday 10th July, (approx 30 minutes away) something of a non-game where the 2 beaten semi-finalists are forced to play one another for some reason.

So who does Paul the Psychic Octopus Think will win The Final? It begins with S...

also, FIFA has released it's list of Golden Ball Nominees. These are the players it thinks have excelled at the tournament. Also mentioned on that page are it's nominees for Young Player of the Tournament.

And even before the Final is concluded, Brazil has unveiled it's 2014 World Cup logo

I'll Let the Legendary BBC Commentator John "Motty" Motson have the last word

Previously on Metafilter:

The Queen of Spain visits Spanish Team in their changing room after their Semi-final win
The Physics of Football, including a brief report from NASA on the Jubulani Ball
Maradona sez
QF previews
Goal Line Technology discussion
Psychic Octopus Predicts Germany to beat Argentina (correctly as it turned out)
The Hand of God
USA! USA! USA! etc etc etc
Meet-up Thread, plus bonus awesome Bill Shankly quote
(and as a bonus: This Grauniad Article discusses the Socialism aspect of football too

And finally, a (possibly if true) special bit of good news for Team USA - Bielsa for USA?
posted by marienbad (206 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Just wanted to add, I am in favour of some sort of instantaneous goal-line technology to determine if the ball has crossed the line or not, but none of the 3-appeals ideas at all - they would be used tactically by smart managers to kill games (imagine, you are one-nil up and there are 10 minutes to go in a final or semi-final. All game you have been attacking and have had no reason to use your appeals. But now you are on the back foot and you can break-up the oppositions play with 3 appeals in 10 minutes.)

Also, on the subject of the Suarez Handball incident, if you watch this video closely, you will notice that at 02:07, as the free-kick comes in and is headed on, the Ghanain player Appiah is offside but inactive in what is now known as Phase 1. He then attempts to score, kicking the ball into the Uruguayan player standing on the line and becomes active (Phase 2). So offside before handball. Further, (although it is not shown in the video) the awarding of the free kick is highly dubious in the first place.

Just stimulating the debate... is this the right word? it took so long to compose this post my brain is fried.
posted by marienbad at 11:19 AM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


And the World Cup award winners are ... -- "Praise for gritty U.S. and host South Africa, boos for Rooney and Ronaldo."
posted by ericb at 11:24 AM on July 10, 2010


Here's a couple of excellent articles from the often-excellent Jonathan Wilson and Zonal Marking:

1. Wilson: What have been the tactical lessons of World Cup 2010?
2. Zonal Marking: World Cup final preview (Part 1)

Part 2 isn't published yet.
posted by WalterMitty at 11:25 AM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't understand what the opposition is to goal line technology - why be irrational about such issues when we have technology to know what is true and real, it's almost like a dogma of some kind.
posted by Jericho at 11:25 AM on July 10, 2010


And now all we need to do is let Germany and Uraguay play the 3rd place-playoff, at 19:30 GMT on Saturday 10th July, (approx 30 minutes away) something of a non-game where the 2 beaten semi-finalists are forced to play one another for some reason.

I'm not sure any of the teams care who finished 3rd vs. 4th, but it is a super opportunity for young first-timers to get a taste of the action on the world stage like this. Klose isn't going to play due to his ailing back; Forlan may get subbed out fairly early, but it will be a fun, wet game today.
posted by Hiker at 11:27 AM on July 10, 2010




Filched from Wikipedia:

Regardless of the result of the final, this will be the first time ever that two different teams from the same continent have won successive World Cups (Italy won the 2006 tournament). It will also be the first time that a European team has won a tournament held outside Europe.

The 2010 World Cup will also mark:

- the first time European teams have won consecutive World Cups since Italy retained the title in 1938
- the first new winner, and the first new finalist, since France in 1998
- the first new winner without home advantage since Brazil in 1958[72]
- the first final since 1978 (Argentina v. Netherlands) in which neither side has previously won the World Cup
- the first final without Brazil, Italy, Germany or Argentina in it.

posted by WalterMitty at 11:39 AM on July 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mani the parakeet disagrees with Paul the Octopus.

(hup holland hup!)
posted by charles kaapjes at 11:42 AM on July 10, 2010


There are a few "psychic" animals coming out of the woodwork for the final.
posted by WalterMitty at 11:46 AM on July 10, 2010




Adding to WalterMitty's list, this will also be the first time a European team has won outside Europe.
posted by biffa at 12:03 PM on July 10, 2010


Like all soccer writers, I have a debilitating nostalgic streak, and like all soccer writers, I love Holland. The Dutch, who face Spain in Sunday's World Cup final, are soccer's most gorgeous losers, a team defined by a single generation of players who brilliantly failed to reach their potential. The Dutch teams of the 1970s—led by the mercurial Johan Cruyff, who's widely considered the greatest European player of all time—launched a tactical revolution, played one of the most thrilling styles of their era, and lost two consecutive World Cup finals in memorable and devastating ways. In the process, they became the icons of soccer romantics who would rather see teams play beautifully and lose than win and be boring.
I find myself instinctively rooting for the boring, brute-force, grind-it-out win over the stylish loss that sweats flair. But I think that comes from college years spent fighting full contact TKD, where all the lower weight classes danced around flashily, until...
"And now the heavyweights. They're just gonna bash each other around till someone gets tired."
Go Orange. Tomorrow I'll light one up in your honor for luck. ;-)
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:16 PM on July 10, 2010


DOH! Link.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:17 PM on July 10, 2010


The current Dutch team aren't quite the swashbuckling Total Footballers of old, tho.
posted by kersplunk at 12:18 PM on July 10, 2010


The current Dutch team aren't quite the swashbuckling Total Footballers of old, tho.

You're using pirate-lingo to try to sway my loyalties! LA-LA-LA-BORING-BRUTE-FORCE-LA-LA-LA!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:45 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


As much as people are complaining about the atypical playing style of the current Oranje, it doesn't seem to be dampening Dutch people's enthusiasm for the team. Entertaining style is nice, but a first World Cup for a country is nicer.
posted by neushoorn at 12:52 PM on July 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


How odd that the 2014 logo features hands. Should it be feet?
posted by Cranberry at 1:08 PM on July 10, 2010




I tried. I really tried to watch and enjoy the World Cup. But the absurdity of players cheating and the seeming support of soccer culture that OK's the phony flop or the fake facial agony, and cap it off with the terrible referee calls, it became a complete turn-off. If the corruption somehow dissolves away I'll be back.
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:03 PM on July 10, 2010


Diego Forlan is the class of the tournament. I remember first seeing him play against ManU in the CL a couple years ago. He was the most dangerous man on the pitch. I'm really glad he had such a great tournament.
posted by Brocktoon at 2:05 PM on July 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


I must agree with that. I don't believe that I expected anything but straight goals from Forlán's free kicks and corner kicks. He's just amazing. Sad that it may be his final World Cup though.
posted by lizarrd at 2:07 PM on July 10, 2010


Just preparing for a 7 hour, planes, trains & automobiles trip from London to Amsterdam via Brussels (damn flights to Schiphol sold out) tomorrow to watch the game...prob. Museumplein. I just had to be there as I know how much it means to those guys.

It'll be like going to be at your best friend's wedding but with the chance that the swashbuckling ex might jump up and steal the bride away at the 'if anyone knows any lawful impediment' stage in the ceremony.

Hopefully we'll be partying late into Sunday night...
posted by i_cola at 2:12 PM on July 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


uraniumwilly: Please don't come back. We don't want your kind.
posted by i_cola at 2:15 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I tried. I really tried to watch and enjoy the World Cup. But the absurdity of players cheating and the seeming support of soccer culture that OK's the phony flop or the fake facial agony, and cap it off with the terrible referee calls, it became a complete turn-off. If the corruption somehow dissolves away I'll be back.

See you tomorrow, then. The game is moving away from the flopping. It's true that Holland draws a lot of fouls, but there's a big difference between drawing a foul and flopping. Uruguay flopped around a lot against Holland, but not really at all today. And the US is getting conspicuous international praise for the heart we play with, which includes popping back up even after real fouls.

So, you might be pleased to note that none of the flopping teams made it, including and especially Brazil.
posted by cmoj at 2:18 PM on July 10, 2010


It's true that Holland draws a lot of fouls, but there's a big difference between drawing a foul and flopping.

Oof. While that's true, can't say I agree that Holland isn't in the latter category lately. Holland doesn't historically flop, but I think they've done a ton of it this go round. Robben? Guy is either doing something ridiculous, or rolling around for no reason.
posted by inigo2 at 2:27 PM on July 10, 2010


Glad to hear none of the floppers didn't make it. On that note I may check out the game tomorrow.
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:37 PM on July 10, 2010


How odd that the 2014 logo features hands. Should it be feet?

Not if your name is Luis Suarez.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:42 PM on July 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


So Germany take bronze then. A great game in the end, good futbol/football from both sides. And that Uraguay keeper was something else - this from someone who is used to the past antics of david james too!

"Here's a couple of excellent articles from the often-excellent Jonathan Wilson and Zonal Marking:" - I have them saved in a session with a couple of other interesting links too:

Dutch Defensive on the Defensive and Spain - Brilliant or Boring

Also, Michel Platini is ok, and has left hospital. Get well soon.

And this is an interesting article on the bbc, Danny Jordaan complains about players being too tired to perform at world cup. And This is the 606 message boards thread about it - WARNING the level of comments on 606 varies wildly, although it is moderated so the worst/most loony stuff gets deleted by the Mods.

Personally I call bullshit on the Too Tired argument. What utter rubbish. This comment sums it up for me:

"Young fit men, physiotherapists, special foods and nutritionists. Exercises to develope every muscle. Hunger, motivation, collective team spirit, the Manager, coaches, MORALE, luxury reclining seats with headphones, 5 star hotels.
Sated desire, money, greed, adulation, complacency, me, me, me, negativety based on feeding the SELF. Primmadonnas. You won't hear a word of complaint from the Dutch or the German's or the Spanish player's. National Pride, Desire, the will to win. Psychological.
Overpaid hairdressers."
posted by marienbad at 2:44 PM on July 10, 2010


Oh, and just to point out that in football (soccer) it is called diving, not flopping.
posted by i_cola at 2:50 PM on July 10, 2010


I have to say that my hatred for Mark von Bommel has turned into sneaking admiration as the World Cup has wore on. Don't get me wrong, he's still the most dastardly player to have played in this world Cup besides the Brazilian midfield holding duo of Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo, but as the ridiculous late tackles and sneaky fouls have mounted up without the requisite cards he's somehow managed to transition from pure assbag to comic villain. He's almost a professional wrestling heel by now. Hell, he's come out today and said: "We will have to break their midfield." So expect at least one piledriver on Iniesta tomorrow.

Here's a collection of Bommeliana: Facebook profile, in game genital groping and the highlights reel (which starts off with van Bommel getting sent off for being a dick, and then features a healthy number of red cards).
posted by Kattullus at 3:01 PM on July 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


er......... i cola, england arent in the final mate.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:01 PM on July 10, 2010


I tried. I really tried to watch and enjoy the World Cup. But the absurdity of players cheating and the seeming support of soccer culture that OK's the phony flop or the fake facial agony, and cap it off with the terrible referee calls, it became a complete turn-off. If the corruption somehow dissolves away I'll be back.

Man, I can make all sorts of sarcastic remarks here, and I'm just going to say that no one gives half of a fuck whether you care about football or not. But thanks for the insightful opinion.
posted by cmonkey at 3:12 PM on July 10, 2010


But the absurdity of players cheating and the seeming support of soccer culture that OK's the phony flop or the fake facial agony, and cap it off with the terrible referee calls, it became a complete turn-off.

I tried. I really tried to watch and enjoy the World Cup. But the absurdity of players cheating and the seeming support of soccer culture that OK's the phony flop or the fake facial agony, and cap it off with the terrible referee calls, it became a complete turn-off. If the corruption somehow dissolves away I'll be back.


Go watch the NFL then. You'll get to see lots of replay during the 12 minutes of actual play. It's the perfect sport, where no one ever "gets away with cheating"- because everything is monitored. And there's never ever any confusion because replay makes a call unquestionable every time.

And come back and tell us what your favorite commmerical was. You'll have hundreds to choose from.
posted by L'OM at 3:20 PM on July 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


cmonkey, I hear ya, man. No one gives half a fuck. The reputation of the game stands on it's own. The game certainly doesn't need me to point these things out through my efforts to love the game. That said, your opinion of my "insightful opinion" carries a certain weight and cache that, for many soccer fans, tells it like it is. Your contribution is pure genius.
posted by uraniumwilly at 3:24 PM on July 10, 2010


And the US is getting conspicuous international praise for the heart we play with, which includes popping back up even after real fouls.

So, you might be pleased to note that none of the flopping teams made it, including and especially Brazil.


All teams simulate to draw fouls. Alitdore flopped to get that free kick goal (that was disallowed).


Enough already with the back-handed racism.
posted by L'OM at 3:27 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


L'OM, I do watch NFL. Luckily, I Tivo through the commercials. Bloody hell, all of that.

For the seemingly bought-off refs in future World Cups, I hope they stop the game and have someone examine the video to make a clear call. That way there is perhaps some way to put a halt to the corruption, at least on the referee side of things.
posted by uraniumwilly at 3:28 PM on July 10, 2010


Uh. Disliking soccer teams constitutes racism?
posted by Justinian at 3:29 PM on July 10, 2010


Soccer fans shun hookers for art's sake

Who needs sex when you've got sports.

Right, guys?
posted by telstar at 3:34 PM on July 10, 2010


Sunday Night, 19:30 GMT

Nitpick: It's not 19:30 GMT; it's 19:30 BST, which is 18:30 GMT. GMT != UK Local Time during summer.
posted by NailsTheCat at 4:27 PM on July 10, 2010


¡FUERZA ROJA, CARAJO!
posted by liza at 4:28 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


But the absurdity of players cheating and the seeming support of soccer culture that OK's the phony flop or the fake facial agony

Please feel free to show me the sport where players at the top level don't cheat like bastards. Or just fuck off and stop trolling. Either's good.
posted by rodgerd at 4:49 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]




What is Paul the Octopus going to do after it's all over? Won't anyone think of the octopus?
posted by Wuggie Norple at 5:16 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't know about the racism. Seems like kind of a stretch; and people don't like Brazil for a variety of reasons, including hogging what seems like every other World Cup trophy. Let someone else have it already!

And every team has divers. Robben seems to be especially guilty of it. Players will do what they can do get an advantage within the rules of the game - and when the ref's not looking, they'll do anything. That includes van Bommel's sledgehammer tackles and Suarez's very deliberate handball. At the same time, we still usually get to see two teams playing football, most of the time. A given game consists mostly of football and probably some cheating, hopefully as little as possible. There could be improvements, but as a fan I'm fairly content with what we've got and hope that any of the needed reforms (e.g. goal-line technology) won't mess my favourite game up too much.

Anyway, I'm rooting for... neither team, I think. Or the Spanish, if I have to. I could watch their intricate passing for days. It's kind of mesmerising, and I think you'll find that the German national team agrees.
posted by WalterMitty at 5:17 PM on July 10, 2010


> What is Paul the Octopus going to do after it's all over? Won't anyone think of the octopus?

Die within a few months, probably. Octopi don't live but a year or two. It's for the best, really. If they lived longer they would have time to start developing transmissible cultures and then it would pretty much be an all out war between them and humans.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:17 PM on July 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


To root for the underdogs here: lay off the refs! Of course there were some bad calls, including at least one egregiously unfair one that appeared to be premeditated.

But time and again, I have seen calls made by the refs, corner vs. goal kick, throw-in, foul or not foul, where I said to myself: "WTF ref?" Then on the replay, barely noticeable even in super slowmotion, from an angle with perfect clarity, zoomed in right exactly on the action, there it is:. the ref made the right call. In real time. From halfway across the field. Looking through a tangled mess of players.

These guys are good. World Cup quality refs.

How many times have you see a player get up off the ground, shrieking at the ref, hands wide, demanding a foul? Then on the replay, we see that he was the one committing the foul. Or was three feet away from the guy who supposedly fouled him. Somebody should make a clip of these incorrigible liars.

Refereeing is truly a thankless task. Takes special stuff to endure the withering hatred of at least half the fans in every game.
posted by Xoebe at 5:24 PM on July 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'd like to clarify a bit about Spain's scoring record during the tournament: Spain does shoot. A lot. They actually shoot the most (FIFA statistics). Problem is, they have always faced entrenched opposition, partly because of tactics, partly because Spain pressures on all lines. So rivals tend to sit deeper and deeper, even if they don't want to (for instance, Germany). So this entrenched defenses means lots of awkward shooting, thus the low scoring.

Spain has played beautiful football throughout the championship, and they will tomorrow night. So if you think Spain is boring because of the three 1-0 in the knockout stages, you just need to see the games. Spain is obsessed with attacking. It's so obssesed, that with a 1-0 lead in a world cup semi-final they changed one striker for another (Torres for Villa).

If you want to appreciate Spain's style, watch out for these:

Positional awareness in general and busquets in particular, working as the first midfielder, a sweeper when Ramos is defending, and quasi-centre back when Piqué has to cover for Ramos. Notice how he is almost always well positioned, liked he knew what was going to happen a couple secs in advance.

Defense on opposite side. Follow Pedro when the Netherlands have the ball and you'll see what I mean. Most teams press to slow attack and regain position. Spain only has recovering the ball in mind when they press.

Xavi opening up space. Although he's best known for his passing skills, he's amazing at bringing opposition out of position, and this is thanks to his ability to keep the ball while pressured. He'll always wait to be pressured to create space up ahead. Watch out for his 180 turns; he creates an expectation to move the game to one side, only to wait to be pressured, turn around, and make a killer pass on the other side.
posted by valdesm at 5:27 PM on July 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'm not sure where I read it - probably Zonal Marking - but I read that Spain tend to pass the ball a lot. Yes, yes, Captain Obvious, right? But it's the way individual players when they don't have the ball. They're always working to get into position so the player with the ball has options to pass to so they have as much of the ball as possible, and wait for something to turn up. That's why Xavi has both the most passes and the most distance covered during the Spain-Germany match.

This should be a good game.
posted by WalterMitty at 5:36 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Creepy fucking octopus.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:36 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


.These guys are good. World Cup quality refs.

Although I played in elementary school and enjoyed it quite a lot, I'm a relative newcomer to the world of pro soccer. And as a yank that mostly watches the US games, it was difficult to witness a couple of the lost goals. But I'll defer to your expertise over mine as far as their over all quality is concerned.
posted by uraniumwilly at 5:40 PM on July 10, 2010


Netherlands has been described as 'the best team that never won the World Cup'.

May they earn their gold star. As a van der Woning, I will be wearing my orange jersey today.
posted by bwg at 5:43 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Run of Play: Ballet of Frost.

It's about Spain.

A quote: "Spain’s game is perfectly accessible, you just have to wait a second. It’s not a game for snobs (that would be Argentina), it’s an open treat for anyone who likes intelligence and technique, or people doing incredible things with a ball. “Slow” is misleading; at their best, if the moment arrives and you misstep, they will rip out your throat in a flurry. They haven’t been at their best in this tournament, so all we’ve gotten is lethally precise passing, probing runs, wicked pressing on defense, and a constant, relentless focus that knows the instant you’re off-balance and coldly slips the knife in at that spot."

Enough quoting, go read it. It's good stuff.
posted by WalterMitty at 5:47 PM on July 10, 2010


To toot my own vuvuzela for a second, I did write a short piece about whether Spain are boring. My point was at their best they kill all drama. They're plenty beautiful, but for a great game of football, you need drama as well as beauty.
posted by Kattullus at 6:05 PM on July 10, 2010


These guys are good. World Cup quality refs.

I dunno, I'm not a fan of "K Al Ghamdi" whoever he is. (Chile v Switzerland & France v Mexico in the group stage). Dude did everything he could to disrupt the flow of the game, it was ridiculous. I mean, most everything he handed a card out for was probably a legitimate foul, but I can't help thinking that in many cases, a free kick would have sufficed.
posted by juv3nal at 6:48 PM on July 10, 2010


Die within a few months, probably. Octopi don't live but a year or two. It's for the best, really. If they lived longer they would have time to start developing transmissible cultures and then it would pretty much be an all out war between them and humans.

Yeah, but if it came to that, couldn't we play the otters off against octopi?
posted by eviltwin at 7:31 PM on July 10, 2010


I don't understand what the opposition is to goal line technology - why be irrational about such issues when we have technology to know what is true and real, it's almost like a dogma of some kind.

It is my understanding that the rules of soccer are designed such that you can play the game anywhere with minimum equipment and officials and still be assured that you are playing the same game as the pros.
Thus, no goal line detection, only one ref on the field, no required scoreboard.

I'm not sure how true that is, since I think kids play on a smaller field at any rate, but hey, it sounds good and if keeps instant replay from ruining another sport, it's good enough for me.
posted by madajb at 7:48 PM on July 10, 2010


There's not a ton of opposition to goal line technology, unlike video replay; it's more a discussion of execution. Prior to this World Cup, FIFA/IFAB "permanently" ruled out future consideration of electronic additions to the game, which was silly, difficult to believe, and turned out to be the nonsense we all thought it was at the time, but for the ruling bodies "goal line technology" also encompasses things like assistant referees on the goal line. In that sense they've been proceeding apace: a trial extra goal line referee was present during the Europa League tournament this season, which is a pretty high profile affair, so it's not entirely fair to say that FIFA have been sitting on their hands in this regard.

One of the reasons that goal line tech is viewed differently than video replay is that goal line tech wouldn't materially change the rules of the game, just the enforcement of those rules where applicable, and so it's a little easier to accept the created distinction between grassroots games and top-level games (local play usually also doesn't feature linesmen with flags, fourth officials with electronic scoreboards, etc.). That's not really true for any implementation of video replay.
posted by Errant at 8:12 PM on July 10, 2010


Goal-line technology would not significantly affect the flow of the game, at least so the argument goes. A question about ball over the line is not something that happens very frequently (in fact, it's come up just once in 63 games in this tournament), and since play should stop if a goal is scored, such tech shouldn't alter the on-field dynamic too much.

Video replay to judge offside and other calls is much more problematic, from the standpoint of both stoppage of play (debatable offside happens several times a half; how frequenlty are we going to stop and review it?) and getting the call right. On offside, the video would have to capture exactly the moment the ball is struck while simultaneously showing the proper angle to judge if any part of an attacking player's body that can be used to score a goal—foot, leg, torso, head—is ahead of the second-to-last defender, and determine if the ball was last touched by an attacker or a defender. But would video also be used to decide whether a player in an offside position was active in the play according to FIFA's definition? The last issue is a fine-line judgment call that tends to get very murky, and even seasoned refs differ on the interpretation of the laws. (See debate in this thread about Sneijder's goal vs Uruguay in the semis, regarding whether Robin van Persie was offside, and if so actively involved.)

Yes, the Tevez goal was an obvious error, but Dempsey's disallowed goal against Algeria and Sniejder's allowed goal vs. Uruguay—to cite just two controversial offside questions from this tournament—are basically inconclusive even with video. I'm not averse to replay in very limited situations, but I fear the slippery slope toward the ponderous and absurd NFL-style review. And frankly I love the controversy. The game is played by humans and refereed by them; mistakes are part of the game.
posted by stargell at 9:45 PM on July 10, 2010


Is this something I would have to own balls to understand?

Sorry, sorry... Carry on. No, don't call the bouncers. I know where the door is, I'll throw myself out.
posted by loquacious at 9:55 PM on July 10, 2010


I think that if anything and only during the World Cup they should have an extra official behind the net at each end to to supplement the referee. The cost of introducing any kind of technology into the process would be too much of a detriment to the aesthetics of the game.

"Go watch the NFL then."

This as well please. Sep 9 MIN @ NO Superdome 8:30 PM (EST) (Sorry Minnesotans my beloved Saints are going to exploit your every flaw.)

Also this eve is not the time to argue one sport vs another but I look forward to the debate sometime. Till then, España!
posted by vapidave at 12:06 AM on July 11, 2010


Can someone explain what's the on-the-field criteria for yellow cards? In the Uru-Ger match, a German receives a yellow early in the match (I think it's Aogo), but I couldn't see what his fault was. He slided to get the ball with no opposition at that time, an Uruguayan player then comes into view, and is probably hit by the German (inadvertently, AFAICT).
posted by Gyan at 12:26 AM on July 11, 2010


Xavi will get the golden boot. His passing percentage is incredible. Unless David Villa scores two or three goals.
posted by bardic at 12:34 AM on July 11, 2010


"Can someone explain what's the on-the-field criteria for yellow cards?"

The basic rule is play the ball, not the man. A "clean" tackle is where you hit the ball and knock it away, as opposed to going after the guy's ankle or shin.

But obviously the ref's call is always a subjective one. Other factors would be positioning. If you tackle someone from behind you're much more likely to get called for a foul or yellow than if you have good, solid positioning between your mark and the goal.

Also, ref's will warn players. So you might see a guy get carded on a relatively minor infraction if he'd been performing some riskier tackles earlier on.
posted by bardic at 12:37 AM on July 11, 2010


WalterMitty, that was a good read
posted by valdesm at 12:57 AM on July 11, 2010


Aogo should've been sent off. That was a horrible tackle.
posted by Bukvoed at 1:01 AM on July 11, 2010


in fact, it's come up just once in 63 games in this tournament

There was at least one incident with the ball hitting Martin Skrtel on the line in the Italy-Slovakia match, in the 67th minute. That one was in a position where just about none of the cameras trained on the goal could see whether it had actually crossed the line entirely, and where goal-line technology would have come in extremely handy.

Can someone explain what's the on-the-field criteria for yellow cards?


According to FIFA's Laws of the Game, yellow cards may be issued for the following offences:

1. Unsporting behaviour
2. Dissent by word or action
3. Persistently infringing the laws of the game
4. Delaying the restart of play
5. Failing to respect the required distance of a corner kick or free kick
6. Entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission
7. Deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission

All of it is of course subject to the referee's interpretation, and bardic is right about playing the ball and not the man. Hacking down someone running past you to prevent them from getting in on goal, rather than (for e.g.) clearing the ball from play, would earn you a yellow card, for unsporting behaviour.

As for red cards, you need to indulge in:

1. Serious foul play (a violent foul)
2. Violent conduct (any other act of violence)
3. Spitting at anyone
4. A deliberate handling offense to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by any player 5. other than a goalkeeper in his own penalty area
6. Committing an offence that denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (informally known as a professional foul)
7. Using offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures
8. Receiving a second caution (yellow card) in one game
posted by WalterMitty at 1:09 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Argh! That should read:

4. A deliberate handling offense to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by any player other than a goalkeeper in his own penalty area

cf. Luis Suarez.
posted by WalterMitty at 1:11 AM on July 11, 2010


But time and again, I have seen calls made by the refs, corner vs. goal kick, throw-in, foul or not foul, where I said to myself: "WTF ref?" Then on the replay, barely noticeable even in super slowmotion, from an angle with perfect clarity, zoomed in right exactly on the action, there it is:. the ref made the right call. In real time. From halfway across the field. Looking through a tangled mess of players.

This. I've seen commentary teams on TV rip shit out of a ref for a terrible call - only to have their editor make them look like fuckwits when the replays show that the ref was, well, right. Few of them ever have the grace to admit that the referee does, in fact, know the rules, and is generally actually pretty good about getting them right.

The most absurd spectacle for years locally was one rugby commentator who would tally up the number of penalties handed out and annoucne the ref was crap because there were "too many." Too many? What the fuck does that even mean? If the players cheat and the referee catches them, that's a penalty. If you want fewer penalties, lay off the referee and tell the players to stop cheating.

This attitude is the one that then filters down to spectators hurling abuse—or worse—at referees at local social games, players who shove refs around...

My other beef is this: if players didn't make mistakes, they'd win every match. Ever game is riddled with player errors, some forced, some not so much. The referee might make a fraction of the number of mistakes, but for so many players, coaches, supporters and press scumbags, that's all that matters. At least with the coaches and players it's understandable - a great way of shifting blame. Others? Not so much.
posted by rodgerd at 1:33 AM on July 11, 2010


Refereeing is hard, just look at You are the ref and see what you would decide, in the heat of the moment, in a split second.

I umpired in cricket for one game before deciding I was rubbish at it. Never tried refereeing, would never make it. Teams agree to the terms of the game by turning up to play, that is, that the referee has the final say. They can moan all they want but he's always right, even when he's wrong.
posted by itsjustanalias at 5:11 AM on July 11, 2010


Skrtel vs. Italy. Had forgotten about that.

what's the on-the-field criteria for yellow cards?

The FIFA guideline for discipline on fouls is CRE:

Careless (simple foul): the player has shown a lack of attention or consideration when making a challenge or that he acted without precaution.
Reckless (yellow card): the player has acted with complete disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent
Excessive (red card): the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.

In practice this is a sliding scale that allows for judgment on the referee's part, though certain types of challenges are supposed to permit no leeway. Studs-up tackle into the shin or thigh of an opponent should always be a red.
posted by stargell at 8:34 AM on July 11, 2010




Uh. Disliking soccer teams constitutes racism?


No. Saying "they are all diving cheaters" and you blame Materazzi instead of Zidane-- that's racism.
posted by L'OM at 9:49 AM on July 11, 2010


Enough already with the back-handed racism.

Uh. Disliking soccer teams constitutes racism?


Yeah, what? You know those Brazilians. They'll just be walking down the street and suddenly fall to the ground for no apparent reason. In class, in the supermarket, wherever. It's a genetic deficiency! not like European teams! Except for France, Italy, and Portugal.

Seriously, where does racism come from? Do you have some other way for me to refer to national teams? Was it racist when I used to hate playing the Wichita Falls team from a town over because of their flopping? I'm asking here.

I don't mean to say that the US, Spain, Netherlands, etc. don't flop (I've heard flopping and diving interchangeably since I started playing at 12, personally) at all, but it's not a central tactic to the point of preventing the game from being played as with (not Brazil-ist) Brazil.

Also, I can't find a video, but I remember there being definite contact with Altidore. He was fouled, but probably wouldn't have gone down because of it. There would have been no call unless he lost advantage, so he gave up advantage. Either way, it's not how the US operates as a matter of course. That'd be a whole different deal than Ozil* crumpling like a rag doll yards from any other players in whichever qualifying game that was.

*I don't think Germany is a flopping team in general, but that was a pretty bad one.
posted by cmoj at 10:02 AM on July 11, 2010


No. Saying "they are all diving cheaters" and you blame Materazzi instead of Zidane-- that's racism.

You're making less sense, not more.
posted by cmoj at 10:04 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yay, the orange craziness is gearing up here. People dressed up in orange flocking into town.
posted by joost de vries at 10:45 AM on July 11, 2010


No. Saying "they are all diving cheaters" and you blame Materazzi instead of Zidane-- that's racism.

Blaming a white person instead of a person of color... is racism? Is it possible that you don't actually know what racism is?
posted by Errant at 10:45 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Please feel free to show me the sport where players at the top level don't cheat like bastards. Or just fuck off and stop trolling. Either's good.

I think the problem isn't cheating per-se, but that breaking the rules is relative.

Fighting, while against the rules, is an acceptable part of hockey culture. In the World Cup, two players throwing punches would cause outrage and probably bring two countries to the brink of military conflict. Conversely, faking injuries is considered the height of poor-sportsmanship in hockey and draws jeers from most fans and players who see it. In football/soccer, it seems to casual fans that it's considered an acceptable if regrettable part of the game.

It seems to me that it's equally tough to ask new soccer fans to accept the level of exaggeration as it can be to ask non-hockey fans to just accept that players punching each other in the face is acceptable.

Either way, you can dislike both diving and fighting and enjoy both sports, so let's just do that.
posted by Adam_S at 10:47 AM on July 11, 2010


No. Saying "they are all diving cheaters" and you blame Materazzi instead of Zidane-- that's racism.

Blaming a white person instead of a person of color... is racism? Is it possible that you don't actually know what racism is?


Bwuh? x 2. I'm utterly confounded by the logic of both of these statements.
posted by vapidave at 11:17 AM on July 11, 2010


BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!
HUP HOLLAND HUP!
posted by joost de vries at 11:19 AM on July 11, 2010


viva espana!!

here we go people...
posted by marienbad at 11:22 AM on July 11, 2010


Something I've been confused about all month - what's with the kids who come out with the players at the start of the matches?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:24 AM on July 11, 2010


I hear people in the neighbourhood singing the national anthem and cheering.
Joehoee!

ps the national anthem from 1630 still contains a line about how I, William the Silent, have always honoured the King of Spain. (Just not his appointed regents. Most of all not the villainous Duke of Alba.)
posted by joost de vries at 11:28 AM on July 11, 2010


"Here's a collection of Bommeliana: Facebook profile" - Kattullus

That Facebook thing is hilarious, all hi sfriends are refs, including our own Howard webb, reffing the Final!!

Also, Pedro gets the nod ahead of Torres - looking to bring a foul early on from van bommel maybe?

Also, re: diving (flopping hahaha) - lots of players do it fomr lots of countries

we are off!!!
posted by marienbad at 11:30 AM on July 11, 2010


What!?
Willem-Alexander fraternising with the King of Spain!
TRRRRRAITORRRR!
posted by joost de vries at 11:30 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


joost de vries, are you arguing with yourself?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:35 AM on July 11, 2010


nearly!!

JDVWTFLOL?
posted by marienbad at 11:36 AM on July 11, 2010


Remember Netherlands, a lot of people on twitter are depending on you.
posted by homunculus at 11:37 AM on July 11, 2010


Navelgazer; I was commenting on images of our mutual royalty embracing in the audience.
posted by joost de vries at 11:47 AM on July 11, 2010


For fuck's sake, this isn't supposed to be Taekwondo.
posted by homunculus at 12:00 PM on July 11, 2010


Damn. Half enough cards for a two handed game of poker all ready.
posted by vapidave at 12:00 PM on July 11, 2010


The commentator uses the word 'geste'.
posted by joost de vries at 12:04 PM on July 11, 2010


At this rate, there's going to be a bench clearing brawl.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:06 PM on July 11, 2010


Is anyone else watching the game on CBC hearing the creepy exhaling sound every other minute?
posted by eagle-bear at 12:11 PM on July 11, 2010


Hm, I haven't seen Spain playing their tik-tak game that they played against Germany.
posted by joost de vries at 12:19 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok, would someone who is familiar with the playing style of each team tell me which team (if either) is suffering more from having their playing style taken away?
posted by vapidave at 12:19 PM on July 11, 2010


wow, what a great half. Incidents galore, cards galore, a karate kick from de jong. And to all those who have argued about the cheating and diving, did you see van persie play the corner to casillas? such sportsmanship in the world cup final of all places. Does anything like this ever happen in NFL or Ice hockey?

And what is mark lawrenson (bbc co-commentator) on about, complaining about the game? it has been great to watch.
posted by marienbad at 12:20 PM on July 11, 2010


Vapidave - Spain - imho only though.
posted by marienbad at 12:21 PM on July 11, 2010


also, in the first ten minutes, did you see it? Busquets misplaced a pass! i nearly fell off my chair!!
posted by marienbad at 12:22 PM on July 11, 2010


That was a great geste, marienbad. Especially in a WC final.
posted by joost de vries at 12:22 PM on July 11, 2010


from having their playing style taken away?
Yeah. That's what this is all about. Which also answers some of the discussions about fouls and diving.
posted by joost de vries at 12:24 PM on July 11, 2010


And to all those who have argued about the cheating and diving, did you see van persie play the corner to casillas
I didn't see it. I suspect I don't have the eye for it that you do. One comparison to the NFL: when people "hold"(a penalty) so defenders have a more difficult time tackling the quarterback or when defenders wish to keep the offensive team from gaining field position, there are fewer pained faces, just accusations.

I'm noticing that while so many complain that football has a great many stops and go's, in soccer there are a good deal of the same with all the fouls and penalties -- sans all the shitty commercials, however.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:45 PM on July 11, 2010


Please leave the NFL out of it.
Not now.
posted by joost de vries at 12:46 PM on July 11, 2010


BOOOOOOOORRRRRRINNNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!
posted by Elmore at 12:48 PM on July 11, 2010


how did Robben miss that?
posted by marienbad at 12:49 PM on July 11, 2010


Yeah, might as well just stop carding these monkeys and let them foul away if it means we can get some good action going.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:50 PM on July 11, 2010


Yeah, wow, that was a major opportunity.
posted by joost de vries at 12:52 PM on July 11, 2010


Pfew.
posted by joost de vries at 12:57 PM on July 11, 2010


And what is mark lawrenson (bbc co-commentator) on about, complaining about the game?

Because like scorpions sting and flies buzz, Lawrenson makes unfunny 'jokes', states the bleedin' obvious, and complains and complains and complains like a man with terrible haemorrhoids forced to ride a bike round and round cobbled streets.
posted by reynir at 1:00 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't let it be decided by penalties...!
posted by joost de vries at 1:13 PM on July 11, 2010


Puyol's hair is playing very well. It really deserves its own kit.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:19 PM on July 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


And now it has another 30 minutes to really shine.
posted by Elmore at 1:21 PM on July 11, 2010


Spain has definitely already won on the hair front.
posted by joost de vries at 1:21 PM on July 11, 2010


Wow, España has been a worthy adversary so far.
posted by joost de vries at 1:22 PM on July 11, 2010


"BOOOOOOOORRRRRRINNNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!
posted by Elmore at 8:48 PM on July 11 "

pls explain?

anyone remember the golden goal rule? do you think it would improve the extra-time in this game or not?
posted by marienbad at 1:24 PM on July 11, 2010


"Wow, España has been a worthy adversary so far.
posted by joost de vries at 9:22 PM on July 11"

hahaha - very very funny mate. adversarylolz
posted by marienbad at 1:25 PM on July 11, 2010


Would much rather have golden goal than penalties.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:26 PM on July 11, 2010


No, really, they're not bad.
posted by joost de vries at 1:26 PM on July 11, 2010


Please let this be decided in extra time.
posted by vapidave at 1:28 PM on July 11, 2010


This game apparently sets the record for cards in a World Cup final.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:28 PM on July 11, 2010


Yes I'm torn as to whether to vote for Yellow Card or Puyol's hair for Man of the Match.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:31 PM on July 11, 2010


YIKES.
posted by arachnid at 1:36 PM on July 11, 2010




pls explain?

The first half was very boring. Overall it's not a very exciting match and not a good advert for the beautiful game. It has improved a bit to be fair, but if you are a neutral observer there is little going on. That said, it's more interesting now that I've decided that Spain deserves to win. kthnx : )
posted by Elmore at 1:43 PM on July 11, 2010


"No, really, they're not bad.
posted by joost de vries"

yeah, they're just a bit better then ENgland ;)

Penalties ahoy? else BRING ON TORRES!!!
posted by marienbad at 1:43 PM on July 11, 2010


Wow.

Shhht, Elmore, be quiet!
posted by joost de vries at 1:43 PM on July 11, 2010


Maybe the players are having a little competition among themselves as to who can miss the most glaringly inviting chance. Robben, Villa and Iniesta are all in with a shout.
posted by WalterMitty at 1:44 PM on July 11, 2010


And here he is!!!
posted by marienbad at 1:44 PM on July 11, 2010


hey walt... see you in 15 or so
posted by marienbad at 1:45 PM on July 11, 2010


Het Wilhelmus ...is the national anthem of the Netherlands and is the oldest national anthem in the world.

The first stanza translated into the only language I speak, and that just barely:

William of Nassau
am I, of Dutch blood.
Loyal to the fatherland
I will remain until I die.
A prince of Orange
am I, free and fearless.
The king of Spain
I have always honoured.
posted by vapidave at 1:46 PM on July 11, 2010


Please not penalties. I don't care who. Just please not penalties.
posted by bright cold day at 1:47 PM on July 11, 2010


Oh god.
posted by joost de vries at 1:48 PM on July 11, 2010


Sorry Joost, and commiserations (I may well eat these words). Hey, at least you weren't booted out of the finals by a French handball.

Oooh, professional foul, this is exciting.
posted by Elmore at 1:49 PM on July 11, 2010


Nice dive, Spain.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:51 PM on July 11, 2010


Both 'keepers have been too good. Whoever brings home the trophy will have to thank their 'keepers for single-handedly (sometimes single-footedly) keeping their side in the match.
posted by WalterMitty at 1:51 PM on July 11, 2010


ARGH. Remove the player not the position.
posted by vapidave at 1:51 PM on July 11, 2010


Sorry Elmore. It's just that exciting!
posted by joost de vries at 1:52 PM on July 11, 2010


OK, OK, OK, it's not boring now.
posted by Elmore at 1:55 PM on July 11, 2010


Arrgh.
posted by arachnid at 1:55 PM on July 11, 2010


Congrats, Spain.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:55 PM on July 11, 2010


Aaawww...
posted by joost de vries at 1:56 PM on July 11, 2010


Goal!
posted by unliteral at 1:56 PM on July 11, 2010


That fucking octopus!
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:57 PM on July 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Finally!
posted by homunculus at 1:58 PM on July 11, 2010


:(
posted by arachnid at 2:02 PM on July 11, 2010


Great scott.

Congratulations Spain.
Well deserved.
posted by joost de vries at 2:02 PM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


(But congrats to Spain. Well done.)
posted by arachnid at 2:04 PM on July 11, 2010


New Zealand is the only unbeaten team this World Cup. Up Kiwis!
posted by WalterMitty at 2:04 PM on July 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


OK, Spain, there'll be no excuse for continuing with this crappy economy stuff.

I'll beeee waatching!
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:04 PM on July 11, 2010


hooray!! Congratulations to Spain.
posted by marienbad at 2:05 PM on July 11, 2010


Also, did you see the queen of Spain celebrating iniesta's goal? awesome!!
posted by marienbad at 2:05 PM on July 11, 2010


The wife of our crown prince is much cuter.
(Even though the colour of her hair is fake.)
posted by joost de vries at 2:06 PM on July 11, 2010


"New Zealand is the only unbeaten team this World Cup. Up Kiwis!
posted by WalterMitty at 10:04 PM on July 11 [+] [!] "

hahaha. superb. what's your view on Australia qualifying via Asai rather than Oceania? I think it's a great idea tbh. Gives others a chance and helps Australia become better.
posted by marienbad at 2:07 PM on July 11, 2010


Well done Spain. Commiserations to The Netherlands.
posted by Elmore at 2:08 PM on July 11, 2010


And screw you France.
posted by Elmore at 2:09 PM on July 11, 2010


"And screw you France.
posted by Elmore "

hahaha
posted by marienbad at 2:10 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man. Voetbal is war.
There's no prize for coming in second.
posted by joost de vries at 2:11 PM on July 11, 2010


And screw you England!

[Ducks and covers]
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:12 PM on July 11, 2010


but why uranium why?

also, Braaheit was good when he came on, and elia is fast and has great control.
posted by marienbad at 2:15 PM on July 11, 2010


I hear mournful vuvuzelas in the neighbourhood. Lamenting the dying of the chance of a century.
That chance has joined other magnificent great soccer elephants, like the finals of '74 and '78, at the dying fround of could have beens of the Worldcup.
posted by joost de vries at 2:17 PM on July 11, 2010


fround=ground
posted by joost de vries at 2:18 PM on July 11, 2010


My dog is always underdog
No use rooting for the overdog.

Congratulations Spain.
A bit of people to tide us over:
Cup Stacking.

posted by vapidave at 2:18 PM on July 11, 2010


The bbc are showing the elia incident which upset the Dutch so much, where they claim he was held off, and then on the edge of the dutch box they thought iniesta was offside. Held off? blimey, they are complaining about abit of physical contact... after kicking Spain all over the park for the first 45 minutes lol
posted by marienbad at 2:26 PM on July 11, 2010


but why uranium why?

I dunno. I suppose the English make many of my fellow (goofy) Americans feel inadequate.

That's about all I've got, for now.
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:29 PM on July 11, 2010


"I suppose the English make many of my fellow (goofy) Americans feel inadequate. "

excellent

Well, that's it. As Kenneth Wolstenholme once said, "some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over. It is now."

Thanks to everyone for all the great footy threads and discussions on mefi during the world cup, it has been a lot of fun.
posted by marienbad at 2:39 PM on July 11, 2010




And Diego Forlan wins the Ballon D'Orl. VERY well deserved if you ask me.
posted by deadmessenger at 3:02 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I only feel inadequate relative to the English when...

um, no I don't. Well, profanity excepted maybe.

"...it has been a lot of fun."

Fuckin A right
posted by vapidave at 3:03 PM on July 11, 2010


That terrible final game really dulls what's been a pretty good tournament. Germany's dominance, USA's comeback, Maradona shooting his mouth off every five minutes, the agony and ecstasy of Ghana, Forlan, Klose, and Von Bommel The Goon.
posted by dw at 3:28 PM on July 11, 2010


they are complaining about abit of physical contact... after kicking Spain all over the park for the first 45 minutes lol

I hear ya marienbad, I still can't understand how van bommel, robben or de jong were able to avoid the red card. And what's with the whole netherlands team constantly complaining to the ref? sportsmanship my ass.

Anyway Madrid is burning, and the Netherlands have been the best team we faced, Spain always needed 3 men on Robben, what a great player.
posted by valdesm at 3:48 PM on July 11, 2010


Iker kissing his girlfriend after the match... while she interviews him. I think this was met with more cheering than Iniesta's goal. We were all wondering if he would dare!
posted by valdesm at 3:58 PM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, those guys are going to get crazy laid tonight.

Even Puyol.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:04 PM on July 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


this World Cup has just been epic on so many levels i can't even describe it completely.

let me just say that FORLAN totally deserves that ballon d'or even though i hated hims for being so fierce against my favorite teams.

and IKER CASILLAS?!?!?! OMFG WHAT A BEAST! that man. just wow!

the whole thing AND THE VUVUZELAS! seriously ... what am going to do with my life now! AUGH! am already going into World Cup withdrawals :D
posted by liza at 4:45 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


> That terrible final game really dulls what's been a pretty good tournament.

So true. But it got good at the end. Viva España!
posted by languagehat at 5:28 PM on July 11, 2010


this World Cup has just been epic on so many levels i can't even describe it completely.

I've really, really enjoyed this one. Fuck the haters. The final wasn't great, I have to say, but overall I've found this edition to be very engaging.

joost, goodnewsfortheinsane, I'm sorry. I was never cheering for you guys this time around, but of course you deserve one and I hope it comes sooner rather than later, hopefully (and selfishly) with more of the brilliant Oranje voetbal that we love you for. You have a lot to be proud of this tournament, I hope the party isn't too diminished tonight.
posted by Errant at 5:34 PM on July 11, 2010




España! I feel bad for Holland but not for most of the players who were on the pitch.
posted by ob at 7:08 PM on July 11, 2010




Well, that was a dreadful game. I came into the game supporting the Dutch but, apologies to joost de vries, goodnewsfortheinsane, after the first 20 minutes I hadn't exactly started supporting Spain, but I wanted the Dutch to lose. John Oliver said in a podcast that "the Spanish midfield against the Dutch midfield is the perfect embodiment of good versus evil." I thought he was hyperbolic, but de Jong and van Bommel were completely out of control. It was just horrendous to watch. Hell, it was as if de Jong was trying to kick the ribcage out of Xabi Alonso's chest. That said, they did manage to neutralize the Spanish passing game, so there's that, but their style wasn't even anti-football, it was death-football. They'd been quite entertaining, putting in a great performance against Uruguay and Brazil (in the second half), but in this match it's as if they decided that their only chance to win was to kick the Spaniards every time they could.

But hey... congratulations Spain! After 80 years of disappointment, they've finally gotten their name on the World Cup.

liza: this World Cup has just been epic on so many levels i can't even describe it completely.

Yeah, it's been the best World Cup this century, but that's more of a function of how dull the 2002 and 2006 were. Weirdly enough, the group stage in those two were great but the knockout stages were rather boring. This time around the knockout stages were pretty fantastic, after somewhat dull group stages. Brazil - Holland, Uruguay - Holland, Uruguay - Ghana and Ghana - USA were all really great games. And, true to form, the 3rd place playoff was a joyous wonder.
posted by Kattullus at 8:11 PM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, and one more thing... is the World Cup victory the best thing to happen to Spain since King Juan Carlos stopped the coup attempt, or since Christopher Columbus came knocking?
posted by Kattullus at 8:13 PM on July 11, 2010


homunculus: Uganda bombings kill 64 watching World Cup

Oh god... that's horrible. Just awful, awful. This is beyond comprehension.
posted by Kattullus at 8:14 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


hahaha. superb. what's your view on Australia qualifying via Asia rather than Oceania? I think it's a great idea tbh. Gives others a chance and helps Australia become better.

Technically I think it takes away a berth from actual Asian countries, but since my home nation (Singapore) stands a snowball's chance in hell of qualifying I don't particularly care.

It's been a good World Cup, generally. Sure, it started off terribly with a plague of scoreless draws, but once the first round of group games was past and the group qualification candidates became clearer things began to clear up. Most of the knock-out games were pretty good (except, perhaps, the Japan-Paraguay match).

Even the final was good, but not in a classic way, of course. It was certainly exciting once the first half was over, and things began opening up properly, although the physicality of the Dutch was unfortunate - de Jong's drop-kick on Xabi Alonso, in particular, was heinous and should have been a straight red. I can understand being physical - it's practically necessary playing Spain and Barcelona - but going out to injure your fellow player should have no part in the modern game, and neither should a player who indulges in that sort of bullshit. But I can understand why Webb would have been reluctant to issue a straight red relatively early in a World Cup Final.

A tactical analysis of what went on, here.

Well done to Diego Forlan - the Ballon d'Or - and Thomas Mueller - Golden Boot and Best Young Player, for winning their individual awards. Mueller's absence in Germany's semi-final against Spain was important; his replacement, Piotr Trochowski, was woefully inadequate. But every World Cup will have legions of what-could-have-beens.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:15 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was a terrible final. I can't believe I woke up at 4am to watch it and stayed up for it.

Watching the Dutch attempt to kick the shit out of the Spanish and the ref do his best to "I'm telling you for the last time" over and over again was dispiriting to say the least.
posted by awfurby at 11:20 PM on July 11, 2010


Watching the Dutch attempt to kick the shit out of the Spanish and the ref do his best to "I'm telling you for the last time" over and over again was dispiriting to say the least.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Howard Webb. Although, having just come home from an MLS game, even the most cynical World Cup game is still pretty good.

I'm glad Forlan won the Golden Ball. I expected it to be Xavi -- it's almost always at least a finalist, and barring Sneijder it wouldn't have been a Dutchman -- but Forlan had a fantastic tournament, and really a fantastic year. I'm happy for him.
posted by Errant at 11:55 PM on July 11, 2010


Yeah, Forlán getting the Golden Ball was great. He really was the player of the tournament. His video diary is lovely and includes seven perfectly adorable seconds of Forlán playing with a lion cub.
posted by Kattullus at 12:16 AM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


So I had the argument about Iniesta being offside explained to me -- that he is offside on the first attempt to swing it in to him (when it was deflected away off a Dutch foot) but then got back onside when the ball actuallycwas delivered to him.

And indeed, he was offside on that first attempt. But because of the 2003 offside rule change, kicking it toward an offside player does not trigger offside -- playing the ball (or obstructing play) does.

And so, a rule to eliminate the offside trap does its job. Credit FIFA for getting it right.
posted by dw at 12:19 AM on July 12, 2010


> Thanks to everyone for all the great footy threads and discussions on mefi during the world cup, it has been a lot of fun.

It really has been, marienbad. You deserve a good deal of credit for starting the threads that allowed the footy faithful to discuss, shit-talk, laugh, whinge and cry throughout this last month. Cheers. :)

(And liza? Feeling you girl. Dunno what I'm going to do myself now that it's all over - but mostly I'm trying to assuage my sense of loss with the fact that rugby World Cup takes place in 2011 in New Zealand - and I may actually manage to be in the house for that. So: approximately same bat time, approximately next bat year, y'all? Lets make a date to lift a pint or two, even if only virtually...:)
posted by arachnid at 12:30 AM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just popping in to say "viva Espana." The Dutch played a dangerously dirty, nasty, brutal game, and I was ecstatic to see them lose.

It was excellent to see the Spanish team keep their cool and focus on the sport, rather than allow themselves to be fazed by Holland's dirty play, and it was pleasing to see the sporting team beat the unsporting one.

I'm glad no one was injured, no thanks at all to Holland.
posted by syzygy at 1:01 AM on July 12, 2010


Poor Netherlands, always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

But they were outplayed and blew what few chances they had, not to mention that idiot who took a red card, a moment that was certainly the nail in Holland's coffin.
posted by bwg at 1:42 AM on July 12, 2010


none of the 3-appeals ideas at all - they would be used tactically by smart managers to kill games (imagine, you are one-nil up and there are 10 minutes to go in a final or semi-final. All game you have been attacking and have had no reason to use your appeals. But now you are on the back foot and you can break-up the oppositions play with 3 appeals in 10 minutes.)

Not if the appeals are limited in scope. You can appeal for offside, but only on a goal. You can appeal over whether a ball went into the goal.

Where the tactical issues come up is when you allow, say, appeals for possession. That's easy to solve, mind you -- make the penalty for a failed challenge costly enough a manager would only use it in high-reward situations. For example, say a team was trying to kill time by challenging that they last touched the ball going out of bounds. If they fail, the other team could get a free kick anywhere inside the challenging team's zone. In addition, time would be added on. Alternatively, if the ref feels the team is time-wasting with their challenges, he can red card the challenging team's keeper.

I don't support 3 appeals, anyway. I think one is sufficient, and only for offside on scoring plays and whether the ball went in the goal. I might support possession with the right penalty mechanism.
posted by dw at 11:10 AM on July 12, 2010


Just seen this - oops!!

http://www.worldcupblog.org/world-cup-2010/photo-the-netherlands-win-world-cup.html

awesome.
posted by marienbad at 1:03 PM on July 12, 2010


also, check out these 2 team badges: (found via the Pro vercelli link from JoeBeese) -

FCB
FGR
posted by marienbad at 1:05 PM on July 12, 2010


Just seen this - oops!!

I have a 100% success rate in predicting the outcome of all the World Cup matches as SCORE to SCORE.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:06 PM on July 12, 2010


"It really has been, marienbad. You deserve a good deal of credit for starting the threads that allowed the footy faithful to discuss, shit-talk, laugh, whinge and cry throughout this last month. Cheers. :)"

posted by arachnid

Thanks but I can't take all the credit, there have been several awesome threads, I listed many when making this FPP.

A few firsts and an unfortunate stat.

First African World Cup
First European side to win outside of Europe
First Side to lose their opening game and win the World Cup
Most Yellow cards in a World Cup final.
posted by marienbad at 1:15 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Was it the first final to feature a flying kung-fu kick to the chest?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:26 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Was it the first final to feature a flying kung-fu kick to the chest?

Full-contact combat football... You wanna get Americans to watch, this could do the trick.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:15 PM on July 12, 2010


Today the Dutch team is being laureated in Amsterdam.
Dutch cartoon
Translation

Fokke and Sukke are watching a tough but exciting laureation:
"Mayor van der Laan of Amsterdam is coming onto the stage"
"..and, ow, he's being kicked in the face by de Jong"
posted by joost de vries at 3:29 AM on July 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Was it the first final to feature a flying kung-fu kick to the chest?

Not too sure about flying kicks, but I think Zinedine Zidane scored the world first for World Cup Final headbutting.

That said, Materazzi was by his own account being a complete dickwad, so it was quite gratifying to see the Italian team crash and burn so spectacularly this time round. Only he wasn't in the team - which was still gratifying.
posted by WalterMitty at 12:24 AM on July 15, 2010






Poor Spain. Not only do they not get Paul, it's starting to look like they're not going to get Fabregas back either.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:10 AM on July 17, 2010


FIFA’s Foul Play
posted by homunculus at 3:47 PM on July 17, 2010




> Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian leader, says Paul the Octopus, the sea creature that correctly predicted the outcome of World Cup games, is a symbol of all that is wrong with the western world.

That's a pretty sensationalistic headline there. I'm no fan of Ahmadinejad, but that little "article" isn't very fair. It seems he was taking that as an example of how so-called Western culture values the random and nonsensical and perhaps he didn't grok the comedic value. Again, I'm not apologizing for him, but he wasn't on some anti-octopus tirade or something. Silly newspapers.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:19 PM on July 27, 2010


Well, it is the Telegraph, so take it with a grain of salt. But if Ahmadinejad brought up Paul at all, he was asking to be ridiculed.
posted by homunculus at 12:51 PM on July 30, 2010




> Well, it is the Telegraph, so take it with a grain of salt.

Maybe that's a good case to not link to the Telegraph just because they're featuring something tangentially related to the thread at hand?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:05 PM on July 30, 2010


Well, the Telegraph isn't the greatest newspaper out there, but they're no Daily Mail. Also, their obituaries are wonderful.
posted by Kattullus at 9:02 PM on July 30, 2010


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