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Thread: World Cup 2014

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    World Cup 2014

    Let me say, I don't speak Spanish, I could care less about soccer (futbol) in general and the World Cup in particular. I would much prefer watching the World Junior Hockey Championship.

    That said, THIS is how you make a video to exhort your national team to succeed! Chile is is in the Draw of Death with Spain & The Netherlands. If I were the Chilean coach I would put this on loop in the locker room and team bus!




    My God, I think I just ran through a wall!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Chile is is in the Draw of Death with Spain & The Netherlands.
    .....and?......and?......

    Give you a hint, its big, dry, occupies a fair portion of the southern hemisphere, is home to a race of stunningly handsome & intelligent men, and never misses a decent American war.

    You bastards can fight your own damned wars next time.

    No respect.....



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    While I'm not a huge club Soccer fan, and will be more focused on the Mighty Hawks as they chase elusive back to back flags in the local Aussie rules comp, I do enjoy a good World Cup.

    I acquired an appreciation for top flight soccer and a lifelong attachment to the roller coaster that is Dutch football while at University in the late 1980s. The World Cup is quite simply the biggest thing in sport and it has produced some of the finest moments in sport. I will have an image of Diego Maradona running through the entire English team seared into my brain until I die (Englishmen, on the other hand, will have an image of the 'hand of God' ).

    This World Cup sucks for a number of reasons. First, my other team, Australia, is not only lacking quality footballers, but we also have the toughest group. It will be a short World Cup and we could concede a double figure sum of goals. Second, Australia & the Netherlands are in the same group (my boss is Chilean by birth - he is pissed off too). Third, the second placed team in the group plays Brazil in the second round, so Holland has to finish top in the Group of Death. Worst of all, the broadcast times are mostly at times of the morning that preclude me seeing very much. Two in the morning is too late to stay up & too early to wake up. CRAP!

    However, I will watch what I can, drape myself in an Orange scarf & hope that Italy, England, Italy, Spain, Italy and Italy get knocked out early. Did I mention that I am keen to see Italy knocked out early?

    HUP HOLLAND HUP!!!!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    While I'm not a huge club Soccer fan, and will be more focused on the Mighty Hawks as they chase elusive back to back flags in the local Aussie rules comp, I do enjoy a good World Cup.
    Same here. In fact I do not enjoy club-anything in any sport (especially cricket ....). Nation vs nation or individual brilliance is what I love following and watching.

    I will have an image of Diego Maradona running through the entire English team seared into my brain until I die (Englishmen, on the other hand, will have an image of the 'hand of God' ).
    On of my earliest and most clear WC memories as well. Watching the match late at night, me and dad. My dad grew up in a Pele world. I grew up in a Maradona one. I always argue that while Pele had a team of stars around him, that Hand of God WC was almost a Maradona show first to last.

    I am salivating at the prospect of watching this World Cup (I will make the time .... somehow!). In terms of what I look forward to more, I place it above the Olympics frankly. The other international event I look forward to nearly as much (not as much now though) is the Tour de Fance.
    Last edited by sated buddha; 02 Jun 14, at 11:13.

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    A Funny Guide to the World Cup: Group A

    I found this online. it is hilarious. I'll reproduce select bits for each group. Read the whole thing if you are planning to follow the World Cup & don't take it too seriously.

    World Cup 2014: Comedian Andy Zaltzman presents his neutral's guide to picking a team - World Cup 2014 - Football - The Independent

    The percentage figure at the end is the 'neutral rating' - how much neutral support the team might have.

    BRAZIL

    The 2014 Brazilians may lack the panache of their predecessors, relying on disappointingly monosyllabic forwards such as Fred, Jo, Hulk, Thud, Puke, Goat and Plank, but the mere sight of their yellow shirts can turn even the most functional of footballing pragmatists misty-eyed with recollections of Pelé's 1970 team of genius, and that 1982 side of Zico, Socrates and Eder, whose football made you want to dig up long-dead relatives, blast some strong coffee into their faces, and shout: "What are you doing being dead, you idiot? Wake up now, you do not want to miss this".

    Neutral Supportability Rating (NSR): 87%
    CROATIA

    Eternally in footballing credit for knocking Germany out in the 1998 quarter final, and knocking them out properly, with a 3-0 clomping administered by a stylish team of schemers and artists. They are also likely to keep you very interested in your office's World Cup sweepstake. Assuming that 'Worst Disciplinary Record' is a money-winning category.
    MEXICO

    In a world of uncertainty and flux, Mexico offer a comforting blanket of dependability.....being knocked out in the Round of 16.

    It has happened at five consecutive World Cups. Silken passing football, and a last-16 knock-out. They could be drawn in a group with the 1970s Brazilians, Barcelona from 2011, and Genghis Khan's all-conquering Mongolia team of the early 13th century, and they would find a way to get through. Before losing to Bogsworth Primary's Under-9 Bs in the second round.
    CAMEROON

    The Indomitable Lions entranced everyone in the largely tedious 1990 World Cup with their athleticism and flair. And with their fouling, which was truly spectacular.

    In the dying minutes of their opening match against reigning champions Argentina, as they defended a 1-0 lead, Benjamin Massing executed one of the great World Cup fouls, launching himself at Claudio Caniggia like a combination of an Exocet missile, JPR Williams and a hungry lion taking down an extremely tasty-looking zebra. He missed the ball by approximately 25 yards. Caniggia went into orbit. Boot dislodged, danger averted, mission accomplished. If any football foul has been a work of art, this was it. The referee was so impressed that he showed Massing a red card. And then a yellow card. Suggesting that the foul was worth one-and-a-half sendings off. A conservative estimate.
    ....and it was one of the most spectacular fouls since Portugal tried to cripple Pele in 1966.


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    I just recalled. 1982 was my youngest memory. I saw that Brazilain team play! I was 11.

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    A Funny Guide to the World Cup: Group B

    World Cup 2014: Comedian Andy Zaltzman presents his neutral's guide to Group B - World Cup 2014 - Football - The Independent

    NETHERLANDS

    The opening match is a rematch of the 2010 final, when the Dutch put on what is regarded by many seasoned experts as perhaps the greatest display of mixed martial arts in World Cup history.

    They entranced the world in the 1970s, when Johan Cruyff and the Total Footballers conclusively disproved the age-old theory that, "if you dress like a carrot, you play like a carrot". Bergkamp scored one of the greatest World Cup goals in 1998. But any lingering neutral goodwill is destroyed by thinking about the 2010 final, about Nigel de Jong's attempt to give Xabi Alonso unrequested open-heart surgery with his studs,
    CHILE

    Chile are likely to be brilliant, flamboyant and thrilling. They are also likely to be knocked out in the group stages. The fact that Marcelo Bielsa's unrestrainedly attacking side have been drawn against the two 2010 finalists, while traditional grind-meisters and titans of footballing tedium Switzerland play in the pallid-looking Group E, is conclusive proof of the non-existence of God.

    Or, you could argue, conclusive proof that God hates football (which in itself is possibly linked to the advent of José Mourinho).
    AUSTRALIA

    May garner some sympathy support. Australia have no chance. In fact, last week, manager Ange Posticoglu announced that the Socceroos are pulling out of the tournament. "We always hear sports people saying: 'If we didn't think we could win it, we wouldn't be here.' Well, we're in a group with the Netherlands, Spain, and Chile. If by some miracle we sneak through that Group Of Death – which, let's face it, is about as likely as Joan of Arc getting through her 'Group Of Death' when she was drawn against Medieval Justice, Fire and Physics in the 1431 European Championships – then we'll probably have to play Brazil. So we do not think we can win it. In fact, I know we can't win it. Cheerio."
    The Australian coach didn't say this, but we are all thinking it.


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    Funny Guide to the World Cup: Group C

    World Cup 2014: Comedian Andy Zaltzman presents his neutral's guide to Group C - World Cup 2014 - Football - The Independent

    GREECE

    Greece, not undeservedly, won the 2004 European Championship with football that was tactically sophisticated/unremittingly negative (delete according to whether or not you are trying to impress someone with your superior understanding of the strategic nuances of the great game). The Greeks may been world-changing pioneers in democracy, the arts, philosophy, and oiled-up naked wrestling, but those achievements pale into insignificance when set against the pall they cast over football with their Grim Grind To Glory campaign 10 years ago. They need no more success.

    NSR: 2%
    IVORY COAST

    Ivory Coast anti-boast the lowest GDP per capita of any of the 32 competing nations, coming a disappointing 148th out of 180 listed countries, according to a combination of The World Bank and Wikipedia (two uneasy factual bedfellows). Economists claim that, without Didier Drogba, the Ivorians would be in the bottom 10. This is a nation that could clearly do with a footballing perk-up, and World Cups always need a team to break the Europeo-South-American hegemony.

    NSR: 81%
    JAPAN

    Japan are one of the teams who have benefitted most from the expansion to 32 teams in 1998, qualifying for every tournament since, but doing little of interest, to such an extent that legal proceedings are underway to change their national slogan from 'Land of the Rising Sun' to 'Land of the Competent But Unremarkable Football'. Unlikely to attract support from whale-loving neutrals, due to a continuing predilection for hunting the celebrity aquatic megamammals for 'research purposes'. This 'research' is, reportedly, into scientifically imperative questions such as: what happens when you shoot a harpoon at a whale? Can whales still swim after they are dead? If you chase a whale with a large boat, does it become a shark? And how much soy sauce do you need with a perfectly-cooked whale steak?

    NSR: 14%


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    Funny Guide to the World Cup: Group D

    World Cup 2014: Comedian Andy Zaltzman presents his neutral's guide to Group D - World Cup 2014 - Football - The Independent


    ENGLAND

    For the neutral, England must have been a hard team to support in recent tournaments, even in the unlikely event that your nation is one of the few with no long-standing historic grudge against the English, relating to history, empire, being located on the same land mass, some iffy refereeing decisions in battles that were fought hundreds of years ago, or a combination of all of the above.

    England's campaigns have mostly been characterised by joyless, fearful, low-scoring draws against footballing micropowers, squeezing through a not-too-demanding group stage before slinking out of the tournament in a soggy blancmange of missed penalties and/or perceived injustice, while the world analyses the inverse correlation between the players' reported wages and their ability to pass a ball in an even approximately sensible direction.
    ITALY

    On the negative side, there are racist fans, Silvio Berlusconi, match fixing, and the fact that the Stifling Negativity club is very much in Italy's footballing golf bag, and they are prepared to use that club regardless of how the ball is lying. Neutrals will eagerly await the end of Italy's tournament, whether successful or not – Italian body language at the moment of World Cup victory or defeat is worth four years of licence fees on its own – while the opening-match showdown against England could be a highlight of the tournament. Or a stultifying 0-0 draw.
    THE INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF TEN-MAN URUGUAY

    If you like to support a sporting minnow, but believe all things should be judged relative to a nation's population, then Uruguay is the team for you. The 3.3-million-strong numerical underdogs have overbarked throughout World Cup history, winning in 1930 and 1950, and reaching three other semi-finals.

    The last of these was four years ago, when goal-scoring and opinion-splitting specialist Luis Suárez pulled off an understandable if shameless handball to stop Ghana scoring in the quarter-final, one of the most flagrant acts of cheating in the tournament's impressive history of wilful skulduggery.

    Disappointingly, Suárez's red card was a now isolated incident of wrong-doing. Uruguay used to be entertainingly, almost heroically, ill-disciplined in the age before red cards were commonplace (peaking in 1986, when, in consecutive group matches, they found themselves down to 10 men after, respectively, 19 minutes and slightly under one minute). As refereeing became stricter, and picking up red cards was no longer a challenge, so Uruguay increasingly, and regrettably, concentrated on the football.

    NSR: Between 0% and 51%, (depending on how naughty Luis Suárez is)


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    Funny Guide to the World Cup: Group E

    World Cup 2014: Comedian Andy Zaltzman presents his neutral's guide to Group E - World Cup 2014 - Football - The Independent

    SWITZERLAND

    The Swiss are to thrilling, edge-of-the-seat football what Freddy Krueger is to ballet. Moreover, with the highest GDP per capita of any of the 32 qualifying nations, plus a total of 23 grand-slam singles titles in the past 17 years, there is absolutely no need for Switzerland to enjoy even the semblance of a World Cup run to distract them from other hobbies, such as questionable banking practices, looking at mountains, and speaking an unnecessary number of languages.

    NSR: 0%
    FRANCE

    Laurent Blanc's team was on the verge of being knocked out by Ukraine in the play-offs last November, but recovered from a two-goal first-leg deficit, and have been unharshly rewarded with a place in the Group Of Life. Nevertheless, if there is one major team that could make a Horlicks of an apparently simple qualification, it is France, whose group stage flops in 2002 and 2010 were among the most inept campaigns by any organisation in any sphere of activity, sporting or otherwise.

    It is also strange to think that, if that play-off game had gone differently, Vladimir Putin would have annexed Corsica instead of Crimea, and would now be claiming that the people of St Tropez had always "felt Russian". At 22-1, France represent a high-value each-way bet, but, as post-war France boss Charlie de Gaulle said: "Can you manage a football team whose nation has 246 varieties of cheese?".

    NSR: 24% (100% against Switzerland)
    ECUADOR

    Ecuador has a squad packed with players who have excelled at a very high level. Literally. They squeaked through to the finals in fourth place in the South American qualifying, with seven wins in 16 games. All of those seven victories (plus one of their four draws) came in home matches, played 2,800 metres above sea level in Quito. It is often said that a supportive home crowd is like a 12th man for the team. Quito's altitude is like a 12th man who doubles up as a psychotic double-agent physio, nobbling the opposition with a home-made lung-squasher.

    Ecuador's opening two matches are in relatively low-lying Brasília (1,200 metres, against Switzerland, a team which, you would assume, is not afraid of the odd mountain), and Curitiba, which tips the altimeter at a disappointing 900 metres. Their potentially crucial final game, against France, takes place in Rio de Janeiro, which is, notoriously, by the seaside. If Ecuador need a victory, and Fifa deny them permission either to crank the Maracanã up on a 2,800-metre-high hydraulic platform, or to relocate the match away from Brazil to a specially constructed temporary stadium on the upper slopes of K2, they may struggle.

    Not the most obvious recipient of neutral support, unless you have a deep respect for any country that names itself after exactly where it is on the globe, as equator-hugging Ecuador has been honest enough to do.

    NSR: 20% (100% against Switzerland)


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    Funny Guide to the World Cup: Group F

    World Cup 2014: Comedian Andy Zaltzman presents his neutral's guide to Group F - World Cup 2014 - Football - The Independent

    One for Doc.

    BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA

    A first finals appearance for the latest Balkan nation to grace global football's showpiece. If they, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia all got together under one regional flag, they could have one hell of a team. Why has no one suggested that before?
    IRAN

    The lowest-ranked of the participating nations in the Press Freedom Index, the Iranian government – seldom the easiest regime to warm to as a neutral – has been preparing for its fourth World Cup by executing anything that moves.

    Iran are 1,500-1 to win the tournament, but are worth a small slice of neutral backing just to hear an Israeli radio commentary on Iran thrashing the USA 6-0 in the final on 13 July. An admittedly unlikely scenario.

    NSR: 6%
    NIGERIA

    Neutrals may hope that The Super Eagles unclip their wings after all these years, before they are re-nicknamed The Adequate Pigeons, for no other reason than that footballing success would likely irritate the balaclavas off the Islamist terror groups who have become such a remorselessly and tragically tedious feature of the Nigerian newscape. A Nigerian World Cup run could possibly annoy them even more than international politicians brandishing a firmly-worded hashtag in their vague direction.

    This is assuming that Boko Haram, the gobby, stupid and violent minority-interest pressure group, are of similar mind to their Malian counterparts Ansar Dine, who have stated that they want to ban football. This was yet another example of terrorists' ongoing failure to get to grips with modern public relations. Besides, not only is football universally popular, but it also has arcane, outdated rules, and an opinionated fan base; it has traditionally been anachronistically homophobic, and is a long-standing bastion of gender inequality. You would expect the likes of Ansar Dine to be signing up for satellite subscriptions, not calling for the beautiful game to be banned.


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    Funny Guide to the World Cup: Group G

    World Cup 2014: Comedian Andy Zaltzman presents his neutral's guide to Group G - World Cup 2014 - Football - The Independent


    GERMANY

    As an England fan, it used to be so easy not to support Germany, regardless of whom they were playing against. Aside from any lingering tabloid-fuelled historical resentment towards our Teutonic rivals, their football was easy to hate – scientifically joyless, remorselessly practical, and, above all, irritatingly, maddeningly effective. Good German teams did well in World Cups. Bad German teams seemed to do even better. It was like watching the team England could have been, if only we had taught our youngsters how to do things like kick the ball accurately, run into the right places, or successfully hit a 24ft by 8ft target from a range of just 12 yards.
    PORTUGAL

    Portugal will justifiably garner neutral support due to its phenomenal custard tarts, and a proud history of global exploration that helped spread European 'influence' around the world, thus facilitating the spread of football and the evolution of the 32-team behemoth of a tournament we have come to know and quite love today. Ronaldo's 2014 side could do with channelling the adventurous spirit shown by the likes of six-time European Explorer of the Year, Vasco da Gama, and mid-second-millennium circumnavigation celebrity, Ferdinand Magellan – they failed to score in three of their four matches in 2010, squibbing out damply to Spain in the second round
    UNITED STATES

    The USA needs football success less than any other nation in this tournament. America quite likes football, and, if the US did somehow manage to win, it would probably merit at least a passing mention on CNN's evening bulletin.

    If Brazil, for example, has proven itself to have a memory span of at least 64 years when it comes to footballing pain, the USA's equivalent would probably be a two-minute micro-sulk of mild disappointment. Besides, America has been overwhelmed by glory in other sports – the World Series baseball, American Football's Super Bowl, ice hockey's Stanley Cup and whatever the basketball one is called, have all been dominated by US franchises in recent years. America can do without World Cup glory. The world knows it, they know it, and the World Cup draw knew it, plonking them justifiably into the Group Of Death #2.

    NSR: 9%


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    Funny Guide to the World Cup: Group H

    World Cup 2014: Comedian Andy Zaltzman presents his neutral's guide to Group H - World Cup 2014 - Football - The Independent


    BELGIUM

    They will be well-supported by democracy sceptics, too. Belgium spent 18 months without a government in 2010 and 2011, and not only did everything seem to bumble along just fine, but it proved to be the catalyst for the football team not only to qualify for a tournament for the first time in 12 years, but also to become 14-1 fifth favourite. Greg Dyke: watch and learn. And then depose the government. Functioning legislative bodies are all that are holding back this country's football.

    NSR: 81%
    ALGERIA

    Algeria still awaits financial and/or footballing reparations for being mercilessly stitched up by West Germany and Austria in 1982. The two played out a 1-0 win for the Germans, a result that took them both through to the second round at Algeria's expense, in a match that had all the intensity and competitiveness of a geriatric tortoise versus stale baguette bowls match, and the believability of a North Korean government press release. Admittedly, it was not the most damaging Germano-Austrian deal in world history, but it was one of the World Cup's greatest embarrassments.
    USSR/RUSSIA (Delete according to whether Vladimir Putin has gone the whole hog by 12 June)

    Imagine Vladimir Putin's face if Russia win the World Cup.

    NSR: 0%
    SOUTH KOREA

    Imagine Kim Jong-un's face if South Korea win the World Cup.

    NSR: 100%
    Hope you had fun.

    HUP HOLLAND HUP!!!!!!


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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sated buddha View Post
    Same here. In fact I do not enjoy club-anything in any sport (especially cricket ....). Nation vs nation or individual brilliance is what I love following and watching.
    Don't misunderstand, my two abiding sporting loves are international cricket & Australian Rules Football. The latter is strictly a club game, and my allegiance is to Hawthorn, a team originally hailing from a suburb of Melbourne where I briefly lived as a child & now happen to work (the former was why I follow them, the latter just good luck). Club sport can be great, but in the absence of pay TV & a lot of time Club Soccer is not on my radar.


    On of my earliest and most clear WC memories as well. Watching the match late at night, me and dad. My dad grew up in a Pele world. I grew up in a Maradona one. I always argue that while Pele had a team of stars around him, that Hand of God WC was almost a Maradona show first to last.
    Pele won 2 World Cups & would have won a third if he hadn't injured himself during the '62 tournament. He helped to build that champion team around him. Maradona was a genius & the greatest player of my generation, but Pele will always be the king to me. Plus, Pele didn't degenerate into a cheating, drug taking, overweight parody of himself. Despite being a living god he maintained some dignity - impressive in itself.

    I am salivating at the prospect of watching this World Cup (I will make the time .... somehow!). In terms of what I look forward to more, I place it above the Olympics frankly. The other international event I look forward to nearly as much (not as much now though) is the Tour de Fance.
    Can't say the TDF does it for me (scenery on TV has little appeal), but agree about the WC. I love to watch the greatest players in the greatest contest in the world. If Holland can't win it for me than I want Messi to get the World Cup he deserves. he is the best I have seen since Maradona. If the Argentinean coach has half a brain he should get close.


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    At a press briefing at Luton Airport on Sunday, Roy Hodgson confirmed younger England players are being taken to the World Cup primarily to get used to losing.

    ”Some have lost with their clubs at home and at European level: now they must do so on the World stage if they want to earn a long-term England place.”

    Sadly, others are still hungry for success “You can see it in their eyes: they positively radiate passion, belief and hope. And it’s my job, together with Stevie [team captain, Gerrard], to snuff that out.”

    Gerrard himself is upbeat about their opportunities “Now that Beckham has retired, players such as Rooney must show the kids how to lose gracelessly; maybe foul an opponent, geta red card and become a hate-figure for the British press”.

    Critics have noted Hodgson’s worrying history of managerial success but he is quick to point out that was early in his career “Apart from a lapse at the start of this century I haven’t won anything for 25 years and I’m not about to throw all that away now.”

    Prior to flying out, the squad was acclimatised to conditions in Brazil by being left crying for two weeks in the nearby Premier Inn on Harold Road, Dunstable.

    “The lads were already proficient at staring at their shoes and looking baffled during the national anthem” says Hodgson “but were keen to develop their talents: So when the song starts, they’re to take a deep breath and then boo as loud as they can.



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