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The football (soccer) thread

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wilco - 16 June 2014 03:43 PM

It’s the same team that had a great Euro 2 years ago, but showing a very inferior form.

Portugal has been doing great, not only on last Euro, but in World cup 2006. and EURO 2008. (not to mention the 2004 on home soil). They’ve been one of my favorite team on the biggest stage, but somehow, even though Ronaldo is undeniably one of the best world players, it seems to me Portugal has been going downhill once they’ve built their team around Ronaldo, after the series of world-class players like Figo, Rui Costa… withdrew, like the coaches have been unable to use it to their advantage.

     

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I agree. Chances are the team would be better WITHOUT Ronaldo, just because there’d be more diversity in their play. Now it’s just “pass to Ronaldo”.
Argentina suffers from the same problem with Messi.

On the other hand, what manager would dare to bench the team’s superstar?

     

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27827569

Belgium - dark horse of the tournament.

     

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diego - 16 June 2014 05:13 PM

Portugal has been doing great, not only on last Euro, but in World cup 2006. and EURO 2008. (not to mention the 2004 on home soil). They’ve been one of my favorite team on the biggest stage, but somehow, even though Ronaldo is undeniably one of the best world players, it seems to me Portugal has been going downhill once they’ve built their team around Ronaldo, after the series of world-class players like Figo, Rui Costa… withdrew, like the coaches have been unable to use it to their advantage.

TimovieMan - 16 June 2014 05:23 PM

I agree. Chances are the team would be better WITHOUT Ronaldo, just because there’d be more diversity in their play. Now it’s just “pass to Ronaldo”.
Argentina suffers from the same problem with Messi.

On the other hand, what manager would dare to bench the team’s superstar?

You’re both right to some degree. The problem is we seem to be more dependent then ever of Ronaldo because there is a lack of other latent. He basically carried us to the world cup scoring 4 goals against Sweden.

Our best team was Euro 2004 / 2008 World Cup 2006. We had a blooming Ronaldo showing up along with Figo, Deco and other great players. We had a final and some semi-finals.
I mentioned Euro 2012 because it was the same team, the problem is that at that time Nani, Joao Moutinho, Raul Meireles and others were playing at high level. Now most of them come from ugly seasons and the confidence just doesn’t seem to be there, so they keep relying in passing to Ronaldo (that is coming from a bad injury…). There is still a chance we get through against Ghana, USA but with Pepe suspended and Fabio Coentrao injured things are not looking good.

 

     
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Incredible win by the USA… Ghana has been having most of the game, playing way more dangerous but USA showed some guts even though when it looked the history would repeat itself for the third time. Grin (Ghana beat USA two times before)

     

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We beat Ghana but it was a pretty tough and exciting game. Now we need a good result against Portugal and we have a pretty good chance in qualifying.

     

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USA - fastest goal in the tournament at about 30 secs.

Nice win for them in the end.

     

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Great result for the USA. Ghana was all over them in the second half but they still managed that corner after the tie. It’s going to be a tough group

Brazil-Mexico should be fun today.

     
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Howard did a great job in goal, best keeping of the tournament so far (together with Navas of Costa Rica). Which is a delight to see after some horrid goalie performances in previous matches (in particular Casillas and Pletikosa of Croatia).

Ghana have a strong midfield, but I’m glad the USA won their match. I had pegged them as most likely candidates for second place in the group (after Germany of course). Yes, over Portugal. Smile


Plus, that’d be a good team to play if we win our group. Belgium vs USA tends to be an interesting fast-paced football match with plenty of goals, which we ultimately win. Grin Innocent

     

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I have high hopes for Belgium putting a good show in the tournament.

Defense and midfield look good but that offense can be amazing:
Hazard - Lukaku - Januzaj   Yum

(Too bad about Benteke)

     
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Belgium won the game, but they made hard work of it.

     

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What a dumb decision by Vertonghen. Could have been a red card on top of the penalty. And that in a situation where the Algerian attacker wouldn’t have been able to do anything with the ball whatsoever…

Good thing that Dries Mertens gave the necessary impulse in the second half to end the lackluster performance. And it’s obvious by now that Dembele should either learn to be more attacking or be dropped from the team. We don’t need two defensive midfielders and Witsel is indispensable.
In reality though, it’s been over a year that I’ve been saying that we need to use two strikers instead of just one. We’d make more goals that way…

     

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Give that match ball to Ochoa! Gasp
The end results belies the match quality (unlike that horrid match between Iran and Nigeria yesterday).

     

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Didn’t catch the Belgium-Algeria, sounds like Belgium had some first game jitters.
Brazil-Mexico was a great match, even without goals. Tons of shots from both sides, Ochoa was amazing! Look at some of the saves

http://thebiglead.com/2014/06/17/memo-ochoa-stopped-neymars-header-for-the-best-save-of-the-2014-world-cup-so-far/

@Timovieman
Januzaj doesn’t usually play for the national team? He put some solid perfomances in Man United but he wasn’t even used today.

     
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wilco - 17 June 2014 05:51 PM

@Timovieman
Januzaj doesn’t usually play for the national team? He put some solid perfomances in Man United but he wasn’t even used today.

Last month marked the first time he was even called up to the national squad. He got off the bench in a couple of the pre-world cup friendlies, but yeah, he’s a backup.

There’s just such a wealth of high-profile quality midfielders in our squad. They didn’t even take Nainggolan to the World Cup, and he’s one of the best midfielders in Italy, playing consistently for AS Roma who finished second in the league…

But when you have a couple of players (like De Bruyne who’s always fantastic, and Hazard who can be if he feels like it) that are indispensable, it’s hard for the others to gain a spot.

Also, regarding Januzaj, he’s still very young. Let him grow for another season. He’ll earn his spot soon enough. Which will suck for the likes of Chadli, Mirallas, Mertens and Fellaini as they’ll see their playing chances diminish…

     

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