189. World Cup 2014 (Part 3: Your Comments)

In this episode I’m going to read out comments you’ve added so far on my forum. Click here to visit the forum. The thread is now closed, but I’ll add a new one called “World Cup Comments Thread #2” where you can add other comments. Next week I’ll aim to record another episode with your comments. Right-click here to download this episode.

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I’ve corrected or ‘upgraded’ comments I’m reading out. You can read the corrected versions below.

Let’s get started.

Hi everyone, I’m really enjoying The World Cup, I’m going to record an episode (or 2) about it very soon, and I need your help!

The World Cup is a truly global event so it will be great to hear the comments of people from around the world on this subject. So, please write your thoughts and comments on this year’s World Cup in this forum thread. I will read out your comments on the podcast. I think it would make a great episode of LEP!

So, please answer one (or more) of the questions below. I will read out your comments in an episode which I plan to record on Thursday afternoon (19 June).

Questions (Answer one or more)
1. Which teams do you think will reach the final, and why?
2. Which team do you think will win this year, and why?
3. Which team are you supporting this year, and why?
4. What are your team’s chances of success this year?
5. Who is the star of World Cup 2014 in your opinion?
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014 so far?
In all comments, please tell me which country you come from. ;)

Any comments written here by Thursday afternoon (my time) will be read out on the podcast (probably*). So, get writing!

p.s. I will correct errors (not publicly) in the comments before I read them out ;)


*I do reserve the right not to read out comments for any reason.

Hi Luke!!
Do you think the ball crossed the line in the World Cup final you (England) won in 1966??
Cheers…and good luck for England! You will need it!
I forgot to say I am from Spain!
…but I support Argentina. I think the best player ever (Messi) deserves the championship!
Luke: How can you support Argentina if you’re from Spain!?
mmm It’s hard to explain…I love football and I am a loyal supporter of Osasuna in the Spanish league (this year relegated!) so I don’t have a strong feeling with the national teams although I enjoy so much watching all these matches…Also in my region (Pamplona is my hometown) there is not a big national feeling… Am I making it clearer? Or even worse? haha

4. What are your team’s chances of success this year?
Germany I guess. But to be honest I’m not really into football or soccer or whatever the name is. I much prefer Le Tour de France, which is a French bicycle race for those of you who don’t know. Anyway thank you very much indeed for taking the time to read out this brief comment. Best of luck for the World Cup! Roman from France.

Hi Luke! I hope England win but I don’t think they will. If they don’t, I would like Spain or any South American country to win. PS. What do you think about the banner Argentina posed with before their friendly match with Slovenia?

Bruno Correa
São Paulo, Brazil.
Hello, Luke!
I think Brazil and England will absolutely reach the final.
I’m sorry, Luke but I’ve got to say Brazil will win it!
Well, actually I don’t care that much about that. I’m more worried about more important issues here in Brazil.
The World Cup is a really good event, you know, people in this country are sort of obsessed with football. I know it’s a great party and we all love that.
I’m not so sure though that is what my country really needs, at least not now.
Too much money (at least 30 billion dollars) has been spent on this.
We undoubtebly do not need more stadiums, but we do need better education, security and welfare.
Thank you.

Stan Chatov
I think that the finalists will be the Netherlands or Germany.

Hi luke, I am Diego from Argentina.
Though I think Germany is the toughest team to beat, I believe we are going to make it to the final.
On the other side of the draw is Brazil, five times champion, with a great history and present. Brazil and Argentina are going to see their faces at the Maracana in the last battle of this World cup.
If Uruguay made it in the 50s why can’t Argentina with Messi dream of it too?

Nadia Dosova
Hi everybody, I work as a support teacher in a primary school in London and we did a sweepstake with the kids the other day for the World Cup, so everyone drew a country to support. I got Australia so if they win I might get a prize:-))) (of course I won’t, it’s just for fun). Generally I think Spain or Brazil have the chance:-)

Hi Luke
I’m really into football so the World Cup is a great thing for me. In my opinion, the world cup is already a huge success because there have not been as many riots as expected and people over there seem to be happy about it.
I’m a big Bayern Munich supporter so it’s quite logical that I have a soft spot for Germany. I think they will win in the end against Brasil because they have the star of the World Cup, Thomas Müller, in their team. Unfortunately Switzerland won’t succeed. They might reach the quarter-finals but that’s all.
Regards from Switzerland
Yannick Wohlhauser

Hey Luke,
I hope you are ok, this podcast is a great idea.
Let me answer your questions:
1. Which teams do you think will reach the final, and why?
Argentina. I think Brazil won’t make it because they won’t handle the pressure of being the host country and Argentina will take advantage. Messi can be the worst player on the pitch like in the first game but he is still capable of miracles. My dark horse is Belgium but I think they will be beaten in the semis. Germany seems to be strong too, but they will also lose in the semi-final.
2. Which team do you think will win this year, and why?
Holand will win it. As much as I hate Roben for being an arrogant player and a diver, and Van Persie as a traitor who left Arsenal for Man U because of money, I have to admit that they seem to have a very strong team and the way they hammered Spain was just impressive.
3. Which team are you supporting this year, and why?
It is an easy call for me. England because it’s this country and its language that I fell for. And of course because of Luke. And naturally Jack Wilshere who plays for the Gunners. And also Frank Lampard for whom I have lot of respect. (I can’t support the US because they call it soccer which is shameful and despite beating Ghana, they still have kind of no clue how to play this game)
4. What are your team’s chances of success this year?
Zero. They are not there. I wish we were but we messed it up in the qualificaion group stages. I am enjoying waching this tournament big time but if the Czech Republic team were actually in it, I would obviously enjoy it a hundred times more. That’s just the nature of supporting I guess. A bitter pill to swallow but it’s just the way it is I am afraid.
5. Who is the star of World Cup 2014 in your opinion?
I hope it is gonna be someone from the England team. Now it is too early to predict. But I would like to see some new faces, too. Perhaps some players from Africa like Bony Wilfried from Ivory Coast for example. I hope Ballotelli, Neymar or Robben won’t win the golden boot because I don’t like them.
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014 so far?
The goal-line technology is awesome. Neverthless I miss Luke’s English podcast banners in the stands. So far some matches have been boring, some good but generally the atmosphere has been electric and buzzing. I can’t wait when it comes down to the wire and hopefully when push comes to shove, I am gonna get some goosebumps, too.
Come on England!

Hello Luke,
Firstly, you have the greatest podcast I have ever heard.
Since I started listening to your podcast, my english has improved a lot.
Many many many thanks from me :)
So now let’s get down to business, my answers to your questions are:
1. Which teams do you think will reach the final, and why?
In my opinion, it will be Brazil and Germany. The former becuase it is the host team which has the “home” advantage, and the latter because it is the best team in the world
2. Which team do you think will win this year, and why?
Germany. Maybe it’s wishful thinking…
But, if I am serious, I think so mainly because the Germans plays as a team and not based on a few stars.
3. Which team are you supporting this year, and why?
Isn’t it obvious? Germany of course
The reason? Well, At one time, you said that people usually support teams based on their roots… well, I have Germans roots. Add to it the fact that I cannot support my home country (Israel). The last time Israel reached the world cup was before I was born (in 1970).
4. What are your team’s chances of success this year?
Objectively, I think Germany has a good chance to win this year.
5. Who is the star of World Cup 2014 in your opinion?
So far, it is Robben from the Netherlands. The game of Netherlands vs. Spain was amazing.
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014 so far?
I think it is great. Indeed it is a global celebration.
In all comments, please tell me which country you come from.
My name is Yaron and I’m from Israel and it is an great honor for me that you will read out and correct my English!

The Brazilian supporters swearing at the President and FIFA before the first match has been the best thing from the world cup so far.
Luke: Are you referring to this? http://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/blog-protest-sees-brazilians-standing-up-against-world-cup-1.1870865

Hi from Spain. I would love a final between Brasil and Argentina. A sort of OK Corral duel for Messi and Neymar. And I hope the winner is… the refree. I am a Real Madrid fan and don’t feel too much love for these two guys.
Although I support Spain, I am afraid our boys will come back home soon. They really deserve a golden retirement after six years winning all the competitions. We have been proud of them but we need a change of the guard.
And I would like England to be in the semi finals at least.
One question for you: Americans say “soccer” instead of football. Do you know where the word soccer comes from?

English people invented the most fabulous sport: Football. But, the Brazilians changed that sport into art. Go Brazil, get your sixth trophy! Chupa Argentina! (means “suck it Argentina!”)

Yaron (again)
Following my earlier post, in my opinion, Luke and the whole England nation shouldn’t complain about the English football team. As you can see it could be worse, like in my case that my country hasn’t reached the world cup at all.
Yaron from Israel.

Stefano Pierini
Hi luke. While I’m enjoying the world cup and really hoping Italy will surprise me (still too early to choose the best player but Pirlo is in the top 5) I actually wanna suggest that you comment on the 2022 venue for the world cup ‘Qatar’ which apparently won the bid unfairly.
Greetings from Philly.
Thanks Luke

I’m supporting Brazil of course because i’m brazilian lol
the other question I’d like to answer is ” 6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014 so far?”
I think it is a great event, and good for society in general even though the huge amount of money spent on this event is being questioned mainly by us brazilians, but i think it’s good because it unites a lot of nations, and brings us together in peace for a moment.
hopefully :)

Diogo Kurbrusly DeFreitas
Hello Luke!
Greetings from Rio de Janeiro – As a Brazlian, I’ve been hearing about the 2014 FIFA World Cup and its legacy for years and years.
It goes without saying that Brazil is in the spotlight at the moment. From our worldwide known footballers to our modest airports and worrying protests, everything is being covered. Furthermore, it seems to me that the international press has got some mixed feelings concerning the World Cup here in Brazil.
On the one hand we clearly see a lot of criticism when it comes to how the event was planned, organized and managed. Regarding this matter we shall take the example of the official opening ceremony, which could be described as nothing but a fiasco. It was a source of jokes and ridiculousness – not only here in Brazil but all around the world as well. Harsh were the comments on the BBC and The Guardian websites regarding it. Although the international judgements were severe, I must agree with them entirely.
Despite starting on the wrong foot, I truly believe there’s still some hope for making things right. As the World Cup unfolds itself, I can notice some positivity in the air. There’s a great deal of excitment all around the matches and the competition itself. Believe it or not, yahoo.com is already referring to Brazil’s World Cup as the best one of all time.
Having said all of this, Luke… I’d like to know your views on this World Cup. How are things going so far? How well is Brazil performing its role as the host of such a tremendous event? Last but not least: who is going to win this Cup?
Btw, it’s a poor thing The Three Lions haven’t had a good start in the competition but I’m pretty sure they will overcome it.
PS: Sorry for not keeping my message short. As it is said brevity is a virtue, and it seems that I still need to work on it.

Ji Hyun
Germany and Netherlands will probably meet in the final.
They seem so strong, they got huge scores in their first matches, and I think Germany will win the world cup this year. They always seem stronger in the world cup than any other football games.
But I’m supporting my country Korea, it’s a great honour to attend 8 times in a row, and I hope Korea will go through to the last 16 :)

Dang Le Trung Nguyen
Hi Luke,
For this World Cup I completely support England primarily and Japan secondarily, just because I’m learning English and Japanese. This habit, which was planted inside of me when I was a child, is that as I study some foreign language, I study things from that country where that language is spoken as the first language, like culture, customs, civil tastes and so on. I have been a fan of England for a long time, a 12-year period to be exact. I was disappointed with the first round results of those two teams – they were both defeated by the same 2-1 score. I hope they will both pocket 6 points from the remaining matches and qualify for the 1/16 round. I predict that possibly, England will reach the quarter-finals and then sadly, be kicked out on the penalty spot. England always fail on the spot, it’s an English uncureable infection. Japan will lose the 1/16 round.
In this FIFA World Cup, I’m really satisfied with Goal-Line Technology being brought into use and it’s worked. It has gone through many demanding technical tests and it helped in the match between France and Honduras. More specifically, it helped the referee make a right decision by allowing France’s 2nd goal. You remember Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal against Germany 4 years ago, don’t you? If it had been given, the result might have altered. What a pity!
I’m also drawn by the spray used by the referee to restrict the wall when there’s a free-kick. It’s quite strange and in some sense, it looks funny. But I wonder what that substance is when witnessing it disappears rather quickly after. You know what I mean?
This World Cup, there have been plenty of incorrect referee decisions. It’s probably in our mind that one Japanese referee Nishimura’s bad whistle allowed a penalty for Brazil while a Crotia’s man’s touch was clearly not hard enough to bring down Brazil’s Fred. It’s still being criticized. And two Dos Santos goals scored properly were disallowed due to bad referee offside calls. Fortunately, the Mexican men won the game in the end. If not, it would have become more severely controversial. The referee is always an issue in every tournament.
I think Brazil will win the World Cup. The Netherlands will be the runner-up. Germany is likely to stand in 3rd and for the 4th place, I bet on Italy. Most of this prediction is based on my intuition rather than my sense (the factual results we’ll all known after observing each team’s performance). OK, to sum up, it can possibly be:
Champion: Brazil
Runner-up: The Netherlands
3rd place: Germany
4th place: Italy
The top-scorer: Robbin van Persie (the Netherlands)

Tiago Felipe (in response to Dang)
Hi Dang Le Trung Nguyen
That Spray referees use was first used in Brazil and now it’s spreading around the world. It’s a kind of lather. That’s why it disappears very quickly.
We also use this kind of lather in carnival, it’s very fun. But it’s very dangerous if it gets into the eyes.

Hi, I just wanted to share this article to everyone. Maybe some of you already know, but I just was so proud of it as a Japanese person.

3. Which team are you supporting this year, and why?
This year’s World Cup is historical for my country because it is the first time Bosnia and Herzegovina’s team is represented in such an important global sporting event. Just the fact that we qualified and managed to play there among all the best football teams is success and of course it means so much to me. It makes me proud of our boys Pjanić, Misimović, Bešić, Begović, Džeko…
Hearing our National anthem in the famous Maracana for the first time ever was overwhelming. Plus knowing that millions of people around the world were watching our team there in the match against the great Argentina was pretty intense. Can’t imagine the pressure and stress in the field at the very beginning of W.C. ’14, but when Bosnians scored in the second half (Ibišević) felt like some National holiday here – everyone dressed up for the occasion, wearing silly hats, waving our flags, singing and having a great time… So the result 2:1, although they won, was very very good. I mean, it’s Argentina we played against!!!
And I think Gauchos played worse than usual because our Dragons were surprisingly good and showed they were up to the task. Now I’m sort of glad that game is over and behind us – we waited for it so impatiently and it was nerve-racking all day and for the whole 90 minutes. The hardest match I’ve ever watched. And certainly something to tell our kids and grand children about. The next two matches should be easier to play, and to watch too, and I, of course, expect Bosnians to win both games. Just remember the first time your country’s team played in the World Cup and you’ll know what I mean!
My second favorite is England and thank God we’re NOT in the same group. :-) Why England? There are many reasons; personal and professioanal. And they’re a good team as well. I Hope to see them in the finals. Along with Brasil – man, they live football 24/7! I also support Croatia – “Love your neighbor!” – so best of luck, people! You’re great!
Btw, what is that whipped cream thing that referees use? Ha ha… :-)
– Amra
Greetings from Bosnia!

The World Cup – such a great topic ! I’m really looking forward to listening to the podcast about IT :) I’ve always been a big fan of football (although I’m a girl) , so it’s a great time for me :D I’m sitting on my couch, watching a match between Australia and the Netherlands . I must say that this world championship is on a very high level , matches are unpredictable and fascinating ! I’m really disappointed that I can’t support my national team – Poland ( We played against England in the preliminary stage and we lost of course ) . Instead , I cheer on Argentina (although their defence worries me a little bit :/ ) I’d love to see Argentina – Brazil in the final match ! Sorry , but I have to say that England doesn’t have a real striker , so it is going to be hard to achieve something :/ On the question of the best footballer so far , I’d choose Arjen Robben – incredible left leg :) Greetings from Poland!

Hi Luke, I’m Tiago and I come from Brazil.
I’m really excited to take part in this episode.
I’m expecting Brazil vs Argentina in the final game, you know we are not so friendly with each other and that would make a classic match. Both teams are making a good campaign. But of course I think and hope Brazil will win this year, since 2002 we haven’t won a World Cup, the brazilians deserve it, we are hosting the game and the victory will be amazing for all of us. You know that Brazil is known as the country of Football around the globe, but not everyone likes it here. The only problem we are having is about the amount of money that the government spent in order to host the World cup, some people are protesting about it. In part I belive they could have done a better job if they had used that money on Educacion and Health areas.
I have a question, Aren’t you supporting Brazil too?

Hi Luke,
First of all,I appreciate very much what you do,I enjoy your genuine British humour and I’m amazed how it’s possible to do so much nonstop talking. Man, you’re just a genius.
Now, let’s talk about football shall we? No doubt it’s a great game and of course I watch the world cup as much as I can. But here in Estonia our most popular sport by a long shot is basketball. What do you like the most Luke -basketball or football? Ha-ha, stupid question to ask, I know :)
So, the world cup….
1. Which teams do you think will reach the final, and why?
I think the finals will be reached by Brazil and Germany and the world champs will be Germany. They are playing very beautiful and smart football.
2. Which team do you think will win this year, and why?
As I said before-the winner this time will be Germany..you’ll see.
3. Which team are you supporting this year, and why?
I’m not supporting any team actually but my favourites are the Netherlands and Germany.
4. What are your team’s chances of success this year?
Sorry to say that but my country will never ever reach to world cup because we are so bad at playing football. By the way-Estonia will play against England on 12th of October this year…so watch out :)
5. Who is the star of World Cup 2014 in your opinion?
I think the star of World Cup 2014 will be Robin Van Persie.I don’t like his personality though but the way this guy is playing (plays?) is impressive.
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014 so far?
It’s been a pretty amazing WC so far I think. We have seen attractive football with many beautiful goals and that’s what football is all about right? I’m really enjoying it.
Sorry about my english grammar,I’m a bit rusty I know.

Diogo Kubrusly de Freitas
Hello again Luke!
At the beginning of the first part on your series about the FIFA World Cup you invited listeners from Brazil to say how they were feeling about hosting the 2014 most famous football tournament on earth. So here I am to add my contribution and to present you a brief introduction to our current social-political scenario.
It’s a tricky business to say how Brazil as a whole is feeling about the World Cup… but I can speak for myself, and to be a 100% honest I’m not a happy bunny.
Everyone knows that millions and millions of dollars were spent so that Brazil could meet FIFA’s standards for this competition and therefore host the World Cup. The funny thing is that Brazil’s government constantly say our revenue is not enough in order to meet the country’s needs. Brazil has no money for neither building up new schools nor fully equipping its hospitals. Nevertheless the country can afford the billionaire costs of gigantic stadiums. What a contradiction!!!
Oh it almost slipped from my mind to tell you about inflation levels in Brazil. If you fancy coming here be ready to be ripped off. Every single day a number of services and goods are geting more and more exorbitant.
Another point to be taken into account is how the local media deals with our problems. As far as I’m concerned certain TV networks and influential personalities from Brazil tend to turn a blind eye to our social issues. To illustrate what I’m saying, I shall quote what a well-known football player said some months ago about the World Cup dilemma: ‘We do not make a World Cup with schools but with stadiums’. The genius behind this masterpiece is Ronaldo – the fat one.
Another guy once said that instead of protesting against corruption, Brazilans should support the national squad. Who said that? Not surprising it was another rich and famous Brazilian footballer: Pelé!
I understand the fact Ronaldo and Pelé are fighting for the World Cup in Brazil but I hold the opinion that such statements are disgraceful and revolting – they offend people’s real needs.
I don’t want to be seen as a misery guts but financially speaking it was not the right moment for having a World Cup here in Brazil. Brazilians do have other urgent priorities. It is concerning to think that much more money will continue to go down the drain even when the 2014 World Cup is past. I say this based on the fact that the next Olympic Games will take place here in Rio de Janeiro.
So, I’d say we’ll have to wait and see what will come to be of Brazil in the next couple of years. Fingers crossed things will take a better path…

Jan Kloucek
Hi Luke,
it’s an amazing idea to make a podcast about the World Cup. I’ve said to myself that I have to listen to your episode about the English Premier League these days again because there is a lot of vocab and expressions connected with football and I really need refresh them all.
I’ve got just one question and I don’t know if it’s about the World Cup enough :) but I’ll try it. Nowadays I’ve been living in southern England (Bournemouth) for a few months which means I’m watching the World Cup in Englad’s typical pubs and I’m struggling a bit with people’s behaviour. :) Before the World Cup started I’d been looking forward to watching matches in England a lot because of the atmosphere etc. but now I’m not able to get used to it. Everybody’s drunk and extremely noisy everywhere is overcrowded, there’s no possibility to make a reservation for a table for example and take a seat. I don’t know if it’s understandable :) I don’t have something against cheering and shouting etc. but there is almost no chance to watch a match because of other people…
I’m used to watching football and all other sports events in a pub in the Czech Republic as well but we’re siting during them, drinking beers, debating… Do you know what I mean?
And my questions are: Is it a normal state in the UK or is there is a chance to find quieter places as well and have I just had a bad luck? And what’s your opinion about this? Do you prefer loud atmospheres to quieter one? Is this a taste of football for you (I mean for the English)? And what about the atmosphere in Paris’s pubs?
Fingers crossed for tonight!

Here’s a taste of the atmosphere in a sports bar in the centre of London. This is how some English fans (not everyone) behaves in a busy pub when there’s an England game on.