Tag Archives: the world cup

197. World Cup 2014 (Part 6: Final Comments)

Here is the final podcast about football, in which I read out your comments from the World Cup forum thread on teacherluke.co.uk. Comments written in the forum have been corrected by me and now I am going to read them out to you. I will also respond to some of the things listeners have said. I hope you can tell when it’s me giving my opinion and when it’s the comments of a listener. Leave your comments below as usual!

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This is perhaps the longest ever episode of the podcast! I suggest you listen to it in stages ;) By the way, this episode took me about 4 hours to prepare. At least 1 hour to correct and edit the comments, 1hr40mins for the actual recording, and over 1 hour for editing, encoding & uploading the episode. Do consider making a donation for my time.

The World Cup is now over. Germany are the winners for the fourth time. It’s a victory for Europe for the first time in South America. Argentina played really well but ultimately they couldn’t overcome the incredible teamwork, energy, determination and skill of the Germans. Germany have truly been amazing in this tournament and they deserve to be World Champions.

All in all, I’ve massively enjoyed this World Cup. Speaking only of football and atmosphere in the stadiums, Brazil have been great hosts. It’s clear how passionate people get, not only in Brazil but also in America in general. That has resulted in a very dramatic tournament, full of stories and interesting moments. Off the pitch, there is still the controversy hanging over the competition, with plenty of questions being asked about the decisions to spend millions of dollars on developing the stadiums without giving enough money back to the host community in Brazil, which needs investment. Brazil looked brilliant int he competition, with lots of pictures and footage of Brazil’s landmarks, features about Brazil’s culture and the friendliness of the people. Generally, I think the country looked great and I’m sure that’s going to help with tourist revenue and so on. I really hope that the Brazilian people feel the benefit of hosting a great World Cup.

For context, this thread was open in the middle of the quarter final round, before we knew exactly who would be in the semi-finals, before the shocking 7-1 defeat of Brazil by Germany, and before the intense final which Germany ultimately won, allowing them to lift the trophy for the fourth time. Watch out Brazil – Germany could equal your World Cup winning record soon!

So, here are your comments. As ever, it’s great to be able to read out your contributions and I hope you all enjoy listening to messages from around the world. You can read all these (corrected) comments on teacherluke.co.uk. Just find the page for this episode. You can read phrases there and pick them up. In fact, there are a number of great phrases in this episode – either related to football, or phrases you can also use to talk about other things. Why don’t you listen, read and try to pick out some good phrases and expressions as you come across them?

My Original Comment
The new World Cup thread is now open!
Leave your comments about the World Cup here and I will read them out in a podcast episode.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
1. Which team do you think will win?
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far?
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition?
4. What are some of the best moments so far?
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
6. Any other comments?

Elena Nedyalkova
“If Italy wins the World Cup – free pizza
If Germany wins the World Cup – free beer
If Netherlands wins the World Cup – free weed
GO COLOMBIA!!! ” :)))))
June 30, 2014 at 11:56 am #6883

Hello Luke,
I have been enjoying the world cup. Some matches have really surpassed all my expectations. It is really exciting to see Latin American teams go crazy when they win or lose. It is always so emotional. Football is a beautiful game indeed.
1. Which team do you think will win?
Like I said in the first thread, I still think Argentina and Holland are strong favourites. I’m not going to write off Germany and Brazil because they both might get very far. On the other hand, I don’t think France will get too far. With a bit of luck they will get knocked out by Nigeria.
 I’m now most definitelly rooting for Costa Rica. It’s so spectacular that a small nation like that can beat big football nations just because they stick to good tactics and give it everything on the pitch. The Costa Ricans work their socks off in every game. They truly have won my supporter’s heart.
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far?
 Number one star so far is James Rodriguez from Colombia. He has scored 5 goals in 4 matches already and the one against Uruguay was one of the best goals I have ever seen. Other stars are Roben from Holland (despite his diving), Neymar from Brazil (despite his diving and ridilous penalty style). I also think that stars don’t always win matches (and neither do moons). The team spirit is more important. A balanced team like Germany might well go all the way.
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition?
 I am sorry Luke but it is definitelly the fiasco of England, as well as Italy and Spain.
 Another thing that struck me is how strong all the team from both American continents are. Even the USA. I have to aplogize to all Americans. I said previously that they cannot play football or soccer or whatever. Well, turns out they can. Tactically, they have been very good so far. I wonder how much it is due to Jurgen Klinsmann. He seems to to have played a major role in this US team renaissance.
4. What are some of the best moments so far? 
Loads of amazing goals and good shots into the woodwork. I most enjoyed some of the long range goals like the Rodríguez one. And generally the fact that so many goals have been scored up to now. Defensive football is on they wane, hopefully.
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
 It has to be the Suarez bite. It’s a shame that one of the best players in the world cup, the one who alone managed to send the England national team home, does something indecent and inhumane like that. It’s the third time he has done this in his career.
 Yet, ironically I feel sorry for him. The suspension is a massive loss for the tournament itself and the major reason Uruguay didn’t stand a chance against Colombia. Clearly he just can’t control his emotions, or you think he might really be a vampire? And why on earth did he hold his teeth like that right after the incident? Like they hurt or something? I mean, if you are a vampire, you might as well do your business in a professional manner. 
I will repeat myself but I can’t help not include the diving phenomoneon among my worst momnents so far. I am absolutely fed up with with all the divers. I mean, come on guys, why don’t you take your bloody snorkels, flippers or fins or whatchamacallit and go diving in your natural habitat, to the sea or lake? Like I said in my previous contribution, divers such as Roben or Suarez are just a disgrace to football. And I reckon we are going to see more of this.
6. Any other comments? 
Luke, could you please stop justifying that you do so many episodes about football? A, it is “way above justifiable”, you are English and you love football and most of the planet loves it. B, Your listeners will be happy whatever you say on the podcast and C, I am sure that your football episodes will defnitely attract more and more listeners. 
Let’s all enjoy the rest of the tournament.
 I’m already excited about today’s games.
Zdenek (Czech Republic)
June 30, 2014 at 4:37 pm #6894

Robert Strzelecki
Hi Luke! 
I come from Poland. My country unfortunately did not qualify for the World Cup, so I had to choose another country to support. I really like watching Germany. They always are determined and focused on their aim.
1. Which team do you think will win?
Before the World CUp I had four favourites: Brazil, Germany, Uruguay and Argentina. I predicted Spain would not play well because of being burnt out (Spain has won everything recently). I thought that teams from South America would have a big advantage because of the climate. My prediction was right. From South America only Ecuador did not qualify. From Europe Only 6 of 13 teams qualified for the last 16. Now I think that the main favourite is Germany. Germany plays very well and I predict the most important match for Germany would be with Brazil in the semi-final. The second semi final I think will be between Argentina and Netherlands but it’s really difficult to say who will win.
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far?
 I think one of the stars is Joel Campbell from Costa Rica. He was from me completely unknown before the World Cup. But He showed that he can play football. Even Arsene Wenger said He wants him to come back to Arsenal from Piraeus. 
Second is the Mexico goalkeeper: Guilllermo Ochoa. He had a few fantastic saves. He was like a wall against Brazil. I am sure that he would not have any problems to find a new club.
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition? The first thing is unfortunately the referees` mistakes. They have made a lot of obvious mistakes: a penalty to brazil, offside to Bosnia & Herzegovina, non given penalty to Netherlands and when Robben was not fouled the referee gave a penalty.
 I have to admit that the best referee so far is Howard Webb even though my country was cheated by him during European Championship in Austria and Switzerland. When he gave an absurd penalty in 90 minutes against Poland. 
Webb did not make any mistakes in the match between Brazil and Chile, although He had some difficult decisions to make.
 I was suprised positively by: Costa Rica, Algiera, Chile and Iran. I was so disappointed after the Brazil and Chile match. Chile played amazingly. They did not calculate, they were not afraid of Brazil. They thought only about winning.
4. What are some of the best moments so far? It’s hard to say one the best moment of World Cup. The whole World Cup is amazing. Almost all the matches were fantastic.
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
I think that first is Cameroon`s attitite to the World CUp. They wanted to play for their country only for money. When somebody is called up, He should not think about money, sb should think about how to win. 
Second is definitely Suarez but I think that FIFA gave him too strict a punishment. He should have been fined 2 months without football. 4 months is too long.
June 30, 2014 at 4:49 pm #6895

Andrus Rosenfeld
Hi Luke, 
the World Cup has been amazingly good and entertaining so far. We have seen many nice goals (and yes Luke,girls too),lots of colourful fans and some episodes of cannibalism as a cherry on top. I really like this bloke Suarez..he’s got great teeth and besides this biting fetish he’s been able to play football too.
Of course,sorry about the Three Lions fiasco Luke. There’s always next time for England…
1. Which team do you think will win? 
I still believe that Germany will go all the way,but Brasil and Netherlands
 look strong too. And who knows, maybe Costa Rica will blow a surprise bomb this year.
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far? 
In my previous post I guessed that the star of the world cup would be van Persie, but now I’m not so sure about that anymore. As Zdenek mentioned in his post, James Rodriguez has played brilliant football and scored one really stunning goal. And he is so young, 22 years old only… great future ahead of him I hope.
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition?
 There have been lots of surprises in this tournament. The biggest one in my opinion is Costa Rican success so far.
4. What are some of the best moments so far? 

Best moments…hmmm…I think that will be the first goal van Persie scored against Spain – an impressive diving header. That was really beautiful.
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion? 

There aren’t many of them. In some games the referees acted weirdly, especially in yesterdays game Netherlands vs Mexico, where the referee gave a penalty after Robben’s five-star diving performance. But overall, I’m happy.
6. Any other comments?
 In one of your World Cup episodes you told us the story of how you met Frank Lampard in the loo the other day. I experienced the same situation some time ago, not with mr Lampard of course, but my co-urinator was former Derby County and Sunderland much loved goalie and Estonian former goalkeeper Mart Poom aka Poominator. By the way, after he moved from Derby to Sunderland, he actually SCORED a last minute equaliser against his old team, Derby County on 20th of september 2003. Goalies don’t score much usually as you know… but Poominator did that. You can check this out if you like. 

Enjoy the rest of the tournament everyone!

June 30, 2014 at 6:22 pm #6898

1. Which team do you think will win?
~ Argentina
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far?
~ James Rodriguez
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition?
~ It surprised me that teams like Spain, England, Portugal and Italy: four good teams are out.
4. What are some of the best moments so far?
~ “Robin can Fly” When the Dutch scored a stunning goal against Spain.
~ Miguel Herrera, Mexico’s coach with his emotional celebrations… Funny guy 
~ James Rodriguez of the Colombian team celebrates by salsa dancing with teammates after scoring his first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
~ Luis Suarez and his bites.
6. Any other comments?
~ Amazing stadiums in 2014 World Cup Brazil
July 1, 2014 at 8:19 am #6899

Mohammed K.
1. Which team do you think will win?
 I think Germany / the Netherlands (but I hope brazil or Argentina).
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far?
 There are more than one, but Neymar And Messy are the best in my opinion .
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition? 
Stadums in Brazil are good and more than what we expected .
4. What are some of the best moments so far?
 Watching excited beautiful girls supporting their teams !!
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion? 
The worst thing is: missing great teams like Italy , Spain and England in round 16
6. Any other comments? 
Could you please give us some information about football history (when it was invented and who invented it and what are the reasons behind its popularity in your opinion?
 And why do you think it’s very popular in south America and Europe but less in Asia and north America? (is it a big question? )
 And by the way, how can I modify my comments if I want ? Is it possible ?
July 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm #6907

Hi dear teacher Luke, 
Glad we’re moving on with this kind of episode.
1. Which team do you think will win?
- Sadly, all those I rooted for earlier lost except for Brazil and they’ve been fantastic so far, so I hope Brazil wins. Or Costa Rica.
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far?
- I don’t really see them as some sort of stars. Don’t like that term ’cause it can have negative connotations. And being referred as a ‘star’ often turns them into some arrogant prima donnas or untouchable idols who then usually get carried away with fame, money and everything, so we have divers, ‘ballet dancers’ time wasters… or even ‘Hannibal Lectors’ on the pitch and that can be pretty annoying to watch. Excellent football players who can focus on the game and do what they came for – yes. Frankly, I admire goalkeepers like Ochoa, Navas and Cesar. Also Neymar (Brazil) is great and I’d rather call those colorful fans in the stadiums ‘stars’ (in a positive way). They seem more interesting sometimes than all the divers together.
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition?
- I was very surprised by some referees who appeared to be so unjust thinking we were all blind and had no clue about what a penalty is and what it’s not, what’s clear goal, foul… Com’ on people! I’m a girl and they couldn’t fool me, not to mention you men and hard core football fans who know much more. 
Oh, Costa Rica also surprised me. They’re gooooood! Yeah!
4. What are some of the best moments so far?
- Cracking goals by Brazilians and Costa Ricans. Plus every penalty there was so far, even the missed ones.
- Slow motion parts that show funny gestures on footballers’ faces and their weird body moves. Priceless!
- I found only a few of those lads there handsome and cute, but I forgot their names. Oops!
 And again: BiH in World Cup 2014 for the first time ever. Ole!
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
- Referees made so many mistakes. Technology should be introduced so that they can’t dictate the final result. I wish I was wrong, but I’m afraid the mistakes still being made were precalculated and agreed on beforehand. At first Croatia was robbed in the first game against Brazil, Iran was robbed against Argentina, Bosnia was robbed against Nigeria, USA was robbed against Portugal… do I need to go on?! And sadly, there will be more such things that kill joy and fun. Don’t you think it is better to lose fair than win cheating?
 My country’s team was disqualified unfairly by an obvious mistake by the ref. – the crystal clear goal by Edin Džeko was chalked off for offside. 
Really?! Oh, leave it out, will you! 
And that was, of course, just one of the horrible decisions in that game. To be honest, our coach made a few mistakes, players made a few mistakes, weather conditions were bad, BUT – that was a clear goal.
 Also a goal for Nigeria is still debatable, but many people say it was actually a foul.
 Later BiH won in their third match 3:1, so if that clear goal had been allowed by ref. Bosnia’d be in 1/8 and who knows what else might have happened. And that’s just one of the examples, so who wouldn’t be cheesed off after all that!?! 
Anyway, chin up and move on. 
One more thing, the stadiums are splendid + it all looks spectacular, but too much money has been spent on them… too much.
6. Any other comments?
- About Suarez: he is a very good football player and it’s such a pity he got so low and repeated the same mistake again. No doubt he needs professional help. It’s sad. I feel for both, him and that Italian he bit. And bella Italia lost too – oh dear! 
When this all ends soon I’ll go on vacation to finally REST!!! Yippeee! 
Greetings from Bosnia!
July 1, 2014 at 10:15 pm #6910

Hi Luke,
Thank you so much for reading out my comment! I really felt honoured and I couldn’t help smiling, although I was on the train again when I heard it and to the people around me I must have looked a little bit like an idiot somehow. But then I immediately got addicted to hearing you read out my comments, so here’s another one …
1. Which team do you think will win? 
Basically I don’t dare to say it out loud, but as it’s, strictly speaking, not me who is actually saying it, I may be able to write it only once and as quiet as I can: us (Germany).
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far?
 I’d still vote for Guillermo Ochoa, the Mexican keeper at this point, but I totally agree with you: Rais M’Bolhi, the Algerian keeper, was brilliant, yesterday. Really impressive. The German media all idolised Maunel Neuer [pronounced “noyer”] for saving our neck yesterday, but in my opinion he played way too dangerously and had had more than just a little bit of dumb-luck that the Algerians weren’t able to take advantage of the empty goal at least once. (I’m afraid I need a little bit of language coaching here, is that right? Two “hads” and all that? And even more important: does it still sound natural that way? I wrote it intuitively and now I have no idea where to look up such a complicated sentence.)
Here’s a corrected version: he played way too dangerously and had more than just a little bit of dumb-luck in that the Algerians weren’t able to take advantage of the empty goal at least once.
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition? 
Spain, England, Italy. And Joachim Löw (or as i like to call him: J-LÖ), when he selected Shkodran Mustafi for our team. Mustafi plays for Sampdoria Genua and hardly anyone in Germany knows him.
4. What are some of the best moments so far?
 The Interview Per Mertesacker gave to the German media yesterday right after the Match was simply brilliant. He got really annoyed by the stupid questions the reporter was asking and he didn’t try to hide it. (You can read it here: http://www.soccerladuma.co.za/news/articles/teams/germany/per-mertesacker-relived-after-germany-beat-algeria/167744)
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
 As you mentioned earlier, it’s the fact that the money spent on the event is desperately needed everywhere else in Brazil. And even worse, everybody knows that FIFA are sucking out the last drop of whatever they can get from a country that’s hosting the world cup, and nobody is actually leaning up against it. Once the first game is kicked off, we all (and that includes myself as well) get hypnotised by the goings-on on the pitch and we keep losing track of what’s going on as a whole. Then FIFA pack up, literally leaving scorched earth, and take our attention with them wherever they head for and nobody cares about the social conditions in Brazil anymore after the world cup has moved elsewhere. I really hope, that the cycle can be broken someday. (Can I say it like that? I’ve looked up “Teufelskreis” – literally it would be translated to “devil’s circle” – and I found “catch-22″, “doom loop”, “vicious circle”, “break the cycle” and a few other things, but i still wonder which one might be a common expression. What’s “catch-22″ anyway?).
 ,A vicious circle – that’s the best one.
. Any other comments? 
Oh yes. I almost forgot: You’ve talked a little bit about donations. And I’ve got something to say to all the LEPpers out there: I can recommend to all of you, who can afford a little donation: donate to Luke’s English Podcast! You will enjoy listening to Luke even more!
July 2, 2014 at 4:45 am #6911

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Klinger Wilkson
1. Which team do you think will win?
Brazil !!!!!!!!!!!
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition?
the tournament is definitely full of surprises, teams that we were not expecting to be strong enough are now proving us wrong, and playing in the same level as the strongest teams, I reckon
6. Any other comments? 
I would just like to thank you, because I never had a chance before. Your podcast has been my main resource of english and has helped me a lot. when i started listening to it i was just able to understand a few words , and now I still face difficulties but I can understand most of it, and it’s a big achievement for me. I owe it to you. 
Thank you very much

July 2, 2014 at 7:53 pm #6916

Hi Dear teacher Luke,
Brazil was about to lose the penalties against chile. I’m not their fan but 
I am happy that they are still in competition. Can you imagine a world cup 
without England, Italy , spain and Brazil?
 I believe that a final match between Brazil and Netherlands can be 
the most exciting final.
Who is The star? and what is the best moment so far? 
I never forget what luis suarez did and 
the scene when Chiellini (italian player) tried to show his shoulder to the
 What would you do if someone bit you while playing!!?? 
It’s interesting that I heard he is going to play in Barcelona after 4 months!! It’s funny.
 And I want to say that I am writing From Iran. I’m sure that you have never been to Iran. 
I personaly have listened to all of your podcasts. We like you and respect you a lot.
Best Wishes
July 3, 2014 at 7:50 am #6921

Hi Luke, I’m Vaibhav from India. You are right we are pretty bad at playing football, but we compensate that by winning the cricket world cup 2011.
1. Which team do you think will win?
 I think we will see Germany vs. Netherland in final.
2. Who is the star of this world cup so far?
 James Rodriguez from Colombia. He is at the top of the table for the Golden Boot Award.
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition? 
When underdog teams like Costa Rica, Colombia & Belgium qualified for the quater final. I would love to see atleast one of them in semi finals.
4. What are some of the best moments so far? 
Best moment will be if Luke presents the trophy to the winning team in Brazil. That will be great.
5. What are the worst things about this world cup in your opinion? 
Three worst things are:
 time wasting, fake injuries and putting too much pressure on players by their local media.
6. Any other comments
How is your brother James? Is he fully recovered from his shoulder injury? & Is he enjoying world cup or just stop watching it after England…
Thanx Luke
July 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm #6981


Which team do you think will win?
Well I’m not so sure now, but I think Netherlands team will win.
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far? 
Lionel Messi
What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
 I don’t know really but I think in 2010 I was so excited for the world cup and this year it’s still not exciting. Maybe because it’s a predictable competition.
6. Any other comments?
Thank you for reading out my previous comment but I’m a girl you said “He” last episode Jilmani is my surname and my name’s JAWZA it means ‘Gemini‘ in English.
July 8, 2014 at 8:35 am #7017

Luke Thompson
Sorry Jilmani! I’ll get it right next time
July 7, 2014 at 3:20 am #6991

Hello Luke, I am originally Russian-Ukrainian from Argentina, so basically I´ve been rooting for Argentina from the start.
1. Which team do you think will win? 
I´ll be happy with either Argentina, since I live here, or Germany, cuz they are amazing and I love the way they conduct and play on the pitch not to mention the fact I love this country and their language so badly. They both have the potential to win.
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far? 
James Rodriguez
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition? 
The way Belgium performed (cool guys)
4. What are some of the best moments so far? 
Both surprised and amused – the elimination of Spain, Italy and Portugal. Surprised because they are kinda super famous football teams, and even though I do not have anything against those countries, I was pleased to see those primadonas being out, they’re not as cool as they think they are.
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
 The amount of money being spent on it, the football is amazing, but not that important to be valued more than the people´s primary needs.
6. Any other comments? 
Earlier this month I went to Ecuador, and an amazing thing was I noticed that the day Ecuador was playing half the country virtually didn´t work, and the day they won, it was an unofficial day off for everybody.
July 8, 2014 at 11:10 pm #7022

At this point, Germany defeated Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final.
Luke Thompson
Words that come to mind:

The game turned so quickly. 5 goals in about 30 minutes. Brazil collapsed after the first goal. They seemed to completely lose themselves. Mentally, they were defeated after 3 goals. Germany were excellent, and their teamwork shone brilliantly as they dismantled Brazil on the counter attack. I thought that Germany was going to keep scoring. For a moment I was concerned that there was going to be a dangerous reaction from angry supporters. In fact, so far the fans are just upset and hurt rather than enraged.
This result was a combination of a Brazilian collapse and a stunning display of teamwork by the Germans.

This is the biggest humiliation in international football that Brazil has ever experienced. I look at images of the audience in tears; kids crying, people in floods of tears and it’s actually very moving. I can’t help feeling sorry for everyone. I realise that Brazil actually did very well to get to the semi-finals (much better than England for example) but this massive defeat, in this manner, at home – it must be terribly painful. I can’t say for sure how it feels for the Brazilians, I’m just speculating really but it seems to have been a pretty powerful blow. I’ve always admired Brazil for it’s passionate footballing spirit. It’s clear that it’s a very emotional thing for the Brazilians, so I feel the pain. This game is going to haunt Brazil for years. They’re still getting over losing the 1950 World Cup final at home. This is worse than that I think. The players may never live it down. I feel sorry for them. It’s a lot of pressure to carry on your shoulders. Thank goodness Brazil didn’t lose to a neighbouring country because that would have made it more humiliating.
What happened to the team?
 First of all, it was not the strongest Brazilian team we’ve seen. Neymar is brilliant, but you need more strength in the team as a whole. After all, it is a team game. When Neymar was injured and was unable to play I think that must have been like a punch in the stomach for the other players. Then their captain Tiago Silva was not allowed to play due to receiving 2 yellow cards in the previous two games. To an extent he let the side down. The team badly missed the leadership of their captain, and the mental security of having these two key players on the pitch. This meant that they were not quite mentally prepared for the pressure of this game. 
So, lesson learned: Don’t rely of individuals. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

This is an example of how Germany has developed a great team, and a great footballing infrastructure. What a great example of team work. They were amazing on the counter attack. Without wishing to perpetuate stereotypes, this is a perfect example of German efficiency and pragmatism. It shows that football is a team sport. The team is bigger than any individual stars. I think this team is now a formidable force, and this is modern football at its best. 
The Germans in Brazil must have felt almost embarrassed or sheepish, especially the players on the pitch. The final whistle must have been a relief, in a way, because they must have felt a bit embarrassed about humiliating Brazil at home like that, although they must have been delighted too – of course. Still, they deserve the victory. They were brilliant.

On balance – Brazil, please don’t feel too bad. You’ve still won 5 World Cups. Some countries have never won, and some countries hardly ever get into the cup in the first place. 
All in all, I feel sorry for the Brazilian team. Sure, they were responsible for their defeat, but I hope the country gives them a chance and doesn’t treat them too harshly. All they wanted was to bring joy to the hearts of their people, and in the end they just caused them emotional pain. Scolari will probably take responsibility for this.

On Facebook I’ve been saying “Welcome to the club” for every team that gets knocked out. “Welcome to the club” is a phrase you can use to say “me too”, especially if more than one person is involved. For example, I’ve just been told that I have to wait here for another hour before seeing the doctor – “yeah, welcome to the club. We’ve been here for an hour and a half”. In this case, it was a club of teams that had been knocked out, starting with Spain, Portugal and England. Some of the original members of this esteemed club, which grew and grew during the competition. Sorry if my comments seem flippant (which means making light of serious things, perhaps when you shouldn’t). I’m just kidding, but really – if your team has been knocked out, you are in a club of friendly people who know how you feel.


Has Brazil’s great history has perhaps caused the Brazilians to get complacent? Has the Brazilian football bubble burst?
 Who is going to win this World Cup? Can the Netherlands or Argentina stop Germany? Don’t forget about Messi!
 If Argentina win this World Cup, will this make things even worse for Brazil?

July 9, 2014 at 9:41 am #7029


Now the best moment for me is defenitally the game of Germany against Brazil, 7 goals in just a semi-finall!!! That´s impressve!!! Germany, ole, ole!!!!

July 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm #7023

Wow! I’m over the moon! What a game!
 I expected that the Germans would beat the Brazilians in the semifinal, but 5-0 at half time and 7-1 at full time… I didn’t see that coming. In addition, Klose manage to beat “Fat” Rolando’s record by scoring his 16th goal in any world cup.
 I mentioned before that the Germans play as a team and not based on one or two stars… so, in this game it was clear to see. Players without an ego, a team that shares the ball and wins as a team. Well done.
 So, let’s get down to business… my answers to your questions:
1. Which team do you think will win? 
Germany, I hope that they mange to win the final against whomever it will be. I think they deserve it.
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far?
 The Germans as a team! 
I think that football should be more about teams and less about individuals. After all, football is not tennis.
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition?
 Although that there were a lot of surprising things in this world cup, I think that the most surprising thing is the fact that Spain didn’t manage to pass the group stage.
4. What are some of the best moments so far? 
The first half of the Germany-Brazil semifinal match… watching a team score 5 goals in 30 minutes! It was priceless! As a fan of Germany’s national team, it was delightful!
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion? 
You talked a lot about the money spending… I agree that this subject is a bit controversial. There are lots of issues, in Brazil but all around the world as well. As a middle-east citizen, I think that there are major problems that the world needs to deal with without getting too much into politics… I don’t think that Luke’s English podcast should be the place to debate about it, at least not in this episode. [I hope the world can focus on fixing problems with similar amounts of interest and intensity as we focus on the World Cup]
6. Any other comments?
 I have a question about the phrase “at the time”. In world cup thread number one, I wrote “at the time” and you corrected it to “at one time”. Generally speaking I use this phrase when I would like to refer to action that had been made in the past (more or less like “once upon a time” that used in fairy tale) 
Do I use it wrongly? Is “at the time” is a phrase at all? If yes, how should I use it correctly? 
Anyhow, as usual I would like to thank you a lot for teaching us English. I really appreciate the fact you do it.
Yaron (Israel).
“At the time” – use this phrase when referring to a time you have already mentioned. Use “at one time” when you haven’t mentioned the past period at all – no context has been given, and there’s nothing to refer back to. “At the time” – here you’re using ‘the’ and this refers to something that’s already been stated. E.g. “Did I ever tell you about when I met David Beckham? I was living in Japan at the time.” (Here we’ve already established a past event, and ‘the’ is referring back to that)
“At one time I didn’t know anything about grammar at all, but now I know quite a lot.” (Here we use ‘one’ because it’s the first time you’re referring to a past moment, and so it’s just one of many. It’s a bit like the difference between using “a/an” and “the”)

July 9, 2014 at 12:05 am #7024

Mohammed K.
 – Unbelievable !
 What happened to Brazil??
 I think Germany won not because they are very strong , but because Brazil were very weak, especially the defence line .
I was about to cry !!
It’s a shock for brazil lovers around the world !
July 9, 2014 at 9:22 am #7028

Haya? Well. Despite being so passionate about Brazilian football I have to admit that the Germans taught us a great lesson yesterday. In addition they were relentless, organized, more focused and they definitely deserved to go through. Well done Germans! As for Brazil, the fat lady has sung, sorry.

 [It’s not over until the fat lady sings] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_ain’t_over_till_the_fat_lady_sings This refers to stereotyped images of operas (perhaps German ones) which often culminate with a final aria by a fat female character. The opera isn’t finished until the fat lady sings. We use it in football to say “There’s still time for this game to change, so don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”
July 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm #7032

Justice, Luke, justice. I think Germany deserve to win the World Cup, why? Because they have won because of their skills and football not because of the referees help. Anyway I’m from Mexico and we still can’t get over it, it wasn’t a penalty.

 [Referring to the Robben dive & penalty against Mexico]
July 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm #7033

Hi again,
That match between Brazil and Germany last night was a massacre. That HURT! Well, the Brazil team was weakened without Neymar and Silva, but the result SEVEN! : 1 was beyond my expectations. I couldn’t help not to start laughing after the third goal and the rest of the game seemed like “not suitable for children under 14″.
 I must admit I feel sorry for all Brazilian fans. It looked like a living nightmare for them and sadly, so many hearts were broken last night. Also being a host and competing must have been a heavy burden to carry. I’d just say it’s football. It happens to the best, if that helps. Sorry Brazilians! 
Whoever gets to play against Germany – watch out! 
Luke, did you notice how their players reacted after they received that one goal, despite the result of 7:1? Like: “What?! who’s fault was it? How could we allow that? Grrrrr…”
 That’s the winning mentality that many footballers lacked so far. Respect and salute! Also a lesson to other coaches about how they should prepare their teams before any game.
 You wrote: “The team is bigger than any individual stars.” I was saying that before ’cause I totally agree. 
I think I’ll watch the remaining games just for entertainment and good sport. And I hope nobody gets a heart attack or anything.
 May the best team win. 
P.S. I also thought Jilmani is HE and not SHE. Hahahaha… Hello Jilmani! Glad there are more girls on this topic!
July 9, 2014 at 8:26 pm #7034

More questions.. more answers: 
Has Brazil’s great history perhaps caused the Brazilians to get complacent? 
I don’t think it is about getting complacent, it is the about the absence of leadership. After the first goal, The Brazilians got a punch in their stomach, but they still functioned more or less, but after the second goal they totally collapsed. In my opinion, it was mainly because Neymar and/or Da Silva weren’t on the pitch. I think that absence of the talent of these players was not as important as the leadership of these players. No one in the Brazil team had faith that they could win at this point, and they were missing a leadership player that could encourage the team members (by saying stuff like that it still possible, that there still a chance to win). 
Has the Brazilian football bubble burst? 
No, I think that Brazil was and will be one of the top-ten teams. They have a lot of talent and a lot of passion to the game. In my opinion, if someday someone teaches them the meaning of synergy, than they will have it all (Talent, passion & team play) 
Who is going to win this World Cup? Can the Netherlands or Argentina stop 
Germany? Don’t forget about Messi!
For sure, whoever will play against Germany in the final will be the underdog, but after all it is football, you can never know… all the options are still open. Whatever will happen, I really hope that it will be a fair game.
 If Argentina win this World Cup, will this make things even worse for Brazil?
 I think that the Brazilians hit rock bottom yesterday, and it can’t be worse than that. So my answer is no.
 I would say at this point that I really feel sorry for the Brazilians and it really was uncomfortable watching Brazil supporters broken up as well as watching the Brazilian players cry at the end of the game. 
By the way: what’s the story with all these rainy men?… football players are men, aren’t they?… is football is about diving and crying? Shouldn’t it be a tough game? Just kidding… it’s just me writing nonsense… :) 
Ok, in about an half hour the next semifinal will kick off. Whatever will happen in it and whatever will happen in the finals, I remind to all of us (winner and loser): Always look at the bright side of life  
Thanks again and bye bye bye bye 
July 10, 2014 at 2:36 pm #7036

In response to the utterance that Brazil got weakened without Neymar, that’s, I think, a good wake up call for them – not to put all your expectation on just one player, this is a team sport, there should be a strong team, not just one person.
By the way, I wonder why your country, Luke, is represented by just England, not the UK, not the Great Britain?
July 10, 2014 at 4:46 pm #7037
[The UK is actually a union of four countries and in most sports the players represent one of those 4 countries, except in the Olympics]

Hello teacher Luke, I’m Luciana from Brasil = )
1. Which team do you think will win? I hope Argentina. Nothing can be worse to Brasil than what happened in the semi-final. Having said that, I hope that Argentina can honour Latin America.
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far? 
Costa Rica’s team. ahahahah
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
 1- That it is happening here in Brasil (for the well known reasons) 
2- Ronaldo as commentator (someone said that with two more remarks he will equal Pelé’s stupidity record)
 3- Costa Rica’s elimination
 4- Brasil fans booing the team when it’s losing. 
6. Any other comments? 
What I really came here to tell you is this: Do you know who is to blame for that disastrous Germany 7×1 Brasil? Mick Jagger.
 Brasil losing the match is not his fault, but since I’ve seen the promotional video about Monty Phyton’s reunion, and noticed that Mick Jagger was watching a football match narrated by one of the most known (and most disliked) brasilian football narrators, Galvão Bueno, I sensed disaster…
ps. Just so you know, it’s a well known fact here in Brazil that everytime Mick declares his support for Brasil, the team loses the match. He is what we call “pé-frio” (cold feet in a direct translation, someone who gives bad luck to others).
July 13, 2014 at 4:12 am #7039

jhon vidal 

hi, Luke Fluke! I remember in one of your old podcasts you mention that. Haha, 
I´m just kidding!! I’d like to congratulate you on your great podcast because I’ve listened to it for 1 year and a half and it has helped me a lot. Thanks!!
 Sorry for all my typing errors.
 By the way I am Jhon from mexico!
1. Which team do you think will win?
 obviously Germany.
2. Who is the star of the World Cup so far?
 I think Mullen from Germany
3. What has surprised you the most in this competition?
Big teams have not passed next round such as a Spain, Portugal, England, Italy and
 many South American teams qualified such as Costa Rica and the most recent disappointment of Brazil. Nobody expected this final result 7-1.
4. What are some of the best moments so far? Well, the most recent has been the good game of Germany because the game Holland vs Argentina for me was a little boring.
5. What are the worst things about this World Cup in your opinion?
 Let me see… I think the bite of Luis Suarez, the acting or performances by Robben and the refereeing in some games.
6. Any other comments? 
I hope Germany win because this is the team that I support after eliminated Mexico. It 
would be nice if you did a podcast on schools in Uk because I´m interested in studying in a school in the Uk. 
Also it would be good to upload videos on youtube as you did in the interviews in london.
 By the way you’ve got a good sense of humor I laugh a lot with your sarcasm – hilarious!! haha 
thanks for all Luke!!

July 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm #7041

Hello Luke
Unfortunately , it is time to say goodbye to World Cup 2014 , which was amazingly eventful and entertaining. Today’s final match is going to be fascinating , because in my opinion even if everybody bets on the German team, I think there is no favourite in such an important game , both teams have equal chance to win . Before the first Argentina match I was worried about their defence but now it turned out that they have probably the best defence , led by Javier “Rambo” Mascherano I can’t wait to see Leo Messi with the World Cup ! My prediction : Argentina will win in a penalty shootout. 
PS . Don’t worry Brazil ! It could be worse…. actually…no it couldn’t
July 15, 2014 at 11:00 am #7043

Luke Thompson
Hello, this thread is now closed and I plan to upload a podcast with your comments in the next day or two.
Thanks for commenting!
If you have other comments to make, you can write in other forum threads.

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.

Small Donate Button
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.