Tag Archives: world cup

540. What’s Up? Post World Cup / News / LEP Meetup London / Super Mario Earworms

Giving some news, summing up the World Cup, England out, France win, and some chat about music that gets stuck in your head. Get some English stuck in your head with this episode. Transcript available!

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Episode Transcript

Here it is, your regular dose of English listening practice.

The theory, the science, the method:
Listen regularly
Listen longer
Listen long term
Don’t stop! (e.g. when it gets difficult)
In time the results will be obvious to you.
Compound effect.
Time + practice + positivity = genuine progress in English
In a natural way.
All you need is the right resource to listen to.
Something personal.
Something designed for you as a learner of English not native to an English speaking country.
Something made by someone who *might* know what they’re doing!
Someone with the teaching qualifications, but also the experience of just talking to groups of people for the pure fun of it.
Something which has many episodes which you can use to get that English into your head.
Your mission is to get as much English into your head as you can – through your ears in this case, until you get to a point that you’ve heard so much that you start to get a feel for the language.
It’s like the force. You have to trust your feelings and do what you feel is right. The Jedi way – do or do not, there is no “try”.
When you do a grammar or vocabulary exercise you know the answer, by instinct, just because you feel that it’s the right answer. This feels right, that doesn’t. How can you possibly get that instinct without getting exposed to enough of the language in context?
Listen a lot, read a lot, regularly, for longer periods, long term, don’t stop and just enjoy the process.
These are the right conditions in which you can really learn English, and that’s what this podcast is all about.
Yep, this could be the resource for you.
Maybe I’m preaching to the converted, but if there are any new listeners listening to this – jump on board and get involved. Listen to the episodes, get the app, look through the archive list, star the episodes you think look interesting, listen to a bunch of them over the summer. Leave your comments in the comment section and introduce yourself to the friendly and funny people there.
This could be the thing that’s going to help you get the English that you want.
Check out my episode archive – I’ve got episodes about grammar, vocabulary, topics, conversations with guests, funny stuff, serious stuff.
And, I’ve got a premium subscription service where we take things further and really dig deep into the language, examining, uncovering, analysing, explaining, repeating the language which comes up naturally in episodes of this show made by me for you.
All the info you need is on the website of course – the episode archive, notes, transcriptions and the premium service. Teacherluke.co.uk

So, here’s your new dose of English.

What’s going on? What’s up?

LEP MEETUP LONDON
FRI 3 AUG from 2pm
Fitzroy Tavern,
16 Charlotte St,
Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LY
Email teacherzdenek@gmail.com

First thing – I need to tell you about a LEPster meetup happening in London. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to make it myself although I would love to join in if I can. But there is a meetup happening with confirmed guests already.

So, attention LEPsters in London or nearby during the summer of 2018. There’s an LEP meetup happening on Friday 3 August from 2pm in the Fitzroy Tavern, 16 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LY. Fitzrovia is a cool place, just north of Soho near Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. I used to go drinking there when I lived in London with my old mates from college. So that’s our old stomping ground.

The meetup is being organised by Zdenek Lukas, the guy behind Zdenek’s English Podcast. Zdenek is a long term fan of LEP, and a well-qualified English teacher from the Czech Republic. Every summer he goes to London and teaches intensive courses in schools there.

Zdenek is a big fan of board games, especially for learning English – which is kind of a special area of interest for some people. There is a movement in English teaching which is all about using board games. It’s a brilliant idea. Board games are interactive, they create communicative situations, they’re fun, they involve communicative objectives and all sorts of cool things which are ideal for learning English. Plus they’re a really great way for people to get together, socialise and practice. These are board games for adults of course, not kids stuff.

So, Zdenek will be in the Fitzroy Tavern from 2, joined by an English teaching friend of his from the UK (I think she’s called Claire) and some other LEPsters who I think are already confirmed. You really should join them. You won’t regret it. You’ll make instant friends and you will have an afternoon in London that you won’t forget – if you do it right, and by “do it right” I mean – be sociable, have a couple of beers, relax, let go, enjoy meeting some like minded people and have some fun and play some board games in English!

Now, Zdenek needs to know how many people are coming so he can book some tables in the pub. So, shoot him an email at teacherzdenek@gmail.com.
Wondering what to write? Just write this – Hi Zdenek, I’d like to come to the LEP meetup on 3 August. Please count me in! My name’s _____. See you there!
If you can’t be there at 2, you could probably join them later. You could ask Zdenek how long he’ll be there.
Got it?
Friday 3 Aug, from 2pm, Fitzroy Tavern, 16 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LY. Email teacherzdenek@gmail.com to let him know you’re coming.

The World Cup

So I should probably wrap up the world cup commentary that I started in June. The WC is old news now isn’t it? It’s so last week!

Anyway, let me talk about:
England vs Croatia
France’s campaign (because I live here and it got crazy)

England vs Croatia

Perhaps England underestimated Croatia.
Maybe Croatia wanted it more.
Maybe England weren’t that good in the first place, and got lucky in the tournament.
England were outclassed.
Croatia were impressive. Incredibly determined and hard working.
We expected them to be tired. We expected to be able to beat them. But they’re made of tough stuff.
Croatia’s other games went to extra time and penalties. Denmark and Russia. They must have been knackered! But they soldiered on and ultimately overcame England.
Immediately the excitement and all the renditions of “It’s coming home” stopped and it was back to normal in England, and when I say “normal” I mean the general madness of the time – with the chaos of Brexit, our government imploding on itself, Trump visiting and being greeted by 250,000 people in the street protesting against his entire existence, he visited The Queen and arrived late, making her wait over 10 minutes.
What about France and the World Cup?

France vs Belgium (I somehow forgot to say all of this in the episode!)
1 – 0
Showed France could play a different type of football. Defensive, containing the danger of Belgium’s key players.
I saw a documentary about the French team. It was great.
Amazing team spirit. Pep talks in the dressing room. A positive atmosphere from the team in general. So much better than when the French team all threw their toys out of the pram and actually went on strike against the management team. This young team are really cool and get on well.
The crowds outside our flat went mad with a lot of noise.

France vs Croatia final

Don’t underestimate Croatia. Surely they must be tired by now, but they keep fighting. So much spirit in this team.
Some say France got lucky with an own goal and a debatable penalty.
The own goal was actually a great free kick by Griezmann. It did come off the Croatian defender, but it was right in the danger zone and if it had come off anyone’s head it would have gone in. A great free kick, a little bit lucky.
But Croatia came back, controlling the game in the first half an hour.
Then France won a debatable penalty. Griezmann crossed the ball in and the defender was coming down after jumping and appeared to move his hand to the ball in the penalty area. The ref couldn’t see it properly from that angle, so he went to VAR, and then called it a penalty.
Some people are saying the ref was biased but I can completely see how they gave the penalty, but I can also see why you’d be pissed off because it is really borderline. Is it intentional or not? The hand goes to the ball. It’s really hard to tell but the more you watch it on replay the more you think the ref can’t not give it.
France score.
2 – 1
I think at this point Croatia start to get tired.
It happened, eventually. This Terminator of a team, that wouldn’t stop coming no matter how hard you hit them. The comeback kings themselves, got a bit tired. Pogba started linking up with Mbappe and causing trouble for the Croatian goalkeeper. An amazing pass from Pogba to Mbappe led to an attack where the ball bounced around just outside the box and Pogba “got hold of it” and shot, the ball rebounded off the legs of a line of Croatian players and they didn’t know where the ball had gone and you see them looking around for a moment, but which time Pogba has stepped up and with the inside of his left foot has netted it from about 20 yards out.
3 – 1
At this point France show some class and generally have some great runs. Mbappe scores one of the goals of the tournament from further away than the Pogba goal hitting it hard with a bit of finesse, low into the bottom left corner leaving the keeper miles away. Amazing.
4 – 1
Croatia at this point must be feeling pretty crushed, having given it whatever they could for the last few weeks.
Then for some reason the French goalkeeper, Lloris makes a real sandwich of a backpass and cocks it right up by basically handing it on a plate to Mandžukić who was, as ever, pressing the goalkeeper and putting him under pressure. Mandžukić just knocked it in and then it was
4-2
And maybe there was a flicker of hope at that point for Croatia but it wasn’t to be and this French team really proved themselves, time and time again.
They had the more difficult route in the tournament, compared to England. Coming up against Argentina, Uruguay, Belgium and then Croatia, compared to England’s route of Colombia (where they were basically matched – just one pen between them) and then Sweden (who didn’t seem to put up much of a fight). Only when we met a real team like Croatia or Belgium, we didn’t quite cut the mustard.

But France, were brilliant and deserved to win. The thing is about France is that they can be a bit unpredictable and sometimes loose, they can win a game in 15 minutes, by just putting together 15 minutes of play they can handle most of the pitch, especially in that attacking midfield area. They showed that they had some depth and class and could really turn it on when necessary. And a fun, positive bunch of players who have a good future ahead of them.

England too might have a good future because the team is young.

Some people are saying this world cup represents the end of the Messi/Ronaldo era and the beginning of a new generation with guys like Mbappe.

I reckon this world cup has been one of the best in ages. It looks like Russia did a great job of hosting and this will be very good for Russia’s image I expect, with more people visiting and getting an idea of what it’s really like.

But generally the world cup was ace, with some amazing goals and some surprises with big teams getting knocked out early and some new talent coming through.

Next it’s the Euros in 2020 and apparently they’re being hosted all across Europe with the final in Wembley stadium which is brilliant.

By the way, that song “It’s coming home” was written when England were hosting the Euros in 1996 and so in a sense football was coming home in that we were hosting the tournament and it was 30 years since 1966 when England won the world cup. The song is actually about always being disappointed by England but still having hope that they can play well. It’s actually a really well written song with good chord changes and lyrics.

Earworm

I have a serious ear worm going around my head.
What’s an earworm?
It’s when you have music stuck in your head. Sometimes you just wake up in the morning with a song running vividly around your head. Different songs each time usually. Throughout the world cup it was “It’s coming home” for me.
But this week I’ve had a serious earworm going on and I can’t shift it. Sometimes this is annoying, but I’m actually enjoying it.
I’ve had this all week and I’m not sure where it came from.
It’s the Super Mario Kart soundtrack from the old SNES version of the game. The original and best. Pretty much the entire thing!
In the 80s and 90s Nintendo released a series of absolutely classic games. They were quality from top to bottom. Something about Nintendo in that period just oozed quality. There was also Sega and it’s character Sonic the Hedgehog, and he was popular. A very fast hedgehog, kind of a joke. He was popular – but he couldn’t hold a candle to Mario and all the Mario games.
They breathed quality and class. Zelda too.
Visually, in terms of gameplay and also the sounds and music.
Turning on your gameboy, NES or SNES you’d instantly be greeted by an unmistakable sound – a bleep or a ding, and the Nintendo logo. Something about that dinging sound. It was just right. It was cute, it was quick, it was satisfying somehow, it was even reassuring.
Then, all the Mario games – Super Mario Brothers, and Super Mario Kart, and The Legend of Zelda were blessed with really good music and I’m being serious.
I just googled this and it turns out that was all the work of pretty much one guy, who did the music for a stunning number of classic Nintendo titles. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koji_Kondo
I’m probably being influenced heavily by nostalgia here, but I love these tunes and despite the limitations of the technology and software of the time, they were very catchy indeed, and also very melodic and jazzy with touches of bossa nova.

I spent a lot of time playing Super Mario, Mario Kart, Zelda and now a lot of that music is permanently embedded in my brain, and it just comes back at times.

This week it’s been all about Super Mario Kart.

I’ve been teaching 6 hours a day all week, working very intensively, without a moment’s rest on most days, just teaching teaching teaching. The pace and rhythm has been high and I’ve had to be very upbeat for days. Somehow this just completely suits that Mario music.
Let’s hear some.

I actually searched Spotify for the music and found an album by a band called the One Ups. It’s a whole album of Mario Kart music, performed by this band.
Let’s hear some.
This might be a trip down memory lane for some of you.
For others, you might not know these games.
But these are pretty nice tunes anyway. Probably very cheesy and I’m certain it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but let’s just take a sort of trip down memory lane.
Perhaps we can hear some of the originals too.
I actually put this music on when I’m working sometimes.

So I’ve been busy working intensively and looking after my daughter. This is why I haven’t uploaded for a while. Nearly 2 weeks without a normal episode of the podcast.

It’s July and nearly August in Paris and this is when it becomes difficult to record and upload podcasts. I’m not complaining or anything. I’m very happy. But I do want to explain that the uploading of episodes might be a little bit inconsistent over the next couple of months.
There should be premium episodes – I have to provide you with regular premium content because you’re paying for that (well, just the price of a coffee or beer per month).

But anyway, things are hectic. I’m working intensive courses all day every day in July at the BC and then August is holiday season and we’re going away to a few destinations in France.

Usually we go abroad to some far away place but this year we’re staying in France, which I’m very happy about. I want to explore more of this country, which is beautiful by the way. There are plenty of beautiful places here and I want to get to know those places, sample the local food, enjoy the weather, relax by the pool and all that. So, French holidays, mostly in the south. Probably no big adventures this time, but who knows. If there are stories, I will tell them on the podcast.

So that’s it.

3 things

If you’re in London then hang out with Zdenek and other lepsters at the Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street near Tottenham Court Road station. Let Zdenek know in advance that you’re coming with an email at teacherzdenek@gmail.com Board games, beer, pub food and good times to be had by all.
Get the LEP app for all the episodes on your phone and a whole bunch of bonus bits and pieces including grammar lessons, stories, vocabulary, jingles, phrasal verbs, videos and more.
If you want to take it to the next level and help me out with a contribution each month in return for a premium subscription you’ll get access to regular language-based episodes focusing on the things you’ve heard in conversations on this podcast. Sign up to LEP premium at www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium

This has been Luke’s English Podcast. Have yourselves a great night, regardless of what time of day it is now. I just hope you have a good night – either in the sense that the next night you have is a good one, or the more gothic sense that even during the daytime it’s night time and so you can have a good night at any time if you’re a goth.

But if you’re not a goth then have a good day either today or tomorrow.

For now,

Bye…

539. World Cup 2018 [3] Is It Coming Home?

Another football episode – but it won’t last forever! In this one I’m in England talking to my Dad and my brother about the world cup including England’s performances, penalties, World Cup songs, diving, VAR and predictions for the semi finals. Enjoy!

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Please leave your comments in the comment section. I might read them out on the podcast next time.

Football Songs

3 Lions (It’s coming home) – Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds

Lyrics genius.com/Baddiel-skinner-and-the-lightning-seeds-three-lions-lyrics

World In Motion – New Order

Lyrics genius.com/New-order-world-in-motion-lyrics

Vindaloo – Fat Les

Lyrics genius.com/Fat-les-vindaloo-lyrics

England’s Irie – Black Grape

Lyrics www.metrolyrics.com/englands-irie-lyrics-various-artists.html

Back Home – England team 1970

Lyrics genius.com/England-national-football-team-back-home-lyrics

532. A History of The World Cup

This episode is a history of The World Cup. You’ll see that it’s very long! I didn’t expect it to be this long. I hope you enjoy it! I covers all the World Cups we’ve had since 1930, focusing on the key events with a few dodgy jokes along the way. You can read 99% of the transcript on the page for this episode.

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Transcript – A History of The World Cup

You’ve probably noticed that the World Cup is starting on 14th June. I’ve received a few requests to talk about it, so here we go.

I’d like to do a few episodes about the world cup over the next few weeks, if I can, because I’m sure many of you around the world will be watching the games and getting into it. On the other hand, I’m sure some of you couldn’t give a monkey’s about football. I hope you listen anyway, and don’t throw your phone into a lake or indeed any body of water. Or anywhere. Don’t throw your phone. Just listen to this episode, you might actually enjoy it because football isn’t just about kicking a ball. It’s also about other things like scandals, corruption and geo-political maneuvering … and of course the people of the world coming together over a shared love of goals.
The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games; the cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup was estimated to be 26.29 billion with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the final match, a ninth of the entire population of the planet.
20 World Cups so far in 16 countries and that doesn’t include this year’s tournament which is the 21st World Cup so far and is, of course, taking place in Russia.
2309 goals in total so far
More stats, including teams with most victories and all-time rankings www.fifa.com/fifa-tournaments/statistics-and-records/worldcup/index.html

This year it is being hosted in Russia. It all kicks off on 14 June. But what’s the story so far? Let’s go back in time to 1930 when the first World Cup ever happened, and then go through each competition one by one and talk about some of the highlights.
I’m attempting to deal with the main points, like who won and where the competition took place, but also I’m hoping to cover some of the more interesting events, scandals, shocks, surprises and also my own personal memories of world cups too.

1930
The first World Cup took place in 1930 and was hosted by Uruguay. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France. Four days later, the first World Cup hat-trick was achieved by Bert Patenaude of the USA in the Americans’ 3–0 win against Paraguay, which just doesn’t seem right somehow – America taking part in the original tournament and a yank scoring a hat-trick? I mean, they call it soccer for goodness sake!

In the final, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo, and became the first nation to win a World Cup. Well done Uruguay.

The 1934 World Cup was hosted by Italy. Uruguay, the title holders from 1930 boycotted the 1934 World Cup because they were upset that so many European teams hadn’t attended their original world cup in 1930. Obviously, I have no idea what I’m talking about but that does sounds a bit like a teenager’s temper tantrum. Nobody came to my party so I’m not going to yours.

Italy won the tournament, beating Czechoslovakia to become the first European team to win the tournament.

1938
The 1938 World Cup competition was also held in Europe, much to the consternation of many South Americans, with Uruguay and Argentina both boycotting. The temper tantrums continued. To be fair though, it was probably a huge pain in the neck for South American teams to travel to Europe and I bet that FIFA was already following the smell of cash. Cynical? France hosted, but for the first time the hosts did not win the competition, as Italy retained their title, beating Hungary in the final by four goals to two.

Up until about 1950 the World Cup was beset by political disagreements, boycotts and of course WW2, which sort of got in the way. WW2 was a bit like the World Cup in a weird way, but a world cup of blowing each other up and dying, so not as good as the world cup at all, not even a little bit. WW2 had many many downsides, not least of which was the fact that the 1942 and 1946 World Cup football tournaments were cancelled. Everyone was too busy trying to shoot each other, let alone shoot a ball into a goal with their foot. It wasn’t until later that the World Cup managed to unite the world as it is known for doing today.

1950
Competition resumed with the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, which was the first to include British participants. “Tally ho chaps! It’s us the bloody English! Pip pip and all that! We only invented the game of football and introduced it to the world to teach old Johnny Foreigner some good old British stiff upper lip discipline! Sorry we’re late by the way everyone, had a spot of bother over there on the continent with a rather naughty chap called Hitler. Silly sod thought he could take over the world, hahaha! Anyway, looks like the rest of you have finally learned how to play football by the proper rules. Right lads – time to show planet earth a thing or two about kicking an inflated pig’s bladder around a grass rectangle. Watch out world, here we come! Better fill that World Cup full of afternoon tea what? Hahahah” High hopes for the English entering their first world cup. And what happened? Did they beat everyone in a gentlemanly like way, while bringing values of fair play and democracy wherever they went? No. THey didn’t. The English failed to make the final group round in a campaign that included a 1–0 loss to the United States. Very humiliating, and very symbolic.
“Oh, jolly good America, right, of course, let the yanks have a crack at the old world domination so to speak – just, hand over the reigns there to old Dwight Eisenhower and his boys. Jolly good, carry on… yep, British Empire? What? No, we’re just clearing up a few things here, nothing to see. Carry on yes!”

Eastern European countries (such as Hungary, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia – yes, this Wikipedia article that I’ve adapted here does consider The Soviet Union to be “an Eastern European country”) did not enter. Title-holder Italy did take part, despite the Superga air disaster of 1949 in which the entire Grande Torino team (many who were national team players) were killed. Uruguay were surprise victors over hosts Brazil (in a match which would later be known as Maracanazo) and became champions for the second time. Another good result for Uruguay. If they keep up this level of form they might be in with a chance this year.

It must have been a nasty shock for Brazil, and the stadium must have been filled with Brazilian supporters.

When the match ended, people said the stadium was filled with “disturbing and traumatic absolute silence”,[10][11] except for the euphoria and celebration of the Uruguayan players and delegation.

Apparently the defeat still haunts Brazil to this day. The term “Phantom of ’50” was later used to refer to the fear that Brazilians and Brazil national football team feel of the Uruguay national football team due to this loss. Each time Brazil and Uruguay play at Maracanã Stadium, the theme resurfaces.

India were also supposed to play in the 1950 World Cup but apparently they had to withdraw because they weren’t allowed to play barefoot. They had no boots and actually expected to play with completely bare feet, which, presumably, was how they used to play in India back then.

1954
The 1954 World Cup, held in Switzerland, was the first to be televised. The Soviet Union did not participate because of their dismal performance at the 1952 Summer Olympics. I’m not sure why this meant that they couldn’t take part in the world cup. Maybe they briefly forgot how to run or something.

Scotland made their first appearance in the tournament, but were unable to register a win, going out after the group stage, setting a precedent for the rest of their international career, which is generally marked by nothing in particular except for a great goal by Archie Gemmill, but other than that Scotland’s international career has been quite crap, which is probably England’s fault somehow.

West Germany were the tournament winners, defeating Olympic champions Hungary 3–2 in the final, coming back from being 2-0 down. The match is known as the Miracle of Bern in Germany, although Bern actually is in Switzerland.

Well, I mean, in Germany it’s known as The Miracle of Bern.

1958
Brazil made up for their crushing defeat in 1950 and won the 1958 World Cup, held in Sweden, and became the first team to win a World Cup outside their home continent (only 3 teams have done this to date – Brazil in 1958, 1970, 1994 and 2002, Argentina in 1986, and Spain in 2010).

The Soviet Union participated this time, most likely due to their win at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. It seems they had learned how to run and kick again. For the first (and so far only) time, all four British teams qualified for the final round – that’s England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Only Northern Ireland got through to the quarter finals and got smashed 4-0 by France. The tournament also saw the emergence of Pelé, who scored two goals in the final. French striker Just Fontaine became the top scorer of the tournament with a still standing record of 13 goals. Yes, “just” was his first name.

Who scored 13 goals in the 1958 world cup? It was Just Fontaine. What nobody else? No, Just Fontaine on his own.

Sounds a bit disappointing. So who was the top scorer?? It was just Fontaine. Oh… that’s a pity.

No, no. That’s his name. Just Fontaine.

1962
Chile hosted the 1962 World Cup. Before play began, an earthquake struck, the largest ever recorded at 9.5 magnitude, prompting officials to rebuild due to major damage to infrastructure. It’s hard to play football when there’s no floor to play on.

It must be tough living in a country where the earth shakes every now and then. It would be scary. Honestly, that’s one of the things I like about living in England and in Northern France. OK, the weather isn’t great, but the earth pretty much stays in one place.

When the 1962 competition began, two of the best players were in poor form as Pelé was injured in Brazil’s second group match vs Czechoslovakia.

Also, USSR saw their goalkeeper Lev Yashin show poor form including a 2–1 loss to hosts Chile as that team, inspired by team spirit captured third place. The competition was also marred by overly defensive and often violent tactics.

This poisonous atmosphere culminated in what was known as the Battle of Santiago first round match between Italy and Chile in which Chile won 2–0. Prior to the match, two Italian journalists wrote unflattering articles about the host country. In the match, players on both sides made deliberate attempts to harm opponents though only two players from Italy were sent off by English referee Ken Aston.

What happened in more detail. (Come on, we want a blow-by-blow account don’t we?)
Summary[edit] (Wikipedia)
The first foul occurred within 12 seconds of kick-off. 12 SECONDS. Italy’s Giorgio Ferrini was sent off in the twelfth minute after a foul on Honorino Landa, but refused to leave the pitch and had to be dragged off by policemen. HE HAD TO BE DRAGGED OFF BY POLICEMEN.
English referee Ken Aston did not see a punch by Chilean Leonel Sánchez to Italian Mario David, which had come in retaliation for being fouled seconds earlier. BRUCE LEE? When David attempted to kick Sánchez in the head a few minutes later (he missed), he was sent off. [Was he sent off for being pathetic?]
In the violence that continued, Sánchez broke Humberto Maschio’s nose with a left hook, but Aston did not send him off. [Right, because kicking the air is obviously worse than breaking a man’s nose with your fist! Although maybe at this point the referee decided that staying on the pitch was the greater punishment! “You broke this man’s nose with your fist. This kind of violence will not be tolerated. I’m sorry but I’m forced to make you stay on the pitch until the end of the game.” “No no!” etc) The two teams engaged in scuffles and spitting, and police had to intervene three more times. Chile won the match 2–0. But if it had been a boxing match, Italy would have won.
When highlights from the match were shown on British television a couple of days later (not the same night, because film of matches still had to be flown back), the match was introduced by BBC sports commentator David Coleman as “the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possibly in the history of the game.”
In the end, the Italian team needed police protection to leave the field in safety.

When the final whistle blew in the final, Brazil beat Czechoslovakia for the second World Cup in a row by a final score of 3–1 led by Garrincha and Amarildo, in Pelé’s absence, and retained the Jules Rimet trophy. In this tournament, Colombia’s Marcos Coll made World Cup history when he scored a goal direct from a corner kick (called an Olympic Goal in Latin America) the only one ever made in a World Cup and against the mythical goalkeeper Lev Yashin. [Mythical goalkeeper – I think he actually did exist, didn’t he?]

1966
The 1966 World Cup, hosted by England (UK), was the first to embrace marketing, featuring a mascot and official logo for the first time. Yes, that’s what England brought to The World Cup – annoying marketing. We (arguably) invented the game – or at least wrote a lot of the rules or something, and probably gave football to the world (or so we like to believe) and then decades later, we gave another precious gift to the world – irritating World Cup mascots! The World Cup was never the same again.

The trophy was actually stolen in the run-up to the tournament but was found a week later by a dog named “Pickles”. North Korea, became the first Asian team to reach the quarter-finals, eliminating Italy in the process. It says “Eliminating” – I think this just means they knocked Italy out of the tournament. They didn’t blow the country up and kill all Italian people or anything. Eliminated… just a slightly dramatic word choice there, by whoever wrote this article on Wikipedia. John Wikipedia.

England won the tournament, and Geoff Hurst became the first and to this day the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final. Yes, England won and ever since we have been officially known as “Best Country in the World Ever” (in our heads). The rest of the world is just not bothered.

Eusébio, whose team Portugal were taking part in their first World Cup, was the tournament top-scorer, with 9 goals to his name.

*Controversial goal.

*Did the ball cross the line (no)

Joy for England in a pretty special year/decade for the country – well, there was this and The Beatles recorded Revolver, which on balance I am more proud of. Anyway, well done chaps! Now, let’s see if we can do it again. Oh, you’ve forgotten how to use your legs. What happened?

1970
In 1970, The finals were held in Mexico. The group stage clash between defending champions England and Brazil lived up to its billing, and is still remembered for England goalkeeper Gordon Banks’ save from a Pelé header on the six-yard line, arguably the best save ever, although once my brother nearly dropped a glass of wine on my parent’s carpet but I managed to dive and catch it at the last minute. I still think this is better than anything Gordon Banks ever did.

The tournament is also remembered for the semi-final match between Italy and West Germany, in which 5 goals were scored in extra time, and Franz Beckenbauer played with a broken arm (not for fun, or because he was bored, I mean he wasn’t just playing with someone’s broken arm like “ooh it’s all floppy! Does it hurt when I do that? What about when I swing it round? – stop playing with my broken arm! – No, he had a broken arm and he played football with it – I mean, he wasn’t hitting the ball with his broken arm, he just carried on playing while he had a broken arm – is that clear?)

Germany had used up all their allowed substitutions so Beckenbauer had to carry on even though he had a broken arm. Football players were much tougher back then. These days if you sneeze on a footballer’s arm they’ll leap into the air like a salmon and then roll around holding their face in agony like a child having a tantrum in a supermarket.

Italy were the eventual 4–3 winners, but were defeated 1–4 in the final by Brazil, who became the first nation to win three World Cups, and were awarded the Jules Rimet trophy permanently for their achievement. Basically, the world said to Brazil – ok you can have the world cup forever, you’re amazing. You now own football and your country will be forever associated with the game and whenever you meet people from other countries they will just say “Hey, you’re a Brazilian guy? So you love football huh?” a bit like the way when people meet an English person they typically will say “Hey, you’re an English guy huh? Cool! We don’t understand your food, your humour, your accents or your inability to score penalties, or in fact normal goals too! But please teach me your language, lol”.

This was a legendary Brazilian squad in 1970, including players like Pele, captain Carlos Alberto Torres, Jairzinho, Tostão, Gérson and Rivelino. For me this was when the World Cup entered a new era, with superstar players, in colour, with television in many people’s homes.

1974
A new trophy was created for the 1974 edition, held in West Germany. Some people make jokes about its appearance. I’ll let you imagine what those jokes are. The West German hosts won the competition by beating the Netherlands 2–1 in the final, but it was also the revolutionary Total Football system of the Dutch that captured the footballing world’s imagination.

In Total Football, a player who moves out of his position is replaced by another from his team, thus retaining the team’s intended organisational structure. In this fluid system, no outfield player is fixed in a predetermined role; anyone can successively play as an attacker, a midfielder and a defender.

The only player who must stay in a specified position is the goalkeeper, because the whole thing would fall apart if the goalie suddenly decided to just become a midfielder. It’s not “rush goalie” which is a rule we used to play in the park when we were kids. Rush goalie means that basically anyone can be the goalkeeper – if they’re in the goal area, they’re the goalie. But generally what happened is that nobody wanted to be the goalie so quite often the goal would be left unattended while the members of the team looked at each other and argued about why nobody was in goal. Everyone was a glory hunter. An indictment of the English game there.

The very well-playing Poland finished third, after defeating Brazil 1–0 (and after defeating Argentina 3–2 and eliminating Italy 2–1 in the initial group play). Wow, another country, just eliminated. They lost in terrible rain in the semifinals to West Germany 0–1. Ouch, I bet that hurt. Germany basically said, “The Polish are proving to be rather problematic. Eliminate them, immediately.”

Johan Cruyff was one of the stars of this competition, showing off close ball control and dribbling skills (my daughter has some pretty good dribbling skills – better than Johan Cruyff I can tell you), including the legendary “Cruyff Turn”. T

1978
The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina, causing controversy as a military coup had taken place in the country two years earlier. Tunisia won their first match against Mexico 3–1 and became the first African team to ever win a world cup game. There was some on-field controversy as well. During the second round Argentina had an advantage in their match against Peru since the kick off was several hours after Brazil’s match with Poland. Brazil won their match 3–1, so Argentina knew that they had to beat Peru by four goals to advance to the final. Trailing 2–0 at half-time, Peru simply collapsed in the second half, and Argentina eventually won 6–0. Rumors suggested that Peru might have been bribed into allowing Argentina to win the match by such a large margin. Just rumours. Bribery and corruption in football, surely not? (please add irony and sarcasm) Argentina went on to win the final 3–1, Mario Kempes scoring twice, with the Dutch being runners-up for the second time running. Obviously it was a fantastic result for Argentina. The Netherlands still haven’t won the World Cup, despite being one of the great footballing nations of all time.

1982
Spain hosted an expanded 1982 World Cup which featured 24 teams. The group match between Kuwait and France was stage of a farcical incident. As the French were leading 3–1, the Kuwaiti team stopped playing after hearing a whistle from the stands which they thought had come from referee, as French defender Maxime Bossis scored. As the Kuwaiti team were protesting the goal, Sheikh Fahid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, president of the Kuwaiti Football Association, rushed onto the pitch and gave the referee a piece of his mind, who proceeded to disallow the goal. Bossis scored another valid goal a few minutes later and France won 4–1.

Wonderful! Imagine the Sheikh running onto the pitch. “This goal must be disallowed. The whistle was blown!!” “Not my whistle sir” “I don’t care! A whistle was blown. Maybe not your whistle but it was a whistle!!! This goal must be disallowed!! May I remind you that I am a very powerful muslim and it would be very unwise to disagree with me!” “Oh really, that’s not necessary, that kind of off-colour anti-muslim joke has no place in an international tournament like this…” “Please just think about what I said and remember, god is watching you, and I have a lot of money and I’m sure we can sort something out.” “OK, goal disallowed!” “Thank you please Mr Referee, thank you you are very kind man”
A few minutes later France score again. “Oh shit”.

Also during the group stages Hungary beat El Salvador 10–1, which has been the only occasion to this day that a team scored 10 goals in a World Cup match. To be fair to El Salvador, their country was in the midst of civil war at the time which might have made training a bit difficult because apparently players were often late because they were helping the wounded on the way to the training ground.

The final was won by Italy (against West Germany), making Italian captain Dino Zoff the oldest player to win the World Cup. Italian striker Paolo Rossi, who was making his comeback after a match-fixing scandal and the ensuing ban, was the tournament top-scorer with six goals including a classic hat-trick against Brazil.

1986
Mexico became the first nation to hold two World Cups by hosting the 1986 World Cup. José Batista of Uruguay set a World Cup record being sent off after a mere 56 seconds into the game against Scotland. To be fair it was a very nasty and dangerous tackle and this decision by the referee helped to establish the idea that dangerous tackles like that should be outlawed.

The quarter final match between England and Argentina is remembered for two remarkable Diego Maradona goals, later regarded as player of the tournament, the first, the controversial handball goal, and the second, considered to be the Goal of the Century, in which he dribbled half the length of the field past five English players before scoring.

I remember watching it on telly with my family when I was 9. We were furious, because Maradona blatantly cheated. Nowadays this is seen as being a sort of revenge for the Falklands War or something, and generally it’s part of the colourful career of Diego Maradona. A big spectacle for sure, but some people reckon that if we hadn’t lost that game we could have won the tournament, but anyone can be chairman of the hindsight committee.

The fact that Maradona also scored that goal of the century kind of makes up for the handball, I suppose. Maybe in some countries that kind of thing is fair as long as you can get away with it. In England that sort of cheating is frowned upon.

In the final, Argentina beat West Germany 3–2, inspired by Diego Maradona, who set up Jorge Burruchaga for the winner. Maradona was undeniably amazing.

1990
The 1990 World Cup was held in Italy. Cameroon participating in their second World Cup, made it to the quarter finals after beating Argentina in the opening game. No African country had ever reached the quarter finals before. England put a stop to that. Sorry Cameroon. Roger Milla was an entertaining player. I think he invented the post-match celebratory dance.

An unpleasant episode marred the South American preliminaries: during the match between Brazil and Chile, a firework landed close to the Chilean goalkeeper Rojas, who then pretended to be injured by cutting his own face with a razor blade he had hidden in his glove. His team refused to continue the match (as they were down a goal at the time). The plot was discovered and resulted in a 12-year suspension for Rojas and Chile being banned from the World Cup in 1994.

The final featured the same teams as in 1986. After finishing runners-up in the two previous tournaments, West Germany beat Argentina 1–0 in the final to record their third title. The Republic of Ireland also made their first appearance in the tournament, reaching the quarter-finals without winning a single game (4 draws, with a penalty shoot-out win over Romania in the second round). This is the furthest a team has ever advanced in the World Cup without winning a game. Somehow it seems entirely appropriate that the Irish could get through to the quarter finals without actually winning any games. It’s as if the world said to them – Ireland, everyone likes you, your accent is adorable and Guinness is amazing – you can go through. The luck of the Irish?

I was 13/14 years old and obsessed by football at the time. I watched the tournament on TV and I had the fully completed Panini sticker album which my Dad bought for me one day. I loved that England team, and we nearly got to the final! England actually did quite well and fought hard against Germany in the semi final. Paul Gascoigne was a great player during that tournament and he cried when he got a yellow card that would ban him from the final. The match went to a penalty shoot out, which of course we lost.

1994
The 1994 World Cup, held in the USA, was the first tournament to be held in a country that largely didn’t understand either the rules of the game or the idea that other countries even existed in the world. “The World Cup, huh? So who’s playing who? Pittsburgh versus Cleveland?” Joking. This was the first World Cup final to be decided on penalties, with Brazil edging out Italy.

Yugoslavia was excluded due to UN sanctions in connection with the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Russia (taking the place of USSR which had broken up over 1990 and 1991) played their first World Cup competition as a new country, with Greece, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia as the other first-time team.

Diego Maradona was banned mid-tournament after testing positive for recreational drugs. I think he was coked up (allegedly) during some of the games, which was obvious when you saw the way he reacted to scoring an admittedly amazing goal at one point. They guy was bonkers and off his head. Without him, Argentina were eliminated in the last 16 by Romania — the tournament also saw tragedy when Colombian defender Andrés Escobar was murdered 10 days after scoring an own-goal against the hosts in their first round match that eliminated Colombia.

This is a tragic story. There’s no other way of putting it. It’s just sad. This guy was just the victim of a gang-related culture that existed in Columbia at the time. Come on, let’s get the story.

(Wikipedia)

Escobar’s infamous own goal occurred in a match against the United States on June 22, in the second match for Colombia at the 1994 World Cup. Stretching to block a cross from American midfielder John Harkes, he inadvertently deflected the ball into his own net. The United States won the game, 2–1.[15]

After the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Escobar decided to return to Colombia instead of visiting relatives in Las Vegas, Nevada.[11] On the evening of July 1, 1994, five days after the elimination of Colombia from the World Cup, Escobar called his friends, and they went to a bar in the El Poblado neighborhood in Medellín. Then they went to a liquor store. Shortly afterwards, they arrived at the El Indio nightclub. His friends split up. At approximately 3:00 the next morning, Escobar was alone in the parking lot of El Indio, in his car, when three men appeared. They began arguing with him. Two of the men took out handguns.[16] Escobar was shot six times with a .38 caliber pistol.[8] It was reported that the killer shouted “¡Gol!” (“Goal!”) after every shot, once for each time the South American football commentator said it during the broadcast.[17] The group then drove away in a Toyota pickup truck, leaving Escobar to bleed to death. Escobar was rushed to the hospital where he died 45 minutes later.[16][18][19]
The murder was widely believed to be a punishment for the own goal.[20]
Escobar’s funeral was attended by more than 120,000 people. Every year people honour Escobar by bringing photographs of him to matches. In July 2002, the city of Medellín unveiled a statue in honour of his memory.[22]
Humberto Castro Muñoz, a bodyguard for members of a powerful Colombian drug cartel,[clarification needed] was arrested on the night of 2 July 1994, confessing the next day to the killing of Escobar.[23] Muñoz also worked as a driver for Santiago Gallón, who had allegedly lost heavily betting on the outcome of the game.[24] He was found guilty of Escobar’s murder in June 1995. He was sentenced to 43 years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to 26 years because of his submitting to the ruling penal code in 2001. Humberto was released on good behaviour due to further reductions from prison work and study in 2005 after serving approximately 11 years. His three accomplices were acquitted.

The murder of Andrés Escobar tarnished the image of the country internationally.[27] Escobar himself had worked to promote a more positive image of Colombia, earning acclaim within Colombia.
Escobar is still held in the highest regard by Colombian fans, and is especially mourned and remembered by Atlético Nacional’s fans. Escobar is known for his famous line “Life doesn’t end here”.[2][28]
After Escobar’s death, his family founded the Andrés Escobar Project to help disadvantaged children learn to play football.

Oleg Salenko of Russia became the first player to score five goals in a single World Cup finals game in his country’s 6–1 group stage win over Cameroon. The same match, 42-year old Roger Milla scored the only goal for Cameroon, becoming the oldest player ever to score in a World Cup match. England didn’t qualify for this competition, but I watched a lot of the games anyway. I was 17 and one of my friends had a free house during the final week of the tournament. His parents were away. We all hung out there and watched a lot of games together. Fun times.

1998
The 1998 World Cup was held in France. Iran beat the Maldives in qualification by the widest margin in World Cup history – 17–0. Hosts France won the tournament by beating Brazil 3–0 in the final. What a great moment for the French! There was a lot of hype around the Brazilian squad going into the competition, especially around the star player Ronaldo. As the scorer of four goals in the tournament, Ronaldo appeared to be less than a hundred percent in the match, and was unable to make any impact.

What happened?

This is from The Guardian:
Hours before the final at the Stade de France, Ronaldo suffered a mysterious seizure and was whisked to hospital and out of the starting line-up. Then he made an apparently miraculous recovery and was hastily returned to the team sheet, only to underperform in Brazil’s heaviest defeat in 68 years of World Cups. Not surprisingly, the match soon transcended its sporting importance to become one of the resonant events in the country’s contemporary history.

Whereas the world’s media soon moved on to other subjects, Brazil’s did not.

Within weeks, a lawyer began a civil action in a Rio court, demanding explanations. Concurrently, the Rio regional medical council started a professional ethics action against the two team medics (they were both unanimously absolved).

But the most detailed investigation happened in Brazil’s national congress. And because the main protagonists all gave testimony, the public was offered unprecedented insight into what really went on behind the scenes on the day of the final. The details that emerged were riveting.

The squad had lunch at the Chateau de Grande Romaine in Lésigny, near Paris, then went back to their rooms, which they were sharing in twos. Ronaldo was with Roberto Carlos, next to a room with Edmundo and Doriva.
Suddenly Ronaldo started to have a fit. His entire body convulsed, he frothed at the mouth and began to shake uncontrollably. Roberto Carlos, overwhelmed by panic, started screaming for help. “When I saw what it was, I despaired,” Edmundo told congress. “Because it was a really strong and shocking scene.” He ran through the hotel hitting on all the doors and shouting for everyone to come.
A congressman asked the striker for more details. “Was Ronaldo hitting out or shaking?”
“Hitting out a lot,” replied Edmundo.
“Lying down?”
“Lying down and hitting himself with his hands like this, with his teeth . . . “
“Together?”
“Locked together and with his mouth foaming.”
“His whole body hitting itself?”
“The whole body, yes.”
Cesar Sampaio, the defender, was the first person to administer first aid. He got to Ronaldo before the doctors did and, with Edmundo holding him down, put his hand in Ronaldo’s mouth to unravel his tongue and prevent him swallowing it.

Ronaldo, still only aged 21, then fell asleep. According to Edmundo, the team doctors decided that the best course of action would be to pretend that nothing had happened when he woke up.

“We went back to our rooms, we rested,” said Edmundo. “But, you know what I mean, everyone was worried. My room was linked, so I saw everything. Every five minutes someone came and stared, and Ronaldo was there, sleeping like a baby.”

Collective trauma
Ronaldo woke up and went for tea. But he was subdued. Leonardo, in a distressed state, insisted that Ronaldo be told what had happened. The doctors broke the news and said he would be taken for tests. Only if the tests were fine would he be able to play the final.
When the squad took the coach to the Stade de France, Ronaldo instead went to the Lilas clinic in Paris. Forty minutes before the kick-off he showed up with the all-clear, insisting he should play. “Faced with this reaction,” said Zagallo, “I chose Ronaldo. Now was it his being chosen that caused Brazil to lose? Absolutely not. I think it was the collective trauma, created by the atmosphere of what had happened.”

Conspiracy theories came out

CONSPIRACY 1
Nike and the CBF forced Ronaldo to play
Ronaldo had a fit shortly before the game and was not well enough to play. The CBF (Brazilian Football Association) intervened and forced him to play, since there was a hidden part of the Nike-CBF contract that dictated he had to play in the World Cup final. This was because Nike had invested so much in him for its marketing campaign.

CONSPIRACY 2
Brazil sold the World Cup
Brazil’s players received a total of $23m (£15m) in bribes, the promise of Brazil hosting the 2006 World Cup, and an easy passage in the 2002 World Cup to throw the game. Ronaldo refused to have any part in this, hence Edmundo’s name was in the list in his place. But Ronaldo changed his mind after Nike threatened to withdraw his sponsorship money. The idea was for Brazil to lose on a golden goal, but since they were so shaken by the deal, France – who were unaware of the plot – scored three times in 90 minutes.

CONSPIRACY 3
Ronaldo was drugged
The striker’s indisposition on the day of the final was the result of sabotage by France, who wanted to put out Brazil’s best player.

CONSPIRACY 4
Ronaldo was unwell
Ronaldo had a secret medical problem which he had kept hidden all his life.

CONSPIRACY 5
The blue pill
The doctors gave him a “blue pill” as a painkiller. But it had tranquilizing effects that made him “sleepy”.

Alex Bellos is the author of Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life (Bloomsbury, £9.99)

None of those theories are true, according to the official narrative. Ronaldo just had a fit, it shocked the team, he was given a clean bill of health, he was rushed back into the team just minutes before the game, but he was subdued and the team were a bit shocked by it. Also, it was France’s time to shine – they were playing at home and this usually makes a massive difference in terms of the atmosphere in the stadium and the country as a whole.

Even if the Nike conspiracy theory isn’t true, it’s certainly true that there was a sense that the World Cup had become way too commercialised and more about money-making than the true values of the World Cup.

Debutants Croatia finished a commendable third.

I watched many of the key games at home, on my own :( This is when I was on summer holiday from university, living at my parents house, in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t have a car, so I had to try and persuade my mates to come and collect me so I could watch games with them. A lot of the time I was just stranded on my own, shouting at the TV. I was 21. England got knocked out by Argentina, yes, on penalties.

2002
The 2002 World Cup was the first to be held in Asia, and was hosted jointly by South Korea and Japan. Australia defeated American Samoa 31–0 in a preliminary match – a new record for the margin of victory, and the highest-scoring match ever. The tournament was a successful one for teams traditionally regarded as minnows, with South Korea, Senegal and USA all reaching the last eight. Brazil beat Germany 2–0 in the final for their fifth title. I was in Japan during this competition. I was 25 years old. Japan went a bit nuts for football, as you’d expect. The Koreans went even more nuts though because their team did really well, getting to the semi-finals and eventually finishing third. World Cup fever gripped South Korea and I heard reports of people going crazy and jumping into rivers. That’s all I remember about that, that a lot of people jumped into rivers. I suppose that is a good way to react to your country doing really well in the World Cup. Waaah! We won! We won!!! Quick, find a river! Just jump into a river!!

There were some allegations of corruption and some rather questionable refereeing decisions that seemed to favour the hosts Korea. I remember a lot of Japanese people saying that the referees in the Korean games were obviously biased. But I don’t want to stoke up any tensions so, la la la, everything’s ok – happy happy happy.

Oh, England got knocked out by Brazil in the quarter finals by the way. Not on penalties this time. We just got beaten normally. Ronaldinho happened, basically.

And I went to one of the games – England vs Sweden in the Saitama Stadium and then went drinking in Tokyo with loads of Japanese people who were nuts about David Beckham and his haircut, which was described as a “soft mohican” or “soffuto mooheekanu”. A lot of my students were obsessed by David Beckham for about 2 weeks.

2006
The 2006 World Cup was held in Germany. By this point it had become normal to have loads of corruption scandals in the run up to the tournament, and I must say that the general atmosphere of the World Cup was all about making money for anyone with a vested interest in, well, making money from things. Having the World Cup in your country can bring in loads of money. Where that money actually goes, is not entirely clear. The World Cup is so huge and it’s privately owned, so it’s all about doing deals and those deals are made between states and companies. Public and private interests mingling in a very seedy and suspicious manner.

The way the host country is chosen is based on national delegates casting votes. These delegates represent different countries. The suggestion is that countries hoping to host the Cup, might try to ‘persuade’ the delegates, perhaps by doing dodgy little trade deals and offering kickbacks and other benefits in return for a vote.

To give you a taste of some of the shenanigans going on, here’s a paragraph from John Wikipedia’s page about the 2006 World Cup.

[A number of] …irregularities surfaced, including, In the months leading up to the decision for who should host the tournament, the sudden interest of German politicians and major businesses in the four Asian countries whose delegates were decisive for the vote.[9] Just a week before the vote, the German government under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder lifted their arms embargo on Saudi Arabia and agreed to send grenade launchers to the country. DaimlerChrysler invested several hundred million Euros in Hyundai, while one of the sons of the company’s founders was a member of FIFA’s executive committee. Both Volkswagen and Bayer announced investments in Thailand and South Korea, whose respective delegates Worawi Makudi and Chung Jong-Moon were possible votes for Germany.[9][10] Makudi additionally received a payment by a company of German media mogul Leo Kirch.

FIFA deny these things. As far as I know they remain just allegations at this stage. I think proceedings were opened into the bid, but I don’t know the outcome.

First seed (seeded teams are the ones which are expected to do well – so the ‘first seeds’ are favourite teams and ‘second seeds’ are in the next category down, probably due to their performance in the qualifying stages) and WC holders Brazil and second seeded England were initially English bookmakers’ favourites. God knows why England were favourites to win. Presumably it was because of our performance in preceding games. We were knocked out in a quarter final against Portugal. Yes, on penalties.

A strong performance by Germany brought them as far as the semi finals. However, the final match-up was between Italy and France. This is the game in which French captain Zinedine Zidane was sent off in the last 10 minutes of extra time for a headbutt to the chest of Italian central defender Marco Materazzi.

I think this was both one of the ugliest moments in World Cup history and one of the most awesome.

So, on the ugly side – this kind of violence should not happen in football. Loads of children would have been watching, all around the world. There’s no excuse for headbutting someone in the chest and knocking him down like that.

On the other hand, I couldn’t help being impressed by how badass Zidane was. Apparently Materazzi had been saying some extremely insulting things to him throughout the match. I expect the red mist descended and Zidane lost control… although it didn’t look like he lost control. That was one of the fascinating things. He looked like he was completely in control and it was such a devastating headbutt. It must have hurt Materazzi quite a bit. France lost the game, but again, if it had been a UFC Fight, France would have won.

Italy won 5–3 in a penalty shootout, the score having been 1–1 after 90 minutes and extra time. I watched this game in my flat in London, joined at half time by a Polish friend called Marek who brought a plastic bag full of beer, and who might be listening to this. I was 29 years old.

2010
The 2010 World Cup was held in South Africa. It was the first cup hosted on African soil, and the cup was won by Spain.

The tournament was noted for its highly defensive opening matches (i.e. utterly boring games), controversies surrounding goal-line technology, and the introduction of vuvuzelas, which some people believe destroyed the atmosphere at many of the games. The noise was pretty annoying. Do you remember? It was like watching football during an invasion of killer bees. It was rubbish. They drowned out all the noise and sounded like a tiresome droning sound that never stopped.

Though considered as one of the tournament favourites, the Spaniards won the cup despite scoring only 8 goals in 7 games and losing their opening match to Switzerland. David Villa led the squad in scoring with 5 goals. In a final which saw a record number of yellow cards distributed and what some considered violent play from the Dutch side, the 10-man Netherlands squad were defeated 1–0 in the 116th minute of extra time by an Andrés Iniesta goal. I watched a lot of this in London with my girlfriend. I was 33. England were pretty rubbish. We got smashed by an amazing German team 5-1. They completely took us apart in very embarrassing fashion. Frank Lampard had a goal disallowed by the referee, although it did cross the line. Perhaps this was justice for the non-goal which was allowed back in the 1966 final when England beat West Germany.

2014
The 2014 World Cup was held in Brazil, marking the second time that Brazil hosted the competition. I did quite a few podcasts about it back in 2014. They’re all in the episode archive. One of them is a conversation with my dad about his memories of attending the World Cup in 1966 when it was hosted in England.
As ever there were scandals and allegations of corruption, and criticisms that the money generated by hosting the world cup was not going to be re-invested in order to help local Brazilian people, many of whom really needed (and still need) support. Whether the WC was good for Brazil overall is debatable. Certainly it brought the attention of the world to Brazil. There were protests, but also big parties and celebrations.
The cup was won by Germany, who beat Argentina 1–0 in the final. The Netherlands defeated Brazil 3–0 in the bronze medal game. There was also a famously humiliating defeat for Brazil by Germany in the semi final, when the Germans thrashed the Brazilians 7 -1 and nobody could believe their eyes. That must have hurt a lot. Brazil, if it makes you feel any better – England got eliminated in the group stage after just two matches.
This was also the tournament in which Luis Suarez (Uruguay) bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. The 3rd time he had done it in his career. Luis, it’s called football for a reason. Foot-ball. Not tooth-head. Or tooth-arm… or … just don’t bite anyone OK?
2014 was the first time that three consecutive tournaments saw the winning side come from the same continent (Europe: 2006 Italy, 2010 Spain, 2014 Germany).

And that brings us to 2018, Russia!

Who’s going to win? What’s going to happen. I have no idea, but hopefully it will be fun finding out in just a few days.

I’m hoping to do one or more episodes about this year’s tournament, if I can manage it. I will be watching.
Cheers!

194. World Cup 2014 (Part 5: More Forum Comments)

Luke reads out more comments from listeners about Brazil 2014 from the World Cup Comments Thread #2 on the teacherluke.co.uk discussion forum. These are all comments which have been sent in by listeners from around the world.

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World Cup 14 is still in full swing, with plenty of surprises, knockouts and some biting as well. All the comments that I’m going to read out in this episode were posted by LEPsters on the discussion forum. I’ve corrected them, and you can read all these corrected versions on the webpage for this episode. I’m now going to read out the comments that you sent in, as a way of giving everybody a voice and an opportunity to contribute thoughts, feelings and opinions to another global episode of LEP.

Let’s get started.

BTW, if you’re not a football fan – don’t worry, normal podcasting still continues. In fact, this is a very fruitful time for LEP as I’ve managed to record quite a lot of episodes recently. You’ll notice I’ve uploaded a series on culture shock, and I’ve got some more episodes up my sleeve. So it’s not just football football football!

Comments from the World Cup 2014 Forum Thread #2
This thread begun on 20 June and closed on 30 June. These things happened in that period: England had already been knocked out, Italy were beaten by Costa Rica and Uruguay and were knocked out, Luis Suarez became the most talked about player of the tournament after biting Italian player Giorgio Chiellini, France stuffed Switzerland 5-2 but both went through to the second round, Algeria beat the Korean Republic 4-2 – and all the Algerians in Paris went mental. All these teams were knocked out in the group stages: England, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Cameroon, Australia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Ecuador, Honduras, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iran, Ghana, Russia, Korea Republic. In the second round we’ve said goodbye to: Chile, Uruguay, Nigeria & Algeria, Mexico and Greece. That leaves us with these teams left: France vs Germany, Brazil vs Colombia on one side, and Netherlands vs Costa Rica, Argentina/Switzerland & Belgium/USA on the other side.
As I have said before, things move pretty quickly in the world cup and when you listen to this, the situation might be completely different. Nevertheless, there’s a bit of context for you.

Here’s the post I left at the beginning of the thread, inviting people to take part:

Luke
Hi everyone,
I’ve already recorded an episode in which I read out your comments about The World Cup from this forum. I’d like to record another one later in the competition (perhaps next week at the end of the group stage, or just before the quarter finals).
So please leave more comments that you would like me to read out on the podcast.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
At this stage:
1. Which teams do you think will be in the final?
2. Which team do you think will win?
3. What is your favourite moment of the World Cup so far, in your opinion?
4. Who is the star player of this World Cup, in your opinion?
5. Which country are you from/supporting? How’s their performance so far?
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014?
As before, I will correct your comments before reading them out on the podcast.
 You don’t have to give your name, you can leave anonymous comments if you prefer, but do tell me where you come from.
I reserve the right to not read out any comments, for any reason.
So, get writing! Let’s make another episode of LEP together!
Luke

Mohammed K
Germany, The Netherlands, Italy. 
One of these three teams will be in the final match, I guess.
Which team do I support ? I like Arg. , Braz. & Urg. 
I like the Latin American playing style, and I also like the English playing style (the long ball style) .
(I feel sad they lost last night. And I hope they go to the next stage)..
The star player? I think it’s Naymar (Brazil).
Thank you teacher Luke,,,
Mohammed , from Saudi Arabia
Hope to see you in Saudi Arabia one day.

Guillaume.S
Hi Luke,
To be honest I don’t like football at all, but how can you avoid it during the World Cup ? There is no way. I decided to be interested in football at least during the World Cup because that’s important to know some news if you want to make small talk with people around you.
Here are my answers to your questions:
1. Which teams do you think will be in the final?
 I would say Switzerland and England.. What? England has left ? Don’t worry Switzerland will follow them very soon. Honestly I don’t know who can be in the final.
2. Which team do you think will win?
 Luke’s English Podcast will win!
3. What is your favourite moment of the World Cup so far, in your opinion?
 My favorite moments are when everybody spent a good time watching a game, wherever they come from.
 By the way is it favorite or favourite? What’s the right spelling?
4. Who is the star player of this World Cup, in your opinion? 
Luke Thompson because he’s doing an amazing job for his listeners.
5. Which country are you from/supporting? How’s their performance so far?
 I’m from Switzerland and we will know this evening if they can continue in the competition or not but now when you are listening to this episode you already know the result and that’s amazing!
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014?
 This is the first time that I’m interested in football because Switzerland is playing and because of YOU Luke Thompson ;)
As long as I can learn something in English with you that’s fine, even about football. So thank you so much Luke, well done, you won!
Cheers.
Guillaume

Hiroshi
I’m sorry but England got the same plane ticket with Spain.

Edison
Hi Luke.
I just want to say, I’m so sorry about England’s fate against Uruguay, but well, that’s the way football/soccer is.
1st question: I think Germany, Argentina, Colombia or Nederlands could be fighting for the champion’s title.
3rd question: probably 2 great moments, first one when Geoffroy Serey Die /juffwaar serey deeyay/ from Cote d’ Ivore cried while singing his country’s anthem. And personally I really love the community spirit at competitions, by sharing with people from all over the world.
5th question: I’m from Colombia, and I’m cheering and shouting for my team from Miami, Florida. I think they’re going to write a new chapter in South America soccer’s history.
6th question: Just awesome. Even though there’s some social business to deal with. I love brasilian people.
Thank you so much Luke! Cheers!
Ps: don’t forget that “getting inhebriated experiment while recording” haha.

Oleksandr
Hi. How you doing? Does it still hurt? )))
 I always thought that Roy Hodgson is the worst England team manager ever. He broke everything at Liverpool FC before he became coach of the three lions.
Don’t even try to understand why and how. It’s ridiculous and illogical, but I am a Ukrainian guy who has been living in Denmark for 3 years, a Liverpool FC fan and a fan of Holland/Netherlands. It’s complicated, of course if Holland play with Ukraine I will be on my native country’s side… The 
Ukrainian team, as you know, was in the same group as England (draws 1-1 and 0-0) and finished in 2nd place. We lost in a play-off agaist France, won the first game 2-0, lost the second to France 0-3. Unfortunately our players underestimated the contender and they thought that they were already in Brasil after first game.
Who is the star player of this World Cup, in your opinion?
 Luis Suares maybe…I don’t know. Actually it could be anyone… Costa-Rica’s players have shown us, that everything is possible, even nobody expected that result in the group of death.
C’mon Holland !!! I have been supporting you from my childhood. Holland has one huge problem as England with penalties. – They smash all contenders in the group stage, but then become tired and lose in knockout stages. I hope they don’t , but if they lose I’ll support any European team (except Portugal – I hate divers) and Russia coz it’s obvious I’m from Europe.
Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014?
I feel the Brazilian financial pain, because we had Euro2012 in Ukraine and it seems that only UEFA and the corrupt government won …I understand that it’s an allegation, but anyway… The same shit, in my opinion, was in the winter olympic games 2014 in Russia. The Russian government spent about 51 billion dollars compared to about 3 billion in Vancuver 2010 in the previous games. Were those games 17 times better??? I don’t know…
Thanks for your attention. 
Oleksandr from Ukraine/Denmark

Aritz
Hi Luke! First of all, I am sorry about England… Honestly I think you deserve better results. You have an interesting young team for the next years though…
1. Which teams do you think will be in the final?
According what we have seen so far, Germany, Holland, France, Argentina, Brasil…should be at least in the semis. Then sometimes it’s a bit of luck. Let´s say Germany and Argentina! A revenge of the Italy 90 would be great!
2. Which team do you think will win?
If I had to bet money I would say Germany. I want Argentina to win though.
3. What is your favourite moment of the World Cup so far, in your opinion?
It’s hard to say in just one moment. I would say it’s been a really interesnting championship, with loads of goals, great matches, new teams coming out and going through to the next round like Costa Rica or Colombia.
4. Who is the star player of this World Cup, in your opinion?
Before Argentina and Germany play their second matches I think Benzema is stunning so far.
5. Which country are you from/supporting? How’s their performance so far?
I am Spanish, supporting Argentina. The first match was not as good as we expected, but with Messi there everything is possible!
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014?
It’s my first World Cup abroad (I’m living in London) and it’s been a good experience! I’ve got free time in the evenings to watch them every day either at home or having good ales in the pub so that’s great! The World Cup always reminds me of my childhood somehow so I’m enjoying it a lot.
BYE BYe Bye bye…
PS: Can I correct a little mistake you made saying my name in the last podcast?? (Well, and in some others…haha) In my name the “I” comes before the “T”. So it’s Aritz instead Artiz! But nevermind!!

Nicholas
Hi! My Name is Nicolás, from Argentina. I support my national team, of course, but I think the finalists will be between Germany and the Netherlands, and the Germans will win their fourth cup.
The best player in the competition so far is Luis Suárez, from Uruguay (sorry Luke!)
As I said before, I support Argentina, as I’m from that country. How’s our performance so far? Well… at least we won. Messi is amazing, but I’m a little worried about the rest of the team.
For me, this World Cup is spectacular. I’m particularly happy because, in general, Latin American teams are doing great in this competition. I’m talking about Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica… I love to watch how Latin American football is becoming more and more competitive.
By the way, you can pronounce my name as “Nicholas”. The proper pronunciation in Spanish is “nick-all-ass”, but, as you can imagine, probably it’s not a good idea to pronounce it the Spanish way because of the last syllable.

Angel
Hi Luke, I’ve been listening to your podcasts for 3 months because I’m going to take a test called “Bulats” (Business Language Testing Service). Anyway thank you for doing this, let’s talk about the World Cup. I’m Mexican and obviously I support my country of course. I feel sorry for England. I know how it feels. Luke, do you think the weather affects the European countries in this competition? I think it is probably according to the results of the European players, and it seems the South American players are taking advantage of the situation. We all can see that, right? I can’t wait to see Netherlands play against a South American country. In summary I think the weather is one of the main factors in this World Cup. Thank for reading this and Viva Mexico! (Sorry for my English )
Ps my name can be pronounced 
like this: an-hell tread-bee-no

Giovanni
Hi Luke and thanks a lot for your website: I found it some weeks ago, browsing on the internet, and now I’m completely addicted. There are a lot of similar websites offering podcasts in English but the problem is that most of them are in American English and, generally, they treat learners like babies: I mean, they speak with a completely unnatural voice, the same kind of voice we have when we talk with our babies. You sound very natural (like a real friend) and that’s why I think you are unique! 
About football, I’m italian so I support Italy, of course. You know, after Brazil (5 times world champion) we are the most awarded team in the world (we won the world championship 4 times). However, this time, I think we should apologize. In fact, because of us, England was damaged twice: the first, because of our victory (even though in that circumstance you played well and, probably, you did not deserve the defeat; the second because of our pathetic defeat in the match against Costa Rica that had, as direct consequence, your elimination from the world cup. Now, we’re waiting for the next match next Tuesday Italy vs. Uruguay). It’s enough a draw to go ahead and kick back home Uruguay. Can’t wait!! Bye and…FORZA ITALIA!!!!!

Rafael
1. Which teams do you think will be in the final?
 Brazil and Argentina. If I had to bet real money on that, maybe I would go for Germany… but so far this world cup has not been the most logical one.
2. Which team do you think will win?
 Brazil, I hope!
3. What is your favourite moment of the World Cup so far, in your opinion?
 The second Suárez goal against England. Sorry Luke, but that was beautiful.
4. Who is the star player of this World Cup, in your opinion?
 If Brazil manage to win, probably Neymar.
5. Which country are you from/supporting? How’s their performance so far?
 Brazil: Not as good as it could be, but fair enough. No big mistakes, good defence… the attack has been a bit disappointing so far.
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014? 
We overspend on those huge arenas… we could be hosting a world cup as good as it’s been so far without building new stadiums but just renovating our existing ones. I wonder how Fifa can be so influential over national decisions like that. Most of our mobility infrastructure plans are delayed or will not be made at all.
Apart from that, as long as Football and atmosphere are the more important things, this is probably one of the best world cups ever (so far).

Vaibhav
Hi Luke, I’m Vaibhav from India.
1. Which teams do you think will be in the final? 
Germany, Netherlands, Brazil & France.
2. Which team do you think will win?
 I think Netherlands has fair chance to win WC 2014.
3. What is your favourite moment of the World Cup so far, in your opinion? 
I think when Costa Rica qualified for 1/16 Round. Because before the world cup some football experts were saying that Costa Rica didn’t deserve to qualify for the World Cup,
 but they proved that they deserved to be in the World Cup by knocking out Italy & Uruguay.
4. Who is the star player of this World Cup, in your opinion?
 I think Thomas Mullar because he is the first player to score a hat trick in World Cup 2014.
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014?
 It’s great fun to watch the World Cup in my Summer holidays after my university exams.
Thanx Luke for recording this World Cup 2014 Podcast series.
P.S : You are great Luke and you are in my mind.

Aritz
Hi again Luke, and everybody here!
I just want to share this article about the essence of football. It’s brilliant!
New Yorker Article

Elena
Hi Luke! I can’t say for sure who is going to win the World Cup. Because who knew that Spain would crash out after only two games?(personally I thought they would win) It’s getting more and more unpredictable, and I really like it.
I’m from Russia and I’m already happy that our team is participating in the World Cup after a 12-year absence.

Yaron
Hi Luke,
I don’t have any news regarding your questions since the last episode. I still support Germany and I still think/hope that the Germans will win the tournament.
Firstly, I’m sorry that England’s team is out. I think as you said, although England lost, the English played pretty well, even better than the Uruguayans. In Fact, this is one of the annoying things about football. A lot of time the statistic is “lying”. Like in this game, if you check the statistics of England vs. Uruguay than you found that England had better numbers (More total shots, more shots on target, less fouls and better possession), however, at the end of the day, England lost. But, on the other hand, there’s some magic in football, isn’t there?
Secondly, I would like to ask you Luke (if I may), does the fact that England didn’t pass the group stage make you be less interested in the world cup? Do you support another team? Do you have any favor to France because you currently live in France? (By the way, the French had a great match vs. Switzerland)
Last thing, I would like to answer your last question (Question number 6):
The world cup until now is far beyond my expectation. Most of the matches are very interesting. 
In terms of my personal view: The second half of Germany-Ghana was very exciting. At some points, I thought that the Ghanaians were going to win, but, at the end of the day, Klose manged to score his fifteenth(!) goal in the world cup so far, and tie the game at 2-2. In addition, I think that this particular match was a good example of the difficulties that European teams have in a warm climate, since the Germans looked 50% of what they are actually capable of, in my opinion.
 In addition, up to now, in the German’s group, everything is still open, and I’m really concerned that Germany might end up like Spain and England, since, theoretically it still might happen. If Spain didn’t pass the group stage (with due the respect to England ) than no team is safe…
That’s it (I planned to write a short comment, however it turned into to a longer one)
Thank you for reading out our comments
Yaron (from Israel)

Oleksander
…following my previous comment….
It seems that I am always complaining in my comments, but that’s the way it is.)
I would like to tell you about 3 things that really, really annoy me in this World Cup and in football in general.
1. ‘Referees’. 
Unskilled, blindness, law violation, bribery… whatever you will call that.
It seems in some games that guys are able to sell rifles, heroin, human organs on the football pitch!!! )))
 We have to punish them somehow, if they deserve it, of course. Cut their fingers or at least pay them a lower salary. I mean punish the mistakes somehow, because sometimes referees cause fans’ broken hearts.
for example 
(another ‘hand of God’- Thierry Henry, France-Ireland)
2.’Wasting time, Adding time’ .
 Just make a ‘clear time’ like in basketball/handball. If the ball is out – time stopps. It’s easy to do technically, I think, and there’ll be fewer cheaters (fake injuries or something)on the football pitch.
3. ‘Divers’ , ‘Ballet dancers’ 
You probably get what I mean. Special HI to Cristina Ronaldy from me!!!))) 
For obvious simulation (faking, diving) I suggest a direct red card!!! In the future, players will think twice about diving or not.
I remember how Oleg Luzhny (Dinamo Kiev capitan in late 90s and player of Arsenal London in early 2000s, a kind of Ukrainian Chuck Norris) played a second half with broken toe in the champions league, because there weren’t any more substitutions. Nowadays, unfortunately we have fewer and fewer players like him, I mean real men, and football has become more girly, (That guys are kind of role model for young – Edgar Davids, Paolo Maldini, Steven Gerrard, Javier Janetti, Zinedine Zidane) I hope you get it).
P.S. I had luck to see Stewart Pearce on the football pitch LIVE in the season 97/98 in Kiev (Dinamo Kiev-Newcastle United). Actually, a team from Ukraine got first place in a group with Barcelona, Newcastle United and PSV Eindhoven. He was an incredible player.
I wish you the best personally Luke and all of your listeners in the world.
 Thank you for you attention #2 =)))
Oleksander from Ukraine/Denmark.

Jilmani
1. Which teams do you think will be in the final?
Brazil, France and Netherlands
2. Which team do you think will win?
Netherlands
3. What is your favourite moment of the World Cup so far, in your opinion?
Nothing yet
4. Who is the star player of this World Cup, in your opinion?
-
5. Which country are you from/supporting? How’s their performance so far?
 I’m from Kuwait and I support Algeria of course.
I think most Arabs support Algeria as well.
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014?
I’m not so excited about it. I don’t know why.

Pan
Hi luke,
this is Pan from China. I started to listen to your podcast since your swear word episode which was amazing and my favorite episode.
Anyway let’s back to those questions:
Which teams do you think will be in the final?
 I think Germany and Brazil.
Which team do you think will win?
 It is hard to say since both Germany and Brazil are top teams.
What is your favourite moment of the World Cup so far, in your opinion? 
As an Asian I would say Algeria‘s sudden kill of Korea in 2 minutes with 2 goals is the best and the worst since that I would like to see. (You’d like to see Korea go through?)
Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014? 
It is sad but common that China does not go to World cup. We just watch for fun and women watch for handsome players. Men watch for the matches. So far I think the Brazil World cup is good and it is normal every time there is a dark horse and unexpected knockouts.
Thank you Luke for reading my writing! Cheers

Yosef
Hi
In my opinion for sure Brazil will be in the final match, but which
 team they will play against is the mystery.
 I’m really disappointed by the referees this year. Their mistakes have
 changed the results of different games and it’s not fair at all. There are some teams that have performed better than expectations. They have played
 wonderfully. Also African teams are great and they have agile and powerful players.
 One positive point about this championship is the number of goals. Right now I’m waiting for the Italy and Uruguay match that will start in 15 min
utes. It could be a wonderful match.
have fun

Sabine
Hi Luke,
as so many of the others, I also want to tell you that I’m really, really sorry that England couldn’t at least make it to the quarter finals. I really would have loved to see a match between England and Germany.
I’m from Germany, and nobody likes us much anyway, but when it comes to football, it’s getting even worse, isn’t it. Well, someday you simply learn to live with it.
1. Which teams do you think will be in the final? 
In 1974 I was 10 years old and I still remember the world cup as overwhelmingly exciting. And I’d like to see a final between Germany and the Netherlands again.
2. Which team do you think will win? 
I’m afraid, this time it’s the Netherlands, though I’d like to see the Germans win, of course. In the end I could live with any winner, as long as it’s not the USA. They don’t even know the right name of the game we are playing here.
3. What is your favourite moment of the World Cup so far, in your opinion? 
I always like it when Cristiano Ronaldo cries. But my real favourite moment, if you can call that a moment, was the second half of the match between Ghana and Germany. It was the first time in years that I saw the Germans play so passionately.
4. Who is the star player of this World Cup, in your opinion? 
The Mexican goal keeper Guillermo Ochoa.
5. Which country are you from/supporting? How’s their performance so far?
 I obviously support Germany, but I like England, Japan and the Netherlands as well. And this year I’m quite impressed by Costa Rica’s performance.
6. Generally, what do you think of World Cup 2014?
To be honest, it doesn’t get me as much as it did in the previous years, so far. Maybe it’s because I’m not able to watch as many matches as I like, maybe it’s because this time the groups are strange, somehow. I don’t know.

Sabine (again)
Hi luke,
it’s me again (of course). Yesterday i wasn’t able to finish my post for some reason. I wanted to write some kind of uplifting last sentence but I couldn’t edit my post anymore. When it comes to terms used on the internet, by the way, I’m always afraid of falling for false friends. “Post”, for instance. Do I use it correctly or is it “posting” or is one of those just some stupid German word that tries to sound technical?
However, in the meantime I found out that it seems that I was totally wrong about everybody out there hating us when it comes to football. I listened to episode 189 of your podcast on the train this morning and I was really surprised to hear how many supporters we seem to have all over the world.
I’m wearing flag socks today. And I’m kind of optimistic about the match, but there still is a chance that everything goes wrong and our boys will shamefully sit on a plane home after tonight’s dinner.
I really hope you are not completely fed up with the world cup now. Thank you very much for explaining the world of football to all of us. I simply love the way you manage to put the light aspects and the serious aspects of a topic together in one sentence, so we all can see that each thing in life has got more than one side.
Chin up!
 Sabine
ps: for three or four days now i’m singing “three lions” to myself all the time (one of the older versions, I think it’s the second one I know the lyrics of) …

Guillaume.S
I would say GOOOOOAAAAALLLL !!!!!!
Hop Swiss !!
Bye

*At this point, Luis Suarez bit an Italian player during the Uruguay vs Italy game, which Uruguay won. This is a big controversy as it is more than just an illegal foul, but an assault beyond the normal physical roughness of a game. The British press covered the story a lot, calling for Suarez to be punished. Some papers in Uruguay said it was a conspiracy by the English press, and that Suarez is not guilty. Suarez has since admitted that he did it. This is the third time he’s done this and Suarez now faces a four month ban from professional football, which is going to cause him all kinds of problems, and his club Liverpool must now be thinking of selling him.*

Oleksander
…although I have been supporting Liverpool FC since 1996, I have to admit that Luis Suarez needs professional psychiatric help…
Three times in three different competitions… first it was in Ajax, then in Liverpool, now in the national team. It’s becoming a habit…
Something’s definitely wrong in his head… :-?

Yaron
Wow! The Suarez bite saga
. I heard some arguments in his favor, for instance, arguments like that his bites are not worse than a hard intention tackle. I totally disagree with those arguments. Tackles are part of the game, while bites are so not related to football. So even if a hard tackle might be more dangerous, in my opinion, it is still in the gray area, while bites are totally forbidden! There is no excuse for such behavior.
 Yaron (from Israel)

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments. This thread is now closed because I think I have enough comments for an episode.
You can expect the next World Cup podcast this week some time.
I’m now going to open “World Cup Comments Thread #3″, so you can leave any other comments you have there.
Luke
WORLDCUPPIC5

190. World Cup 2014 (Part 4: Dad’s Memories of 1966)

In this episode I was planning to give you my ‘brief History of the World Cup’ but I abandoned that idea because I decided it was too boring! Instead I’ve decided to just play you a recorded conversation I had with my Dad about his experience at the 1966 World Cup in London. He saw the semi-final between England and Portugal, and lived in London during the swinging 60s. I asked him to tell me what it was like. I hope you find it interesting. Right-click here to download the episode.

You can still read the script to my history of the World Cup as it is written below.

Don’t forget to add your comments to the World Cup thread in my forum. Just click in the Discussion Forums link in the menu above.

Bye for now ;)

Luke

    Original ‘script’ below

Luke’s Brief History of the World Cup
We continue with part 4 of this series of World Cup podcasts by looking at a brief history of The World Cup. You may be fed up with the World Cup at this stage, and I completely understand. Some of you simply might not be into football, and you can’t escape from it at the moment, and you might be thinking – not you too Luke! You’ve been bitten by the World Cup zombies! Well, for those of you who feel that way, don’t worry, this is just a phase and it will pass very soon, I promise! Who knows, perhaps I can actually get you into football, just for a while. In any case, normal podcasting will resume soon, but for now I’m sticking to the World Cup.

World Cup Fever is still gripping Luke’s English Podcast, even though England are out after losing our first 2 games. It hurts, but never mind. I’m getting over it, and anyway there are plenty of nations who didn’t even get to the finals so I’m not going to complain about it too much. So, as I said, this episode is all about the highlights of World Cup history. You can read a transcript for pretty much everything that I am saying on my website. Just find the page for episode 190.

When I was 14 my Dad bought me a Panini sticker album for World Cup 90. I got all the stickers and all the additional pages. I read all of it again and again during the tournament and I loved reading about the history of international football. It was much more engaging than my history lessons at school, and it gave me a taste of life and culture in other countries. Now, as World Cup history is being made again every day, let’s look back at some of the highlights of the World Cup over the last 84 years. This is my World Cup history. It’s written using a combination of extracts from Wikipedia, my knowledge and memory (I attended The World Cup in Japan in 2002), and some contributions from my Dad, Rick Thompson, who I sometimes call Rickipedia (he attended the World Cup in England in 1966).

A Brief World Cup History (Written by Luke from Luke’s English Podcast, with help from Rickipedia and Wikipedia)

1930
The first World Cup took place in 1930 and was hosted by Uruguay. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France against Mexico. Four days later, the first World Cup hat-trick was achieved by Bert Patenaude of the USA in the Americans’ 3–0 win against Paraguay. Are you surprised that the USA took part in the original compeition? In the final, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo, and became the first nation to win a World Cup.

1934
The 1934 World Cup was hosted by Italy, which caused some political disagreement. Uruguay, the titleholders from 1930 boycotted the 1934 World Cup because they were upset that so many European teams hadn’t attended their original world cup in 1930. Italy won the tournament, beating Czechoslovakia to become the first European team to win the tournament.

1938
The 1938 World Cup competition was also held in Europe, much to the consternation of many South Americans, with Uruguay and Argentina both boycotting. France hosted, but for the first time the hosts did not win the competition, as Italy retained their title, beating Hungary in the final by four goals to two.

1938-1950
Up until about 1950 the World Cup was beset by political disagreements and boycotts. During the 40s The World Cup was overshadowed by a larger, much more serious and massively more aggressive contest. Yes, that’s right, World War 2 kicked off in 1939, which kind of interrupted things slightly. It’s hard to organise an international football tournament when the nations of the world are busy using all their time, money and resources on blowing each other up. So, the 1942 and 1946 games were cancelled.

1950
Competition resumed with the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, which was the first to include British participants. Yey! However, in characteristic fashion the English failed to qualify for the final group round in a campaign that included a 1–0 loss to the United States. Very humiliating! Eastern European countries (such as Hungary, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia) did not enter the tournament. Title-holder Italy did take part, despite the Superga air disaster of 1949 in which the entire Grande Torino team (many who were national team players) were killed. Uruguay were surprise victors over hosts Brazil (in a match which would later be known as Maracanazo) and became champions for the second time. Well done Uruguay. Perhaps you can do it again this year, although you shouldn’t get too pleased with yourself after beating England. Everyone seems to be able to do that nowadays (and one of those goals shouldn’t have been allowed because Suarez was offside, but never mind that now!)

1954
The 1954 World Cup, held in Switzerland, was the first to be televised. The Soviet Union did not participate because of their dismal performance at the 1952 Summer Olympics. It’s not clear why they didn’t join in. Were they just embarrassed? Scotland made their first appearance in the tournament, but were unable to register a win, going out after the group stage. West Germany were the tournament winners, defeating Olympic champions Hungary 3–2 in the final, coming back from being 2-0 down to Hungary. The match is known as the Miracle of Bern in Germany.

1958
Brazil won the 1958 World Cup, held in Sweden, and became the first team to win a World Cup outside their home continent. Only 3 teams have done this to date – Brazil in 1958 (Sweden), 1970 (Mexico), 1994 (USA) and 2002 (JPN/Korea), Argentina in 1986 (Mexico), and Spain in 2010 (South Africa). The Soviet Union participated this time, most likely due to their win at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. For the first (and so far only) time, all four British teams qualified for the second round. The tournament also saw the emergence of Pelé, who scored two goals in the final. French striker Just Fontaine became the top scorer of the tournament with a still standing record of 13 goals.

1962
Chile hosted the 1962 World Cup. Before play began, an earthquake struck, the largest ever recorded at 9.5 magnitude, prompting officials to rebuild stadiums due to major damage to infrastructure. When the competition began, two of the best players were in poor form as Pelé was injured in Brazil’s second group match vs Czechoslovakia, and USSR saw their goalkeeper Lev Yashin show poor form including a 2–1 loss to hosts Chile as that team, inspired by team spirit captured third place. The competition was also marred by overly defensive and often violent tactics. This poisonous atmosphere culminated in what was known as the Battle of Santiago first round match between Italy and Chile in which Chile won 2–0. Prior to the match, two Italian journalists had written critical articles about the host country. In the match, players on both sides made deliberate attempts to harm (injure) opponents though only two players from Italy were sent off. In the end, the Italian team needed police protection to leave the field in safety. When the final whistle blew, Brazil beat Czechoslovakia for the second World Cup in a row by a final score of 3–1 led by Garrincha and Amarildo, in Pelé’s absence, and retained the Jules Rimet trophy. In this tournament, Colombia’s Marcos Coll made World Cup history when he scored a goal direct from a corner kick (called an Olympic Goal in Latin America) the only one ever made in a World Cup. Not only that, it was also against the legendary goal keeper Lev Yashin, from the Soviet Union.

1966
The 1966 World Cup, hosted by England (UK), was the first to embrace marketing, featuring a mascot and official logo for the first time. The trophy was stolen in the run-up to the tournament but was found a week later by a dog named “Pickles”. North Korea, became the first Asian team to reach the quarter-finals, eliminating Italy in the process. England won the tournament, and Geoff Hurst became the first and to this day the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final. Eusébio, whose team Portugal were taking part in their first World Cup, was the tournament top-scorer, with 9 goals to his name. *Controversial goal. *Did the ball cross the line (no) *Joy for England in a pretty special year/decade for the country. *Interview with Rick Thompson.

1970
In 1970, The finals were held in Mexico. The group stage clash between defending champions England and Brazil lived up to its billing, and is still remembered for England goalkeeper Gordon Banks’ save from a Pelé header on the six-yard line, arguably the best save ever. Gordon Banks is considered the 2nd best goalkeeper in the world, after Lev Yashin of Soviet Union and before Dino Zoff of Italy. What happened was, England were playing Brazil, with their legendary 1970 team including Pele. Jairzinho crossed the ball from just inside the penalty box, the ball sailed over to the far post where Pele leapt high into the air, beating his defender to head the ball down towards what looked like an open goal. Gordon Banks had been covering the near post and the ball had gone over his head. Pele headed the ball hard and fast downwards towards the open space near the far post. It looked like a definite goal, but somehow Gordon Banks managed to leap over and turn the ball around the post. What made it particularly impressive was that the ball had bounced and was moving upwards from the ground and into the goal. Banks was diving and falling and the ball was bouncing upwards. When he stopped it, the ball was at about chest height. It was a perfectly timed and very athletic save, and is considered by many to be the best save ever.

The tournament is also remembered for the semi-final match between Italy and West Germany, in which 5 goals were scored in extra time, and Franz Beckenbauer played with a broken arm, since Germany had used up all their allowed substitutions. Italy were the eventual 4–3 winners, but were defeated 1–4 in the final by Brazil, who became the first nation to win three World Cups, and were awarded the Jules Rimet trophy permanently for their achievement. This was a legendary Brazilian squad, including players like Pele, captain Carlos Alberto Torres, Jairzinho, Tostão, Gérson and Rivelino. For me this was when the World Cup entered a new era, with superstar players, in colour, with television in many people’s homes.

1974
A new trophy was created for the 1974 World Cup, held in West Germany. Some people make jokes about its appearance. I’ll let you imagine what those jokes are.
The West German hosts won the competition by beating the Netherlands 2–1 in the final, but it was also the revolutionary Total Football system of the Dutch that captured the footballing world’s imagination. Johan Cruyff was one of the stars of this competition, showing off close ball control and dribbling skills, including the legendary “Cruyff Turn”. This is a kind of ‘dummy’ which he used to great effect on the wing. He’d make it look like he was going to kick the ball but then at the last moment he’d use his foot to drag the ball between his legs, then turn and beat his defender before running towards the goal line and crossing at close range. In football, it’s important to “get round the back” which means get around the defensive line by dribbling or passing the ball around the side, and then passing it into the penalty area from a ‘deep’ position. The Cruyff turn was quite a revolution in terms of close ball control. Nowadays it’s really common to use a variety of tricks in order to beat defenders and get through a team’s defensive line. The very well-playing Poland finished third, after defeating Brazil 1–0 (and after defeating Argentina 3–2 and eliminating Italy 2–1 in the initial group play). They ultimately lost 0-1 in terrible rain in the semifinals to West Germany.

1978
The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina, causing controversy as a military coup had taken place in the country two years earlier. Tunisia won their first match against Mexico 3–1 and became the first African team to ever win a world cup game. There was some on-field controversy as well. During the second round Argentina had an advantage in their match against Peru since the kick off was several hours after Brazil’s match with Poland. Brazil won their match 3–1, so Argentina knew that they had to beat Peru by four goals to advance to the final. Trailing 2–0 at half-time, Peru simply collapsed in the second half, and Argentina eventually won 6–0. Rumors suggested that Peru might have been bribed into allowing Argentina to win the match by such a large margin. Argentina went on to win the final 3–1, Mario Kempes scoring twice, with the Dutch being runners-up for the second time running. Obviously it was a great result for Argentina. The Netherlands still haven’t won the World Cup, despite being one of the great footballing nations of our time.

I was a one-year old baby during this competition, and I wasn’t really developed enough to appreciate either the complexities of dutch footballing strategy or the finer aspects of the socio-political context of World Cup 78. I was more interested in throwing food on the floor and falling asleep. I still am quite interested in those things to be honest, but never mind that now.

1982
Spain hosted an expanded 1982 World Cup which featured 24 teams. The group match between Kuwait and France was stage of a farcical incident. As the French were leading 3–1, the Kuwaiti team stopped playing after hearing a whistle from the stands which they thought had come from the referee, and French defender Maxime Bossis scored while the Kuwaiti team were not playing. As the Kuwaiti team were protesting the goal, Sheikh Fahid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, president of the Kuwaiti Football Association, rushed onto the pitch and gave the referee a piece of his mind, who proceeded to disallow the goal. Despite this diplomatic intervention by the Kuwaiti football president, France scored another valid goal a few minutes later and France ultimately won the game 4–1. Also during the group stages Hungary beat El Salvador 10–1, which has been the only occasion to this day that a team has scored 10 goals in a World Cup match. The final was won by Italy (against West Germany), making Italian captain Dino Zoff the oldest player to win the World Cup at 40 years old. You might be thinking, well if Italy win this, will Andrea Pirlo beat that record. Well, no he won’t, because he just looks older than 40. He is in fact, just 35. Italian striker Paolo Rossi, who was making his comeback after a match-fixing scandal and the ensuing ban, was the tournament top-scorer with six goals including a classic hat-trick against Brazil.

1986
Mexico hosted it again. José Batista of Uruguay set a World Cup record after being sent off after just 56 seconds into the game against Scotland. The quarter final match between England and Argentina is remembered for two remarkable Diego Maradona goals, later regarded as player of the tournament. The first was the controversial handball goal, and the second was considered to be the Goal of the Century, in which he dribbled half the length of the field past five English players before casually tapping the ball into the back of the net. It was incredibly cheeky and skilful, as if to say, “I may have scored the previous goal with my hand, but you can’t deny that that one was the probably the best goal you’ve ever seen”. In the final, Argentina beat West Germany 3–2, inspired by Diego Maradona, who was their captain. I watched the quarter final on TV with my family. I was 9 years old.

1990
The 1990 World Cup was held in Italy. Cameroon participating in their second World Cup, made it to the quarter finals after beating Argentina in the opening game. Roger Milla was quite a big personality in the Cameroon team, and they developed a funny dance which they did every time they scored (which was quite a lot). They ran to the corner flag and did a kind of sexy dance. That’s the first time I remember seeing celebrational dancing after scoring a goal. No African country had ever reached the quarter finals before. An unpleasant episode marred the South American qualifying games: during the match between Brazil and Chile, a firework landed close to the Chilean goalkeeper Rojas, who then pretended to be injured. In fact he had cut his own face with a razor blade which he had hidden in his glove. The plan was to have the game cancelled, or to have Brazil eliminated from the tournament as the flare had come from the Brazilian stands. His team refused to continue the match (as they were down a goal at the time). The plot was discovered and resulted in a 12-year suspension for Rojas and Chile were banned from the World Cup in 1994. The final featured the same teams as in 1986. After finishing runners-up in the two previous tournaments, West Germany beat Argentina 1–0 in the final to record their third title. It was a pretty special result for the Germans, with the context of the fall of the Berlin wall a year before. The Republic of Ireland also made their first appearance in the tournament, reaching the quarter-finals without winning a single game (4 draws, with a penalty shoot-out win over Romania in the second round). This is the furthest a team has ever advanced in the World Cup without winning a game. The luck of the Irish?
During this World Cup I was 13/14 years old and obsessed by football. I watched the tournament on TV and I had the fully completed Panini sticker album which my Dad bought for me. I loved that England team, and we nearly got to the final! We got knocked out by Germany in a nail-biting semi-final which we ultimately lost on penalties (the first of our terrible run of penalty-based defeats). I remember the excitement of when Linaker scored our goal against the Germans. The whole family jumped out of our seats screaming. The cat was terrified and ran out of the room. That’s the closest we’ve got to the World Cup final for a long time.

1994
The 1994 World Cup, held in the USA, saw the first World Cup final to be decided on penalties, with Brazil edging out Italy and Roberto Baggio famously failing to score his penalty. Unfortunately Yugoslavia was excluded due to UN sanctions in connection with the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Russia (taking the place of USSR which had disintegrated over 1990 and 1991) played their first World Cup competition as a new country, with Greece, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia as the other first-timers. Along with disgrace – Diego Maradona being banned mid-tournament after testing positive for recreational drugs (cocaine). It’s not clear if he was actually on cocaine during the games, but he certainly looked like he was off his head! Without him, Argentina were eliminated in the last 16 by Romania — the tournament also saw tragedy when Colombian defender Andrés Escobar was murdered 10 days after his own-goal against the hosts in their first round match that eliminated Colombia. Apparently, gangsters had threatened the players before the game. So, not only did Escobar have the shame of scoring an own goal, but he may also have known at that point that he would pay the ultimate price for it. Oleg Salenko of Russia became the first player to score five goals in a single World Cup game in his country’s 6–1 win over Cameroon. In the same match, 42-year old Roger Milla scored the only goal for Cameroon, becoming the oldest player ever to score in a World Cup match. England didn’t qualify for this competition, but I watched a lot of the games anyway, although I was less interested in football than I had been 4 years earlier . My interests were more focused on music and girls and that sort of thing. I was 17 and one of my friends had a free house during the final week of the tournament. We all hung out there in a big gang and watched a lot of games together. Fun times.

1998
The 1998 World Cup was held in France. Iran beat the Maldives in qualification by the widest margin in World Cup history: 17–0. Hosts France won the tournament by beating Brazil 3–0 in the final. What a great moment for the French! There was a lot of hype around the Brazilian squad going into the competition, especially around the star player Ronaldo. As the scorer of four goals in the tournament, Ronaldo appeared to be less than a hundred percent in the match, and was unable to make any impact. Some say that he shouldn’t have started the game as he wasn’t fit or healthy enough. I’ve heard suggestions that as team sponsors, Nike put pressure on the team to play Ronaldo, as he was so important for their brand image. Certainly there was a sense that the World Cup had become way too commercialised and more about money making than the true values of the World Cup. Debutants Croatia finished a commendable third. I watched many of the key games at home, on my own :( This is when I was on summer holiday from university, living at my parents house, in the middle of nowhere. We lived in the countryside and I didn’t have a car, so I had to try and persuade my mates to come and collect me so I could watch games with them. A lot of the time I was just stranded on my own, shouting at the TV. I was 21. England were knocked out by Argentina in the 2nd round. Yes, on penalties.

2002
The 2002 World Cup was the first to be held in Asia, and was hosted jointly by South Korea and Japan. Australia defeated American Samoa 31–0 in a preliminary match – a new record for the margin of victory, and the highest-scoring match ever in World Cup history. 31-0??? Australia should have saved some of those goals. The could have used them last week. The tournament was a successful one for teams traditionally regarded as minnows (small fish), with South Korea, Senegal and USA all reaching the last eight. Brazil beat Germany 2–0 in the final for their fifth title. I was in Japan during this competition. I was 25 years old. England were knocked out by Brazil in the 2nd round, not on penalties, but it still hurt. I watched one of the games in Saitama stadium. It was England vs Norway. Most of the crowd were England fans. Japanese England fans. The Japanese loved England, but I think that was mainly because of David Beckham.

2006
The 2006 World Cup was held in Germany. Brazil and England were initially the English bookmakers’ favourites. A strong performance by Germany brought them as far as the semifinals. However, the final match-up was between Italy and France, in which French captain Zinedine Zidane was sent off in the last 10 minutes of extra time for a headbutt to the chest of Italian central defender Marco Materazzi. Apparently Materazzi was whispering some insults into Zidane’s ear, and Zidane just lost it. The headbutt was pretty shocking, but it was also one of the most impressive moments in the game! POW! A headbutt direct to the chest and Materazzi hit the deck! Really, it’s a pity that this happened, because Zidane is one of the best players we’ve had in the world, and this really tainted his image. He’s be celebrated more if it wasn’t for that. Italy went on to win 5–3 in a penalty shootout, the score having been 1–1 after 90 minutes and extra time. I watched this game in my flat in London, joined at half time by a Polish friend called Marek who brought beer, and who might be listening to this. Hello Marek. I was 29 years old.

2010
The 2010 World Cup was held in South Africa. It was the first cup hosted in African, and the cup was won by Spain. The tournament was noted for its highly defensive opening matches, controversies surrounding goal-line technology, and the introduction of vuvuzelas, which some people believe destroyed the atmosphere at many of the games. The noise was pretty annoying. [Play vuvuzela sound] It sounds like a swarm of angry bees or something. The main problem was that it was just a constant droning sound. There was no difference between a goal and normal play. Just a constant AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA sound. Though considered as one of the tournament favourites, the Spaniards won the cup despite scoring only 8 goals in 7 games and losing their opening match to Switzerland. In a final which saw a record number of yellow cards distributed and what some considered violent play from the Dutch side, the 10-man Netherlands squad were defeated 1–0 in the 116th minute of extra time by an Andrés Iniesta goal. Maybe the Dutch defeat of Spain last week was a bit of revenge. I watched a lot of this in London with my girlfriend. I was 33. England were pretty rubbish. We seemed to have no team spirit at all. The players didn’t gel, and Rooney was a disappointment. We got smashed by an amazing German team 5-1. Frank Lampard had a goal disallowed by the referee, although it did cross the line. Perhaps this was justice for the non-goal which was allowed back in the 1966 final when England beat West Germany. England were knocked out of the tournament. But I’m still with my girlfriend!

That brings us up to the current world cup, which is of course being held in Brazil. The next one is due to be held in Russia in 2018, and then in Qatar in 2022. Hopefully, I will still be recording Luke’s English Podcast, and I will still be with my girlfriend, who at that point will have become my wife!

So that’s the end of my World Cup History. As usual, leave me your comments. I’ve opened another comments thread in the discussion forum. Write comments there and I will read them out on the podcast when I get the chance.

Bye for now,
Luke

188. World Cup 2014 (Part 2: England & The Dark Side of the World Cup)

In this second World Cup episode we focus on England, and then the dark side of The World Cup including the allegations of corruption and the civil unrest in Brazil. Right-click here to download this episode.

Contents
1. What does the World Cup mean to me? (Dealt with in part 1)
2. What’s the situation at this time? Who looks strong? What’s going on? The Basic Guide to World Cup 2014. (Dealt with in part 1)
3. Focus on England
4. Changes to the rules
5. The dark side of the World Cup
6. A brief History of The World Cup (In part 3)

3. England: What are their chances?
World Cup history – penalties. The curse of the penalty shootout.
Stuart Pearce Penalty video 1996 (Feel the passion!)

Why haven’t England won the cup even though the premiership is the top league in the world?
– Foreign players
– Clubs come first
– Finding the right coach
– Egos and personalities vs teamwork
– Pressure & Expectation from the media & the public (it’s assumed that England will win, “football’s coming home” and this doesn’t help)
– Finding the right squad
– Penalties (it’s all in the mind)
England: Letting the rest of the world shine since 1966 ;)

4. Changes to the rules, etc
Goal line technology.
The vanishing spray.
Player conduct – diving, cheating & time-wasting.
The Falklands/Malvinas Situation. Click here to read arguments for and against British occupation of The Falkland Islands. Click here to read an article about the Argentinian players’ protest.

5. The other side of the World Cup. The ‘dark side’ of The World Cup.
Controversy, corruption and civil unrest.
Riots in Brazil.
FIFA’s 2022 corruption scandal.
The Falklands issue – Argentina vs England www.debate.org/opinions/should-the-falklands-belong-to-argentina
John Oliver’s report

His main points:
The sausage principle: If you love something, don’t find out how it was made.
He’s excited about the World Cup, but he’s also conflicted about it because of the alleged corruption of FIFA.
Some Brazilians are unhappy about the World Cup because the money spent on hosting the games is not going to the people who need it.
FIFA persuaded the Brazilian government to overturn safety laws in football stadiums. The law used to state that beer could not be sold in stadiums. FIFA refused to negotiate and pushed very hard for this safety law to be overturned. John Oliver believes it’s irresponsible of FIFA to prioritise their sponsors over public safety.
FIFA’s boardroom looks dark and evil.
In Qatar, workers’ rights are so poor that it’s almost like slave labour. Also, health and safety standards are so low that it’s expected that thousands of workers will die during constructions of the stadiums. Downer :(

Stay tuned for part 3 coming soon!

3 Lions ’98 (Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds) “Football’s Coming Home” Lyrics
Three Lions 98 Version

We still believe, we still believe
we still believe

Its coming home,
Its coming home, its coming
Footballs coming home

Tears for heroes dressed in grey
No plans for final day
Stay in bed, drift away
It could have been all
Songs in the street
It was nearly complete
It was nearly so sweet
And now Im singing

Three lions on the shirt
Jules Rimet still gleaming
No more years of hurt
No more need for dreaming

Talk about football coming home
And then one night in Rome
We were strong, we had grown
And now I see Ince ready for war
Gazza good as before
Shearer ready to score
And Psycho screaming

Three lions on the shirt
Jules Rimet still gleaming
No more years of hurt
No more need for dreaming

We can dance Nobbys dance
We could dance it in France

Its coming home, its coming home,
Footballs coming home….

source: www.lyricsondemand.com/0/3lions98lyrics/footballscominghomelyrics.html

Please leave your comments below.

187. World Cup 2014 (Part 1: The Basic Guide)

Lots of people want me to talk about the World Cup, so here we go! This is the first in a series of episodes about World Cup 2014. We start with a general look at the tournament, the groups and the teams. Consider this to be your basic guide to World Cup 2014. Right-click here to download this episode.

I have been preparing podcasts on other things lately but that must stop because nothing else can happen at this moment – why? Because it’s the World Cup. You may have noticed. I think there is a law going round that 75% of anything must be about the world cup. That’s conversations, television, radio, newspaper articles, commercials, food, pets, weather, geography, elephants, whatever. It has to be connected to the World Cup in some way. It’s just an unwritten global law. If I talk about anything else on the podcast at this time, there’s a danger it will go in one ear and out of the other, there is only The World Cup! So, it has to be dealt with. So LET’S DO THIS. Let’s talk about THE WORLD CUP!

Don’t think that I’m reluctant to talk about it. I’m not. I love football. I really love the World Cup – well, most of it. There are some things that I don’t like about it, and we’ll come to that stuff later. I’m not reluctant to talk about it by any means, it’s just that it’s a pretty massive topic and I’ve been wondering how to cover it properly. I’ve decided that I’ll just ramble on about it and do my best to make it accurate and well-informed. Please be aware that I’m an English-teacher-podcaster-comedian-musician but not necessarily an expert on the world of international football, but I will do my best to talk about football with the level of knowledge and expertise that you might expect from most ordinary people in the UK. I have a normal level of knowledge of this subject. So, it’s a bit like talking to a guy in a pub about it, or chatting to a guy who you know at work or school, just like the sort of conversation you’re likely to have in the real world. It’s pretty rare that you get to talk to a football journalist isn’t it? Yes it is, unless you’re married to one or something.

Other World Cup podcasts you could listen to:
The Guardian Football Weekly Podcast (Very in-depth and well-made, but not produced with learners of English in mind.)
Languagecaster.com Lots of stuff about learning English via football here, including some podcasts. Have a look.
British Council Premier Skills English. Loads of resources to learn English associated with football.
Luke’s English Podcast – English Premier League Football.
Future episodes of LEP. I expect I’ll be talking more about the World Cup in the next couple of weeks, and this episode might be separated into several parts. Also, I’ll make a podcast with your comments too.

If you’re not a football fan, well, in this episode you’ll have to just enjoy the words that are coming out of my mouth, without getting too carried away by the general subject matter. I will be looking at both sides in this podcast, and there will be some general criticism of football and the World Cup later on in this episode (or in part 2 if it’s necessary to divide it into two).

It’s one week into the competition. I’m going to talk about how it’s going so far. It’s hard to make any big statements at this moment, because it could all change. By the time you listen to it, everything could be different. I realise that. Anyway, let’s talk football.

Here’s what I’m going to deal with in this episode. I’m planning another one very soon in which I will respond to comments which some of you have left in my forum. You can read that forum thread by clicking here: Luke’s World Cup Comments Forum Thread.

Contents
1. What does the World Cup mean to me?
2. What’s the situation at this time? Who looks strong? What’s going on? The Basic Guide to World Cup 2014.
3. Focus on England
4. Changes to the rules
5. The dark side of the World Cup
6. A brief History of The World Cup

1. What does the World Cup mean to me?
It’s an international celebration. It’s great fun to get caught up in the excitement. It brings people together. It’s a time when we forget our differences and let problems get settled on the football pitch. It’s also nice to see all the hot girls from around the world on TV sometimes. On the more serious side, the World Cup is becoming more and more controversial, basically because of FIFA and the allegations of corruption, and the civil unrest in Brazil around their hosting of the competition. More on that later. Right now, let’s focus on the football, and leave the politics until later.
My world cup story.
Meeting Rai de Oliveira. (Name dropping) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra%C3%AD

2. Who looks like they could win at this stage?
Let’s look at the groups. To help me here, I am quoting from a very useful article on Slate.com called “How to Fake Your Way Through the Tournament Like a Champ”, which is a kind of dummy’s guide to The World Cup 2014. If you don’t know a lot about the World Cup, this might help you. Since the article was written, some things have changed, and are still changing now as games are being played every day, but it will give you a good idea of the context at this stage.

Now listen to part 2 of this World Cup episode!