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World Cup... one month away

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Who do you guys think will win, take 2nd, etc., and what is the level of soccer fever in your country?

I live in Japan, where people are going soccer crazy at the moment, a month ahead of the World Cup in Germany. Japan lost tonight to Bulgaria, but the Japanese coach was using the match as a final cut for choosing next month's starters.

I think Brazil will take the Cup, but am undecided after that.

Another question is the behavior of fans during games: the game tonight saw some booing while the Bulgarians had the ball; is this norm? It seems to be increasing in Japan, and personally I think it really shows badly for the country.

 

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post #2 of 34
Brazil will not win because a Bundesliga referee will inevitably officiate the final. Brazil's success is heavily dependent on tough play getting whistled down. Even so, supposedly pure statistics has Italy winning. I would like to see England win, but as of late it appears that they may have a toothless attack. I do expect Peter Crouch to give the South American teams loads of trouble, though.

Anyway, if you're looking for a little pre-cup excitement, there's always the Champions League Final on May 17th. There's a good chance that it will be a better game than most of the World Cup matches. I think most people expect it to be a run-away for Barcelona, but they forget that Paris is nearly home turf for Arsenal. 8)
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post #3 of 34
Don't see the attraction to soccer.
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post #4 of 34
I don't like the violent fans...
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
Brazil will not win because a Bundesliga referee will inevitably officiate the final. Brazil's success is heavily dependent on tough play getting whistled down. Even so, supposedly pure statistics has Italy winning. I would like to see England win, but as of late it appears that they may have a toothless attack. I do expect Peter Crouch to give the South American teams loads of trouble, though.

Anyway, if you're looking for a little pre-cup excitement, there's always the Champions League Final on May 17th. There's a good chance that it will be a better game than most of the World Cup matches. I think most people expect it to be a run-away for Barcelona, but they forget that Paris is nearly home turf for Arsenal. 8)

England looked pretty good until Rooney went down. I think it will be a good cup with an unexpected winner.
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Are most of the European teams getting lots of full squad practice in? Japan has several key players who are on European teams so they often cannot make it back for various matches and so the full squad doesn't get to practice as a whole.

 

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post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Performa636CD
I don't like the violent fans...

Good point; it really detracts from the sport. Sometimes it gets to the point where I feel that the team the crazies are supportinfg should lose by default, but then the team and the country are hurt by a few morons. The booing in last night's game by the Japanese crowd left me feeling not so upset that Japan lost 2-1, except the team played a good game. Perhaps next time I will watch the game with the sound off.

What will the rules be for rowdy fans at the World Cup? The UK, for example, has a bad reputation for hooligans... will they be stopped early or will we have to wait and see?

 

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post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by southside grabowski
Don't see the attraction to soccer.

It's a sport. Since it's very accessible, it has become very popular. In other words, all you need is a ball and feet to play it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Performa636CD
I don't like the violent fans...

I'm told that the vast, vast majority of spectactors outside of Glasgow haven't had too much trouble with violence unless they have sought violence. To answer some questions about hooligans, their passports get taken away during large, foreign tournaments such as the World Cup. Beyond this, the cost of World Cup tickets is extremely high on the open market, and it's unlikely that a critical mass of like-minded hooligans could have beat the ticket lottery.
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post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
Brazil will not win because a Bundesliga referee will inevitably officiate the final. Brazil's success is heavily dependent on tough play getting whistled down.

I watch Barcelona many times each season and I think that Ronaldhino - as well as other La Liga players such as Carlos and Ronaldo - is well used to being hacked down and still manage to score amazing goals on a weekly basis.

Quote:
I would like to see England win,



Quote:
but as of late it appears that they may have a toothless attack.

The problem is not England's attack -which may or may not be toothless but their own mindless arrogance which is coupled with an outmoded fear of winning. Thankfully this ensures they will always shoot themselves in the foot (Rooney injury - Beckham injury last WC).

I think England will just sink below the waterline like an overloaded Titanic after this WC. McClaren will be a disaster and in any sport England are just not comfortable as winners preferring what has become known as the 'Henman approach': basically a method of cranking up the jingoism and 'pride' to 11 while simultaneously reducing actual achievement to the minus scale.

They just don't have the psychological make-up to be winners and even when they have realistic chances the national psyche (through its main agent the gutter press) will ensure that both feet are blown off with a bunker-buster.

The whole sorry saga of the English manager fiasco from fake sheikh to Scolari is just the latest in a long line of such incidents. Can anyone really imagine this sort of pantomime in any other country in the run up to a WC?

Quote:
I do expect Peter Crouch to give the South American teams loads of trouble, though.

Good one!

Watch out for Messi if he's fit - Argentina could do something. I have a sneaking suspicion it could be the Dutch although one can never write off the Germans. And they WILL beat England on penalties in round 2. Bet the house on it - you heard it here first.

Spain could be a dark horse if they get their *** together. Which is unlikely.
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post #10 of 34
To be fair, soccer's reputation for violent fans might exist just because soccer is the world's most popular sport.

I played soccer alot when I was younger and the only reason I don't play now is because of the endurance training required to play any game longer than 5 minutes. To be quite honest, soccer is one boring sport to watch on TV, but I suppose it can be an acquired taste as I like watching baseball on TV and that is an EXTREMELY boring sport to watch.

I'm excited to see how well each country does. I hope the country with the most roudy fans...loses
post #11 of 34
English hooliganism hasn't been what it was for some ten years. The ones to watch are the Polish and the Russians.

I think that Portugal will take it: great team, best coach in the world, fired up after losing to Greece in the Euro final, their bad luck can't last forever. Well, I'm hoping.

England haven't got a hope. If Germany get to the final they'll win. Brazil will do very, very well because they're the best football team. Other than that it's pretty open, I think.

We're at World Cup Fever 6, I'd say; lots of cabbies flying flags, everyone expecting England to crash out gloriously.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Performa636CD
To be quite honest, soccer is one boring sport to watch on TV,

What leagues are you watching?
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post #13 of 34
Premier and Champions League (when I was in England) and the MLS here in the States.
post #14 of 34
LOL Wow Segovius. You don't like the Brits much do you? I actually thought England had as good a chance as anyone until Shrek, er Rooney got injured. The horribly mediocre manager notwithstanding.

The Germans are a BAD team. BAD. So bad that had they been able to get all the foreign players they wanted, they'd field a team composed of 6 or 7 foreign born players. I don't know how much the home cooking can help them.

Brasil won't in it because they are overwhelming favorites and that has been their undoing in "modern" times(after the 1970 WC victory). Since 1970, they have not done very well when being favoured to win it. If the best team always won, Brasil would have 10 WC trophies. If not more.

A team that is looking very strong is Italy. Even with Totti's injury.

I would love it if someone who has never won it were to win it. Holland? sPAIN? (emphasis on PAIN). Argentina has a lot of good players too. Messi is an awesome talent...if fit. But man do I dislike those arrogant diving bastahds. Anyone but Argentina please.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Gilsch
LOL Wow Segovius. You don't like the Brits much do you? I actually thought England had as good a chance as anyone until Shrek, er Rooney got injured. The horribly mediocre manager notwithstanding.

It's a Celt thing....

Actually I think they have a better chance without Rooney. He is without doubt the most over-rated player playing today. Possibly ever.

Look at his record: no goals in WC qualification, no goals in Europe for Man U, never scores more than 20 a season which is probably the benchmark - check E'to and Ronaldhino's stats.

I just can't see it.

Apart from that they have some solid players. But Owen Hargreaves ?????? Seriously - can anyone explain why?
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post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
I thought Owen would have moved on after the last world cup... is Beckham still on the aquad? There is an uncontrolable Beckham fever here in Japan which had many girls showing up to the matches during the last WC held here not to watch the game or root for any particular team but to see him. It was amazing; personally, I don't understand the intrigue. Long hair and a high-pitched voice (for someone who doesn't know he plays soccer)?

How do you guys who know the soccer world better than I do (which is easy as my wife and I only watch the Japan national team's matches... I'm not really a big sports fan) think the Japanese team will do? They are in group F with Australia, Croatia, and oh how I wish this wasn't true, Brazil.

 

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post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Bergermeister
How do you guys who know the soccer world better than I do (which is easy as my wife and I only watch the Japan national team's matches... I'm not really a big sports fan) think the Japanese team will do? They are in group F with Australia, Croatia, and oh how I wish this wasn't true, Brazil.

There is potential for Brazil come unstuck in that group actually and maybe Japan could sneak through in second.

Haven't seen them much though but I think they have one or two good players don't they?
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post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
They do have a few good players. Nakata, Oguro, Ono, Alex (foreign born but changed his nationality) and a couple of others. A couple of them play on European teams, which is why Japan lost their last match: a lot of the talent wasn't available to play. Tamada is rising quickly, just isn't getting the goals he deserves, and Kawaguchi is a pretty good keeper. I think they can beat the other teams in the group, and they put up a good fight against Brazil last fall.

Soccer is a rather new thing here, starting not so long before the last WC, so it has a lot of room to develop (which it is doing rather quickly). Baseball (snore) is the most popular sport here, probably more so than in the US. Japan did win the World Baseball Classic (the only baseball game I have ever enjoyed watching, though I used to play catcher).

 

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post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Gilsch
I would love it if someone who has never won it were to win it. Holland? sPAIN? (emphasis on PAIN). Argentina has a lot of good players too. Messi is an awesome talent...if fit. But man do I dislike those arrogant diving bastahds. Anyone but Argentina please.



AR-GEN-TINA
AR-GEN-TINA
AR-GEN-TINA
AR-GEN-TINA
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Gilsch
LOL Wow Segovius. You don't like the Brits much do you? I actually thought England had as good a chance as anyone until Shrek, er Rooney got injured. The horribly mediocre manager notwithstanding.

The Germans are a BAD team. BAD. ...

A team that is looking very strong is Italy. Even with Totti's injury. ...

I would love it if someone who has never won it were to win it. Holland? sPAIN? (emphasis on PAIN). Argentina has a lot of good players too. Messi is an awesome talent...if fit. But man do I dislike those arrogant diving bastahds. Anyone but Argentina please.

Wow. . . I think I could have written that. Did you see Huth play in Chelsea's last match (against Newcastle)? He was absolute shit. I've never actually seen him do anything good for Chelsea, but to be fair, when he does come on it's rare, and it's usually in a position that I don't think is natural to him.

Spain will be interesting this year. They have a great (and young) team, but they have a habit of choking. Their group is EASY, but they do have to play against Shevchenko ... err, Ukraine ... So it's conceivable they could lose that match. If they make it out, they only have to play Group G, who is also weak. Mark my words, Switzerland will win that group.

Interestingly, it's looking like Ukraine could make it relatively far. This is good, since I was given once a Ukraine T-Shirt, and I might actually have an opportunity to wear it.
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post #21 of 34
ITALIA!!!!!



Watch a game with the USA playing and you'll get hooked.. hell, bet on a match, and you'll get even more hooked (like any sport I guess ;-) )
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post #22 of 34
Spline: Huth is a huge question mark for me. Why? lol You're right about the positional thing. I mean, someone like him should be....a fat goalie? Yet I've seen MAUREENho play him all over the field.

I'm a Liverpool fan and I dislike MAUREENho and Chelsea with a passion. I would love to FINALLY see Spain go far...and even win it. Just don't see the "Furia" doing it. That very heavy choking factor. And you may be right about Shevshenkraine. No pressure, nothing to lose....could hurt someone's chances.

Someone asked about Japan. I haven't seen them play lately to be quite honest. I do LOVE Zico. He was a genius. I hope he has instilled some improvisational qualities into the squad because they used to look too "mechanized". Plus, Zico knows Brasil's weaknesses....that could come to haunt Brasil. (for jinxing purposes I DID NOT just say that).

I love Brasil and hope they win it again. ANYONE but Argentina.

Icibaqu: are you an argie?
post #23 of 34
Yes, y VIVA LA PATRIA!

But I guess I see your problem now, an overdeveloped affinity for Brasil.

I'll root for Brasil (and all Latin American teams) also until I need to root exclusively for Argentina (y'know, in the Finals).

This World Cup is going to be so much friendlier to my sleep schedule than the last one. I must have peronally caused a 4% sale spike in both coffee and beer. (it went well with my 40% drop in productivity at work)
post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
Zico is an amazing character... the Japanese call the national team program Zico Japan, and they feel very honored to have him here. One interesting thing happened when Brazil came over for a match (maybe during the last WC): all the Brazil players ran over and kissed Zico; he seems to be a god to them.

About the mechanized charater of the squad... soccer in general is a very new thing to Japan and is improving rapidly. At first it was a lot of, "this is the way it is done", knowing rather than feeling and living how it is done. Things are improving.

 

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post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by icibaqu
Yes, y VIVA LA PATRIA! But I guess I see your problem now, an overdeveloped affinity for Brasil.

"Problem"? I think it is you who has a problem. Or argies in general when it comes to Brasil that is. When there's an upcoming game vs. Brasil I love to check out the sports dailies such as Ole. Journalism doesn't get much lower than that.

I loved how the argie writers were bashing and ridiculing everything Brasilian after defeating Brasil in the qualifiers and then when they were destroyed in the Confederations cup by Brasil (baile du samba) they didn't even have the balls to acknowledge it. The cover didn't mention a thing about the game the next day. In fact it was something like a post it with a message that read: "Error: 30-06-2005 For technical reasons we were unable to print this cover. Until tomorrow."
Pathetic but very predictable.
Quote:
I'll root for Brasil (and all Latin American teams) also until I need to root exclusively for Argentina (y'know, in the Finals).

Yeah, that wasn't arrogant. You must've been doing a lot of rooting last world cup. Oh wait. First round exit. Nevermind.
post #26 of 34
no vamos ganhar..... vai ser show de bol
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Gilsch
"Problem"? I think it is you who has a problem. Or argies in general when it comes to Brasil that is. When there's an upcoming game vs. Brasil I love to check out the sports dailies such as Ole. Journalism doesn't get much lower than that.

I loved how the argie writers were bashing and ridiculing everything Brasilian after defeating Brasil in the qualifiers and then when they were destroyed in the Confederations cup by Brasil (baile du samba) they didn't even have the balls to acknowledge it. The cover didn't mention a thing about the game the next day. In fact it was something like a post it with a message that read: "Error: 30-06-2005 For technical reasons we were unable to print this cover. Until tomorrow."
Pathetic but very predictable. Yeah, that wasn't arrogant. You must've been doing a lot of rooting last world cup. Oh wait. First round exit. Nevermind.




i hear "it's the most wonderful time of the year" in my head. ah, i love the mundial.
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
Japan drew against Scotland tonight in the Kirin Cup, which Scotland won (going into the game Japan needed to win by 3 to take the cup). The game was scoreless, but I will say that the Japan team looked fantastic, for the first time. They were passing well and aggressively forward and their defense worked for a change. Zico is announcing the WC team members in 2 days.

Scotland, on the other hand, looked good, but petty and dirty. They played well until they realized it was not going to be an easy match, and then things went downhill. They got 4 (5?) yellow cards (including by one of their top strikers within minutes of coming on the field) and sent one Japanese defensiveman off injured by an elbow.

The crowd gave the Scots hell after the injury mentioned above.

 

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post #29 of 34
Watching the FA cup final - what a game! Extra time now!
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post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
Watching the FA cup final - what a game! Extra time now!

Wow. Best goal in the FA Cup Final... ever. (ish.)
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
Wow. Best goal in the FA Cup Final... ever. (ish.)

That Stevie G goal was amazing. Even more amazing due to the timing. Go on you Reds!!

Great match. Too bad there had to be a loser. Congrats to West Ham on a great performance. I'm exhausted and a little drunk. Going back to bed.

You'll Never Walk Alone.
post #32 of 34
I am rooting for my country, Costa Rica.

I would like Spain to win a World Cup.

Mexico is going to win it.
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by soulcrusher
I am rooting for my country, Costa Rica.

I would like Spain to win a World Cup.

Mexico is going to win it.

Not if they have to play the USA first. . . Mexico's seeding was a gift as spurrious as the USA's current FIFA ranking.

Quote:
Originally posted by Gilsch
That Stevie G goal was amazing. Even more amazing due to the timing. Go on you Reds!!

Gerrard is something like 8.50:1 payout to be England's top world cup goal scorer. If you ask me, those are good odds. I think he has it in him to be the tournament's top scorer. . . Although there has been some talk about pairing Joe Cole with Owen, which might actually work. Cole's odds are actually even higher, so throw a dollar. . . err, pound . . . on him as well.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bergermeister
Scotland, on the other hand, looked good, but petty and dirty. They played well until they realized it was not going to be an easy match, and then things went downhill. They got 4 (5?) yellow cards (including by one of their top strikers within minutes of coming on the field) and sent one Japanese defensiveman off injured by an elbow.

Some of us like that style of play. You might be able to dig up some tremendous video clips of hard-play from the "old Division 1." I know I enjoy watching them tremendously, but then again, I came to soccer via ice hockey and rugby. In the process, you might find some video clips that will make you appreciate the tremendous irony of Cantona hosting Nike's "beautiful game" ads.
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post #34 of 34
Mexico?

Um. OK. If they beat Brazil, Portugal, England, Spain, Holland or Argentina...
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