Originally posted by Gilsch
Leagues better?? Not sure about that. It was just as shitty although probably not as controversial.
There is always a blemish or two, but this time 'round, the refs understood off-sides. And all the crying about dives is really just that, the refs did a good job, with the one Portuguese game the only glaring exception.
I see you predicted Italy. Good call. I honestly couldn't predict a winner especially after I realized Parreira was gonna stick with the old and unfit players. Brasil plays the same team they played at the confederations cup and we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.
Not so sure about that, the manager's job is never easy. He took a lot of heat for playing Ronaldo, but Ronaldo was far from the least effective man on the pitch. Ronaldinho wasted countless possessions, and he would be counted amongst that younger set...
Saying you would see "european power" in this tournament wasn't quite going out on a limb considering European teams make up almost half of the entire field. It was predictable. No one has won a WC outside of their continent except for Brasil who've done it twice....
So you would rather make an adventurous prediction than the right one?
And as for a "poor" and "humilliating" Euro showing in 2002.... 9 of the 16 in the second round were Euros. 4 of the quarterfinalists were Euros. Two of the final four were Euros and of the other two, Korea got there by "beating" Spain with a lof of help from the refs.(two goals disallowed). Korea had "beaten" Italy in an earlier round with almost as much help from the refs.(Totti red card). One of the finalists was Euro. How is that poor and humiliating?
I would say only one o the fianl four were Euros
Turkey doesn't really count...
Neither the Italians nor the French helped themselves at that tournament. The Italians were cheated, but they played lazy disorganized ball. The French just went to sleep on the field for the worst title defence ever. And regardless of how they lost (PK's after some considerable help by the officiating), you can bet Spain was nothing but embarrassed to be escorted out by the Koreans. Which in the Italy and Spain games brings up that point about officiating again.
All told, France, Italy, and Germany were in the final four, and if Rooney was a little more disciplined, and C.Ronaldo wasn't such a dick*, England might have been there too. I find it useless to try and predict the final four before the opening round since so much can happen to put real contenders on the same side of the draw.