The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

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GooberBM
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by GooberBM » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:24 am

He's less rosy because of the circumstances of his absence. Neymar couldn't be less culpable if he was busy saving puppies from a burning building during the match
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Greg_McNeish » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:40 am

The real tragedy is that I'm not sure they know how to have fun in Brazil, in order to take their minds off things.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:12 am

GooberBM wrote:The top rated national team in the world, got smashed 7-1, on their home soil, in the biggest game of their lives?

Yes, I'd say that qualifies for multiple levels of ridiculousness
Not the top rated national team in the world.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:16 am

Greg_McNeish wrote:Silva's importance to the Brazilian defence looks indisputable, too.
Yea, I saw a picture of David Luiz's heat map and he was all over the place. I saw my favorite team lose last season 4-0, 3-0 to West Ham, 5-0 and 6-0, so I know how the Brazilians feel today. Just totally empty. Though, I will say this, it's hard to summon the strength to riot afterwards. I'm not sure how much happened but when you get utterly destroyed like that I would say it's hard to stay mad. You get a feeling of sadness and depression, not a feeling of anger and violence.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by GooberBM » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:24 am

By every functional rating I had heard before the tournament, Brazil was the top rated team. What rating said otherwise?
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:31 am

Well, FIFA's rankings for one:

http://www.fifa.com/worldranking/rankingtable/
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by GooberBM » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:36 am

Point to Red
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:42 am

What a sad state of affairs it would be if that shambles of a team were the world's top rated. Spain held the position coming into the tournament, but I believe that Germany will go to first place when the new rankings come out next week, even if they had lost last night. Brazil played decent football at times in this tournament, but it was few and far between. I normally don't like to discredit teams who go far in tournaments without playing well, but there was so much luck involved in Brazil's run to the semis, that the first really good team they came up against was always going to make light work of them. If that result ends up causing a much-needed fundamental shift in the Brazilian system, then it'll have been worth it. In a tournament where this team's blatant fouling has generally gone unpunished, it was nice to see that one of the silliest of all (Silva's brainless attempt to take out Colombia's goalkeeper) played such a large part in their destruction. PSG's manager has surely made a mental note to never play Luiz whenever Silva is suspended this season.

By the way, in October 2012 Ireland lost 6-1 at home to Germany in a World Cup qualifier. Brazil lost 7-1 at home to Germany last night. We can take a measure of solace from that. How lovely that we've once again drawn the Germans in our Euro 2016 qualifying group.

Brazil were the favourites with most bookmakers, Goob. Maybe that's what you're thinking of. That can't be based on anything other than home advantage and the fact that they beat Spain 4-0 in the Confederations Cup last year. As we learned in this tournament, though, winning against Spain is no longer the big accomplishment that it used to be.

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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by GooberBM » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:46 am

Primarily, I'd been spending time at fivethirteight.com watch Nate Silver's algorithms

http://www.espnfc.com/fifa-world-cup/st ... ily-update

Which still have Brazil number 1 and Germany 4th, as of yesterday. The update on that for July 9th will be interesting, to say the least
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:44 am

Well, I think the thing I have a problem most with in terms of rankings is it never takes into account the quality of performance. Brazil were fortunate to even be in the semifinal, they struggled in a group with Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon (albeit notching 7 points in the process, if they draw that opener who knows), Pinilla's shot off the bar in the 120th minute against Chile would've put them out, Colombia I thought outplayed them and got screwed by officiating, then there's last night.

They may have been #1 in Silver's measure but there's an old stat with re: to home field advantage in home international matches, it's something like the home team gets .67 goals per game (and you have to consider some teams really struggle in general and may skew that number like San Marino, Luxembourg, Samoa, etc.). It's practically a 1-0 advantage. So saying Brazil is the favorite isn't that tough. Though I thought it was apparent early on that they peaked last year in the Confederations Cup. It wasn't the same team at all.

Mind you, I would never have predicted 7-1 against Germany but I thought the Germans were the favorites last night.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by GooberBM » Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:56 am

More to the point, international ratings and rankings are mostly a crapshoot anyway, on performance bias, sample size, and lack of continuity from one cycle to another. Nobody's rating is gospel

I meant it as a reference point, to Nucks, about how absurd that match was. Whether you have Brazil 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th...they were a top team of some caliber, and they took a historically lopsided beating on their home soil in the World Cup semifinals. Please forgive my hyperbole
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:10 am

Ah ok. Well I was just correcting that they weren't necessarily the top team. They certainly shouldn't have lost 7-1. Losing Thiago Silva was more devastating than Neymar it seems.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:14 am

It's often difficult to say with certainty which team is the best in the world anway. I mean, what happens if the team that wins the World Cup isn't ranked number one in the world? Which of the two teams is the best? Although rankings tend to indicate the best team over a sustained period of time (which means they would likely do well in a league), they often count for little in these competitions, as it seems to take a different kind of skill to win a knockout tournament. Just look at Liverpool in 2005 and Chelsea in 2012. Despite finishing fifth and sixth respectively in their domestic league, they won the Champions League in those years. Based on overall performance, both teams would have been quite low in a ranking of European teams those years, yet still won the big one.

Apologies for bringing up Chelsea's 2012 triumph, Red. I hope I didn't open any old wounds there.

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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Legend_Killer » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:26 pm

Pretty stoked Argentina has made the final. It is always better to have a team you are genuinely cheering for in the final. I really want Messi to win a World Cup. Also happy with Germany being there because I won't mind too much if they win it. I didn't think much of them before the tournament but I have grown to like them throughout because of how they play.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Greg_McNeish » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:22 pm

World's best player versus who I'd consider the most balanced team in the tournament. This has all the makings of a great final.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by GooberBM » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:48 am

#MessiVersusTheMachine
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:26 am

TheLyontamer wrote:Just look at Liverpool in 2005 and Chelsea in 2012. Despite finishing fifth and sixth respectively in their domestic league, they won the Champions League in those years. Based on overall performance, both teams would have been quite low in a ranking of European teams those years, yet still won the big one.

Apologies for bringing up Chelsea's 2012 triumph, Red. I hope I didn't open any old wounds there.
I don't know what you are talking about. I have no recollection of this. That must mean it never happened.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Red_And_Yellow » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:27 am

Greg_McNeish wrote:World's best player versus who I'd consider the most balanced team in the tournament. This has all the makings of a great final.
Argentina have been content with being boring this whole tournament though. Haven't really been a part of any good games yet. The headline and narrative can be sexy, I'm not expecting the final to be. They almost never are. Too much pressure.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by Greg_McNeish » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:35 am

SpoilerShow
Nobody asked you.
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Re: The 20th FIFA World Cup Thread

Post by TheLyontamer » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:42 pm

Luckily the beauty of discussion forums is that people can share opinions without being asked.

This is both my dream and nightmare final. Rather than picking a favourite team, I’ve been staunchly supporting Messi since the beginning of the tournament. But I have a lot of affinity for the nation of Germany and really want to see them win too. Picking a side for the final is very difficult. Here’s some brief thoughts.

On paper and form, Germany is far superior to Argentina. Man for man, almost every German is better than the Argentine who plays in the same position. Even Müller has scored a goal more than Messi. While the Germans have to be seen as massive favourites, though, I think the game will be a lot closer than most people think. The caginess of both attacks wasn’t the only reason that last night’s game was boring. Argentina’s defence was immense and I really don’t think they’re getting enough credit. Great clean tackling meant that Robben was dispossessed almost immediately whenever he got the ball in a dangerous position. Such was the quality of the tackles that he wasn’t even able to dive on the few occasions he appeared to be lining one up. Mascherano had an outstanding game. He might be the most underrated player of the tournament. A midfielder who plays out of position at centre back for Barcelona, he has combined the two to play the role of an excellent defensive midfielder for Argentina. The centre backs hadn’t been great until last night, but they really got their shit together. If Argentina defend like they did last night, Germany will find it very difficult to score against them.

The main concern that I have is their attack. Di María and Higuaín, two of the top attacking players in Europe, have both played very poorly. Agüero didn’t look fit at all when he came on and Lavezzi has been anonymous throughout the games. The killer blow could be the fact that Messi isn’t looking as sharp as he did at the beginning of the World Cup. His injury last season dealt a big blow to his fitness and he wasn’t the same during Barcelona games after he came back, despite scoring a reasonable amount of goals. His uncanny ability to hold the ball is still there, but he’s lost a lot of his flair and aura that lifts his teammates and creates moments of magic. He appeared to be rediscovering that to some extent in the group stage and Switzerland game, but he’s been looking worryingly out of his depth in the last two games, as he did for Barcelona for much of last season. He really did very little of note in either. If he doesn't perform, I don't see where Argentina's goals are coming from. Even if it’s the last big tournament he wins in his career, I’m hoping he can summon one more display of genius to capture the one big trophy that has eluded him. The German defenders won’t make it easy, though.

Taking all things into consideration, I'm not expecting a great game. It could easily be another nervy 0-0 draw after 120 minutes. A match very similar to yesterday's could well be Argentina's best chance of being crowned champions.

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