Here it is, soccer fans. The Daily Caller’s Ultimate Master Guide To Everything You Ever Need To Know About The 2014 FIFA World Cup In Brazil.
Brace yourself for over a month’s worth of whining from the MLB/NFL/NBA purist who doesn’t understand the offside rule and insists the game “still sucks.” Prepare for some thoroughly embarrassing “expert” opinions from that guy in the bar who thinks the game was invented in 1992. And yes, there will more than likely be some tedious BuzzFeed listicles about the best player simulations, eccentric jerseys and players that look like cats.
All that aside, there should be some great entertainment on the field.
For the entirety of the tournament, Ewan Watt will be providing grizzled, foul-tempered Scottish punditry for The Daily Caller on everything you need to know about the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This will range from a comprehensive background on each team, short posts on the games, and some history, ranging from failed drug tests to a team’s struggle to understand the rules to why an Arab prince halted the game and got a referee’s decision overturned.
In the build up, we’ll be releasing guides to the different groups, so buckle in, study up and become the master you’ve always said you were anyway.
Overview: At some point during this World Cup, Argentina will be regarded as favorites. Whether it’s a five-goal demolition during the group stages or one of the greatest goals scored at a World Cup, pundits will start raving about Argentina’s prospects only for La Albiceleste to fall short and disappoint.
Since losing their title in a rather temperamental 1990 World Cup final, the Argentine’s have had no shortage of talent, but have failed to get beyond the quarter-finals. Worse still, since winning the World Cup in 1986, Argentina have won just three World Cup knockout matches in normal time.
As ever, Alejandro Sabella brings a team filled with quality, most notably their captain and the greatest player of his generation, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. And yet, like Cristiano Ronaldo with Portugal, Messi has often been criticized for struggling to bring his exploits at club level to big games on the international stage. As Argentina qualified comfortably for Brazil, Messi’s recent performances for his country suggest that he could answer some of his critics at the World Cup.
But others have also come under the microscope, including Sergio Agüero, who has enjoyed yet another fruitful season in England with Manchester City — and will be expected to deliver in Brazil.
After his inspiring performance in the Champions League Final, Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria will also have captured a bit more attention.
Like qualifying, the Argentine’s should coast through their group, but similar predictions were made when they crashed out, albeit against tougher opposition, in 2002.
Best World Cup Performance: Champions (1978, 1986)
FIFA Ranking: 5th
Most famous World Cup moment: The best goal ever scored at a World Cup. Or perhaps the best goal ever scored? In the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, Diego Maradona picked the ball up in his own half and went on a little run. Despite England’s tackling being nothing short of pathetic, it was still a stunning goal.
… Most infamous: Some may point to the infamous “Hand of God” moment, when the arm of Maradona denied England the chance of a place in the World Cup semi-finals. Or even the fact that the Argentine’s became the first team to have players sent off in a World Cup final. Far more serious was his failed drug test at the 1994 tournament, which tarnished the legacy of one of the all-time greats. It wasn’t as if there were no obvious signs.
Sound like an expert: “They’ve certainly got the players to do it, and Messi is starting to replicate his club form for his country.”