Yes Mario Gotze the man who, every time his name was mentioned had me hankering to shout out the title of that toe-tapping tune produced by everybody’s favourite cock-er-nee duo Chas and Dave, won it for Germany. I’m grateful for the headline and I’m grateful we didn’t have to sit through penalties as I don’t think the nerves could have stood it.
Definitely a weary marathon not a fancy sprint, it was still a game to be admired, although I don’t think Messi or Higuain will want to look back at the chances they spurned. Worse though was making Messi collect the Golden Ball, for player of the tournament at the end of the game. Apart from the torture of him having to sheepishly collect some bit of tat while standing inches from the golden trophy he really wanted, was he really the player of the tournament? He carried his team through the group stage but his impact has lessened as the tournament has gone on. Balls indeed.
As befits the Final, the Beeb boys were suited and booted, although I think I would have preferred t-shirt and shorts to Rio Ferdinand’s double breasted, white buttoned little number, which was something of a crime against humanity. The biggest crime against humanity though (in a footballing sense before anyone thinks I am exaggerating) is of course Mark Lawrenson and so we made best use of the red button so that we could hear the dulcet tones of Mike Ingham on Radio5Live one last time. As it was his swan song I will forgive his, “They do explode when they counter attack. And that is very dangerous.” Yes Mike, exploding players would be dangerous and also a little bit messi (BOOM!)
Going back to clothing for a brief moment, it wasn’t just the team on the pitch wot won it. It was also the coolest manager with the best haircut and outfit (the golden wardrobe award is sponsored by TLF’s mum).
A little less cool throughout the whole tournament has been FIFA. When they weren’t imposing massive fines on teams for not sending the right number of players to a press conference, they were imposing very teeny-tiny fines for head butts, bites and laser pens and doing sweet FA (see what I did there?) in relation to official complaints about racist and homophobic chanting. Oh and getting upset about fans being drunk at games, after they insisted that the ban on selling alcohol in stadia be lifted because Budweiser is a main sponsor. And to show they are consistently stupid, it has just been announced that for the next World Cup, the Russians have agreed to FIFA’s request and will lift their ban on alcohol in stadia, once again to keep happy the purveyors of American fizzy, watery beer.
Talking of beer, I’m afraid it was excess of that plus some high octane table football which made me very much a fair weather oranje supporter on Saturday night. The TV was on, but my focus was elsewhere as a small gathering (NOT a party) broke out Chez TLF. When I wasn’t trying to be the hostess with the mostest (and failing dismally) I was doing my best to try and identify the tipping point where alcohol is no longer the performance enhancing substance it can be (reducing the tension and stress) and instead leaves me looking a bit England and Spain on the table football pitch. Some brave, van Gaal-like tactical changes by Steve did help us avoid humiliation at the hands of small children, but I knew it was time to gracefully retire and leave it to the not at all competitive grown-ups. So I parted with my football reputation just about intact, unlike Brazil who folded again, this time choosing to rely not on Neymar’s shirt as the talisman but by putting him on the bench in full kit like a little lucky and injured mascot. Taxi for Scolari!
Just like Brazil has to tidy up and get back to normal I too need to take a long hard look at the state of my study (yes, OK Mr TLF. And the living room). I am surrounded by post-its, newspaper cuttings and notebooks and before it all goes in the recycling bin, just one last look back. Best bits for TLF?
Thierry Henry, Holland v Spain, Chile, people at my party greeting him indoors with, ‘so nice to meet Mr TLF’, vanishing free kick foam – particularly when it goes over a player’s boots, the Mexico manager’s excess celebrations…the lowest paid gaffer at the tournament making it much further than some mega paid failures. And of course; my fantastic world cup keyring (the ball goes round!!!)
The worst? Not many really.
FIFA is clearly a given. Pundits of course, with a special mention for Waddle and Savage. The regular and obligatory shots of ‘bootiful laydeez’ in the crowd; either cut it out completely or even things up a bit with a balanced male to female ratio. Fallout from Suarez. Fallout from Neymar.
But these are a mere BAGATELLE (he plays for Italy…), a minor pimple on the beautiful face of a great tournament, which has shown that beyond all the nonsense and corporate excess players will still do amazing things on the pitch and fans will cry, laugh, hug, cheer and facepaint their way through anything you throw at them. Four weeks disappears in a blur of goals, great saves, penalties and early morning typing. A blog a day almost kept sanity at bay and there is something a bit worrying about not wanting England to equalise because “the blog is almost done and a comeback would ruin it.”
That’s food for thought…and so are these: My food XI
Joe Hart, Jan Vertong(ue)hen, Philip Lahm, Bacary (la)Sagne, Jorge Fucile, Edam Hazard, Danielle Di Rosti, Serge Busquets (great for dunking), Javier Maraschino, Georgios Spameras, Alex Oxtail-Chamberlain. Sorry; couldn’t resist.
It’s time for the wall charts to come down, for one last Mr TLF head-shake-of-despair inducing shout of ‘put it WIIIIDE!’ from yours truly and for the grimy not yet washed tournament T-shirt to slope off without human intervention to the washing machine. It’s been global, it’s been a pleasure.
Auf weidershen Copa do Mundo
A great while ago the world begun
With hey ho the wind and the rain:
But that’s all one, our Play is done
And we’ll strive to please you everyday.
The Low Fox
World Cup Final
Germany 1 Argentina 0 aet
3rd place play-off
Holland 3 Brazil 0
Last phrase German and Portugese
Sie denhen es ist alles vorbei. Es ist jetzt
Eles acham que esta tudo acabudo. E agora
They think it’s all over. It is now.
Webiness – Euro 2016…hmmm…France. I think it might be time for TLF to become a roving correpondent.
And a spoof film to make you smile