World Cup moments : Diana Ross USA 94

Opening ceremonies are the greatest waste of time and money in any tournament but USA really takes the biscuit (or cookie).

Enrolling soul diva Diana Ross onto the pitch was fair enough but setting her up for goal celebration was always going to be tough.

She jogged half of the pitch, while singing then only had to roll the penalty into the net.

But like hapless England team penalty taker she totally arsed and managed to miss by a good few yards. The goalkeeper made a dramatic,looping dive and almost saved it. The goals bursting into pieces only highlights the absurdity of the moment.

Good tune though

World Cup Classic players : Hristo Stoichkov

In my opinion there has not been many players better than the famous Bulgarian. The ex-Barcelona hit man was prone to violent outbursts and moments of craziness but this shouldn’t retract from what a wonderful player he was. As he the clip shows he was a dead ball expert maybe only matched by Dejan Stankovic in deadliness from a free-kick. He was also a brilliant forward as goal poacher and creator and able to drift from midfield to attack.

His greatest tournament was USA 94 when he captained his national team to an eventual fourth place, thanks in part to his 6 goals and his wonderful free-kick against Germany in the quarter finals.

Bulgaria could do with such gifted footballer these days.

English will never get the World Cup

It seems like the BBC and assorted British press are a dog with a bone in regards to FIFA and the World Cup. They still can’t believe that Qatar got awarded the tournament despite their questionable attitudes towards gay people, workers conditions and the unbearable heat in their desert location (nobody has really mentioned they aren’t even a football country either). In the end the bid executive committee said those Englanders were too arrogant and entitled in the process, which is clearly impossible from such a humble and fair minded organisation like the FA. Or maybe the old commonwealth countries were getting a little jab back at 200 years of colonialism? Typically Scottish made an arse of themselves and backed the English FA when the fight was already over.

FIFA seem to stumble through one controversy after another and bat off documentaries, investigative journalist pieces, newspaper headlines and TV news segments like Brian Lara on crystal meth . If it is not Sepp Blatter blabbing some archaic opinion, its stories about shady deals and back handers between confederations and presidents. In truth its hard to see what would actually topple the “blazers” in Switzerland.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/world-cup/2014/

And what to England or the English footballing fraternity set to gain from it??

The FA were keen enough to cosy up to FIFA during their bid for hosting the tournament. Quite happy to spend 20 million on the whole process and roll out a grinning David Beckham to give that extra razzmatazz . Maybe they feel scorned because they were promised a proper tilt at the bidding process or even assured of a victory (which in itself would be illegal).

Even if Qatar are proved to be corrupt in their successful election as 2022 hosts the World Cup will not go to another Euro country so close after Russia in 2018 (Russia are all right by the way, they have no problems with racism or homophobia).

2026 could be their next available slot but by that time an asteroid will probably plummet into the atmosphere filling the skies with noxious gasses which shall decimate the human population but leave the good animals like lions, tigers and bears (oh…my) to roam freely and eventually set up their own World Cup.

So as FIFA “step up” their investigation into “acts of wrong doing” don’t hold out for some startling findings. The beans will not be spilled and England will not the get the World Cup any time soon.

ps. If England invite Scotland to bid as some kind of dual “we invented the game and gave it to you lot” special anniversary World Cup i retract everything above.

All the pressure is on Neymar

All the pressure is on Neymar

Whereas his country man, Ronaldo famously buckled under the pressure pre-final versus France 1998 I think Neymar faces a lot more responsibility and it is beginning to take its toll.

The Brazilian superstar has impressed in spells for Barcelona, mainly in the absence of Lionel Messi but having to carry the hopes of a nation, Maradona style and in his backyrad is a lot to handle at such a young age. Added to this he has not competed in a meaningful national game since the Copa America and only had had friendlies and the tiresome Confederations Cup to sharpen his edges.

I hope he doesn’t choke.