Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a competitive sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal. The most prominent tournament in the sport is the FIFA World Cup, which is held once every four years and consists of teams from all over the world.
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- It is with great pleasure, and I know I say that every week and don't mean it. But, this week I really, really, really mean it. It is with great pleasure, that we welcome back to the pod, the man who many of us know as the voice of football, I think of as. If a soccer ball could actually talk? It would sound just like this man. Welcome back to Men in Blazers, Sir Ian Darke.
- Football is a simple game. 22 women chase a ball for ninety minutes and at the end, the United States win.
- The fireworks began at dawn. All around this city, loud pops and bangs rang out as men and women and children, so many dressed in yellow, set off flares and beeped car horns. It was supposed to be a magical day. The Brazilian national soccer team, playing at home, was one game away from a World Cup final. No one could have guessed the tears would come before halftime. No one could have imagined there would be flags burning in the streets before dinner. Certainly no one could have envisioned that any Brazilian fans, watching their team play a semifinal in a celebrated stadium, would ever consider leaving long before full time. It all happened. The 2014 World Cup, first plagued by questions about funding and protests and infrastructure and construction, then buoyed by scads of goals and dramatic finishes and a contagious spirit of joy from the local residents, will ultimately be remembered for this: the home team, regarded as the sport’s superpower, being throttled like an overmatched junior varsity squad that somehow stumbled into the wrong game.
- You will agree with me, these are unprecedented and difficult times for FIFA. The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over football and over this week’s congress. Actions of individuals, if proven, bring shame and humiliation on football and demand action and change from us all. We cannot allow the reputation of football and FIFA to be dragged through the mud any longer. It has to stop here and now. I know many people hold me ultimately responsible for the actions and reputation of the global football community, whether it’s a decision for the hosting of the World Cup, or a corruption scandal. We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all of the time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it. But it must fall to me to bear the responsibility for the reputation and well-being of our organisation and to find a way forward to fix things. I will not allow the actions of a few to destroy the hard work and integrity of the vast majority of those who work so hard for football. I must stress that those who are corrupt in football are in a thin minority, like in society. But, like in society, they must be caught and held responsible for their actions. Football cannot be the exception to the rule. That is our responsibility as FIFA and we will co-operate with all authorities to make sure than anyone involved in wrongdoing, from top to bottom, is discovered and punished. There can be no place for corruption of any kind. The next few months will not be easy for FIFA. I’m sure more bad news may follow. But it is necessary to begin to restore trust in our organisation. Let this be the turning point. More needs to be done to make sure everyone in football to make sure everyone behaves responsibility and ethically, and everywhere also outside of the field of play, where there is no referee, no boundaries and no time limit. Football, the fans, the players, the clubs, the world, deserves so much more and we must respond. Tomorrow, the congress, we have the opportunity to begin on what will be a long and difficult road to rebuilding trust. We have lost that trust, at least a part of it, and we must now earn it back. We must earn it back through the decisions we make, through the expectations we place on each other and through the way we behave individually. The vast majority, we are all in football and we like this game, not for greed, not for exploitation, not for power, but the cause of love for the game, for this game.
- International soccer is the ultimate in small samples. In many ways, the volume of results is even smaller than it is for college football. Few games truly matter, and for the United States, most of those that do are against smaller Caribbean or Central American countries. Meanwhile, friendlies can be interpreted with whatever spin you choose. Overreact to bad losses and ignore good wins? Go for it. Direct opposite? Have at it. You're somewhat correct either way. With such a small pool of results from which to choose, the decision to fire a coach is going to be based on either tiny samples or large waves of meaningless matches. No matter what criteria we choose, we'll probably be overreacting to something.
- Bill Connelly, "The case for keeping Jurgen Klinsmann as USMNT manager" (23 July 2015), by B. Connelly, SBNation.
- Considering Klinsmann's charge was to both create results and develop the player pool for the future, he's done fine. Not great, not amazing, but fine. He's come up with some nice wins, and he's introduced exciting, likable young players like DeAndre Yedlin and Gyasi Zardes to a larger audience. Losses like the one to Jamaica happen in this sport. The timing was horrifying, but it was still a match the U.S. wins more often than not.
- Bill Connelly, "The case for keeping Jurgen Klinsmann as USMNT manager" (23 July 2015), by B. Connelly, SBNation.
- When he was hired to basically hold two distinct, vital roles within U.S. Soccer, manager and technical director, Klinsmann set out to achieve a single goal. Create a program that can compete with the world's heavyweights. To date, this has resulted in both his brightest and darkest moments. The U.S. has seemingly played its best against the most relevant teams it has faced. Germany, Italy, Mexico, et cetera. But this approach has also revealed something pretty damning: he doesn't give a single crap about CONCACAF opponents. The loss to Jamaica further established that; while the U.S. was the better team for a majority the match, they seemed ill-prepared for the things Jamaica did the best.
- When you hire Jurgen Klinsmann, you're hiring someone who is going to ask questions, pick at scabs, make as many behind-the-scenes changes as he is allowed to make and probably eventually get fired after he has alienated too many people. You're also signing up to probably be better off when he leaves than you were when he arrived. That's the way it worked for the German national team and, to some degree, for Bayern Munich, and that's the way it will probably be with the USMNT.
- Despite setbacks, Klinsmann has to date managed to improve the USMNT's overall results while also installing a bright future. And if the future looks solid and the present doesn't look nearly as bad as we seem to want to think, there's really no need for a move yet. This marriage is going to end one day, and it probably won't be pretty, but it's not time just yet. There is a bit more water that needs stirring first.
- I think he was greeted when he arrived at the hotel in Brazil by a topless model and a guy dressed as Donald Duck.
- I think he's saying there should be more than a minute.
- Here's Toni Kroos. Sami Khedira. Now Müller. Free kick's going to be given Brazil's way; this is turbocharged.
- Klose, with a corner. Goes a long way and a goal! It's him again! Thomas Müller with his tenth World Cup goal in history, to put the Germans ahead! Well Brazil were behind in their opening game of the tournament against Croatia and came back to win. But, it might be a much harder job. Chasing Germany, of all the players.
- Oh, Kroos. Here's more problems here, it's Klose! The history man, he's done it! Two, nil! And that's the goal that puts him in the record books, forever! Brazil being taken to the cleaners, so far. Sixteen goals, an all time World Cup record. And this is his twenty-third World Cup appearance. The tears of Brazil, and that young lady not the only one spilling tears around this nation at the moment. But, wait a minute! Here's Bernard! Can he do something to get Brazil back into this?
- But, it isn't working. They're two down. Lahm, this time. Müller missed it! And that's three, Toni Kroos! Germany are running riot! They cannot believe it! Splendid hit, from Kroos. You've got something on that, as well. With Julio Cesar, couldn't keep it out. And Toni Kroos marks his fiftieth cap for Germany, with a goal. And once or twice in there, it's just resembling a shooting gallery. Oh, and look at this now. This could get worse; Khedira plays it inside. Oh! It's four, nil! Unbelievable! Kroos again! And Brazil are just being played off the park! This is quite astonishing.
- Two in two minutes for him, and Brazil's World Cup is surely over. This is the first time ever, that Brazil have trailed by four goals in a World Cup match. Four-nil down, twenty-six minutes on the clock. Germany, just too good? This is Brazil, not so much without Neymar. But, without Thiago Silva. Organizing their defense, and this could get a lot worse. Yeah? Unless this team tightens up somehow. Terrible mistake by Fernandinho on that last goal.
- Look at this, again! Khedira plays it wide, Özil! Khedira again! Five, nil! This is utterly, beyond belief! Where is this goal scoring going to end? Well, if this was boxing? The referee would be stopping it, to save Brazil from further punishment. Five goals in the first twenty-nine minutes from a rampant Germany; Brazil have simply unraveled. Fred, here's Luiz Gustavo. Marcelo. Just need something, anything. To lift their confidence, but.
- Lahm, Khedira. Lahm, again. Trying to make sure, and they do make sure! Six, nil! You wonder where all this is going to end for Germany? Schürrle, getting in on the act. Well, they're really booing now. André Schürrle. Fred was booed off in the middle of all that. And Schürrle gets his second goal of the tournament, he got one against Algeria as well. Six, nil. Germany, really rubbing Brazil's noses in it.
- I think it's a sort of morbid fascination, for the Brazil fans now. They've paid a lot for their tickets, they're going to see it, whatever the story. I don't think they'll be watching a replay when they get home, somehow. How good are this German team?
- Could be more, here's Schürrle! Once again, that's seven! An utter humiliation for Brazil, just got worse! Germany in seventh heaven! What a hit that is; nothing Julio Cesar could've done really. That was travelling at the speed of sound, a devastated Julio Cesar. A devastated Brazil; a devastated nation. Most goals ever scored in a World Cup semi-final by one team. The records are tumbling by the second, it seems here. Ramires. I think these players frankly would like to get off this pitch and go into a tunnel, that led to Tristan da Cunha or somewhere. Bernard's cross, Marcelo. There's not enough room on the caption. They've got roll it through, to get all the goal scorers on. Two goals for André Schürrle since coming on as a substitute.
- Brazil, in their famous history have allowed seven goals only one other time. That was in 1934, when they lost eight-four to Yugoslavia. Well, you and I are pinching ourselves. I think everybody here is. Seven, nil? Yeah, me too. You've got to say, as bad have Brazil have been? Germany have just been absolutely brilliant. Schürrle. Olés now, and I think the Brazil fans are starting to join with it. They're starting to applaud the Germans, what else can they do? Really? Well it's an embarrassment for Luiz Felipe Scolari, as the coach. Isn't he, is? Schürrle, to cut that one back. And you wonder what the? The reaction of the fans will be? We? We've heard about protests and demonstrations, people saying this World Cup wasn't worth the money that was spent on it because more should be invested in the infrastructure of the country. Will those protests come back again? Well, there's going to be a big clear-out isn't there? For certain, after this World Cup. Okay, they've got to the semi-final. That's no mean achievement; plenty didn't of course. Here's Lahm, he'll want to get on the act as well. Schürrle wants a hat-trick. Well, you're watching a game here that's going to go down as one of the most astonishing in the entire history of the World Cup. Bernard, Paulinho. Marcelo, they're trying to give the crowd something. Ramires, no. He's not in the mood for getting beaten.
- As quiet as a library.
- This is over. No way back for Japan, who in my view are lucky to make this final.
- They don't get the throw-in, that's it. It's game over and they're chasing Mark Geiger. That's not good. That's a, no. That's going to really, really put this game on an uglier note than we already have. You cannot charge the referee like that. Cannot. Tough, tough ending.
- Let's not quibble. For the good of the USMNT, the United States Soccer Federation needs to relieve Jurgen Klinsmann of his managerial duties. That's not a reaction purely based on Wednesday's dire performance against Jamaica, though that match should serve as the final nail in Klinsmann's coffin, so to speak. No, this has been building for quite awhile, thanks to a lot of mediocre results, frustrating losses and head-scratching decisions. He's supposed to be making the entire national team program better, but the senior side has stalled in their development, and it's made his position untenable. Too often, the USMNT look utterly unprepared for their opposition's tactics. Take the Jamaica match as an example. Everyone who's watched Jamaica play at this Gold Cup knew that they'd play tight, organized soccer, then try to win the ball back in midfield and launch lightning-fast counters, using their pace and athleticism to their advantage. They would concede possession and try to capitalize on the few turnovers the USMNT committed. And guess what? That's exactly how they played.
- Mercado in the middle. comes back to deflect the pass, Sanneh picks it up to Reyna. Reyna swings it back, to O'Brien. Lewis on a long overlap. O'Brien holds, then chucks it down into the corner. Lewis, with a lot of speed. Turns the corner, Donovan going middle. Deflected into the middle, Donovan! Scores! Two, zero! United States leads!
- The U.S. is about two and a half minutes away from the greatest moment in American soccer history.
- The last time the U.S. had a shutout in the World Cup was 1950.
- The land of the free, the home of the brave is into the round of eight! The United States has beaten Mexico two-zero, in the World Cup round of sixteen!
- You were kind of an outlier if you even liked football and you were a girl in England. So to come over here and have that opportunity? I've always said America is the land of opportunity. It certainly was for me.
- Jill Ellis, as quoted in "U.S. Coach Jill Ellis' choices put her on the path to Women's World Cup" (1 June 2015), by Kevin Baxter, The Los Angeles Times, California.
- All of Brazil is crying right now.
- Every fan in Brazil is crying right now. Brazil thought they would regroup after Neymar's injury and pull together to win the World Cup. Instead, they went down 0-5 against Germany before thirty minutes had elapsed in their semifinal match. It was stunning, horrifying and heartbreaking. The ESPN and Univision cameras caught despairing fans and their sadness is palpable. And even this Germany fan simply has no explanation for what has transpired. We are so, so sorry, Brazil. We feel the same way.
- The most precious thing the writer owns is his pen and the most precious thing the footballer owns is his shoes.
- Ahmed "Mido" Hossam, Twitter (2016)
- I think most of the people were just happy about it, that I took the chance to play for the U.S. They were just trying to support me however they can.
- They got frustrated that they were losing to the U.S. in the World Cup. As far as I'm concerned, you can headbutt, kick me, hit me, and I was going to get up and go forward. The last game of my career against Mexico was in the World Cup, and I stepped off as a winner.
- Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience.
- The experiment with Klinsmann was a failure. We were only working on our fitness in training. He didn't care much for tactical stuff. It was up to the players to come together before a match and discuss how we were going to play. All the players knew after about eight weeks that it was not going to work out with Klinsmann. The remainder of that campaign was nothing but limiting the damage.
- Philipp Lahm, The Subtle Difference: How to Become a Top Footballer (August 2011).
- Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for ninety minutes and at the end, the Germans win.
- Gary Lineker after losing the 1990 FIFA World Cup semifinal to Germany by a penalty shootout.
- As quoted in Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France, by Laurent DuBois, p. 79.
- It was remarkable how differently the European press reported on the World Cup 2002 in Japan and South Korea, both newcomers to the world of soccer, just like the United States. Rave reviews were accorded to the facilities and organization in both countries. This contrasted sharply to the negative tone describing the equivalent structures in the United States in 1994 even though FIFA, for example, and soccer officials had nothing but praise for the American effort. What was viewed as kitsch in the American context (the opening ceremony, for example, and other pageantries accompanying the tournament) was lauded as artistic and innovative in the Japanese and South Korean equivalent. Lastly, the American team was first ridiculed as an incompetent group of players who barely deserved to be in the tournament. The huge upset over Portugal was attributed to sheer luck. When Team USA advanced to the second round and then defeated its archrival Mexico, the press corps who were vocally rooting for the Mexicans during the game remained stunned in silence at the press center.
In notable contrast to the positive sentiment that was expressed toward Turkey, Senegal and South Korea, the other Cinderella teams of the tournament, nothing but bitterness and derision was voiced toward the American team. And when the mighty Germans narrowly (and luckily) beat the Americans in a quarterfinal, some European commentators became genuinely alarmed. Quipped one British journalist: "This is terrible. Now they are getting good at this, too. They will steal our game. Imagine eleven Michael Jordans running onto the pitch at Wembley. That would be the end." Damned if you do, damned if you don't - it could not be articulated more clearly: when the Americans play poorly, they are irritating merely by doing so and because they are aloof from everybody. When they finally play well, they are disliked because they have joined everybody but in doing so have also become threatening.
- Andrei S. Markovits, "European Anti-Americanism (and Anti-Semitism): Ever Present Though Always Denied" (August 2005), Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism: Web Publications
- Fussball ist wie Schach, nur ohne Würfel.
- Racism is a serious problem in the Russian game.
- Sarah Rainsford, as quoted in "Football racism still rife in 2018 World Cup host Russia" (27 February 2015), by S. Rainsford, BBC News, British Broadcasting Corporation.
- We just went out on the field and did it.
- Tony Sanneh, as quoted in "U.S. holds on to upset Portugal 3-2 at World Cup" (5 June 2002), Sports Illustrated.
- Someone said 'football is more important than life and death to you' and I said 'Listen, it's more important than that'.
- Bill Shankly, quoted in Das Spiel mit dem Fussball, by Jürgen Mittag and Jörg-Uwe Nieland, p. 9.
- Germany became the first team to score five goals in the first 29 minutes of any World Cup game in history. It ended 7-1, but if we can summon just a touch more jingoistic national sentiment, we say fuck it, cheer for the Germans. They scrubbed America off the wrong side of the record book.
- Kyle Wagner, as quoted in "Germany Smashed Brazil So Hard It's Good For America" (8 July 2014), by K. Wagner, Regressing.
- Even though the emotion and the drama of the situation, I wasn't thinking about that. I was just thinking about ball, head, goal.
- In the future, when I retire, I'll look back and I'll thank my lucky stars that I had such great players giving me those opportunities to score goals with my head.
- There is something that Mexican soccer should be ashamed and embarrassed about. No, it's not its national team performances. El Tri is back on track to reach the World Cup and Mexico's runner-up finish at this month’s U-17 World Cup comes two years after the Mexicans lifted that title. This is about Mexican fans and their goal-kick chant. You heard it every few minutes if you watched the ESPN broadcast of Mexico’s 5-1 win over New Zealand. If you were watching Univision, you didn’t, because the Spanish-language network hit the mute button whenever Kiwi keeper Glenn Moss booted a goal kick. The keeper lines up and when he kicks the ball, the fans scream "Puto!" The word has various connotations, but if you imagine a stadium full of fans screaming “faggot” you have an idea of what’s going on here. Teams around the world are being punished with fines or stadium closures for racist chants. There have even been fines for booing national anthems. But the rulers of the game -- i.e. FIFA, Concacaf, Femexfut -- seem to have no problem with this homophobic Mexican fan tradition. Even better than a governing body intervening would be that if Mexican players and coaches spoke out -- made a plea to their fans that this needs to stop. Or they can remain silent as Mexican soccer continues to shame itself.
- Encyclopedic article on Association football at Wikipedia