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High and lows of FIFA World Cup

BY MARIA FERNANDES | NT KURIOCITY
Brazil had won the hearts of most Goans and many were not only hoping but also praying for Brazil to win. “After Portugal our hopes were pinned on Brazil but the disgraceful manner in which they played is not just embarrassing for the Brazilians but also for all those who supported the team,” says a very distressed Andrea from Margao. On Tuesday, a momentous occasion that began with Brazil riding a tidal wave of emotion was reduced to a nightmare as Germany were 5-0 within 29 remarkable minutes in front of a disbelieving and horrified crowd.
“I was so confident of Brazil lifting the cup that their performance at the semi-finals and inability to stop the brilliant Germans has left me at a loss of words,” says Brendon from Vasco, whose favourite player is Neymar. The little impish Brazilian forward seems to be the favourite of many.
“Neymar has always been my favourite player and watching him crumbling on the ground due to his injury was definitely a shocker. Add to this the fact that he wasn’t given a yellow card was just unbelievable,” says a very angry Snell Mascarenhas of St Xavier’s College, Mapusa.
Denise Sequeira, an ardent football fan and student of Don Bosco Higher Secondary, Panaji, is a die-hard Brazil fan and has been rooting for the team from the beginning. Neymar’s injury not only shocked but also angered her. “It was definitely not a mistake and I still cannot get over it,” she claims. She also believes that if Neymar was at the semi-finals they wouldn’t have gone down the way they did. “I still cannot get over the fact that Brazil was beaten the way it was. It was simply too much, too brutal and too painful to watch.”
“I am stunned. I feel so very sad and sorry for Brazil,” says Pratiksha Pai another Brazil fan. Coming from a family where football reigns and with three brothers to keep her company watching the matches till dawn, she says, “FIFA is all about class action and on Tuesday that is exactly what we got to see but from the opposite side. The Germans were simply amazing,” A fan of Netherlands, her favourite player is Robin van Persie. “Van Persie’s flying header against Spain and their 5-1 win was one of the best moments of FIFA 2014,” she says.
Drydon Rodrigues is presently doing his Masters at Goa University and with his study-load can only watch some of the matches. Brazil, Portugal and Belgium are his favourites and was hoping desperately to see Brazil lift the trophy. “To see Brazil’s demolition of Germany was not just disappointing for me but also shocking. I will not forget how within thirty minutes they had scored five goals, simply unbelievable.”
“Everyone is football-crazy here in Goa and supporting Brasil or Portugal just comes naturally. I supported Brazil but am also backing Germany,” says Chantal Dias from Chorao. “My favourites in the German team are Muller, Neur and Klose. I am eagerly waiting to see who the Germans will be against.”
I was rooting for England and hoping to see some great football from Rooney and Hart but they just did not live upto the mark,” says Mohnish from Chinchinim. Colin Braganza is a second year student at GMC and like Manasi from the Government Polytech is rooting for Netherlands. “The Dutch team is simply amazing, they have many good players like Robben and Van Persie but my favourite is Sneijder,” says Manasi. For Colin, the match between Brasil and Chile was a high point in the game and says Chile played extremely well even though they did not make it. They gave it their best and it was great watching the two teams play.”
“Thomas Muller achieving the first hat-trick of FIFA 2014 against Portugal was a memorable moment not only for German fans but also for true football fans,” says Abner from Ribandar. A fan of the Dutch team, he has his fingers crossed and hopes they take home the trophy.
Kenneth Vas a BBA student of St Xavier’s, Mapusa, was rooting for England, Belgium and Brazil but with all of them out his next bet is Netherlands. His best moments of the World Cup are James Rodrigues’ goal against Uruguay and Tom Cahill’s against Netherlands.
“Suarez biting the Italian defender Chiellini was for me a disgusting moment of FIFA,” says Shawn from Dona Paula, “I just couldn’t digest the fact that a player of that calibre could stoop so low.”
No matter who your favourite player is and which team you are backing, FIFA 2014 has lived up to its name. The standard of football has been scintillating, despite Marco Reus, Falcao and Franck Ribéry, among other revered attackers, missing the tournament through injury. Football fans have already witnessed some super moments of stunning football and with the games coming to an end, everyone is on pins waiting with bated breath for the best team to win.

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