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Finalists in contention for Golden Glove

Keylor Navas (CRC)

The Levante stopper was arguably Costa Rica’s best player at Brazil 2014, including a match-winning display in the Round of 16 tie against Greece. Making 21 saves in Los Ticos’ five games, he was awarded the Budweiser Man of the Match Award on three occasions. At 26-years-old the best years of his career are firmly ahead of him.

Manuel Neuer (GER)

The Germany keeper has played in all of the Nationalelf’s six games so far, making 25 saves and completing 202 passes. He’s kept three clean sheets and been a commanding presence for Joachim Low’s side so far. After winning a host of domestic honours, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup, the FIFA World Cup and the Golden Glove is now in his sights.

Sergio Romero (ARG)

Penalty shoot-out saves from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneidjer sent La Albiceleste into the final, capping a fine tournament for the 27-year-old so far. The Monaco keeper has kept four clean sheets, making 15 saves in Brazil 2014 so far. Brought into international football by Diego Maradona, he has been Argentina’s first choice keeper for five years.


Sergio Romero is here only because the penalties? Then put Julio César and Krul in the list. Were is Ochoa and Howard?

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And Scolari quits. God put him in a nice place


Bye bye, Scolari. Thank you for 2002 World Cup. But this time, thank you for nothing.

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Blatter awards Brazil 9.25 mark for special WCup

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil got 9.25 out of 10 from FIFA President Sepp Blatter for organizing a World Cup that was "very special" because of high quality football.

Giving his tournament report on Monday, Blatter also criticized the organization he heads for not better tackling incidents of fan discrimination in stadiums.

Blatter said he spoke with Russia President Vladimir Putin at Sunday's final about making the issue a priority at the 2018 World Cup there.

That tournament will be the third straight involving a huge building project of stadiums and public works in one of the BRICS group of emerging nations.

"We have improved, you have improved, Brazil has improved since South Africa," said Blatter, who awarded a 9 mark four years ago to another World Cup which defied doubts and tight deadlines during troubled preparation.

The players and matches have been widely acclaimed in Brazil after so many disappointed in South Africa.

Blatter said he knew when the Netherlands beat Spain 5-1 in the tournament's third match that this time would be different.

"Especially in the second half," Blatter said, meaning the Dutch team's four-goal rout of the defending champion. "Something was on in this World Cup, something very special."

Still, many Brazilian people remain unhappy at their government and the estimated $13 billion spent for the 32-day tournament.

Blatter dismissed jeers targeted at him and Brazil state President Dilma Rousseff when they presented the trophy at Maracana Stadium on Sunday to Germany captain Philipp Lahm.

"This is normal," said Blatter, who was booed also at the 2010 final in Johannesburg. "If you are in this business you have to live with that."

Russia's Putin-backed World Cup has a $20 billion budget, including building or renovating 12 stadiums, plus additional rail projects.

Blatter suggested that could be reduced to 10 venues in talks scheduled in September with organizers.

"We are in discussions now what is the ideal number," said Blatter, suggesting a "feasible, reasonable, controllable" project to avoid white elephant stadiums.

Russian organizing committee head Alexei Sorokin said after Blatter's briefing that there had been no talks yet and there were no plans to cut stadiums, though FIFA had the final decision.

On football matters, Blatter said he was "a little bit surprised" to present the trophy for best player to Lionel Messi, whose Argentina team lost the final after he failed to score since the group stage.

The FIFA leader would not be drawn on the merit of a nine-match, four-month ban imposed on Uruguay forward Luis Suarez for biting an Italy opponent.

"I feel that such a punishment it hurts, it hurts," Blatter said. "I do hope he will be back."

Suarez has completed a transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona, and will ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland to freeze the ban during his appeal process.

"He is now in the one of the greatest clubs in the world and I do hope he will have a place there," Blatter said.

Blatter declined comment on an investigation by Rio de Janeiro police into alleged ticket scalping involving a longtime FIFA commercial services provider, MATCH.

FIFA fought against illegal ticket sales "at 1,000 percent," secretary general Jerome Valcke said.

"I am sure that there will be other stories but what you cannot say is that FIFA is not fighting permanently against this business," Valcke said.


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Germany top of FIFA rankings after World Cup win

ZURICH (AP) - Germany climbed to the top of the FIFA rankings on Thursday after winning the World Cup for the first time in 24 years, while several European rivals paid the price for their dismal performances in Brazil.

Germany, which beat Argentina 1-0 on Sunday to win a fourth World Cup, replaced deposed champion Spain in first place. Argentina jumped three places into second in the rankings, while the Netherlands soared 12 spots into third after beating host Brazil to clinch third place.

Reaching the quarterfinals took Colombia to fourth and Belgium to fifth in FIFA's monthly rankings, which take into account all 64 World Cup matches.

Spain's title defense surprisingly ended in the group stage, and the team has dropped to eighth place. First-round exits also led to Portugal going down seven places to 11th, Italy dropping five to 14th and England plummeting 10 spots to 20th.

The United States fell two places to 15th despite reaching the round of 16 where they lost to Belgium. The Americans were overtaken by the Dutch, Chile and France.


FIFA Ranking

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At least, some dignity from BBC News...

How Brazil silenced its critics


I will hold my hand up, and so should quite a few others, for perhaps underestimating Brazil's ability to hold what turned out to be an overwhelmingly successful World Cup.


(...)It will also silence those critics, like this writer, who are wondering already what is going to go wrong between now and 2016.

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Rodriguez volley named Goal of the Tournament

(FIFA.com) 21 Jul 2014

There appeared little danger when Abel Aguilar directed a looping header towards James Rodriguez, whose back was to goal on the edge of the box, 28 minutes into Colombia’s Round of 16 game against Uruguay at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Yet two touches from heaven, and just two seconds later, Fernando Muslera’s net had rippled and the Maracana had exploded.

Rodriguez exquisitely chested the ball over his head, swiveled instantly and unleashed a venomous, dipping volley which crashed in off the underside of the crossbar in front of over 70,000.

That strike has now been voted as the Goal of the Tournament by over four million FIFA.com users, beating Robin van Persie’s genial header for the Netherlands against Spain into second place.

Rodriguez became the third successive South American winner of the award, after Argentina’s Maxi Rodriguez triumphed for his thunderbolt against Mexico at Germany 2006 and Diego Forlan was rewarded for his sublime effort for Uruguay in the third-place play-off at South Africa 2010.


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Dunga confirmed as new Brazil coach

Dunga, whose real name is Carlos Bledorn Verri, previously coached Brazil from 2006 to 2010, where he won the 2007 Copa America and the 2009 Confederations Cup.

He was fired by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) after losing to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup.

Dunga replaces Luiz Felipe Scolari in the job.

Scolari, who guided Brazil to their fifth World Cup title in 2002, resigned as coach after the 2014 tournament where the hosts entered as hot favourites but finished fourth.

They were also humiliated by eventual champions Germany 7-1 in the semi-finals and then lost the third-place playoff 3-0 to the Netherlands.

Dunga's last job was as coach of Internacional, where he spent a great part of his playing career, but was sacked last October after a fourth successive loss in the Brazilian league that left them mid-table.

As coach of Brazil's national team, he led the team to 42 victories, 12 draws and six defeats.


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Of course one can jump to the quick conclusion that Dunga a second time around will be the same old, same old. But I would say: Let's wait and see. Just look what Louis van Gaal achieved in his second term as Bondscoach, after failing to even qualify for the 2002 World Cup in his first term. Of course we also have the negative example Marcello Lippi (World Champion in his first term, eliminated in the World Cup group stage in his second term) and of course Scolari, but I wouldn't count Dunga out. I somewhat get the feeling that he might have learned from his own mistakes in his first term and also from the mistakes Scolari committed during his second term now. And if I turn out to be wrong, you can call me an idiot or whatever you like. ;)

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Interesting article about Argentines remaining in Rio after the World Cup.


Not a provokative post. Somehow I agree with the old lady interviewed in the report. Some felt in love with Brazil and wants to stay. That's nice.

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Speaking of argentineans, Julio Grondona, president of the AFA during much of its recent history (when they won in 1978 and 1986) died some days ago. Although widely hated by many argentinean fans as a cancer to their football, I don't know if that's valid anymore considering their good performance this year. Rest in peace.

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  • 5 weeks later...
After predicting failure, international media has changed the tone on the World Cup in Brazil
On the eve of the World Cup, foreign media were betting on a "chaos" during the event
After the protests against hosting the World Cup, the strikes of subway workers, bus drivers and police officers around the country, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Brazil wrote on June 1 that "nothing would change radically in next 12 days. "
The announcement of the disaster remained sustained by vehicles and international agencies, who kept the apocalyptic tone to the first drumbeats of the opening ceremony of the World Cup. But treatment changed.
For the New York Times, the doomsday predictions led to "minor hiccups" and the chorus of pessimism worldwide was quickly replaced by a large collective euphoria - a phenomenon described by Le Monde as the "Brazilian miracle".
In recent months, there have been a number of concerns that permeated the international press. On the organization of the event, it was anticipated that the stadiums would not be ready, social movements "threaten" the progress of games and transport would be chaotic. Water scarcity in São Paulo was also a matter of concern for some vehicles, while others questioned the effect of high temperatures on the Amazon and its implications for European players.
According to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, which the Brazilians were really anxious for was "a better Brazil."
On May 30, the NYT itself has released a video with scenes that - according to the newspaper, are considered strong - about violence in Rio de Janeiro days before the World Cup, jeopardizing the insecurity of the city in a critical and alarmist tone. Earlier that same month, the embassies of countries like USA, Germany, UK and Australia sent guides on Brazil for its citizens to travel to the event. With a focus on safety, the booklets provided tips on how to "survive" the tropical country and making peculiar alerts, such as the explosions in sewers and beware of monkeys and bats. But how did this pessimism gave way to euphoria?
Call this the "Brazilian miracle", defines the Le Monde over a written last June 21 text. In it, the French newspaper reinforces announced that the catastrophe did not happen.
Despite logistical problems and delays, Brazil "organizes a World Cup in their own way: cluttered, friendly, carefree and receptive," sets.
Indeed, analysis of French correspondents follows the same line of a report published by the NYT four days earlier. Entitled "The doomsday predictions give rise to minor hiccups in Brazil", the story changes the negative tone previously covered by the vehicle and recognizes that the operation of stadiums and public transportation deserves a positive evaluation.
"In general, the conditions for most of the games have been excellent. In cities like Natal and Salvador - where the fields were assaulted with exceptionally strong rain - has proven the quality of drainage systems. Ultimately, this is the most important priority, because they are usually the games that define the historical legacy of an event, "says the correspondent of the American newspaper Sam Borden.
For the journalist, the World Cup has reasonable problems for any event of this size. There are many examples to prove that this is not a Brazilian phenomenon. Borden recalls that at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, there were several delays and even lack of hotels that were not ready in time. Similarly, the Summer Games in Athens in 2004, had labor strikes and setbacks in infrastructure. Lapses occurred even in London Olympic Park, which was not ready a week before the opening ceremony in 2012.
Last year, the Superbowl itself was delayed almost an hour in New Orleans because of a blackout.
The Economist praises Brazil's airports in a story published: only 6.5% of flights delayed on the first weekend of competition, well below the 15% considered acceptable by international standards, says the English vehicle. Despite mentioning the complaints from the public about the billionaire spent the event, which should have been better for the public services, The Economist highlights the interview with a Brazilian citizen who estimated that such investments would not have happened anyway and closes the report with the phrase: "With the World Cup at least, there is a party."
In the same vein, the corresponding Andy Hunter, The Guardian reports on a daily positive impressions during his stay in the country for a week and says he is enjoying his trip to Brazil. In Fortaleza, the English journalist praises the beaches and asks: "How can I say this without giving my boss the wrong impression?". In Cuiaba, Hunter reveals he was impressed with the "passion" of the Brazilian soccer: "fanaticism for Selection is extraordinary. Everyone, regardless of age, gender or profession, are wearing yellow or green and are brought together by their passion for the national team. "Already in Brasilia, the journalist sets the Mane Garrincha stadium as "magnificent".
Despite having already been eliminated in the first round of the World, the Spanish El Pais did not focus on derogatory expressions to Brazil as did some local vehicles. Rather, published in last weekend analyzing a Brazilian journalist resident in Madrid that recalls the 50th anniversary of the military coup and is a relationship between the importance of football in the democratic transition of Socrates, legitimizing social movements, without exacerbating a tone alarmist about its effects in games.
Although part of the criticism of the international newspapers have had foundation, the mass hysteria of pessimists only served to export the complex Mutt Brazilian. However, one thing may be certain: low expectations helped surprising in that the games took place quietly and all the scaremongering was merely a "small wave".
Edited by DannyelBrazil
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  • 4 weeks later...
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ in numbers

FIFA has released an in-depth document detailing the dizzying array of facts and figures that combined to make up the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

Want to know how often Goal Line Technology (GLT) was required? Or how many jobs were created? What about the fastest goal, or the number of HD cameras filming the event? For all these stats and many more, relating both to events on the field and behind the scenes, check out FIFA's exclusive guide, a few tasters of which are provided below.

5,154,386 attended FIFA Fan Fests in Brazil during the World Cup, with Rio de Janeiro's spectacular Copacabana site attracting 937,330 - the highest number in any individual city.

171 goals, an average of 2.67 per game, made Brazil 2014 the joint-highest-scoring World Cup of all time, level with France 1998.

7.2 billion USD in tax revenue shall be received by Brazil as a result of investments in the 2014 World Cup.

3,429,873 was the total attendance for the 64 matches, the highest recorded at any World Cup since USA 1994. The average crowd of 53,592 was also the highest in two decades.

3,240 adidas balls, including both training and match balls, were used during the tournament.

3 goal-line incidents were resolved using GLT in this, the first World Cup in which this innovation has been utilised.

280,000 kilometres were flown by the teams during the tournament - the equivalent of seven laps around the world.

16,746 printed media accreditations were produced during this World Cup.

3,127,674 food and beverage transactions took place at the stadiums over the course of the competition.

420 tonnes of recyclable waste was collected from the stadiums and additional World Cup-related facilities.

90 countries were visited during the 267-day FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola, with 45 heads of state and 33 previous World Cup winners among those to get their hands on the Trophy.

1 billion-plus was the overall attendance on FIFA's Global Stadium, FIFA.com's social, online and mobile hub throughout Brazil 2014. This equates to 13,380 sold-out Maracanas.


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