Edit: This post was selected for Blogadda's Tangy Tuesday picks. Link.
If you thought this World Cup guide analyses the 32 teams and gives predictions which won’t come true, this is probably the time to switch to the Youporn tab.
We finally have a World Cup in which Dhoni will not make headlines. Lets face it, despite the progress in recent years, cricket popularity still beats football in India by an innings and 248* goals. This is highlighted by the fact that the channel broadcasting the World Cup in India was named after a cricket term to seemingly attract cricket lovers – Sony SIX.
The problem with cricket in India is that everybody likes it, everybody plays it and wants their next five generations to play it. It’s a lot like engineering. Nowadays however there’s no value for stand-alone engineers in the country. You have to do an ‘MBA’ along with engineering to get ahead of the boring crowd. Maybe football is the MBA. And there are lot of similarities between football fans and MBAs too.
Their choice of phrases. For example an MBA would say there is an elephant in the room. A football fan would say Wayne Rooney is playing tonight. MBAs love to use abbreviations. PFA, EOD, B2B. Similarly football fans have. GGMU, YNWA, COYG, Ok now STFU.
|India's most popular footballer.|
This gets us to the big football World Cup. The final from the 2010 edition had viewership equivalent to the number of people in India without an access to a closed toilet. Nearly 700 million! And if you thought the IPL was the biggest sporting extravaganza organized by the mafia, you were wrong. Say hello to FIFA.
Brazil’s World Cup preparations have been in a mess. There have been major delays in infrastructure for the World Cup. There have been deaths reported too which are related to construction and moreover… oh wait. Oh wait. I just had this thought. We haven’t heard from Suresh Kalmadi off late have we? Even during the big elections. Oh my God!!!
|Chill guys, I got this.|
Let me guide you through all the groups.
· Group A (Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon)
Brazil is the favorite. Their most influential player is Neymar. Or as he is popularly known, the next Ronaldo, or next Ronaldinho, or the next Rivaldo, or the next Pele or the next Jesus Christ.
Brazil hosted the World Cup last in 1950 where they lost to Uruguay in the finals in one of football’s most iconic matches ever. There has been enormous talk of banishing the ghost of 1950. The minimum expectation for Brazilian fans is to simply win this World Cup. Which leads me to think what their maximum expectation could be? Brazil’s striker Hulk getting transformed into his namesake superhero, poverty getting alleviated due to brisk business generated by sex workers from travelling English fans, and winning the World Cup final against Argentina 15-0 in which Messi scores a hattrick of own goals who is then shot dead on his return to Argentina. No?
Cameroon is called the Indomitable Lions, but 25 years of no domination should probably force a rethink into the name. Cameroon takes part in World events, not to show off their talents in football, but rather fashion. In 2002, they wore sleeveless shirts. Try wearing your heart on your sleeve then. Few years later, they had a single piece body suit kit few years later. Yes, a single piece body suit. Yellow card x 2.
|Body suit model and part time footballer.|
Anyway as long as you don’t have Delhi Daredevils on your shirt, it is not embarrassing enough.
The key to Croatia’s showing in the World Cup is Luka Modric. He shocked everyone by cutting his trademark long hair the day after winning the champions League with Real Madrid. My money is on elders in his family fulfilling a mannat of offering his hair to Tirupathi if they won the Champions league.
Group B (Netherlands, Spain, Chile and Australia)
In cricketing terms, Spain were the South Africas of football up until 2008. Post which they became a mad combination of Australia of the noughties and Windies of the 70s. Fernando Torres is the secret agent charged with the responsibility of ending this domination. One cannot dispute the immense contribution of Spanish football in recent years, the topmost certainly being teaching us phrases such as La Decima, Vamos (Oh that’s for Nadal) and Hala without having to sign up for expensive Spanish lessons.
Netherlands manager Louis Van Gaal is facing the prospect of leading Netherlands into the business end of the biggest show on earth, and then in a matter of weeks having to train with the likes of Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverly as Man United manager. From an Indian point of view, this has been a great year for Orange, and who knows, maybe their good days are about to come after years of disappointment.
Australia is actually an Asian representative to the World Cup, which is what happens when you name a continent after nothing but one country.
· Group C (Columbia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan)
This is incidental, but this group looks like a special reserved quota group created to allow an African and Asian team to qualify to the latter stages of the World Cup. Ivory Coast and Japan are probably the favorites to progress from this group. There is a case for these two countries falling under the creamy layer section hence not being eligible for this particular reservation benefit, but let us not get into that right now. We’ll let Prakash Jha have the final say on this.
Columbia’s superstar striker Radamel Falcao misses the World Cup through injury, or as some see it he becomes the latest recipient of Karma’s a bitch message from anonymous. Having rejected big clubs to sign for Monaco’s tax free (and fan less) riches, Falcao now faces the prospect of watching the World Cup from a luxury yacht in Monte Carlo. Its his version of the Axe Boat Party.
|Sorry you cannot come, I have been asked to come alone.|
Falcao justified his move to Monaco last year saying he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his idol Thierry Henry who used to play there before Arsenal came calling. This is like saying I want to sleep with my brother’s wife so that I acquire Ryan Giggs’ footballing talents.
· Group D (England, Italy, Uruguay, Costa Rica)
This is the group of death. For England. For the others, its not. England in the football world cup is like England in the cricket world cup. Or England in the Olympics. Shite. England has invented most sports in history but has never really dominated any, apart from the game they called Age of Empires very many decades back.
Fans must be worried of the great English tradition of its main player going into the tournament injured. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened yet. Unfortunately, we still have a few days to go. This explains the extra supplies of cotton wool ordered to protect Wayne Rooney, who however mistook it for his artificial hair and started dyeing them.
|Dr. Batra's hair treatment is India's only presence in the World Cup.|
The hotels where Italy and England will be based were raided by health officials lately and they found several food items well past their expiry dates. The staff needs to be told not to take the term group of death literally. But that is no concern for Luis Suarez who is known to eat anything, such as Branislav Ivanonic. Also, these hotels were not providing free condoms as per Govt regulations. Mario Balotelli said he will be carrying his own stock.
· Group E (Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras)
Group E is E for Easy. France has been rewarded for giving the world the bikini by being placed in this seemingly easy group. Younger French players will be looking to shine in the World Cup to earn a move to Newcastle United, the best French club in the world.
Switzerland’s team this term is compact, tight, and reliable with extra focus on a secure defense. Unsurprisingly, these are also the characteristics of their popular banks.
|She is impressed by the Swiss defense system.|
Ecuador on the other hand has asked for Ecuadorian bananas to be served in all the players’ rooms daily in an effort to make them feel more at home. So when the random Gujarati aunty named Jashodaben sitting next to you on an international flight takes out her theplas, do not mock her on twitter.
· Group F (Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria, Iran)
If Kingfisher’s ad agency were in charge of the World Cup, this group would be captioned - Divided by teams, united by violence back home.
Argentina has the most lethal firepower in this group on the field. Off the field, Iran would take that title of course.
|Iran practising long range shooting.|
Bosnia and Herzegovina are the only debutants in this edition. There is serious possibility of them being overshadowed in the group by the favorites Argentina, just like the word Herzegovina is overshadowed and ignored by the word Bosnia by way of its placement.
· Group G (Germany, Portugal, Ghana, United States)
Germany always does well at World Cups. After all, they have been on the losing side in two damn World Wars. It is only fair they succeed on the global stage. Law of average?
Klose with 14 World Cup goals is a name on everybody’s lips during World Cups. With 96.56% of them still not sure what the correct pronunciation is. Klosay, Klosa, Klos. Kloz. Lambu. ah Miroslav is good.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend has got more footage than the entire team of fellow Group G team Ghana in the lead up to the World Cup. But when it comes to World Cups, there can be only one Ronaldo. The Brazilian one.
· Group H (Belgium, Russia, South Korea, Algeria)
The Moscow Times newspaper celebrated their teams’ qualification to the World cup with the headline – ‘Russia ready to conquer Brazil’. This did lead to momentary panic in the Brazil army headquarters at Brasilia.
Belgium are the dark horses. Their team can be a Premier League dream team in a good season. However, mingling with English players throughout the year may have lead to acquiring the art of failing at World Cups.
Lukaku would probably have to score 25 goals in the World Cup to convince Chelsea not to loan him out again. Especially if your other strikers are Torres, Etoo and Ba.
Enjoy this one month of staying up late enjoying the beautiful game folks. Let me now go get ready for the World Cup in the only way I know. Stevieeee Stevie *clap clap clap* Stevieeee Stevie *clap clap clap*
Come on England, do it for Sachin!