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The religion named Football
Hardly two weeks had passed but this World Cup had already provided glimpses of why this is the biggest event of the sporting world.

Players literally fighting and giving all their heart to bring glory to their nation; fans turning boisterous supporting their teams; the big boys of the game have already shown the door and the underdogs playing really well; only a football World Cup can give you such exhilarating experiences and this edition is no exception.

Despite the fact that the Asians can witness the game only during nights, it hasn’t discouraged the undaunted fans from turning into nocturnal beings to witness the games. 12.2 million tweets during the inaugural day alone and that too about a skinny superstar from Brazil named Neymar clearly indicates how this simple game had kept the people frenzied for the past weeks. It is no wonder that it will easily cross the record 150 million tweeted during the London Olympics.

 

Nail-biting moments…

Right from the start, this World Cup had provided many nail biting moments for the fans. The rout of past champions Spain, England and Portugal and that too at the hands of underdogs has made it difficult to predict the title grabbers of this edition of World Cup. This World Cup will be remembered for many years to come as it marked the end of Tiki – Taka.

Tiki – Taka is a style of playing football characterised by short passing and keeping possession. The

Spaniards patronised this tactic and this style of play helped them win two consecutive Euro cups and the 2012 World Cup. But teams have found counter- tactics to this footballing ideology, initiated by Jose Mourinho  during his stint as a coach in Real Madrid and Inter Milan.  The irony was that Tiki -Taka was introduced by the Dutch men like Cryuff and Louis Van Gaal to Spain and it was again the Dutch men who meticulously orchestrated the routing of Spain from this world cup by displaying strong attacking tactics.


End of an era for Spain

Spain hardly showed any fighting spirit and the Spaniards who had been un-impregnable for the past six years tasted defeat at the hands of a young Dutch team and Chile. This marked the end of a great era in Spanish football and the likes of legends like Iker Casillas, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernadez. Spain also became the first defending champion to leave the tournament without even earning a point.

The same was the case for England who were considered main contenders to lift the cup. Big names like Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Joe H Hart in the team sheet should be enough to fetch a win but they failed miserably. Many teams resorted to unorthodox formations and this move rewarded them with fantastic results. Mexico made such moves and ended up with a well-deserved draw against Brazil.

This World Cup also saw a paradigm shift in terms of technology. Goal line technology has been introduced to clearly decide controversial matters pertaining to goals. Benzema, the French striker could have had a hatrick if not for this technology. Refereeing in this World Cup has also been sub standard and this was evident when Santos of Mexico was denied clear goals.

The big names of football are yet to play against each other and the fans can expect some great football from the players. The diving header by the ‘Flying Dutchman’ Robin van persie; Thomas Muller’s hatrick against Portugal; France thrashing Switzerland; Iker casillas on tears; Iniesta walking alone in the ground; Costa Rica emerging victorious from the group of death; this World Cup has already provided many such moments and many such are yet to come. As this tournament reaches the main stage, the host team has some great responsibilities weighed on its shoulders. In spite of the riots against World Cup in Brazil, the host team has enjoyed the support of the home crowd and it bears the burden of reciprocating it by winning the cup.

No matter who wins the cup, this beautiful game has united people around the world. This footballing extravaganza has already been a huge success. Football is not merely a game but a religion for many. I was dumbstruck when I saw Indians shedding tears when their favourite team lost and I hope the time has came for our country to embrace this global religion.

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