“No one can say in advance where a game will go.”

This wonderful sentence is from Brian Phillips’s beautiful essay on the role of chance in the World Cup. Here is an excerpt:

I made a list of the moments during the past month that stood out the most to me. I thought about Robin van Persie battering in that header from hell against Spain. James Rodríguez celebrating his goal against Brazil with the giant locust on his sleeve. Júlio César sobbing after blocking two penalties against Chile. Neymar being carried on the stretcher off the pitch at Fortaleza. I thought about the huge moths in Manaus, about the savage rain before the USA played Germany in Recife. I thought about Tim Howard’s 16 saves. About John Brooks’s goal against Ghana. Luis Suárez belting the ball past Joe Hart to beat England in the 85th minute. Suárez biting Giorgio Chiellini. I thought about Louis van Gaal subbing in a new goalkeeper before penalties against Costa Rica. About Tim Cahill’s volley against the Netherlands and Messi’s long-range winner against Iran. I thought about the stunned silence on Copacabana after Silvestre Varela leveled the match in stoppage time against the United States. I thought about watching the second half of Brazil-Mexico at a little TV on the beach at Ipanema, surrounded by civil police. I thought about 7-1, the astonishment of that. About Miroslav Klose breaking Ronaldo’s scoring record. About Miguel Herrera losing his mind.

What was your most memorable moment of the 2014 World Cup? Ours was watching the opening match between Brasil and Croatia on a small TV set at a tiny crowded bar somewhere in Portland Parish, Jamaica.

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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