France, Argentina, England, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Brazil and Spain, have been the world’s most powerful teams in the recent years. Most of them, however, failed to impress us in this first round of group stage games. Except Germany with a rout of Australia (4-0) and possibly (many will argue) Argentina’s win over Nigeria (1-0), none of the rest where interested in providing us some “Joga Bonito”.
Brazil struggled over North Korea (2-1) when the Netherlands had an easier afternoon against the Danish (2-0). On the other hand, 2006 World Champions, Italy were unable to gather 3 points against Paraguay (1-1), England drew USA after a horrendous mistake of their keeper Green(1-1) and France found it impossible to score despite Anelka’s and Henry’s efforts against Uruguay (0-0). Last but not least, World Cup favorites and European Champions, Spain, upset millions whom had bet their win over Switzerland, after losing 0-1.
It is a known fact that the opening games are not meant to provide spectacular football. A statistic says, that 8 out of 10 teams that have lost the first game in the World Cup group stage, tend to go home earlier than the rest. Having that in mind, footballers walk in the field aiming to protect their home area. Usually that turns into a rather passive and boring game.
Hopefully, the groups’ favorites will prove me wrong and hammer the nets in the following round. It’s about time that our sacrifice of spending 6 hours in front of a screen per day, pays off with some “joga bonito”.