So as I write this, the World Cup in Brazil starts tomorrow (June the 12th) and fever pitch has hit yours truly. If you are trying to explain to someone why this competition is the centre of the universe and they pull a face of disdain at you, they just do not understand really! Ha!Ha!
Why do I love it. I think even with the massive changes in football over the last 20 years the World cup for the most part has maintained its massive mystique and also every match that you watch and that is pretty much every match you can you want that bit of magic that will be etched in your memory forever (Bergkamp's goal against Argentina in 98 springs immediately to mind), controversy,( Zidane getting sent off in the World Cup final in 2006, his last ever game), joy to the nation,( Most of all the three world cup campaigns Ireland have been involved in) and also picking a favourite team if your nation is not in it like this year in this writers case. I always have a soft spot for the Dutch even though I turned against them after that shocking display in the World Cup Final in 2010. Karma collected them in the Euros two years later so they are back onside with me. Also I'll be cheering on the Japanese as well. Loved the way they played in the Confederations cup last year and I think they will win many friends in this tournament.
Other memories I have include Roger Milla for Cameroon in the 90 world cup and any time I played footy in primary school afterwards I would always try and do the goal celebration with a little wiggle in the corner flag! Robert Baggio almost single handedly dragging Italy to the final in 1994 and then missing the penalty in shoot out to hand the tournament to Brazil. Ronaldo's shocking day in the final in 1998 after having a seizure, being out of the side and then eventually played but never had a look in as the French destroyed the Brazilians in the final. Ronaldo's redemption by scoring the goals to win Brazil the world cup in 2002 against Germany in the final. Fabio Cannavaro cementing his status as an Italian legend with an amazing tournament in 2006 and the Spanish winning the World Cup deservedly four years later in South Africa.
I think England will get knocked out of the group stage unless Roy Hodgson decides to go bold. A lot of people are going for a Brazil vs Argentina final although I still think Spain will be there or there abouts and I think the French are a good dark horse alongside Chile if anyone is fancying an each way bet.
It will hopefully be a better World Cup than 2010 and I think there is enough quality teams for that to make it happen. Why do I love the World cup? Hopefully the next month will answer that question. Also the return of Apres Match as well as the last time we see Bill O'Herilhy presenting both moments to saviour. Hope everyone enjoys the tournament. I surely hope so.