Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal.
- It is with great pleasure, and I know I say that every week and don't mean it. But, this week I really, really, really mean it. It is with great pleasure, that we welcome back to the pod, the man who many of us know as the voice of football, I think of as. If a soccer ball could actually talk? It would sound just like this man. Welcome back to Men in Blazers, Sir Ian Darke.
- The fireworks began at dawn. All around this city, loud pops and bangs rang out as men and women and children, so many dressed in yellow, set off flares and beeped car horns. It was supposed to be a magical day. The Brazilian national soccer team, playing at home, was one game away from a World Cup final. No one could have guessed the tears would come before halftime. No one could have imagined there would be flags burning in the streets before dinner. Certainly no one could have envisioned that any Brazilian fans, watching their team play a semifinal in a celebrated stadium, would ever consider leaving long before full time. It all happened. The 2014 World Cup, first plagued by questions about funding and protests and infrastructure and construction, then buoyed by scads of goals and dramatic finishes and a contagious spirit of joy from the local residents, will ultimately be remembered for this: the home team, regarded as the sport’s superpower, being throttled like an overmatched junior varsity squad that somehow stumbled into the wrong game.
- All of Brazil is crying right now.
- Every fan in Brazil is crying right now. Brazil thought they would regroup after Neymar's injury and pull together to win the World Cup. Instead, they went down 0-5 against Germany before thirty minutes had elapsed in their semifinal match. It was stunning, horrifying and heartbreaking. The ESPN and Univision cameras caught despairing fans and their sadness is palpable. And even this Germany fan simply has no explanation for what has transpired. We are so, so sorry, Brazil. We feel the same way.
- Remember that feeling you had last Wednesday morning? Yeah, it was like you'd been kicked in the gut. But, you couldn't look away. Not even for a second. You were locked in, panicked. Scared stiff. Agony and angst at levels you never knew you had. It was near physical pain. But, in a blink? It was truly agony, to ecstasy. Oh, sure. Last Wednesday was do-or-die. But, now? It's what they call the 'knockout round'. Simple stuff. Win, and this incredible ride continues into the quarter-final. Lose? Yup, out of here. Landon, Clint. Tim. All of America is now on a first name basis with these guys. This band of brothers. We love them. But, what they represent? Real believers in themselves. So, yeah. Remember how you felt last Wednesday? It's about to get much worse. You'll be scared to even blink, for fear of missing another incredible moment. One that could keep this remarkable dream, alive. Team USA, the ultimate thrill ride.
- The experiment with Klinsmann was a failure. We were only working on our fitness in training. He didn't care much for tactical stuff. It was up to the players to come together before a match and discuss how we were going to play. All the players knew after about eight weeks that it was not going to work out with Klinsmann. The remainder of that campaign was nothing but limiting the damage.
- Philipp Lahm, The Subtle Difference: How to Become a Top Footballer (August 2011).
- Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.
- Gary Lineker after losing the 1990 World Cup semifinal to Germany by penalty shootout.
- Quoted in Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France, by Laurent DuBois, p. 79
- Fussball ist wie Schach, nur ohne Würfel.
- Someone said 'football is more important than life and death to you' and I said 'Listen, it's more important than that'.
- Bill Shankly, quoted in Das Spiel mit dem Fussball, by Jürgen Mittag and Jörg-Uwe Nieland, p. 9
- Germany became the first team to score five goals in the first 29 minutes of any World Cup game in history. It ended 7-1, but if we can summon just a touch more jingoistic national sentiment, we say fuck it, cheer for the Germans. They scrubbed America off the wrong side of the record book.
- Kyle Wagner, "Germany Smashed Brazil So Hard It's Good For America" (8 July 2014), Regressing.
- Even though the emotion and the drama of the situation, I wasn't thinking about that. I was just thinking about ball, head, goal.
- In the future, when I retire, I'll look back and I'll thank my lucky stars that I had such great players giving me those opportunities to score goals with my head.
- Some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over [Geoff Hurst scores] it is now!
- Kenneth Wolstenholme's BBC TV commentary in the closing moments of the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final.
- Quoted in London Football Companion By Ed Glinert, p. 149.