We’ve another exciting weekend, with Brazil looking to salvage some pride in tonight’s World Cup play-off against Holland, before the big one between Germany and Argentina tomorrow.
And joining us to discuss all that and more is comedian Karl Spain.
If you’ve any questions for Karl, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us @Football_ie or with the hashtag #ScoreWCHangout, post a message to Facebook, or leave a comment below.
It’s the World Cup, it’s the weekend. Let’s party.
Good evening (at least I think 5pm counts as the evening).
We have Karl Spain here with us as we mourn the impending end of the 2014 World Cup.
We’ll be discussing tomorrow’s final, as well as the third-place play-off that no one seems to want to play, in addition to looking back on some of the tournament’s highlights.
Okay, we’re starting as we often do with some predictions…
Here’s the verdict from the office…
Steve: 2-1 Netherlands and 1-0 Argentina
Pat: 3-1 Brazil and 2-1 Argentina
Me: 2-1 Netherlands and 2-0 Germany
As for Karl?
“Well I think tonight is harder to predict because we’ve no idea what lineups will be on the pitch. But I’d fancy the Netherlands tonight 3-1 and tomorrow, I tipped Argentina from the start but I think it might be the Germans, 2-1.”
Of course, there’s a lot of excitement tomorrow all over the world.
Here are some divers from the Philippines…
Source: Bullit Marquez
And a World Cup trophy-shaped rock at Pa Hin Ngam national park in Thailand.
Of course, there’s been plenty of debate about the punditry this World Cup as ever.
Is Karl a BBC, RTÉ or ITV man?
KS: “I think the standard of pundits has gone up over the years as they learn from their mistakes.
“Shearer has improved now and he reads the notes provided. Robbie Savage is a moron. I find Dunphy mildly irritating at times. I don’t mind his “opinions,” I just get annoyed when he’s factually wrong. I find Liam Brady to be the one that agrees with me the most so that makes him the best.
“ITV are really missing Roy Keane. Lee Dixon is good but not going to rock the world. Hoddle to me always looks like a disgraced banker on holiday and Waddle (BBC) always looks like someone brought up his 1990 penalty miss just before going on air.
“I will miss Bill O’Herlihy — he really does manage his panel so well and knows what buttons to push. Maybe Aprés Match’s Risteárd could step in and things would be okidoki.”
So the question we all want to know — on a scale of 1 to Phil Babb, just how good a footballer is/was Karl?
“Well I was quite the showy player — my signature was the Pirlo stepover (as seen before the Marchisio goal against England).
“I have basic enough technique, but not a lot of mobility. I did make five appearances for Limerick City youth team when I was 15, but I was very much making up the numbers.”
Of course, one of the big questions is whether Lionel Messi can deliver a performance worthy of the occasion.
Here’s what the legend that is Diego Maradona thinks…
“The only fear I have is that he is tired, but in the end you cannot be tired. I think he will understand. If you miss a shot on Sunday, you only resemble the best in the world.”
So what did you make of the Golden Ball nominations the other day? Is it Messi’s to lose?
KS: “I think he probably will win but I don’t think he had an exceptional tournament.
“I think James Rodriguez has been outstanding, Müller, Ochoa, Johnson from the US, there have been lots of players who’ve had outstanding games.
“Messi has had great moments. He is one of the best ever, but I don’t think we’ve seen his best in Brazil. But Kahn won in 02 when it should have been Ronaldo. I think Mascherano has been the best Argentina player overall.”
What do you think, readers? Should Messi be crowned Golden Ball winner, or are there more deserving candidates?
The Argentina fans are having a bit of a party on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro today, and Charlie Chaplin (see below) has decided to join in.
“Yes, it’s kind of of cruel on the players, unless a player was chasing the Golden Boot.
“I will be watching — I’ve taped the matches I didn’t see, so the World Cup continues for me for a week or so yet.
“It’s usually the Aprés Match game, so for that alone, I’ll be tuning in.
“I do like the Dutch team. I hope to see more of Clasie — he looks a bit special — and Depay.
“I do feel for the Brazilians though — I’d say the last few days have been hell.”
And finally, what’s been your highlight and lowlight of the tournament?
“I think the highlight has been the quality of the football — some great individuals and some great team performances. The Spain v Holland match early on was a great signifier as to what was to come.
“As for lowlights, the Suarez incident was pretty bad. He’s one of the best players in the world and it’s bad enough when players get injured, but when a player puts himself out because of something stupid, that’s really annoying. I particularly didn’t like the Uruguay reaction and the denials etc.
“But overall, it’s been great. Even for Suarez, the pluses still outweigh the minuses.”
Right, that’s all from us for now, but stayed tuned for plenty more World Cup reaction throughout the weekend.
My thanks to Karl, and to you too, for reading and commenting.
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