Like many I was disappointed yet not really surprised by England’s exit at this years World Cup. The manner of which we went out was slightly bizarre despite some encouraging signs against both Italy and Uruguay. The final match against Costa Rica gave our future and past a chance to sign off the group on a high, the bizarre bit was that nobody really wanted that chance to shine.
Rio 2014 is proving to be a carnival of goals and never say die attitude, it is hardly a surprise that England failed. There have been some pretty amazing moments, Brazil have managed to cling on amongst the consistent belief and pressure put on them by their home crowd. Last nights dramatic penalty shoot out success against Chile being the latest chapter in their fairytale story. All teams that win a World Cup will inevitably have to get through a shoot out, the earlier the better for Brazil.
The standout country for me so far is not one of the glamorous ones, sure Holland, Germany and France have dazzled where many European teams have failed like England. Argentina, Nigeria and Algeria have either stumbled through or have exceeded their own expectations. For me, the stand out country is Colombia.
Colombia have been an absolute delight to watch, last nights professional disposal of a Uruguay side with no bite (excuse the Suarez pun) was executed in style. Fast flowing football and a never say die attitude has seen them reach their first ever Quarter Final. Brazil will be thinking that their pathway to World Cup glory couldn’t get any harder.
Their stand out player was without a doubt James Rodríguez. Already a contender for World Cup goal of the tournament, the way he made space and executed his volley in off the crossbar was class. So how have Colombia done this and is this surge into the last eight really that much of a shock?
From the UK sitting down watching I really can’t answer that question as I’m not that close to South American football. Colombia have had a checkered past and after the 1994 campaign in the USA and the shocking murder of Escobar, they have been away from the worlds main stage. One thing I would say, is that I have never been so drawn to another country in the way Colombia has drawn me in. I genuinely love watching them play and have made sure I have seen all 4 of their games so far.
So for the remainder of Rio 2014 I will be cheering for Colombia. It may only last one more game but unlike my Sweepstake side The Ivory Coast it has lasted longer. Well done you have certainly made this guy in the UK take note, I’m pretty sure it’s not just me that has!