I guess I’m pretty lucky-- all four countries I have lived in for at least one year all made it to the World Cup. Two of them are still alive—the other two—well, sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. Costa Rica, where I lived for 10 years as a kid didn’t win a single game, and had a hasty exit from the cup. They were already out of it by the time they played their third game. The USA—well, after two games, they had one loss, one tie (at one to one) and had yet to score a goal. Offence isn’t their strength. However, they still had a shot—if they beat Ghana, and Italy beat the Czech Republic, they would get in. Italy came through for them, but they still had problems scoring… maybe in 4 years.
The other two countries, Ecuador—which handily won its first two matches, only to fall in the third when it was resting its two top scorers, gets the dubious distinction of playing England in the round of 16. The fourth country, is the country I have been a fan of since I watched my first World Cup in 1970- when I lived in BRASIL (notice—it is spelled with a “S”, not a “Z”). For me there is only one team I really root for in the World Cup, and it is Brasil. If it is eliminated, then I will look for another country to root for—usually another Latin American country—except possibly Argentina—which I love to hate.
So—what does this have to do with cycling? Well, a friend of mine just came back from Brasil and he brought me a Brasilian cycling jersey. I had mentioned to him that I liked to get a jersey from countries I had ridden in—and he remembered that and brought me the BRASIL shirt. I wore it to work this morning—knowing they were playing this afternoon—and I wore it with pride—I will wear it again on Tuesday when they play Ghana… Today’s game brought back the memories of the Brasilian beautiful game—where they play the ball and score—a work of art. You had to feel sorry for the poor Japanese—although they made the ‘mistake’ of scoring first—that is what the Brasilian squad needed to get it going.
back to what it has to do with cycling-- it makes for a great conversation piece. I had two cyclists comment on it on my commute home this evening--one was Belgian, and his team didn't make it in, and the other was French--and they ar in real danger of elimination tomorrow. Just goes to show you that cyclists are not all one dimensional
So—how many of you have countries that are still ‘alive’?
As they say in Portuguese ‘Ja temos o penta- vamos p’ra o hexa!’