Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Cream Rises to the Top

I Apologise in advance that the next few paragraphs contain a lot of statistics, but in this case they do paint a picture which is not really open to interpretation in the way that articles based on statistics usually are.

The cream rises to the top.

In the time that I have been on this planet (48 years), 13 world cups have taken place, and this is the 10th time that the Ze Shermans will have featured in the semi-finals. To put that into perspective,  this will be the 7th semi final for Brazil, the 5th for Holland and the 4th for Argentina in the same time period.

The other 2 teams who should also be mentioned here are Italy with 6 and France with 4.

Whatever one may think about Ze Shermans, you have to respect, if not admire, their consistency at reaching the top of world football time after time. They have advanced to 6 finals but only won 2 of them. Italy come next with 4 final appearances (2 wins)  Brazil also have 4 finals (3 wins),  and then Argentina and Holland with 3 appearances apiece, with Holland losing all 3 in the same period.

There is an adage in sport which is as follows, class is permanent, form is temporary.

Spain are a case in point, in the same 48 year period they have only once made it to the semi-finals, other teams such as Portugal, England, Uruguay and Poland have managed it on 2 occasions and Turkey, Poland, S Korea, Croatia, Poland, Sweden, Bulgaria and Belgium once each.

Interestingly enough given the above statistics, it is somewhat surprising that the game tonight between Brazil and Germany (kick off 20.00 GMT) is only the 2nd meeting between the 2 nations in World Cup History unless one counts when the now defunct East Germany played Brazil in 1974.

I say surprising because in most other sports, when there are 2 such dominant forces, they tend to always be playing each other, such as in Tennis, with Nadal and Djokovic, or the LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics in the NBA being another example.

The Previous meeting between these 2 was played in the 2002 final which Brazil won 2-0 with 2 goals from Ronaldo. see link below, you have to enjoy the look on the face of Oliver Kahn the German keeper.


The Brazilians are going to be missing their superstar Neymar through injury and their captain Silva through suspension, how will that affect them ? who knows.

2 to watch out for, tonight 7 is the number to watch.

The Incredible Hulk #7

Schweinsteiger #7


  1. "tonight 7 is the number to watch"

    You'll claim this as a prediction...

    1. too right in the preview for the 2nd semi final later

  2. ronaldo's ridiculous hair was matched by kahn's ridiculous sideburns. and if you noticed on the video they listed ronaldo's dimensions after he scored each goal- 183 cm and 77 kg. i think that he would reach 77 kgs today today- what would happen if he placed his other foot on the scale is open to conjecture