Several heart attacks, sore throats, panda-eye looks, not having enough sleep, clocking in late for work on a regular basis вЂ“ just some symptoms of an epidemic that only comes around to infect the entire world once every four yearsвЂ¦World Cup fever!
As I think of whether the above torture is worth it, I simply recall some of the more memorable moments over the past 56 matches. In no particular order, and sorted by numbers, these are my personal moments so far in the on-going World Cup in Germany:
0 вЂ“ Goals conceded in regulation time by the Swiss in this yearвЂ™s World Cup; Also the total goals scored by the Swiss in a penalty shoot-out withВ Ukraine. Result: Swiss creates history by becoming first team in WC history to be knocked out without conceding a single goal. Strange, but trueвЂ¦
3 вЂ“ Yellow cards shown to the same Croat by ref Graham Poll is just the tip of the iceberg of dodgy refereeing throughout this World Cup. This incident, however, caught my eye for sheer embarrassment (for Poll) and humor (for the fans)вЂ¦
4 вЂ“ Red cards and 12 yellow cards outshone PortugalвЂ™s hard-fought 1-0 win over rivals Holland in a 2ndround clash. The aftermath: a depletedВ PortugalВ midfield moves on to face toothlessВ England;В Hollandgoes home (yet again!); Mr Ivanov gets a shelling from all sides вЂ“ FIFA prez even quoting the ref should be shown a yellow card himself!
Also, 4 differentВ EnglandВ formations in four matches seenвЂ¦.totally disorganized, boring, dull, unimaginative, scrappyвЂ¦and yet they are in the quarters with a lucky draw with depletedВ PortugalВ next.
6 вЂ“ Goals that kick-started the World Cup ending with hostsВ GermanyВ beatingВ Costa RicaВ 4-2. Goal-rush in a WC opening match?!! Who would have thunk?! Also, total goals scored byВ ArgentinaВ in their demolition of Serbia-Montenegro in a group match. Best dominating team performance of the World Cup so far.
12 вЂ“ minutes introducing Lionel Messi to the stage of World Cup. Coming in the 78th minute againstSerbia, this talented Argentine announced his arrival inВ GermanyВ with an assist and grabbed a goal himself. What a joy to watch this boy wonder in action!
15 вЂ“ Goals scored in World Cup finals; This most goals scored record was achieved by Ronaldo in this morningвЂ™s Last 16 match vsВ Ghana. Incredible achievement considering many critics panned his overweightness throughout the tourney.
24 вЂ“ Surgical precision passes strung together by the Argentines capped by a cool finish by midfielder Cambiasso in their 2nd goal vs the Serbs in their second Group C match. Brilliant. Breathtaking. Definitely a contender for goal of the tournament.
95 вЂ“ minute heartbreaker forВ AustraliaВ when 10-manВ ItalyВ was awarded a penalty against them in a 2ndround action match-up. Totti came off the bench to slot it home to break the 0-0 deadlock and sent all Aussies crying home.
98 вЂ“ th minute left-footed dipping thunderbolt volley past the Mexican keeper by Maxi Rodriguez sealsArgentinaвЂ™s place in the quarter-finals. Watching this goal LIVE alone is worth all my sleeping hours lost. Commentators are hailing it as possibly the second greatest goal in World Cup history (behind MaradonaвЂ™s вЂ™86 slalom). Fans are still talking about this strike all over the world. I still gasp in amazement, even after watching the replay in every angle for the umpteenth time.
8 more matches to goвЂ¦.bring out the coffee! Some things are actually worth losing sleep over!
(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)