*Copy of my guest post for an American blog.
Remember when we were good at football and you were good at tennis?
To take our mind off the football, we decided to start Wimbledon this week and Andy Murray has so far followed in the footsteps of the England football team by avoiding the net as often as possible.
USA faced Germany in the crunch group match scheduled for 17:00 kick off. Although America lost they turned up late again to the pitch at 19:41 and claimed victory, but FIFA insisted the initial result should stand.
As a Liverpool fan I have taken a fair bit of stick from Manchester United supporters this last week. For those unfamiliar with the relationship of both fans, its pretty much akin to how America got on with the the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile crisis,
Firstly the charge was Suarez, a Liverpool player, put the country in which he applies his trade out of the World Cup. A fair point but United fans are quick to forget that in the 2006 World Cup the little winker Ronaldo intentionally went out of his way and used every dirty trick in the book to get team-mate Wayne Rooney sent off. Seriously, that happened, look it up.
Next, it’s somehow my fault that Suarez has a hunger problem, get some snickers! Its a disgrace and the boy should never play for Liverpool again say the more liberal part of United’s fanbase. Some of you Stateside may not be familiar with United star Cantona’s ‘kung fu kick’ on a fan in the crowd during a game in 1995. Seriously, that happened, look it up.
So what was United’s reaction to such despicable behaviour. The next season they made him captain and on learning that Cantona would not be going to prison he broke his silence and made this epic statement to a press conference: “When seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” Seriously, that happened, look it up.
It could be easy to get caught up in the media circus surrounding Suarez and I get the feeling no punishment would have been sufficient for the wolves, but surely he must have some supporters who back his claim he slipped and fell into the defender?
To their credit the Uruguayan public and press appear to be supporting their man. Although its quite obvious they are backing the wrong horse, from our media culture and history it is somehow quite refreshing to see the public get behind their stars.
Also never a man to shy away from controversy, Maradona can be found in Suarez’s corner. He appeared on TV wearing a t-shirt read “Luisito Estamos Con Vos,” which translates to “Luis we are with you” and was quoted as saying: “Why? Who is killed? This is football, this is friction, Why not send him to Guantanamo?” I will remember that one your honour.
The Argentine has always been one of the most divisive figures in world football. To name the obvious, he was suspended for 15 months in 1991 following a positive test for cocaine while playing for Napoli, handed a suspended jail sentence for shooting journalists with an air rifle in 1998 and of course the deliberate and clear handball to help put England out of the 1986 World Cup quarter final which was defended with the quote: “It was a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.” Seriously, they happened, look them up.
But I digress, back the land of the brave and the home of the awesome. Belgium awaits unfortunately for the Stars and Stripes, I think you will progress to the quarter finals. I say unfortunately as I so far called each game of the knockout stages incorrectly.
Jurgen Klinsmann has a fantastic World Cup record as both a player and a manager, and despite logic suggesting otherwise my gut is convinced his Brazilian adventure is not yet over.