Rob Wood

Rob's Sports, Fitness & Science Blog

Entries Tagged as 'FIFA World Cup'

Creative World Cup Team Nicknames

May 22nd, 2014 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Looking through the list of Team Nicknames of the teams of the 2014 The FIFA  World Cup, I have to question the imagination of many of the people who have come up with the names. There is a group of teams that basically don’t have a nickname, they just have a variation of the term ‘the national team‘ in their respective language (e.g. Germany, Iran, Switzerland). Equally uninspiring, many nicknames are derived from national colors – such as the Blues (France), the Reds (Chile), Orange (Netherlands) and the Tri-Colors (Ecuador, Mexico). At least some add a bit of spice to the color name game, such as the Red Fury (Spain), Red Devils (Belgium), and the Black Stars (Ghana).

Not all the names are so bland. If you could create an nickname, wouldn’t you want one that would strike fear in the opposition, like the Dragons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, and and my all time favorite The Pirate Ship (Greece)? There are also Super Eagles (Nigeria) and Elephants (Ivory Coast) to contend with. But there is nothing as fearful as my team’s nickname – the Socceroos! Unfortunately a fearsome team nickname does not necessarily equate to success, as the tournament favourites are commonly known as the Little Canaries (Brazil). Whaoo scary!

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Bet on the Octopus

July 12th, 2010 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Paul the ‘Psychic’ Octopus, also known as the ‘Oracle of Oberhausen’ and ‘Pulpo Paul’, is a resident of the Oberhausen Sea Life aquarium. He became a celebrity after a 100% success rate at predicting the winners of eight World Cup matches – all of Germany’s games and the final between Spain and The Netherlands. I want to go out on a (octopus) limb, and say that it was all due to chance. I know it may sound far-fetched and very unlikely, but maybe he was just lucky and was able to select the winning teams through chance. No psychic abilities, no hand of God, and no conspiracies – just luck. A lot of luck.

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The World Cup Sends Me To Sleep

June 23rd, 2010 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

With the World’s greatest sporting event currently well on the way in South Africa, it may be surprising that this is my first post about it. It would not be surprising if you knew that I support Australia, and up until today they have not done anything to write home about. After getting up at 2am this morning to watch them play Serbia, I am much happier and very impressed with their performance. Although they won today, they just missed out on progressing to the knockout round. They did us proud, playing great football and giving everything for their country. Missing out of the final 16 is no great disappointment, the Aussies have played above expectations. I cannot say the same about the French team, and cannot imagine the public out cry at their team’s performance. There is always drama at the World Cup, and that is why we are captivated. A few more sleepless nights to come!

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Viva Italia

July 10th, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

For many reasons I was supporting Italy in the World Cup Final this morning. Having spent a month in Italy last year, my wife being part Italian, and Italy knocking out Australia early in the tournament all lead me to follow the Azzuri. With the dubious penalty to France in the first half, and Zidane’s head explosion in extra time, Italy deserved to win, though going by the general play France had the upper hand for much of the match. It would not have been a World Cup final with out some controversy. I love to watch football, and I know diving part of the game, though it frustrates me no end to see players get away with faking an injury. I agree with a commentator the other day who suggested that they should introduce video referees who can penalise players after the game for obvious faked fouls. I would also like to see those with an ‘injury’ given a compulsory break of 5 minutes or otherwise substitute another player. For soccer to take off in this country, this is the area of the game they need to clean up.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Italy at the WC

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The Dream is Over

June 27th, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Australia’s dream run at the World Cup of Football has come to an end in a spectacular and frustratingly disappointing manner. Australia were able to hold Italy scoreless for nearly the whole game, until literally the last few seconds of regular time when Italy were awarded a dubious penalty, winning the game 1-0. Who knows what would have happened in extra time and penalty shoot-out if it went that far, though Australia had had more possession and more shots on goal and it seemed to be only a matter of time before they scored. All this was helped by one of the Italian players being sent off early in the second half. Australia failed to capitalize on having an extra man and maybe did not deserve to win the game. In the end, the Aussies must be proud of what they have achieved, and putting up a good battle with Italy they have again demonstrated their potential to the world. I finally bit the bullet and headed into the streets to watch the game live on a large screen in Lygon Street, the Italian area of town, with thousands of others who also braved the cold. After the final whistle had blown, and the reality of what had happened sunk in, the crowd slowly and quietly drifted away, back to their bed – maybe to dream about what might have been.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Italy at the WC, Australia at the WC

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Moore to come

June 23rd, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Another exciting day for Australia with the Socceroos drawing with Croatia, doing just enough to go through to the second round, to play Italy next week. I couldn’t bring myself to head into Federation Square in the city to watch the game at 5am with the thousands gathered there, though in the end it would have been a great place to enjoy the spectacle. Instead I curled up at home on the couch with the heater on, which was not too bad either. There were a lot of anxious moments, with Australia behind for much of the match. A penalty to Craig Moore and a field goal to Harry Kewell got us through. The team has surpassed all expectations and done a lot for the sport at home. There are plenty more sleepless nights to come.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Croatia at the WC, Australia at the WC, Craig Moore profile, Harry Kewell profile

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Sport for Breakfast

June 22nd, 2006 · 10 Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer), Sports Nutrition

For breakfast this morning I snacked on a bowl of soccerballs. Not real soccer balls of course. Nestle have brought out a new breakfast cereal, officially licensed by FIFA. The packet says to just add milk to reveal the soccer balls. As the little crunchy balls absorb milk they swell up a little, but I would not consider them looking like soccerballs though. They tasted pretty average, but I am sure better tasting than eating the real thing. For those who live for sport, here is another way to make sport part of your day.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, soccer balls

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Harry Loses Kewell

June 21st, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Australian striker Harry Kewell lost his cool and had words to say with the central referee after the Socceroos game the other night. He was obviously upset and disappointed with the seemingly one-sided free kick count against Australia and his lack of finishing with the chances he had. But the way he showed his disappointment was not a good example to the thousands of young soccer fans that were watching, and FIFA understandably take a hard line against such actions. Fortunately for Australia’s chances he was cleared to play in the next match, an important one for Australia looking to make it through to the second round. But it would be good if he could still make amends for it. Maybe with a some good sportsmanship and a winning performance in the next game we will forgive him.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Australia at the WC, Harry Kewell profile

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Proud Defeat for Socceroos

June 19th, 2006 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Last night the Socceroos took on arguably the best football team in the world, the Brazilians. Like most Aussies, I woke up in the middle of the night to watch the game. Australia lost 2-0, but again showed that they deserve to be on the world stage, and with a win or draw next week against Croatia they can make it to the next round. Such a feat would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but not surprising considering Australia’s rich sporting history. Against Brazil they matched them in most areas around the field and must have had them worried when the score was still 0-0 at half time. The Brazil team is not dominating the tournament as expected, and at this stage don’t look like going all the way.

Related Pages: Soccer, Football World Cup, Brazil at the WC, Australia at the WC

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Real Football

June 16th, 2006 · No Comments · AFL, FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

With the recent success of the the Australian Soccer team the debate has raged in Melbourne about the future of each game. In the home of Australian Rules, the World Game of Football has hijacked the sporting news. However, although it is hard to see now I am sure the staunch local AFL support will hold strong and given a few weeks after the World Cup has come and gone the AFL will be back into the headlines. In the background through, Soccer will have been given a kick start, and the seed that is planted may take a few years but the world popularity of the game, the high ethnic population in Melbourne, and the high participation rate of soccer at junior level, will all combine to make soccer and real challenger to the AFL.

Related Pages: soccer, Football World Cup, AFL

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