Stat attack: the anorak’s guide to the group stages

136: there have been 136 goals so far. At a total of 2.83 per game this has been one of the most entertaining world cups in recent memory. 136 is a group stage record in a 32 team tournament. To put this into context, there were only 145 goals scored in the entire tournament in South Africa four years ago. Brazil 2014 is on course to beat the record of 171 goals in a 32 team tournament set in France 98.

32: all 32 teams have scored at least once in the group stages for the first time since France 98.

10: the Netherlands are the tournament’s top scorers with 10 goals so far. Lowest scorers Cameroon and Iran have netted just once each.

1: Costa Rica, Belgium and Mexico have had the meanest defences yielding just one goal apiece.

4: Thomas Muller, Lionel Messi and Neymar are the top scoring players with four goals each. Muller leads the race for the golden boot due to having an assist to his name.

7: the highest scoring match saw seven goals as France beat Switzerland 5-2 in Salvador. The same venue also saw the two biggest victory margins, Netherlands 5-1 Spain and Germany 4-0 Portugal.

2: there have been two hat tricks so far, Thomas Muller for Germany against Portugal and Xherdan Shaqiri for Switzerland against Honduras.

4: there have also been four own goals.

15: Miroslav Klose’s goal against Ghana was his record equalling 15th finals goal. He has scored these goals over the last four tournaments. In the same period of time, England have scored 17.

Best goal: there have been some outstanding contenders but Tim Cahill’s volley against the Dutch was reminiscent of Van Basten and will take some beating.

Best save: Guillermo Ochoa’s one handed reach to deny Neymar at full stretch has been compared with Gordon Banks’ similar stop against Pele in 1970.

Biggest flop: despite not being fully fit, Cristiano Ronaldo’s status as the best player in the world means that he will be desperately disappointed with one goal and a first round exit.

Biggest shock: With the three richest domestic leagues in the world, you’d have been given fantastic odds on England, Spain and Italy all exiting in the group stage.

Best sight: the atmosphere at every game has been tremendous and the zeal with which Brazil and Chile in particular have sung their national anthems has been a joy to behold. However, seeing Fifa restore some much needed credibility and finally coming down hard on a player deserving of punishment has made a welcome change. From a vindictive point of view, the four month ban for Luis Suarez was a tonic.

Best player: With the expectation of 200 million fans weighing heavy on his young shoulders, Neymar has been sensational. He has dazzled when Brazil have, at times, been ordinary.

The second round line up is as follows: Brazil vs Chile

Uruguay vs Colombia

Netherlands vs Mexico

Costa Rica vs Greece

France vs Nigeria

Argentina vs Switzerland

Germany vs Algeria

Belgium vs USA


What is each teams nickname?

If you want to show off your sports knowledge to friends this World Cup, we’ve got you covered.

ESPN commissioned Brazilian artist Cristiano Siqueria to create posters for all 32 teams competing in the World Cup. They display each team’s unique and oftentimes poetic nickname, so impress your friends by saying “La Furia Roja” instead of “Spain.”

The nicknames range from the simple, such as Switzerland’s “La Nati,” which means “the national team,” to more elaborate ones, such as England’s “The Three Lions,” an homage to the Royal Arms of England. All of the names provide interesting bits of trivia about their respective countries.

Check out Siqueria’s posters and a brief background on the teams’ nicknames, below:


The most dedicated fans of the World Cup so far.

Soccer isn’t just the most popular sport in the world — it’s a religion to millions of people.

The devout followers who made the pilgrimage to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup came decked in their best gear to celebrate the tournament, and — most importantly — to cheer their squads to victory.

Grab your pom-poms and face paint to cheer along with the zaniest and most spirited World Cup fans.

For the Record

10 games into the world cup and we’ve seen 33 goals and not a single 0-0 draw. The record number of goals in a world cup finals is 171 (France 98, the first 32 team tournament). If the current average of 3.3 goals per game is maintained then this world cup will yield an astonishing 211 goals! As well as there being no 0-0 draws there hasn’t been a draw of any kind so far. As Gary Lineker pointed out shortly after tonight’s France vs Honduras match, the last time a world cup was so ten games old without a single draw was 1950, coincidentally the last time Brazil hosted the world cup.

45 Things That Will Definitely Happen At World Cup 2014


Will change the colour to red once they happen.

1. Players will complain that the ball is too light/moves weirdly/is part of a conspiracy perpetrated by FIFA.

2. Casual fans will complain incessantly about diving.

3. Hardcore fans will complain incessantly about Luis Suarez diving.

4. There will be reports of arguments in the Dutch dressing room.

5. Someone from the French squad will miss a game after a night of partying and “entertaining female visitors.”

6. People will rejoice at the lack of vuvuzelas.

7. People will miss being able to make vuvuzela jokes.

8. A small team will be denied a heroic win against a big team by a controversial refereeing decision in the last five minutes.

9. Pundits will express regret that “exciting” African teams with “raw talent” are let down by “poor goalkeeping” and it will be dreadful.

10. A major star will get injured in training in the weeks before the tournament and everybody will obsess over whether they’ll be fit in time.

11. They will end up playing, but will be rubbish.

12. The German team will be described as “not up to the standards of previous German sides” but will nonetheless make it to the semi-finals.

13. The Brazilian team will be described as “not up to the standards of previous Brazil sides” but will nonetheless make it to the semi-finals.

14. The Italian team will be described as… you get the idea.

15. There will be unnecessarily in-depth reporting about how hot it is.

16. Sepp Blatter will continue to look and act like Dr. Evil.

17. Maradona will give an impromptu, unintelligible sidewalk press conference.

18. After years of tempered expectations, English newspapers will get excited after a half-decent result in the group stage.

19. England will then choke in remarkable fashion. ::cough:: penalties ::cough::

20. Ronaldo will score (at least) one goal of superhuman caliber.

21. And (at least) one goal that is a complete fluke.

22. Either way, he will lift up his shirt to celebrate.

23. He will have a nine-pack.

24. David Beckham will be shown in the stands wearing an asteroid-sized watch and sitting with someone incredibly important.

25. Countless hours will be devoted to explaining “goal-line technology.”

26. Goal-line technology will not be used.

27. The directors of the TV coverage will spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on female Brazilian fans in the crowd rather than the action on the pitch.

28. Neymar will have a haircut that people will only be able to describe as…experimental.

29. Pundits will make several hundred references to Messi not being the best ever until he wins a World Cup.

30. Belgium will be described as the “dark horse” of the tournament several hundred times.

31. A true dark horse will make it through to the quarter-finals through defensive determination and luck. (Bosnia & Herzegovina?!)

32. There will be a substitution drama in at least one game in Manaus, when every player on the field turns into a puddle and evaporates.

33. Pele will be shown on TV every 10 minutes.

34. There will be protests.

35. Probably a lot of protests.

35. Twitter will question why on earth none of the Spanish team sings during their national anthem, before a legion of fellow internet warriors remind them that the song has no words.

36. Franz Beckenbauer will look stately and so will Zinedine Zidane.

37. Every time Spain plays, the cameras will constantly jump to shots of Shakira juxtaposed with Pique. (Didn’t happen camera wise, but I watched with BBC’s alternative commentary and they were talking about Shakira instead)

38. If Spain gives up a goal, her suffering and angst will be our suffering and angst.

39. There will be an unexpected standout (probably a tricky winger or attacking midfielder) who will get scooped up by Chelsea/Real Madrid/PSG immediately after the tournament.

40. A commentator claims before every Costa Rica, Iran or Algeria match that the minnows will be, ‘determined to prove they’re not just here to make up the numbers’.

41. English commentator makes a truly comical, and verging on offensive attempt at pronouncing a little known Bosnian or Russian players name.

42. A bizarre opening ceremony occurs, that leaves spectators world-wide scratching their heads in confusion, wondering what on earth they just witnessed.

43. Gervinho will have the worst hair at the tournament.

44. Kyle Beckerman will be a close second.

45. It will be incredibly fun and unpredictable and you won’t want to miss a second.

45 Things That Will Definitely Happen At World Cup 2014

How to Avoid the World Cup.

The flags of St George are being unfurled, supermarkets are bombarding us with special offers on beer and crisps, and the usual  television  schedules are about to  be obliterated.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the World Cup has kicked off.

But despite the relentless chatter and endless advertising onslaught, it seems the nation isn’t quite as behind the England team as you might expect. In fact this is probably the least hyped World Cup In years! Think yourselves lucky!

Take a look at my post of things to expect over the next month here.

What to do if you want to avoid the World Cup Totally!

1 – Cancel your TV licence and throw your TV out. Stock up with a month’s worth of baked beans and frozen pizza. Close your curtains and don’t leave your house during the entire tournament.

2 – Visit Wales / Scotland. We don’t think they’re going to be getting behind England’s effort this summer. If you really want to get away from it all then explore the country’s canals. Breath-taking scenery, jaw-dropping feats of engineering and welcoming country pubs.

Sorry guys I know that’s not much help but it is everywhere. Agree or disagree, football is the most popular sport in the world and half of the entire population is set to tune in. If you don’t want to embrace it, why not try taking the piss out of it? 🙂

If you’ve thought of any ways to avoid the World Cup that we haven’t please feel free to comment and let us know.

In the Meantime here’s some perks for you non football fans this summer!

1. There’s never a wait at Starbucks during the game.

There's never a wait at Starbucks during the game.

2. You can wear whatever color you want.

3. And don’t have to be wear silly headgear.

4. Or impolite shirts.

5. Or brainwash poor little babies before they can even know which team they support or if they even like football.

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6. You are hangover-free on weekdays.

You are hangover-free on Mondays.

7. And not sleep-deprived either because you haven’t stayed up late to watch ALL THE FOOTBALL.

And not sleep-deprived on Tuesdays.

8. Game time is a perfect time to catch up on your torrents (not that any of us ever download anything illegally — ever).

Game time is a perfect time to catch up on your torrents (not that any of us ever download anything illegally — ever).

9. You don’t get into huge football-related fights with lifelong friends on Facebook that end badly.

18 Best Things About Not Being A Football Fan

10. You save a ton of money not buying team-themed merchandise