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July 2014

Revisiting the five most shocking 2014 World Cup moments!

The 2014 World Cup has been one full of surprises, from the fall of champions to the outrageous behavior by players. Even within the confines of normalcy, football matches impart anxiety, anxiety, and more anxiety upon devout fans, finally resulting in either complete euphoria or tragedy. It has been a long journey for many of the teams, but now that Germany has won (congrats!), we can look back and revisit some of the most shocking World Cup moments.

#5 - Fred’s supposed dive in opening game

Since the first match of the 2014 World Cup, the issue of diving has been prominent. Diving occurs when a player feigns injury at the hands of the opposing team in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage through penalties. In the opening game, Brazilian forward Fred was accused of diving in a match against Croatia, granting what many believe was an egregious penalty kick for Brazil. Brazil ultimately won the match 3-1, however the penalty call will be talked about for some time, as will the prominence of diving in football matches overall.

#4 - Portugal shocks US with last-moment goal

In the 95th minute, with the US poised for victory and ready to proceed to the Round of 16, Portugal upset American fans worldwide with a last-moment goal, ending the game in a 2-2 tie. Team USA would ultimately survive the “Group of Death”, but not without much hard effort and wracked nerves. Later, in the Round of 16, Tim Howard, the team’s keeper, would rack up a record 16 saves against Belgian scoring attempts. While this spoke for Howard’s defensive abilities, it was not enough to save the team against the stronger Belgian offence.

#3 - Suarez bites Chiellini

Uruguay's striker Luis Suarez sunk his teeth into Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during a group-stage game, costing Suarez a nine-match ban and a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs (approx. £66,000 or $111,000). Viewers were quick to react with online memes of the offending player, including numerous references to the film Jaws and how he’s “hungry for Italian”. This was the third time Suarez has been accused of chomping down on a player, the first incidence occurring in 2010 against Otman Bakkal of PSV Eindhoven and the second against Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea. Don't feel too bad for the fined striker, however, because, even though he cannot compete for some time, FC Barcelona still picked him up from Liverpool with a £75m deal.

#2 - Former champions Spain knocked out in first round

Champions of both the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 UEFA European Football Championships, Spain shocked fans with their elimination in the first round of the 2014 World Cup. Especially demoralising was their 5-1 loss to Netherlands in their first match. The former champions would lose 2-0 against Chile, ending their World Cup adventure short of the Round of 16.

#1 - Brazil’s 7-1 loss to Germany

Perhaps most shocking of all was the third-to-last match of the 2014 World Cup, the match between Brazil and Germany. Hometown heroes and favored to win by many, Brazil lost with a crushing 7-1 loss against the Germans. What was even more shocking was the Germans’ first five goals all made within the first 19 minutes of the match. Brazil played without their star forward, Neymar, who was kneed in the back by Colombian defender Juan Camilo Zuniga, and was made to suffer a fractured vertebra. In the same match that injured Neymar, Brazilian captain and defensive leader Thiago Silva was given a second yellow card, forcing him to sit out the decisive game against Germany. Brazil would lose again to the Netherlands in the finals, costing the host team the third-place slot.

Did we miss the World Cup moment that shocked you most? What did you think about this year’s tournament? Let us know on our Facebook page and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on language learning and culture.