Thursday, June 10, 2010

World Cup memories

Four years ago today I awoke bleary eyed, tired, and robbed. It was the day after my last exam at university. My bank account had been skimmed to the tune of almost £400 from Bulgaria (Have you been to Bulgaria? The woman in the bank asked me...) and I had, in spite of this, gone out to celebrate the end of student life – it was a fraudulent celebration as I was actually on for a post-grad course, but hey ho.

Later that afternoon, I, and about 19 others, went to the pub to watch Germany play out a highly enjoyable 4-2 win against Costa Rica. It was the start of the World Cup 2006. The sun shone, the atmosphere was carnival, with students everyone winding up their final exams, and the massive over expectation that the "Golden Generation" (snigger) would finally deliver.

They didn't of course, and later that month, back in Cornwall, we slumped out of the local bar after England's dismal showing against Portugal.

In 2002 I slumped into Geography half an hour late after England's dismal 2-1 defeat to Brazil in the quarter-finals. The only player who had a shot in the second half was Danny Mills, which shows what a weak team we had. This was the world cup of early morning kick offs, of the tournament being over each day at about 1pm UK time, leaving you free to make the most of the afternoons – if you were a schoolboy who'd completed his exams of course. For workers it must have been terrible.

In 1998 I was at my auntie's 40th when Croatia stuck three past Germany, to much celebration from those assembled, and the next day I can still vividly remember commenting, struck with wonder at the thought of such an age: "At the next World Cup I'll be 17…". I had been at home for the England v Argentina match, and watched as the team swash-buckled their way out of the tournament after an engrossing match.

In 1994, I only really remember watching Brazil v Italy, in the drab, Americanised final in the Pasadena Rose Bowl. It was a limp match, ending on penalty shoot out. Poor.

Interesting though, measuring out your life by major events, notably the World Cup, I can only imagine where I'll be when 2014 in Brazil roles around.

Anyone care to join in?

3 comments:

scud_scarlett said...

Aah, World Cup memories:

1990 - Oman Biyik putting one up the arrogant Argies and assualting scraggy-haired assassin Claudio Canigga; Salvatore Schillachi, out of nowhere, became a goal-scoring demon before disappearing into obscurity soon afterwards again; Murdo McLeod knocked out by a Brazilian thunderbolt free-kick; Gazza weeping.

1994 - Diana Ross kicking like a girl (unsurprisingly); bald-headed Bulgarians swan-diving for the right reasons; Thomas Brolin being good.

1998 (the summer after leaving High School was always going to be good) - The introduction of Beckham; the French cheating their way through the event (golden goals, offside goals, being better than everyone else etc); Ronaldo being good but Owen being better.

2002 (the only time during University that I saw the right side of early mornings) - Senegal slaughtering the swaggering French; South Korea endless stamina and headless chicken approach; Rivaldo being shot; England playing very poorly, USA playing very well and German playing very efficiently to the final.

2006 - English hype; Argentina flattering to deceive after a 60-pass goal; Graham "3-card" Poll, the best World Cup game I've ever seen and in a semi-final too; and Marco "Wind-Up" Materazzi getting the treatment from Zizzou.

Great times. What will this one bring I wonder?

Simon said...

I know I've watched the odd game here and there, but all my world cup memories are from 1990.

Being the only person in my block of the halls of residence with a colour telly guranteed me lots of new friends before we all went home after the exams. So I saw the tears and everything. But my real memory is Pop Will Eat Itself performing Touched by the hand of Cicciolina on Top of the Pops...

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