Many of the big giants have fallen by the way side getting knocked out in the first round. A few have had a bumpy ride and survived, while some others have had a much smoother one. Because of its sheer drama, excitement, free flowing football and number of goals, this World Cup is already being hailed as one of the best in the past few decades, possibly of all time.
This is the tournament of the comeback wins, different colour boots, vanishing spray, the Brazuca, goal-line technology and some very gritty performances by the underdogs, most notably by Costa Rica who beat Italy and Uruguay to advance to the next round. Defending champions Spain also crashed out of the tournament after losing their opening two games. This World Cup has witnessed some spectacular goals: Van Persie’s flying header, Tim Cahill’s spectacular left foot volley, Eduardo Vargas finishing off a beautiful team goal and Jermaine Jones’ howitzer. The homeland of "jogo bonito" has welcomed fans from all over the world and the response from the stands, in the streets and on social media websites has been overwhelming. Other Latin American countries including Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia have particularly enjoyed the tournament, most of them doing very well in the tournament and their fans have filled out stadiums to their capacity, giving stirring renditions of their respective national anthems. In the months leading up to the gala event, there has been a huge political unrest in Brazil.
A year of anti-government protests, strikes and demonstrations have put things into perspective as a majority of Brazilians have voiced that hosting the tournament was a bad idea, and that the billions of dollars were wasted on the World Cup rather than being used to provide health care, education and sustainable jobs.
The entire nation has put its hopes on the shoulders of a 22 year old Neymar who is leading the Golden Shoe race with 4 goals in 3 games. Brazil though needs to improve its performances if they are to pass the sterner tests they will no doubt face in the latter stages of the tournament.