Honest Reactions from the 2014 World Cup Draw
Putting managers and footballers near journalists is always done with the best of intentions, but in an era where news moves through the cosmos at an unbelievable pace, players and coaches stick to a fairly predictable script when responding to any type of question from the press.
Thankfully, neither group ever manages to hold their poker face; with a bit of research and plenty of imagination, those mundane quotes reveal a deeper meaning. Let’s take a look at what players and coaches said in the aftermath of Friday’s World Cup Draw, and what they actually meant to say.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque
What he said: “We can’t say we were handed an easy draw. It’s a complicated group with tough sides. It’s going to be difficult.”
What he meant: “We were handed an easy draw. Every draw is easy when you’re Spain. I am happy we could avoid Switzerland this time around, but let’s talk again before the semifinals.”
Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis
What he said: “I don’t care how people describe our game or whether our style will be more defensive or offensive. We will play to make the last 16 and will fight for it as much as we can - you can be sure about that.”
What he meant: “Historically speaking, we’re much better at the Olympics than this, but we’re going to have fun fighting. I mean, playing football.”
United States defender DaMarcus Beasley
What he said: “I think [Portugal] have a lot of weapons. I don’t think they’re a one-man show.”
What he meant: “We’ll have to use all our weapons. If we want any sort of result against Portugal, we’re going to have to poison Cristiano Ronaldo. Even then, he might score 6. It’s a tough ask.”
The World Cup Draw Survival Guide
With only hours until the World Cup draw that we’ve waited years for - the World Cup draw which will effectively decide your team’s fate next summer - we thought it was a decent idea to offer a few tips that could come in handy while you struggle to maintain your composure. We can’t make any promises, but if you follow these tips, we’re sure you’ll make it through at least the first hour of coverage. After that, it’s on you.
- Expect to insult the unexpected (i.e. “Bosnia’s main export is leather? Haha, what are you, ….a…a…cow?”)
- Expect a major period of emotional turmoil. Keep kleenex, a snuggie and your illicit Football Manager addiction nearby; use them generously: this draw is going to last 3 hours.
- Prepare your pop culture references to maintain your sanity. Remember who the real enemy is.
- If your nation is placed in a group of death, there will probably be good cultural cuisine involved. Be ready to eat your emotions.
Capturing the power of the World Cup: AFR meets Martin Lotti, Creative Director of Nike Football
We attended the European launch of the 2014 Brazilian National Team Kit, where David Luiz spoke about his passion for Brazil and their iconic ‘Canarinho’ jersey. We wanted to know more about the Brazil shirt and how leading brands are preparing for the World Cup, so we caught up with Nike Football’s Creative Director Martin Lotti, a man behind a massive project.
AFR: The Brazil shirt is arguably Nike’s most iconic international jersey, so when designing the home kit for the World Cup host, what were the most important characteristics that couldn’t be lost, even when creating a new design?
Martin Lotti: We spent a lot of time traveling in Brazil, absorbing the culture, as well as meeting up with athletes. There were two very clear things that stood out the most: 1) the yellow (the colour of the shirt) and 2) the crest.
In fact, several footballers grabbed the crest and said “this what I’m fighting for. This is the heart and soul.”
A Trip to England’s 9th Tier: Penrith FC
Penrith Football Club, founded in 1894, are members of the Ebac Northern League Division One, the 9th tier the English league pyramid. In 2009, they relocated to a new stadium at Frenchfield Park after the development of Penrith New Squares took over the site of their historical home, Southend Road. Nathen McVittie grabbed his camera and propped it up right next to the pitch to experience Penrith FC for the first time.
In Nathen’s words: "Penrith is a pretty small town. The new stadium is only a five minute walk from my family’s house. I was trying to get to as many football games in England as I could before I had to fly back to New York, and it hit me that everything I had seen up to that point was of a fairly high standard. I wanted to capture something local, something gritty that captured the essence of non league football.
I wasn’t looking to capture immaculate photos, quite the opposite. I wanted to reflect exactly what I was seeing on the pitch— imperfection. It was actually my first ever Penrith game, even though I spent the best part of 20 years there. It was my Nick Hornby moment; I realized I would watch any game, anytime, anywhere.”
Kicking around at GoPro HQ
It’s nice having a former professional footballer at the office. Davis Paul, who played for the Chicago Fire in MLS, made tremendous use of his lunch break at the GoPro HQ earlier this week.
Dare to be Brasilian
That’s the message ahead of the summer. “Ouse Ser Brasileiro”, because nobody plays like the 5-time World Cup winners. Whether it’s evading 20 foot tall Uruguayans (or Argentines?) with a fake rabona or making a goal line clearance by turning into an anime character, Nike went two-footed into the surreal. Check the full spot here.