All good things - The AFR Voice World Cup Final Special

All good things must come to an end, even heart-stopping endlessly entertaining World Cups. It’s time for the pod to sign-off for the summer too. We’ve recorded over 45 shows this season and few will be sweeter than this – the chance to reflect on a tense, emotionally draining but ultimately fulfilling World Cup final.

There’s a stream of praise for Mario Götze’s sumptuous winner, André Schürrle’s super-sub antics and, above all, the humble team ethic and youth development system that underpinned a richly deserved night of glory for Joachim Löw’s “Jungs”.

On the flip side, we mourn an evening of missed opportunities for an Argentinian side who were so nearly dragged over the line by their talisman of the tournament…and it’s not Lionel Messi.

As we turned the final audio page on the tournament we reflected on the World Cup as a whole – the goals, the games, the personalities, the shocks, the atmosphere and the Tim Howard memes that have made us weak at the knees and besotted with Brazil for the past four weeks.

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We’ve waited four years for this weekend - AFR Voice

And then there were two. With two equally compelling semi-finals from the opposite ends of the footballing spectrum now complete, we now know that it’ll be either Germany or Argentina taking a 6.1kg, 36.8cm high World Cup souvenir back home with them.

One side that most certainly won’t be in the Maracana on Sunday is the tournament’s generous hosts. Join the pod as they discuss how things went so horribly wrong for Brazil, the ruthlessness of a German side of have tasted big game defeats so frequently of late, and where the game in Brazil goes from here.

It may have not had all of the drama of the other semi, but nevertheless Argentina did just enough to make their way to the tournament’s final hurdle, and end Louis van Gaal’s reign as Dutch coach on a bittersweet note. With the world’s attention turning to Lionel Messi and the bizarre scenario of the little man being forced to forge his own legacy at the ripe old age of 27, the guys weigh up Argentina’s chances against Germany, and give some very much less than convincing predictions for Sunday’s showpiece event.

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Brazil vs. Germany, without Brazil

Brazil didn’t show up against Germany. So, naturally, here are Germany’s seven goals against Brazil in an alternate universe where Brazil literally didn’t show up.

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More Than Just a Flag
The World Cup is often portrayed as an event that brings a diversity of countries together, but it’s not just the teams, so much as the diverse people who make up each of those countries.
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Regardless of color, creed, or orientation, we’re all fans, and we’re all family. [Posted by Nathen]

More Than Just a Flag

The World Cup is often portrayed as an event that brings a diversity of countries together, but it’s not just the teams, so much as the diverse people who make up each of those countries.

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It’s time. - AFR Voice’s World Cup Preview

It’s almost here. The wall chart is up, the office sweepstakes have been drawn, and all social engagements for the next month have been put on hold. After four years of waiting, Brazil 2014 is about to kick off.

To celebrate the imminent arrival of the greatest tournament of them all, this week’s show sees us delve deep into its underbelly. Join us as we rummage through all eight groups, looking at those players who have the potential to drive their nations into the last 16, and those who will be watching the knockout stages on the TV back home.

To make this World Cup Preview Special, well, special, we’re joined by two guests to give us the inside line on two of the tournament’s big hitters – Brazil and Italy. We chat to journalist and broadcaster Musa Okwonga about the weight of expectation on the hosts, and just why the beautiful game is so important in Brazil (to hear more from Musa check out his excellent BBC radio documentary, The Burden Of Beauty). Then we switch out attention to England’s opening Group D opponent as we talk to Italian football expert and friend of the show Giancarlo Rinaldi about all things Azzurri – how far can they go, will they be seriously hampered by the loss of Riccardo Montolivo, and just how do you stop Andrea Pirlo?

Now, let the games begin…

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The Game Before The Game

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Louder than words: Brazilian graffiti clashes against the World Cup

While the protests that took place during last summer’s Confederations Cup were overwhelming and affecting, recent news out of Brazil suggests that what we saw last year might have only been a precursor to a larger movement set to convene just as the World Cup looks to kick off in less than two weeks. 

From teachers to doctors, artists to indigenous populations, the Brazilian population is once again uniting against a perceived neglect on the part of the Brazilian government. With taxpayer funds gone missing, local businesses shunned in favor of multinational conglomerates, and many Brazilians left in an unstable position as both housing costs and forceful evictions increase, Brazilians are angry, and rightfully so. 

But while last summer’s protests focused upon mass gatherings as a primary means to garner international attention, organizers and frustrated Barzilians have shifted tactics, utilizing a variety of platforms to spread their message. And what could be more arresting for visitors to Brazil than anti-World Cup graffiti in the cities hosting matches?

Here’s to Brazilians taking a stand and making their voices heard. In any way possible. [Posted by Maxi]

A First Person Lens of Futebol in Brazil

If you want to see the biggest tournament in any sport, go to the World Cup. If you really want to explore the country hosting the World Cup, visit it before the tournament kicks off. Davis Paul took his GoPro to Rio and São Paulo, explored favelas, went to legendary stadiums, and played barefoot with some of the Selecão’s next generation.

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Thought Trails: Copa América is coming to the United States in 2016. What does it mean?

“American fans would get to see the U.S. playing against teams like Argentina, Colombia, and Brazil in a tournament that matters. It’s huge, and shows some real 21st century thinking for the two regional federations to come together like this for the good of the game.” - Tom Mulroy

To celebrate 100 years of Copa América, the tournament is coming to the United States in 2016 with 16 nations representing North, Central and South America.

But what does it mean for the global game going forward?

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