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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And then there were eight - The AFR Voice World Cup Review

It may have got a whole lot tighter in the second round – six matches hit a 0-0 stalemate at half-time – but the drama in every dying minute of both regulation and extra time, or every game, was truly breathtaking.

Exhibit A was the Unites States against Belgium – a match which put USMNT fans through the full gambit of emotions. They came up just short but put in a courageous performance that will live long in the memory of all football fans, no matter their affiliations, or indeed their location.

To break down the game and the colossal swell of support that lifted it to seminal heights, AFR contributor Nathen McVittie joins the pod. Fresh from a trip to Brazil for AFR, he also shares his experiences from the eye of the tournament’s storm, with tales of entire neighbourhoods coming alive for the greatest show on earth. With Nathen’s Atlantic-straddling background, there’s a discussion on quite how powerfully the USMNT’s heroic World Cup campaign can impact upon the American sporting public’s psyche, as well as another dose of late night viewing with the London chapter of the American Outlaws.

With the Tim Howard eulogising finally coming to an end, the guys cast a broad eye over the tournament – assessing the major headlines to come out of the last-16 fixtures, and make their predictions for some mouth-watering quarter-finals.

Amidst heat maps that looked fit for an avant-garde art exhibition, they tackle a flurry of ensuing questions - Will James Rodriguez put Neymar in his shadow? Will Messi continue to drag Argentina one step closer to glory? Will Miroslav Klose bag that record? And most importantly of all - will Costa Rica’s fairy-tale journey continue against a hot-and-bothered Holland?

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The World Cup Week 2 Review - AFR Voice

It still feels like it’s only just started, and yet half of it has gone already - but my word what a World Cup it has been so far. After fully submerging themselves in Brazil 2014 for another week, the pod take a moment to come up for some air and look at what has happened so far, and what could happen as the groups comes to their conclusions.

In the wake of Luis Suarez getting up to his old tricks and Italy joining the ever-growing list of European casualties at this tournament, it’s the South and Central American teams who seem to be making it their own. We also take a look at Brazil’s stuttering start, potentially the end of an era for Spain, and of course the subject of everyone’s favourite Vine, Mexico boss Miguel Herrera.

With England packing their suitcases after a delightful week-long stay in Rio, the gents from the pod were in need of new allegiances - and where better to find in a traditional British boozer. Boosted by their thrilling opening-game victory, the newly formed London chapter of the American Outlaws were in fine voice for the crunch Group G clash with Portugal, and the pod caught up with a few of their members to hear tales of the joy of beating Ghana, and sharing beers with Jürgen Klinsmann in Bosnian hotel bars.

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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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Google x The World Cup

Whether it’s welcoming Pirlo to the Amazon, a bit of father’s day football, or celebrating a rematch of the World Cup final, Google have created unique homepage animations for every match.

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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