Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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Archive for the ‘FIFA World Cup 2014’ Category

Why Brazil will win not World Cup 2014

Posted by Rishiray on June 20, 2014

In an ongoing battle about Brazilian ridiculousness, I’m willing to overlook many things

  • Supremely high crime rates in Rio
  • Pollution beyond belief in areas outside the major cities
  • Shocking poverty in many of the favelas, especially for a country purporting to be 1st world!

What I cannot overlook is the unsubstantiated and unwavering belief that Brazil will win the FIFA World Cup 2014. After 2 matches, I’ve seen a very unconvincing win over Croatia and draw that Brazil was lucky to have.

Make no mistake, in that first game … Croatia, by the middle of the second half, were boring the world to death, so I’m not going to shed a bunch of tears about that drawn penalty. But make no mistake: Fred dove to draw what would turn out to be the game-winning penalty, converted by Neymar in a performance that fell something short of electric but nestled snugly into the realm of “opportunistic.”If you didn’t see the dive, here’s a replay of it


Here’s other multiple angles of the dive

This epic diving performance was enough, in the World Cup opener, to give a Seleção the “W” … it was unquestionably the turning point of the game.

As for that second match with Mexico, the focus on Guillermo Ochoa is justified. That man, the myth, the legend … he was like Quetzlcoatl coming back to life … he saved as though he remembered that the Aztecs decapitated people after losing matches in Chichen Itza. The Mexican goalkeeper had a brilliant match — coming up with six saves (a tournament high) and at least four of them were stunning. It was like the man had 10 fingers …

… on each hand

Was this the Mexican goalie?

However stunning that performance, Mexico were superb in defence, they were quick on the counter and their tackles were hard but most importantly, they weren’t afraid of Brazil. They came into the match with a plan and stuck to it. And with some luck they could have won as well.

With Hulk missing out due to injury, Fred had to lead the line and he had an awful match. Fred — no, he didn’t dive this time round — completed 8 of 16 attempted passes (50 percent) and just one of the passes was in the penalty area. His almost invisible display meant that Brazil were rarely threatening enough in the final third of the field. Also while Neymar is expected to score goals, they need the strikers to step up and make their mark as well. If Brazil want to harbour any hopes of winning the World Cup, they need to show more attacking onus.

However, if Brazil have to go back home early … they won’t be crying … here’s a little bit of what’s waiting at home

Finally …. here’s why Brazil will win not World Cup 2014

Even their sand sculptures are sexy


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English football fans should just give up on life …

Posted by Rishiray on June 20, 2014

Many people cheer very, very loudly when the “Three Lions” … now aptly renamed to the “Three Mice” are soundly beaten. I can imagine loud singing of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” or “Ally’s Tartan Army” or “Men Of Harlech” for Irish, Scots and Welsh respectively. As it stands right now, things don’t look too good for the Three Mice.


Even the most diehard, patriotic England supporter must be slightly nervous of the prospect of Roy Hodgson’s men crashing out of the World Cup with defeat to Costa Rica now.  With the Three Mice’s loss, it will be confirmed when Italy draw with Uruguay in their final match, since it’s assumed that Italy will beat Costa Rica .

To prepare any die hard England fan that reads this blog, you should think about the dreariness of the English summer and really about adopting a new team, since England’s World Cup dreams end at the first hurdle. Unlike the Spanish who have tons to look forward when they go home … lets first think about the English and what they go back home to …


When the “Three Mice” team are back home, they can wander about on the Tube getting lost, the same way they look on a football field. Maybe they could start jumping from double decker bus to bus with no aim and purpose, just like Wayne Rooney’s header


Yep, it’s as dreary as you think …. Mind the Gap!

Double Decker buses?

English fans looking like they normally do


Completely dismal, overrated pile of rocks in the strange place, in the middle of nowhere. Come to think of it, the English team played like an overrated pile of rocks … then I guess really it’s the right place for them to be. Wayne Rooney should make his house out of the stones, in fact when I think about Wayne Rooney …

It’s as overrated as it looks, just like Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney?

If someone told me this was Wayne Rooney, I wouldn’t have a hard time believing them

As for teams that they can follow

  • Belgium

    We love a dark horse and, while it may be difficult for Belgium to still qualify in this category with so many people backing them to do well, there’s still not the nailed-on expectancy which accompanies the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Germany. Plus, many fans of Premier League clubs will have a link to Belgium, with Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham, Manchester United and Everton all represented in their squad.

  • Holland

    Well if you’re going to ditch England, you may as well pick a side with a chance of success. The Dutch were runners-up at the last World Cup in 2010 and have started like an absolute train this time around, embarrassing Spain before seeing off Australia. They play attractive football and if they can win their group (and likely avoid Brazil in the next round), they have a good chance of going far.

  • Switzerland

    There’s little English connection in the Swiss camp, but they’re a pretty inoffensive team to follow. They’ve yet to play France in Group E, so already they’ll have the backing of many an English fan and with a win already under their belts, they’re a good bet to reach the last 16.

  • GhanaThey may have lost their first game of the World Cup to a late USA winner, but they’ve yet to play Germany or Portugal – two teams England fans have little affinity towards. And come on, who can’t love the Ghanaian players’ brilliant attitude?
  • Cartoon Dream Team by Nike

    This will be the closest that Rooney comes to greatness.

English football fans should just give up on life … seriously 😀

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Spain crashed out the World Cup … but don’t feel sad for them.

Posted by Rishiray on June 19, 2014

Spain, the world champions, the double European champions, the team of the decade, are out of the World Cup . The reign of Spain is over because they were plain, uninspired and out-played. With Spain’s shocking exit from the FIFA World Cup 2014, I felt a little sad for them.
The Spanish were perennial underachievers in every World Cup, always a “dark horse” or underdog … no one ever gave them the footballing respect they deserved until they won in 2010.

However, when I think about the Spanish football team, I don’t feel sad for them because they get to go back to super model girlfriends, eating amazing food and being back in their own beautiful and safer cities than those of Brazil. Let’s think about this starting squad and where they get to go back to …


The home of Casillas, Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Koke and Diego Costa is a gorgeous old city along with having two semi decent football clubs in Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid. I’m pretty sure while they’re playing along in this fine stadium, they won’t be thinking about the loss and embarrassment felt by their Spaniard countrymen around the world.

It’s an ok stadium, if you’re into that

I wouldn’t be crying if I could walk around and have drinking along the square like this

Tossed in a random church shot … just cause

… still feeling sad for them? How about those who go to …


If wandering back to Madrid wasn’t a nice enough start, there are those like Gerald Pique, Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Bousquets and Pedro Rodríguez who get to head back to Catalan country and Barcelona. If you don’t love the warmth of a beachside city, then you have the nightlife off Las Ramblas and if not nightlife, then you have the food and architecture.

I love this bubble art

When you enter … the tingles start!

I love this little bar off Las Ramblas … it surely won’t be there the next time we go back

Walking along the boardwalk at midnight … not the worst thing ever

The human carnival of Las Ramblas

I don’t know how many of those guys pray, but I think after the beatdown … they will want to hide somewhere and La Sagrada Familia isn’t the worst place to hide … in plain sight

I’m sure that there will be some graffiti with an homage to the Spanish failure coming soon to a store front in Barcelona!

… still feeling sad for them? How about those who go to …


Sevilla isn’t one of the glamour clubs in Spanish football, but I thought that I had some of the best food in Spain here … even better than Barcelona. Seville has some seriously incredible food…and it’s cheap! I spent a lot of time finding tapas bars and ordering lots of tasty dishes to sample. As much as I love Barcelona, I have to admit this is one thing Sevilla does better – way better. Two places to try are Tapas Viapol (C/José Recuerda Rubio 5) and Bodega Dos de Mayo (Plaza de la Gavidia 2). The Andaluzes are loud people who eat tapas, dance flamenco, go to bullfights, and sometimes even shout “¡Óle!” … I’m sure that Alberto Moreno won’t be crying in his Clara con Limon to go back home.

Enjoying my tapas all round.

How about some Flamenco in a Monastery at night? Yep … and it’s free!

You thought I was kidding eh?

While you’re there crying for La Roja (“The Red [One]”), La Furia Roja (“The Red Fury”), La Furia Española (“The Spanish Fury”) or simply La Furia (“The Fury”) or whatever you want to call those Spanish football pretenders … you must also visit the Real Alcázar de Sevilla. Hands down my favorite thing to see in Sevilla. It’s modeled on the famous Alhambra in Granada, and I actually liked it even more. Every inch of the palace is covered in intricate detail, the mix of architectural styles is fabulous, and the gardens are stunning.

Here’s the view from the Real Alambra though

More gardens ….

So in the end, Spain crashed out the World Cup … but don’t feel sad for them … I certainly don’t!

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