The world will know by this afternoon who will compete in Sunday’s FIFA World Cup final. Germany throttled Brazil yesterday in one semifinal while the Netherlands kick off against Argentina today.
No European country has ever won the cup on South American soil so Germany and Netherlands are trying to break that spell. The pressure on Brazil proved to be too much and much like Canada in hockey at the Olympics, only gold would have been acceptable.
Brazil’s star player Neymar suffered a broken vertebrae in their quarterfinal win over Colombia and will miss the remainder of the tournament making a tearful address to the nation last week.
The only World Cup Canada ever qualified for was 28 years ago in Mexico in 1986. A lot of soccer fans may wonder if we will ever make it back to another World Cup anytime soon. Canada currently sits 110th in the FIFA World Rankings. It was as high as 40th back in 1996.
Four teams from our region known as CONCACAF which includes Central and North American and the Caribbean qualified for the World Cup.
Tiny Costa Rica were the darlings of the tournament as the little nation of three million people made it to the quarterfinals before being knocked out by the Dutch (Netherlands) on penalty kicks. Their goaltender, Keylor Navas, was incredible throughout the tournament making jaw-dropping saves. Mexico and the U.S. both managed to make it out of group play to the final 16 but each suffered heart-breaking losses to the Netherlands and Belgium. Honduras lost all three of their games.
A big reason Canada’s national team has little success is many of our best players carry dual-citizenship, which means they can play for the birth country of either their mother or father.
Some of our best players that came up through our systems turn their back on Canada for a chance for greater success with another national team. The Netherlands side featured in one of today’s semifinals against Argentina will likely feature Ontario-born Jonathan De Guzman starting in their midfield and Bosnia’s star goaltender, Asmir Begovic, who grew up in Edmonton, is another who jumped ship.
– Williams Lake Tribune