The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil may end up being the best of them all. Here are six reasons why.
Through 17 matches, we have seen 49 goals scored so far, or 2.88 goals per game. If you’re not used to this, that’s because it’s the highest average in 44 years. This is still far behind the record of 5.38 set in Switzerland ’54, which was when FIFA implemented its “three balls in play” policy. That has since been discontinued (that last part may not be true).
France ’98 holds the current record of goals scored — 171 — owing to the fact it’s the first tournament held with the current 32-team field.
In Brazil, we’re currently on pace for 184, which would be the new mark until FIFA expands the World Cup to 128 teams and it is run continuously until the end of time.
We’ve already seen six comeback wins in the first 17 matches so far. If you don’t believe this is extremely unusual, rare, and exciting, then you probably didn’t look up how many comeback wins happened in 2010. We did, and the answer is four. Again, that’s in the whole tournament.
Did anyone expect that Netherlands thrashing of Spain? How about Costa Rica’s huge upset over Uruguay? Algeria’s first goal in 28 years? Germany flattening Portugal? If you did predict these outcomes, you're either a liar or in the possession of a psychic ferret of some sort.
4. Ties? Not so much.
Fast-kicking, low-scoring, and ties? No way. Not ever. This World Cup opened with victories in its first 12 matches. That’s the longest streak since the very first World Cup in 1930, which saw all 18 matches end in victories – ties were illegal and punishable by work detail back then (this is also not true).
If you’re one of those people who thinks soccer is only 80 minutes long and shuts off the television at this time, the first thing you should do is talk to a sports friend and get that confusion sorted out.
Because if you are one of these people you missed some of the craziest finishes to World Cup matches in recent memory, such as Switzerland’s end-to-end winner, John Brooks’ header, or Dries Mertens rescuing Belgium. Stay on that couch (or at least keep tabs on our CBC FIFA app).
6. Great plays
We’ve had entries into the greatest goals and greatest saves categories already. Robin Van Persie’s rainbow header against Spain and Guillermo Ochoa’s wonder save against Neymar will both get places on the all-time lists. All we need is a player to score by firing a shot out of a cannon he snuck onto the field, and everyone can go home and wonder why that just happened.
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