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14 Things You've Forgotten From The 2014 World Cup

By Gavin Cooney
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Last night, James Rodriguez' performance against parent club Real Madrid induced a kind of teeth-grinding, fist-clenching, scream-strangling annoyance. First, the two-yard miss after which he pretended to be injured, then the ridiculous, non-celebration celebration and finally his kicking the ball out of play in the final minutes when attacking against ten men, with Marco Asensio aggravating the effects of cramp on the turf.

Such blind fury at Rodriguez is at odds with the player who lit up the 2014 World Cup.

[Watch Video]

Having remembered Rodriguez in better times, and ahead of the competition in Russia in just over a month (!), we decided to look back at that mostly magnificent tournament in Brazil, and we've dredged up a few things you may have forgotten.

Pepe Headbutts Thomas Muller

Four years ago, we were still adjusting ourselves to seeing Portugal's Bedrock of Bastardry sporting a full head of hair. But just 37 minutes into Portugal's tournament, Pepe reminded us that even though his head looked wildly different, he was still using it for the same purposes in his endless pursuit of eejitry. Portugal lost 4-0, and ended up missing out on the knockout stages to the USA.



The Ghana Madness

Portugal didn't finish bottom of their group, though. That dishonour fell the way of Ghana as they became engulfed in controversy and farce. Kevin Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari were sent home - Muntari for allegedly slapping a coach; Boateng for merely falling out with one - which came after a Channel 4 investigation claimed that the president of the Ghanian FA offered to fix future matches. This led to a player revolt, with the squad angry at not receiving their appearance bonuses from the FA. As rumours that the players could boycott the final group game grew, the Ghanian government chartered a plane to Brazil containing more than $3 million in cash.

While they did bow out of the competition at the group stage, Ghana did randomly draw 2-2 with eventual winners Germany.


Tim Cahill's oft-overlooked goal of the tournament contender 

James won the vote for the best goal of the tournament, with Robin Van Persie's header against Spain coming in second. Tim Cahill, however, shudda been a contender.



The world's worst newspaper headline

How best to pithily capture the magic of James? Nope.

Jonathan Pearce - a veteran of ROBOT WARS - being confused by goal-line technology 


"Does goal-line technology work or doesn't it?"  - It does work.


Colombia bring on a 43-year-old goalkeeper


Colombia brought on Faryd Mondragón as a substitute for the last five minutes of their group game against Japan, in order to bestow upon him the honour of being the oldest player to ever appear at a World Cup.

This led to an entertaining debate on RTE, as Didi Hamann said it was disrespectful to Japan and tantamount to goading fate ahead of the last-16 tie with Uruguay. Kenny Cunningham was unimpressed too, declaiming Mondragon as being "riddled with arthritis".



Colm Cooper does some punditry with RTE 

RTE often draft in a few extra pundits for World Cup duty - Ossie Ardiles and Brad Friedel, for example - but the most random appearance of all came for a highlights show during the group stages. Joining Tony O'Donoghue and Richie Sadlier on the sofa was one Colm Cooper. There appears to be no extant Youtube material on his appearance, meaning it has gone the same way as Bertie Ahern's cameo on RTE's Premiership highlights show back in the day.

Eamon Dunphy threatens to wear a dress if Brazil win the tournament

Before Gary Lineker tempted fate through sartorial means, Eamon Dunphy did it. While everyone remembers his swearing on-air, fewer remember Dunphy telling Des Cahill that he'd wear a black, lace dress on air if Brazil won the competition.

Dunphy: Brazil? Zero Chance. If they win I'm putting my dress on. You can take me out to dinner.

Cahill: Out of curiosity, have you selected your dress yet?

Dunphy: I have, it's a black lacy job. It's all arranged.

Cahill: I got a tingle on my spine there, I don't know why.

Dunphy: Maybe we should both go see somebody.

Cahill: Okay, suddenly I'm rooting for Brazil.

You are now exiting RTE Panel Corner.

The Mexico Coach

Miguel Herrera. Among the few World Cup managers to dice with the very real possibility of spontaneous combustion.


Chris Kamara foils a robbery

A late equaliser for Burton Albion is generally enough to send Chris Kamara into paroxysms of excitement, but as all around him in the streets of Rio were losing their heads, Kamara managed to keep his and single-handedly chased down a robber through the streets of the Brazilian capital.

Tim Howard's last stand 

Howard was exceptionally error-prone in his final days at Everton, but he did bow out of the World Cup on a high: single-handedly repelling Belgium for much of their last-16 tie before he was eventually beaten by Kevin De Bruyne. His wikipedia page was edited to give him the job of Secretary of Defense [sic] and he took a congratulatory phonecall from Barack Obama. It has been a deeply unsettling thing to behold that he is probably over-qualified for such a role under the standards of the Trump administration.

The nickname of the referee in the Suarez Bite game

Okay, you remember Luis Suarez biting Giorgio Chiellini, but you may forget that the referee on the occasion - Marco Antonio Rodriguez - is nicknamed "Dracula".

Ian Wright's entirely level-headed response to England's exit

Loads of people getting the kick off time of the World Cup final wrong

For some reason (almost certainly dictated by television) FIFA decided that the final should kick off at an unfamiliar time. Having become attuned to 9pm kick off times in the previous rounds, the final kicked off at 8pm, meaning a host of people missed the first-half, Brian O'Driscoll among them.


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