A-Z of the 2014 World Cup

Comment on this story
  1. A - Abysmal Asia. The continent's four teams failed to grab a win in Brazil, the first time Asia has gone without a victory at a World Cup since 1990. Australia, Korea, Japan and Iran all finished bottom of their respective groups. Photo: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters
  2. B - Bite. Uruguay forward Luis Suarez was slapped with a World Cup record four month ban from football and suspended for nine international matches after sinking his teeth into the shoulder of Italy's Giorgio Chiellini. Picture: AFP
  3. C - Cash. Ghana's players wanted their appearance fees for playing in the World Cup right away so President John Mahama flew millions of dollars to Brasilia in order to appease the squad hours before their make-or-break clash with Portugal. Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP
  4. D - Dilma. The on-field action in Brazil was amongst the best ever but the problems surrounding the organisation of the tournament were not forgotten. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, along with FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, were routinely booed when shown in the crowd at matc ...
  5. E - Embarrassment. A World Cup record defeat, a first loss in a competitive home match in 39 years, it was not meant to end like this for pre-tournament favourites Brazil. The 7-1 semi-final mauling at the hands of Germany plunged a nation into mourning. Photo: Vanderlei ...
  6. H - Hands of Howard. United States goalkeeper Tim Howard made a World Cup record 16 saves in their last-16 clash with Belgium. It was not enough, though, as Belgium prevailed 2-1 in extra time. Photo: Ruben Sprich/Reuters
  7. I - Invasions. Fans managed to escape security and run on to the pitch in the group match between Germany and Ghana and the last-16 clash involving the United States and Belgium, while an estimated 200 Chilean fans burst into the media centre at the Maracana Stadium befo ...
  8. Colombia forward James Rodriguez, who scored six goals at the World Cup, has signed a six-year deal with Real Madrid. Photo: Clive Rose
  9. L - Lotto The relatively small Italian kit maker managed to muscle out some of the major brands in Brazil thanks to Costa Rica's unlikely run to a first quarter-final. Sales of the Ticos' shirt rose 20-fold after they topped Group D by beating Uruguay and Italy and then ...
  10. M - Memes. Social media and the World Cup were as intertwined like never before. After his bite Uruguay striker Suarez had pictures posted depicting him wearing a dog-cone round his neck, a Dracula outfit, or a Hannibal Lecter mask. Picture: Twitter
  11. N - Neymar. It was all going so well for the Brazilian number 10 who delivered four goals in four games under the huge weight of expectation. But his tournament ended at the last-eight stage when he suffered a cracked vertebra after a heavy challenge against the Colombia ...
  12. O - Oldest. Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon became the oldest player to take part in a World Cup when the 43-year-old came off the bench in the South Americans' 4-1 win over Japan in Group C. Picture: Luis Acosta/AFP
  13. P - Penalties A record-equalling four matches were settled by penalties in Brazil. Keylor Navas was arguably the goalkeeper of the tournament for Costa Rica but he could not match the two saves by Dutch shootout specialist, Tim Krul, who came on specifically for the spot ...
  14. Q - Queen kiss Mario Balotelli, whose goal helped Italy beat England, said he would aid out his beaten foe by delivering a victory against Costa Rica in their next match. All the striker wanted in a return was a kiss from the British monarch for his efforts. Unfortunatel ...
  15. R - Recife rain Torrential rain in the north-eastern Brazilian city led to talk of the Group G decider between the U.S. and Germany being postponed. Pre-match warm-ups were also disrupted because of concerns about the pitch. Picture: AFP
  16. S - Spain. They arrived in Brazil with ambitions of successfully defending the title they won four years ago and winning a fourth consecutive major championship, but exited the World Cup embarrassingly early following a 5-1 defeat by the Dutch and a 2-0 loss to Chile in ...
  17. T - Technology. Goal-line technology made its World Cup debut with France the first team to be indebted to it when Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares knocked a rebound from the crossbar over the line before scrambling it clear. Once upon a time Valladares would have got ...
  18. Ray Whelan, a director of Fifa partner Match Services, who had left his Rio hotel before police could detain him, surrendered to a judge in the city. Picture: Reuters
  19. V - Vanishing spray. Another World Cup debutant in Brazil. Referees have been reaching for their canister to spray the white foam on the ground around the ball at a free kick and also 9.15 metres away to ensure no defenders encroach. Picture: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
  20. W - Water breaks. Searing temperatures and mid-day kick-offs caused players t wilt in the heat and FIFA approving the first water break. It came after 30 minutes in the Netherlands' 2-1 win over Mexico in the Last 16 in Fortaleza. Picture: Mike Blake/Reuters
  21. X - Xherdan Shaqiri. Dubbed the 'Alpine Messi' in some quarters, the Swiss midfielder scored a hat-trick in the Group E win over Honduras. It was the 50th treble in World Cup history and the second of the tournament after Thomas Mueller's trio for Germany in their 4-0 op ...
  22. Y - Yuichi Nishimura. The Japanese referee was at the centre of the first officiating controversy of the World Cup when he awarded hosts Brazil a penalty in their Group A clash with Croatia. The match was level at 1-1 when Fred hit the turf theatrically with Nishimura po ...
  23. Neymar fractured a bone in his back following a challenge from Colombia defender Juan Zuniga in last month's World Cup quarter-final and was ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Photo: Jamie McDonald
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.