Few things unite the world like the ball. The fever, nail biting suspense and the spirit of the whole event have gripped even the ones most indifferent to football at the best of times, i.e me. Now I'm in. Hook, line and sinker!
And I'm glad I am. I'm not going to attempt making a recount or analysis of something I barely understand. The part I'm enjoying the most is how this event is serving to be a show case of daring defying expectation.
The so called stoney faced, expressionless North Koreans unapologetically cried their eyes out at the sound of their national anthem. Tears of pure unbridled joy. Probably the only 'real' team in the event, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Uncorrupted by all the commerce of profits and losses involved and insanely paid players. They were there to play football and took immense pride and pleasure in it. Resurfaced on this arena after 44 years, at the very best half a fight was probably expected of them. They gave the visibly self-confident Brazilians a run for their time. A swarm of red flies through the game, they fought tirelessly and passionately. But for a few chinese waving the North Korean flag, no other fans or supporters were apparent. What drove them? What is their mojo? Belonging to a cage of a country with a crazed ruler? Whatever it is, they have found it and they are using it.
Spain certainly had everything going for them, or so we believed. What happened to their mojo? Granted the Germans, as expected, sailed through against the Aussies to an almost effortless, hands down victory. What happened to them against the already defeated Serbians? Was it an overconfident underestimation of your supposedly weak opponent? What better advantage can an opponent be given? Sure enough the Serbs rose to the challenge and turned their reputation around, holding their ground against the mighty Germans. They dared to be more.
In spite of being knocked out (practically) senseless, the Aussies weren't wallowing in defeatism. Their bouncing right back and charging through the game, even with a reduced team, caught Ghana entirely off guard. They gave all they had, and then they gave more.
There's less than a month left of this unique atmosphere. Of peaceful international fighting. Of learning that the ball is round and everything is possible. As long as you dare.