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If the admins permit, thought I'd set up a separate thread to discuss other sports what with it being a World Cup year and all. The World Cup will feel very strange this time being played in our winter, and the final being the weekend before Christmas. It's a ridiculous choice of venue but money talks loudest in the corridors of FIFA.

I love the World Cup, even if its prestige has been diminished somewhat by the all-consuming Champions League. Some of my best childhood memories are of fervently watching the 90 and 94 World Cups. Discovering new and exotic players pre-Internet was a treat, and then playing outside til all hours copying them. Lads like Valderramma, Hagi, Milla, Baggio, Klinsmann, Stoichkov, Romario, Bebeto, Careca, Schillaci, Brolin etc

This World Cup is hard to call. There are a handful of teams who will fancy their chances of going all the way with a bit of luck. At this stage I'd have Brazil as favourites but a lot can change between now and November.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7969 - 23/06/2022 14:22:24    2427066

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "If the admins permit, thought I'd set up a separate thread to discuss other sports what with it being a World Cup year and all. The World Cup will feel very strange this time being played in our winter, and the final being the weekend before Christmas. It's a ridiculous choice of venue but money talks loudest in the corridors of FIFA.

I love the World Cup, even if its prestige has been diminished somewhat by the all-consuming Champions League. Some of my best childhood memories are of fervently watching the 90 and 94 World Cups. Discovering new and exotic players pre-Internet was a treat, and then playing outside til all hours copying them. Lads like Valderramma, Hagi, Milla, Baggio, Klinsmann, Stoichkov, Romario, Bebeto, Careca, Schillaci, Brolin etc

This World Cup is hard to call. There are a handful of teams who will fancy their chances of going all the way with a bit of luck. At this stage I'd have Brazil as favourites but a lot can change between now and November."
One of Spain, Germany and Belgium will not reach the quarterfinals.

johnocarroll17 (Limerick) - Posts: 408 - 23/06/2022 14:31:16    2427072

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The romantic in me thinks Messi and co are in with a great chance. No shame in saying that I would most definitely be reduced to tears if I got to see Leo lift the famous trophy in his last dance at the world cup.

tribesman125 (Galway) - Posts: 149 - 23/06/2022 15:12:00    2427085

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Replying To tribesman125:  "The romantic in me thinks Messi and co are in with a great chance. No shame in saying that I would most definitely be reduced to tears if I got to see Leo lift the famous trophy in his last dance at the world cup."
Not sure if it can happen with the way the draw pans out, but can you imagine if it was a Portugal Argentina final? Leo vs Cris? The Internet would implode!

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7969 - 23/06/2022 15:28:45    2427093

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "If the admins permit, thought I'd set up a separate thread to discuss other sports what with it being a World Cup year and all. The World Cup will feel very strange this time being played in our winter, and the final being the weekend before Christmas. It's a ridiculous choice of venue but money talks loudest in the corridors of FIFA.

I love the World Cup, even if its prestige has been diminished somewhat by the all-consuming Champions League. Some of my best childhood memories are of fervently watching the 90 and 94 World Cups. Discovering new and exotic players pre-Internet was a treat, and then playing outside til all hours copying them. Lads like Valderramma, Hagi, Milla, Baggio, Klinsmann, Stoichkov, Romario, Bebeto, Careca, Schillaci, Brolin etc

This World Cup is hard to call. There are a handful of teams who will fancy their chances of going all the way with a bit of luck. At this stage I'd have Brazil as favourites but a lot can change between now and November."
I was like you. Fell in love with Mexico 86, and by the time Italia 90 came around, I was obsessed. What a player Hagi was. Baggio's goal in 1990. The Yugoslavia team. Great memories of long summer evenings. The saturation coverage of football has diminished the World Cup unfortunately. The decision to award the hosting to Qatar is rotten too, so for the first time ever I'm not excited at the prospect. Cant see past Brazil to win it. I'm already looking ahead to 2026, and hopefully Ireland qualifying.

Malonemagic (Laois) - Posts: 712 - 23/06/2022 16:33:00    2427105

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "If the admins permit, thought I'd set up a separate thread to discuss other sports what with it being a World Cup year and all. The World Cup will feel very strange this time being played in our winter, and the final being the weekend before Christmas. It's a ridiculous choice of venue but money talks loudest in the corridors of FIFA.

I love the World Cup, even if its prestige has been diminished somewhat by the all-consuming Champions League. Some of my best childhood memories are of fervently watching the 90 and 94 World Cups. Discovering new and exotic players pre-Internet was a treat, and then playing outside til all hours copying them. Lads like Valderramma, Hagi, Milla, Baggio, Klinsmann, Stoichkov, Romario, Bebeto, Careca, Schillaci, Brolin etc

This World Cup is hard to call. There are a handful of teams who will fancy their chances of going all the way with a bit of luck. At this stage I'd have Brazil as favourites but a lot can change between now and November."
World cup at Christmas is nearly as ridiculous as All Ireland in July. On who's going to win . England beat on penalties in final by Germany would be a Christmas bonus.

Saynothing (Tyrone) - Posts: 1269 - 23/06/2022 21:46:16    2427151

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Hard to believe it's now been 20 years since Ireland's last world cup berth, and hard to see us qualifying soon.

We also went a very long time without an Olympic gold medal at one stage- was it 36 years between Ronnie Delaney's and Michael Carruth's?

We're poor enough as a sporting nation, in the international sense.

Gleebo (Mayo) - Posts: 2138 - 24/06/2022 07:55:30    2427155

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Replying To Malonemagic:  "I was like you. Fell in love with Mexico 86, and by the time Italia 90 came around, I was obsessed. What a player Hagi was. Baggio's goal in 1990. The Yugoslavia team. Great memories of long summer evenings. The saturation coverage of football has diminished the World Cup unfortunately. The decision to award the hosting to Qatar is rotten too, so for the first time ever I'm not excited at the prospect. Cant see past Brazil to win it. I'm already looking ahead to 2026, and hopefully Ireland qualifying."
Yeah that Yugoslavia team was class. They won the 1987 u20 World Cup and were well on their way to becoming a very serious international force up until the Balkan War and the fall of the country. Red Star Belgrade won the European Cup in 91 and I reckon they probably would have won Euro 92 if they had not been expelled due to the war. The 1994 World Cup would not have been beyond them either in my opinion. Their attacking talent was ridiculous - Suker, Pancev, Boksic, Savicevic...and then you had a midfield containing the likes of Boban, Prosinecki, Jugovic, Stojkovic, Asanovic...

If you're interested, there is a fantastic documentary on the FIFA website about that the great Croatia team of the mid to late 90s and how it developed from the old Yugoslavian team - https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/home

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7969 - 24/06/2022 08:49:25    2427159

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Replying To Gleebo:  "Hard to believe it's now been 20 years since Ireland's last world cup berth, and hard to see us qualifying soon.

We also went a very long time without an Olympic gold medal at one stage- was it 36 years between Ronnie Delaney's and Michael Carruth's?

We're poor enough as a sporting nation, in the international sense."
I think that's a wee bit harsh. We're a tiny country relatively speaking with a small population. We also have the unique situation whereby indigenous sports are a huge factor. Imagine if there was no GAA? Some of our best GAA players are superb atheletes. Who is to say that a percentage of them would not have forged successful sporting careers in other spheres if they had not dedicated their lives to the GAA?

Maybe not so much in football at present, but in boxing, golf and horse racing for example we're doing OK.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7969 - 24/06/2022 09:54:46    2427173

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "I think that's a wee bit harsh. We're a tiny country relatively speaking with a small population. We also have the unique situation whereby indigenous sports are a huge factor. Imagine if there was no GAA? Some of our best GAA players are superb atheletes. Who is to say that a percentage of them would not have forged successful sporting careers in other spheres if they had not dedicated their lives to the GAA?

Maybe not so much in football at present, but in boxing, golf and horse racing for example we're doing OK."
We are indeed a small country, obviously we can't be hoping to be up there competing with Team USA, China or Russia at the top of the leader board during the Olympics. But a number small countries with a similar population (Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia etc.) do better than we do, if you look at the medals per capita table since the Olympics began.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1102056/summer-olympics-average-medals-per-capita-since-1892/

We do also seem to spread our medals across a fairly small range of sports (doesn't boxing account for nearly half of all the medals we have won at the Olympics?). I think equestrian and swimming (ahem!) also account for most of the rest.

Not many GAA athletes turn down potential careers in pro sports in fairness, much and all as I love them.

Anyway, didn't mean to derail the thread, if anything the novelty of a winter world cup might make this one to watch.

Gleebo (Mayo) - Posts: 2138 - 24/06/2022 11:05:54    2427208

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "Yeah that Yugoslavia team was class. They won the 1987 u20 World Cup and were well on their way to becoming a very serious international force up until the Balkan War and the fall of the country. Red Star Belgrade won the European Cup in 91 and I reckon they probably would have won Euro 92 if they had not been expelled due to the war. The 1994 World Cup would not have been beyond them either in my opinion. Their attacking talent was ridiculous - Suker, Pancev, Boksic, Savicevic...and then you had a midfield containing the likes of Boban, Prosinecki, Jugovic, Stojkovic, Asanovic...

If you're interested, there is a fantastic documentary on the FIFA website about that the great Croatia team of the mid to late 90s and how it developed from the old Yugoslavian team - https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/home"
Predrag Mijatovic was another brilliant striker.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7969 - 24/06/2022 11:20:21    2427213

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World cup in Qatar is ridiculous but I suppose it will shorten the Winter, not that well up on international soccer but I would like to see Germany or Argentina win it,
I'll never forget Maradona's hand of God goal and the unbelievable goal he scored after it in Mexico '86, the English are still crying about it lol.
Tiny Iceland beating England out of the Euros in 2016 comes a close second, I love all the hype by the English media and the way they build up the team so much only for the inevitable failure and recriminations to come,
they have a good enough team at the minute though,
I love to see Declan Rice and Jack Grealish singing God save the queen, if they'd been capped by the Ireland senior team they'd be standing dumb at Amhrán na bhFiann.
That tells me all I need to know about our soccer team, english B team I'd say most of the plastics on it would rather play for England if they got the chance but anyway it's entertainment I suppose.

Tirchonaill1 (Donegal) - Posts: 2118 - 24/06/2022 11:48:35    2427222

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Replying To Gleebo:  "We are indeed a small country, obviously we can't be hoping to be up there competing with Team USA, China or Russia at the top of the leader board during the Olympics. But a number small countries with a similar population (Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia etc.) do better than we do, if you look at the medals per capita table since the Olympics began.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1102056/summer-olympics-average-medals-per-capita-since-1892/

We do also seem to spread our medals across a fairly small range of sports (doesn't boxing account for nearly half of all the medals we have won at the Olympics?). I think equestrian and swimming (ahem!) also account for most of the rest.

Not many GAA athletes turn down potential careers in pro sports in fairness, much and all as I love them.

Anyway, didn't mean to derail the thread, if anything the novelty of a winter world cup might make this one to watch."
No worries at all my man. Sure that's what the forum is for, good healthy debate.
I agree we can be better. But like a lot of other areas of Irish life gombeenism and corruption have probably held us back. It was good to see the IABA recently being told to get their house in order. We've all heard about Delaney's running of the FAI, and the same can be said about Pat Hickey's running of the Irish Olympic team.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7969 - 24/06/2022 12:19:14    2427234

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Replying To Tirchonaill1:  "World cup in Qatar is ridiculous but I suppose it will shorten the Winter, not that well up on international soccer but I would like to see Germany or Argentina win it,
I'll never forget Maradona's hand of God goal and the unbelievable goal he scored after it in Mexico '86, the English are still crying about it lol.
Tiny Iceland beating England out of the Euros in 2016 comes a close second, I love all the hype by the English media and the way they build up the team so much only for the inevitable failure and recriminations to come,
they have a good enough team at the minute though,
I love to see Declan Rice and Jack Grealish singing God save the queen, if they'd been capped by the Ireland senior team they'd be standing dumb at Amhrán na bhFiann.
That tells me all I need to know about our soccer team, english B team I'd say most of the plastics on it would rather play for England if they got the chance but anyway it's entertainment I suppose."
Almost the entire starting team for Ireland is Irish-born these days, think Josh Cullen and Scott Hogan were the only English born players in the last game.

Gleebo (Mayo) - Posts: 2138 - 24/06/2022 12:21:06    2427236

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We should all be boycotting this World Cup on account of the cruelty which Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Nepali migrant workers endured (almost 7000 of them died since it was awarded) during the building of the infrastructure for this WC. Not to mention the corruption which led to its award in the first place. But human nature means that outrage and principle often ends where personal interests begin. I wonder if many will not watch it on point of principle?

LongfordgaaAbú (Longford) - Posts: 194 - 24/06/2022 12:33:00    2427244

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "No worries at all my man. Sure that's what the forum is for, good healthy debate.
I agree we can be better. But like a lot of other areas of Irish life gombeenism and corruption have probably held us back. It was good to see the IABA recently being told to get their house in order. We've all heard about Delaney's running of the FAI, and the same can be said about Pat Hickey's running of the Irish Olympic team."
True, if I could recommend any recent Irish sporting biography, it would be "Champagne Football", on Delaney's tenure at the FAI. There's hardly a page in it where there isn't a "WTF?!?" moment.

It will probably be a decade or more before Irish soccer recovers from the damage done then (predictably with no consequences- we don't do accountability in Ireland).

Gleebo (Mayo) - Posts: 2138 - 24/06/2022 12:39:37    2427248

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Replying To Tirchonaill1:  "World cup in Qatar is ridiculous but I suppose it will shorten the Winter, not that well up on international soccer but I would like to see Germany or Argentina win it,
I'll never forget Maradona's hand of God goal and the unbelievable goal he scored after it in Mexico '86, the English are still crying about it lol.
Tiny Iceland beating England out of the Euros in 2016 comes a close second, I love all the hype by the English media and the way they build up the team so much only for the inevitable failure and recriminations to come,
they have a good enough team at the minute though,
I love to see Declan Rice and Jack Grealish singing God save the queen, if they'd been capped by the Ireland senior team they'd be standing dumb at Amhrán na bhFiann.
That tells me all I need to know about our soccer team, english B team I'd say most of the plastics on it would rather play for England if they got the chance but anyway it's entertainment I suppose."
"I love to see Declan Rice and Jack Grealish singing God save the queen, if they'd been capped by the Ireland senior team"

Declan Rice has 3 caps from playing in the Ireland senior team.

Cockney_Cat (UK) - Posts: 1872 - 24/06/2022 13:27:24    2427268

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Replying To LongfordgaaAbú:  "We should all be boycotting this World Cup on account of the cruelty which Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Nepali migrant workers endured (almost 7000 of them died since it was awarded) during the building of the infrastructure for this WC. Not to mention the corruption which led to its award in the first place. But human nature means that outrage and principle often ends where personal interests begin. I wonder if many will not watch it on point of principle?"
Well done for raising what should be a total boycott of these World soccer games by everyone that cares about the dignity of life. Qatar cared nothing for these people that lost their lives and all the injured, taking away their passports so they could not escape, and treating them as slaves while they built the stadia and the other infrastructure.

Sadly, the players will be there and millions will watch. Greed, and "I'm all right Jack pull up the ladder" atitudes will prevail. Knowing sadly that the players will be there, will these same players be prepared to go on two bended knees and clasped hands before each game in memory of all those that suffered and died so that they could play?

Not a lot to ask but at least the world would be reminded of how horrifically Qatar treated these workers and some watching might even switch off.

ballagoballa (UK) - Posts: 48 - 24/06/2022 21:40:54    2427340

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Replying To Gleebo:  "True, if I could recommend any recent Irish sporting biography, it would be "Champagne Football", on Delaney's tenure at the FAI. There's hardly a page in it where there isn't a "WTF?!?" moment.

It will probably be a decade or more before Irish soccer recovers from the damage done then (predictably with no consequences- we don't do accountability in Ireland)."
Champagne Football is an excellent read. It is a microcosm of Irish life. Shady transparency, cronyism and corruption abound. And as you quite rightly pointed out - zero culpability and accountability.

The likes of you and I would find ourselves in court eventually for not paying car tax and insurance. Or if we spent beyond our means the bailiffs would be at our doors. But for a certain cohort in Ireland the rules are seemingly different.

Anyway. I like the fact that we're at least trying to play a bit of football now. The last two performances offered some hope. What we're really lacking is a bit of genuine quality in the final third. Obafemi has potential but would need to be playing regular Premier League football to improve. In international football one or two players of real class makes a huge difference.

Look at Wales for instance. Taking Bale, and to a lesser extent Ramsey, out of the equation - pound for pound I don't think they're any better than us. If you threw a peak Robbie Keane and Damien Duff into our current eleven I don't think we'd be too far away from qualification for big tournaments.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7969 - 25/06/2022 10:13:27    2427351

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It's a pity there isn't a sports channel on Saorview. A sports channel that encourages sports participation and gives coverage to marginalised sporting events should qualify for TV licence money and some public funding from other sources.
The McDonagh Cup, Tailteann Cup, League of Ireland, All-Ireland Rugby league and national athletics would be examples of sports that could feature. They could have a weekend preview on Thursday and Friday. Monday and Tuesday for a review of the weekend gone by.
"Saorview Sports" is the working títle I'm going with for now. Setanta Sports have come and gone with EirSport. Virgin Media have kept away from the GAA. Virgin Media could have sought to show the Ring and Rackard finals on Virgin Media 3 to seek favour from the GAA for a few high profile games.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 6832 - 25/06/2022 11:18:37    2427359

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