Few things can cause a crowd of
people to simultaneously and with reckless abandon, launch overpriced,
lukewarm beers into the air with no consideration of the consequence. A World
Cup goal is one of those rare occasions that can cause such a response. That
and a cattle prod in a Wetherspoons.
However, at a time when club football
is becoming an all-consuming juggernaut of broadcast deals, record transfer
fees and elite squads, the international game increasingly feels like it is
stepping on its toes. An unwanted accoutrement that survives on
past glories alone.
And whilst there are too many dull,
lifeless friendlies and qualifying seems like an endless slog wherein Denmark play Ireland fifteen times with each encounter duller than the last, the
World Cup remains a rarity in modern football. It is a tournament with so much
prestige, history and meaning that merely taking part is still regarded by many
as the pinnacle of a footballing career.
Winning the World Cup remains the
greatest achievement in football, despite what people may say about the fourth
Champions League spot. The list of World Cup winners is truly a pantheon of