Brazil 2014 has been a great World Cup so far, great goals, great matches, lots of drama. The round of 16 has just been completed and there are now 8 teams left. I picked 7 of the 8 teams. I’m looking forward to 2 full nights of sleep before the quarter finals start! I thought it would be fun to vote on the best goal of the tournament so far. It won’t take long…
In 1991, Ned Zelic scored two goals to beat the Dutch and qualify for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The second goal was one of those “wonder goals”. Some of you may not remember it because you weren’t yet born. I remember it, I was 11 years old. We watched replays on BTN at school; and we tried to mimic Zelic at soccer training. In case you missed it, here’s a video:
He helped lead the Brazilian National Football (Soccer) team to the 2002 World Cup Championship. Over the last 12 years he has played on two more Brazilian World Cup squads, was considered the best professional player in the sport (2007), and on multiple occasions worked to overcome serious injuries just to get back into the lineup. He played with no fear.
With the 2014 World Cup games to be hosted by Brazil it was time for this soccer legend to return home and bask in the spotlight. But Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, commonly known as Kaká, would not get that moment. Still battling injuries, and for reasons known only by the Brazilian coach, Kaká was left off the 23-man squad for the 2014 Cup.
What is Kaká’s response? Discouragement? Controversy? Devastation? Uncertainty? Or something else?
Did you miss my videos last week to get you warmed up for the World Cup? Go check them here. And above is another one. Nike Football are known for producing excellent videos, especially at the time of the World Cup. This one is great.
Disclaimer: soccer is good, but not God. It used to be the other way for me. But the message of some of these Nike football videos is a message that could easily apply to Christians. “Risk Everything” is something Christians should do for the sake of Jesus and His Kingdom! He is someone worth losing everything for. Play every game as if it’s the last game? Live every day as if it’s your last (see # 52).
Sorry for the spiritual content on this World Cup post. Actually, #SorryNotSorry :)
The FIFA World Cup 2014 is only a week away! My calendar is locked and loaded with important games throughout the middle of the night. The following are some #WorldCup related videos to help you warm-up for the greatest sporting event in the world:
Flippin magic!!! Joga Bonito!!!
Best goal of 2011? If not, show me what you think is better in the comments…
(h/t Craig Foster)
I said here that I’d do a FIFA World Cup 2010 wrap. Here it is. Will Ferrell plays the role of Jeff Vuvuzela, the inventor of the Vuvuzela. No violence. No language. No nudity. But part of it is slightly crude. If you’re under 15, check with your parents.
When we went to the Sydney FC vs Everton match the other night they were confiscating Vuvuzelas from people on their way in. I’ve also heard they are being banned at lots of English Premier League clubs. Good decision!
See you in four years time World Cup!!
Argentina struggled to qualify for the World Cup, they’ve now been dominating each of their games. During qualification, the impression I got about Maradona (their coach and one of the greatest players, like ever!) was one of a has-been-crack-pot incapable of doing much with the team! But, so far so good. One of the fascinating things to observe is how much the people and players of Argentina treat him like god. Literally. Here’s a crazy throng of photographers snapping him singing the national anthem!
Check out a whole bunch of brilliant photos from boston.com.
If you don’t know the true and living God… check this out.
I used to worship soccer. That’s dumb. Worshipping soccer is as foolish as worshipping a scarecrow in a cucumber field. I’ve been getting fairly excited about the 2010 World Cup. Almost too excited! To help keep things in perspective I make it my aim to pray for both countries at half-time of each game I watch. The World Cup is an opportunity to learn about 32 different countries and work out how to best pray for them.
If you’re a Christian. Here’s some ideas for prayer during the World Cup
- At half time. Pray for both teams. Don’t pray for one team to win, pray for stuff that matters in the big picture of eternity.
- If you’re on twitter use this hashtag #Praying4WorldCup to share what you’re praying and encourage others to pray with you.
- Spend some time on Wikipedia learning about the countries
- I’m currently preparing a very brief guide with one thing to pray for each team. I’ll post it here when it’s finished. EDIT: It might take a bit long, so maybe not.
- If you have Operation World, keep it near the TV
- Check out The Joshua Project for stats on unreached people groups in the world.
- If you know missionaries or some of the needs in any of the countries, share them in the comments below.
- EDIT: New idea – check out the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students website www.ifesworld.org
GROUP A: France | Mexico | South Africa | Uruguay
GROUP B: Argentina | Greece | Nigeria | Korea Republic
GROUP C: England | Algeria | Slovenia | United States
GROUP D: Germany | Australia | Serbia | Ghana
GROUP E: Netherlands | Denmark | Japan | Cameroon
GROUP F: Italy | Paraguay | New Zealand | Slovakia
GROUP G: Brazil | Korea DPR | Côte d’Ivoire | Portugal
GROUP H: Spain | Switzerland | Honduras | Chile
Check out the Latest #Praying4WorldCup tweets:
During summer, I had an “embracing summer” policy. It just meant I wouldn’t ever complain about the heat, but rather seek to enjoy it. I’m doing the same (or kinda the opposite!) this winter. I’m “embracing winter”. This means I won’t complain about the cold, wet or darkness; but rather enjoy this season in its time. If I complain about something to do with winter and you hear it – you have permission to slap me. Deal?
The high light of June will definitely be the FIFA Football World Cup held in South Africa. During the 1998 World Cup, my trial HSC was significantly impacted by late nights watching soccer matches. This year I have 2 exams at college during the world cup… good luck studying! This month’s Smashing Mag Wallpaper is the better of the 2 soccer related ones (see above). Australia for the win!
Here’s the best of May (according to clicks) and some other stats:
I like soccer. I love Jesus. It used to be the other way around. While in Vanuatu, it was fun to combine soccer (football) and Jesus. The Nivans are football crazy. So we ran a bunch of football games with the locals. Find a field. Start kicking a ball. People turn up. At each game, I gave a short talk. It was interesting to think through how and what to say in a short period of time to a group of people who aren’t all English-speakers.
After interacting with local kids in the schools and at the football games, the common message became “Jesus is nambawan!” (“Jesus is number one!”). Football? It’s number two, because Jesus is number one! I shared from the most famous verse in the Bible on what Jesus has done and how “faith” is having Jesus as number one: “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die” (John 3:16). We also prayed together that God would help us to have Jesus as number one.
High-fives were replaced with high-ones and “Jesus is nambawan!” was often heard from the windows of our buses! I think it was an effective message. Vanuatu is a country where the majority of people are living with Jesus as number one. So most of the kids who played football are already Christian. Hopefully we were an encouragement to them to keep living with Jesus as their king. One day, they might look back fondly at those crazy white guys who were crazy about Jesus. Not crazy about Jesus? Check this out…
With all this talk of Jesus as number one, I’m reminded of the following video. It’s probably the pinnacle of my film-making career (below the jump):
Brisbane Roar made a brave move today in sacking Frank Farina as the coach of the A-League football (soccer) team. On Saturday morning, Farina was charged for the second time for drink driving. Farina was one of Australia’s greatest players and I believe a very good coach. Were the Roar a little bit harsh in ripping up his contract?
I don’t think so. While I genuinely feel sorry for Farina, the seriousness of the action taken against him shows how much responsibility coaches have in their example to their players and the community. Other football codes, of which Rugby League particularly comes to mind, would do well to take note of the swift and serious consequences of stupidity – only then will they have any chance of changing their seedy culture.
Here’s what Roar Chairman, Chris Bombolas, had to say:
“I acknowledge Frank’s contribution to the club but we can not excuse or condone his behaviour off the field [...] It is simply not in step with we expect of our players or our coaching staff, or what the community expects [...] The message from our board is very clear: the community and our fans expect a professional standard of conduct and behaviour and so do we.”
PS – if you stumbled here via google, I used to think that “soccer was life, and the rest just details” – that’s a bit silly, life is all about Jesus.
Season 5 of the A-League kicked off last night. The Central Coast Mariners upset the defending champs Melbourne Victory 2-0. Here are the highlights:
There are two new teams this season, Gold Coast + North Queensland, which makes for a longer season. Bring it. Here’s my tip: Mariners won’t leave top of the table all season – and then will beat Gold Coast in the GF @ the end of the season…
Check out Australia’s FIFA World Cup Bid: Come Play! It’s for the rights to host either the 2018 or 2022 Football (Soccer) World Cup. Bring it, baby, bring it!
As a teenager I read a soccer magazine that had the same tagline at the end of each editorial: Soccer is life, the rest is just details. I used to believe that, but now I believe that Jesus is life and the rest is just details!
Soccer may no longer be number 1 – but there are some killer soccer vids on youtube!! Check out the vid below – some of the moves may even be real!!
Generation Next embraces the A-League is an interesting article comparing the crowd at yesterdays football (soccer) match and the crowd at the cricket match next door.
Here’s a snippet:
Yesterday, generation next chose soccer over cricket. There were more aviator sunglasses at the SFS than on the set of Top Gun. Twenty-something women in tight shorts almost outnumbered the blokes with designer sideburns. They all marched through the gates to the techno beats of an outdoor DJ, who bleeped and tweaked alongside the main entrance.
I think this has implications for churches engaging with their culture. [Read more...]
The big game is tonight and I’m not going. I’m not going because I worship the Creator and not creation. I’m not going because I worship the Saviour and not soccer.
We finished at our old church in January and it was a genuine temptation to not start at our new church until March, so I could spend February watching all the big Sunday night matches. How stupid! That would have been serving a false god (soccer) instead of the True and Living God (Jesus).
If you know me at all, you’d know that I love soccer, but I hope you also know that I love Jesus more.