It is time to say goodbye from the Sony Fan Hub. We hope you’ve enjoyed the World Cup as much as we have. Here are some of our many highlights from a truly memorable tournament in Brazil.
Sony Team Ambassadors ahead of the game …
“Spain are going to have a tough World Cup. I really think they are going to have a hard time. The fact that it’s the Netherlands in the first game makes it even tougher because they could be among the national teams that could be considered the favourites.” – Gaizka Mendieta, capped 40 times by Spain, speaking on the eve of the tournament.
“Bastian Schweinsteiger has been the heartbeat of the team and still is. He’s had quite a few injuries, he missed the last part of last season through injury, but if Germany are to win the World Cup, it depends on him. He can make the difference. They won’t win the World Cup without Schweinsteiger in top form.” – Dietmar Hamann, World Cup finalist with Germany in 2002, is spot on about their driving force.
“Luis Suarez is a bit sneaky.” – Emile Heskey, former Liverpool and England striker, makes an understatement before a ball is kicked.
“The very first movement you see is very rarely the direction it ends up going. Trying to anticipate that it’s going over the wall or around the wall, even if you don’t take a full step and just lean your body in the direction where he wants you, just the pace of the ball will beat you.
“It is very important that you stay upright and on the balls of your feet and ready to react as best you can. If you over-commit to the first movement of the ball and it slightly goes the other way, then you’re dead.” – Brad Friedel, veteran goalkeeper who played at three World Cups for the USA, on how to prepare to face a Ronaldo set-piece.
“Unfortunately one year I played against him four times in a season!” – Alessandro Nesta, Italian defensive legend, on the task of marking Lionel Messi.
“Spain made us fall in love with the football we saw at Barcelona. It was an incredible moment which brought together a wonderful group of individuals – and the results were there for all to see. Today, that moment is not the same as before. That’s football. This time they lost, but I’m sure Spain will be back competing again – just like they have done for the last 10 years.” – Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid manager and long-time admirer of all things Spanish.
“It’s a huge margin of defeat and it’s a result that will feature prominently in football history books in future. It will go down as perhaps the most painful defeat of all time.” – Diego Milito, Champions League winner and former Argentina striker on Brazil’s horror show against Germany.
Sony Fan Ambassadors
The Sony Fan Ambassadors gave us a great feel for the colour, craziness and sheer brilliance of what it was like to watch the World Cup in Brazil …
Jaime Collazos met fans from all over the world during his stay and shot some memorable video. Here he is, on the eve of the semi-finals, visiting Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
And our host Fan Ambassador, Arnaldo Branco, didn’t have as far to travel as the others – nor anywhere to escape once Brazil had been knocked out in humiliating circumstances. Here’s his atmospheric build-up to the semi-final against Germany. No one could have known what was about to happen …
What they said …
Martin Reich (Argentina): “Dear Neymar, Messi’s the real deal. We respect you, but it’s time to look and learn …”
Mike Parkin (England): “He’s a single-minded and confident manager who isn’t worried about ruffling a few feathers. These characteristics will sound familiar to Manchester United fans, and with the Old Trafford club hoping that Van Gaal will be the man to steer them back to the summit of the domestic game.”
And finally, if ever you think you’re getting too old, allow Jankel Schor to keep your spirits up, as well as the ball …
Thank you very much for visiting the Sony Fan Hub. See you next time!