World Cup 2014 – Group D: Prepare, Recover, Prepare

17 Jun

Saturday was an all-around great footballing day, wasn’t it? I managed to watch each game at a different location in-between errands and appointments. If I had planned my day to work out the way that it did, I likely wouldn’t have even made it out the door. Truth. I’m lazy like that.


Anyway, let’s talk about the important stuff and catch-up with the Group D contenders:

Costa Rica

Allow me to present the current leaders of Group D:

They look like a fun group of players. Campbell will/could fit in nicely with the Arsenal crew.

“Say hello to my seemingly normal-sized hands”

Goals. Tablets. Navas saves it all. Even the neon green decor.

Teammates Borges and Gamboa working it out

All hands to the pump. Err, wait, no, that didn’t come out right….ahhh, I’m going to stop now.

Borges, Barrantes, Saborio, Bolaños doing what footballers do

Bolaños and Campbell posted a few street shots from the team hotel in Fortaleza

Celebrating Borges’ birthday during training camp.

“Guys, stop, there’s a candle in the middle of the cake. THERE’S A CANDLE!”

There is serious training going on, I swear

Okay, maybe not too serious for Campbell and Bolaños.

Oh, and the single most important point you should know about Joel Campbell’s goal? With it, he (21) surpassed Neymar (22) as the youngest player to score in a World Cup. Can I get a woot woot?!


How about this for a statistic?

Wow, that is crazy and unexpected.

Post-match selfie with Marchisio and Balotelli

Balotelli capturing the beauty of Manaus on the trip home

Here’s a write-up of Sirigu’s press conference today. He apparently caught the journalists off-guard by being light-hearted and jovial, with comments like this:

…We also have basketball games; De Rossi thinks he’s really good but he isn’t, he loses to Perin pretty much every day. I like saying that, because the other day he beat me and he took the mick out of me for it, so saying he’s rubbish here is priceless!”

Even the team physician looks stylish on the pitch

Buffon signing autographs after Sunday’s session

Props to the person who tagged this “Keep Calm and Buff-on”. Oh, and to Buffon for retweeting it!

Back to training

Balotelli holding a master class

Insigne and Balotelli bonding time

Insigne and son (Carmine) bonding time

And would it be Italian football if there was no political drama? Whereas the Costa Rican President was out and about, smiling and shaking hands with fans in Washington, the deputy speaker of the Italian Senate was making friends with 140 characters or less:

Courtesy of The Telegraph:

An Italian politician faced a backlash for posting an expletive-laden tweet mocking England after their defeat to Italy in the World Cup.

Maurizio Gasparri, the deputy speaker of the Italian Senate, posted the tweet almost immediately after the football match in Brasil.

“It’s always a pleasure to say, go… themselves’ to the English, pretentious and d****,” he tweeted. It was retweeted 130 times.

Minutes earlier he labelled the English “always arrogant and obnoxious.”

Mr Gasparri faced calls to apologise on Twitter, but he remained defiant, later posting ‘Detestable English, is that OK?’

A columnist for Wired Italy suggested the politician should be banned from Twitter.

“After the insults toward the English – calling the foreign minister, journalists, ex-ministers and everyday citizens ‘pricks’, it would be appropriate to take Twitter out of his hands for awhile,” David Allegranti wrote. “For his own good, and also for ours …”

This is not the first time Mr Gasparri has faced criticism for his outspoken views. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected as President of the US in 2008, he told Italian TV that with Obama in the White House “al-Qaida is happier”,

Earlier this year he was indicted for allegedly embezzling 600,000 euros to Silvio Berlusconi’s now-defunct People of Freedom party.

*head shake*


Hodgson endured a marathon press conference after the Italy match, and unleashed this wisdom unto us all:

Sturridge offered sage advice:

Happy Birthday Danny’s Mom!

The team headed back to camp and started getting ready for the next game.

Way more sensible approach to bike training than the Spanish NT.

Look at that view! Best training camp location ever!

Look at that smile! Whatcha up to, Raheem?

Wilshire shared a little video of the fans outside the team’s hotel

And a photo of his little fans back home

Sturridge making friends with his fans

And taking care of his most pressing business

The Football Association (FA) President Greg Dyck joined a group of England fans on a visit to where the Rio Solimoes and Rio Negro rivers merge into the Amazon. Due to the rivers’ different densities and acidity levels, the merging covers a distance of about four miles until they are one big, happy family.


With the loss to Costa Rica, the majority of the talk focused on whether Suárez would be fit for the game vs England. There was some drama (of course!) when people started saying that he was fit for the Costa Rica game. No confirmation on that front, but word is he is a-okay for England.

What say you, Luis?

“I’m ready.”

Lugano may not have been at his best during the game, but he did win the best dad award.

And he sure made a young fan’s day earlier during training

Gargano and Silva and some weird-looking thing (not the tongue)

Love how Cavani made sure everyone else in the shot is blurry.

Yearbook photo time! The tightness of those shirts needs to be capture on film as often as possible.

Back in training

– hopechaser (twitter: hopechaser11)

2 Responses to “World Cup 2014 – Group D: Prepare, Recover, Prepare”

  1. kfunk22 June 17, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    balotelli’s social media accounts are an honest-to-god treasure. did you see his panini album? also, do my eyes deceive me or did you actually manage to squeeze some joey barton in here?!!!!? GAH! .

    • hopechaser June 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

      I did see the Panini album! I have it here to put in a post but forget. 😦 Sturridge’s accounts are pretty good too. He seems obsessed with ironing, ’cause he “doesn’t do wrinkles”.

      And your eyes are correct!

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