When I put together a post last week celebrating Colombia’s remarkable progress in the Brazil 2014 World Cup, I really though that would be the last time I wrote about the tournament for See Colombia (expect maybe for some misty-eyed retrospective in about 6 months time). It’s been a wonderful month, and watching and covering the tournament in Colombia has been a privilege. I’ve never been more impressed by the celebrations of football fans before (with the slight exception of the reaction to Brazil’s crushing by Germany; for me, it’s always best to lost to the ultimate champions, so that way you can say you were beaten by the best). However, it seems that one more little post is in order to celebrate James Rodriguez winning the Golden Ball for most goals, and FIFA awarding Colombia the Fair Play Award (plus, goal of the tournament looks to be heading James’ way for his stunner vs. Uruguay).
Colombia had a great tournament and it’s fantastic that they have some silverware to show for it – Thomas Muller’s failure to score in the final and snatch the award must have been due to the collective will of about 47 million people! James thoroughly deserved his award, and now joins the illustrious ranks of football greats like Eusebio, Gerd Muller, Paolo Rossi, and Ronaldo in receiving the Golden Boot. A move to Real Madrid beckons (along with Falcao…it’s like those two are joined at the hip!). As does the Goal of the Tournament award it seems.
The Fair Play award is an often under-appreciated honour, but certainly not one to be sniffed at. In an era when you see Luis Suarez biting an opponent, the Ghanaian team demanding cash bonuses be flown out to them (these men are millionaires – show some respect to the people of your country, many of whom can only dream of the salaries you command), and many sides resorting to increasingly ugly tactics in order to win at any cost, being recognized as the side who played the fairest is a tremendous honour. Colombia’s players and staff should be proud and privileged to display that award.
So, that’s it…no more World Cup posts (although I’m not promising anything!). But one last massive congratulations to the entire Colombian team, you’ve done your country proud. Vamos Colombia!