Here’s a collection of some of the drawings I did as I watched the 2014 World Cup. As World Cups go, it was a good one, and more importantly, provided plenty of comic material (and that was just Brazil)
Pressure was building for FIFA President, Sepp Blatter before the tournament, but he had the situation under control:
However, the excitement mounted as he arrived in Sao Paulo for the opening ceremony:
Those troublesome questions just wouldn’t go away, but, as ever, Sepp had a solution:
The group stage
Thankfully, the tournament had got off to a great start, meaning I was able to stop relying on Star Wars parodies. Spain provided some early entertainment, with a performance that rolled back the years and reminded us all of a time when they were amusing underachievers. They lost 5-1 to the Netherlands, with Robin Van Persie scoring the pick of the bunch with a remarkable diving header from distance:
Group C was a toughie. Spain and the Netherlands were joined by Chile and Australia. I thought that the Aussies would be in for a turbulent time, so produced this helpful accessory for Socceroos supporters:
However, despite losing all three games, Australia played bravely and went home with their pride intact. The same probably couldn’t be said of Spain, but I couldn’t get my hands on an Air Iberia sick bag.
England, meanwhile, did their standard thing of running around a lot to little effect, but found themselves in a tougher group than usual and went out. They played okay in their defeat to Italy, but the margin of defeat could have been greater, with Andrea Pirlo completely wrong-footing Joe Hart with a swerving free kick that hit the bar:
Actually, Hart had moved even further to his right before the ball swerved:
England lost their next game to Uruguay and were out, but it was all part of a greater master plan:
Not long before the tournament, the English FA had outlined a series of recommendations to alter the structure of the domestic game, with a view to improving the fortunes of the national team; a tactic that had previously been be so successful with the formation of the Premier League. Here’s how I imagined they would react to this latest calamity:
I forgot to draw Greg Dyke’s thumb in the last frame, but as long as I don’t point it out, I doubt anyone will notice.
England were undone in their second game by Luis Suarez, whom you may have heard, later took a bite out of the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and was kicked out of the tournament. Uruguay coach, Oscar Tabarez launched the case for the defence:
Things got weirder as the Uruguayans made increasingly paranoid claims of persecution; blaming, among others, the British media for their cruel harassment of their saintly Luis. Where would it all end, I cried?
Goodbye, Uruguay’s rose. Commemorative plates will be available by mail order later in time for Christmas (the won’t). Whilst this was bad news for Uruguay, it was celebrated at the meme head offices:
Elsewhere, Mexico’s flamboyant coach, Miguel Herrera, was giving us all a smile with his touchline antics. I noticed in their first game against Cameroon that he is one of those people who can do really loud whistles without using his fingers. There isn’t much I wouldn’t trade to be able to do that.
Well organised, that Mexico team. Brazil found this out as they held them to a goalless draw. Talking of Brazil, I’ve noticed a lot of this kind of thing whenever they are on TV:
Over in Group E France started well, apparently scoring at will against Honduras and Switzerland. They put five past the Swiss, but the most memorable moment came when Cabaye volleyed the ball against the bar from close range as he followed up a saved penalty:
Switzerland bounced back from that defeat with a convincing win over Honduras, with a hat-trick from Xherdan Shaqiri, a young man who has clearly been eating his greens:
Honduras didn’t really add much to the tournament, but did have the best badge, consisting simply of a large blue “H”. If England take anything away from this World Cup, it’s that they should follow this example, ditching the three lions for this design:
Portugal got off to a dreadful start, with a 4-0 defeat to Germany. Arguably the biggest star in world football, Cristiano Ronaldo, was apparently playing but had no noticeable impact:
They never really recovered from that defeat and were pipped to second place by the United States, whose manager Jurgen Klinsmann appears to be both a good egg and a man who dresses like he has a weekend job in a sports fashion outlet:
One of the surprise packages of the World Cup has been Algeria. Dreadful in 2010, they’ve turned up this time with more attacking intent and a large backing of boisterous fans. In the last round of matches of the group stage, they saw off Fabio Capello’s Russia. He wasn’t happy, but then again, is he ever?
The best moment of the first round came when an Algerian substitute blasted the ball into the stands during stoppage time in that game. It made Luis Suarez appear like a paragon of subtlety:
“Quick, Aleksei, we still have two minutes to get a winner”
Into the knockout stage. Brazil edged out Chile after a penalty shoot-out, to the rapturous delight of the home crowd.
One of Brazil’s penalties was taken by Neymar. Here’s a helpful nine-step guide to enable you to take penalties like the Brazilian superstar:
Just kick it, mate. Brazil were joined in the quarter finals by the Netherlands, who scored two goals at the death to overcome Mexico. The winning goal came via a penalty, following a foul (just about) on Robben. Mexico didn’t take it well.
To get that cartoon, you really need to have seen the opening episode of Season 3 of Breaking Bad, specifically the bit where the two cartel twins crawl to the shrine. Yep, the best jokes are the ones that require both homework and lengthy explanations.
Germany needed extra time to get past Algeria. The highlight of the game came when the German players conspired to produce a memorably hopeless free kick. Straight from the training ground, this one:
The United States were heroic in their slender defeat to Belgium, none more so than their goalkeeper Tim Howard, who broke the record for the number of saves in a World Cup match.
The team’s efforts captured the imagination of the US public, with even the President getting into it:
The second round was characterised by late drama, which made me wonder whether anyone had come a cropper doing this sort of thing:
To be fair, that ring road can be a ruddy nightmare.
Before each quarter final match, FIFA made the team captains read out anti-discrimination messages. Here, those important messages are translated for English readers:
Colombia’s goalscorer, James Rodriguez had been the target for most of Brazil’s foul play, but it was he who pulled a goal back. As he ran back to the halfway line, cameras picked up that he had a disturbingly large insect sat on his arm:
The Netherlands beat Costa Rica on penalties, with Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal successfully pulling off a bold tactical intervention, bringing on a substitute goalkeeper for the shoot-out. Does this prove Arjen Robben’s theory about Van Gaal having a golden pee pee?
Probably not very comfortable, that. Some other games happened too, but I only have one pair of hands and a regulation dinkle.
Everyone was excited about the prospect of Brazil playing again. After all, they play like they are on the beach:
However, against Germany they came up against a team who play like they are on a football pitch and got thrashed, 7-1. I think it’s fair to say that we all enjoyed that one.
The prayers of the Brazilian players clearly fell on deaf ears. This could explain why:
The other semi-final, between the Netherlands and Argentina was less exhilarating. In fact, it could be placed alongside these other things as the very definition of dull:
I’ve been on that rail replacement service and can personally vouch for its dullness. At this stage of the tournament, I thought we should take a moment to recognise the amount of personal effort we had all put in to watch the World Cup. A real level of commitment was required. You might want to print these badges off, cut them out, laminate them and wear them upon your blazer lapels, as appropriate:
The Final – Germany 1 Argentina 0
And so, Germany overcame Argentina. Not a classic match, but World Cup finals rarely are. It was, however, hard fought. No-one battled harder than Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was unstoppable:
However, his opponent Javier Mascherano wasn’t far behind him:
The biggest shock of the World Cup was that I didn’t draw a cartoon about Mascherano tearing his anus in Argentina’s semi-final win. Honestly, I didn’t know where to start. Another surprise was that Leo Messi was awarded the Player of the Tournament. However, when you consider the shortlist FIFA had drawn up, he probably deserved it:
Most people agreed that Germany were the best team and deserved to take home the cup. I’ll sign off with this picture and see you all for some more cartoons in the new season. Congratulations, Deutschland!