Soccer summer’s full of surprises
2014-07-01 01:23:22 -

Brazil 2014 is turning out to be one of the most interesting Fifa World Cups in recent memory, with amazing goals, brilliant matches, committed play and, perhaps most remarkable of all, some exceptional performances by teams most would consider rank underdogs.

While most of the superstars of the tournament have lived up to expectations, a few new stars have been born on soccer’s grandest stage of all. Take a bow, Joel Campbell of Costa Rica, who has performed well above what anyone might have imagined. Eduardo Vargas of Chile, too, has been brilliant, as have Juan Cuadrado of Colombia and the USA’s Jermaine Jones.

There have also been some spectacular flops. To say Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese superstar, has not lived up to expectations is an understatement. Similarly, Diego Costa was a major letdown, as was his Spanish team, knocked out after just two matches. Samuel Eto’o isn’t the same player who lit up leagues across Europe over the past few years. Wayne Rooney definitely had a tournament to forget. Indeed, England, Portugal and Cameroon all failed miserably where it counted.

Still, it’s not entirely accurate to say all the big guns have failed and all the smaller soccer nations have excelled. But Brazil has certainly thrown up many unexpected twists and turns. Not many punters would have predicted Chile beating Spain, or Costa Rica besting Italy.

This soccer summer’s been full of surprises so far, and there’s bound to be more to come as the knockout stages approach.

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