Argentina will lift the World Cup on July 13, 2014 - and the country's third triumph in football’s biggest tournament will be the sweetest of them all because it will come in the back yard of South American rivals and hosts Brazil.
Predicting the winner of a major sporting contest is a precarious business for a journalist at the best of times. We’re trained to report the facts, not interpret tea leaves or stare into a crystal ball.
The guessing game for a World Cup, even an educated one, is even harder when it’s done before the teams are drawn into groups – but that’s the task I’ve been given.
Better, then, to face it than live in fear of it. I’ve pinned my colors to Argentina’s mast because they have the will, the skill and the local knowledge to beat their rivals. FULL POST
1. Politics is bigger than sport
Often this phrase is quoted in reverse given sport has proved more influential than politics on occasion; a ban on South African teams helped build momentum for the anti-Apartheid movement, for example.
However, the exposure of alleged abuse of workers in Qatar completely overshadowed the debate about moving the dates of the 2022 World Cup.
With lives on the line and international trade unions in full voice, the complaints from television rights holders and Europe's wealthy football leagues suddenly seemed petty.
An Olympics or football World Cup can be a catalyst for change but, in this instance, FIFA's Executive Committee (ExCo) needed to be reminded by the media to focus on the most serious issue of the Qatar World Cup. FULL POST
Oracle Team USA has just produced arguably the greatest comeback in sporting history to retain sailing's historic America's Cup.—
Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn) September 25, 2013
If elite sport was a superhero it would have the gleaming letters "RB" emblazoned across its colorful spandex-covered chest. The "Recession Buster" has saved the day again if rugby World Cup organizers are to be believed.
Last week they marked exactly two years to go until the 2015 tournament by announcing an impressive list of financial statistics pointing to it being the most successful in rugby's history.
While the path back to economic prosperity appears to be painstaking for the rest of the planet, the sporting world is unintentionally mocking that struggle by breezing through the downturn. FULL POST
Has Tiger Woods ever dropped 6 shots in the final 4 holes? Let alone at such an important event? Incredible.—
Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn) September 20, 2013
Wenger: "There's a technical risk in buying more than 3 players" – not sure many people would agree with the Arsenal manager on that point.—
Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn) August 30, 2013
Sad to hear Dave Thomas has died. Ex-Ryder Cup golfer, twice an Open R-Up & co-designer of Belfry's Brabazon course. He was 79.—
Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn) August 28, 2013