Editor’s note: CNN Hong Kong Operations Supervisor Matthew Booth will attempt to watch every match of the World Cup on television in the wee small hours of the night. Can he do it without being fired/divorced/committed to an asylum? Follow his updates here, as he becomes more and more incoherent from extreme sleep deprivation.
Hong Kong, China (CNN) - As the game schedule has become a bit more sensible, I prized myself away from the loving embrace of my couch and went to the pub for Netherlands vs. Brazil. My wife and I arrived five minutes before kick-off, and when we got through the doors I wondered if we had just bumped into some kind of YouTube flash mob.
The place made a sardine tin look like a four-bedroom flat with a harbor view. It was also roasting hot, so squeezing past people to get to the bar was a little bit unpleasant, if well lubricated.
This World Cup was supposed to belong to the superstars: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. All three players had fantastic campaigns with their respective clubs and everyone expected their goals to light up this tournament. They did, after all, score a combined 110 goals over the last season.
However, as the semifinals loom large here in South Africa, all three superstars have flown home and will have to watch the final games on television. Between them, they played 13 games and scored just one goal.
So what went wrong? Well, it is impossible to generalize and use the same explanation for every player, so let’s take it one case at a time.