您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 华尔街日报中英文版 >> 体育 >> 正文


更新时间:2014-6-12 21:14:27 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

How to Survive the World Cup

WHEN IT COMES TO the World Cup, the greatest show in soccer, it can be hard to figure out where to start. It's a 32-team, 12-stadium, multibillion-euro production that takes five weeks every four years. Large swaths of the world stand still to follow it.


And, of course, there are a million ways to look at it. For the hard core, it's an opportunity to watch 64 games in five weeks and not have anyone judge you. For the politically minded, it's a unique window into a country that completely mobilizes to host a soccer tournament. And for the bandwagon fans, it's a chance to get caught up in the excitement and heartbreak of entire nations watching television at the same time.


So here's your guide to navigating this World Cup summer--because, whether you like it or not, the tournament will crop up in more conversations than you might expect.


The Lowdown


The road to the World Cup started over two years ago with more than 200 teams. Everyone got to play, even teams like American Samoa and the Maldives. Through a painfully long qualifying process, divided up by region, that initial pool whittled itself down to the group of 32 that will be in Brazil.


Every team at the World Cup had to go through some version of it--except, of course, Brazil, which qualified automatically as the host nation. (By a quirk of the rules, Spain only played eight games to punch its ticket. Uruguay, meanwhile, played 18.)


Last December, the 32 nations were seeded and drawn into eight four-team groups. Each of those will unfold as a round robin or all-play-all contest, meaning that every nation is guaranteed three games. The top two teams from each group will advance to the round of 16. From there, the tournament works under a straight knockout format: Winner advances, loser goes home. One game, potentially decided in 30 minutes of extra time or in a penalty shootout. (This is when the global fingernail-biting habit starts to spike.)


It all culminates on July 13, after five weeks and 64 games, with the final at the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

开赛五周后,64场比赛中的最后一场冠军争夺战将于当地时间7月13日在里约热内卢的马拉卡纳体育场(Maracana Stadium)打响,世界杯将随之迎来最后的高潮。

The Maracanazo


The last time Brazil hosted the World Cup, in 1950, the country's glorious soccer history hadn't been written yet. The five championships all came later. So did the famous yellow-and-green jerseys. So did Pelé. But the 1950 tournament was supposed to be the first chapter, written during the final game, inside the Maracanã, the 200,000-seat arena in Rio de Janeiro purpose-built for the World Cup. Instead, it turned into the team's darkest day.


Because of the World Cup's format in those days, technically there wasn't a final, just a final game at the end of a second group stage. It meant that Brazil, having steamrolled through opponents, needed only a draw against Uruguay to lift the trophy for the first time. Uruguay needed to win outright.


Wearing white shirts and white shorts with blue trim, Brazil opened the scoring in the 47th minute through the winger Friaça. The party lasted just 19 minutes. Uruguay's Alcides Ghiggia set up Juan Schiaffino for the tying goal. At 1-1, Brazil was still on track to win the World Cup. Ghiggia had other ideas. In the 79th minute, he blazed down the right wing, cut inside and shaped to cross the ball before a split-second change of heart. Instead, he drilled a low shot to the near post, the spot a goalkeeper should always have covered.

身着带蓝色镶边的白色球衣和白色球裤的巴西队在第47分钟由边锋弗里亚萨(Friaca)先拔头筹。但庆祝仅仅持续了19分钟。乌拉圭队的吉贾(Alcides Ghiggia)助攻斯基亚菲诺(Juan Schiaffino)扳平比分。保持1:1的比分仍足以让巴西队夺冠,但乌拉圭人吉贾并不甘心。第79分钟,他从右边路突破切入禁区,摆出要传中的样子。但在最后一刻他选择了一脚低射,皮球从近门柱 进了网窝——而这本来是任何一个守门员都应该时刻封堵住的角度。

In Brazil, the surviving footage of the goal is 'like Zapruder's film of Kennedy getting shot,' goalkeeper Moacir Barbosa's biographer Roberto Muylaert says. 'There's only one film. You know from the beginning that it's going to happen, but you still try to avoid it.'

巴西队守门员巴尔博萨(Moacir Barbosa)的传记作者穆依拉尔特(Roberto Muylaert)说:在巴西,那段留存下来的记录这个进球的画面“就像泽普鲁德(Zapruder)拍摄的肯尼迪遇刺短片。世上只有这一段短片。你从一开始就知道将会发生什么,但你仍想避免这一切的发生”。

Minutes later, Uruguay was the world champion. Barbosa was the scapegoat. Brazil did everything it could to erase the memory of that day--the disastrous Maracanazo, as they called it. They even abandoned their white jerseys. When Brazil finally claimed its birthright eight years later at the 1958 World Cup, led by a 17-year-old Pelé, the team wore blue. And on all four occasions they've won soccer's greatest prize since then, the Brazilians did it, unmistakably, in yellow.


The Day You Should Call in Sick


The World Cup crams in 48 games over the first 15 days in an orgy of group-stage soccer. But assuming you can't take two weeks off work to watch 72 hours of television, here's one day you should definitely call in sick: June 18.


The triple-header offering for that Wednesday, which features teams from four continents, kicks off with Australia playing the 2010 runner-up, the Netherlands. From there, go straight into Spain vs. Chile, the defending champion against one of the most exciting teams in South America. And finally, unwind with the kind of game that you might never watch any other time, but that could easily produce six goals: Cameroon vs. Croatia. All in a day's worth of group-stage action.


The First-Timers


Bosnia-Herzegovina are the new kids on the block in Brazil. The country, part of the former Yugoslavia, has only played FIFA-recognized international games since 1995. The Dragons screamed through qualifying, but as World Cup first-timers, the odds are against them.


Of the 22 debutantes over the past five tournaments, only seven have survived the group stage. Between them, those 22 had 23 victories, eight draws and 47 defeats. There are a few happy exceptions, newbies who made Cinderella runs. Take Croatia, who earned a surprising third place in 1998. Or Senegal, who beat France in the 2002 group stage, and rode that momentum to the quarters.


The Jungle Stadium


More than half the surface of Brazil is covered by rain forest. So it's only fitting that the World Cup should have a stadium smack in the middle of it, right? Meet the 42,000-seat Arena da Amazônia in Manaus, perhaps the most confusing stadium at the tournament.

巴西半数以上的国土被热带雨林覆盖,所以,在该国热带雨林中建起一座体育场很顺理成章,对吧?看看马瑙斯(Manaus)能容纳4.2万人的亚马逊竞技场(Arena da Amazonia)吧,这可能是本届世界杯中最让人迷乱的体育场。

Designed to look like a straw basket, a specialty of the region, it sits some 2,700 kilometers northwest of Rio. Workers had to scramble to finish it, lest the site be flooded during the rainy season. It will be hot--around 32degC. It will also be humid--often around 100%. And for those reasons, there are 24 teams who are very grateful to avoid it.


The Cup


The World Cup hasn't always been this World Cup. For the first nine editions of the tournament, from 1930 to 1970, the winner was awarded what came to be known as the Jules Rimet trophy (in honor of the FIFA president who first proposed the tournament). As FIFA describes it, it was 'a depiction of the goddess of victory holding an octagonal vessel above her, produced in gold with a base of semiprecious stones.'

世界杯的奖杯并非一直以来就是现在的这一座。在1930年到1970年最初的九届世界杯比赛中,冠军球队获得的奖杯叫做雷米特杯(Jules Rimet trophy),这是为了向最初提议举办这项足球赛事的前国际足联主席雷米特(Jules Rimet)致敬。国际足联这样形容雷米特杯:它是“一座镀金的带宝石底座的胜利女神雕像,描绘了胜利女神在头顶托起一个八角形容器的形象”。

That trophy was retired in 1970 after Brazil won its third World Cup. The reward was getting to keep it. The cup's replacement was a garish 36.5-centimeter sculpture of 18-karat gold, designed by Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga, that came into circulation with the 1974 tournament.

这座奖杯于1970年在巴西第三度夺得冠军后退役,作为三夺冠军的奖励,由巴西永久持有。代替这座奖杯的是由意大利设计师加扎尼加(Silvio Gazzaniga)设计的一座用18克拉黄金制成的、高36.5厘米的光芒四射的雕像。1974年世界杯起,开始使用这座新的奖杯。

The Jules Rimet trophy disappeared in Brazil in 1983 and is believed to have been melted down. To prevent that from happening again, today's winners spend little time with their prize. As the full-time property of FIFA, it's used for celebrations. But the actual hardware the winning teams take home is one of several gold-plated replicas, which are technically called the FIFA World Cup Winners' Trophies. Doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

1983年,雷米特杯在巴西遗失,并且据信已遭熔解。为了避免类似事件再度发生,此后的夺冠球队持奖杯庆祝胜利的时间变得很短。作为国际足联的永久财产,奖杯只用于庆祝。每支夺冠球队带回国的奖杯实际上只是一系列镀金复制品中的一个,称为国际足联世界杯冠军奖杯(FIFA World Cup Winners' Trophies),这些奖杯与原件相比感觉还是有所不同。

The Worst Calls of All Time


Figuring out the World Cup's worst decisions depends on who you ask. (We're talking about decisions by referees here, so the U.S. national team's denim-design jerseys in 1994 don't count.)


But two calls in the pantheon of dubious decisions both revolve around England. In 1966, the team benefited from one by a linesman from Azerbaijan on its way to winning the final. Tofiq Bahramov deemed that a Geoff Hurst shot against West Germany had crossed the goal line. Replays show it wasn't so clear. Germans are still upset about it.

两次最靠不住的判决都有英格兰队牵涉其中。1966年,他们在决赛中得到了一位阿塞拜疆边裁的帮助,并最终夺冠。巴拉莫夫(Tofiq Bahramov)判定英格兰队员赫斯特(Geoff Hurst)的一次射门越过了对手联邦德国队的球门线。但录像回放显示,皮球到底是否越过门线并不清楚,德国人直到现在仍对这一判决耿耿于怀。

Things evened out four years ago. Frank Lampard's shot off the crossbar against Germany bounced at least a foot inside the goal--and was ruled out. England went on to lose that game 4-1.

四年前,这件事终于算是扯平了。兰帕德(Frank Lampard)的射门击中德国队门梁后弹进球门,至少越过门线一英尺的距离,但最终该进球未获裁判承认。那场比赛英格兰最终以1:4饮恨。

At least those officiating blunders will be a thing of the past this time around. FIFA has adopted goal-line technology that tells the referee definitively whether the ball was in. Now all the referees have to worry about is diving, deliberate handballs, cynical tackling, jersey-pulling, elbowing and did we mention diving?

这届世界杯上,至少这些因误判铸成的大错都将成为过去。国际足联采用了禁区边线裁判技术(goal-line technology),该技术可以明确告诉裁判员皮球是否越过了门线。如今,裁判们更需要担心的判罚包括假摔、故意手球、恶意铲球、拉拽球衣、肘击,以及……对了,我们刚才提过假摔了吗?

The Mascots


When you think Brazil and you think soccer, you naturally think three-banded armadillos, right? Meet Fuleco the three-banded armadillo and 2014 World Cup mascot. He has the unique ability to roll himself up into a soccer ball and fits squarely in the tournament's tradition of cartoon animals--like South Africa's Zakumi, the leopard with unnatural green hair from 2010; Footix, the blue cockerel from France 1998; or Goleo, the pantsless lion from Germany 2006.


Despite the occasional, unintentional nudity, they're not the edgiest of choices. But at least they're a little more creative than the 1970s trend of just making the mascots dressed-up children (like Mexico's Juanito or Argentina's Gauchito). And they're certainly less frightening than the demented aliens Ato, Kaz and Nik from the Japan/South Korea tournament in 2002.


Still, can anyone ever match the genius of Spain's 1982 mascot? Mexico's '86 jalapeño pepper in a sombrero comes pretty close. But Spain's jolly anthropomorphic orange wore a Spanish soccer kit and had foliage to suggest his hair. His name was Naranjito.