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Volume 10 No. 25

World Cup

The global press "said good-bye" to the Spanish national team following its 2-0 loss to Chile on Wednesday, according to Jesús Balseiro of AS. The loss, which means defending World Cup champ Spain will not advance beyond the group stage, led to newspapers throughout the world weighing in on the end of a run in which Spain sandwiched Euro championships in '08 and '12 around the World Cup crown La Roja earned in '10. Berlin's Bild said, "Tiki-taka has died." Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport called it a "collapse" and a "requiem." British publications "were even more harsh." The London Daily Mail said, "And what if tiki-taka never existed and they were just 11 great footballers?" Reactions from various global publications are below:

France's L'Equipe: "Spain turns in its crown. Being champion of the world does not protect you any more. For the third time in the last four World Cups, the defending champion has been eliminated in the group stage. ... Spain has fallen from very high."

Italy's La Gazzetta: "A sad end to a marvelous cycle. A requiem for a team that won everything. .... A requiem for tiki-taka. ... Good-bye to the great Spain, a part of history starting now."

The London Daily Mirror: "When the most powerful fall, the entire Earth seems to shake. After six years of international dominance, Spain made the worst World Cup title defense in history."

Buenos Aires' Olé: "A cruel good-bye for the tiki-taka generation. We will always remember you for your beautiful tiki-taka, renew yourself and return soon."

Portugal's A Bola: "See you later, Spain. The reigning champion is out of the World Cup after losing to Chile 2-0" (AS, 6/19).

SADNESS IN SPAIN: ESPN's Dermot Corrigan wrote the Spanish newspapers were "filled with pain and sadness but also an enduring sense of pride on the morning after" La Roja's loss. Marca's "simple 'The End' front page showed Andres Iniesta walking alone into the distance, and summed up the feelings of a country shocked by such a brutal end." A Marca analysis piece by Javier Estepa had the headline, "The end of a unique generation." It reminded Spain's fans "that in time this painful end would not overshadow the incredible past achievements of these players." Estepa wrote, "It is logical that Spain's fans are disappointed, but the respect owed to this team must be eternal." AS's cover, with Iniesta and "forlorn captain Iker Casillas pictured," said, "It was nice while it lasted." Inside, Juanma Trueba's match report began, "The end was horrible. It had to come some day, that was accepted, but we never imagined such a painful goodbye, so unrecognizable and so vulgar. Goodbye, World Cup." Jose Samano of El Pais "likened La Roja to the Titanic, and said this had been a harsh way for things to finish" (ESPN, 6/19).

IN CHILE: EL CONFIDENCIAL reported the Chilean press "heaped praise on its national team." The country's top publications and media outlets "elevated Chile Manager Jorge Sampaoli and his players to the category of heroes." El Mercurio wrote, "Chile writes a new 'Maracanazo:' eliminating the world champion and advancing to the knockout round." La Nacion: "Historic! Chile beats Spain." Radio Cooperativa's website said, "Chao champions! Chile beats Spain and advances. ... The national team achieved its first win over the Iberians and assured its place in the round of 16" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 6/19). In Barcelona, Begoña Villarrubia wrote Chilean daily El Trabajo's headline read, "Total madness after the classification." El Gráfico's cover read, "Maracanazo" and featured Chilean forward Eduardo Vargas (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 6/19).

Tens of thousands of Chile fans "staged wild celebrations in Santiago after their dramatic 2-0 World Cup victory over Spain, with street parties spilling over into violence and clashes with police," according to the London GUARDIAN. Hours after 85 Chile fans were arrested in Brazil for storming the media center at the Maracanã before kickoff, "supporters back home poured on to the streets around Sanitago’s Plaza Italia to celebrate, having seen their team knock the reigning champions out of the tournament." The celebrations, which led to fires, damage to a reported 300 city buses and a huge clean-up operation, involved what local media described as a "red swarm" of office workers and locals in team colors, waving flags. The celebrations were part of a huge response to the World Cup across Chile -- "an enthusiasm which prompted the government to ask people to stop having World Cup barbecues due to a growing smog problem" (GUARDIAN, 6/19). AS reported Chilean fans celebrating "caused various incidents in Santiago." Thousands of fans gathered and "groups of vandals damaged public vehicles." Metropolitan Transport Dir Guillermo Muñoz warned that on Thursday "we will have much fewer buses working, the situation is doing damage" (AS, 6/19).

FIFA has "opened disciplinary proceedings against Mexico over alleged discriminatory chanting by fans at the World Cup," according to the PA. The governing body said that "it had already opened the case against Mexico before the anti-discrimination Fare network made an official complaint about four instances of alleged supporter misconduct." The claims against Mexico center around the use of the word "puto" (used as a homophobic slur), which has been heard in games in Fortaleza and Natal. FIFA is "understood to have also received complaints about alleged homophobic chanting by Brazil’s supporters, and alleged antisemitic behaviour by fans of Croatia and Russia" (GUARDIAN, 6/19).

Smartphones, tablets or PCs "account for more than half" (57%) of the viewing platforms as opposed to conventional TV screens for ardent fans of the World Cup, according to INDIAN TELEVISION. A report published on the official website of research firm Ovum revealed that connected devices "are playing a crucial role in evolving viewing habits for big-events." The World Cup "is expected to have a combined reach of broadcast TV and streaming options available on up to 5.9 billion screens worldwide." Ovum senior analyst Ted Hall said in a statement, "With the likes of tablets providing the convenience and flexibility to consume content whenever and wherever, fans are able to watch more of the tournament than ever before." Ovum noted that if there is anything lacking, innovation-wise, for the '14 iteration of the tournament, "it is the limited access to games in the 4K/Ultra HD format" (INDIAN TELEVISION, 6/19).

A British man "has been caught in Rio de Janeiro allegedly selling fake World Cup tickets" for as much as £1,350 ($2,300). The 43-year-old, who has not been named, "is suspected of working alongside an American to distribute passes for VIP treatment at matches." Police in Brazil said that the stash of 59 counterfeit tickets "meant for unsuspecting tourists is the largest they have found yet" (London DAILY MAIL, 6/18). ... Ten England fans were hospitalized ahead of the match against Urugauay "after being attacked by a hooded gang of Brazilian thugs as they headed into the fanfest in Sao Paulo." Initial reports said that the England supporters "were attacked by Brazilian hooligans armed with knives and some kind of explosive device, most probably a firework or a flare, as well as knuckledusters, as they prepared to watch the match at the Vale do Anhangabau arena, where a giant screen had been put up for fans who lacked tickets." There "was no word on the condition of the injured England fans." Authorities said that 14 people had been arrested in connection with the incident. The attackers reportedly "attacked shops and a bus as they tried to escape from the police" (LONDON TIMES, 6/19).