2014 World Cup SoccerThis is a belated post almost two weeks after the 2014 World Cup Soccer ended in soccer-crazy Brazil…

I have always enjoyed watching World Cup with my friends once in every four years and the different tournaments marked a different period of
my life. Just to highlight a few:

>>> 1974 & 1978 <<<

That’s the time I am old enough to know what is World Cup and we were glued to the TV set at my home with friends cheering for Holland…

I still remember in 1974, Johan Cruyff led the Dutch team with the then innovative total football philosophy which landed them as Runners Up in the final!

And…it was also the first time I truly understand the meaning of ‘striker’ when West Germany’s centre forward Gerd Muller made an unbelievable turn and scored a goal to win the final at 2-1 against Holland to clinch the World Cup title!

In 1978, Holland again qualified for the final but this time was beaten by the Argentinians 3-1 after extra time!

>>>1982, 1986 & 1990 <<<

These three World Cup tournaments span my years as an employee where we go round betting with colleagues as the matches progressed, culminating in the final matches where we usually go to a colleague’s house and play mahjong till the wee hours of the morning to wait for the games to be played!

Wow… I still remember the infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal that Argentina’s Maradona scored against England on her road to victory in the 1986 World Cup!

And those were the days that Singapore Pools had not offered sports betting yet so someone always organized a pool whereby each person staked a small sum like $10 and backed a score. The winner could end up winning over $200 which was a big deal in those days 🙂

>>> 2002 <<<

This is the first time ever — still the only time as of the time of writing now in 2014 — that the World Cup is played in Asia, specifically in South Korea and Japan! That time, I was already running my own small computer business.

This is the most unique and memorable World Cup for me as my business partner and I typically finished our IT system integration work for the day at our clients’ premises and then stopped by at any pub usually at Far East Square and watched the matches live during ‘humanly’ hours in the evening like 8pm and not during ‘unearthly’ hours like 2am or 5am when other World Cups were hosted in either European or the American soils!

>>> FAST FORWARD to 2014 World Cup <<<

Now I’m semi-retired building as much passive income and making as much investments as I can… and have more freedom of time to watch the matches 🙂

This is the first year I realized that not only we can bet legally at Singapore Pools, we can also go its premises or to MBS, RWS or Kranji Sports Buzz to watch the matches live as well as bet live as the matches progressed!

And the best part was… I found a friend who is as ‘World Cup soccer fanatic’ as I and we literally watched and betted all of the matches of 2014 live at the Singapore Pools Building for the entire football fever month!!

Anyway…

Germany won the cup for the 4th time and its record now equals that of Italy and just behind Brazil who won the highest soccer trophy for five times.

Frankly, it was a boring World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina which ended in a goalless draw after 90 minutes of full time play. It
was only during Extra Time that favorite Germany managed to put in the only goal of the match to win the cup.

>>> LOOKING FORWARD to Russia in 2018 <<<

By GOD’s grace, by then if I’m still around I would love to watch some of the 2018 World Cup action not only live but live in Russia! See you then… From Russia with love 😉