Report: Brazil World Cup 2014

France in with a chance at World Cup 2014 as Costa Rica keep up astonishing form

On day nine of the World Cup we learned that France can fancy its chances and Costa Rica can spin world football off its axis but not what the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty are doing in Cuiaba.

France's Olivier Giroud celebrates the win over Switzerland with Mathieu Valbuena
France's Olivier Giroud celebrates the win over Switzerland with Mathieu Valbuena Reuters/Dylan Martinez

Why not France? Any team making it through to the last 16 is going to start fancying their chances. Spain are gone, Italy or Uruguay will go and Brazil are not yet out of the woods. France destroyed a very sorry Swiss team 5-2. And that’s the point. If a team is playing badly they have to be shown up. The Netherlands did it against Spain and while Switzerland are no Spain, the statement still has to be made.

Zipping up my boots ….going back to my roots…yeah. “To the place of my birth

Click here for our coverage of Brazil World Cup 2014

…back down to earth…ain’t talking ’bout no roots in the land … talking ’bout the roots and the man ...” Well it takes a complete upset to force an existential rethink. While world football spins off its axis following Costa Rica’s 1-0 defeat of Italy. The daily review digs into its ancestral past via some golden era disco funk. A long time ago a band called Odissey came up with a classic shortly after the TV serialisation of Alex Haley’s tome Roots. Fortunately we don’t have to spend hours delving through library archives and travelling around Gambia for enlightenment. The daily review’s grandfather – he who insisted on a young daily review watching the 1970 Brazil team – was born in Costa Rica. You can see where this is going.

A breath of fresh air is sweeping through Brazil 2014.
So Costa Rica’s 3-1 victory over Uruguay was no fluke. Costa Rica got past Italy 1-0 on day nine to advance to the last 16 and also eliminate England. It’s the first time that England have failed to reach the knockout stages since 1958. Costa Rica were supposed to be the lightweights in the group. But as the experienced old pros always say, There are no easy games at this level.”

When the taxi drivers are dodgy ... the airports will be fine. There’s gut instinct and there’s experience. Form and content. Sturm und Drang. OK the last one was gratuitous. But the daily review was in transit on day nine and the taxi driver who collected us from the hotel in Campinas clearly had another assignment. Speed limits? For other people. A sweating review had to ask for a bit more calm. Those Portuguese lessons may have saved a life. We want to survive and continue this unrivalled public service. Besides, why get to the airport early when the flights are normally late. However, we stand corrected. The flight from Sao Paulo VCP (Viracopos) was on time. A first. We should have known that was a bad sign. The taxi driver from Cuiaba airport had obviously been watching too many Hollywood action movies or was in a mind meld with the taxi driver in Campinas. We saw the number plates of other vehicles a bit too clearly.

Cuiaba is international.
As the daily review was sped maniacally in a taxi to the hotel after landing on time at Cuiaba airport, we noticed a replica of the Statue of Liberty. While heading back to the hotel after seeing the Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi, there was the Eiffel Tower amid the skyscrapers. We will look out for Big Ben and the Bundestag.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Keep up to date with international news by downloading the RFI app