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Fiji Time: 7:41 PM on Monday 1 September

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Rocking WC start

Rashneel Kumar
Saturday, June 14, 2014

WHAT a start!

The 2014 FIFA World Cup got off to a rocking start early yesterday culminating with an enthralling encounter between the hosts Brazil and Croatia.

Not the start many of the Brazil fans would have expected though. They should really thank the Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura for the 3-1 win over the Croatians. But then you can't dispute the goals from Neymar and Oscar.

They were classic, simply stunning that even diehard Brazil fans, Tex and Ravai, who are in their mid 20s, celebrated like 'kids' after Neymar's equaliser.

I don't fancy Brazil but I couldn't keep still as well.

Neymar's equaliser in the final quarter of the opening spell can be ranked among the best goals scored in the World Cup.

All hopes are pinned on the 22-year-old star and it's amazing how he was able to cope with such pressure and do what is expected of him to score goals.

Neymar struck in the second spell from the spot kick before Oscar poked in the winner in the second spell to seal the win.

That was just the preview to what the football fans will get to see in the next 30 days or so.

In a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final, Spain will take on Netherlands at 7am today (Fiji time). This promises to be a thriller!

The Dutch will be eyeing to take revenge for the heartbreak four years ago when Andres Iniesta scored in the extra-time play to deny them their maiden World Cup title.

In the other matches, Mexico played Cameroon early today while Australia will face Chile at 10am.

Ok, there have been a number of requests made from some female readers to write on the 'hottest' footballers featuring in the World Cup.

I wouldn't know, seriously and thanks to Tamara, who apparently was looking up online for some 'handsome' reasons to watch the World Cup.

She emailed me the link to an article on the Vogue which suggests 12 players who are reason enough for those interested in guys than goals to watch in the World Cup.

Olivier Giroud (France/Arsenal) leads the race and according to Vogue "this Frenchman likes to push the boundaries of the traditionally macho sport and most recently posed shirtless on the cover of French gay magazine Tetu".

The other 11 are Gerard Pique (Spain/Barcelona), Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Glen Johnson (England/Liverpool), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kyle Beckerman (United States/Real Salt Lake), Claudio Marchisio (Italy/Juventus), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast/Manchester City), Lukas Podolski (Germany/Arsenal) and Keisuke Honda (Japan/AC Milan).

Guess they don't call football a 'beautiful game' for nothing. But unfortunately for their admirers, they are either married or in a relationship.


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