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Powerful Germans to crush unconvincing Argentinians in 2014 FIFA World Cup Final

Thu 10th Jul 2014 | World Cup 2014

Experts at Cambridge University Press have analysed and assessed millions of words relating to the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil to find words frequently used to describe each of the 32 nations.

Using the Cambridge English Corpus, a multi-billion word database of written and spoken English language from a huge range of media sources, the Language Research team at Cambridge has identified the words most typically associated with each of the teams throughout the tournament to give an indication of how each team has been perceived by media and fans alike.

With the curtain coming down on proceedings this Sunday, it’s perhaps no surprise that the powerful, focussed and committed Germans made it to the showpiece showdown in Rio after demolishing hosts Brazil in Belo Horizonte, while opponents Argentina are seen as the underdogs. Although the South Americans have been playing with confidence and flair, their performances have been seen as unconvincing on their route to the final.

The final proved a step too far for hosts Brazil, crashing out in spectacular fashion after a 1-7 defeat to the Germans, and the weight of the nation was clearly on their shoulders with 200 million people behind them. With the Seleção proving to be extremely popular, it was inevitable that players were going to be emotional in front of the home crowd in a desperate attempt for their first World Cup triumph since 2002. Neutrals would’ve also preferred to see the rampaging, stunning and strategic Netherlands take on old foe, Germany, in Sunday’s decider.  

With England’s brief part in the tournament a distant memory, feelings towards the team were mixed but the three most often used words to describe Roy Hodgson’s men were exciting, disappointing and inexperienced as fans look towards Euro 2016 in France.

However, the country has certainly filled the void left by the Three Lions by taking other nations to heart, particularly those in Central and South America. Colombia, arguably the darlings of the tournament, were seen as unpredictable, exciting and attacking on their way to the quarter-finals. Surprise package Costa Rica were also viewed as being dynamic and contenders, while their pace was also noted. After 120 minutes of frantic football against Belgium, the USA team certainly caught a few eyes with their determined and courageous attitude throughout the tournament, large parts of which were down to Tim Howard’s heroic performance.

Some teams which didn’t fare as well were, unsurprisingly, Uruguay, with bite and disgrace associated with them following Luis Suarez’s well-documented on-field antics, while 2010 champions Spain, who exited at the group stage, were described as poor, humiliated and defensive.

Dr Claire Dembry from Cambridge University Press said, “The breadth of sources we’ve analysed over the course of the tournament means we're able to give a unique insight into the mood surrounding each team.”

“Examining the Cambridge English Corpus and seeing how the media portray the various competing nations has given us an interesting insight into how national identity and stereotypes have been played out in the media.”

Words used the most to describe countries

TeamWord 1Word 2Word 3

Source: Cambridge University Press

Algeria

determined

pride

together

Argentina

confident

flair

unconvincing

Australia

positive

effort

spirited

Belgium

flair

dark horse

talent

Bosnia and Hercegovina

injustice

defensive

forceful

Brazil

emotional

popular

desperate

Cameroon

hapless

battle

chaotic

Chile

attacking

tactical

thrilling

Colombia

unpredictable

exciting

attacking

Costa Rica

dynamic

pace

battle

Croatia

dangerous

tactical

competitive

Ecuador

inconsistent

strong

potential

England

exciting

inexperienced

disappointing

France

organised

defensive

exciting

Germany

powerful

focused

committed

Ghana

money

strike

powerful

Greece

defensive

cautious

stubborn

Honduras

physical

spirit

robust

Iran

defend

hope

drought

Italy

slow

vulnerable

pessimism

Ivory Coast

pace

physical

struggle

Japan

possession

disappointing

frustrated

Mexico

determined

tactical

talented

Netherlands

rampaging

strategy

stunning

Nigeria

inexperienced

speed

tough

Portugal

frustration

ego

disappointing

Russia

drab

error

mediocre

South Korea

woeful

failure

embarrassing

Spain

defensive

poor

humiliation

Switzerland

pace

difficult

talented

United States

determined

heroic

courageous

Uruguay

bite

disgrace

do-or-die

Image: Action Images / Alex Morton

Posted by: Kev Howland 

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