Looking at 2014: Cups and Sorcerers

Sports 20142014 will see many Cup contests and other big-ticket events featuring entertainers with magical skills

After the lull of 2013, where the biggest news in sports emerged from off-the-field controversies, athletes will be bounding out of the gates in 2014 with a string of high-profile tournaments on the calendar, including the biggest of them all the FIFA World Cup. The Sunday Express looks ahead to a year that will see many more Cup contests and other big-ticket events featuring entertainers with magical skills.

Football World Cup

June 12-July 13, Brazil

Sleep will be classified a precious commodity in June and July 2014 because of a television burning bright in the stillness of the night. You probably know why but just in case your resolve threatens to waver, here are some reasons to stiffen it up.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup can't come soon enough for most especially for Brazilians. There have been mass protests against the (over)use of taxpayer money. For some though, the pain of 1950 when they lost the final at the Maracana to Uruguay is still raw, gnawing away.

The Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paolo will be 'the' place to be on June 12, 2014. The party kicks off and the home side will not just be under pressure to win against Croatia but play their opponents off the pitch and win 'the Brazilian way'. Expect fireworks, if not on then definitely off the pitch.

Spain v Netherlands, Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, June 13. Enough said. The 2010 World Cup final part deux. It is hoped the match is played in better spirit hoped. There is one certainty though. Now that Nigel de Jong is no longer in the Dutch squad, Xabi Alonso will have a smile plastered to his face instead of a boot slamming into his sternum. Yup, happiness.

There's only one way to go. Bolt out quick, stay ahead and keep your eyes open for kung fu kicks.

... contd.

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