And then there were two. Paul Pogba and Stephan Lichtsteiner, you're all us folks with Juventus-centric minds have left in the 2014 World Cup.
The beginning of the knockout stage marked the end of the tournament for a pair of Chileans — Arturo Vidal and Mauricio Isla — and a high-socked Uruguayan — Martin Cáceres — as their respective teams were beaten in the round of 16 on Saturday. However, the way they were beaten were night-and-day situations.
Chile gave Brazil, a team some people were basically handing the World Cup trophy to before the tournament started, everything they could handle and then some. Brazil wasn't very good, but a lot of that was due to the pressure that the Chileans were putting them under.
You just have to wonder what Vidal, who was subbed off right before stoppage time in the second half, would have done in the penalty shootout. Why? Because he's basically a lock whenever he steps to the spot in a Juventus uniform.
Cáceres' Uruguay squad, playing without the human shark known as Luis Suárez, looked exactly like a team who had just lost their star. And against a team like Colombia that is getting better and better as the World Cup goes by, that was almost like they had their eulogy written before the opening kickoff.
Also of note in Colombia's 2-0 win over Uruguay:
- James Rodriguez is not human. But watching him play and score completely insane goals is never not going to be tons of fun.
- Juan Cuadrado is making Fiorentina a lot of money right now. Some club is going to play lots and lots of money for him at some point this summer and Fiorentina will be the ones cashing in.
Alas, now we're down to just two Juventus players in the World Cup. Maybe that's a good thing so we're not screaming at our televisions because there's an emotional investment.
At least there's some more time to watch Paul Pogba. And Stephan Lichtsteiner. And this wonderfully unpredictable World Cup that seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. This is fun. Well, except when Italy plays like a bunch of idiots.
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Game Time Thread: Matchday No. 16
- Juventus reportedly sign Genoa midfielder Stefano Sturaro
- Kwadwo Asamoah gets an assist, but Ghana gets eliminated from the World Cup
- Report: The second half of Domenico Berardi's contract will cost Juventus €15 million next summer
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Game Time Thread: Matchday No. 14