World Cup 2014: From John Brooks to Lionel Messi and Neymar, this is the tournament of 'dreams'

A common word from this tournament is emerging

By common consent this World Cup in Brazil is turning into one of the best in recent memory, some might say that with so many enthralling games, inspired performances and breathtaking goals taking place in the spiritual home of football it is a 'dream' tournament.

'Dream' is certainly the word on the lips of those involved. For the hosts in particular, that is what winning the tournament is. Before things even kicked off the two trusses hoping to carry Brazil all the way to glory at the Maracana on 13 July, Neymar and Felipe Luiz Scolari, expressed as much.

"I hope we can help fulfil the dream of our nation, which is to win the World Cup," said Scolari, the coach who has already won one golden trophy as manager of La Selecao.

Neymar, who has scored four goals and whose most recent contribution was to score from the spot in the penalty shoot-out against Chile echoed the sentiments of his manager: "I really hope I can help my team in the best possible way to fulfil the dream of us players, Brazilians, to win the World Cup." After saving two spot-kicks against Chile, Julio Cesar revealed: "My big dream is that Brazil have a party."

Cesar makes a crucial save against Chile star man Alexis Sanchez Cesar makes a crucial save against Chile star man Alexis Sanchez  

Yet Brazil aren't the only nation with visions of winning this fantastic tournament. There are others that have seen it and have the credentials to make it a reality. "We're all still chasing a shared dream," said Lionel Messi after Argentina progressed to the knock-out phase.

Lionel Messi celebrates putting Argentina ahead in their final group game with Nigeria Lionel Messi celebrates putting Argentina ahead in their final group game with Nigeria  

For others dreams have already come true: "Yes we made it! It's all about how hard you want it! A dream has become true #fightingSpirit#TeamDz#Soldiers!" wrote Tottenham's Algeria defender Nabil Bentaleb on Twitter after his side drew 1-1 with Russia to progress to the last 16.

Bentaleb helped his side reach the last 16 for the first time in their history Bentaleb helped his side reach the last 16 for the first time in their history  

Liverpool's Pepe Reina got to play in Spain's final game of the tournament, an ambition realised for the goalkeeper: "It is the dream of any player to play in a World Cup."

John Brooks, the winning goalscorer for the United States in their match against Ghana said after his late intervention: "It’s unbelievable. I said I had a dream, I told some team-mates that I dreamed that I had scored in the 80th minute and we won the game. Now it [turned out to be] the 86th minute and we won the game, so that was good."

John Brooks after scoring for the USA John Brooks after scoring for the USA  

With more than one nation dreaming of success, it is inevitable that some will turn to nightmares.

Luis Suarez told reports after scoring twice against England on his miraculous return from injury: "It has been like a dream. It is something I have dreamt about very often. It was one of the best games I've played. It's an amazing moment for me. Maybe a few days ago I thought this wouldn't be possible."

Luis Suarez celebrates after the win against England Luis Suarez celebrates after the win against England  

A couple of days after these words from the Liverpool striker, something else happened that he wouldn't have predicted and now he is back in Uruguay with his team-mates heading that way too after their defeat to Colombia.

And of course there is England - the carrier of so many dreams every time they enter a tournament. Prior to the tournament captain Steven Gerrard was in hindsight almost prophetic, or at least a rare realist among the dreamers of this World Cup.

Steven Gerrard pictured returning from the World Cup Steven Gerrard pictured returning from the World Cup  

"I’ve certainly dreamed of winning the World Cup," said the England skipper. "But they’re just dreams. There’s no point in letting your mind wander too far ahead."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there