World Cup 2014: Matt Butler: Defining moments of what we’ll remember as the age of rubbish Brazil

View from the Sofa: World Cup third place play-off; ITV / Hardrock 100; online

Is there any event simultaneously as futile and epoch-defining as a World Cup third-place play-off involving Brazil? Futile because it is essentially the losers’ final; a place the hosts would have rather avoided like the plague. And epoch-defining because 2014 will be now known in football history as the age of the rubbish Brazil team.

It was the game nobody wanted. Even ITV’s Adrian Chiles passed up presenting duties in favour of Matt Smith, who gamely tried to sell it to us on Saturday night. As pictures of sullen Brazil and Netherlands players making their way off their coaches crossed our screens, Smith said, hopefully: “The third-place play-off can be – sometimes – quite a good game.”

Before kick-off Smith and the panel discussed what the defining moment of the tournament was. A great one came a couple of minutes in when Glenn Hoddle started on his pontifications over whether there was a move of the World Cup, a 2014 equivalent of a Cruyff turn. Just as he revved up his “for me” patter, his microphone cut out.

The same happened with Ian Wright while he glottal-stopped his way through a James Rodriguez dissection: “...just quali’y,” he said after his microphone started working again.

Thank goodness we had Martin O’Neill as well. He was dispassionately scathing about Brazil, while telling us exactly what is wrong with them. His main argument was that there was little point in persisting with their current squad – singling out Jo up front. It was hard to disagree, as he barely troubled the Dutch goal in the 3-0 defeat for Brazil.

Speaking of pointless – and history-making, for that matter – how does a record-breaking 100-mile run in the Rockies sound? On Saturday morning we were in luck, because we could follow the climax of the Hardrock 100 run online.

The race, one of the hardest and most competitive ultramarathons in the world, begs the question: who wants to run 100 miles – let alone in a big circle, starting and finishing in the sleepy mountain town of Silverton, Colorado? Not only is the race unconscionably long, it also has over 12 miles of vertical ascent.

It was an event for the ages because the winner, Kilian Jornet, broke the course record by 40 minutes, in a time of 22 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds – two and a half hours ahead of Julien Chorier in second and well inside the cut-off time of 48 hours. 

As the UK woke, the Catalan was around 20 miles from the finish and the regular updates from irunfar.com, accompanied by haunting pictures of the clearly knackered  leading runner, were riveting.

Many might question the point of running 100 miles over mountains to end up back where you started. Then others may look at the serene grin plastered across Jornet’s face as he leaned back against the marker stone after finishing and think that perhaps running for a long time up and down a few mountains may be better than playing a losers’ game of football.

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

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
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
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
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
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
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