Does Failure Make for ...


A Look at the Publication Headlines from Countries Bounced from the Start of the World Cup Knock-out Round

We already know the answer to the headline question.

Virtually every great novel and movie depend on failure to bring tension to the story.

And are there few things more painful than seeing your country fight its way through World Cup group play only to get sent home during the first stage of the knock-out round?

Thinking it would be a cathartic experience – again, I stand by my earlier vow to never eat another waffle – we’ve captured sample publication headlines from all the countries that exited the World Cup during the start of the knock-out round.


Newspaper: El Mercurio

Headline Translation: Maximum Penalty

Analysis: The photo serves up the anguish with the headline taking a supporting role. Hopefully, someone eventually gave Number 2 a hug as well.

Chile soccer team World Cup 2014


Newspaper: El Pais

Headline Translation: We Lost It

Analysis: Always enjoy a double entendre in the headline.

Uruguay soccer team World Cup 2014


Newspaper: El Sol de Mexico

Headline Translation: Dramatic defeat of Mexico; Holland qualifies for quarter finals

Analysis: Another case where the photo more than the headline communicates the painful outcome.

Mexico Soccer team World Cup 2014


Newspaper: Sentra Goal

Headline Translation: Too Bad, But You Made us Proud

Analysis: It sounds like the writer of this headline had just finished an essay on Greece’s economic quagmire.

Greece soccer team World Cup 2014


Newspaper: The Sun

Headline: Team France Clip Eagle’s Wings

Analysis: Eh.

Nigeria soccer team World Cup 2014


Newspaper: Echorouk

Headline Translation: “Desert Warriors” Bid Farewell to the World Cup with Pride

Analysis: Algeria shows it’s a glass-is-half-full nation.

Algeria soccer team World Cup 2014


Newspaper: 20 Minuten

Headline Translation: Bitter send off for Switzerland!

Analysis: Now there’s an adjective that packs an emotional punch, “bitter.”

Switzerland soccer team World Cup 2014


Publication: The New Yorker

Headline: Hail to the Alamo, Team USA Goes Down Fighting

Analysis: Nothing like conjuring high school history to find the perfect metaphor. The Alamo didn’t end well for the U.S., nor did the match against Belgium.

USA soccer team World Cup 2014

Until the World Cup returns in 2018 in Russia, I’ll take solace in the cliché, “misery loves company.”

For the Nigerians, Greeks, Chileans, and others who made this class, enjoy!

Side note: It periodically takes a village to raise a post. Thanks go to Megan Hernbroth (research), Luica Mak (translation), Shereen Massoud (translation) and Leslie Posada (translation) for their helping hands.

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