World Cup 2014: a bluffer's guide

Football isn’t everyone’s game, but when it comes down to match day banter, even the uninitiated can sound like a football mastermind.

Peter Iantorno June 9, 2014

If you think tiki-taka is a sugar-free mint and the Brazuca is something a member of the armed forces would use to shoot down a helicopter, you're probably not the most popular guy in the bar when it comes to football chat.

But fear not - we've got all the World Cup ammo you'll need this summer to dazzle your mates and make you look like a regular football statto.

No European team has ever won a World Cup in South America

Usually the Germans, Italians and, in more recent years, the Spanish, would be a good bet to win any competition. But a World Cup held in South America is, to put it lightly, a tricky proposition for the European giants.

In fact, it's so tricky that a European nation has never, in the history of the game, managed to win a World Cup on South American soil. And with the wildly diverse climate of Brazil, from the mild Sao Paulo to the hot and humid Manaus on the outskirts of the Amazon rainforest, the Europeans may well struggle to adapt.

It's hard to look past the hosts and Messi's Argentina, but for a dark horse, Chile are definitely worth keeping an eye on if they can get out of a tough group including World and European champions, Spain.

What to say:

Wheel out the all-important fact, then bring up dark horses, Chile, to show you're not just going for the obvious.a. germany

A potential new goalscoring record

The all-time record goalscorer in World Cups is Ronaldo... No, not that Ronaldo - we're talking about the Brazilian or 'fat' Ronaldo as he's now not-so-affectionately known.

The goofy hitman bagged a total of 15 goals in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups, making him a legend of the game. But now Germany's Miroslav Klose, currently on 14 World Cup goals, has his eyes on the record.

With Germany in a tough group including Ghana, the USA and the other Ronaldo's Portugal, it's no foregone conclusion, but the striker is quoted as saying, "Anyone who knows me is aware that the goal record is a target of mine." And we certainly wouldn't bet against it.

What to say:

A mention of 'fat Ronaldo' wouldn't go a miss here, along with the fact that you wouldn't bet against the efficacious German, Klose.a. ronaldo

England will have to defy the odds

England have not won a World Cup match in which the opponent has scored since beating Cameroon way back in 1990, so it looks like they'll have to prevent their opponents from scoring if they're to have any chance of progressing.

However, with a leaky back line, which will most likely be made up of Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill and Glen Johnson, that doesn't seem all that likely.

What to say:

Bring out the 1990 stat, then mention England's dodgy defence.a. england

The death of tiki-taka

Once you've established that tiki-taka is, in fact, a style of play based on control of possession and made famous by the Spanish national team rather than a pocket-sized breath freshener, you may as well forget about it, because, according to the experts, this style has had its day.

After bringing Spain two Europe an cups and a World Cup, the bubble burst emphatically in last year's Confederations Cup, where host nation Brazil thrashed Spain 3-0 in a brilliant display of counter attacking and physical dominance.

So if someone tells you possession is nine tenths of the law in football, don't believe it for a second.

What to say:

Something along the lines of, "Of course tiki-taka is old-hat nowadays" - and make sure it's in a rather nonchalant manner.a. spain