Editorial : 14-06-2018

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Golden feet — 2018 FIFA World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins in Russia in a flurry(उत्तेजना/घबराहट) of excitement. That there is no single, overwhelming(जबरदस्त ) favourite to win the trophy has only added to the appeal of what is cracked up as the
world’s biggest sporting event. Brazil, the most successful World Cup team of all time, appears revived after a humiliating(अपमानजनक/नीचा दिखलानेवाला) semifinal loss on home soil four years ago. Tite, the manager, has made the world fall in love with the Selecao again, shunning(चमकदार) the dull(सुस्त ) style of his predecessor Dunga and helping produce some captivating(लुभावना/मोहन) football. Germany, the reigning(राज्य करना) champion and the side that inflicted(फंस गया/पीड़ा पहुंचाना) a 7-1 defeat(हार/शिकस्त)on Brazil in Belo Horizonte, has looked far from its best in its last few friendly matches. But this is a world-class side with gifted, young players and is supremely organised. Spain, revitalised(पुनरुत्थान) after two poor tournaments, sacked its manager Julen Lopetegui for signing on as manager of club powerhouse Real Madrid. With a squad featuring(विशिष्ट होना/प्रकट करना) several Madrid and Barcelona players, the decision was made to retain team cohesion, which helped it sail through the qualifiers. France comes with a roster full of frightening, jaw-dropping talent, but that alone — as the Euro 2016 final demonstrated(साबित) — is never enough. Then there are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, widely regarded(मानना/आदर करना) as the greatest players of the modern era, who could well be appearing in a World Cup for the last time.
Messi has recently endured much heartbreak on national duty, Argentina finishing runner-up at the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa America. In the last of those finals, Messi missed a penalty(जुर्माना) in the shootout, after which he announced his retirement. But the little magician(जादूगर)from Rosario was persuaded(राजी/आश्वस्त) to return. It is flawed to contend that Messi needs a World Cup win to be considered(विचार करना) among the best of all time. Football, after all, is not an individual(व्यक्तिगत/विशिष्ट) sport; but there is no denying(इनकार करना/छोड़ना) that such a triumph will immortalise(अमर ) him in the hearts of Argentine fans. Ronaldo, fresh off Champions League glory with Real Madrid, continues to spearhead(पहल करनेवाला) Portugal’s challenge, displaying a phenomenal(असाधारण) level(स्तर) of fitness and skill even at 33. For host Russia, the tournament is an opportunity to showcase itself to the world at a time when its relations with the West are severely strained. Its sporting reputation needs repairing too after a massive(बड़ा/बड़े पैमाने का) doping scandal. The decision to award the 2018 FIFA World Cup to Russia eight years ago was by no means a popular one. There were allegations(आरोपों) of corruption(भ्रष्टाचार), even if a report by FIFA’s Ethics Committee cleared the Russian bid team of wrongdoing. But all that could well be forgotten if the country delivers a successful World Cup. With the award of the 2022 edition to Qatar also under sustained(लगातार/बराबर) spotlight(सुर्खियों) , much is at stake for FIFA too.
Important vocabulary
Synonyms: furor, outbreak, spurt, squall, turmoil
Antonyms: calm, peace, calmness, delay, order
2.Overwhelming(जबरदस्त )
Synonyms: amazing, astounding, crushing, devastating, mind-boggling
3.Humiliating(अपमानजनक/नीचा दिखलानेवाला)
Synonyms: demeaning, embarrassing, humbling, disgracing, opprobrious
Synonyms: beguile, bewitch, charm, dazzle, delight, enrapture
Antonyms: annoy, bore, depress, disappoint, disenchant
5.Featuring(विशिष्ट होना/प्रकट करना)
Synonyms: displaying,, headlining, highlighting,, presenting
6.Spearhead(पहल करनेवाला)
Synonyms: initiate, launch, prompt, spur, bring
Antonyms: end, finish, stop, discourage, dissuade
Synonyms: extraordinary, fantastic, marvelous, miraculous, outstanding
Antonyms: bad, common, commonplace, customary, familiar
Synonyms: accusation, charge, claim, plea, statement
Antonyms:exculpation, denial

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