Remember the Women’s World Cup? Hell of a party, wasn’t it?
The last bit of clean-up duty happened yesterday as FIFA released the World Cup All-Star squad, celebrating the tournament’s 23 best players.
Goalkeepers: Nadine Angerer (GER), Karen Bardsley (ENG), Hope Solo (USA)
Defenders: Saori Ariyoshi (JPN), Lucy Bronze (ENG), Kadeisha Buchanan (CAN), Steph Houghton (ENG), Julie Johnston (USA), Meghan Klingenberg (USA), Wendie Renard (FRA)
Midfielders and forwards: Ramona Bachmann (SUI), Lisa De Vanna (AUS), Amandine Henry (FRA), Elise Kellond-Knight (AUS), Eugénie Le Sommer (FRA), Carli Lloyd (USA), Anja Mittag (GER), Aya Miyama (JPN), Megan Rapinoe (USA), Mizuho Sakaguchi (JPN), Celia Sasic (GER), Elodie Thomis (FRA), Rumi Utsugi (JPN).
Unsurprisingly, five members of the squad were from the world champion United States national team, including Golden Glove winner Hope Solo and Golden Ball recipient, Carli Lloyd.
I’m not stupid enough to position myself as anything approaching a women’s soccer expert, but after watching my fair share of this summer’s Word Cup, I know that there is a glaring omission from this All-Star squad: Colombia’s supremely talented and wonderfully confident attacker, Lady Andrade.
Remember when she made all of England populace want to distance itself from any of those bold “birthplace of the game” claims?
Or the time she lead Colombia to an improbable upset over France and danced around its defenders out of what looked like a mix of spite and boredom. It was wonderful.
Before the World Cup, had I ever seen Lady Andrade kick a ball, or so much as heard her name before? Nope. But as Common said, “It don’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine.” And that’s what Lady Andrade was to this summer’s tournament. As far as I’m concerned, the Wambach-punching, goal-scoring, “I will shame you on Vine with no remorse” Colombian was the bright, glowing orb around which the rest of the World Cup revolved.
An All-Star squad without Lady Andrade is not only incomplete, it sends a bad message to the youth. Young people need to know that in the so-called beautiful game, style can be just as important as substance. Sometimes, as a player you have to try shit just for the sake of trying shit. No player — with all apologies to my patriotism and the great Megan Rapinoe — put on a better display of style and substance than Andrade did this summer.
Her omission from this list is the surest sign yet of rampant FIFA corruption. Sepp Blatter should be forced to stand trial and explain why he hates art.