Day one had Neymar. On day two it was the destructive Dutch signalling the end of Spanish dominance. By the time Costa Rica began their success story by beating Uruguay on day three, we thought we might get lulled into believing this World Cup had something special in store for us only to see pragmatism quickly take over.
But as we hurtle towards the final week of the tournament and the remaining eight games that will determine the new world champions, it is fair to say that whatever happens between now and next Sunday evening, there has not been a World Cup like this in a number of generations. If at all, in fact.
We’ve seen editions before which have been heavy in goals. In 1998 there were a record 171, while the 5.38 goals per game scored in 1954 will surely never be matched. But while in France ’98 there were two 5-0s a 6-1 and a 4-1, and Switzerland in ’54 had scorelines of 9-0, 8-3, 7-0 and 7-2, we have yet to see a true trouncing in Brazil.