International football is actually all about glory. There’s money in it for Sepp Blatter and his mates at FIFA but it’s not a serious business like European club football; livelihoods and futures don’t depend on the result. Why try to grind out a nil-nil draw and win on penalties when the whole world is watching? Why not try to score more goals than the other team?
I’d have been predisposed to enjoy Nick Hornby’s World Cup sum-up anyway, and then he went ahead and declared Belgium/USA “probably the best World Cup match of the 21st century”.