George Vecsey

George Vecsey

I’ve had a few friends tell me they’ve been suffering “World Cup blues” since the football fiesta officially came to an end July 13th when Germany won its fourth world title in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I’ve prescribed Eight World Cups as an antidote for their World Cup blues. It’s a new book by George Vecsey, longtime sports columnist for the New York Times newspaper.

In the book, the 75-year-old Vecsey reflects on some of his experiences covering the eight World Cups before Brazil 2014. For those keeping score, that’s Spain 1982; Mexico 1986; Italy 1990; USA 1994; France 1998; Japan-South Korea 2002; Germany 2006; and South Africa 2010.

My Voice of America colleague Parke Brewer reached Vecsey by phone in New York before the Brazil tournament kicked off and asked him, which World Cup was your favorite as a reporter?

The book has some humorous sections, including a chapter called “Marking Maradona,” in which Vecsey tries to get an interview with Argentina’s football great. As George told Parke, Maradona fooled him when he reached him by telephone in Naples, Italy.

But you can’t fool George Vecsey when it comes to World Cup predictions. Parke asked him which team was likely to lift the trophy on July 13th.

Vecsey replied, “I’ve worked it out in my mind that the one nation that is on the brink of becoming a World Cup champion, for the last two, and now is at its peak with great players and is certainly strong-minded enough to go to Brazil and blind out all distractions is Germany. I think Germany is ready to win the World Cup.”