As the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, this year’s FIFA World Cup is capturing the attention of millions online, resulting in memes aplenty inspired by key players and memorable moments.
Online commenters wasted no time in getting involved in the 2014 World Cup action and, by the time the opening ceremony had rolled around on 12 June, Twitter was a flurry of #WorldCup this and Pitbull that.
Tweeters were not impressed by the nature-themed spectacle, the trampolines, the elaborate costumes and, least of all, the theme tune performed by Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Cláudia Leitte.
But all of this was just window dressing for the main event, which kicked off with a goal to go down in internet history.
That’s right, our first internet star borne of the 2014 World Cup is Brazilian defender Marcelo, who succeeded in scoring the first goal of the tournament – only in the wrong goal.
2. The Flying Dutchman
Next up is the Netherlands’ Robin Van Persie who had a lucky day on Friday the 13th scoring two of five goals against reigning champions Spain. His spectacular diving header not only spurned a collection of memes, but has also sparked the photo fad dubbed ‘Persieing’.
3. Bruno Martins Indi’s crazy eyes
Also during the Dutch victory, Netherlands’ Bruno Martins Indi gave Spain’s Diego Costa a serious eyeballing after the latter struck him with a headbutt. A stink-eye of this magnitude was just begging for reappropriation.
Italy’s opening game against England on Saturday saw our neighbours defeated 2-1 and a love-in for Andrea Pirlo – a firm fan favourite – ensued. From the healing power of his free kicks, to the fear he instils in his opponents and the calm his presence brings to his team, this 35-year-old midfielder was already legendary before he became a meme.
Another player being lauded as a hero is Mexico’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Worship of his skills has reached god-like proportions following the team’s game against tournament hosts Brazil on Tuesday and the man himself said afterwards it was the game of his life.
6. Eamon Dunphy’s F-bombs
During the broadcast of the Mexico-Brazil match-up, the nil-all scoreline surprised the RTÉ panel, as did the fact that the cameras were rolling when Eamon Dunphy dropped not one, but two, F-bombs. Host Bill O’Herlihy’s shock has since captured thousands of views on YouTube and Vine.