The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘meme’ as an “idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”.
And like any highly-publicised event, the 2014 FIFA World Cup has set the Internet ablaze with numerous memes over the past month.
Whether funny or creative, they have kept us entertained.
In no particular order, here are some of Metro Online Broadcast’s (MOB) favourite World Cup memes.
The logo for this year’s World Cup was designed after the iconic FIFA World Cup Trophy, but netizens could not help but notice that it bore a stunning resemblance to another famous Internet meme: Star Trek Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s facepalm pose.
Against the odds, Mexico held Brazil to a scoreless draw during their group stage match, thanks to the superb efforts of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Although Mexico were later eliminated in the second round, Ochoa’s outstanding performance resulted in many Mexican netizens hailing him as their national hero.
Ochoa shares the spotlight with manager Miguel Herrera, whose wild, energetic antics on the sidelines gained fame even before the tournament started. Reddit user Chluaid was credited for adding anime-inspired visual effects to one of Herrera’s most well-known celebration videos.
The Flying Dutchman
The dramatic first goal by the Netherlands against Spain in the group stage created this meme, alternatively known as ‘VanPersie-ing’. Dutch forward Robin Van Persie’s incredible flying header led to the spawning of various manipulated images, featuring the soaring Van Persie.
Current title holders Spain saw a shocking early exit from the tournament and a string of memes followed, including one spectator who was lucky enough to get his message broadcasted.
The Korean newscaster
Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) newscaster Jang Ye Won became an Internet sensation overnight when netizens started fawning over a video of her covering the Spain-Chile match. This bubbly 24-year-old gained an estimated 12,000 new Twitter followers in the span of just two weeks.
Suarez bites again
Without a doubt, the most circulated meme of the tournament comes from Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, who had bitten a player for the third time in his career. On top of the Jaws and Hannibal references, a large number of companies have even made use of the meme in their advertising.
Giant-slayer Costa Rica
The world had already written off Costa Rica’s chances of making it past the group stage after being drawn into the same group as three previous World Cup winners - Uruguay, Italy and England. However, they managed to pull off the biggest upset of the tournament by finishing the group stage undefeated and in first place.
Tim Howard’s saves
The United States is not that big when it comes to football (or soccer as the Americans call the sport), but goalkeeper Tim Howard’s record-breaking 16 saves against Belgium made him a national hero despite their eventual loss and elimination. Thanks to his performance, numerous parody images of him spawned with the hashtag, #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave.
Sabella falling over
Argentine manager Alejandro Sabella spawned the latest meme to go viral after he was caught losing his balance on camera when reacting to forward Gonzalo Higuain’s shot being blocked in the match against Belgium. Within one hour of the live broadcast, Sabella was already all over the Internet.
World Cup 2014: Catch the grand finale