A Different View of the World' s Greatest Sport!

Ke Nako, Hamba kahle.

Its time, Farewell!

It has been a tournament to remember, whether you are a local or flew in from the far corners of the earth to be part Africa’s first highly anticipated chance to host this tournament. I’m sure I am in a position to say that it has crossed all expectations in hosting a commendable and successful World Cup.

My favorite moment out of the World Cup is the World Cup itself, as a tournament, as an event, it is an experience and I wish Sepp Blatter  could bestow upon every nation as it is an event that is able to build and unite a nation as well as it is an economical investment in the future of that nation. So thank you to FIFA for selecting South Africa and we hope that the World Cup has been as wonderful for you as it was for us locals. We can now be proud for hosting an event of this magnitude to the greatest of success.

Thank you FIFA

Thank you World Cup

-Ageez

It seems like just yesterday we were all gearing up for the main event. Vuvuzelas blowing, flags waving and people from all over the globe come to be part of the world’s biggest party. Everybody seemed to be in a festive mood wearing their best to support their respective countries. Nothing else really mattered.

The World Cup was different this time. We had a few shocks and some terrible mistakes but on the whole it was quite an entertaining World Cup. We were all stunned with Spain’s defeat to Switzerland and France, England, Italy and Brazil’s early exit. We were furious with refereeing decisions regarding offsides and disallowed goals. We were surprised with how far teams like Slovakia, Ghana, Paraguay and even Uruguay for that matter reached and were definitely mesmerized by some amazing goals and saves.

The opening and closing ceremony was breath-taking and South Africa and her people must be given their due credit for their spectacular efforts. The stadiums were grand, the people were warm and friendly, the country was beautiful and though some would say that the vuvuzelas, kuduzelas and sockzelas were annoying there are many who would beg to differ.

Spain were the crowned world champions and though I personally think that their game was not spectacular in every way, they yet deserved to win it. They got the goals when they needed them, they stood united in defence and their game was fair play even though they were faced with opponents who looked rowdy, extremely aggressive and played the game with a mentality that almost seemed disturbing.

“I prefer a very ugly game and we win, instead of a beautiful game and we lose….. We’re in a World Cup final, so it doesn’t matter how we’ve played….. These are all things that aren’t important. I don’t want friends, I want to be world champion.”                                    -Arjen Robben

The adidas Golden Boot and Best Young Player award went to Thomas Müller and was rightly deserved. For a player of 20 he was impressive. He scored 5 goals and had 3 assists.

The adidas Golden Glove went Iker Casillas another deserving candidate. He has made some impressive saves and has been a terrific captain.

Lastly, it was Diego Forlán who won the adidas Golden Ball. He has been a marvel to watch this world cup scoring 5 goals in 7 games.

So its goodbye World Cup 2010 South Africa and thank you for an entertaining month of football. But don’t be sad because in 4 years which is really, not that far away we will we saying Hola World Cup 2014 Brasil.

The Other Side

Have you noticed how there is hardly a football game these days that is played in a fair manner? How everyone loves the team when they are winning but criticizes them for the smallest faults they commit?

Paraguay v Spain

Spain were not that great against Paraguay. For a team with world class players their performance was pretty low. The score line should have read anything but 1-0 to Spain.

To begin with, Nelson Valdez’s 41st minute goal should have been allowed to stand but he was said to be offside. This nonsense of disallowing goals just because they ‘seem’ to be offside has been happening one too many times. We can’t keep blaming referees all the time so I guess goal line technology must be introduced. Then it was the penalty. The referee should have either let Xabi Alonso’s goal stay or he should have made Cardozo take the penalty again because on both occasions when the penalties were first taken there was more than one Spanish player in the box.

That is why I say that the scoreline should have been anything but 1-0 to Spain had the game been refereed well.

Netherlands v Brazil

Robben took full advantage of the situation and the referee was too blind to see it. It is more than likely that the Brazilian left flank began to get frustrated mainly because Robben seemed to be going down with every touch and the referee seemed to believe that the Brazilian left-back was constantly fouling Robben which was not really true. Felipe Melo being a hot-headed individual lost his cool and was thus red carded. Wouldn’t you react the same way if you were in his place?

Yes, the players did not have a great game but how can you forget the times they did play well and the times they did win?

Uruguay v Ghana

Do you really think Suarez ‘stole’ the game? On any other given day it would not have been such a huge issue. Do you remember the group stages when Ghana played Australia. Kewell was red-carded for a deliberate hand ball and Gyan took the penalty, only this time he converted it into a goal. Had the same thing happened against Uruguay nobody would have made such a huge issue about the incident. Suarez did what any other player would have done and hence it is wrong to accuse him of ‘stealing the game’. The grapes were sour for Ghana and hence they made a big issue out of it for nothing.

However, they must be credited for the splendid performance that they put up.

It is NOT Rooney’s fault!

Don’t blame the lad just cause he could not score a goal. Football is a team sport, not a one man show. You need (in most cases) 11 players to win a game. If you have good forwards but bad defence you are bound to lose at some point (Argentina v Germany) and if you you can only defend then, at the most you could take the game into penalties but then you are most likely to lose due to lack of good strikers.

England did not play well on the whole and picking on one player and his club manager is the stupidest thing to do.

Do you remember that game where someone says a word and you say the first thing that comes to your mind? Like I say sky and you say blue or I say foot and you say ball, well, I asked a couple of ‘futbol addicts’ what came to their mind when I said ‘World Cup’…. Here’s what sparked their mind

The most epic moments from football’s history…… bicycle kicks to score the winning goal and the immense celebrations afterwards.                                                                                                                             -Dave

Football, victory, Slovenia, stadium, supporters, anthem, flag, players, ball, euphoria, colour, Africa.                                                                                      -Karmen

Football, sexy woman, goals, pain, tears, surprises, booze, fun, friends!                                                                                                        -Justin

Ronaldo’s Haircut, Maniche’s wonderful goal, Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’, Battle of Nuremburg, South Korea Controversy.                                                                                      -Melanie

Calling the ref ‘kayu’ (which means stupid in Malay) if he makes a bad call, Drooling over the Spanish National Team and jabbing excitedly at the TV screen as well as my friends pressing up against the screen and telling the ball where to go and talking about nothing but the world cup itself.                                                                                                                                        -Jingying   France 98, World Cup, Brazil, Friendship, Solidarity, Party                                                                  -Riwan

Togetherness, 90minutes of excitement, heartbreaks, refereeing mistakes                                                                             -Koodela   Football, passion, love, loyalty, unity, colour, flag, sing, chant, scream…                                                                               -Ryan

Ryan’s England

On how far England can make it in the competition: The final! (if we don’t have to face any penalty shootouts =P)

On which team/player will excel in the competition: Teams: England, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands.

Players: Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, David Villa, Ji-Sung Park.

On England’s Main Man: Wayne Rooney. He’s one of the best strikers in the world, unstoppable. Rooney’s a real contender for the golden boot

On the Second Favorites: Spain and Brazil are always a good team to watch and any team which has Manchester United players on it. And this year Bafana Bafana as they’re the local team. I hope to see them do South Africa proud.

Yesteryears: Thrashing Croatia 5-1 at Wembley to secured qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Perfect revenge for knocking us out of Euro 2008 contention! The World Cup for England almost always ends in heartbreak. I’m praying this year will be different.

On a Personal Note

The football addict: I love football! Season ticket holder for Manchester United – I follow them all over the country and make my voice heard. This World Cup I won’t miss a game.

Celebration time! Not really. Just jump up and cheer haha.

Role of Football In Africa: It seems to have brought the whole continent of Africa together as one.

Words of Wisdom for the team: Give it all you’ve got. Make England proud!

 * The interview has been taken prior to the World Cup and hence may not reflect the current happenings in the tournament 

Ghana has been the only African team to make it to the Round of 16 and the way things look right now they may just progress to the quarter finals. Ghana’s journey so far has been quite an interesting one. If you look at the group stages you will notice that they have scored only 1 goal each in both games and both these goals have come from penalties. How lucky are they? Maybe, just maybe, a little luckier than the others at the tournament…. And the reason could be OBOUR! All of you who have watched the first match have definitely seen this man, that is if you were paying attention. I wouldn’t know about you but he certainly fascinated me.

Obour belongs to the Ashanti tribe, the largest tribe in Ghana. This tribe like many others attaches a special importance to herbs and their uses. Now in that pot are some herbs that are mixed together. The herbs are then lit in order to produce smoke and it is this smoke that is said to ward of all evil. Interesting? The words on the poster Awurade Kasa say “God should speak”

That is Ghana’s little story of Big Luck!

*Koodela is a friend of Obour and he was kind enough to give us this information. 
Thanks Koodela!

Justin’s North Korea

Though we may not know much about North Korea we can certainly say that they are a team with potential. Their performance against Brazil was remarkable and though they did not have a good game against Portugal lets not underestimate them against Côte d’Ivoire. We interviewed Justin Boes who took the time to tell us a little more about North Korea and the World Cup.

On how far North Korea can make it in the competition: If they finish first in the group, then I expect them to reach at least the quarter finals or maybe even the semi-finals. If they end second and play Spain in the first knock-out stage things might turn out a bit more difficult.

On which team/player will excel in the competition: Korea DPR will do especially well I think, they are the underdogs and people underestimate them like they did in 1966. The consequence was that Italy was defeated 1-0! I also expect New Zealand to do pretty good; they defeated Serbia in a friendly match prior to the World Cup.

On North Korea’s Main Man: Watch out for the ‘Asian Wayne Rooney’ – Jong Tae-Se! He is a key player, a very strong striker who is certainly going to be one of the most valuable players of the tournament. He scored two goals in the match against Greece in preparation of the World Cup!

On the Second Favorites: Holland, technical and superb strikers!

Yesteryears

World Cup 1966: They did great at the 1966 World Cup and lost unfortunately from an objective point of view to Portugal. That was a pity!

On a Personal Note

The football addict: I categories myself as a pure addict! I live near the Utrecht stadium, play football myself and try to watch as many matches as possible. This World Cup, I will watch all the matches, take days off or be ‘sick’ and watch it with fellow Korea DPR supporters. The World Cup is why I like football and football made my life, it influences everything. The jobs I choose the holidays I plan and friends I have. What would be left without football?

Celebration time! I would love to send a video along, if I only had one. What we normally do is take of our shirts, start running through the park and in the summer time jump into the lake! Have to love it!

Role of Football In Africa: I do not think the World Cup has changed South Africa that much, it has made the rich richer and the poor poorer…I think it is going to socioeconomically backfire!

Words of Wisdom for the team: Think about this chance, think about each other and think about the final. Do it for the people and enjoy!

* The interview has been taken prior to the World Cup and hence may not reflect the current happenings in the tournament.

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