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Posts tagged ‘world cup’

When I ‘Foot’ You Say ‘Ball’

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 

Obour’s Lucky Charm=Ghana’s Success

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!

Karmen’s Slovenia

When you look at Group C the countries that grab your attention are England and USA. Slovenia and Algeria were not really given that much attention. If you look at the table, you will see Slovenia sitting at the top with 4 points, something not a lot of people expected.

Now for those of you who do not know much about Slovenia here’s a little trivia. They previously played for the Yugoslavia national football team. It was only after the split of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991 that they played their first game which was in 1992. This is only their second World Cup. Prior to this they played in the 2002 FIFA World Cup but were eliminated in the group stages. They are currently 25th on the FIFA world ranking.

Karmen Kutin gives us her view of Slovenia and the World Cup.

On how far Slovenia can make it in the competition: I don’t know, If we will play good football and have a little luck, we can come up to the quarterfinals…if not, we won’t be too disappointed, because the mere fact, that we have come to the World Cup is a great success for Slovenia!

On which team/player will excel in the competition: England, Portugal, Argentina, Netherlands, France, Spain… these are all strong, quality teams. In my opinion, there are no favorites; all of them can surprise us! (so true) As far as the players are concerned… all of them are good in some way, but I think Lionel Messi will be brilliant.

On Slovenia’s Main Man: I will mention a few of them: Novakovič Milivoje, Koren Robert, Dedič Zlatko, Birsa Valter, Komac Andrej….. but every single player in our team is good! And together they are a great team. They have a strong heart and a desire to succeed! These boys are our pride and hope and we are always with them!

On the Second Favorites: Besides the Slovenian team I enjoy watching Netherlands, Portugal and England play…of course there are also other interesting matches, but when Slovenia lose, my favorites would definitely be Netherlands. Regarding players, my favorite player is Steven Gerard.

Yesteryears This is Slovenia’s second World Cup so there is not much to say but I remember the big finale between Italy and France in 2006, when Italy won. There were a lot of happy, sad, funny and shocking moments… we laughed, cried and cheered… football is a game where everything can happen. Of course, the happiest recently event is victory over Russia…it was a holiday for everybody in Slovenia, we were all celebrating!

On a Personal Note

The football addict: For me, football is the best game ever! I like to watch, play and discuss it. I would really love to go to South Africa and support my team, but it is too expensive for me, so unfortunately, I will had to stay at home and watch it on TV… Waiting for FIFA World Cup 2010 was long, exciting and nervous…we had to go through qualification and we were in a very tough group, and therefore the last win against Russia was even sweeter. We have demonstrated our ability and our heart and that’s why we deserved to go to South Africa!

Superstitious? No, I’m not superstitious when it comes to the game… all I have is a Slovenian flag or scarf around my neck, because I think it is necessarily… 🙂

Celebration time! Nothing special… we sing songs, our football anthem and we have the Slovenian flag 🙂 I’m from a little village, but if you go to a bigger town, people are on the streets, they watch the match on the big screen, there is music and the atmosphere is excellent! These people live for football and Slovenia!

Role of Football In Africa: I think the World Cup hasn’t changed South Africa, but it is a great event for the whole of Africa. Football has a special place in the hearts of Africans, they really love this game!

Words of Wisdom for the team: I would say: “Guys, you are simply the best, show them who we are and play with your heart! You are my heroes and you will always be! Let’s play!”

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

The French Fiasco

France’s early World Cup exit will come as a shock to many. The Reason: France have some of the finest players, they have won the World Cup and were considered as one of the favorites this time, they were said to have one of the easier groups in the competition and were expected to top it. So occupying last place in the group with just 1 point and a goal difference of -3 is a little disgraceful. Besides, let’s not forget their behavior off the pitch. They refused to train and Anelka was sent home for verbally abusing his manager at half time of Round II.

Sapphaz (with inputs from Zanzy), tells us what she thought of France this World Cup.

First of all, I do not support France and neither do I support any of the teams from Group A hence I’m not going to be biased here. I think France did not deserve to be in the competition in the first place. It was Henry’s handball which sent them through to the finals. Had this injustice not have happened, I don’t think France would have even qualified. If you look at it now, Ireland stood a better chance any day.

Moving on to the group stages, we did not see France play the way they usually do. In fact, they were terrible. For a country who reached the finals last World Cup, it’s a shock to see them exit so early this time. Inspite of having quite a few world class players they did not manage to win a single game. I would not blame the players here. They did try, but their job is to play and it is the manager’s job to tell them how. Every team has had their share of problems but there is a way of dealing with it.

Lastly, France looked to be a very disinterested team. The World Cup is about giving your best, where countries come together to fight till the very end. So if you are going to have a team like France in the competition who seems to lack interest in the game…. the tournament is going to get boring. (Imagine if every game was like France v Uruguay)

I’m happy that France are out now, they anyways never deserved to be there in the first place. I do, however, feel sorry for the players and the supporters.

Talking about the supporters, many of them have traveled over 5000 miles to cheer on their team. This hasn’t been a very cheerful World Cup for them. Prior to the start of the tournament I managed to get in touch with a French supporter, Riwan Makhlouf. Here’s what he had to say:

On his love for football: Bill Shankly once said “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I’m very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it’s much more important than that.” This is my point of view when it comes to football.

On which team/player will excel in the competition: I think England & Gerrard will create a huge impact. Brazil, Germany and Spain too stand a chance. I would like a surprise from one of the African countries.

On how far France could have made it in the competition: If we play well we can reach upto the very end. There is no such thing as CAN’T.

On France’s main man: Malouda and Anelka play for Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in England where they helped win the league. Ribery is another important player. I personally think Diaby has good tactics.

Yesteryears: France 98 will remain one of the most beautiful moments of my life. A magnificent mix of culture, a chaotic beginning and victory at the very end. The return of a whole nation united around the same cause.

Words of Wisdom for the team: Today you are the ones representing your country. You are eyes and heart of France. Forget your names, your culture, your family and your clubs and play in unity for your country.

Chile v Switzerland

1st Half Analysis

Chile so far is impressive and so is Benaglio. I think Behrami’s red card was too harsh. You may not agree with me but I have seen players do this sort of thing all the time and at the most they are shown a yellow card but never a direct red. With Switzerland down to 10 men and Chile pushing forward what do you think the fulltime score line is going to show? At half time it stands at 0-0. (more…)

Portugal v North Korea

1st Half Analysis

Nothing much to report except that Portugal have the lead. Some of the Portuguese players, however, need to pick up their game. I personally feel that North Korea’s defence is not the same as it were against Brasil. However, that maybe because they have already conceded a goal and if they are to get something from this game they need to go up front. At Half time Portugal lead 1-0. (more…)