Tag Archives: World Cup 2010

All hail San Iker and Pulpo Paul!

Germany Fan by Ines Eiban

Germany Fan by Ines Eiban

Just like four years ago, the biggest star of the World Cup has hung up his boots after it. Like Zinedine Zidane before him, Paul the psychic octopus has had enough and opted for retirement.

Both used their heads to great effect in their respective tournaments, but it was ‘Okrakel Paul’ who used his to great effect throughout, correctly predicting all eight matches he was asked to and making a mockery of his chief rival, Mani the psychic parakeet, who declared The Netherlands would win the final. Hmmm…

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The World Cup legacy

As seen at the MTN Fan Zone in Montecasino, Johannesburg. Photo (cc) flickr user Axel Bührmann

As seen at the MTN Fan Zone in Montecasino, Johannesburg. Photo (cc) flickr user Axel Bührmann

The world’s most spectacular football bonanza; the World Cup, has finally come to an end. Looking back at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, it will be remembered by many with nostalgia.

Both on and off the pitch, the tournament was never short of drama.  There were lots of surprises on the pitch. Spain, the reigning champions, lost their first match to Suisse. England and Argentina were crashed out by Germany in convincing victories as Holland cut Brazil`s dream for their sixth win of the coveted trophy. The Black Stars of Ghana wrote their own history by reaching the quarter finals. All the other African teams crashed out in the first round.

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May the best team win

Photo (cc) flickr user craig Quimby

It turned out that Paul the Octopus was right. Photo (cc) flickr user craig Quimby

So the Deutschland dream is over. Buried in a wave of tiki-taka. Yeah, Spain was much superior to Germany and totally deserved their win, but how boring is it to watch them play? Pass, pass, pass. Then pass, pass, pass again. And again, for 73 minutes until they broke German hearts with a goal ‘made in Barcelona.’

It got ugly here in Berlin once the final whistle blew. Schland der Tränen. Everyone annoyed and crestfallen. Frustration at not getting hold of the ball, being unable to do anything worthwhile with it when they did, and the dawning of reality; things too good to be true usually are.

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Germany, spain, and the octopus

Fans watched tensely as Germany faced Spain this week.  Photo (cc) flickr user monicamüller

Fans watched tensely as Germany faced Spain this week. Photo (cc) flickr user monicamüller

It was painful and sad for me to see Germany knocked out of the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. I had predicted that Germany would lift the coveted trophy this year.

I watched the game with some sense of confidence. But with a cagey first half, the game became lively in the second half as both teams sought to edge out the opponent.

Puyol’s header gave the Spaniards a World Cup final ticket and robbed me of my spirits. After 90 minutes of play, I knew I had been wrong.

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Tentacle of doom predicts Albiceleste defeat

Germany fans are hoping for another win in Saturday's game against Argentina. © ATP Yoshihiro KOIKE / dpa

Germany fans are hoping for another win in Saturday's game against Argentina. © ATP Yoshihiro KOIKE / dpa

So-called experts are notorious for getting it wrong. As soon as they open their mouths, a curse is cast on whoever has the misfortune to be spoken about.

“Ronaldo’s in great form. He’ll bring Portugal far.” Cue Portugal’s exit.

“Franck Ribéry will take the competition by storm.” Cue France’s ignominious exit.

“Wayne Rooney will explode into action at any time.” Cue England’s exit following Rooney’s perplexing lack of combustion.

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Getting Klose to making history

Klose after a goal in Germany's game against England.  Photo Franck Faugere / dpa

Klose after a goal in Germany's game against England. Photo Franck Faugere / © dpa

 “Here’s the man who is on the track to history,” said a commentator of German footballer Miroslav Klose during the Germany-Australia game.  At first I thought he was talking about the World Cup title, but, unsure, I asked a Brazilian fan sitting next to me.  Klose, he explained, is just four goals away from snatching the title of most World Cup goals scored from Brazilian player Ronaldo.

It was news that made me silently curse the referee who, in a match against Serbia, gave Klose a red card, effectively kicking him out of the game in the 36th minute of play. Germany lost to Serbia 1-0. But that’s all part of the game.

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Is the United States indifferent to the World Cup?

United States' Landon Donovan (L) and Clint Dempsey are dejected during the FIFA World Cup 2010 group C match between Slovenia and USA June 18. The Game ended in a 2-2 draw. Photo: Jonathan Moscrop, picture alliance / (c) dpa

United States' Landon Donovan (L) and Clint Dempsey are dejected during the FIFA World Cup 2010 group C match between Slovenia and USA June 18. The Game ended in a 2-2 draw. Photo: Jonathan Moscrop, picture alliance / (c) dpa

Every four years the World Cup stops the world in its tracks and every four years the US media has a public debate: Will this be the year the Americans catch football fever? There are certainly many us who have been waiting for this month ever since 2006.

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