Monday, May 24, 2010
Why I love the World Cup
First and foremost, the Football World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet. Whilst I love the club team Leeds United more than any other sporting team there ever was or ever will be (by a long long way) the Football World Cup as a tournament dwarfs anything and everything. It is a month of a smorgasbord of football. 64 mouth-watering games with 32 teams (countries) battling it out for the right to call themselves world champions.
Qualification for the Football World Cup is arduous. The same countries do not appear in every tournament as qualification is so intense and difficult for many teams. Each World Cup there are big football nations that miss out on the competition such as Netherlands in 02. The 2010 version does not feature Croatia, Russia and Czech Republic for example.
Would England v Germany have quite the same bite without (for example)
Would England Argentina have quite the same bite without
- the Maradona ‘Hand-of-God’ in 86,
Football history is littered with these kinds of rivalries. In the 2006 World Cup Angola found themselves in the same group as Portugal – the country from which they gained their independence in 1975. (They lost 1-0). In 2002 the opening game of the World Cup was Senegal France. Senegal gained its independence from France in 1960 and one of France’s best ever footballers, who happened to be playing in that match was Patrick Vieira – a man born in Senegal. Senegal stunned the football world with a beautiful 1-0 victory. That match epitomised in many ways the beauty of both football and the World Cup in general.
The 2010 Football World Cup will be a month long carnival no doubt featuring
- many of the world’s best footballers (who by virtue of this are also celebrities)
- brilliant games
- spectacular goals
- scrappy, lucky goals,
- sublime skill
- controversial decisions
- one or two minnows who surprise the world and make the quarter-finals
- massive games between footballing powerhouses
- unlucky, unjustified and justified suspensions from some of the bigger games
- the drama of at least one penalty shoot-out
- the odd bit of hooliganism
- MUCH MUCH MORE.
What can you expect from this blog as we countdown to (and during) the tournament? I will be profiling each team, each group. I will be discussing team and squad selections, pointing out some of the interesting ironies, analysing the games, perhaps making the odd prediction or two and a lot more.
Join me on this journey. Comment, discuss, and argue over the beautiful game on the biggest stage of them all.