The 2010 World Cup in South Africa has come to an end and it won’t be until the year 2014 that the world will be able to cherish an event of this magnitude.We leave South Africa with new life, new spirits and the understanding of the beauty that a country in turmoil can have. The World Cup has been an overall success but was still filled with plenty of controversy. Here are a few headlines that stood out to me from this year’s World Cup event….
Spain wins its first ever World Cup title
Soccer power Spain wins the 2010 World Cup by defeating the Netherlands in a 1-0 thriller that was decided in an extra time goal by Midfielder Andres Iniesta. The underachieving Spain, as good as they’ve been, had never won a World Cup in the history of their national soccer team, let alone make it to a World Cup finals match. This “Golden Generation” of Spaniards led by #1 ranked goalie in the world, IkerCasillas and veteran defensive stalwart CarlesPuyol, won the title despite only scoring eight goals in the tournament, setting the mark for the fewest goals scored by a champion in the history of the World Cup.
The Demise of Futbol giants
We witnessed the fall of superior soccer powers this year, England, France, Italy and Ivory Coast all failed to make it out of the first round. Italy, the 2006 World Cup champions, failed to win a single game in this years’ tournament and finished last in its group. As for England, France and Ivory Coast this will be a World Cup to forget for them. The gap between the superior and the inferior continues to diminish as every World Cup comes along.
The Jabulani not good for the game
The one major disappointment out the World Cup was the Jabulani ball. The ball that was scientifically tested to improve the games’ speed was a failure in my book. Many players complained about the Jabulani’s small size and its exaggerating trajectory when bouncing off the ground. Watching the games, the players proved to be right as it was obvious that players were having trouble adjusting to the ball. The Jabulanimade the game look like a pinball machine, making the goalies look like they were capable of scoring every time they cleared the ball from their own goal post, literally. The poor display of refereeing was also a low blow to a great world cup.
Overall it was a great month of soccer for fans all over the world, it transcended all color barriers and cultural differences, and for at least this period of time, people united and became one, to embrace the historic event. Kudos to South Africa for the hospitality and class that they showed, for being a country with one of the highest crime rates in the world, no major incidents were reported during the event. So long World Cup and thanks for the memories, See you in four years.