Friday, 25 June 2010

CONMEBOL's World Cup

So... The first round of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa is now complete, and all the teams that qualified from South America are through to the next round!!!This is only to prove the rise of football level from our vast lands.

But is it really a surprise?? South American teams have a history of being very strong football nations (9 World Cups in total, anyone??) and even though Brazil and Argentina are the most recent -and more famous- successes from this area, you can only be fooled by believing that the other National teams are all but finished. 2 of those World Cups belong to Uruguay, a team that, yes, they won it back in the 30s and 50s, but it's one of those nice 'surprises' in this tournament. And it shouldn't be... they have the same amount of Cups as Argentina!!

Surely with the next World Cup being in Brazil, it is almost guaranteed that they'll win it... they have the team, and now finally the home advantage... But someone else can give them another Maracanazo... and I could bet it won't come from a European country...

Coming to South Africa, it was rumoured that FIFA were considering taking away a qualifying spot to the South American group, CONMEBOL, because of the World Cup being celebrated there and had already one team automatically qualified -Brazil. But I ask... did they do that to Africa??? No, they didn't. They have 5 spots PLUS the host, in this case South Africa... so I wonder, why not South America? Haven't we shown enough to prove we deserve that place? How many Europeans made it to the second round? How many Africans, with their extra spot??? And playing beautiful football!!!!

All I can say is that I asked for a great tournament full of excitement and sublime football... and I think we can agree that has been provided by the South Americans... the ones you usually follow, and the ones you're quite surprised how they got there.

Thank you Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay for putting our race up there where it belongs!!!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

World Cup's here!!

Have you done your bets yet?
Here are my last 4: In no particular order: England, Holland, Spain and Argentina.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

They thought it was all over...

...but Rafa has done it again!
Rafael Nadal has confirmed today that he is indeed the King of Clay. After such a terrible year with injuries and personal problems, he came back to the clay season with a vengeance, and what a vengeance for that matter! He just never looked like losing at any moment. He made Federer look 'average' in Madrid, and today against Robin Soderling, I bet most of us wondered more than once "Is he really the guy that beat him flat last year???".
He's back to be Number 1, taking Federer's crown once more. All I can say is that this is a reborn Rafa. The people that wrote him off last year after all the injuries and started hinting at an early retirement I'm pretty sure were glued to the TV today thinking how silly they were.
Can't wait for Wimbledon now!!!


Thursday, 3 June 2010

Thank you Rafa!

For all the happiness you brought us, and the players that followed you, and because I really enjoyed the brief "spanishation" of Liverpool FC.
I thank you Rafael Benitez.
Wish you the best in future endeavours. Too bad it had to end this way :(

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

World Cup... The name says it all

Every football fan in the world has a date every four years. It doesn't matter what country they are from, what ideology they profess or language they speak. Nothing can separate a passionate football fan from their greatest love.
There are people who quantify their lives depending on how many World Cups have they lived through, either watching matches live or via radio and TV.
It's a WORLD cup, not only because the best teams on the planet are going to fight for the title, but because those who weren't as lucky to see their own country qualify for the finals are able to 'adopt' a new country not to miss out on the party. There are not only 32 countries fighting for the Cup, it's the whole world, that remains behind them and makes part of their armies.
There's nothing more exciting and show-stopping than the World Cup Final. I dare say that there are 3 things that divide the world at that time: The Greenwich Meridian, the Equator... and the World Cup Final.
For football there's nospecific time and place since its birth in England in the 19th Century. To the true fan, no exterior factor will stop them, they'll only follow their heart. And in that way, as we wait for a lover to come back from a long trip, we count the days, hours and minutes for the World Cup to come back into our lives and show it how we have prepared for it in the past 4 years.
But that's the way it is. The best things in life come in small packages, or so they say. That's probably why our passion is still alive. The flame that was lit on 2nd July 1930 in Montevideo, Uruguay, has not burnt out and it never will!