I love two games in the world for the beauty of it –
1.Cricket and the beauty is named as Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
2.Football – the sheer excitement it creates in the minds and hearts of in numerous fans in the world.
Every 4 years, the fans of different footballing nations stay in anticipation for that one month of excitement pinning hopes on their favorite teams to win the World Cup. Smiles, Fights, Tears, Excitements, Hooliganism, Victory – it’s all part of this wonderful game called “Football”. The excitement is double in 2010 as the Football World Cup reaches the African Continent for the first time since it’s inception in 1930. 32 Teams will play for $30 Million Prize money and most coveted title on earth – Fifa Football World Cup Champions
I have decided to enjoy these moments along with you guys by doing a complete coverage of Fifa World Cup 2010 as i did for Euro 2008. I will try to get you the match analysis, predictions and team profiles starting from today.The 32 teams are divided in to 8 groups and they will play each other from June 11th. The top 2 teams in each group will qualify for the second stage knock – out round. First up let’s look at Group A
A relatively safe group for teams like France but may sprung up some surprises due to the unpredictable teams in the group.
The host nation – qualified for the tournament as they are hosts. The past record doesn’t speak much about their quality. Lone African nations cup win in 1996 and two first round exits in 1998 and 2002 FIFA world cups.
Bafana Bafana as they are called has one big advantage in contrast to other nations – the home advantage. We know what home advantage can do to the underdogs – South Korea in 2002 ( they were a competitive team thoough). A second round entry will be the perfect recipe for the hungry sport loving country of South Africa
Coach – Carlos Alberto Perriera
Stars to look for – Steven Pienaar, Benny Mc Carthy and Aaron Mokoena
Prediction: May sprung a surprise with home advantage – chance for second round
A few teams have underplayed to their potential in every world cup and Mexico deserve to be in that list – 13 qualifications and only twice they have made it to quarter-finals that too when world cups were played in Mexico. They have qualified for every world cup since 1994. A strong club league in the country provides abundant of talent but it doesn’t transform in to performance.
Can they live up to their potential? The tournament opener against South Africa will give us the answer.
Coach : Javier Aguierre
Star Players: Rafael Marquez, Carlos Vela, Andre Guardado and Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo
Prediction: Can qualify for the second round but they wouldn’t in my books
Two world cup wins and world class players that the country can be proud of but qualified last to the World Cup Finals after a play off with Costa Rica. The last time they won the world cup was in 1950 and nobody could understand why they could make it only two world cups in the past 20 years. With the likes of two fierce strikers and world class central defenders, Uruguay would like to keep the record straight this time around
Coach : Oscar Tabarez
Star Players : Luis Suarez and the three Diegos – Godin, Forlan and Lugano
Prediction: I expect a round of 16 tipping Mexico off if the diegos and suarez strike
If you ask small child who follows Football, a question “which is the team disliked the most in the world at the current situation?” it would be France even if that child is from France. France made it to the World Cup finals with a “Hand of Devil” goal from Thierry Henry against Ireland in the final qualifier match. It was a deliberate sabotage of fair play accord and nobody could do anything it.
But France is one of the most talented teams on paper and there is a clear chance of making it to the Round given the relatively easy group they are in. France is full of stars who can turn any game over it’s heads. But they are coming in to the world cup with the least of the support from their country. The whole country is asking for coach Domenech’s blood after a dismal qualifying performance. Can France repeat the magic of Zidane days?
Coach : Raymond Domenech
Star Players : Frank Ribery, Thierry Henry, Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema, Patrick Viera and Florent Malouda
Prediction : A second round berth for sure – But i wish they get kicked out in the first round (poetic justice??)
Group A Fixtures
Match (01) June 11- South Africa vs. Mexico
Match (02) June 11- France vs. Uruguay
Match (17) June 16- South Africa vs. Uruguay
Match (20) June 17- France vs. Mexico
Match (33) June 22- Mexico vs. Uruguay
Match (34) June 22- France vs. South Africa
See you tomorrow with some more Team Profiles – until then enjoy the Waving Flag song by K’Naan – the official anthem of World Cup 2010