London, Boston, and New York will stage their annual 26-mile marathons again in 2010, but the biggest sporting marathon that will take place in the next 12 months is the upcoming football season.
Starting next month, the sport’s biggest names will grace the greatest football stadiums in the world until mid-May, all chasing the glory of prestigious club honours, all transfixed by the gleaming trophies that stand before them, waiting to be lifted by the triumphant.
Then the world’s most talented footballers congress in South Africa for the greatest show on Earth: The World Cup.
Expect non-stop fireworks from August to July.
Only the most dedicated, hungry and gifted will emerge as victors from the 11-month battle for some of sport’s biggest prizes. With muscles aching and limbs screaming for rest after a rigorous domestic campaign, the World Cup next summer will push even football’s strongest athletes to physical limits. There will be no big summer holiday in 2010 for the world’s top footballers.
There will be for the world’s biggest football fans though, with a feast of competitions that can guarantee epic entertainment.
World-renowned stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Kaka will tip-toe their talent all over football’s most celebrated amphitheatres, providing scintillating spectacle after scintillating spectacle at magnificent arenas like Old Trafford, The Nou Camp and The San Siro.
Those lucky enough to gain entry will create colourful backdrops to the dazzling drama on the pitch and provide deafening backing vocals to the main act. The rest of the world can sit back and watch the show in the comfort of their own living rooms.
Special players always guarantee great goals and magic moments, but this season should have extra spice to it.
The world’s top three players—Ronaldo, Messi, and Kaka—all play for either Real Madrid or Barcelona now, possibly spelling the end of English clubs’ dominance of Europe.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal will still challenge Spain’s finest hard for the Champions League though, and Italy’s two Milan giants can never be dispelled.
It promises to be one of the most keenly contested European campaigns in recent times.
Domestic league matches are what provide the weekly dose of excitement for football fans around the world though.
The Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A are the three most renowned leagues in world football, but every nation has its own that it cherishes.
The league is the bread and butter of football, and for most clubs, being No. 1 in their home country remains the prime focus.
English fans can look forward to a dramatic title race this coming campaign, with Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea all appearing evenly matched as kick-off approaches.
With players trying hard this season to catch the eye of international coaches ahead of the World Cup, fans can expect hard-fought matches all year with players straining every muscle to impress.
Why? Because no footballer wants to sit at home next summer when fellow professionals are jetting off to play in the pinnacle of all footballing competition.
The first World Cup ever to be played in Africa promises a spectacular scenery of colour throughout the whole tournament, with African fans putting on a show to prove they are more than capable of staging a successful and memorable World Cup.
Most of the world’s heavyweight nations are expected to qualify for the tournament so fans can expect classic matches featuring classic goals for the whole competition.
Spain may appear the best equipped to lift the World Cup currently, but international tournaments rarely go as expected.
The favourite to win rarely does.
With so many other quality footballing nations such as Brazil, Argentina, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany and even England, the tournament should prove to be another enthralling and open spectacle with success not guaranteed for any country, no matter how good their past form.
The World Cup will merely be the finale to a wonderful 11-month stretch of world-class football though. Fans across the world are currely drooling at the prospect, which promises so many twists and turns.
London, Boston, and New York just simply cannot compete with the upcoming football season to be the biggest marathon in the world.
There is no hard-running for the fans though, just a feast of entertainment. Enjoy it.