FIFA World Cup 2010 :: Five Realizations We Made in South Africa
The biggest spectacle on Earth is a mere few hours away from conclusion. The journey that started two years ago will come to an end on Sunday at Soccer City when Spain take on the Netherlands in a match that will decide the eighth nation to win the World Cup.
The South Africans provided a wonderful stage for celebrating the beautiful game and this has been so far the most exciting World Cup in recent memory.
In the following slides we will take a light-hearted look into the realizations that we made during the month long football extravaganza.
Vuvuzelas are Disturbing
The vuvuzelas may be the national musical instrument for the South Africans and FIFA might not have banned them.
But one thing is sure, the vuvuzelas are really annoying and disturbing. Players of every nation objected to the use of vuvuzelas in the stadium as according to them, the buzzing noise of the vuvzelas made it hard for them to concentrate and thus affected their game.
It was even disturbing for TV viewerers who had to watch the match in low sound to avoid the annoying noise created by the continous playing of the vuvuzelas.
Nevertheless, the buzzing sound of the vuvuzelas will be associated with the 19th edition of the World Cup.
England Is Still The Most Over-hyped team
Fabio Capello learned the lesson of his life. After cruising through the qualifiers quite comfortably and with a team full of superstars Capello had no idea what was in store for him when he arrived in South Africa.
As it happens before every World Cup, England were touted as one of the favorites to win the World Cup in South Africa. With Terry, Ferdinand, Gerrard, Lampard, and Rooney present in their squad, England was one of the most likely favorites to win the World Cup on paper.
But as soon as the Englishmen took the field they proved again for the nth time that they are only a world beating team on paper. Their pathetic display against the gritty and determined Germans proved yet again that England is still the most over-hyped team in the world.
It also made us realize that if the FA does not take steps to regulate use of foreign players, the day is not far away when England will not be touted as a football superpower on paper also.
Brazil No Longer Plays the Beautiful Game
The biggest heartbreaking realization for fans of the Samba boys were that their favorite team no longer played the beautiful game for which they are widely loved all around the world.
The Brazilians were known for their decent behavior, sporting nature, and most importantly the beautiful game that they played.
But they disappointed their fans by their on-field behavior against the Dutch. The Dutch are known for their thuggish football and use of physical strength but they too looked decent compared to Brazil's ill-tempered challenges and on-field behaviors.
Dunga had been widely criticized for trying to change the South Americans' slow, steady style of play into fast, physical European style.
His change of style not only affected the South Americans' performance but also dented their reputation of being gentlemen on the field. Felipe Melo's intentional foot-stabbing of Robben not only earned him a booking but also shocked Brazilian fans all around the fans.
This World Cup showed us a different Brazilian side, a tough tackling, ill-tempered, and impatient team very different from the one we are used to see.
Star Players Underperform for Their Nations
The 19th edition of the FIFA World Cup proved a point that has been long debated. The famed star players lack commitment when they play for their nation compared to their clubs.
Be it the goalscoring machine Rooney, or the costliest player in the world Ronaldo, or the highly regarded Messi. The majority of the so called world renonwed players failed to perform for their countries in the international stage.
England's Wayne Rooney was the second highest goalscorer in the 2009-10 EPL season for his club Manchester United. But during the World Cup his performance was disappointing. It seemed as if he had forgot to bring his scoring boots to South Africa.
Ronaldo also looked off color. Except a few flashes of brilliance he was largely a shadow in the field and did not look worth his sky-soaring price.
Messi, the successor to Maradona performed better than most of his famous colleagues but the sharpness we are usually habituated to see in Barca colors was missing.
Same applies for Kaka, Lampard, Van Persie, Torres, Terry and others. It seems the star players lack some sort of motivation while playing for their nation. The commitment levels for their nations are much less than for their clubs.
It might be lack of monetary incentives or tiredness that results from the overcrowded club fixtures that are usually associated in modern day football.
But our hopes of watching our stars play in their usual form in the World Cup might never be fulfilled.
FIFA Does Not Choose the Best Referees for World Cup
This World Cup at South Africa was most probably the worst refereed of all-times.
With numerous blunderous decisions robbing countries of their chances to achieve glory, this World Cup put FIFA under pressure to use technology in making such decisions.
Be it the blunder by Mali referee Koman Coulibaly that cost the United States an inspiring win, or the wrong decision by Italian referee Roberto Rosetti that cost Mexico a quarter-final berth or the error by Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda who disallowed a goal from Frank Lampard, there is no denying the facts that FIFA will be under immense pressure to use technology.
The quality of the referees were worse this time and players as well as supporters were missing superb referees like Pierlugi Collina. The 2010 World Cup also proved that FIFA has not been diligent in choosing their referees as some of them were not even worthy of supervising a school level match.