2010 FIFA World Cup: South Africa Proved the World Wrong

Andrew McNairSenior Writer IJuly 13, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 11: Andres Iniesta of Spain scores the opening goal as Rafael Van der Vaart of the Netherlands tries to defend during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images


It is with some sadness that I come to you for the final time from the streets of Port Elizabeth. However, it gives me great pleasure to mark the end of what has been a very successful and safe World Cup.

Just like I always said it would be.

The headline of the local paper this morning said all I need to say about the final—"Spain Reign." It was no classic but at least one team were able to win it without the lottery of penalties.

I spent the match at the St. George's Fan Park watching the biggest screen in the country in the wind and rain, but it had to be done. It was possibly a once in a lifetime moment.

There is a plan in my head to attend many future major tournaments, but there is no certainty in life, and I made sure I took as many experiences from this African adventure as I possibly could.

Nearly 14,000 fans joined me last night and 250,000 passed through the gates of the fan zone over what seemed like the shortest month of my life.

It was the third highest attended zone in the country and I’ll always remember celebrating every one of South Africa’s three world cup goals amongst the huge crowds, watching England get hammered by Germany and spending the early kickoffs lying in the sun with a Prego roll and a cheeky beer.

They were very good times indeed.


My last game

Saturday night saw Port Elizabeth host its one and only night match of the tournament as Germany squared off with Uruguay in the playoff for third place.

It was one of the games of the tournament despite yet more rain here in the Eastern Cape. The 3-2 comeback win for Germany had it all, including the goal that won Tommy Mueller the golden boot and a fantastic scissor kick by player of the tournament Diego Forlan.

Compared to the final, this one was a classic.

I witnessed eight matches in all at the tournament and saw three of the four best teams in the tournament live. Mueller and Forlan played here not once but twice, and it was great to watch the two players of the tournament more than once.

The only regret is that Miroslav Klose was not fit enough to compete in this match, as I’m sure with the open nature of the game, the German legend would have made history in at least equalling the all-time WC goal scoring record of 15 goals.


Over for some but not for me

Most fans will continue streaming out of the country over the next few days, but I hope like me, some get to stay on for a while and experience even more of this wonderful country.

I still can’t believe it is over to be honest. 10 years coming and done in what seems like an instant.

Well done South Africa, you made this honouree Saffa very proud indeed and together we disproved the shameful bashing of this event before it had even kicked off, to be absolutely baseless.

And to all those who never came because you listened to the international press, I hope you are a little bit wiser in the future.

You missed one hell of a show.

Andrew McNair has written for broadcasting giants Setanta and Fox Sports as well as Scottish newspapers the Evening Times and Sunday Herald. If you have any questions about the 2010 World Cup or this blog you can contact him atscotinsa@hotmail.com . If you enjoy his work you can join his group at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=35412076250 . He will writing on an almost daily basis for the duration of the 2010 World Cup from South Africa. Previous editions of the blog can be found on this website.