It’s impossible to not put the World Cup winners in a list of winners of the tournament. Spain were the favorites to start the tournament & went on to win the whole thing. Most impressive is the fact that they bounced back well from a poor start against the Swiss and were able to play an attractive style of football throughout.
Nobody really expected anything much from Uruguay before this tournament, but they came in confident and with a team that could certainly do the job here and they did it very well, going all the way to the Semi-Finals and while they’ll be disappointed they weren’t able to go on and make the final, they gained a lot of respect.
OK, so this may sound bizarre, nobody expected anything of New Zealand, most people picked them to come 32nd or 31st, yet they did well, and while some people may still think they didn’t do anything, they were moments away from qualifying for the second round, and were it not for a penalty they could well have been in there. New Zealand make the list for being the only team to finish the whole tournament undefeated, everybody apart from New Zealand lost at least one game, impressive for a team that was expected to fail spectacularly & in a group containing the defending world champions.
I know we all hate him. I know Sepp Blatter comes up with 100 ideas a day and 101 of them are bad. I agree, he’s awful. However he comes out of the World Cup as a winner for sticking by South Africa, when everyone else was looking to try and steal the World Cup away from South Africa, Blatter stuck by them and insisted they were the only option.
The most embarrassing team in the tournament, but not many of us were surprised. They got into the tournament under dubious circumstances and left most of us wishing that the Irish had qualified as they bored us with their incompetence and went out of the tournament backwards, losing a lot of credibility in the process. At least the off field drama was exciting to watch.
Definitely not as high profile as the French failure, but perhaps more intriguing, where it was obvious why the French failed, it seems less obvious why the Italians fails, add to that the fact that they qualified fairly comfortably and it’s intriguing. It seems to me the reason for Italy’s failure was that they used pretty much the same 23, they weren’t so much experienced as they were really really old. A sad end to the international careers of a number of great players.
While Nike may end up a financial winner from their brilliant ambush marketing they definitely come out as losers from a football perspective. While we all loved their ad, all the players in it failed significantly, one player didn’t even make the plane to South Africa, two didn’t make it to the second round and those that did failed. Nike re-shot the ad, using Robinho, from Brazil. Surprisingly, the only impressive Nike team (apart from NZ), the Dutch were only featured in the ad as losing to the team they knocked out, Brazil. Football players are a superstitious bunch, and with many people saying the Nike Ad was cursed, I don’t think we’ll see many players lining up to be in the ad next year. Nike’s poor tournament was confirmed when Adidas (Spain) beat them in the final, in fact of the four semi-finalists Adidas beat Nike 2-1.
Why Shakira? If you have no idea why, that’s why she belongs on this list. Q: What was the official World Cup Song?
If you answered Wave Your Flag you’d be wrong, that was used by many companies in their world cup advertising (Coke & EA Sports) and it became much more popular than the actual World Cup Song, Waca Waca, by…. You guessed it, Shakira. So Shakira ends up as a loser at this World Cup
Yep, he’s in here twice. While his commitment to South Africa should be applauded his continued aversion to technology has been starkly criticized in this World Cup given the number of high profile refereeing mistake. Besides, how can I have a losers list without Sepp Blatter.