With the 2010 FIFA world cup in full swing, the focus has once again shifted to the rainbow nation. This being Africa’s 1st world cup, the expectations of an entire continent are on South Africa to not only prove that Africa is a worthy host but also to put Africa across as a major tourist attraction for the world.
So far the competition on the field has been top drawer with many calling the early exit of France and Italy as Football highlights of the first round of this world cup. The progression of debutants Slovakia as well as the two Asian sides Japan and Korea Republic showed how the gap is bridging in the world of football between the traditional powerhouses of Europe and South America and the emerging nations.
The second round provided some great football highlights with Argentina and Brazil showing why they are considered top contenders at most world cups with clinical displays and Spain coming to the party with a hard fought win over Portugal in Catalan derby. England’s campaign ended with a defeat at the hands of a young and fearless Germany in somewhat controversial circumstances. The match brought alive the debate on the use of technology in the beautiful game as a goal from Frank Lampard was disallowed by the referee which on watching football Video replays clearly should have been allowed.
This Football world cup hasn’t been spared its share of controversy with the most apparent being the one rose by the goalkeepers who all seem to have a problem with the swerve and bend of the Jabulani soccer ball. No one would testify more than Robert Greene of England who saw his world cup debut for the three lions turn to nightmare when he failed to control a simple shot from an American striker.
With the Quarter final line up set, this world cup’s real football highlights thus far have been unearthing the talent and flair of youngsters like Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Meuller from Germany, The resurgence of Deigo Forlan and Suarez of Uruguay, the Class of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands and the bankability of the Argentine Mid field manned by the likes of Higuain, Messi and Tevez. Spain have a point to prove this world cup and could well provide us the football Highlights for the next rounds.