Monday, June 14, 2010

The Start of the World Cup

I was in Colombia for the start of the world cup, with serious concentration problems; all my focus was on June 11th! Colombia is funny, as they like football, but as their team has not qualified, people seemed at least as focused on Shakira and Juanes, playing a central role in all the pre-tournament blah-blah, as they did on the football.
But the World Cup started, and I am currently with serious case of high football fever (although it is a pity I am not going on vacation until next Friday, and will have to miss some matches....).

That said, I have some observations about these first few days of the tournament:
  • Matches have been disappointing in terms of quality and excitement, except for Germany today, who was amazing in destroying Australia 4-0. I have not rated Germany highly, and must admit I was very wrong.
  • And the Black Stars from Ghana won a hard-fought victory against Serbia! The group may be exciting, but Germany must be the highest rated after their victory today!
  • Mexico was arrogant and I was partly disappointed Bafana Bafana didn't win.
  • Uruguay was a disappointment and France was better than we thought. The group is open, but the "traditional" nations have started well.
  • Except England: I was expecting much more of England (perhaps as little as I was expecting from Germany), and notwithstanding Green's giveaway, they didn't look unbeatable.
  • Argentina won a small victory that should have been larger. That said, they weren't impressive against a pathetic Nigerian side that gave too much space to the Argentineans, notably to Messi. Nobody else will give them such space, and then Argentina suddenly looks weak. Their true test will come against the bigger teams.
  • Watch out for South Corea!
Bah! I cannot wait for the next weeks!


JR said...

Absolutely amazing blog. There was an article in TIME last week that looked at how the World Cup is not only universal but how football itself is the most democratic sport. It transcends class and economic status and you can find people playing the game even in the most remote villages in the most unknown places. It's a spectacle unparalleled in sport and an advert for the beautiful game at its best.

El Erik said...

Hi JR. Thanks a lot.
Well, I agree, from the poor subjectivity of my personal experience. I have lived in many many countries, and always football was a way to get to know people, from an African village to making friends in the international atmosphere of Brussels.
It is quite amazing how it does transcend class and status, but I would as a football fan fear that it is indeed dominated by selfish economic interests.
Who does the world cup belong to?:
FIFA, Nike, Adidas, Coca Cola, Sony, UEFA, TV, etc
Last on the list: referees, players, players from "small" countries, paying fans, the rest of the world's fans....