World Cup 2010 South Africa

World Cup 2010 South Africa

In just under three days time, the global soccer festival begins. The 19th FIFA World Cup, South Africa  202010 kicks off this Friday, June 11th at Soccer City in Johannesburg. Football, as we call it in  England and most of the world is the beautiful game of course, and the World Cup is the largest and  most prestigious global football spectacle. It is equalled only by the Olympics in size by number  of competing sporting nations.

Like the Olympics, the World Cup is every 4 years. This time around, for the very first time, it is  held on the continent of Africa. South Africa won the rights to hold the tournament after an all--African bidding process and as hosts they are automatically qualified for the tournament.

The opening game is South Africa v Mexico at Soccer City stadium,Johannesburg which has a Capacity  of 91,141. A full house and an electric atmosphere is expected to watch the opening ceremony and  the first game. Hosts South Africa will be hoping to get off to a winning start and excite the home crowd. A good opening game will be necessary to have a chance of getting out of the group.

It will not be easy but the hosts have a good chance if they can take it.

The competition will be played across 9 cities across the Rainbow Nation, and those cities are: 

  • Johannesburg
  • Durban
  • Cape Town
  • Pretoria
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Bloemfontein
  • Polokwane
  • Rustenburg
  • Nelspruit.

32 teams are divided into 8 Groups of 4 from A to H.

The winners and runners-up from each group will progress into the Round of 16 and a knockout competition continues through the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and on to the final on Sunday 11th July 202010 in Johannesburg where the winning team will take home the trophy.

While the World Cup is an opportunity to see some of the worlds best players in action against each  other, some of the 'icing' has been taken from the 'cake' this time around due to the fact that quite a  few 'big name' players may be missing due to injury.

One of the biggest casualties to injury is Germany midfielder and star player Michael Ballack which will be a huge loss for them as well as their first choice goalkeeper, Rene Adler who will also miss the tournament.

Meanwhile  England have lost their Captain Rio Ferdinand due to a knee ligament injury in training and was  replaced as captain by Liverpool midfielder Stephen Gerrard. David Beckham is also unavailable for  selection for the three lions due to an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury. Although 'Becks' is is nearing the end of his  career and may not have featured in every game, he would have been a very useful asset for his set  piece abilities alone.

Other notable absences will be Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast unless by some major last minute  intervention he is able to play with a fractured elbow, it seems unlikely the Chelsea striker and  Côte d'Ivoire star player will feature. Fellow Chelsea teammate Michael Essien's knee injury which ruled him out of South Africa 2010 will be a big blow for Ghana.

The United States will be sadly missing Charlie Davies, who suffered many broken bones in a car accident last year, and although he and his fans were hoping he would recover in time, despite returning to training in March he was not included in the squad.

Elsewhere, Holland will miss their key forward Arjen Robben at least in the initial stages. Defending World Champions Italy will miss Andrea Pirlo for at least the first couple of games, and  Portugal have just announced that Manchester United midfielder Nani will not play at the World Cup  finals due to a last minute injury. He joins international team mate José Bosingwa who did not make the squad for the same reasons. The list goes on, but it is a great shame that some of these  brilliant footballers will be missing from the premier tournament.

Despite the negatives there is still a fantastic tournament to look forward to and many of the very best players in the world on show. World Player of the year Lionel Messi for Argentina and European Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal along with former team mate and England's best forward Wayne Rooney will still be there along with many other top players.

Spain will be hoping their star striker Fernando Torres regains fitness in time before the competition begins, and they also have the magnificent David Villa to call upon. With such an abundance of talent at this pinnacle of the game it is difficult to single out individuals but I am sure that Fabiano of Brazil will be another player that may well shine through with a high goals tally, creative service provided by the ever impressive Kaka. If that happens, Brazil will be difficult to stop.

There's something for everyone here, so many talented individuals to name, you just have to tune in and enjoy the spectacle!

Although it has to be said that football is not ultimately about individuals but team performances it takes talented individuals to form a good team. On the other hand, sometimes a squad of brilliant individual talents never quite click as a team, and questions are asked about the training, the head coach and it is one of the things that makes football so exciting.

You just never know when the underdogs are going to win, because of brilliantly effective tactical genius on the part of the coaching staff. That has been the story of the World Cup - it's not always the best of individuals that wins, but the best organised squad that plays well as a team and that little pinch of luck along the way. 

So it begins on Friday in Group A. After that, Group C on Saturday where England play the United States of America. This will be a special game for both sets of fans, and for the players, not least because many of the US players play in the English Premier League. Whatever nation you are from or follow, may I take this opportunity to wish you and your team a successful and enjoyable tournament.

May the best team win, and may the best team be England. Just for a change, but that's my dream it may not be yours! If you're not from England that goes without saying, but you can let me know who you are supporting on the forums.

It seems foolish to make predictions at this stage as so much can happen at a World Cup that is unexpected, so I am not going to do so here. Brazil of course with all the talent at their disposal have to remain the favourites but they do not always go all the way. If you want to make a prediction for fun you can do so at the BBC site, link provided below.

Here's hoping for a thrilling World Cup 2010 with a party atmosphere that will keep soccer fans entertained throughout the next few weeks of summer.


11th June 2010

South Africa v Mexico
Uruguay v France

16th June 2010

South Africa v Uruguay

17 June 2010

France v Mexico

22 June 2010

France v South Africa
Mexico v Uruguay


12 June 2010

Argentina v Nigeria
South Korea v Greece

17 June 2010

Argentina v South Korea
Greece v Nigeria

22 June 2010

Greece v Argentina
Nigeria v South Korea


12 June 2010

England v USA

13 June 2010

Algeria v Slovenia

18 June 2010

England v Algeria
Slovenia v USA

23 June 2010

Slovenia v England
USA v Algeria


13 June 2010

Germany v Australia
Serbia v Ghana

18 June 2010

Germany v Serbia
Ghana v Australia

23 June 2010

Australia v Serbia
Ghana v Germany


14 June 2010

Japan v Cameroon
Netherlands v Denmark

19 June 2010

Cameroon v Denmark
Netherlands v Japan

24 June 2010

Cameroon v Netherlands
Denmark v Japan


14 June 2010

Italy v Paraguay

15 June 2010

New Zealand v Slovakia

20 June 2010

Italy v New Zealand
Slovakia v Paraguay

24 June 2010

Paraguay v New Zealand
Slovakia v Italy


15 June 2010

Brazil v North Korea
Ivory Coast v Portugal

20 June 2010

Brazil v Ivory Coast

21 June 2010

Portugal v North Korea

25 June 2010

North Korea v Ivory Coast
Portugal v Brazil


16 June 2010

Honduras v Chile
Spain v Switzerland

21 June 2010

Chile v Switzerland
Spain v Honduras

25 June 2010

Chile v Spain
Switzerland v Honduras

2ND ROUND / Round of 16

26 June 2010

Winner Group A v Runner-Up Group B
Winner Group C v Runner-Up Group D

27 June 2010

Winner Group B v Runner-Up Group A
Winner Group D v Runner-Up Group C

28 June 2010

Winner Group E v Runner-Up Group F
Winner Group G v Runner-Up Group H


02 July 2010

Winner Group A/Runner-Up Group B v Winner Group C/Runner-Up Group D
Winner Group E/Runner-Up Group F v Winner Group G/Runner-Up Group H

03 July 2010

Winner Group B/Runner-Up Group A v Winner Group D/Runner-Up Group C
Winner Group F/Runner-Up Group E v Winner Group H/Runner-Up Group G


06 July 2010

Winner Quarter-Final 1 v Winner Quarter-Final 3

07 July 2010

Winner Quarter-Final 2 v Winner Quarter-Final 4

29 June 2010

Winner Group F v Runner-Up Group E
Winner Group H v Runner-Up Group G


2010 July 2010

Loser Semi-Final 1 v Loser Semi-Final 2


11 July 2010

Winners Semi-Final 1 v Winners Semi-Final 2

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