from those giant hornet-sounding vuvuzelas, South Africa have a lot to be proud
of from hosting the World Cup. Overall it was a great tournament but the
showpiece final turned into a slug-fest resembling auditions for the mixed
martial arts show Ultimate Fighter.
Dutch were castigated for playing like hoodlums but Spain were no angels
either. At least the deserving team won although they never really sparkled
throughout like the diamonds we know they can be. Basically, they weren’t
allowed to. But like Holland, all the teams Spain faced were only intent on not
losing and maybe sneaking a goal at the end or winning on a penalty shoot-out.
the Spanish will continue to grow and provide even better, more fluid football
in future. They have set a modern benchmark that teams like England must aspire
to. Unexpectedly, the Germans were a joy to watch, especially in the third
place playoff against the cheating Uruguayans. Who would have thought that of
the normally super-efficient but boring Teutonic machines? Maybe it’s because
they are now more diverse than ever with Poles, Brazilians and Ghanaians in the
side. Spiced it up nicely.
African teams were a disappointment but at least Ghana made it to the
knockouts. They can all build on this showing and hopefully in Brazil in four
years’ time be more of a force. They have to sort their coaching out. Too many
rely on European managers who act more as mercenaries than mentors, often
coming in at the last minute and barely know their players’ names much less for
tactics and formations.
Africa want to host the 2020 Olympics. If they get it they’ll deserve a gold
medal for that too.