Thursday, December 31, 2009

Story Lines for the 2010 World Cup

It's already 2010 where I am, in the Gulf. So I can look ahead, not back.

And here are five story lines I think will be pertinent in the 2010 (we're here now) World Cup.

1. Can England, Masters of the Game and all (blah blah blah), win a World Cup for the first time since 1966? Everyone on the left side of the Pas del Calais is thinking "yes, yes, yes!" and the rest of the world is thinking, "uh, probably not."

2. Can a European team finally win a World Cup outside its own familiar and teeny continent? They haven't managed it yet, (as in 0-for-9), but they have the advantage, this time round, of getting a non-Euro World Cup that is 1) only an hour or two off their home body clocks and 2) cold and wintry, just like the conditions of their pro leagues. So, could happen. But don't bank on it.

3. Can an African team go deep in the tournament? Cameroon made the quarterfinals of Italia 1990, but that is the high water mark of African soccer, so far. Africa has six teams in the 32 at SA 2010, including the host, and I think the answer to the previous question is "yes." I see someone in the semifinals. Cameroon, or Nigeria or Ghana.

4. Is Diego Maradona such a colossal idiot that he can, single-handedly, manage to keep Argentina out of the second round? I think, yes, he can. That is the level of my faith in him. I see some combination of Nigeria/Greece/South Korea moving on at Argentina's expense. And maybe that will finally free Argentinaville from its ridiculous need to have Diego "Hand of God: Maradona coach their side. The man can't coach. At all.

5. Will South Africa become the first host nation to fail to make the second round? All the vuvuzelas and home fans aside, yes, it can. South Africa isn't very good. Not at all.

Those are my five questions, and if they make sense, then maybe I should write more often while over the legal limit in California of .08 blood-alchohol content, because that's where I'm at,
two hours after our New Year's Eve party in (officially) dry Abu Dhabi ended.

Happy New Year, y'all.


  1. It will be great to watch World Cup 2010 - Semi-Finals: A, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.