After a month of football action, the 2010 World Cup is over. Sure, Spain won the cup, but there is more to the world cup than just winning it. What are your 10 things that even after 10 years, you will remember about this cup? I am listing mine –
1. OCTOPUS PAUL – The invertebrate had a 100% record in forecasting matches in this world cup. Had he been a human, there would have been cries of divinity. I googled for an average life expectancy of an octopus, and it seems he will be with us forecasting for a little more time yet. Paul predicted German wins over Australia, England and Argentina, and it all came true. It predicted a defeat to Serbia that came true too. I hope his talents lie in the cricketing domain too.
2. Germany 4 Argentina - GAMES of this magnitude can often be dull, sterile affairs, where two giants cancel each other out completely. The game between these two giants never had a chance of being that way. Six days after turfing England out of the World Cup with a magical display, Germany cast their spell on Argentina with a brilliant quarter-final performance. Argentina were buried thanks to a third-minute goal from Thomas Muller and two second-half efforts from Miroslav Klose either side of one from Arne Friedrich. Even Diego Maradona would had appreciated it had he not been in the opposite dug-out. Given all the trash-talking that was done by both sides, given Maradona's spat with Thomas Muller and given that these teams had a history between them, it was surely a spectacle.
3. French Revolution - IN 2010, we witness the modern day French Revolution. This time the French football team provided the ammunition against, well, the French football team. In-fighting. Wasn't that the bane of Dutch progression in tournaments for many years? Now that they aren't busy fighting with themselves, look where they ended up. France, on the other-hand, have been the most tedious and excruciating side to watch in this tournament. Much has been written about Nicolas Anelka's spat with Raymond Domenech. The stream of invectives that the Chelsea striker launched at his coach, resulted in his withdrawal from squad by the French Football Federation after he refused to apologise to Domenech. With Anelka's withdrawal, most French players refused to play under Domenech against South Africa. No less has been written about captain Patrice Evra leading the players' walk-out from training on June 20 in support of Anelka. With Evra dropped in retaliation, the rest of the squad showed little desire to excel and were it not for goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and several unlucky bounces, the margin of victory for South Africa would certainly have been enough to progress to the knock-out stages.
4. The Frank Lampard goal - FRANK Lampard's chip, which hit the crossbar before landing behind the goalkeeper over the line, was ruled out in one of several controversial decisions at the World Cup in South Africa. It reminded of the goal awarded to England against west Germany in the 1966 world cup. Fate, it seems, like luck, evens itself out.
5. MELO: FROM HERO TO VILLIAN - FELIPE Melo went from hero to villain in a matter of minutes as favourites Brazil were stunned 2-1 by Holland in the quarter-finals.The midfielder provided the exquisite through-ball for Robinho to score the game's opening goal in the first half as Brazil threatened to run riot. However, the game turned on its head when Melo scored an own goal in the second half, and was later sent off after losing his cool and stamping on the legs of Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben. The goal was later credited to Wesley Sneijder
6. Vuvezela – The annoying noise robbed the broadcast of any crowd jeering, booing or applause. If not for the commentary, it would have seemed like a swarm of angry bees. I found out today that the vuvuzelas are originally manufactured in China! And we thought it was African!!!
7. The hand of Cheater – There will always be one hand of God. And then there will be the hand of the cheater. Suarez robbed Ghana (and Africa) of a chance at history. It was only fitting that Uruguay were eliminated in the semi-final. As my mom says, cheaters never win!
8. Diego Forlan, Gourcuff, C Ronlado, Villa, Van Persie – Apart from their attacking skills, they are pretty attractive (according to all the ladies). Now that is not a thing to remember the world cup, but due to them, ladies took a pretty keen interest in the world cup.
9. Big names failing to fire – All the big names did not fire in this world cup. Too numerous to write here – Henry, Ronaldo, Robinho, Gerrard, Cannavaro etc. Ironically, the favorites won the world cup.
10. SHAKIRA WAKA WAKA – Going by the number of people having it as their caller tunes, it would seem that India is a football crazy country and not cricket crazy. There was the little item of Shakira getting sued for the song, but hey who gives a damn when she sways her body. She’s right, Hips don’t lie!!!
Wait, I forgot the Jabulani. But hey who wants to remember it anyway???