Spain 1-0 Holland: Iniesta settles a tight game

July 12, 2010


“Spain are the World Champions. They were the better side and played a more positive, cohesive brand of football throughout. There were no surprises when the team line-ups were announced just over an hour before kick-off, they were as predicted in the preview. Vicente del Bosque kept with the side that beat Germany in the semi-final, meaning Pedro Rodriguez started ahead of Fernando Torres. Holland, meanwhile, welcomed back Gregory van der Wiel and Nigel de Jong from suspension, meaning they returned to their first choice XI – as evidenced by them lining up with the numbers 1-11.” (Zonal Marking)


Spain dominates in distinctive way

July 12, 2010

“Now, that is a postmatch interview. And what a difference a month makes. At the end of Spain’s first match at this World Cup, a 1-0 loss to Switzerland, Sara Carbonero was waiting in the tunnel for Iker Casillas, clutching a microphone. Now, for those who have not been acquainted with her, Carbonero is a journalist and interviewer with the Spanish television channel TeleCinco. She is also Casillas’ girlfriend. Not that you would have known it as she held out the microphone and asked bluntly: “How did you manage to lose that?” Casillas barely looked her in the eye, mumbled some cliché and departed.” (SI)


It’s not the Cup, it’s the qualifying

July 12, 2010

“A European team has finally won the World Cup outside its home continent. More than that, for the first time since 1954, Europe is now ahead of South America in the number of World Cup wins – with a strong advantage. Europe has staged the tournament 10 times and South America just four – but in 2014 the World Cup will return to the continent of its birth for the first time in 36 years.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)


The 2010 World Cup Final: Netherlands 0-1

July 12, 2010

“It’s a curious sight. The BBC’s panel is sitting, for the first time in this tournament suited and booted, in its base studio outside the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, almost eight hundred miles from Johannesberg, where the match itself is being played. It looks deserted, behind them. It probably is – everybody will be at home, watching the build-up to the 2010 World Cup final. Still, at least they won’t have anybody banging on the glass behind them and laughing at Alan Shearer’s male pattern baldness. The preamble to this match carries a somewhat curiously dislocated air to it. The Netherlands have never played Spain in either the European Championship or World Cup finals, so there is no historical precedent between the two teams that can particularly drawn upon, no matter how irrelevant it may be.” (twohundredpercent)


Our team of the tournament

July 12, 2010

“Our writers pick their team of the tournament in the 4-2-3-1 formation employed by most of the better teams on show in South Africa” (Guardian)


Africa, FIFA and Government Interference: Dealing With Corruption In Soccer

July 12, 2010

“The most important development in African soccer taking place this year might not be the World Cup in South Africa — despite its successful staging (oh, yeah, it seems to have turned out that Cabinda is not in South Africa) — argues Paul Doyle in an excellent Guardian piece on domestic African leagues, specifically, the possibility that Kenya might be leading the way with new leadership in the Kenyan Premier League…” (Pitch Invasion)


Spain v. Netherlands – Red Herring Revisionary

July 12, 2010

“The end of the World Cup is like quitting smoking cold turkey, only you can’t cheat. No matter how hard you try, no matter how many old recordings you have of classic games, the sensation, the media overload, the frenzied tidal wave of live games cannot be reproduced. As the tournament progresses, the teams get eliminated, and the games get even tighter, you find yourself searching for an equivalent fix. But there’s no hidden pack in your car’s glove compartment. There’s no friend who you can bum a smoke off of. There’s just an old archive of youtube clips, a tome covered in dust wit a few words written about something that people back in the day thought was exciting. Take a deep breath. And try to hide your disappointment.” (futfanatico)


To Those With Nothing, Soccer Is Everything

July 12, 2010

 
“Jessica Hilltout, a nomadic, Belgian-born photographer, loaded sacks of deflated soccer balls onto the roof of a battered yellow Volkswagen Beetle last year and began a seven-month road trip across Africa to document the continent’s love of the game. She found it in villages where children played with joyous abandon on dusty patches of ground, sandy beaches and lush fields, far from the stadiums where Africa’s first World Cup would be held.” (NYT), (Jessica Hilltout)


Front Page: Barcelona Win The World Cup

July 12, 2010

“Most of the Spanish newspaper front pages today go with a variation on a simple ‘Spain, world champions’ headline (as El Pais does), but as commenter ursus actos noted yesterday in our discussion of Catalan nationalism and the complicated support for Spain’s national team in the region, a victory for Spain could easily be seen as a victory for Catalonia, with half the Spanish team having also represented the Catalan national team.” (Pitch Invasion)


World Cup 2010

July 12, 2010

“In this dossier, a series of football enthusiasts (who also happen to be social and cultural critics), offer their reflections upon the meaning and significance of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Much commentary and controversy has already been generated by this global event, the first World Cup, and indeed the first global sporting event of any significance to be held in “Africa’. The specific importance of South Africa as a relatively privileged outpost, what some would describe as an ‘exceptional’ civil and political space on the African continent–lends additional weight and distinctiveness to these reflections.” (Social Text)


Taking a turn ‘in the woods,’ confronting the goalkeeper’s choice

July 12, 2010

“As Paul the Octopus shows, a life fully lived—even as an exotic sea creature—involves choice. Probability experts could state the odds of Paul’s being right about the World Cup final between Holland and Spain. Every cephalopod is due a hot streak. Theorists of chance and the mind long ago started applying their models to football games, with special attention to the penalty kick.” (The Global Game)


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