Brazil start the World Cup as the team to beat

June 9, 2010


“If the World Cup television pundits tell you to forget everything you know about Brazil, then forget everything they tell you. This is a wonderful side that plays superb football. There’s a sense that people have got Brazilian football wrong, that every four years they become convinced the Brazil national team has won five World Cups by playing Globetrotter-esque football with no regard for defence. Did Joga Bonito ever exist? Fans of the 1970 World Cup-winning Brazil side would say yes, but football has advanced an incredible amount in the past forty years, and it’s simply not possible to successfully play that way.” (Zonal Marking)

South Africa will need home support – and luck
“They’re the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, the lowest-ranked hosts in history, and they’ve been drawn in a very difficult group despite having been the seeds. Is there any chance South Africa won’t become the first-ever hosts to fail to get past the group stage?” (Zonal Marking)

Slovakia may quietly sneak into knockout stage
“This is Slovakia’s first-ever appearance at a major international tournament, so you can be forgiven for knowing little about them. That might be their biggest strength – the surprise factor. Not only is their team as a whole relatively unknown, despite having won their qualification group ahead of Slovenia, but many of their players are relatively low-key. Napoli’s Marik Hamsik is unquestionably the star name and Martin Skrtel of Liverpool is well-known, but players like Vladimir Weiss and Mirolav Stoch have had relatively little time in the limelight, and defenders might be facing a threat they know little about.” (Zonal Marking)


***Calendar World Cup 2010 by MARCA

June 9, 2010

“Well, this is how you layer in a multimedia presentation. The national sports daily in Spain, Diario Marca, produced a highly interactive World Cup calendar for its Web site. Find the graphic here.” (MARCA)


In the shadow of Green Point Stadium

June 9, 2010

“When the first soccer game kicks off at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, 4.5 billion Rand (4.3 million Euros) will already have been spent on its construction. Environmental concerns, noise pollution worries and transportation arguments have enmeshed the stadium in controversy since before the first brick was laid. For many, the argument is not the money spent but what the money could instead buy. They argue that the cost is not in Rands but in lives. Many of Cape Town’s townships are without sewage systems, hospitals are horribly under funded and the poor are homeless. 4.5 billion Rand can, roughly, build 60,000 homes, which could house up to 300,000 previously homeless people.” (Twenty Ten)


World Cup 2010: Ten tactical questions

June 9, 2010


“With the World Cup now deliciously within reach, Football Further looks at ten tactical issues that could have a decisive influence on the outcome of the tournament.” (Football Further)


World Cup Group C Preview

June 9, 2010

“We left the most anticipated to the end, with today’s episode of the World Cup Buzz Podcast breaking down Group C. In that group England is the seed, and they are joined by Algeria, Slovenia, and a United States team that will look to conjure the same magic used on their last trip to South Africa. I am joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer to look at each team’s strengths and weakness and, going match-by-match, look at how they match up against each other.” (EPL Talk)


Spain 6-0 Poland – Video Highlights and Recap – Friendly – 8 June 2010

June 9, 2010


Jacopo Robusti, Leda and the Swan
“Spain, one of the favorites to win the upcoming World Cup, wrapped up their set of friendlies with a match against Poland on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. It would be the last chance for Spain to give Fernando Torres some playing time who has been injured and not played in the previous friendlies. Poland did not qualify for the World Cup and do not have any major matches coming up as they’ve already qualified for Euro 2012 as one of the host nations.” (The 90th Minute)


World Cup 2010: An Illustrated Map

June 9, 2010

“We present an epic contribution from Bill at Bill’s Sports Maps on the 2010 World Cup, that event you might have heard starts this week. Bill’s illustrated map features all 32 team jerseys, and statistics on World Cup performance. It’s pretty damn awesome. Click on the image below for the glorious, full-size version.” (Pitch Invasion)


Unnecessary World Cup Music

June 9, 2010

“Dizzee Rascal has already had four number one singles in the United Kingdom. His motives, therefore, for getting involved with the atrocious Simon Cowell vehicle World Cup song ‘Shout’ (a cover of the 1984 Tears For Fears protest song), remain unclear. Perhaps he genuinely feels that hollering at the top of his voice about “Bobby Moore an’ that” will really help the team while they struggle against odds that seem to be getting longer with each passing day, five and a half thousand miles away in South Africa. Perhaps he is really desperate for that fifth number one single. Perhaps he merely has a particularly persuasive agent.” (twohundredpercent)


Soccer as a Second Language

June 9, 2010


“Yes. The books I’ve chosen are very broadly oriented, but the one aspect they all have in common is that soccer is both primary and secondary at the same time. Soccer is the reason for the books being written, but the writers’ interest is everything that goes on outside the stadium. Which makes it more effective and more interesting than writing that just covers the game itself, which is very hard to describe. As Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish writer, says, ‘Football is faster than words.’ It’s very hard to capture, but it becomes something more transcendent when you look at what happens outside the arena.” (Five Books)


The High IQ Haiku World Cup Project

June 9, 2010

“The Football Haiku World Cup is a project based on the writing of haiku (俳句) poetry specifically geared to the football/soccer World Cup in South Africa in 2010. We want to publish beautiful poetry written by you to accompany the beautiful game. Please do not worry if you do not consider yourself to be a writer or a poet: the beauty of haiku is its simplicity, universality and flexibility. Whoever you are around the world, we would love to hear your voice in haiku form.” (The High IQ Haiku World Cup Project)


Notes from Babel: ‘To win a World Cup you must be at your most virtuous’

June 9, 2010

“For most of the 21st century Smith has logged his working notes and research on sport theory at sportsBabel, a site that “examines the aesthetics, politics and poetics of sport and physical culture.” As evident below, he is interested in technical developments in sport and in its consumption, which leads to reflection on the postmodern spectator. Smith’s commitment to praxis as well as theory comes through in his annual promotion of Global Village Basketball, a Web-aided melding of pickup results from Poland to Serbia to the USA that illustrates the potential of ‘sporting multitudes.'” (The Global Game)