The Global Theater: The World Cup exhibits the best and worst

“There are two moments from my time in the stadia of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that I remember particularly vividly. One of them I couldn’t take my eyes off. The other I couldn’t watch. I was in FNB Stadium for the Final between Spain and the Netherlands. It was a grueling game, the frustration and ugliness seeping across the turf as the minutes ticked by. Oddly enough, though they are always riveting spectacles, many World Cup finals are actually pretty disappointing as soccer. Often the best games are in the quarterfinals, or even earlier in the tournament. Watching that final on TV seems to have been particularly frustrating. In the stadium, though, there was something wonderful about being collectively enraged. We could yell, stomp, hold our heads in our hands, and it felt like the Dutch players, the poor referee Howard Webb, and even the heavens above could hear us.” SI – Laurent Dubois

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