Saturday, July 10, 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010: On the Eve of the Final


On the eve of the final match between Netherlands and Spain for the FIFA World Cup 2010, not an 'A to Z' of 2010 FIFA World Cup, but a pre-final review follows.

The Competition
The Teams:


MENA Countries Present: Algeria

Profile of Algeria's team at the FIFA website

A supporter of England attends the 2010 World Cup group C first round football match between England and Algeria on June 18, 2010 at Green Point stadium in Cape Town. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Landon Donovan of the United States (front left) celebrates after scoring a goal with fellow team members Clint Dempsey (back left) and Edson Buddle, during the World Cup group C soccer match between the United States and Algeria at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, June 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Members of the United States national soccer team celebrate after teammate Landon Donovan scored a goal against Algeria at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria on June 23, 2010. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

A dejected Algeria fan, after defeat and elimination during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between USA and Algeria at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on June 23, 2010 in Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa. (Ian Walton/Getty Images)

US supporters cheer after the Group C first round World Cup match US versus Algeria on June 23, 2010 at Loftus Verfeld stadium in Tshwane/Pretoria. US won the match 1-0. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

MENA Contributions to other National Teams:

Khalid Boulahrouz (of Moroccan Berber Rif descent) for Netherlands

Sami Khedira (German mother-Tunisian father) for Germany

Group Stage

France 1 South Africa 2


Italy 2 Slovakia 3


Round of 16

Brasil 1 Netherlands 2



Quarter Finals

Ghana 1 (2) Uruguay 1 (4)


Semi-Finals

Netherlands 3 Uruguay 2




Germany 0 Spain 1




3rd Place Match

Germany 3 Uruguay 2





And then there were 2:

Netherlands v Spain


Hors Competition:

Canada v Saudi

Canada 0 Saudi 1

Canada was conspicuous by its total absence from the World Cup 2010. Well, conspicuous at least to Canadians. Instead, we had many CBC features on the history of soccer/football in Canada (on the Plains of Abraham, Montreal, amongst new immigrants, who then built Canada's soccer leagues); the prominent place football occupies amongst New Canadians, while native born Canadians prefer hockey to soccer; and commentary by Canadian national soccer team players. We also had local newspaper features on which bars in what city would feature which national games, or all of them, and if they were open to the idea of non-nationals attending.

Khalil Al Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia; 2nd R) with Saleh Al Marzouqi (UAE; L), Peter O Leary (New Zealand; 2nd L) and Hassan Kamranifar (Iran; R)

Saudi was present by its referee, Khalil Al Ghamdi, who refereed group matches France-Mexico and Chile-Switzerland. Sending off Switzerland's Valon Begrami was unpopular but regulation. He acquitted himself well, and his refereeing was not among the controversial/blundering decisions which "plagued" the World Cup.


From the Moroccan Quarter: a deafening silence on being "in absentia" (sounds less painful in Latin).

The T-Shirt Finals:

Of the World cup T-shirts I bought for myself and my nephew--some matching, some similar but different (due to size availability)--and their winningness:

Chiara 0 Nephew 1

He will be wearing his Spain T-shirt for the final, no doubt. My analogous (white) T-shirt for his Spain one? Les Bleus, La France, les PFFFT!!!! (see also La FIFA, le football, la philosophie, et la politique: les Français à la Coupe du Monde 2010, anon)

Prediction(s) for the Final:

I'm going with the Nephew's T-shirt and Spain!
I mean, with the hub's Moroccan Netherlands,
"Go Khalid 'the Cannibal' Boulahrouz! Eat up the opposition!"

VIVA ESPANA!!!
y Barça!
(a woman needs her FIFA independence)

What has your World Cup 2010 been like so far?
Was your country present? For how long?
Who did you root for?
How about now?
How do you show your support?
Any other comments, thoughts, experiences?

5 comments:

Susanne said...

What a cute post! Well, I kind of got talked into watching some of the games, but I'm glad since I found them pretty fun. It's neat to know that a NEW champ will be named no matter if the Netherlands or Spain win since neither has ever won the World Cup. Samer sent me and Andrew German shirts...ha! I did wear mine long enough for a picture which I posted on Facebook for his amusement.

I'm eager to see today's game to see if the orange guys win or if octopus Paul is correct in his choosing of the Spanish team. :)

oby said...

I am NOT a football/soccer fan so I have not watched any of the games. But I am sure that they are exciting. Very cute post!

Chiara, your photos are consistently amazing in all of your posts...truly the biggest pleasure to read if only for the visuals.(and the posts are great too!)

I just wanted to post something that will hopefully put to rest that Americans are wrong for calling it Soccer.

From Wikipedia(admittedly not the bible of info but at the moment I am too lazy to look further)

"The rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863, and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other versions of football played at the time. The word soccer is a colloquial abbreviation of association (from assoc.) and first appeared in the 1880s. An early usage found in an English 1892 periodical.[1] The word is sometimes credited to Charles Wreford Brown, an Oxford student said to have been fond of shortened forms such as brekkers for breakfast and rugger for rugby football. (See Oxford -er) Clive Toye noted that even English people called the game "soccer" interchangably with "football" until the second half of the 20th century. "A quirk of British culture is the permanent need to familiarize names by shortening them. ... Toye [said] 'They took the third, fourth and fifth letters of Association and called it SOCcer.'”[2]
The term association football has never been widely used, although in England some clubs in rugby league strongholds adopted the suffix Association Football Club (AFC) to avoid confusion with the dominant sport in their area.
The longer version of the name, "soccer football", is used less often than it once was. The United States Soccer Federation was known as the United States Soccer Football Association from 1945 until 1974, when it adopted its current name. Some soccer clubs, in Australia for example, still contain the words "soccer football" in their titles. "Football" is used in more countries by more speakers, including more non-native speakers of English, as well as countries where the game is most prominent. The game is also known colloquially as footy/footie and footer in various places. In some countries "soccer" is the most dominant form; the US having the largest population."

It was originally and ENGLISH word that just stuck with American terminology. So England, put that in your pipe and smoke it! LOL!

Wendy said...

I'm rooting for Paul!!!

Susanne said...

Seems Paul is a pretty special octopus! :)

Chiara said...

Susanne--thanks for both your comments, and for reminding me of Paul the Octopus! True a new champion resulted, and Paul went 8 for 8! Thanks again for your comments!

Oby--thanks for your comment, and for filling us in on the origins of SOCcer. Susanne had mentioned it as well in an earlier comment. I must say that is one etymology I hadn't bothered searching. I say football in French but have a harder time with football in English as it is engrained as North American football for me, even though the name makes more sense for the game of soccer than for this other rugby derivative. Thanks again for the additional sourcing!

Wendy--Yeah Paul!!! :) Thanks for your comment!

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