It’s been a little over a week since we got back from South Africa. I feel I am calm enough to write this summary of South Africa 2010. I would like to start with a huge thank you to both Andres and Luis who made the trip a success and it was sensational to share our experience of watching Uruguay at a World Cup together. It was also great to meet Javier and travel together even though it meant I now had 3 bolsos to deal with. Javier brought the true Uruguayan to the table with chants, flags that took up a whole stand and castellano lessons thrown in. Fantastic to meet Alvaro “Recoba” and Enrique, both from Melbourne but we wont hold that against them.
Now for a huge thank you to the Uruguayan Squad including everyone from the coaching staff, delegates, cooks and media. If it wasn’t for all the Uruguayans in South Africa I don’t believe I would have lasted on the African continent.
The games that Uruguay played were amazing in many ways. The first game against France is where I learnt my first chant. ” Francia te vamos a cojer”
The next game against South Africa was incredible as we were surrounded by Bafana Bafana fans blowing on their vuvuzelas. Hearing the silence in the stadium after the third Uruguayan goal was bliss and I can still hear it now ssshhhhhh!!!!!
Then we played Mexico and the lesson there was “OOooooHHHhhhhhh Putos”. When Suarez scored the winner it was a highlight and I screamed that goal with passion, insults and the famous chant….. Putos!!!!!!
Uruguay first in Group A which meant we avoided Argentina and would play against the Korea Republic. Though avoiding Argentina did not please all Uruguayans!!!
The game against Korea Republic in the rain and being behind the goal where Suarez scored the winner was a magical night I will never forget it. Uruguay No Ma!!!!
Then next was the game against Ghana and all of Africa. This game took everything out of me as it was a rollercoaster ride. Luckily we had visited the Cheaters in preparation for this game.
The game against Holland was a strange game as I thought I was at a fancy dress party. It didn’t feel like a game of futbol but instead a visit to a cafe’ in Amsterdam. Forlan’s goal was a sensational experience with El Mono giving us hope but not enough to get through.
Then there was the third and fourth play off which we watched in 3D. Maybe Muslera should have watched the game with 3D glasses as he didn’t seem to see the jabulani ball very well. The chant I learnt for this game was: ” A este pulpo le tenemos que ganar, a este pulpo le tenemos que ganar”
Then there was all the other things that happened throughout the tournament. Like the prophetic discussion we had on whether handling the ball is allowed only to laugh after the Suarez incident happened weeks after. The code we used for all blacks, Chenque y Palito. The way we managed to get close to the Uruguayan squad. We hung out with Uruguay before and after the Mexico game.
Achieving one of my goals for South Africa, which was meeting and getting Ghiggia’s signature. It sure wasn’t easy catching him as he still moves fast for being in his 80’s.
Then there are the sacrifices one must make when hanging around nacional supporters, but it’s the least I can do.
Then there were all the extra games we went to see; Brazil vs Korea; Argentina vs Korea Republic; Australia vs Ghana and Australia vs Serbia.
Then there was the South African wild life:
To finish this post with Diego Forlan who upon arriving in Cape Town we saw the following poster showing Forlan as the “Bomber”. Looks like South Africa knew what was going to happen. Diego Forlan, player of the tournament, scored the goal of the tournament and equalled the leading goal scorer in the World Cup. Gracias Diego y Gracias Uruguay. Gracias por todo and for a fantastic World Cup. It was a Dream come true which nearly finished with the World Cup in hand.