Kanguro Soccer

Football Australia Best Player of All Time
Football Australia Best Player of All Time
Harry Kewell

The above picture is of Harry Kewell after the 1997 (2-2) draw to Iran in Melbourne in the World Cup Qualifier for France 1998. Australia had a 1-1 draw in Iran and did not qualify to France 1998 on the away goal rule. Both Iran and Australia ended up 3-3 on aggregate however Iran scored two away goals which sent them to France.

The following qualification campaign play off was against Uruguay. Australia won the first game in Melbourne 1-0 thanks to a Muscat penalty and then Australia lost 3-0 to Uruguay in Montevideo to once again not qualify for the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup.

Australia had not qualified to the World Cup since 1974 and once again ended up having to qualify via a play off with Uruguay. The first game was in Montevideo and Uruguay won 1-0. The second game was played at Stadium Australia and Australia won the game 1-0 and as the aggregate was 1-1 the game went into extra time. Still 1-1 after extra time the game went into a  penalty shootout which Australia won 4-2 to make the Germany 2006 World Cup after a 32 year absence.

For the 2010 South Africa World Cup Australia was now in the Asian Confederation and qualified first in the group who had Japan (Qualified 2nd), Bahrain, Qatar and Uzbekistan.

Now for the 2014 Brazil World Cup Australia (24th in the World) will play against Iran (48th in the World) and Iraq (84th in the World). The games will be played at the same stadium that Australia beat Uruguay to qualify for the 2006 Germany World Cup. I can understand the Football Federation using this marketing strategy as it was the greatest Australian Soccer moment. In reality there is no way you can compare Uruguay (4th in the World) to the games that Australia will play. Australia being in Asia has actually made it far more simpler to qualify for the World Cup and has made it difficult to have anybody too excited about the upcoming games. Now you have Brett Emerton offering all sorts of discounts in the hope that the stadium will be full. The reality Brett is there no comparison to the Uruguay game but I wish you all the luck in the world.

The other issue I have with the FFA (Football Federation Australia) is the current administration selection. First we had a Rugby Union man, next an AFL man and now a Rugby League man. These codes are not only learning from the inside how FIFA work but are infiltrating our game with no real benefits to Football Australia. Look at the current mess with the Western Sydney Wanderers from wanting to cover up the Legendary Ray Price Statute at Parramatta Park to bringing the team into the league in a hurry to offset the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL team.

All the FFA considers is whether there are any ethnic connections to a team. When you look at the current teams that established football in Australia it was only a few that caused issues. One team I can think of that never had any issues would be Marconi in Sydney’s west. Lets look at that team. Marconi have their own Stadium, their own Club, their own training facilities, their own parking. The FFA will say but they have the Italian colours? Italian fans? However when I look at the current A League teams they seem to be very United Kingdom in their fan base which is one of the reasons I have not renewed my Sydney FC membership. I don’t feel in any way part of Sydney FC as they have slowly distanced themselves from my support. Only now that they have competition from the West have they started offering better membership packs and offers.

Once again administrative Football in Australia works on reactive plays and not pro-active plays. FFA you don’t need to fear any of the other football codes. Rugby League, AFL, Union and Cricket will always be the number one sports in Australia. You need to respect these sports and focus only on Football. Legends like Ray Price should be respected as they represent a time when many respected Rugby League and I believe it was the best time for Rugby League before the Super League destroyed the game. No FEAR FFA as football will always BE.

Ray Price Statue
Ray Price Statue
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Uruguay Fourth

Uruguay
Uruguay

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.

Locos por Uruguay
Locos por Uruguay

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 vs Mexico
Uruguay vs Mexico

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!!!!

Uruguay 2-1 Korea Republic
Uruguay 2-1 Korea Republic

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.

Uruguayans patting the Cheaters
Uruguayans patting the Cheaters

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.

Drugs Anyone?
Drugs Anyone?

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”

3D Glasses in hand
3D Glasses in hand

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.

Palito y Andres
Palito y Andres

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.

Ghiggia's Signature
Ghiggia's Signature

Ghiggia still moving fast
Ghiggia still moving fast

Then there are the sacrifices one must make when hanging around nacional supporters, but it’s the least I can do.

El Presidente'
El Presidente'

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.

Australia vs Ghana
Australia vs Ghana

Then there was the South African wild life:

Pato Loco
Pato Loco
Wild Lions
Wild Lions
Wild Birds
Wild Birds

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.

Forlan El Bomber
Forlan El Bomber
Missed it by that much
Missed it by that much

Gracias Uruguay Gracias
Gracias Uruguay Gracias

Uruguay First Red Card in Africa

    

La Cede Uruguaya Cape Town
La Cede Uruguaya Cape Town

 Great news as Uruguay has made history in Africa on the first day of the World Cup. Uruguay is the first country to receive a red card in a World Cup held on African soil. I would like to congratulate Nicolas Lodiero for an incredible accomplishment being so young and inexperienced.  

Africa got to see two World Cup Champions in action for the first time in a World Cup held on African soil. Most of the crowd would have been mesmerised with the chess game that was played. Nobody was giving anything away and hopefully no one fell asleep and hurt themselves by falling out of bed or out of their chair.  

France without the headbutting Zidane are a different team and even when the double hand balling french Henry came on the field nothing was going to change. What was ironic was Henry asking for a hand ball in the Uruguayan penalty box. I guess he was complaining because the Uruguayan only hand balled it once and not twice within the same play?  

Then there is the French coach who suddenly thought he was Napoleon and conquered the field as the Referees were overawed by the occasion and forgot about the rules as they allowed him on the field with no penalty. 

Then there is El Maestro who played with the same tactics throughout the game only to change them after the Nicolas send-off. Both teams had chances to win the game however I believe both teams are happy with the result as now the remaining games become crucial for qualification. Group A finishes after the first game with all teams on one point, however the difference being that Mexico only managed a draw against South Africa. If Uruguay manage to beat South Africa and France manage to beat or draw against Mexico then Uruguay will only need a draw in their last game to qualify. 

Being at the game was a great experience and the crowd were fantastic. No one around me fell asleep and the Uruguayans were in their typical chanting and opinionated comments. Well the Dream has become a Reality as I have now seen Uruguay play in a World Cup. Now for qualification which is in our hands. Now to relax and enjoy the futbol until the next Uruguay game.

Locos por Uruguay
Locos por Uruguay

 

 

15 Days: Fear the Shirt

  

La Celeste

Let the conspiracy begin as FIFA are up to their old tricks again. Looks like Uruguay will play with La Celeste against France and against Mexico, however for some reason not against South Africa. Now lets study the South African Shirt and how the colours would be an issue.   

 
 

Bafana Bafana

Looking at the above picture you have to wonder why Uruguay will play in White. Then again is this what FIFA wants Uruguay to do? 

 

I can understand the fear that happens when La Celeste is seen, as opposition players have been recorded as jumping out of buildings, jumping out of ships, jumping out of planes, jumping out of trains, jumping out of grandstands and running with fear in their hearts. 

I believe FIFA should enter their own team in the World Cup to make it easier to have results go in the interest of the FIFA game.  

  

FIFA United

  

 

 

38 Days: What are the Odds?

 

Fortune Teller
Let me look into the Crystal Ball

 

It seems every where I turn there is someone predicting the teams that will qualify for the second round and how they will progress throughout the tournament. Everybody seems to be talking but nobody is putting their money where their mouths are. Then there is Sportsbet who are putting their money on the line, so lets analyse what they predict.

Group A

A1: France $2.00

A2: Mexico $4.33

A3: Uruguay $4.50

A4: South Africa $6.50

Group B

B1: Argentina $1.50

B2: Nigeria $5.00

B3: Greece $6.50

B4: South Korea $11.00

Group C

C1: England $1.33

C2: USA $5.00

C3: Slovenia $10.00

C4: Algeria $19.00

Group D

D1: Germany $1.73

D2: Serbia $4.50

D3: Ghana $5.50

D4: Australia $8.00

Group E

E1: Holland $1.67

E2: Cameroon $5.00

E3: Denmark $5.00

E4: Japan $8.00

Group F

F1: Italy $1.44

F2: Paraguay $4.00

F3: Slovakia $7.00

F4: New Zealand $26.00

Group G

G1: Brazil $1.67

G2: Ivory Coast $4.00

G3: Portugal $4.00

G4: North Korea $41.00

Group H

H1: Spain $1.33

H2: Chile $5.50

H3: Switzerland $8.00

H4: Honduras $17.00

Well now that we have all the Group Winners we can begin with the second round. There are some instances where the odds are the same for the Group Winners so you will see two countries vs one. This will not cause an issue as the rest of the tournament will be based on the odds of winning the World Cup.

Second Round

A1: France $15.00 vs B2: Nigeria $101.00

M1: France

B1: Argentina $8.50 vs A2: Mexico $81.00

M2: Argentina

C1: England $6.50 vs D2: Serbia $67.00

M3: England

D1: Germany $14.00 vs C2: USA $76.00

M4: Germany

E1: Holland $14.00 vs F2: Paraguay $67.00

M5: Holland

F1: Italy $14.00 vs E2: Cameroon $101.00 or Denmark $126.00

M6: Italy

G1: Brazil $6.00 vs H2: Chile $67.00

M7: Brazil

H1: Spain $5.00 vs G2: Ivory Coast $31.00 or Portugal $26.00

M8: Spain

Quarter Finals

M1: France $15.00 vs M3: England $6.50

QF1: England

M2: Argentina $8.50 vs M4: Germany $14.00

QF2: Argentina

M5: Holland $14.00 vs M7: Brazil $6.00

QF3: Brazil

M6: Italy $14.00 vs M8: Spain $5.00

QF4: Spain

Semi Finals

QF1: England $6.50 vs QF3: Brazil $6.00

SF1: Brazil

QF2: Argentina $8.50 vs QF4: Spain $5.00

SF2: Spain

World Cup Final

SF1: Brazil $6.00 vs SF2: Spain $5.00

2010 World Champions: Spain

What are the odds of a penalty shootout?

129 Days: Uruguay No Ma

 

 

!!!!!Vamos Uruguay Vamos!!!!!

 

 

The best game in the whole South American Qualifiers would have to be the Ecuador 1-2 Uruguay. I remember watching the game live and thinking we could still get a draw after losing 1-0. The instant equaliser and then a penalty at the end of the game was a great moment for Uruguay. That foundation built strength for the team with a qualification attitude. We need a big game against France and recover in time for South Africa.

Mexico will be the Decider…

 

149 Days “France 7 del Mundo”

France

Well well well if it isn’t the French Team that has a FIFA ranking of 7 in the World and are Team 7. 11 World Cup appearance winning the trophy in 1998, runner up in 2006, third in 1958 and 1986 and fourth in 1982.   

It was a Frenchman that organised the first World Cup and the trophy was called Jules Rimet (named after him). Uruguay managed to win the Jules Rimet trophy on two occasions and played to take the trophy home forever. The 1970 World Cup offered Uruguay, Italy and Brazil the opportunity to win the Jules Rimet Trophy a third time. To win it three times meant you would have it forever. The Brazilians ended up winning it and keeping it, however for a short period of time as the typical Brazilians ended up losing the trophy forever 😉     

  

 

 

Jules Rimet

 France are in Group A with South Africa, Uruguay and Mexico. The french have been rather controversial lately with the infamous Zidane headbut and now the Maradona trained Henry double handball against the luck of the Irish. The Irish will still be in South Africa doing their utmost to upset the french in everyway and anyway possible. FIFA did not punish Henry for the incident, however FIFA have other ways to get the outcome they require (always in the name of Football right 🙂 )   

With that in mind I don’t believe France will be given any favours, it’s in FIFA’s interest for South Africa to progress and France to disappear. So for all the Irish out there, Uruguay will do everything possible to say “au revoir France”   

My Prediction: Out Before the Tournament Starts   

    

   

    

   

    

   

    

   

    

   

    

DownTown France

   

160 Days “Uruguay 20 del Mundo”

Uruguay

I will keep this post short as I don’t want to sound bias as I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay.   

In the beginning there was a railway being built in Uruguay. The british arrived in Uruguay to assist in the building of this railway. During their time in Uruguay they would play two sports that the Uruguayans had never seen before. One was cricket and the other was football.    

Cricket took 5 days and the Uruguayans said; “Loco I have to wait 5 days before I can try to pick up chicks?” You crazy man, forget this game.   

Football on the other hand only took 90 minutes and even quicker if you played really fast. The Uruguayans said: “Loco I like this game but I have to go now cause some girls are waiting for me” 🙂   

The poms explained to the Uruguayans how to play the game and then they played a game. After the game the Uruguayans would sit together while drinking their mate’ and discuss the game of football and argue and talk and argue and talk some more, then argue some more. This would last for hours and they would continue it the next day.   

   

Finally the Uruguayans agreed that football would be the English style but the Uruguayans would play futbol instead. On September 28th 1891, Club Atlético Peñarol was founded. They were originally called Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club to keep the poms happy.

FIFA has officially recognised Peñarol as the best team of the 20th Century. Peñarol’s record speaks for itself: 3 time Inter-Continental winners, 5 time Libertadores Champion, 1 Super Copa and played a less known team called nacional back in 1900 with Peñarol winning 2-0 which was the beginning of the end for nacional.    

Peñarol are regarded as the most successful team and the most supported team in Uruguay with 9 International trophies and winning 6 more Uruguayan titles and more classicos then nacional.   

   

With an understanding of the foundation of Uruguayan futbol I can now start on La Celeste. With futbol played in such majestic fashion,  the Uruguayan Olympic Futbol Squad were unbeatable in the 1920’s. The Uruguayans had developed their own style which would see them win 2 Gold Medals at consecutive Olympics in 1924 and 1928.   

   

FIFA were looking closely at Uruguay and decided to organise the First World Cup which would be hosted by Uruguay. Uruguay was the obvious choice playing sensational futbol and already two time Champions of the World as FIFA declared that the 1924 Olympics the first World Champion decider.   

Now back to South Africa, Uruguay is team 18 with a FIFA ranking of 20 in the World. Uruguays history:  10 Previous World Cup appearances with 2 World Cup Wins in 1930 and 1950. 4th in 1954 and 1970, Quarter Final in 1966, Round of 16 in 1986 and 1990. 14 time South American Champion.   

   

The first ever International played outside the United Kingdom and Ireland was between Uruguay and Argentina who have since played a record 161 times and the good news is that Argentina are improving.   

Not many teams that qualified for South Africa can claim to have the “pichichi” highest goal scorer in the Spanish League. Diego Forlan has won the pichichi twice and is a goal scoring machine. Uruguay were able to qualify for the World Cup playing badly so the potential is there. Uruguay don’t have to deal with all the issues when playing the South American Qualification Marathon, altitude, South American referees, stadiums falling down, artificial pitches.   

   

Uruguay are the only team in the world to win a World Cup with a population less then 4 million. The second country to win with a small population is Argentina with 40 million. The fact is that Uruguayans are better then any other country on a per player to population basis. Uruguay has players in every league in the world and even has a striker in the Eskimo league, his name is Walter Quefrio Quease.   

   

 Uruguay are in Group A with South Africa, Mexico and France. Uruguay have the players, has a coach, have the suffering fans, has the experience, has the history, has been there before, has had the preparation after 20 games to get to South Africa. Has been in every type of position you can be in.    

   

Uruguay are the most dramatic team in World Futbol, it wont be easy and there will be times when you will fear, you will doubt, you will pull whatever hair you have left from your head, you will start drinking, taking drugs, bashing people, hugging people, screaming, fainting, smashing holes in the wall, driving off a cliff, decide to take up diving, parachuting, bungy jumping, archery, get a gun license, take up painting, call your phyciatrist and his psychologist, take up a faith, become an atheist, look for the exit, see the light, call a friend, make a deal, start singing, start chanting, start dancing, drive around just honking your horn, attach flags to vehicles, some more drinking and eating and celebrating like it’s 1950.     

My Prediction: World Cup Winners, Champions of the World 🙂

    

   

               

 
 
 
 
 

Candombe Uruguayo

    

    

    

 

Napoleon 0 vs 0 Artigas

Napoleon
Napoleon

France and Uruguay managed a nil all draw in their friendly game on Thursday. The highlight of the game was the final whistle as it woke me up as it seems I fell asleep during the half time break. Below are some of the highlights of the 1st half as unfortunately I was unable to obtain any second half highlights while snoooozing. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Artigas
Artigas