Bafana Bafana Te Metimos Tres Banana

 

It’s been a marathon couple of weeks and here I am at 1:15am South African time drinking mate with internet access at speeds I haven’t seen since the 1990’s. Staying in a Guest House ready for a blog entry. I have so much to say and I have no idea where to start so excuse me if I ramble on.

I am Uruguayan and a pure futbol fanatic, so the whole purpose of this trip to South Africa was to watch futbol and most importantly to see La Celeste play in a World Cup. It’s been a lifelong dream that has been realised.

South Africa has been an interesting place to visit and I was advised of many things to look out for and I do take that seriously and am prepared at every moment, however after seeing the South Americans I feel safe and insecure at the same time. To start with, a Brazilian and Peruvian were arrested for stealing South African ladies handbags, the ultras for both Uruguay and Argentina walk the streets as if they are in South America and I wouldn’t be approaching them unless you want to find a new storage area for you’re vuvuzela.

The futbol coverage in this country reminds me a lot of the Australian Soccer Coverage. Not only do they call it soccer over here but most people are only interested in Rugby Union. The experts talk about the strangest things, from asking the Question as to why Nigeria is not the favourite against Greece (Nigeria lost the game!!!) they say that the African teams are never taken seriously. In my opinion you first have to win something and secondly you have to have a healthy FIFA ranking and thirdly you need to play futbol to be taken seriously.

It’s midnight the following day and I’m still trying to finish this blog entry. I never thought I’d say this, but man I miss our internet speeds in Australia.

I love the media here as they are so biased it’s like a comedy routine. The build up to the Bafana and Uruguay game had me in stitches and angry. The experts here were stating that Bafana should rest their players for the game against Uruguay as this was their easy game and they could focus on the tough game against France. They were saying that the game was going to end up in favour of Bafana either 2 nil or 3 nil. They were talking about who they were going to face in the second round and gave no respect to Uruguay at all. Just the sort of coverage you get in Australia.

Walking into the stadium Andres was advised that the result would be 3-0 in favour of Bafana just like it said on his ticket. We looked at the ticket and we were trying to understand what they were trying to say. These guys have no idea and it’s a laughable situation.

Now that the game is over not only did they not show the highlights to the game but everyone seems to say that they only care about the Rugby Union. Congratulations South Africa, as you beat Los TeRRos (Uruguay Rugby Union Team) 1000 to 3 at the Rugby Union World Cup in Australia. I think that South Africa will beat Uruguay at cricket as well.

Just a reminder Africa, this is the World Cup in Futbol and before you talk show some respect as the Champions of the World have only been from two continents, South America and Europe.

Now for my own highlights show:

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

16 Days: England Do Mexican Wave

 

It was great to see England play Mexico this morning in a friendly which England ended up winning 3-1. The crowd started a Mexican Wave which was very ironic, however hilarious. Fabio Capello gave El Maestro some pointers as to how to go about defeating the Mexicans.

Fabio used speed, height and his England B Team to overcome a resilient Mexican side who had chances to score more goals but missed it by that much!!!

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?

40 Days: Soccer International Magazine

  

Soccer International 

I was in Boarders today and had a look at the magazines available. To my surprise I found the World Cup Commemorative Program 2010 by Soccer International Magazine.  

When I looked at the cover the first thing I noticed were the countries they selected to be on the cover. There are 7 countries that have won the World Cup, however this magazine decided to put 5 winning countries on the cover. They have Pirlo (Italy); Ballack (Germany); Torres (Spain, never won the World Cup); Messi (Argentina); Kaka (Brazil); Rooney (England); Cahill (Australia, Never Ever won the World Cup); Sneijder (Holland, never won the World Cup).

I guess FIFA asked the Magazine not to include France due to the Zidane and Henry performances? The Magazine also would have thought there was no need to include a South African player on the cover but we’ll just throw in some Lions and Tigers…

I guess they didn’t have room for Uruguay with a picture of Forlan right?  

 

Diego Forlan
Diego Forlan

Well since the cover of the magazine states that this is “Your Ultimate 140 Page Guide”, I thought I’d give it a chance so I went straight to the Uruguay section on page 56. 

The article is written by Adrian Musolino and in the section of the downside to Uruguay he writes the following. 

“As demonstrated by it’s (Uruguay’s) inconsistent qualifying campaign, where they held Brazil and defeated Argentina, yet suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to the lowly Venezuela, the team hardly impressed and rarely settled on a formation” 

Che Mr Musolino you got your stats wrong buddy as this was the 2006 campaign. For the 2010 campaign we lost against Brazil and lost against Argentina and we drew against Venezuela. 

Then Adrian talks about the class of players  for the 2010 campaign are not at the same level as the 2006 campaign. There is no Recoba or Zalayeta. What are you talking about loco, we have Muslera (Lazio); Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid); Martin Caceres (Juventus); Walter Gargano (Napoli); Luis Suarez (Ajax); Edison Cavani (Palermo); Jorge Fucile (Porto) and Cristian Rodriguez (Porto) just to name a few. 

Then again the magazine is called Soccer International and I should not expect the level of journalism that you would get from a Futbol International Magazine!!!!!