Within our offices here at 34SP.com there are some who casually follow the World Cup and some football crazed maniacs. Being in the latter group, I shall give you my thoughts and hopes for next month’s World Cup, a tournament that rivals the Olympics with the amount of press coverage, television viewership figures and prestige to the host nation as well as the eventual winners.
Being a British host, we are backing England to win the World Cup out of ritualistic unashamed national pride, but we know that there are others that are:-
A – not English
B – not interested in Football.
As part of the celebration of the World Cup, 34SP.com will soon be launching a special promotional offer tied to the results of the matches. It works like this: for every goal that England scores, you save an additional 10% off any of the following 34SP.com hosting products – Professional Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Business Hosting, or VPS Hosting. This special offer is for new orders only, and is cumulative for the duration of the World Cup tournament.
For those that do like a bit of 22 men running about all over a field kicking one ball, then read on for Motti’s World Cup Guide.
JOE MOTT’S GUIDE TO THE WORLD CUP
This tournament only comes around every 4 years, meaning the world’s best players only have a select few chances to shine on the biggest stage of Football.
Only 4 years ago, one of the greatest players in recent times, Zinedine Zidane made his mark on the World Cup Final, but for the wrong reasons, by headbutting Marco Materazzi during the closing part of the final.
From an England point of view, this was meant to be David Beckham’s last hurrah before international retirement, however an unfortunate Achilles injury has prevented him from playing in South Africa, but he shall still be part of the team set up by going as a Coach for Fabio Capello (or as the press have suggested, a team cheerleader and “voice of the dressing room”).
England still have a good chance, with the likes of Rooney, Gerrard, Ferdinand and Heskey, they are sure to at least reach the Quarter Finals.
For other teams that are likely winners, you only need to check out the past winners. They include Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina, France. The only other winners of the World Cup are Uruguay but they won the tournament twice in the 1930’s.
Brazil are always favourites due to their attacking style, their excellent technique and team full of European-based superstars that regularly play in the top leagues give them an edge that few overcome. They are no means guaranteed to win, but the bookies love to give them short odds. My player to watch out for is Luis Fabiano who plays up front for Sevilla. I expect Brazil to be in the semi finals as a minimum, as will most neutrals be.
Argentina, Brazil’s bothersome arch rivals also possess similar style and roster of world class players, look no further than Barcelona’s Leo Messi. They also have a World Cup winner as their coach as well, the infamous Diego Maradona. A man who has won the World Cup, beaten England with what it considered one of the finest solo efforts ever witnessed, and the goal that he shall ever be known for in the same match, “The Hand Of God”. Will this team of precocious talent be able to shine beyond their most famous footballing export, we shall soon see.
Next up are Germany, a nation and team ethic that seems to bleed match winners. Many times in the past, they have been written off for not containing enough individually brilliant players but on their day, the competitive team seems to gel together and defy their critics time and again. A late injury to their captain, Chelsea’s Michael Ballack, has been a blow, but nothing that won’t stop the German team marching through the Group Stages with Bastian Schweinsteiger being the one to watch out for.
2006’s winners Italy will have the focus set on them from their first game. Winning the tournament in Germany projected them into the glory, but can the same team play as well as they did 4 years ago? The same core of the team, expertly linked up with Andrea Pirlo and the crew-cut of Fabio Cannavaro captaining his team from the back will know what it takes to win it, but I feel that they will be found wanting in the knockout stages.
Finally we have France, having lost the Final 4 years ago will want to strike back with vengeance. Only a controversial Thierry Henry winner with use of his hand against Ireland booked them a place to South Africa, so the pressure will be on them to top their group. They face the host nation South Africa, backed by the home crowd, I suspect it will be a battle between France, Mexico and Uruguay all the way to win their group. With an ageing group of superstars that last won back in 1998, I don’t believe they can attain the heady heights of the final of 2006 once more. We’ll just have to see what happens come kick off time.
From all of us here at 34SP.com – no matter who you support during the matches – enjoy the World Cup 2010!