World Cup Dream Team: The Best Eleven

On June 11th 2010 South Africa became the first African country to host the “FIFA World Cup”. Every one including myself made sure that I got a chance to watch most of the games on “TV” whether or not it was in Eastern or Pacific time. This meant sacrificing my sleep and waking up as early as 6AM. After all the celebrations were over I sat down…and asked my self…if I was a coach and could pick any of the players that have participated in the World Cup, who would be in my “first eleven”?

Well, lets find out….

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Premier League flops who proved us wrong

Many of us including myself have spent the past three weeks watching the World Cup unfold, rubbing our eyes in disbelief. There are a number of players we used to watch back in the day @ the Premier League who have suddenly exploded to life. Here they are:

Robinho (Manchester City and Brazil)

The arrival of Robinho led boss Mark Hughes to gush: ‘I am absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to work with such an incredible talent like Robinho’ Sixteen months later, they were both out of the club. Funny enough City fans complained the £32.5m signing from Real Madrid seemed lethargic and there were off-field distractions.

To some people he seemed more like a waste of cash.  The Manchester City Robinho never scores away from home or looks like he’s trying but when with Brazil he becomes a whole new player. Continue reading

3 Football Greats Who Want To Rule the World

In terms of excitement, drama and tension, the last eight of a World Cup is where the tournament really starts. The weak and the feeble — in other words, England — have gone home and the real heavyweights remain.

DIEGO FORLAN (URUGUAY)

Games: 4.
Minutes played: 360.
Goals: 2.
Attack stats: Both his goals have come against African sides.

Like Klose, he loves the World Cup. Even back in 2002 when he was a laughing stock in England because of his troubles in front of goal with Manchester United, Forlan found that this tournament suited him. Forlan remains the talisman, taking the penalties, the free-kicks and even the corners.

A thoroughly nice guy, too. It’s hard not to feel pleased for him.

He’s a rock star: Forlan helped to end 40 years of hurt for Uruguay as they reached the last eight for the first time since 1970

ENRIQUE VERA (PARAGUAY)

Games: 4.
Minutes played: 388.
Goals: 1.
Attack stats: Paraguay has won every time Vera scores for his country.

Having spent all of his 12-year professional career in Southern and Central America, Vera is not exactly a household name in Europe but at home in Paraguay the 31-year-old playmaker is being credited with being the brains behind his country’s surprising passage to the last eight.

As you may have noticed, Paraguay are not exactly the most exciting team in this World Cup. But watch Vera play and you will see the intelligence of his football and the way that he is going some way to compensating for the poor form of their usual talisman, Manchester City’s Roque Santa Cruz.

ARJEN ROBBEN (HOLLAND)

Games: 2.
Minutes played: 88.
Goals: 1.
Attack stats: Holland have won 11 of the 12 matches in which Robben has scored, drawing with Germany in the other.

The man who took Bayern Munich to the Champions League final almost single-handedly came late to this tournament as he was once again struck down by injury.

Since his arrival as a substitute in Holland’s final group game against Cameroon, however, he has made a sublime and memorable impact. The amazing thing about the former Chelsea winger is that he seems to have one stock party trick… and nobody seems to be able to stop it. Receiving the ball wide — on either flank — he will cut inside on a diagonal course and strike vicious shots with his left foot.

Our Black Stars: “Did Ghana Deserve to Win?”

Ghana Fan

Ghana is out. Africa weeps.

Well, not really. Most are just sulking and pointing fingers at either Gyan or Mensa for horridly taken penalty kicks. Or the super-Afrocentric tend to be blaming Suarez for being a second goal keeper.

Either way. Ghana is out. And the African Dream has experienced the rudest of awakenings. I hate to say “I told you so….” but to be quite fair, I was out there cheering as loud and as proud as anyone else.

I wanted them to win. And for a second there, it looked like they would. But…. Continue reading