Everything you need to know about the shebang in South Africa
So it’s all done for another four years. Time for us to ruminate, cogitate, digest then excrete the tournament’s highs and lows.
We’ve decided to damn and praise in the form of the first ever World Cup 2010 World Cup Awards for the World Cup. The dizzying highs, the death-defying lows, the silliest names, the coolest granddads, the best jumpers, the most random moats… they’re all here.
Drink it in, bask in it, bathe in it - then don your Zakumi pajamas, put it to bed and move on with your regular lives, people. See y’all in Brazil in four years' time – don’t forget to wind your watches back four hours and wear a hat made of bananas.
Must-have accessoryJoachim Löw’s ‘lucky’ blue jumper wasn’t jammy enough to counteract the infallible fortune bestowed by Paul the Octopus. But the natty cashmere number – modelled duskily by the brooding German sex god – did rapidly become a Teutonic fashion craze, with upscale clothier Strenesse selling out of the €199 items overnight. Essential.
Must have-accessory II (The Klumps)Alright, it was the first winter World Cup since 1978, and pampered hacks got upset when nights were chilly. Still no need for the lengths this Honduran bloke went to.
Mustn’t have-accessoryDunga’s chunky roll-neck. The Brazil gaffer and Barry Chuckle-alike donned a woolly pully that looked like it was designed by committee and would have been more at home on Captain Birdseye’s poop deck. And unlike Jogi’s sell-out garment, ‘Dungawear’ doesn’t seem to have caught on around Copacabana Beach, where it’s currently 34 degrees. Maybe next time he’ll go for some Dunga-rees.
Softest-sounding hardmanWaldo Ponce.
Coolest dudeYou can’t help but admire Uruguay’s Seb Abreu for his breathtakingly bold (some would say idiotic) quarter-final shootout penalty chip against Ghana. The phenomenon known as El Loco back in Montevideo chose the crucial moment to ping a cavadinha. Known elsewhere as the 'falling leaf', this roughly translates as ‘small digging’: the taker watches which way the keeper is going before scooping the ball gently down the middle. Bonus points, too, for looking like he’d just wandered in from a Sepultura gig.
Biggest Curse Mick Jagger. Stop going to England games, man!Paul Simpson, June 29: Guilty – Jagger, Churchill & Blessed >>
Never blinking award Like Great White sharks, snakes, seagulls, and halibut, Mesut Ozil is medically unable to blink. Let's get this lad a transfer to the Premiership - and an Optrex eyebath.
Names most closely resembling the warble of soul music backing singersWe can easily imagine The Supremes crooning Tshabalala and Toulalan as Diana Ross belts out a heartfelt ballad about her baby leaving her, poor lass.
Least recognisable Premier League player (in a good way) Giovanni dos Santos
Least recognisable Premier League player (in a bad way) Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Gareth Barry…
Biggest waste of taxpayers’ moneyAlan Shearer. “Our knowledge of these two teams are limited,” smirked Shearer as Algeria prepared to take on Slovenia. So, you haven’t been arsed to read the document about the teams that a squadron of BBC researcher drones have toiled to put together then, Al? Too busy golfing with Hansen? The quality of TV analysis has become so desperate that we’re no longer surprised when an ex-footballer gets paid to trot out bleeding obvious clichés and knee-jerk wrongheadedness (“So much for Spain winning the World Cup,” grinned Shearer after their defeat the Swiss). But to openly flaunt your ignorance? A disgrace.
Least accurate sphere The J*b*l*n*. Don't mention the ball!
Most accurate sphere (of sorts)Paul the octopus.
Most remarkable media backlashAustralia's shoddy 4-0 defeat to Germany prompted an unprecedented witch-hunt Down Under. Coach Pim Verbeek was called upon to quit mid-tournament, his tactics were labelled "un-Australian," and rumours of a player revolt swirled round the camp. The departing Verbeek won't forget his brutal treatment in a hurry – and even when the Socceroos recovered to win a game, their government thoughtfully decided to overshadow them by eating itself. Mike Tuckerman, June 24: Politics overshadow Socceroos win >>
Slowest assassinGareth Barry’s pathetic late attempt to “take out” Mesut Ozil. By the time the lumbering midfielder’s challenge was disgracefully hacking at thin air, the sprightly German was in another time zone. Like a Mercedes purring past a Raleigh tricycle, it was the entire game in miniature.
Scousest MexicanGerrado Torrado. Try saying it.
Best accidental jump into a moatSerbian forward Milan Jovanovic deserved a good celebrate after scoring his nation’s winner against Germany. But when he jumped over the advertising hoardings delightedly he must have been surprised to find himself standing in the narrow but inexplicable body of water which runs round the perimeter of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. If only the Northumbria Police could find a moat so quickly.
Most patriotic reaction to a national anthemNorth Korean Jong Tae-Se bursting into tears before the Brazil game. Truly epic patriotic weeping.
Kicking the BusquetsA big thanks to everyone who booted Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets – the tournament’s most-fouled player – for making this joke possible.
Best 44-year itch-scratching Germany finally getting their own back for that 1966 Geoff Hurst goal-over-the-line business. Sure, Frank Lampard’s was BLOODY MILES across, but theirs was in the World Cup Final. Shall we call it quits, lads?
“Breaking African Hearts” AwardOne billion people live in Africa, and each and every last one of them is now a heartbroken, bereft, blubbering mess because of Asamoah Gyan's last-minute penalty miss against Uruguay – making him a bigger b*st*rd than love rats Darren Day, Dwight Yorke and Grant Bovey combined.
Coolest granddad Tim Cahill, whose gran’pappy has got a tattoo from his neck to his knees and is the chief of a village in Samoa. Respect gigantically due.
Biggest en masse switch to supporting another sportEngland fans to Andy Murray for around six days in late June, until he went and blew it, too. Erm, when does the cricket start again?
Most laughable missHaving been delivered the slowest and most accurate pass in history on a silver ruddy platter, Nigeria’s Yakubu somehow conspired to blunder from three feet out against South Korea, spooning it back past the post. So massively moronic that he even started laughing at himself.
Gaffer most gagging for a gameWe’re surprised that badger-bearded boss Diego Maradona didn’t just storm onto the pitch in his grey suit towards the end of the Germany game, dribble past eight defenders and then head in his own cross, before being wrestled from the pitch calling the ref’s mum a pig-dog-whore-snake. You know he wanted to.
Red hot & DutchWheeler-dealing, high-level ticket tout extraordinaire Robbie Earle was sacked by ITV after it transpired that he’d flogged a number of tickets for a Holland game. Unfortunately for him – but happily for lady-oglers everywhere – they ended up in the moisturised palms of a gaggle of attractive orange minidress-modelling Dutch stunners working for a beer company. More remarkably, the fallout from the story revealed that the pundit had been granted FOUR HUNDRED tickets for the tournament, including 40 for the final. Which presumably means that half the main stand at Soccer City yesterday was full of ITV pundits’ mates instead of real fans. Super news.
Tightest shirt in showbizArgentina’s not-really-a-right-back Jonas Gutierrez. Figure-hugging!
Least surprising big surpriseDiego Forlan! He’s not the player he was at Manchester United! He can score goals! What’s going on? Er... he’s been banging them all over the shop for six years since he left Old Trafford, you Premier-centric muppets!
Best childish playground chuckle of a nameNew Zealand’s Shane Smeltz. Ha!
Service to broadcasting medalThe germs that scuttled down Jim Beglin’s throat and spared us all from his inane nonsense during the Germany vs Uruguay semi-final. Well infected, malevolent micro-organisms!
Best goalGiovanni van Bronckhorst: 61mph of wrong, walloped vigorously over 41 yards past Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera. Booooooom!
Most appropriate jigSouth Africa’s excellent display of co-ordinated dancing following Siphiwe Tshabalala-lalalalala-ooooooh-daaaarling’s barmstorming opening goal of the tournament. Great moves and genuine jubilation.10.0! 10.0! 10.0! from the World Cup Brekkie jury…
Least appropriate jigIt’s tough to forgive Luis Suarez his nasty little last-minute handball against Ghana – even if every analyst in town has admitted that any professional in that situation would have done the same thing. But what is really unforgivable is him openly dancing a sodding samba when Gyan missed his penny, swinging his hips with even further gusto on the final whistle, and then declaring himself ‘the new hand of God’. Git.
Worst gameParaguay vs New Zealand. A team unwilling to score against a team unable to score. Televisual Diazapam.
Worst dayNo prizes for guessing who had to wear Dunga’s wally-jumper on the flight home to Rio after Brazil’s exit to Holland: Felipe Melo scored a horrible own goal then got red carded for a horrible challenge, setting a new and horrible record. Bozo. (And we know FIFA awarded the own goal to Sneijder, but they don't have jurisdiction over us, so tough, Sepp.)
FEATURE: Our memories of World Cup 2010FEATURE: The Draw Specialist's World Cup
More World Cup stuff: Features
* Lists * Interviews
* News * Interviews
* HomeInteract: Twitter
* Facebook * Forum
worst media: English. The dizzing heights and deathly lows were enough to send anybody crazy
Best Commentator - US edition; Wigan Manager Roberto Martinez on ESPN. Knowledgable, concise, level and an accent that kept my girlfriend from changing the channel.
What about "Best impression of a Football Squad by a gang of Fascist Storm Troopers" --- Answer.... Holland.
The 'how is he still on the pitch!?!?! award' to Mark Van Bommel, who despite commiting more fouls than there were in the whole european qualifying section only got 2 bookings
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
Spain seal major tournament treble
UEFA dishes out dosh to clubs for Euro 2012
Russia win appeal against Euro 2012 sanction
Nasri banned over behaviour at Euro 2012
Van der Wiel critical of compatriot Robben
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010