I was really excited about successfully picking Italy to win it all last time, and for largely the correct reasons (solid defense plus superb metronome midfielder/set piece taker in Andrea Pirlo). But I'm really torn about this one.
Predicting the World Cup is usually quite difficult, but there are almost always a few rules that work:
1. Repeat champions are extremely rare. Too much pressure, probably.
2. The host nation usually does better than expected.
3. European teams win in Europe. South American teams win on other continents.
4. Qualification results don't matter all that much.
5. It's rare to see a first-time winner. The only winners in World Cup history are Brazil, Argentina, Germany, England, France, Uruguay, and Italy. That's it!
So going into this tournament, most of these are pretty irrelevant. The holders, Italy, are considered much weaker than most other defending champs in general. Though maybe that means less pressure...not Italian fans and media. Second, for South Africa, picking up three points would be better than expected. With their group, getting to the second round would be a miracle.
The third criteria is the most important. What causes this? Is it travel time? In that case, it's even. Time zone? In that case, European teams would have advantage. Climate? South Africa in the winter may be closer to Europe than South America. Or maybe closer to Argentina. Culture? Traveling fans? I really don't know.
The fourth is good news for Argentina, France, and Portugal, but that doesn't help us narrow things down at all.
The last is still valid: other than Uruguay (solid, but unlikely to win), those are most of the favorites. Only three other nations seem close to breaking through: Portugal, Spain, and Holland.
So essentially, what I've been saying is that I'm willing to eliminate Italy as a likely winner. That leaves Brazil, England, Argentina, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, and Holland.
And I'm going to have to be really boring and say Brazil is my prediction. Having seen them in the Confederations Cup, it doesn't seem like the weather is going to be a massive problem. They're also the perfect modern football team: big, strong, fast, tactically superb, excellent on counter attacks, and devastating on set pieces.
My second favorite would be England, who should have all the pieces and favorable draw (so long as they avoid the Germans in the second round).
My dark horse is Ghana. They may have the best player in the world, and maybe Africa as a whole will do better with homefield advantage.
My friend Ivan Jimenez will be extremely happy about this World Cup. Afterall, Spain is in the final! My last and also first World Cup attendance was in Germany, ie. The 2006 World Cup. I didn’t really visit Germany for the World Cup, I was hardly a fan. I just happened to be there. I was in Berlin, Hamburg and Luebeck during my summer vacation. The festive mood in Berlin & Hamburg was simply incredible; everywhere you see men (hot blooded ones too)! Lots of foreigners, tourists, merry … more
I'm a soccer newbie, but being introduced to The Beautiful Game via the 2010 World Cup is about as good as it gets. I can't believe I've been missing out on this insanity every four years! Now I have something to look forward to when the Olympics are on downtime; better late than never! Between losing sleep to watch the early AM games, the vuvuzela madness & buying my own ball to kick around, World Cup fever has definitely struck me hard. I just wish the teams I rooted for were still in the Cup!
The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the 19th FIFA World Cup, the premier international football tournament. It is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the culmination of a qualification process that began in August 2007 and involved 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams. As such, it matches the 2008 Summer Olympics as the sports event with the most competing nations.
This will be the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation, after South Africa beat Morocco and Egypt in an all-African bidding process. Italy are the defending champions. The draw for the finals took place on 4 December 2009 in Cape Town.