Thursday, 15 July 2010

Rank: World Cup 2010 (10)

On Tuesday FIFA announced the rankings for the teams performing in the World Cup 2010. England were ranked 13th, their worst performance in any World Cup Finals.World-Cup-trophy No surprise there for anyone who had the misfortune to watch England’s performances against teams rated much lower in the world. England were turfed out of the tournament in the second round, beaten 4 – 1 by Germany and it was their biggest World Cup defeat.

Then on Wednesday came the extraordinary announcement, again from FIFA, that England had actually gone up in the World team rankings; from 8th to 7th place! The reason is the even worse performances of several other top teams including France, Italy and Portugal. England played very poorly and yet managed to improve their ranking. Bizarre.

There is another definition of the word rank: a strong or offensive odour or flavour. This seems to be a more appropriate description of England’s performance; it was rank. It left a sour taste in the mouth and a foul aroma in the air.

The other team that put in a rank performance were the Dutch. After some good displays in the run up to the final they completely lost the plot and played as if they were in a remake of the Kung Fu classic Enter the Dragon. A team who had previously developed a reputation as proponents of Total Football gave up trying to kick the ball and dedicated themselves to kicking their opponents.

Congratulations to Spain on winning the World Cup to add to their 2008 European Championship trophy. The Spanish put on a solid rather than spectacular exhibition throughout the competition, with only flashes of their flair and skill. However, they were worthy winners of what turned out to be a disappointing tournament.

The hosts South Africa delivered the goods in running the competition and proved the peddlers of doom and gloom wrong. The highlight for me was Desmond Tutu’s dance of joy at the opening ceremony. It was a shame that Tutu’s fancy footwork wasn’t matched by so many of the top ranked players who, almost to a man, failed to enhance their reputations as masters of the beautiful game. Most put on brilliant performances in their sponsors’ adverts but were frankly woeful on the pitch. And that may well be the heart of the problem for football; over paid journeymen with their eye on their bank balances rather than the goal.

So that’s it. World Cup 2010 came to an end with few memorable highlights. Roll on Brazil 2014.


z.electric said...

I cna think of a few memorable moments:

1. Germany's demolition of Argentina in the Qtrs.
2. Ryan Nelsons' superb rallying of the NZ defensive line (and his tough stance on Italian theatrics)
3. Forlan's execution of ball control when everyone else seemed to be struggling with the new ball
4. The realisation that the premier league simply doesn't have the world's best players in it
5. The blissfull silence when the vuvuzelas stopped, once the final game finished

Philip Ritchie said...

Thanks z.electric, I agree with all your memorable moments. Be inetersting to see what others come up with.