Saturday, July 17, 2010

And the winners

Paul the Octopus - Slithering right and left, this guy got it right time after time and predicted the winners. Now rumoured to be working for Paddy Power - calamari this guy ain't.

Diego Forlan - lovely to see a Manchester United reject come good on the big stage and some of his goals were superb. No mention please of the Spurs rejects, who also excelled - Kevin Prince Boateng for Ghana and Lee Yung Pyo for South Korea. There's also someone else but I can't for the life of me remember.

Ivor Casillas - clever boy, the Spanish captain. How do you get around the ban on wags during the competition? - you get your missus a job doing commentary and reports on the games, and in particular those in which your team are playing. Not only is she past the beady eyes of Del Bosque, but no-one queries why she's climbing into the bath at the end of the game to ask you a few tricky one-liners.

Spain - worthy champions, even if there has to be a question mark over the clinical nature of the 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 path through the knock-outs to the winners podium.

South Africa - sadly not on the pitch, but as hosts they did an excellent job of facilitating the influx of visitors and in ensuring the competition ran without ant major embarrassment or controversy. Team selection for the Bafana Bafana probably led to their downfall (rumoured to be driven by commercial interests in showcasing specific players) but all-in-all the overwhelming majority of visitors left with a very positive impression of a beautiful country.

....... and before we finish how could I have left out of the list of losers the following worthy members of the list:

Maradona - Germany's ruthless demolition of Argentina in the quarter-finals proved that to be a successful football manager you have to be more than a crazy, cheating, drug-crazed criminal.

Holland - the team which betrayed the spirit of the great Dutch teams of the 70's and 80's by turning their back on the fluid, flowing Total Football of their predecessors.