For posterity, I present my completed Guardian World Cup Guide group-stage centre-spread. As with all the other international football tournaments I have followed with keen interest in my adult life, the Guardian‘s has been my guide. It’s witty and handsome, and just the right size to manhandle and leave on the coffee table with a pen tucked inside it. Here’s the next page. Not sure why I haven’t filled every single score in, but I like it that way. I’m only human. And sorry about the handwriting.
Now I’ll never know who won!
I suspect that before too long the word Jabulani will be used in reference to well laid plans going badly wrong, as in “I packed three days before, checked passport & tickets, got my jabs, cancelled the milk, but then the cat got flu and my whole holiday went Jabulani”.
Thanks for the world cup missives. A middling-to-poor World Cup, spoiled by several teams not really turning up. Maradona really screwed up by not taking Cambiasso and Zanetti, two players on a club high like Sneijder. Ivory Coast blew it vs Portugal, a typically Sven-led non-performance. France were comically, epically (?) bad, and England just bad. Seeing the BBC’s top ten goals of the tournament told a story: two or three of them were unremarkable goals.
But the South Africans put on a show, silenced the critics and were let down by Fifa, who gave them a shit ball, and who should have paid them to fill the stadia with local fans the minute it became clear that they wouldn’t be full.
Yes, somehow Spain just about winning 1-0 seems to sum up the entire tournament really. Like you, I only really watch football during major tournaments, and I don’t even usually watch much of it then. But even I can tell the difference between close-fought matches and simply dull ones. And most of what I saw was terribly dull. With the odd moments of tedium thrown in. I endorse the thanks for your pieces though.