On this day, a decade ago, South Africa became the focal point as they played hosts to the biggest sporting event on earth.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first of its kind as it was held on Africa soil for the first time ever, had everything to make for a great spectacle. The Africans, ever so hospitable and creative, didn’t disappoint, off the pitch that is.
What the superstars dished out on the football pitch was amazing. The thrills and spills with every goal and outrageous individual brilliance provided the much needed entertainment for the masses.
So what do you remember the most about the World Cup – Forlan? Tshabalala? Iniesta? Super fans? Jabulani? Phillip? Choreographic displays? Whatever it is that stood out for you is worth reliving again. FARPost lists 10 Memorable Things about the 2010 Fifa World Cup:
- Tshabalala’s Thunderbolt
Who can ever forget that thunderbolt at FNB Stadium that sent millions of South Africans into ecstasy? The theatre was packed and Mzansi needed a hero. It was all in motion when Kagisho Dikgacoi sublimely put a through ball for Siphiwe Tshabalala, who latched onto it, before unleashing a leftfooted scorcher that raised the roof and wrote his name in the history books forever.
- Redhot La Roja
Spain, with their tiki-taka fluid football, put on a great show. Once they got their rhythm, the European champions dazzled opponents with their football. In the final, at a capacity filled Soccer City, Spain and Holland played to an interesting duel, which had all the ingredients of a top clash. Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta fired the winning goal. What a final!
- Fantastic Forlan
In England, where Diego Forlan played for Manchester United, the Uruguayan was seen as a flop. In fact the media labelled him “Forlon”. The forward needed a big stage to set the record straight that he was the man.
It doesn’t get bigger than the World Cup. With long range goals, Forlan set the scene alight and at the end he was judged the best player at the World Cup. He was magnificent.
- Suarez’s Ghana Bite
The lethal striker had the villain tag follow him. During a match against Ghana, Suarez took one for the team by conceding a penalty blocking the ball with his hands. From the resultant penalty, Asamoah Gyan’s spotkick was saved and Suarez celebrated. After the match ended 1-1, Uruguay won through penalties and progressed to the semifinals as Ghana crashed out of the World Cup. Africa wept as their only hope to go far in the World Cup vanished.
- French Flops
Former world champions France, whose qualification to the World Cup was shrouded by controversy, were dismal. The mutiny in their squad led to them leaving South Africa without a single win. Altercations between coach Raymond Domenech and Nicolas Anelka, who criticised the coach publicly, undermined their performances. When the French couldn’t strike on the pitch, they protested off the pitch.
- Palacios Trifecta
South American country – Honduras had three siblings take to the pitch at these finals. Jerry, Jonny and Wilson Palacious made history by becoming the first three siblings to make an appearance at a tournament of this magnitude.
- Boateng Brothers
Siblings – Jerome and Kevin-Prince Boateng faced off against each other when Germany and Ghana clashed at Soccer City on June 23. Born to a Ghanaian father and German mother, Boateng brothers played for Germany in junior ranks until the youngest chose the country of his father’s birth at elite level.
- Jabulani Ball and Vuvuzelas
There was a lot of talk, actually complaints, from players about the quality of the official Adidas match ball and vuvuzelas. However judging by the goals scored, at the tournament, it appears players didn’t have issues with the ball after all. And also the vuvuzelas brought ‘that thing’ blowing life into the uniquely African event.
- Phillip Is Here
South Africans brought life to the tournament with the masses turning up to the matches. With vuvuzelas out, the locals filled the stadiums and the viewing areas making it a vibrant event. Even the hosts – Bafana crashed out, they continued to support the greatest global sporting spectacle on the African soil. The slogan was ‘Feel it, It is Here’ but creative South Africans called it Phillip is Here. It was a fan experience on a different level.
- Where’s the G.O.A.T?
Prior the World Cup, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were expected to show that they are the best in the world. However, they were conspicuous by the standards as they found the going tough at the tournament. Messi, whose Argentina crashed out of the quarterfinals, didn’t score even a single goal at these finals. Ronaldo could only manage one goal. Portugal got knocked out in the last 16 of the tournament. Messi and Ronaldo did not pitch for the party, leaving many wondering, ‘where’s the G.O.A.T?’
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By Hosea Ramphekwa