Monday, 12 July 2010


Spain, followed up their success at Euro 2008 by winning the 2010 World Cup defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in the final. Andres Iniesta proved the matchwinner. Spain succeeded in claiming the grand prize with a 70% fit Cesc Fabregas and 30% fit Fernando Torres so will believe they can perform even better. Holland will also feel they have a bright future. Arjen Robben could have decided the game prior to Iniesta's intervention. Holland have a team young and talented enough for two more tournaments so Wesley Sniender, Robben, Van Persie, Huntelaar and Van Der Vaart will be joined by a stronger Elia and Aleffay to make them a force in the Euro.

Uruguay and Germany enjoyed fine tournament and played out a enjoyable third place play off. Ghana, Paraguay, Chile and Mexico had respectable campaigns. Slovenia, South Africa, Slovakia, South Korea and Japan also returned home with credibility in tact. Brazil and Argentina must however feel they could have done better. A lack of strength in depth appeared to hamper Brazil who appeared to have no reason for leaving behind AC Milan's Pato.

Argentina also should have progressed further if not for some naive mistakes by coach Diego Maradona. The decision to leave out Cambiasso seemed unmerited. Javier Zanetti and Walter Samuel also appeared essential for the Germany match. Very little opportunities was also afforded to Diego Milito to impress. Maradona however will argue that Ottomendi and Burdiso will learn from the experience for the future.

France, Portugal, Italy and England woefully underachieved and failed to produce any decent football of note. France a shambles with coach Raymond Domenach and the players almost at war. Similarly England failed to adjust to the management style of Fabio Capello. Portugal coach Carlos Quieroz also couldn't inspire an aging Portugal generation who will wave goodbye to Deco.

Canavaro, Gattuso and Ambrossini also looked passed their best for Italy who also seem bereft of quality players. The absence of Miccoli, Cassano and Totti also appears to harm them in attack. Serbia, Denmark and Australia also endured disappointing tournament. For Serbia Nikola Zigic, Milos Krasic and Marko Pantelic were out of form. Denmark's aging generation were also awaiting the inevitable elimination, especially with a half fit Niklas Bendtner.

Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast did not do themselves credit under the guidance of coaches with no long term commitment to the cause. Eriksson, Lagerbak and Le Guen are all likely to quit only months after taking the job. Although they far from disgrace themselves, Croatia, Egypt and Russia will feel they disappointed to miss the World Cup with Slovenia, Greece and Algeria taking their place. Turkey and Iran will also hope to make the next World Cup after missing out this campaign.