North Leeds News
World Cup 2010 Page 2 - England in South Africa Page 3 - South Africa and the World Cup Page 4 - World Cup history Page 4 - Small teams take on the world Page 5 - Groups preview - A+B Page 6 - Groups preview - C+D Page 7 - Groups preview - E+F Page 8 - Groups preview - G+H
Featuring North Leeds News reporters: Ben Miles Robert James Owen David Hardiman Richard Simpson
North Leeds News
World Cup 2010
The beautiful games by Robert James Owen This summer millions of people across the globe will experience a feast of football. They will gather around television screens, the world over, to witness the pitches of South Africa become canvases for the artistry of the sports most prodigious talents, and support their teams in their quest for the sporting Holy Grail – the FIFA World Cup. Undoubtedly the World Cup is about winning. It is about the quest for victory. But it is also arguably about beauty and morality and the myths it creates. The football World Cup is synonymous with beauty. It is here that people demand more beauty from the “beautiful game” than at any time else. The competition is seen as almost the epitome of beauty within the sport: the perennial stage for moments of football genius to be enjoyed and celebrated. While it might seem illogical to demand beauty from sport, in so far as sport is supposed to be about winning and getting there any way you can – making beauty and entertainment incidental – it is the moments of beauty created by sport and sporting events such as the World Cup which provide meaning for its followers. The moments ingrained in the collective consciousness of football fans across the world are those of beauty
World Cup Facts: The first official World Cup in 1930 was won by hosts Uruguay who defeated Argentina 4-2 in front of 93,000 spectators in Montevido. A mere 13 teams competed in the event. The 2010 competition features 32 teams from six continents. It will be the 19th of its kind, and the first time an African nation has hosted.
GENIUS: 18-year-old Michael Owen leaving his mark in 1998 – Maradona’s second goal against England in 1986, when he meandered past defender after defender, using them to create an illusion of complicity; Brazil’s fourth goal in the 1970 final against Italy when Carlos Alberto finished after a resounding move consisting of some 20-odd passes; and Michael Owen’s goal as an 18-year-old against Argentina in 1998 – the goal on which his myth and reputation was created. People celebrate artistry such as this and the beauty such genius creates. These are the moments that people talk about and remember, that children strive to replicate on playgrounds and pitches, that unite people in collective appreciation. Case in point, people do not revere the German’s: they do not play beautiful football. They play efficient,
resourceful, match-winning football, and are despised when they do. Brazil are celebrated precisely because they play beautiful football. It is likely that anyone who watches a World Cup which does not feature their home nation will, at least to an extent, cheer on Brazil, because they play, and win, the “right way”. Brazil have won more World Cups than anyone else, but they are not reviled. They are celebrated. People say they deserve it. They play the most beautiful football and they do it better than anyone else. The World Cup is a pretend battle. Every match is a mock world war in which archetypal situations of triumph and tragedy are created. It is about superficiality and fictitious importance and yet strong myths are created and we respond to them with passion and delight. That
In the 18 previous tournaments, just seven nations have shared the Jules Rimet Trophy. Brazil have won five trophies and qualification in every tournament, the only team to do so. Italy have won four titles, Germany three, and Uruguay and Argentina two. England, like France, have won the tournament once, in 1966. 715.1 million people watched the 2006 final between Germany and Brazil - with more viewers than the Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing and the 2010 Super Bowl combined. Italy are the defending champions, after beating France on penalties in Berlin four years ago. is why football players are elevated to the status of heroes. The World Cup is the battle field on which they wage their assault, create their myth and inspire with the beauty their genius creates.
Minnows hoping to upset the odds by David Hardiman to be broadcast to the nation. Another team likely to be thrashed by all the teams in their group is New Zealand. The All Whites may have dominated neighbours like Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Fiji on the way to finishing top of the Oceania qualifying group, but will struggle against much tougher opposition in South Africa.
Their easy route to this year’s finals is a new experience, as they are used to battling the far superior Australian team for top honours in the Oceania zone. But after Australia were invited to join the Asian confederation in 2006, New Zealand have become the top team down-under. Chief among the surprises is North Korea. The Coach Ricki Herbert has named only one team’s only appearance at the World Cup finals Premier League player in a provisional squad that came when England hosted the tournaalso includes two players currently ment in 1966. After defeating Australia without a club. This lack of quality in a qualifying play-off, a 3-0 defeat at will see them struggle to improve on the hands of USSR in the opener did not their 1982 showing. bode well for the team, but they rallied New Zealand are joined by Central to draw 1-1 with Chile and beat thenAmericans Honduras in appearing two-time winners Italy 1-0. only at the 1982 finals until this year. The victory against the Italians is still But the Hondurans put up a more regarded as one of the biggest upsets in credible appearance than the Kiwis. football history. They drew with the hosts Spain and All group stage matches were played Northern Ireland, but a slim 1-0 at Ayresome Park in Middlesbrough, defeat to Yugoslavia in their final where the locals adopted the team due group game cost them a place in the to their underdog status. If it wasn’t for second round. Eusebio’s four goals in Portugal’s record- UPSET: The North Koreans after their historic win over the Italians in 1966 The country’s World Cup history will equalling comeback from 3-0 down to win 5-3, more likely be remembered for a conflict that Like North Korea, New Zealand have managed North Korea would have faced England in the broke out with El Salvador in 1969. Rioting broke one World Cup appearance before 2010, coming semi-finals. out during and after a qualifying game for the at the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Any repeat of their shock run to the quarter1970 finals in San Salvador. The Salvadoran Army But unlike the Koreans, they scored only two finals is unlikely this year but the North Koreans launched an offensive in Honduras and fighting goals before crashing out in the group stage, will hope to endear themselves to the host’s fans raged on until a ceasefire was called six days later. both coming in a 5-2 defeat by Scotland in the again, as tightly-controlled state media back Despite the problems running far deeper than opening game. The Kiwis followed that with a 3-0 home means news of their results will take days sport, this has been labelled the “Football War”. defeat to the USSR and a 4-0 defeat to Brazil.
The World Cup finals is a celebration of the best international football – but this year’s championship include some teams that are not usually considered to be among the elite.
World Cup 2010
North Leeds News
World Cup brings hope of new dawn
by Ben Miles
HEAVILY ARMED: Police escort the world cup into the country, but questions remain as to whether they can handle a pos lice oﬃcers who will be armed with inﬂux of foreign nationals in World gre amount of fans who attended THE focus of the world will be water cannons, helicopters and unCups also potentially increases crimithat tournament. However, Skumon South Africa next month as manned surveillance drones. nal activities” buzo Macozoma, the chief of transfootball descends on the counWith crime such a risk for travelling The cost of this scheme is expected port and logistics on the World Cup try. fans, the Foreign Oﬃce has released to be about one million rand organising committee, said: “The This will be the ﬁrst time that an a list of tips for staying safe. This list (£81,250) including the cost of remistake we made during the ConfedAfrican nation has hosted the World includes advice never to travel training judges, lawyers and volunerations Cup was to allow one sysCup and the ﬁrst time that the counalone, to avoid isolated areas and teers. tem [the park and ride system put in try has hosted such a large scale even the advice to look behind you The English police have already place] to be exhausted. tournament. before opening your hotel door. begun the process of attempting to “There will also be park and walk It would not be going too far to say FIFA has been monitoring the plans restrain the movement of any fans facilities, and we encourage people that the tournament will make or that the nation has in place to conthey believe will cause trouble in going to the stadiums to take these.” break South Africa’s chances of holdtrol the problems it has to deal with. South Africa. The biggest problem on visitor’s ing future contests. These range from hooliganism and More than 3,000 people are either minds as they head to South Africa, South Africa sits 129th out of the crime to an expected boom in sex banned or being banned from atthough, is the country’s massive 189 UN member states that are traﬃcking. tending the competition from Engcrime problems. listed in the Human Development Despite the worries, most are quick land. South Africa tops the tables of Index ﬁgures. These measure educato reassure fans that they are not at The banning orders prevent any countries who release ﬁgures for astion, life expectancy and standard of great risk. would be hooligans from attending saults per head of population, murliving. There is hope that this World South Africa will also set up 54 spefootball matches in this country, and ders with ﬁrearms, manslaughters Cup might bring change for a councial ‘fast track’ courts to deal with force them to hand over their passand rapes, and it comes in the top try that has been torn apart by its any crime that happens during the ports to police before international ﬁve in a number of other criminal troubles over the last century. tournament. football matches. categories. The major aim of the World Cup is Any cases involving foreigners are In order to put a month-long ban According to the International Cento develop a lasting long-term infrato be given priority in the system in for the World Cup, the former Home tre for Prison Studies there were structure in a country that has a an attempt to deal with any increase Secretary, Alan Johnson, had to pass 52,425 rapes in South Africa last huge population of slum dwellers. as fast as possible. new legislation through parliament. year, but thousands more go unreThe Confederations Cup, held alSince Jacob Zuma took oﬃce as South Africa will have to overcome ported. most a year ago in June 2009, president in May 2009 the governthe many negative stereotypes it has In 2008 there were 50 murders a served as a warm up for the World ment has concentrated on tackling gained over the years in order to day – in England and Wales that ﬁgCup, however it has nothing like the the countries crime problems. host a successful World Cup. If they ure was 0.38. scale. A statement from the justice mindo manage it, the door could be A massive security operation is unThe transport system in the counistry said: “The experience from preopen to a much brighter future. derway with 1.3 billion rand (£98 try struggled to cope with the meavious host countries has shown the million) being spent on 41,000 po-
North Leeds News
World Cup 2010
England’s key players Richard Simpson looks at the key players for England in South Africa John Terry Age: 29 Caps: 59 Club: Chelsea
Rio Ferdinand Age: 31 Caps: 76 Club: Manchester United
This summer will be a huge one for John Terry. The Chelsea captain has a lot to prove with the issue of his high-profile own goal in his private life still looming. Stripped of the England captaincy, Terry will look to excel in forming a rock solid partnership with Rio Ferdinand. If JT can rise to the challenge then he will arguably be the most important man in a white shirt.
Recently promoted to the captaincy to a sea of raised eyebrows, Ferdinand has struggled for fitness this season, and has looked shaky at times for Manchester United. Hopefully the captaincy will galvanise Rio who, when in form, is one of the best defenders in the world. He will feel he has a point to prove in what will no doubt be the proudest moment of his career. Steven Gerrard Age: 29 Caps: 78 Club: Liverpool
Frank Lampard Age: 31 Caps: 77 Club: Chelsea Again the questions will be asked about whether the Chelsea mainstay can perform in the same team as Steven Gerrard, but, deadly from the penalty spot, and off the back of another 20-goal season, Lampard remains one of the first names on the team sheet. Fresh off a double winning campaign with Chelsea, Lamps will be looking to add further success to his extensive CV.
After a lacklustre season at club level, Stevie G will be looking to take his frustrations out on the rest on the world in South Africa. It is unclear yet where on the pitch Fabio Capello will deploy the Liverpool captain, but with big-match experience and a cannon of a right foot, Gerrard is simply too good to be left out. A lack of goals for Liverpool this season could prove a concern though.
Wayne Rooney Age: 24 Caps: 58 Club: Manchester United The nation is once again in a cold sweat over the fitness of Wayne Rooney. The striker was the PFA Player of the Year and bolstered his goal scoring prowess this season but question marks remain over his fitness. The fierce competitive streak remains and after just missing out on Premier League honours, a Golden Boot in an England shirt and certainly the main prize itself, would more than make up for a season of near-misses with Manchester United.
Fab? England hopes so Local lads by Robert James Owen It is a fact that no foreign coach has ever led another country to a major World Cup. No football, hockey or rugby team have ever been successful with an expatriate of another country in charge. This means Fabio Capello will be trying to defy history this summer when he leads England into South Africa and the World Cup finals. But what does this mean for England’s World Cup chances? Arguably not much. sixty-three-year-old Capello is a world class manager with a proven track record, domestically at least – having won a domestic league title with every club he has coached throughout his career. In his 16 seasons coaching with AC Milan, Real Madrid, Roma and Juventus, he has won seven major titles and a Champions League trophy with Milan in 1993-1994. He led England to a near 100 per cent qualification campaign for this summer’s tournament, losing just one game, scoring 34, and conceding a mere 6 – re-enforcing his managerial credentials. And yet concerns have started to creep in over his recent decision making. His meticulous approach to qualification has seemingly been
replaced by a number of rash decisions beset by poor planning. Capello’s decision to announce the use of the “Capello Index” at this Summer’s World Cup – a website that would have ranked players’ performance publicly during the tournament – was widely condemned. As was his last minute decision to try and tempt Paul Scholes out of England retirement the day before naming his 30-man provisional squad. For many, a call to the influential Manchester United man should have been made weeks, if not months earlier. Equally many have questioned Capello’s decision to invite David Beckham - ruled out by injury – to join the coaching staff in South Africa, despite having no prior coaching experience. Capello may have banned the WAGs from the summer’s proceedings but he appears to have offered an open invitation to the world’s media. Still, with the way he navigated the side through qualifying and with a team, if not squad, which was in 2006, and still is in 2010, widely regarded as made up of a “golden generation” of English players, Capello should have enough talent and experience to see England through to at least the quarter finals. Who knows where their Italian stallion may lead them after that.
James Milner Age: 24 Caps: 7 Club: Aston Villa This season marked the arrival of James Milner as a fully-fledged England prospect. In England’s last friendly Milner made a significant impression coming off the bench against Egypt, and he will hope to build on that if given the opportunity by Capello this summer. In a tournament built on heroes, the lad from Wortley, Leeds, will be hoping to add his name to the list. Aaron Lennon Age: 23 Caps: 15 Club: Tottenham Hotspur Blistering pace and trickery are what we have come to expect from Lennon. When the little winger from Chapeltown, Leeds, is on song he can give any full back in the world nightmares, but his form is notoriously patchy and he has had little time to prove his form and fitness since a midseason groin injury. Nevertheless he remains England’s best outlet on the right.
World Cup 2010
North Leeds News
Group A France
Manager: Raymond Domenech Key Player: Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich) Best Result: Winners (1998) NLN WC Prediction: Quarter Finals
Manager: Javier Aguirre Key Player: Rafael Marquez (Barcelona) Best Result: Quarter Finals (1970, 1986) NLN WC Prediction: Second Round
Ask any Irish fan and they will say France should not be at this year’s World Cup. Mexico eased to South Africa, ﬁnishing one point behind the USA in their North The runners-up of the 2006 ﬁnals qualiﬁed after beating Ireland in controversial American qualifying campaign. circumstances last November. Thierry Henry’s infamous handball in the qualiﬁca- The 26-man provisional squad includes English-based Carlos Vela, of Arsenal, tion play-oﬀ sent France to South Africa at the expense of the Irish. Henry, now and West Ham striker Guillermo Franco. El Tricolor will get the chance to shows their talents in the Cup’s opening match the French captain, is the sole survivor of the squad that stunned Brazil in the against hosts South Africa, and realistically need to win this to progress from 1998 ﬁnal at the Stade de France. France have suﬀered mixed fortunes since their near-miss in 2006, with a stutter- the group. ing World Cup qualiﬁcation campaign following a poor showing in Euro 2008, South Africa where they failed to make it past the group stage. The team has gone through a Manager: Carlos Alberto Parreira process of renewal with key players like Zinedine Zidane retiring and former Key Player: Steven Pienaar (Everton) skipper Patrick Vieira, of Manchester City, being left out of the ﬁnal squad. Best Result: Group Stage (1998, 2002) But Les Bleus should not be underestimated as they have world-class players NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit such as Bayern Munich forward Franck Ribery, reportedly courted by Manchester United. The country that hosts the World Cup usually does well – hosts have won it on There is also a strong showing of top Premier League players in the squad. six occasions. William Gallas is joined in the squad by his Arsenal team-mates Gael Clichy, Abou But South Africa could be the ﬁrst home nation to miss out on the knockout Diaby and Bacary Sagna. Also included are Manrounds after being drawn in a diﬃcult group. chester United's Patrice Evra and Chelsea pair Everton’s Steven Pienaar will need to pull something out of the hat for Bafana Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka. Bafana. There is also a recall for former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse, who has scored 29 goals for Greek Uruguay champions Panathinaikos this season. This is his Manager: Oscar Tabarez ﬁrst call-up since being cut from the squad prior Key Player: Diego Forlan (Atlético Madrid) to the Euro 2008. Best Result: Winners (1930, 1950) Under-ﬁre coach Raymond Domenech has NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit shown his conﬁdence by leaving out Arsenal’s Samir Nasri and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, The South American team have struggled to relive their early World Cup glory and France should have the quality to ease into days of late, and had to defeat Costa Rica in a play-oﬀ to qualify for this year’s ﬁthe knockout rounds of the competition, where nals. they could meet heavyweights Argentina or EngMore than half of the preliminary squad is Europe-based, but Porto winger land. Christian Rodriguez misses out as he still has a two-game suspension to comBut they do face a potential banana skin in the plete. form of hosts South Africa.
Group B Argentina Manager: Diego Maradona Key Player: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) Best Result: Winners (1978, 1986) NLN WC Prediction: Semi Finals
Manager: Otto Rehhagel Key Player: Theofanis Gekas (Bayer Leverkusen) Best Result: Group Stage (1994) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit
Two-time winners Argentina will be hoping to put a tricky qualiﬁcation campaign Star striker Theofanis Gekas was the top scorer in the UEFA qualifying zone with behind them as they look to win their third trophy. 10 goals, but Greece still made diﬃcult work of the road to South Africa, securAfter suﬀering embarrassing results to South American neighbours, including a 6- ing their place with a play-oﬀ victory over Ukraine. 1 defeat away to Bolivia, they secured their appearance at the World Cup by Despite winning Euro 2004, they have only made the World Cup once before. In snatching an automatic qualiﬁcation spot with wins in their two ﬁnal games. 1994 they failed to score a goal Argentinean legend and former captain Diego Maradona became manager of the They will struggle to vastly improve in 2010. side midway through the campaign despite little managerial experience. English fans will remember his notorious ‘Hand of God’ goal during a 2-1 victory over Nigeria England during the 1986 championships. Manager: Lars Lagerbäck Maradona’s controversial and unpredictable nature has led to some surprises Key Player: John Obi Mikel (Chelsea) during his short tenure. Best Result: Second Round (1994, 1998) Only a few weeks after Maradona’s appointment, playmaker Juan Roman NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit Riquelme retired from international football after a fall out with the new boss. Maradona proceeded to call up over 100 players, and he has kept faith with The Super Eagles will play in their fourth ﬁnals after scraping through the some of the Argentina-based players who have impressed him. There’s a place for 36-year-old Boca Juniors striker Martin Palermo, who was re- African qualiﬁcation stages. New coach Lars Lagerbäck has named eight English-based players in his provicalled to the national team last year by sional squad, including 33-year-old Portsmouth striker Nwankwo Kanu, who Maradona despite his last international match made his national team debut in 1994. being in 1999. Playmaker John Obi Mikel will need to excel if they are to make it past the group Inter Milan duo Esteban Cambiasso and Javier stage. Zanetti have been left out the squad, despite leading Inter’s dominant march to the ChampiSouth Korea ons League ﬁnal. Manager: Huh Jung-Moo There are ﬁve English-based players in the proKey Player: Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United) visional 30-man squad. Manchester City striker Best Result: Fourth Place (2002) Carlos Tevez, Newcastle’s Jonas Gutierrez and NLN WC Prediction: Second Round Fabricio Coloccini and Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez make the cut. The 2002 semi-ﬁnalists qualiﬁed comfortably for what is their seventh consecuArgentina’s should go far with key players like tive tournament. Conceding just four goals, they were undefeated on the road FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, but to South Africa. with patchy form coming in the tournament and The squad includes three British based players, including midﬁelder Park Jiquestions over Maradona’s managerial abilities, Sung, whose high work rate and pace makes him a favourite of Manchester it could be a diﬃcult tournament for them. United fans. This work ethic should see the Koreans into the second round.
North Leeds News
World Cup 2010
Group C USA Manager: Bob Bradley Key Player: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) Best WC Result: Third Place (1930) NLN WC Prediction: Second Round With England having a feature earlier NLN focuses on their biggest rivals in Group C. The USA enter their 8th world cup ranked 14th in the FIFA rankings. They have a dearth of European based players these days as the sport grows in popularity across the Atlantic. They qualiﬁed for the ﬁnals by topping the CONCACAF fourth round. Remaining unbeaten at home throughout their campaign, they were only troubled by defeats on the road to fellow qualiﬁers Honduras and a shock defeat by Trinidad and Tobago. Landon Donavon had a highly successful loan spell at Everton in the second half of the season, during which time he won the club’s Player of the Month award in January. The Los Angeles Galaxy striker has scored 42 goals for his country – making him the leading scorer in US international history and will be a threat to any team either up front or from the wing. The initial squad for their 2010 World Cup challenge contains seven players who ply their trade in England. Clint Dempsey will be keen to make up for his Europa League Final heartache with Fulham with a good performance for the US. He became the ﬁrst American to appear in a major UEFA ﬁnal when he replaced Bobby Zamora for Fulham during the ﬁnal. The Americans have developed rapidly over the last decade. With the new abundance of players playing in the higher leagues in Europe this new standard saw them head into the 2006 world cup ranked 4th in the world. The development of players through the various schemes put in place by the United States Soccer Federation has seen a much better crop of youngsters developing The States take football very seriously these days. The transfer of David Beckham to LA Galaxy and the bid to host the World Cup for a second time showcase the ambitions that many in the country have for their football team.
Algeria Manager: Rabah Saadane Key Player: Madjid Bougherra (Rangers) Best WC Result: 1st Round (1982, 1986) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit Algeria will come into the competition with no pressure on them whatsoever. They can take inspiration from the performance Trinidad and Tobago put in during the last world cup against the likes of England. With Rangers Centre back Madjid Bougherra at the back they have a solid base on which to build and will remain diﬃcult to break down. They qualiﬁed top of their group which included more illustrious African neighbours Egypt and have a team full of players who play in Europe.
England Manager: Fabio Capello Key player: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) Best WC Result: Winners (1966) NLN WC Prediction: Semi Finals Can the ghost of 1966 ﬁnally be put to rest? Fabio Capello has built a team that wins since his arrival at the start of 2009 If Rooney stays ﬁt they have every chance of going a long way but a shaky season for Rio Ferdinand and the John Terry controversy could easily leave the team distracted at the back. The nation that invented the beautiful game is crying out for another victory in the sports top competition. In Capello they may have
Slovenia Manager: Matjaž Kek Key Player: Samir Handanovič (Udinese) Best WC Result: 1st Round (2002) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit The real unknown in the group. The Slovenians qualiﬁed by beating Guus Hiddink’s Russia in a play oﬀ on away goals and head into the ﬁnals with the belief that they can beat anyone. At the back Udinese ‘keeper Samir Handanovič will be the key to their hopes of springing a surprise, while the recently released by West Brom Robert Koren will be hoping to use the comptition as a shop window for his talents. Unknown they may be, but don’t surprised to see the Serbians spring a surprise.
Group D Australia
Manager: Joachim Löw Manager: Pim Verbeek Key Player: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich) Key Player: Tim Cahill (Everton) Best WC Result: Winners (as West Germany) (1954, Best WC Result: Second Round (2006) 1974, 1990) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit NLN WC Prediction: Quarter Finals The Socceroos spend more of their time in England these days than down The Germans know what it takes to win the world cup. Their victories as West Germany in 1954, 1976 and in 1990 after Gazza’s tears show this. However they under, but this has given their players the chance to remain settled while playhaven’t won a major trophy since Euro ’96 and will be desperate to ﬁnd their win- ing their games and can do nothing but good for their hopes. With a number of British based players including the crucial Cahill and Fulham ning rhythm again. A look at the individuals in the team will not throw up any massive stars without ‘keeper Mark Schwarzer they are not short of experience. Michael Ballack, however, as a unit they are always certainties to produce a de- The loss of Leeds defender Patrick Kisnorbo will be felt keenly, but with Harry Kewell ﬁnding his feet again at Galatasaray they will be a threat to any team. cent performance. In 2006 on home soil little was expected of them but, they united around under Ghana ﬁre then manager Jürgen Klinsmann and ﬁnished third, beating Portugal in the Manager: Milovan Rajevac third place playoﬀ. Key Player: Michael Essien (Chelsea) They reached the ﬁnal of Euro 2008, losing to World Cup favourites Spain, under Best WC Result: Second Round (2006) the new leadership of Joachim Löw. NLN WC Prediction: Second Round The loss of Ballack is a big blow to the Germans. They will now rely on the talent of fellow midﬁelder Bastian Schweinsteiger to propel them forward. The team from North Africa surprised many when they reached the second Dangerous from around the edge of the area and a free kick specialist, the Bayern round of the competition in 2006 and will be hoping they can continue that Munich player has reached the ﬁnal of the form. Champions League this season and was everIf Michael Essien regains full ﬁtness he will be a dominant force in the midﬁeld present in the country’s world cup qualifying providing for a rejuvinated Kevin-Prince Boateng, who will be eager to make up campaign. for his FA Cup ﬁnal miss on the world stage. Alongside Schweinsteiger more experienced With a number of European stars on show they should ﬁnd progress. heads in the team such as wingback Phillip Lahm and striker Miroslav Klose will provide a solid Serbia foundation for the team alongside a number of Manager: Radomir Antić relative newcomers to the international stage. Key Player: Nemanja Vidić (Manchester United) 15 of the 30 man initial squad have less than 10 Best WC Result: Fourth Place (1930, 1962) caps experience to call on and with the loss of NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit their inﬂuential captain the squad now contains Other than Vidić the majority of the Serbian stars play only bit parts for the big no players who ply their trade outside of the teams who pay their wages. Bundesliga. They will need the Man Utd defender to be on top form against the others in This lack of experience could prove costly to a the group if they are to have any chance of an upset. team with very lofty ambitions, if the choice of However, they reached the ﬁnals by topping a group that included France, and youth over experience does not pay oﬀ Joachim although the never managed to beat the ‘98 champions their record should Löw will stand little chance of keeping his job. mean that no opponent takes facing them lightly.
World Cup 2010
North Leeds News
Group E Holland
Manager: Bert Van Marwijk Key Player: Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan) Best Result: Runner-up (1974, 1978) NLN WC Prediction: Finalists
Manager: Morten Olsen Key Player: Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal) Best Result: Quarter-finalists (1998) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit
Group E looks set to be illuminated “The Flying Dutchmen”. A favourite of many Surprise winners in a qualification group that included Portugal and Sweden, neutrals, the Dutch team are consistently a joy to watch with free-ﬂowing and the Danes will be eager to make up for lost time after failing to qualify four high-scoring football that is seemingly ingrained into the nation’s players. years ago. English fans will recognise many Premier League household names past and pres- The squad features a sprinkling of quality players, most notably Arsenal’s ent in the Dutch squad. Robin Van Persie, Dirk Kuyt and Arjen Robben are capNicklas Bendtner. After a 12-goal season the lanky Dane will be looking to tained by former Arsenal man and elder statesman, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst. fire his country into the latter stages. There is an abundance of talent able to pull on an orange shirt, but as the ﬁrst match gets underway, all eyes will be on the centre of the park, and on Wesley Cameroon Sneijder. A string of strong Champions League performances for Jose Mourinho’s Manager: Paul Le Guen Inter Milan has seen the midﬁelder’s stock rise in time for the summer. Key Player: Samuel Eto’o Manager Bert Van Marwijk has assembled a distinguished coaching staﬀ, with Best Result: Quarter-finalists (1990) Dutch legends Frank De Boer and Philip Cocu aiming to ensure that “Total FootNLN WC Prediction: Second Round ball” circa 2010 is the most complete yet. Under the former Borussia Dortmund and Feyenoord manager’s stewardship the Dutch went on to demolish their World Cup qualiﬁcation group with a one hun- Former Rangers manager Paul Le Guen brings some French guile to the imdred per cent win record, deservedly taking their place as ﬁrst European team in posing lions of Cameroon. Not quite the force they once were and lacking the stars they once had, the the hat for the World Cup draw. African nation will rely on big-name striker Samuel Eto’o to fire them into The balls were not so kind to Holland with three the latter stages of the tournament tough opponents, but if their performance at their last major tournament is anything to go by, the Dutch should have plenty in reserve. Euro Japan 2008 saw the men in orange waltz through the Manager: Takeshi Okada so-called “group of death”, beating Italy and Key Player: Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow) France in consecutive games before coming unBest Result: Second Round (2002) stuck in a thrilling quarter-ﬁnal defeat to Russia. NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit If attacking naivety can be tempered and defensive frailties shored up, there is no reason why Perennial underdogs Japan return for another shot at World Cup glory. the Clockwork Oranje cannot take their distincWith less household names than previous years the squad will again look to tive brand of football all the way to the ﬁnal. Extake scalps and progress to the latter stages. pectations will be high with such a strong squad, Ex-Celtic man Shunsuke Nakamura is still deadly from free-kicks. Former manrepresenting a proud footballing nation who are ager Okada returns and will hope for more giant-killing. simply too good to have never lifted the games most coveted trophy.
Group F Italy
Manager: Marcello Lippi Key Player: Gianluigi Buﬀon (Juventus) Best Result: 4-time Winners (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006) NLN Prediction: Quarter-ﬁnalists The defending champions re-enter the world stage four years after defeating France on penalties in a tense ﬁnal in Berlin. Now ranked ﬁfth in the FIFA World Rankings, the Azzurri have re-installed 2006 mastermind, the evergreen Marcello Lippi, as manager. It looks like once again we can expect a no-nonsense, no-frills Italy. A team that specialise in getting the job done. Not synonymous with attacking, free-ﬂowing football, Italy prefer to defend a lead and shut up shop. While this is not the most engaging of tactics its eﬀectiveness cannot be denied. One man hoping to be a defensive rock for Italy is 36-year-old captain Fabio Cannavaro. This summer marks the national team swansong for the Juventus player, who will no doubt hope to exit the international game by doing the same thing he did four years ago – lifting the World Cup trophy. Not many teams at the tournament can claim to have a goalkeeper who is truly world class. The Italians have this luxury in Gianluigi Buﬀon. Having recently notched up his one-hundredth cap, the Juventus stopper will be pivotal to the chances of this ﬁercely passionate nation. Buﬀon only conceded two goals in the 2006 tournament – the ﬁrst an unfortunate own goal, the second a Zinedine Zidane spotkick in the ﬁnal. The Azzurri are very insular, with only Giuseppe Rossi, formerly of Manchester United, playing his football outside Italy for Spanish side Villarreal. The average age of the Lippi’s ﬁrst squad announcement is 27-years-old, marking a slight shift away from the “elder statesmen” of previous tournaments. Despite this very few teams in the tournament can match Italy for big game experience and winning mentality. Italy will fancy their chances of comfortably navigating the group stage even without aging superstar names Del Piero and Totti. However a possible meeting with Spain in the quarter-ﬁnals may be their undoing.
Manager: Ricki Herbert Key Player: Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers) Best Result: Group Stage (1982) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit The “All Whites” may not have the prestige and winning pedigree of their rugby counterparts, but will go to South Africa looking for an upset. Captain Ryan Nelsen will have to lead by example alongside no other top level European experience, if the New Zealanders are to progress in what will be only their second World Cup participation Any victories for the team from way down under would be a massive upset in any tournament.
Manager: Gerardo Martinez Key Player: Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City) Best Result: Second Round (1986, 1998, 2002) NLN WC Prediction: Second Round Vying for the mantle of the third best team in South America is nothing to be ashamed of. Paraguay have laid a strong claim to this title in the past few years and will fancy their chances of getting through to the knock-out stages where a probable clash with Holland lies in wait. If Roque Sana Cruz in on form and gets the service he needs, they could well upset the tables against the Italians.
Manager: Vladimir Weiss Key Player: Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) Best Result: First Appearance NLN WC Prediction: Group Stage exit Slovakia were the shock winners of their qualiﬁcation group, beating the Czech Republic and in doing so bought themselves a ticket to the big show for the ﬁrst time in their history. With Liverpool’s Skrtel at the back they will be hard to break down and the match against the Italians could become a game of atrition. A result against the Kiwis in their ﬁrst game looks like being essential, but the Slovaks could be the surprise package of the tournament.
North Leeds News
World Cup 2010
Group G Ivory Coast
Manager: Sven-Goran Eriksson. Key Player: Didier Drogba (Chelsea) Best Result: First Round (2006) NLN WC Prediction: Second Round
Manager: Dunga Key Player: Luis Fabiano (Sevilla) Best Result: Winners (1958, 1962, 1970. 1994, 2002) NLN WC Prediction: Quarter Finals The current Brazil squad have a lot to live up to. Five time winners of the tournament, known and loved across the world for their Joga Bonito brand of football, Brazil will be expected to deliver in South Africa this summer. They are tipped as joint favourites, with Spain, to win a sixth World Cup – not that surprising given their pedigree, history and ability to continually produce outstanding players. But drawn in this competitions “group of death”, their progression to the next round of the tournament may prove more diﬃcult than before. Still with a wealth of talent at his disposal, coach Dunga will expect to steer noticeably more organised and powerful side toward the tournaments summit. Kaka and Robinho will provide the ﬂair which the Brazilian are known for, but expect the majority of their play to be built around a solid midﬁeld spine of Gilberto Silva, Julio Baptista and former Manchester City man Elano. Somewhat controversially Dunga chose to omit Ronaldinho, the two time world player of the year from his preliminary squad. Perhaps more surprisingly he left out rising Serie A starlet Alexander Pato. This means much of the oﬀensive emphasis will be placed on the capability of Luis Fabiano. “O Fabuloso” as he is known in his home country won the Golden Boot at last summer’s Confederations Cup, including a brace in the ﬁnal to see oﬀ the USA. Since moving to Sevilla he has been able to re-capture the form which saw him score 62 goals in 84 for Brazilian side Sao Paulo in 2004. And with a proven international record too – 25 goals in 35 appearances – don’t be surprised if he steals the golden boot from the feet of more well known stars like England’s own Wayne Rooney. There is a saying in football: “The English invented it, the Brazilians perfected it.” This is a mantra the boys from Brazil will be hoping to maintain in 2010.
Managed by former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, Les Éléphants are a genuine threat to both Brazil and Portugal. Comprising a squad of entirely foreign based players, they are currently the only team to have scored in all of their World Cup ﬁnal matches. In Didier Drogba they boast one of the world’s premier front men, fresh from winning the Golden Boot in the Premier League.
North Korea Manager: Kim Jong-Hun Key Player: Hong Yong-Jo (FC Rostov) Best Result: Quarter Final (1966) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit There are no expectations in North Korea on the men chosen, trained and groomed by the North Korean military - hence the haircuts. A point would be hailed as a success and a win would be huge. North Korea can play without burden or pressure, something that can’t be said for any of their three group opponents.
Manager: Carlos Queiroz Key Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) Best Result: Third Place (1966) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit Any team featuring the world’s most expensive football player should not be discounted. But while Cristiano Ronaldo may try to carry the entire expectations of the Portuguese nation on his preening shoulders, expect them to lack the strength in depth needed to progress past the second round – should they get past the Ivory Coast in the ﬁrst place.
Group H Spain
Manager: Vincent Del Bosque Key Player: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) Best Result: Fourth Place (1950) NLN WC Prediction: Winners Boasting the most talented array of players of any team in the competition and on the back of an unbelievably good couple of years, Spain are the obvious choice to win it all in South Africa. Regarded as the perennial under achievers of international football, Spain put that tag to rest by winning the European Championships in 2008. That feat comprised part of a 35 game unbeaten run which also saw them qualify for South Africa as the only team with a 100 per cent record, winning all ten of their games. La Furia Roja will aim to complete a double of major honours this summer as they try to become the ﬁrst European nation to back up European Championship success with victory in the World Cup. To do this though Spain will need to reach their ﬁrst ever World Cup ﬁnal. And pressure is rife on this Spanish team, with huge expectations of what is regarded as the best team they have ever had. Fortunately they have a vastly experienced coach in Vincent Del Bosque. Having guided Real Madrid to their most successful period in recent times, winning a brace of Champions League titles along with two La Liga titles between 1999 and 2003, Del Bosque knows a thing or two about maintaining success and managing expectation. But even during his time with Real Madrid, Del Bosque will not have enjoyed the depth and level of talent he now has at his disposal. With a spine of arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, the two best central midﬁelders in the world and two world class strikers, along with a selection of other stars placed around them, Spain may yet go down as one of the greatest teams of all time. Winning in South Africa would go a long way to cementing that claim.
Manager: Marcelo Bielsa Key Player: Humberto Suazo (Real Zaragoza) Best Result: Third Place (1962) NLN WC Prediction: Second Round La Roja as they are known in Chile, enjoyed a stellar qualiﬁcation campaign ﬁnishing second, just one point behind Brazil. Manager Marcelo Bielsa is already seen as a hero after leading them to victory over rivals Argentina in qualifying. Their strength lies in their attack, spearheaded by Humberto Suazo, although their eagerness to get forward leaves them exposed at times. If they can get the right balance, Chile could be one of the tournament’s surprise packages.
Manager: Reinaldo Rueda Key Player: Wilson Palacios (Tottenham Hotspur) Best Result: Round One (1982) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit Undoubtedly the underdog of the group, Honduras, appearing in just their second World Cup, will rely heavily on Premier League star Wilson Palacios to control the midﬁeld and strike duo Carlos Pavon and David Suazo to nick them a goal. While they may steal some points from Switzerland or even Chile, progression to the second round is extremely unlikely.
Manager: Ottmar Hitzﬁeld Key Player: Alexander Frei (FC Basel) Best Result: Quarter Finals (1934, 1938, 1954) NLN WC Prediction: Group stage exit Switzerland have managed to reach the World Cup quarter ﬁnals three times. However this was most recently achieved almost half a century ago and with few attacking options available, aside from Alexander Frei who boasts an impressive scoring record of 40 goals in 70 internationals, they will struggle to compete and to entertain.
Published on May 22, 2010