7 Wish List Items for the Rest of the 2010 World Cup

Pele embraces Brazilian goalkeeper Ado at the Estadio Azteca, in Mexico City, after Brazil beat Italy 4-1 to win the World Cup, 21st June 1970. Pele scored the first goal in a game that ensured Brazil kept the Jules Rimet trophy.  (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images)

I’m trying to pretend it’s not true, but there’s only seven games left in this World Cup tournament (I’m not counting the third place game, which is a waste of time and a silly idea). When you think about it, seven games isn’t much. That’s a typical Saturday in the Premier League. So since we’re running out of time in this tournament, here are my seven wish-list items of what I want to see between now and the final whistle on July 11th:

  1. I want a team to give Brazil a run for its money. So far, the Brazilians have been brilliant. The highlight of the tournament. But they’ve been so perfect that I want to see them make a mistake so they can appear to be more human. And then let’s see how the Brazilians cope with adversity and whether they can bounce back or not.
  2. I don’t want to see any more games go to extra time. This is practically impossible knowing how close these games are, but I would much prefer to see thrilling 90 minute games than matches that last 120 minutes but where the players are often too tired to do anything amazing.
  3. I want to see someone new enter the stage, to become a World Cup star. So often, we focus our attention during games on the footballers we know are legends: Messi, Maicon, Fabiano, Forlan, Villa, Xavi, Robben, Sneijder and so on. But it’s time for a new hero to take the World Cup stage, to do something incredible that will have us, as fans, salivating. It’d be wonderful to have someone new emerge as the hero of this World Cup.
  4. I want to see Ghana in the semi-final. Uruguay has been incredible in this tournament and have seemingly made very few mistakes, if any. But I believe most of the world will be hoping that Ghana beats Uruguay because of the African story. Most of us want an African team in the semi-final. And judging by how well Ghana has been playing, they thoroughly deserve to be there. They just have to beat Uruguay which will be no small task.
  5. I want to see either Spain and/or Germany in the semi-final. Nothing against South America, but I would prefer to have one or two European teams in the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup rather than the chances of all four (or three of the four, considering Ghana’s chances) being from Latin America. It’s important that the semi-finals represent a cross-section of the world and either Spain or Germany will bring a different dynamic to the semi-final. That said, I only want the best of the best to be in the semi-final, so Spain and Germany will need to deserve to be there.
  6. I don’t want to see any more poor officiating. The last thing this World Cup needs is to be tarnished with more controversial incidents and/or poor officiating decisions. It’s more important than ever for the focus of these remaining seven games to be on the game itself not something controversial which changed the nature of the entire 90 minutes. No pressure FIFA, but your credibility is on the line.
  7. Last but not least, I want to see a game for the ages. Years from now, I want to think back to this World Cup and tell my friends or children about that incredible game from the summer of 2010. We haven’t had that game yet. Many teams have been on auto-pilot. And we haven’t seen many of the big teams (such as Brazil, Spain, Germany and Argentina) really pushed to their limits. But we need entertainment. We need a game with end-to-end action and plenty of goals. We need a game that features incredible skill and heroics. And something we’ll never forget. We need an early goal to open things up, and we need a sensational 85 minutes to follow. Maybe that game will be this weekend. I can only hope.

What things do you want to see in this World Cup that you haven’t seen so far? Share your stories and opinions in the comments section below.

15 thoughts on “7 Wish List Items for the Rest of the 2010 World Cup”

  1. If anyone can give Brazil the run for their money, its tomorrow’s encounter between Holland and Brazil. I think Holland are formidable opponents who haven’t had to step up that extra gear required to play a side like Brazil. I think they will have to be at their absolute best to beat Brazil. So far, the Dutch haven’t had to do much and have still won, which is good. The Dutch have always preferred to play brilliant football but at the expense of winning and that ultimate trophy always eluded them. However, I sense a different Dutch side in this World Cup, serious and able to grind out victory. As Ruud Gullit said before the start, that the Dutch have to strike balance between beautiful football and able to win 1-0 games. So far, they haven’t play at their best of what they are capable. Here is what I think the Oranje will have to do to beat Brazil:

    1. Width width width. This will give Sneijder the space in the middle and ability to pick passes to Van Persie or Robben making runs. Starting with Elia might not be such a bad idea.

    2. Van Bommel and De Jong are the two key holding players that have to be at their level best to stop the likes of Kaka and Melo.

    3. Van Persie is the main man for Oranje. He hasn’t been at his very best. This guy, as we have seen for Arsenal over the years, is a match-winner at moments notice, not only because of brilliant left foot or his chocolate right, but his ability to link up play with team-mates making runs. His vision to spot those runs in the box, will give them that extra dimensions and doubt in the defenders mind.

    4. Arjen Robben at times is predictable. Brazilians are clever footballers and will know Robben turns left and wants to strike most of the time. He will have to create doubts in the mind of the defenders that he can go right or left. This will make the Brazilian think twice of maybe doubling of Robben. Again, space for Sneijder.

    5. Maarten Stekelenburg hasn’t had to do much, but has done good in my opinion. He must have one of those heart-thomping games to be able to stop Fabiano or Kaka, or even Dani Alves.


  2. “But I believe most of the world will be hoping that Ghana beats Uruguay because of the African story. Most of us want an African team in the semi-final”

    I hope that the referee doesn’t feel that way. We had enough of South Korea Cinderella story in 2002.

  3. Hi there.

    1. I think there’s gonna be a team able to give Brazil a hard time. If not Holland, then Argentina, Germany or Spain will. The Brazilian team is not that good, with clear weaknesses in central midfield (i.e. slow Gilberto and don’t-know-what-to-expect Melo) and in the left back side (Bastos doesn’t attack nor defend as well as Maicon does).

    2. I hate extra-time and agree.

    3. Müller, Özil, Pedro, Di Maria, Suárez, Ramires, Gyan, Elia – they can do it.

    4 – I don’t. I’m tired of the poor mentality of the African player. Seems to me that they are thinking about the dance celebration before scoring the goal. It annoys me just like Robinho does. I’m also tired of seeing African teams having European coaches, or Brazilian coaches. Give African coaches a chance for Pete’s sake. I hope Uruguay gets to the semifinal.

    5 – Spain is practically there. I don’t see Paraguay giving them any trouble.

    6 – That’s not a wish, it’s a dream. I gave up expecting that sort of thing.

    7 – If you mean that, you should hope for a Brazil-Argentina final: it would be quite simply the biggest match ever, betwen two rivals who are capable of doing anything to prevent the other from winning. In the last WC, the final game betwen two European teams was boring as hell. And I’m certain that a final between the two most succesful South American teams will not.


  4. I guess it depends on what you mean by a world cup star, but I’ve been very pleased with certain young players living up to or surpassing the hype like Sanchez and Gyan. In particular, Sanchez looks like a player who could be one of the outstanding players in world football for a 5-10 year period if he moves around a bit and continues to get some good but varied technical training. If he stays in Italy, I could see him continuing to grow by reuniting with Marino or maybe to be under Rossi, Ranieri, or Del Neri. In England, I think that Wigan, Man U, Tottenham, Everton, maybe even Birmingham or West Brom would be decent moves.

    As to a game for the ages, Argentina Germany and Brazil Netherlands both have that potential… my guess is that the winner of the Arg Ger match versus Brazil will be a game for the ages although I’d love to see the Dutch in the final

  5. What I want is pretty simple… I want someone besides Brazil, Germany or Argentina to win… in fact, the best possibility would be for a team that had never won to win. Mind you, I also want the best team to win, so if I can get both at the same time, I will be happy because it means the rest of the world might be starting to catch up to the big powers of the game.

  6. Ghana is such an over-rated and boring story

    Their team is not that great, they play quite boring, and nobody honestly cares about them being the only team left from their continent

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