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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.