Top Five Worst:
1. "Vuvuzela", the noise we love to hate!
Have no doubts about it. If you are about to remember a single thing about this World Cup, it's going to be the dreadful vuvuzela. The vuvuzela, sometimes called a "lepatata", is a blowing horn commonly blown by fans at football matches in South Africa, and it's driving football-loving nations crazy. The noise created by vuvuzelas resembles the noise that is created by attacking bees, and fans, players, and TV broadcasters are going nuts over it. Unfortunately, the complaints are falling on deaf ears, as FIFA has refused to take any actions against the use of them in South African stadiums. Their answer is: "Live with it!"
2. England's keeper, Robert Green
The dream of collecting three points against the USA hit a brick wall when England's number-one goalie made an awful blunder in the 39th minute. British tabloids had a field day after Green's elementary mistake, and their headlines were filled with ridicule. News of the World gave us the brilliant "Hand of Clod" on the front page, with "Shock 'N' Draw" as the main headline to the story, and the Daily Star gave us a bevy of Green-related jokes, including this one: "Well, that's one spill by the British the Americans aren't complaining about."
3. Jabulani ball -- the ball that goes everywhere, except where it's supposed to go
Manufacturers Adidas claim altitude is the main factor affecting the Jabulani ball is not its design, and blames players for not practicing enough with it. "I wouldn't say I am surprised by the negative reaction. It is customary when there is a new ball that players need to get used to it," said Thomas Schaikvan, head of global public relations at Adidas. The Jabulani soccer ball, (from the Zulu word "to celebrate"), is the target of complaints by many players/managers in South Africa. The sleek-looking, synthetic soccer ball could be the main culprit behind many goalless draws and wasted opportunities.
4. Cameroon National Team
Without a doubt the biggest disappointment of this World Cup so far is the Cameroon national team. The Indomitable Lions looked anything but Lions when they played against Japan. One of the best African teams in the history of the World Cup, they showed absolutely no style on the field and made continuous mistakes from start to finish. As s result, they gave away three vital points in their very first game. At times they seemed like eleven lost men on the pitch, frustrating their fans. Is it too late for Cameroon to see the light of the day in the second round? They certainly must change their game plan, or will have a fast exit from South Africa.
5. Gonzalo Higuain
The prolific striker of Real Madrid the and Argentinean national team played the worst game of his life against Nigeria. He missed open opportunities and had absolutely no impact on the win of his team. "El Pipita" who should have been subbed much earlier played the longest 78 minutes of his career, and in my opinion was subbed too late in the game. Is he able to make a comeback and shine like a superstar? You can bet on it. But at least for that particular performance, he deserved to be on my worst list!
Top Five Best:
1. Diego Maradona
Not only did "the hand of god" win his first World cup game as the head coach, he also was the center of attention on the sidelines. The very vocal and chic Maradona (In gray suit and matching tie) passed a couple of dead balls to Nigerian players and was in constant contact/scuffle with the officials over stepping out of the coach's box. The cameras loved him, and they demonstrated it by constantly showing him during the game.
2. African Fans
Could you be any more jubilant? So far, the African fans have proven to be one of the most happy, active, and enthusiastic followers ever. The expressive Africans are always rooting for their teams with their colorful and unique style. There is not a dull moment when you have Africans in the stands, and that's what makes this World Cup a joy to follow!
3. German National Team
The Germans gave us what we were looking for. After a few games that ended with either a draw or a couple of goals, Joachim Loew's students demolished the Australians with four fantastic goals and reminded the fans of what it takes to possess a good technique and show it off too! The young and ambitious Die Mannschafts are going to go a long way in this World Cup.
4. Maicon Douglas Sisenando
The Brazilian scored one of the best goals of this tournament so far against North Korea.
The rocket shot from the right flank left no doubt about it's final destination, and was a combination of technique, power, and Brazilian street-style football. Simply brilliant!
5. ESPN/ABC Coverage of the games
For those of us who live here in United States, it is a blessing to finally see some good coverage of the beautiful game, and ESPN/ABC have scored big with football fans on this side of the ocean. All we can say for now is: so far so good guys. Keep it up!
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