Wednesday, August 25, 2010

World Cup XI

The players who have inspired me in the World Cup

Paston - An amazing keeper, great at stopping shots. It seemed like quite a lot of shots came straight at him, but that's hard to stop with a ball like the jabulani.

Enyeama - Something about him seems like a lion, or a leopard. Sleek, athletic. He lefthandedly kept Messi goalless.


Isla - Smart, quick, great attacking player from the back in the 3-3-3-1 formation for Chile. Worked really well with Sanchez.

Salcido - Likes shooting, from anywhere.

Metresacker - A big friendly man. Never gets a yellow card. Can actually pass the ball. The best German player against Spain.

Cha Du-Ri - Always left in plenty of space by the opposition. He got so much of the ball against Uruguay. I think it was on purpose. He tries so hard though.


Ozil - Constant craving. k d lang's had his photo as her Facebook profile picture. Quicker than you'd think he is. Doesn't hold on to the ball for a second longer than he should, puts the ball in the right place.

Alexis Sanchez - Not a dirty player at all. Direct. He doesn't see opponents, he just sees training cones. His neck bulges with veins. He loves shooting. The ball.

Mark van Bommel - Stereoscopic vision with a chip in his head that knows exactly where the cameras and ref are watching at every point in time. He can do the most vicious foul and make it seem like it was all the other guy's fault. Did not get a yellow card until the semi-final, and that was for wasting time in the 90th minute. The shortest yellow card in history.

Arjen Robben - The most handsome man in world football, when Robben smiles, the light can... it is hoped, one day make Craig Foster see teams that aren't Arsenal or Barcelona. His implied speed makes time slow around him. The most beautiful left foot in the world. You know what he's going to do but you can't stop him, aka his goal against Slovakia. The unique wobbly way he walks, kind of like a penguin.

Chung-yong Lee - The darling of Korean football, skills, trickery, great shooting. Even scored a header against Argentina. Plays for one of the brightest teams in world football, Bolton Wanderers.

Clint Dempsey - Give it to the doctor. McDreamy. He can play in midfield or as a forward. Tough, fast, texan.

Landon Donovan - Runs like he's taking lots of little steps and rolls his sleeve up, like he's going to get to work.

Milos Krasic - The worst Shane Watson look a like. My how we booed when he played Australia. It really got to him because he did absolutely nothing with the ball, missed an open goal, hit every cross into the crowd, got moved into the centre of midfield away from the crowd, and then subbed off in the second half. Serbia finished bottom of their group.


Harry Kewell - Looked absolutely amazing playing as the lone forward against Ghana. Shame he got sent off, everything was going through him.

David Villa - He can shoot and actually looks like he might score. Unlike every other player on the Spanish team. The most defensive team ever to win the World Cup.

Georgie Welcome - Thank you. You're welcome. No, you're welcome. I'm Welcome. Georgie Welcome.


Jogi Low - That cardigan. So beautiful, baby blue. They made a wonderful couple, him and his assistant coach. It's a new Germany.

World Cup Diary - Part 1

23 June, 2010

The last trip to South Africa was more about the place. This trip has been more about the football.

It's always hard to predict World Cups so I decided to place a few bets on some long shots at the tournament. I bet on S. Kalou, S. Eto'o and Obafemi Martins to be the top scorer. All have been knocked out of the tournament, grand total of 1 goal scored between them. My tip of a Brazil - Nigeria is over as well, I think I will get it half right.

The surprise of the tournament so far was a sparkling performance by Slovenia against USMNT. They were ahead 2-0 at half-time. The first goal, a cracking left foot shot from about 20 metres out that flew past the keeper's outstretched left hand.

I was at the blackjack tables making up my losses from the previous day during half-time, and was on a pretty good run so I missed most of the second half.
The Sun City complex was pretty good to watch the game on the big screen. We bumped into Australian royalty. Robbie Slater. It also turned out we were sitting next to Eugene Galekovich's sister. Lovely person, really down to earh, bit surprising that the FFA don't pay for her accommodation.

It's always a weird feeling when you are on holiday because you think that you didn't come thousands of kilometres just to hang out with Australians. Maybe it is the natural tendency just to stick to what you are familiar with.

We stayed at Kedar Hotel. Unfortunately, Ray discovered there was no hot water only after getting in the shower. I usually test the water before going in. The bathroom even had a bath tub, there is not much better.

Rustenburg means place of rest. The daily routine was pretty perfect. I think it's much better than my normal routine. A day went something like -
  • Wake up sometime between 7 and 9
  • Put the television on and catch up on the news and action you missed
  • Have a nice hot shower
  • Stroll down to breakfast
  • Sit at any table you like (the table at the juice bar is the best) Juice comes in tiny glasses, not sure why
It was on this trip that I realised that breakfast should be a 3 course meal
  1. First course is bacon, with a fried egg, beans. Have a slice of toast if you feel the need to impress people
  2. Second course is pancakes or pikelets. The serving I was previously familiar with was three pancakes. Why stop there. I really think six is a lot better. I still need to figure out how to get even syrup distribution across the stack.
  3. Third course is a bowl of plain yoghurt with a sprinkling of sugar. This cleanses the palate.
  4. The fourth course is then a serving of fruit salad.
  5. The fifth course is then a mini muffin or a croissant.
The beauty of a buffet breakfast is that you do not feel like a pig because there's so much that you didn't eat. I realise that you can sometimes feel full, but it's more like you are just over it. Like you wouldn't really want more bacon and eggs, but definitely a bit of fruit salad.
  • Have a nap
  • Wake up
  • Head out to lunch, and eat while watching the first game
  • Then watch the second game
  • Come back to hotel
  • Have buffet dinner
  • Go to room and try and watch third game