The World Cup is finally here!!!!! No more sleeps and I am happy as a fat kid with a cup cake!
For those in Melbourne, here are my plans for the first weekend of the World Cup. If you have a wife, a girlfriend, a boyfriend or an over protective mother, may I suggest that you save your leave passes for later in the tournament. The round of 16 and especially the Quarter Finals will by far smash the first week of football in terms of quality teams playing each other. I would suggest you keep it low key for the tonight; watch the Opening Ceremony if you must, but definitely watch the South Africa V Mexico opener on TV. If you saw the Ticker Tape Parade of the South African Team in an open air Bus on the News, you would have noticed what this tournament means to the locals. Mexico has a long standing tradition in World Cups due to the fact that the North American Qualification zone is considerably weak, meaning they pretty much always qualify.
BUT WHATEVER YOU DO, get up Sunday morning and watch England v USA. The ungodly hour of 4:00AM should not deter you from the most watchable team in the World. Some will say Brazil and Argentina play a prettier style of football, and they are right, but England draws you in with the mass fanfare and pompous. The hysteria and expectation that sit behind the England team every time they go into a tournament borders on lunacy. The Premier League is the best league in the world, but they always manage to botch up every tournament they ever play in. And let’s be honest, we NEED THEM TO WIN if Australia is play them in the round of 16 (on the remote chance that we get past Serbia). Also, USA is not without a chance. Unfortunately they have lost star Striker Jozy Altidore to an ankle injury, but try telling a Sepo that they can’t win this match. The American Saaaaccer experiment is gathering pace in the US of A and within 20 years I can guarantee you they will be most competitive. Americans have bought a staggering 132,000 tickets to the tournament, easily the most of any nation outside of the host. 55,000 went to see the Americans send off game, and the US faithful are openly planning to outroar the might of the travelling British army. From what I saw in Germany, no one will get near England in terms of support, and if Chance and Ridge from Stamford Law take on the lunatics that were savagely abusing German locals in German Plaza’s, there could be a blood bath.
Which leads us to the main event; The Aussie game. After reading Dez Cullagh’s exquisite article on Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kewell, I have gone 360 degrees on Harry the Spaniard. After looking at that photo, how could I not want him to start against the Germans? Sure, he will probably substitute himself on 20 minutes for general soreness, but he is the Spaniard, spawned from great Explorers and conquerors throughout history.
The above is written by Dylan Evans, a friend of Sportpunter.com