As Mark Lawrenson put it, “this was a decent world cup but definitely not the best in terms of the quality of the football played”.

The actual spectacle until the elimination rounds was poor to mediocre at best. You could see that the great football stars, the multi-million pound investments of Man Utd (Rooney), Chelsea (Drogba) and the likes were just not at the races. Drogba can be forgiven as he was playing with a broken elbow. This was a big mistake in my opinion who was probably forced to play on by his sponsors, very reminiscent of Ronaldo with Brazil in the 1998 final. As for the likes of Anelka and Ribery they were playing for France team devoid of ambition, will or determination, lacking any sort of team cohesiveness and direction and utterly rudderless. Their manager was the laughing stock of the World Cup. It’s almost as if he wanted to avenge his employers before bowing out in the most ignominious of ways. As for England, it was the same old story . Too much media hype over a very mediocre team who were completely outdone by a clinical German side that played entertaining football for a change.

The shining stars of this World Cup were Germany, Spain, Holland (until the final), Uruguay and Ghana. I include Ghana because despite losing on penalties in a match in which they were robbed they are a side to watch in the future from the African continent. They could do damage in Brazil in 2014.

The biggest winner of all however was football. Thank god that Spain won the final. Let’s beg the question, what role model would young children have had if Holland had won? De Jong karate kicking Alonso? If Holland had won the World Cup in the fashion that they went about trying to accomplish this feat football over the next few years would become alot uglier. It’s a miracle that no spanish player was serioulsy uinjured after the first half onsolought of foul play. But in the end football prevailed. Spain were a joy to watch from the 60th minute onwards and they could have been two or three up were it not for Stekelberg’s brilliant goalkeeping.

Another massive winner was South Africa itself. The world’s eyes were transfixed for 30 days on a poverty stricken region where drugs and violent gangs were run of the mill before the World Cup. With the right investors and opportunities, such as Seedorf’s initiative in building a football academy, much of this area can be transformed and be filled with positive energy for our young ones of today who aspire to become.

This World Cup is also very significant for two major incidents that cannot be overlooked by Blatter : The goal that crossed the line in the England v Germany game and Souarez blatant handball incident that made even a non football fan will Ghana on to go through. On the first count Blatter must come to his senses and realise that we are in the twenty first century.

Goal line technology or at least assistance from extra referees patrolling the goal line are required in this modern fast game. Referees are increasingly making more mistakes when left to their own devices, as they cannot keep up with the increasing speed of the game. Twenty years ago football was different, now change must happen to preserve justice in the game of football. Regarding the second incident, referees should be given the option at their discretion to award a penalty goal when incident’s such as blatant as Souarez happen again.

There will always be a degree of injustice in football and in a way that heightens the excitement and makes football matches more enthralling but we have draw the line somewhere. The South Africa World Cup can be looked back on as the tournament that changed the rules of the game for the better. There have been thousands of minute changes administered to the game but none of these changes had an impact on these two potentially history changing moments. We need to act and we need to act now. Ghana should have been in the semi-final and who know how far they would have reached. It was travesty for African football who are trying to mae the break though.

On a final note the overwheming conclusion is that despite everything the best team won the world cup. Spain have it all, technical ability, team play and spirit, solid defence, great goalkeeping and brilliant coach. They are much deserved winners and this was a victory for football.

One suggestion maybe for the future : change the timing of the World Cup. The players play too many matches for their clubs and when involved in competitions such as Champions league on top of the gruelling demands of the likes of the Premiership, La Liga or the Bundesliga until the very end, there is not enough time to recuperate. This trend will only get worse if things stay as they are. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the likes of Rooney, Drogba, Torres, Ribery, Anelka, Ronaldo were on top form for a spectacle which is viewed by billions?

Credit: BBC

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