Thursday, March 04, 2010

The 2010 World Cup winners! Announced slightly ahead of schedule..

So did you hear? They have announced the 2010 World Cup winner ahead of time.

That’s right. All bookies have paid out, the trophy has been handed over and the commemorative t-shirts are already selling like proverbial hot cakes.

They are playing the tournament in South Africa merely as a formality. And for kicks.

The winners? Spain. In a landslide.

The tournament is there for Spain to take. They are in the middle of a potentially legendary run of form. Last night’s win means Spain have now won 42 of their last 45 fixtures, with their only defeat coming against the United States at last summer's Confederations Cup. They have won 42 of 45. That’s absolutely stunning form. You would expect a number of draws in there, whatever about losses. Spain are winning games at a record rate.


Winning a tournament near you soon

The opposition is ripe for the taking. France? A poor punch line attached to a bad joke, only in the tournament thanks to the hand of Henry and the incompetence of FIFA. They might not make it out of the group stages. In fact, they probably won’t. Brazil? They are paper tigers, Kaka aside, Brazil are not what they used to be. They will actually struggle to score goals. They don’t even know who they are themselves, Dunga their manager is trying to make them a European style, tough to break down unit, and that's not exactly creating excitement at home in Brazil.

England? Give me a break. The only reason England take part is to find new and inventive ways of crashing out of the tournament in flames. Argentina? When your manager is a former cocaine addict things can be exciting, but not really in a good way. Maradona's complete lack of any tactical intelligence at all is shocking considering what a great player he was. Holland? Not enough depth. Germany? The cliché is correct, you never can count the Germans out, however this tournament is a bit of a cross roads for them, youth and experience has yet to blend.

Put it this way, nobody can bring to the table the depth, experience, talent and flair that the Spaniards can call on.

You want goals? How about David Villa and Fernando Torres? If these two guys are ready to go come tournament time, they have the ability to be the greatest strike force the World Cup has ever seen. Big words, yes, but if you haven't seen them play, just wait. Both are relatively young and at the peak of their game.

Last night, against France, Villa scored his 36th goal in only his 55th match for Spain, moving him closer to the great Raul's national record of 44 goals, which were scored in 102 appearances. Torres might be slightly more famous, but Villa has to be a great bet for the Golden Boot.

Midfield? Only the best in the World. Bar none.

Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Cesc Fábregas, Xabi Alonso. The Spanish manager has an embarrassment of riches, the only issue will be how to integrate them and get the most out of them. Spain has, without a doubt, the finest midfield in World football. After this tournament we may end up with reason to consider it the greatest midfield of all time.

At the back? The twin towers of solidity, Pique and Puyol, both of Barcelona, stand guard in front of one of the best keepers in the world, Casillas.

There is simply no reason to think twice about backing Spain to win the World Cup. Depth, talent, experience, they have it all. For the purists, they play beautiful, flowing football and score plenty of goals. They may be a little arrogant, but you have to possess that edge to be a winning team, so you can forgive them for that.

So there we have it. If you walked into a bookies this morning and asked politely for a price on Spain, 4-1 is freely available out there. Considering you already know the result of the tournament, you would be mad not to back them, no?

Vive Espana!

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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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