2010 FIFA World Cup Guide by The Sports Bra Reports

2010 FIFA World Cup Guide by The Sports Bra Report

Ladies and gentleman the 2010 FIFA World Cup is just a few days away.  On June 11th, 2010 in South Africa the world’s largest sporting event will commence.  Over 26 billion people will tune in to watch the World Cup games that will last approximately one month.

So what exactly is the FIFA World Cup?  Well, that’s what the Sports Bra Reports is here to help you out with.  Consider this a simple guide to “the beautiful game” of futbol or soccer to us Americans. We’ll tell you what FIFA is and how the World Cup works, then we’ll dive into the fun stuff – the 32 teams that will be participating!

So without further ado, the Sports Bra Reports 2010 FIFA World Cup Guide.

What does FIFA stand for?

FIFA stands for the Federation Internationale de Football Association.  It is the governing body of the world cup and organizes a multi-year tournament every four years with the culmination being the World Cup.

Where will the World Cup take place & how long will it last?

The 2010 World Cup will be in South Africa.  This is the first time in the history’s tournament that an African nation will play host.  The games will be played in 9 different South African cities  (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Mangaung/Bloemfontein, Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Rustenburg & Tshwane/Pretoria).

The World Cup is a month long tournament starting on June 11 and ending on July 11 with the championship game in Johannesburg.

How many teams participate in the World Cup?

They are 32 teams that participate.  31 of the teams had to qualify through various tournaments in the years leading up to the World Cup and 1 – the host team (South Africa) gets an automatic bid.  The 32 teams will be placed randomly into 8 groups of four teams per group (Groups A-H).

It's World Cup Time!

How does the World Cup work?

The 8 groups, which have four teams each, will play each other for two weeks.  In those two weeks each team will receive a series of points for how they do in each futbol/soccer match.  3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss.  The two teams with the most points per group will advance to the Round of 16 (think of it as the Sweet Sixteen in NCAA basketball).  From here on out it’s a single game elimination, which means the winning team will advance and the losing team goes home.

** Just so you know in the Round of 16 there can be no draws – there has to be a winner and a loser.  If a game ends with a tie after the first 90 minutes of play, the game will go into “extra time” (over-time) for 30 minutes.  If in those 30 minutes there’s still no definite winner, the game moves on to penalty kicks to decide the winner.

Now ladies and gents, lets move on to the fun part!  Which 32 teams qualified? What is each teams strengths and key players?

Once again they are 32 teams in the World Cup – divided into 8 groups (A-H).  Let’s break it down by group.

GROUP A:

France, Mexico, South Africa & Uruguay

Group A: France, Mexico, South Africa & Uruguay

FRANCE:

World Ranking #9

Key Players:  Thierry Henry – Forward, Franck Ribery – Forward, Nicolas Anelka – Forward.

Strengths:  Great forwards that play in some of the top futbol clubs in Europe (Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, Lyon, Barcelona).  Expect them to score lots of goals.

Random Fact:  France’s nickname for their team is Les Bleus (the blues).  France won the World Cup in 1998 on their home soil.

Odds to win all:  18 to 1.

MEXICO:
World Ranking # 17

Key Players:  Cuauhtemoc Blanco – Midfield, Rafael Márquez – Defender, Guillermo Franco – Forward

Strengths:  Strong defense speared by Barcelona defender Marquez.

Random Fact:  Mexico is famous for… Tequila! It is the only country to have hosted the World Cup twice.

Odds to win it all:  80 to 1.

Thierry Henry - France

SOUTH AFRICA:

World Ranking #83

Key Players:  MacBeth Sibaya – Midfielder, Steven Pienaar – Forward, Benni McCarthy – Forward

Strengths:  Above average athleticism, host nation so there will be large crowds whenever they play.

Random Fact:  South Africa is currently the world champion in Rugby.

Odds to win it all:  150 to 1.

URUGUAY:

World Ranking #16

Key Players:  Diego Lugano – Defense, Diego Forlán – Forward, Cristian Rodríguez – Forward

Strengths:  Great defenders led by team captain Lugano, team is famous for it’s toughness.

Random Fact:  Are two-time World Cup champions.
Odd to win it all:  100 to 1.

GROUP B:

Argentina, Greece, Nigeria and South Korea

Argentina, Greece, Nigeria and South Korea

ARGENTINA
World Ranking # 7

Key Players:  Lionel Messi – Forward, Sergio Aguero – Forward

Strengths:  Have one of the best players in the world leading their attack in Lionel Messi, expect lots of goals from him.

Random Fact:  Are two time World Cup champions and one of the favorites to win it all.

Odds to win it all: 7 to 1.

GREECE

World Ranking # 13

Key Players:  Sotiris Ninis – Forward, Sotiris Kyrgiakos – Defender

Strengths:  They have a great ability to play strong defense and control the tempo of the game.

Odds to win it all:  150 to 1.

Lionel Messi - Argentina

NIGERIA

World Ranking # 21

Key Players:  Osaze Odemwingie – Forward, Obafemi Martins – Forward

Strengths:  Very tall and athletic midfielders and forwards.  Expect them to always be on the attack.

Random Fact:  Nigeria became the first African team to win Olympic Gold in Atlanta in 1996.

Odds to win it all:  150 to 1.

SOUTH KOREA

World Ranking # 47

Key Players:  Park Ji-Sung – Midfielder, Park Chu-Young – Forward

Strengths:  Great chemistry and will never give up on any play, very hard working players.

Odds to win it all:  200 to 1.

GROUP C:

Algeria, England, Slovenia and USA

Algeria, England, Slovenia and USA

ALGERIA
World Ranking # 30

Key Players:  Karim Ziani – Midfielder, Djamel Abdoun – Midfielder

Strengths:  A relatively young squad that lacks experience but have great potential to win games in their group because of their ability to control the ball with midfielder Karim Ziani.

Odds to win it all:  350 to 1.

ENGLAND

World Ranking # 8

Key Players:  Steven Gerrard – Midfield, Wayne Rooney – Forward

Strengths:  Great tactical team that controls tempo and the ball.  Expect them to advance well into the quarterfinals, as they are one of the favorites to take the World Cup trophy back home to the Queen.

Odds to win it all:  6 to 1.

Landon Donovan - USA

SLOVENIA

World Ranking # 25

Key Players:  Milivoje Novakovic – Forward, Robert Koren – Midfield

Strengths:  Great defense, in the past 12 international games have only conceded six goals.

Odds to win it all:  250 to 1.

UNITED STATES

World Ranking #14

Key Players:  Tim Howard – Goal Keeper, Landon Donovan – Midfield

Strengths:  A very athletic and scrappy team that can hang with most teams in the tournament if they hustle.

Odds to win it all:  80 to 1.

GROUP D:

Australia, Germany, Ghana and Serbia

Australia, Germany, Ghana and Serbia

AUSTRALIA

World Ranking # 20

Key Players:  Tim Cahill – Forward, Mark Schwarzer – Goal Keeper

Strengths:  Great teamwork, high intensity players.

Random Fact:  Nickname given to the Australian team, “The Socceroos.”

Odds to win it all:  150 to 1.

GERMANY

World Ranking # 6

Key Players:  Michael Ballack – Forward, Mesut Oezil – Midfield

Strengths:  Extremely organized and motivated team.  Expected to go deep into the tournament.

Odds to win it all:  12 to 1.

Michael Ballack - Germany

GHANA

World Ranking # 32

Key Players:  Richard Kingson – Goal Keeper, Sulley Muntari – Midfield

Strengths:  Can control the tempo of the game with their excellent midfielders and defense.

Odds to win it all: 66 to 1.

SERBIA

World Ranking # 15

Key Players:  Nemanja Vidic – Defense, Marko Pantelic – Midfield

Strengths:  Great defense that can steal the ball and contribute in the attack.

Odds to win it all: 66 to 1.

GROUP E:

Cameroon, Denmark, Holland and Japan

Cameroon, Denmark, Holland and Japan

CAMEROON

World Ranking # 19

Key Players:  Samuel Eto’o – Forward

Strengths:  Have the best forward in Africa leading their attack in Samuel Eto’o.  Expect him to have a strong performance.

Odds to win it all: 100 to 1.

DENMARK

World Ranking # 36

Key Players:  Nicklas Bendtner – Forward

Strengths:  Great attacking midfield.

Odds to win it all: 150 to 1.

Samuel Eto'o - Cameroon

HOLLAND

World Ranking # 4

Key Players:  Ryan Babel – Forward, Andre Ooijer – Defender

Strengths:  A team loaded with great players ready to make some noise in their group and world cup.

Odds to win it all:  12 to 1.

JAPAN

World Ranking # 45

Key Players:  Shunsuke Nakamura – Midfield

Strengths:  Can control the midfield and if given the opportunity can get creative when it comes goal scoring.

Odds to win:  350 to 1.

GROUP F:

Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay and Slovakia

Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay and Slovakia

ITALY

World Ranking # 5

Key Players:  Daniele De Rossi – Midfielder,

Fabio Cannavaro – Defense

Strengths:  The World Cup defending champs are a team loaded with lots of talent in almost every position; expect them to content to repeat as champion.

Random Fact:  4-time World Cup champions, nickname the Azzurri.

Odds to win it all:  12 to 1.

NEW ZEALAND

World Ranking # 78

Key Players:  Chris Killen – Forward

Odds to win it all:  2000 to 1.

Fabio Cannavaro - Italy

PARAGUAY

World Ranking # 31

Key Players:  Roque Santa Cruz – Forward

Strengths:  Aerial game and a very good defense.

Odds to win it all:  80 to 1.

SLOVAKIA
World Ranking # 34

Key Players:  Marek Hamsik – Midfield

Strengths:  Strong defense.

Odds to win it all:  250 to 1.

GROUP G:

Brazil, Ivory Coast, North Korea and Portugal

Brazil, Ivory Coast, North Korea and Portugal

BRAZIL

World Ranking #1

Key Players:  Kaka – MF, Luis Fabiano – Forward

Strengths:  The #1 ranked team in the world is the favorite to win it all. They are loaded with superstars on defense, midfield and offense.

Odds to win it all:  5 to 1.

IVORY COAST

World Ranking # 27.

Key Players:  Didier Drogba – Forward, Kolo Toure – Midfield

Strengths:  Their attack is lead by Drogba the number 1 goal scorer in the European league; expect them to super exciting throughout the tournament.

Odds to win it all:  33 to 1.

Didier Drogba - Ivory Coast

NORTH KOREA

World Ranking # 105

Key Players:  Jong Tae Se – Forward

Strengths:  A 5-man defensive backfield leads to great counter attacks with their speedy forwards led by Jong Tae Se.

Odds to win it all:  1500 to 1.

PORTUGAL

World Ranking # 3

Key Players:  Cristiano Ronaldo – Forward, Raul Meireles – Midfield

Strengths:  Led by the most famous soccer player in the world C. Ronaldo, expect the Portuguese squad to score lots of goals and advance far ino the tournament.

Odds to win it all:  28 to 1.

GROUP H:

Chile, Honduras, Spain & Switzerland

Chile, Honduras, Spain and Switzerland

CHILE

World Ranking # 18

Key Players:  Alexis Sanchez – Midfield

Strengths:  Great attacking team that never stops searching for goals.

Odds to win it all:  66 to 1.

HONDURAS

World Ranking # 38

Key Players:  Carlos Pavon – Forward

Strengths: Good defense with great counter attacking ability.

Odds to win it all:  1000 to 1.

Fernando Torres - Spain

SPAIN

World Ranking # 2

Key Players:  Fernando Torres – Forward, Iker Casillas – Goal Keeper

Strengths: Led by some of the greatest soccer players in the world, the Spanish squad is expected to go far in the tournament.  They are a team that loves to control the tempo and the ball.

Odds to win it all:  4 to 1.

SWITZERLAND

World Ranking # 24

Key Players:  Alexander Frei – Forward

Odds to win it all:  200 to 1.

So there you have it ladies and gents.  The Sports Bra Reports presents to you our simple yet, comprehensive guide to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.  I hope that this guide helps you enjoy the beautiful game of futbol aka soccer.

Which team will lift up the 2010 World Cup Trophy?

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