Thursday, April 1, 2010

WHO will win the WORLD CUP?

[ Above is the back page of The New Paper - 29 June 2006]

The 2010 World Cup
What's so special and exciting about this year 2010 to the billions of people out there? The YOG? Tennis Grand Slams? Swimming World Championships? The Superbowl Finals? The Thomas Cup Badminton Finals? Answer is none of these. The WORLD CUP is normally taken by every avid football fan to mean only one thing....which makes the entire world go crazy, delirious, happy (or unhappy as the case may be), unproductive ( employers beware! ) and in FIFA's case, greedy and unreasonable as far as Singaporeans are concerned over the way they are holding out on us ( Singtel and Starhub ) over the "LIVE coverage" issue. Huh... so sorry, I've digressed. Will blog about that too, later. Back to the main story.

The World Cup to be held in South Africa is less than 3 months away. Already, the 32 teams that have made it to the Finals have all begun their preparations seriously. This is the first time that the W Cup is hosted by an African country. South Africa as host country is an automatic qualifier among the final 32 teams.

The early rounds will begin in June, leading to the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals( 6 & 7 July)and the Grand Final( 11 July 2010).

The question on everyone's mind right now is..." WHO will win this 2010 World Cup? ".
The last winner in 2006 was Italy who overcame France in a pulsating, incident-filled match with Zinedine Zidane ( once the world's Best Footballer) sent off for head butting Marco Materazzi. Germany defeated Portugal for the 3rd Placing. It was an all-European cast for the last four in the Semi-Finals. The likes of Brazil and Argentina, traditional powerhouse from South America, were bundled out in the Q-Finals. Other victims included England, Ukraine and others.

So who will it be this time to lift that coveted and glittering gold W Cup trophy?
Will it be one of the European sides or one from south of the border?
Can an Asian-Oceania side make an improbable breakthrough?
What about the hosting continent itself...Africa? They seem to have some reasonably strong teams like Egypt...the current African champions and Didier Drogba's Ivory Coast, Samuel Ito's Cameroon and Essiens' Nigeria.
So-called soccer pundits and soccer experts are having a field day trying to make the early predictions.

Many have been swooned by Wayne Rooney's recent form and so unsurprisingly England is one name that rings very loudly. The more astute among observers say it will be Spain's breakthrough year as they have arguably, one of the best if not, the very Best players in Europe.
Holland has always been nearly there coming in 2nd in the 1974 Finals. Uruguay who won the inaugural 1st World Cup way back in 1930 seems to be in a doldrum.

[ Above is from the same back page - The NewPaper 29 -6-2006 ]

The 2006 World Cup...some very interesting predictions and
analysis that came true!

The Headlines screamed loudly, " England will win the World Cup". The accompanying text gave 8 reasons to support the wide belief ( mostly in England ) that because of the magical number of " 7", nothing can stop or change this "inevitable" fate of an English triumph.
You and I know what happened...eventually to England.
Maybe they should have come out with just 7 reasons instead of 8 ( see they made an error there!).
By the way, the newsclips I have put here were published BEFORE the Q-Finals took place.
England was fated to meet Portugal in the Q-F stage and the 2 outstanding fellow strikers for Manchester United...Christina Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney faced each other in a "do or die" match, for it was the knock-out stage( only 1 match decides, if no goals Extra time of 30 minutes, then still no goals...the deathly Penalty kicks follow).
As that match went the gamut, Ronaldo managed to influence the referee to get Rooney sent off and he had the cheek to make "a wicked wink" at poor Rooney, who knew he was conned. Alas too late to be of help for the game, after extra time, produced no goals.
In the mandatory penalty kick segment...all the Portuguese players converted but only OWEN HARGREAVES succeded for England ! This has always been a perennial weak point for the 3 Lions.
Argentina too were beaten on penalties ( 2-4 ) after they drew 1-1 with host nation Germany. France managed to beat the not so mighty Brazilians 1-0.

Watching soccer with a small punt on the sideline always increases the enjoyment and excitement factor. Your adrenaline will pick up as you witness "your team" playing well and confirming your you a lift and a high at the same time. But be very careful that a big and substantial bet on the football pools can push your adrenaline level way a heart attack and physical collapse...when your bet investment go up in smoke.
So if you do bet, do it just for the simple "fun" of it. A small wager of a few $ won't kill you. Set and know your own limit. NEVER, EVER do it in the HOPE of making BIG MONEY.
Like most addicted gamblers everywhere...99 % will not only lose in the final analysis but many have lost their homes, their lifesavings, their CPF, their children's pocket money, their family and quite a number kill themselves as a result.
So Unk Dicko says...if you do bet know yourself first. Otherwise avoid gambling or betting at all costs.

Back to the above story
After I studied the report making a strong case for ITALY to win in 2006, I took my pen out to underline the pertinent points. I must say based on the statistics and other relevant side information...I came to this conclusion:
That a European side will win and the STATS point to ITALY as the report said. So, I went to S'pore Pools to place a small bet on ITALY winning the CUP.
On Cup Final day, billions of people were glued to the worldwide telecast going out "live".
For me, I was with a large party of more than a 150 people watching this Italy vs France Final at the Serangoon Gardens Country Club. We had a superb supper laid out and the game was shown on a huge cinema-like screen. Mp and Minister, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua and hubby were also present.
How did that match go?
France took the lead in the 7th minute from a penalty scored by who else...Zinadine Zidane.
Italy equalised to make it 1-1 when Marco Materazzi scored in the 19th minute. The exciting match ended at 1-1. During Extra time, it remained scoreless but a dramatic and ominous incident occurred. Materazzi had been "bad-mouthing" Zidane about his mother using expletives that escaped the Ref's attention but it got to the point where Zidane exploded in the blink of an eye. He suddenly charged at Materrazi with his head, knocking him down. Straight Red card for Zidane!
And with that con job, Materazzi had removed the best player on the field.
No goals during E penalty kicks. Italy converted all 5 including Materazzi himself taking one. France converted 3 but the critical 4th kick was a big miss by Trezeguet.
So Italy won 5-3 on penalty kicks and took the CUP home.
And the rest as they say, is history.

So...WHO will it be this year?
If you follow the report of 2006 above and continue the logical sequence, it should be a South American Team who should win it.
Brazil, under coach Dunga is still a very potent force. But do check what the report says, " Brazil can only succeed when their population or public think they can't win".
Argentina, under "fatty" Maradona has a lot of top players under his disposal. If somehow, he can find the right formula for them to gel as a team with the likes of Lionel Messi..I think the world would be mesmerised and surprised. Who knows, "Fatty" might just have the last and loudest laugh!
What about England and Spain and all the other strong teams?
Well what about them?
Statistics don't lie...or do they?
Going by the alternate sequence since 1962...and that sequence has yet to be broken and the data is there for all to see...2010 is not going to have a European Winner.
One other vital piece of information is crucial.
No European team has ever won the World Cup outside Europe. Italy, Germany, England and France are the only countries who have reached the pinnacle. But all were achieved when the tournament was hosted in Europe.
And now the tournament is outside Europe.

In 2006, the TNP report I read convinced me to lay a small bet on Italy. When Italians lifted the Cup...I had more than a Smile!
Not so lucky was a friend of mine, he too had read the same report and placed a 1 x 2 bet for Italy to win the game. SG Pools and other betting systems are similar in many ways. The 1 x 2 option for a win, draw or lose is based on the 90 minute match time alloted, including the few minutes of "injury" time added on by the Referee. The Game ended in a Draw ( 1-1 ) my friend lost his bet!
Just remember this, analyse the info provided and if you want to bet do so sanely and wisely.
Do not bet until you have to auction off your grandma's drawers!

If any of you have your own inspiration or theories I would hope you can share them.

No comments: