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Likelihood of an African World Cup 2010 Winner (Part 2/2)

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By now, it would be noticed that the host nation South Africa has yet to be featured. Don’t worry, it is not that I have forgotten about the hosts themselves amid the hysteria surrounding the star-studded teams. That’s not to say the Bafana Bafana is not star-studded though. The South African team is the most locally represented out of the rest of the six African teams in the competition, but they are augmented by a few superstars in the squad such as the 101 capped Aaron Mokoena and 50 capped Steven Pienaar, just to name two of the most known members of the Bafana Bafana. Although many pundits and fans alike have condemned Bafana Bafana to be the very first host country in the World Cup history to be knocked out from the Group Stage, we must not underestimate South Africa as well as the advantages that they are going to have as a host nation.

In the World Cup, or any other huge competitions for that matter, underdogs usually go to overdrive mode while the top teams might churn up a sub-par performance, although it’s not so apparent such that the semi-finals consist of four underdogs, but it’s still playing a huge role in the competition. Besides, South Africa is coached by an experienced Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and thus he is able to navigate his way through the toughness of the World Cup as he has been there before when he won the 1994 World Cup. Thus, I won’t be surprised if South Africa survives the Group Stage or even winning Group A altogether. Besides, Group A is not that tough a group. France huffed and puffed their way through qualification, and many would argue that they avoided failure to qualify to the World Cup no thanks to FIFA’s last minute seeding of the play-off teams in the European zone of qualification as well as the infamous Hand of Henry. Uruguay, just like France is not a team at top form and is as shaky as the French. Also, just like the French, they are only in the World Cup no thanks to an offside goal in their own play-off match against Costa Rica. The last participant in Group A, and South Africa’s first  opponent in the tournament’s opening game, Mexico has just survived a total destruction under the ill-fated regime of Sven Goran Eriksson. The trauma won’t dissipate that shortly, and also, it is a team pretty much in transition. Thus, it is pertinent to note that South Africa might spring a few surprises in their vuvuzela fuelled campaign on home soil. Also, I dare say that in South Africa’s campaign, which I would say that they would at least get to the last 16 or even go to the quarter finals or even the semi finals with a stroke of luck or two, it won’t be just all about Aaron Mokoena and Steven Pienaar. There will be other players in the South African squad who would emerge from the shadows to let the whole world notice their talents, and it is likely that these stars will be poached by top European clubs after the World Cup. Whether they will be the El Hadji-Dioufs and the Salif Diaos of this world, it is another thing altogether, but nevertheless, expect a few stars or two from the Bafana Bafana to earn themselves lucrative transfers to top European clubs after the World Cup.

The last team, and the one which I think the most likely African team to go furthest and even win the whole thing is Cameroon. As far as star names is concerned, Cameroon possesses at least one recognizable and proven star name in each position. In goal, they have Carlos Idriss Kameni, a proven reliable goalkeeper in La Liga. In defence, they have the ever reliable Rigobert Song and the solid Sebastian Bassong. In Midfield, they have the commanding and imposing Jean II Makoun. In attack, medals attracting Samuel Eto’o needs no introduction. Also, Cameroon’s squad consists of players who are at the peak of their powers (ie. Between the age of 26-30+) and that every single one of them, exept for the youngster Vincent Aboubakar, ply their trades in top European clubs in top European leagues. Their manager, Paul Le Guen is also a recognizable name in world football and also he has been in charge of Cameroon since 2009. Thus, this squad is relatively stable and with the players at the peak of their powers eager to live up their nickname the “Indomitable Lions” will look forward to be indomitable and also to dominate everything and anything standing in their path to glory. Their Group is also a relatively easy group and expect them to beat the shaky Denmark and Japan, and they might even do a Senegal and shock Netherlands as well as the world and top the group. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, expect Cameroon to be this World Cup’s Senegal and go all the way to the quarter finals at least and even if they are not able to win the World Cup, I won’t rule out Samuel Eto’o collecting yet one more medal even if that medal is the bronze medal. Nevertheless, history would have been made for Africa if that happens. Also, despite everyone claiming that Eto’o has started to dwindle and that they cite Mourinho moving him back to play on the flanks for Inter in the recently concluded club season, I would still say that at 29, Eto’o is still pretty much at the peak of his powers, and he will play really well as a striker for his country and he will score plenty of goals as Cameroon charges for glory!

Written by cp

11/06/2010 at 10:41

One Response

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  1. gila… berat oiii..


    11/06/2010 at 21:15

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