Despite all fears, despite the apparently slow start, and despite having lost before the semifinals all teams who were potentially playing the flamboyant and spectacular football we love to praise, but which did not prove itself on the stadiums for the last three World Cups, the 2010 edition proved to be a success, not falling with anything from the previous editions, with one exception – the bloody vuvuzelas. I hope that these noise making devices will stay in South Africa and will not make their way to, or even better, will be forbidden in Europe and the rest of the world. With the vuvuzelas almost permanently on the background World Cup 2010 lost one dimension of the football show – the sound of the crowds in the stadium and the feedback of the tribunes to what was happening on the field. I hope they will go away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBxGkCPhqqA

(video source GotFAL)

At start we all had the impression that the European teams are too tired for the competition, as result of the long and exhausting seasons the top teams and players play in Europe, including the national leagues and cup competition and the mid-week Chanpions League. Actually it was mostly the internal problems of teams like France and the lack of imagination of the managers of England and Italy that put these teams out of competition at a relative early stage. At some point, in the quarters it looked like all four semi-finalists may be from South America, but then both great favorites Brazil and Argentina were out of the competition, and the South American dream final remained just a dream. Whether Maradona is a great team manager or is no manager at all remains an open question. For sure Dunga is a mediocre one. African teams completely failed to capitalize on the World Cup being played in an African country, and the next opportunity may not come that soon.

Did eventually the best team win? I personally doubt. I have the feeling that if Germany and Spain were to play ten games, Germany would win six, but it may bot be the important ones. Fact is that Spain already beat Germany in the European championship final and in the World Cup semifinal, this is what counts, the rest is fantasy. So yes – the team who put the right goals at the right time won, and this is what counts.

The final game was an all-European affair. I started by siding with Netherlands, but because of their brutal game I ended by favoring Spain, and I am glad that they won. Four times 1-0 as Spain won all its games in the elimination phases is no good PR for spectacular football, but the team is great, and it is actually the only team in the competition that got close to the value of its individual players.

This World Cup also put under question mark the referees decisions in some of the matches. I think that the referees were not as guilty or incompetent, but rather the games were sometimes so fast that they overwhelmed them. It was a good thing that such a mistake as the one in the game between Germany and England happened here – at any other places and without hundreds of millions of witnesses it would not have led to the change in the game rules that I am sure will take place pretty soon and bring soccer closer to fairness, thanks to technology already used in other sport disciplines.

At this very minute it’s fiesta time in Spain. Congratulations, Spain! Viva Espana!