When they say beautiful game, they mean Forlán, right?

Ah, so that’s it, it’s all over. Done and dusted. The World Cup 2010 is complete. Wait a minute… that was it?

I am left feeling slightly confused and bemused by the whole World Cup thing. The first two weeks were brilliant. Football overload. Matches starting all over the place, lots of great teams and fun player names to laugh over. There were barely any tactics, because a draw was okay. None of that hanging around near the goal to make sure you didn’t lose the lead, or bringing your goalie out to strike because you have nothing left to lose.

The knockout rounds have left a bad taste in my mouth, and not because England were supremely awful. There were more goals, and better play, but only for some of the matches. The rest of it all seemed very tactical. The commentators called the final “tetchy and cynical”. We’d only been waiting an entire month to watch it, and I have yet to find anyone who enjoyed it.

What was with all that waiting, anyway? From the manic early rounds, where at one point there were four matches a day, two on at the same time, to days and days of no football at all. Waiting around for the semi-finals, so much waiting that I had plenty of time to forget who was who.

We had that ridiculous third round match that didn’t make any sense at all, who remembers who came third in any given tournament? Who cares? But that silly match had better play than the final, which just made the whole thing even more confusing.

I learnt lots about the “beautiful game” though. From my initial crash course, to now, I have added notes about what kind of fouls are legal or not, whether penalty goals count towards the award at the end, plus more than I could ever want to know about goal line technology and that goals don’t count even if everybody saw it but the four ref type people blinked and missed it.

Being a referee must be the worst job in the world. Why would anyone do it?

In summary, I found the World Cup 2010 all very odd. I did enjoy the tournament, although lots of people have said it hasn’t been very good. I think it says a lot when the most exciting thing about the final was that Paul the Octopus got his predictions right again.

Still, lovely Forlán won the player of the tournament. Not the Golden Booty thing for the most goals, but arguably something better. The BBC have a video montage of his best bits (UK only, I think) and he posted a photo on Twitpic of himself and the other Uruguay players right before they threw him in the swimming pool. Charming!

The general consensus is that he’s a bit old to be around for the next World Cup, so I’ll have to consign this to a brief but finished obsession. Roll on Brazil 2014!

5 thoughts on “When they say beautiful game, they mean Forlán, right?

  1. Glad you enjoyed it. Forlán by far deserved the best player award, and it’s always a weird paradox that the game with no meaning is often better than the final itself.

    The final was a bit typical of knockout football – when there is more at stake the teams tighten up for fear of making mistakes. This one wasn’t brilliant but I watched it at a friend’s house where we had a BBQ and all put on our Spanish shirts – so I guess I enjoyed it for the company more than anything…

  2. I enjoyed the final, but mostly from the “clash of tactics” point of view of a follower of football for 30-odd years; I can see why it would have been disappointing to the more neutral observer.

    What was also interesting is that the BBC pundits were all bemoaning the ‘cynical’ Dutch tactics and praising Spain for continuing to play “their intricate game” but that is exactly what teams like Stoke and Bolton employ against Arsenal in the Premier League where they are praised for “getting in their faces” and “not letting them play”. Hypocrites, the lot of them.

  3. I don’t know if you are aware Christine but Forlan’s award is the golden ball.

    The problem with any knock out tournament is the further into it you get, the fewer teams are left so the longer between the games. It kind of kills the momentum though.

    I think it is time football dropped the beutiful game title because now it rarely is.

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