it has been an amazing event held South Africa this year and that is-the most anticipated game of all- the 2010 FIFA world cup. it's all about football babeh! this prestigious event was recently concluded with the team Spain crowned as the winner.

~how i started~
we all have to wait for 4 year to witness all the great teams, players, games and happenings of world cup. indeed world cup is the most anticipated event to the whole globe since it is the biggest sport event of all, even greater than the olympics. i remember my initial exposure to this event vaguely and i was only 12 years old then, where the 1998 world cup was held in france. all i know then was brazil failed to win at the final and the host country was the champion. not really a football mania, i consider myself just a spectator to world cup. having three older brothers have perhaps blossomed the passion of football-watching in me. later on, it grew inside me, this whole football craze.

the next world cup which was held in 2002 by joint host korea & japan was pretty much the beginning for me. i didn't know much about the whole game, not the rules, nor the teams. i just wanted to be a part of the whole football frenzy and blindly followed my friends (at school) rooting for brazil in the final match which end up winning the tournament instead of germany. after that, knowing much more than before, and involving myself a little bit here and there in the English premier league, i realised i don't want to support brazil anymore. haha.. true they are one of the finest and strongest teams in the world but i just don't like their attitude.

thus in the 2006 world cup, i started to have a favourite which was England, resulting from a limited exposure only to EPL. i really put an effort by waking up at the wee hours to watch matches involving england but they never really succeeded. after watching the final match where zinadine zidane gone mad and headed an italian player on the chest, i made a resolution to watch the whole tournament next time and be a part of the whole excitement. i didn't miss the 2008 euro which was equally interesting. then i know which team is great and which team is poor. england didn't even qualify to the tournament hence making me change my support to germany who eventually lost to spain in the end.

~this is for real~
eventually 2010 came and world cup started. i was determined to root for england (again) and germany which appear to be better than the first. in the effort of throwing myself into the whole frenzy from the beginning, i made my own groups standing chart and the knock-out stage chart. when it commenced on 11th june, i was in a course thus i couldn't really watch the early matches. once i came back home, my world cup sensation officially kicked off. hehe..

it was just my father and i who really care for this world cup in the house. i shared all the passion, info, stats and opinion with my father. he asked me to draw the knock-out stage chart and i did. he even hung our board of world cup chart on the wall next to the television. usually that is my brothers' job but since i'm the only football-frenzy child left in the house, it's my job then. haha. i watched some of the games, starting from the third matches for each group that ran simultaneously. thanks to my holiday time spent at home, out of 64 matches, i managed to watch 17. haha, better than the previous world cup and i'm very proud of that.

our world cup chart

it is so fun to be able to watch the game from the beginning and experience the excitement, adrenaline pumping, frustrations, anxiety from the actions of 22 men chasing one ball. haha.. i really salute them all for having such skills and able to bring out the power within themselves to make their country proud.

~ups and downs~
to everyone's shock, the 2006 world cup winner italy and runner-up france were both dismissed from the world cup earlier than anyone has expected. they didn't even make it to the top of the group standing. what a shame. portugal-the team with the most expensive footballer in the world- also has sent packing early in the round of 16. it was a one-man show for christiano ronaldo. i enjoy cheering for korea as i've always like that country. skipper jisung really made an impression although they had to head back home early.

all along my viewing of this wonderful world cup, i've been rooting for the unimpressive england (i dont know why i still stick to them) and the strong germany. well, england has not been able to advance to the quarter finals like they used to in the past and i just hoped germany do better. the three lions had been showing less intesting performance and the star players of england couldn't bring joy to my heart. nonetheless, one memorable moment i remember from the game that witness both of my team of choice came head to head in the QF is the denied goal of frank lampard. it was clear that the jabulani ball went over the goal line but the 'superb' linesman didn't see it. it was some disheartening moments for england when germany stole their ball twice and scored. at that point, i could not help hating myself for rooting for england again. hahaha.. i learnt my lesson there. no more england after this. that's that, germany advances nonetheless. it is very much expected for them to win by 4-1. it's a shame that both david beckham n micheal ballack couldn't join the line-up due to injury. it would be extra wonderful to have them on the pitch.

frank lampard's denied goal

lampard is devastated to learn that his goal was denied

the first QF actually started to twist things around. the favourite, brazil was unexpectedly kicked out of the tournament by the sensational netherlands with the score 3-1. the five-time-winner could not believe themselves to be sent home to south america that early. that particular match turned my eyes to the oranje squad. they seemed to be owning the x-factor to be the next world cup bearer.

another shocking result happened the next day. the deutschland boys really astonished the world when they defeated argentina, the favourite to win the tournament. i was really shocked to see argentina lay helpless in that particular game which ended 4-0. those spectacular 4 goals put lionel messi's face to shame. even him -FIFA's best player of 2009- could not make his team advance to the semi. shame on you, maradona. haha

the 1st semi-final was delightful when the dutch advances to the final stage defeating uruguay by 3-2. it was a good game and diego forlan was playing superbly despite his team's defeat. the match witnessed two fabolous goals scored by the netherlands's skipper giovanni van bronckhorst and diego forlan respectively. i realised that the netherlands own some key players that needed to be watched out namely arjen robben whose skills are impeccable, and also wesley schneijder, one of the tournament's top scorer. on that note, i started to make netherlands my favourite.

the 2nd semi-final was a heartbreak for me as my favourite germany was not even given a chance to touch the ball during that match against spain. they conquered the whole game and advanced to the final with winning over the germans by 1-0. the history of euro 2008 has repeated through this game. once again, the germans couldn't break the spanish wall. i really hate david villa after this game. haha

right before the final, the 3rd placing match between germany and uruguay was held. it was by far the most entertaining match of them all. germany won by 3-2 and that has made my day.

after 30 other teams sent packing, the finalists came to the final stage and i was hoping that the netherlands will win. the game was harsh. there were too many yellow cards given by the referee. i understand the pressure that the players from both team were feeling. it's do or die. there is no turning back. all shots made by the famous david villa didn't score and the same thing happened to the oranje. all of them were putting their hope on robben, my hero of the match. nevertheless, that last minute goal by iniesta turned nightmare to the oranje. they were denied the world cup trophy. although some people might say that the spanish played better and stronger, i still do not want to admit that. i still put my support on the oranje now. and so the Spanish won the world cup. the rest is history. what a world cup!

i really miss all the actions now and really look forward to the next world cup that is going to be held in brazil in 2014. go go Netherlands & Deutschland!!