The World Cup 2010 is now inching closer. Once the World Cup 2010 starts on Friday, it will kick off an entire month of soccer domination throughout the world. Of course, America is also focused on the NBA and NHL finals, the middle of baseball season, and counting down to American football training camp. So, it will take a big spectacle, and a big American performance, for the U.S. to pay equal attention to the World Cup. But, so far, the World Cup 2010 buildup has included big injuries and stampedes.
For the last several weeks, a lot of nations have lost important players to injury, before the tournament even began. David Beckham started the trend back in March, robbing England of their biggest name. But now, England has also lost Rio Ferdinand, while Germany, the Ivory Coast, Italy and Brazil also had major players put at risk. Today, Portugal also lost winger Nani, after his left shoulder injury on Friday.
The World Cup 2010 lineups have already changed before the opening whistle. This has to make teams fear for what will happen when play starts, especially in this climate. One talking point is how South Africa is a hotter location than past World Cup sites, and whether that will affect play.
But, despite the injuries and slightly diminished star power, South Africa and the rest of the world still can’t wait for the World Cup 2010. Of course, that was taken to extremes this past weekend, as a mere exhibition between Nigeria and North Korea inflamed fans trying to get in. Those who couldn’t get the free tickets charged the gates, injuring 15 people.
FIFA did not sanction this exhibition; they will have higher security to keep this from happening at the World Cup. They know that this is the world’s biggest stage, and cannot afford to have it tainted with a European-style soccer riot.
Although things have been iffy in the buildup to the tournament, all of that will likely be brushed aside in Friday’s opener. South Africa will certainly have a big show on display, especially when their team hosts the first World Cup 2010 game against Mexico. With the first round’s most anticipated matchup happening the next day, between the U.S. and England, the tournament can get off to a blazing start right off the bat.
After that, soccer fans around the globe can settle down for a month of action. There are now just 72 hours left to wait, as South Africa and Mexico start the World Cup 2010 at 10 am est Friday.
New York Daily News- “World Cup will kick off without some of soccer’s biggest stars”
Associated Press- “Warm-up match stampede a wake-up call at World Cup”
Yahoo Sport- “World Cup 2010 – Nani ruled out of World Cup”