Daily Archives: June 24, 2010

England are in the final 16

England went into this World Cup with the presumption that we were in an easy group. One of the tabloid papers even used the headline ‘easy’ when the draw was made by FIFA.

How wrong the pundits were.

And now we are through, we have a crunch match with Germany on Sunday. I’ll be at the Hyde Park Calling music festival on Sunday watching it on the big screen.

It’s no longer the case that the countries with the best leagues produce the best national team. Germany were struggling against Ghana last night. France are out. Italy are struggling as I write this blog. Any national team that has qualified for the world cup finals will be a challenge because of player mobility.

Look at the African sides as a great example. The best players end up playing in leagues all over Europe and the national football association in almost all the African nations has gone out and hired experienced foreign coaches. So if your players are getting experience of the Premier league or Serie A, and you have a team coach with national experience (like Sven at Ivory Coast), then how can the team be considered weak anymore?

Not having a well established league of your own is no longer a barrier to world cup success. Wouldn’t it be great to see a team like Ghana go all the way to the final?
Mexico v South Africa on Copacabana Beach

Comment on Brazil

I went to Brazil as a guest of BRASSCOM recently, the Brazilian hi-tech trade association. Angelica Mari was the only other British journalist on the trip. Take a look at what we both produced in just a few days meeting people in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo: