When the final of SA 2010 arrives..I will be there...in that stadium. You know as a football fan, F34K what everybody says about your passion, about how you dedicate your time and the usual critics...bla bla..If its in your blood, You will feel the thrill, the adrenaline pumping through your vains.....the passion. Sometimes you wish it were you.
I love football....Thats me. When Cannavaro stood up to lift the Cup in 2006.....It was incredible as an azurri fan. I dont know if this is the official video..but it was when Cannavaro lifted the Cup in 2006.
And when that Adrenaline pumps throuh your veins....I will be there in 2010....................
The Euphoria is building in South Africa.
As a Football Fan we now head into a magical 7 months.
Bring it On
FIFA WORLD CUP 2010 KIT PREVIEW OF THE DAY
Well the New Kits have been launched and Adidas have gone rather simple look for 2010.I had a look at the kits at RCS and Go Football.So whoever is interested in the replicas.Get them at these Outlets Now.But the unique thing about the Adidas kits or the TECH FIT technology as its called is its the Body Armopur look.If you seen the French ,they used it against Ireland.Bafana Bafana also wore the tech fit.Today we have a look at ze Germans
Kits available at www.rashidcassimsports.co.za and www.gofootball.co.za and if you in Durbz...Visit Just for Kicks...I know Bones will have it
I got an interesting email form Zee Mayet and we had to share this on the blog
Overview of what is to be expected during the World Cup:
Volume of Travellers expected
The World Cup is approximately 15 times bigger than the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The media contingent that will attend is estimated at 30 000. Business travel is disrupted purely due to the volume of supporters.
All indications are that approximately 220 000 long haul visitors will attend, 180 000 visitors from Africa and an average of 150 000 local supporters. On any match day it is envisaged that 100 000 travellers will need to use a travel commodity i.e. flight or road / rail transportation.
An additional 2 000 busses have been imported (overload on road transport) to carry these supporters. It is predicted that supporters will watch their team play every 3 or 4 days. When their teams are not playing, supporters will frequent the Fan Parks or embark on tours within the city of their choice.
Fan Parks are situated in central areas so that general public can watch all the games. Entrance to the Fan Parks is free and it is expected that these Fan Parks will attract a lot of visitors. In Germany 2006 one Fan Park attracted 500 000 spectators to watch one game. To avoid large transport infrastructure expense, training venues will also double as public viewing sites.
Fan Parks in the Western Cape
The Grand Parade Somerset West Road
Stellenbosch Bellville Velodrome
Khayelitsha Nomzamo Yethu (Hout Bay)
Training Facilities in the Western Cape
Newlands Rugby Ground UCT Rugby Ground
UWC Soccer Field Bellville Rugby Ground
Stellenbosch Rugby Ground Athlone Stadium
Fan Parks in Johannesburg (list to be updated)
Mary Fitzgerald Square in the Newton precinct
Fan Parks in Soweto are to be expected.
Innes-Free Park in Sandton,
Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown
Fan Parks in Durban (list to be updated)
The Durban Beach Front has been earmarked as one of Durban’s preferred sites for one or more Fan Parks during 2010.
To date no airline has released any prices or strategies for the World Cup period.
On pre and post match-days flights into and out of the venue cities will be overbooked. Due to the sheer volume of travellers, huge delays can be expected.
World Cup teams will use charter aircrafts and plan to use 2nd tier airports however their supporters will use the general airports. These airports will focus on scheduled international and domestic flights.
All the major hotel brands within South Africa have contracted with MATCH at a pre-defined room rate and therefore the normal Corporate rates will not be available during this period.
According to FIFA there is an approximate shortfall of 18 000 rooms for the World Cup. This supply and demand scenario allows B&B’s / Guesthouses to offer rooms at a premium.
It is most likely that all car rental companies will go on “stop-sale” for the period of the World Cup and rental cars will be scarce.
It is indicated that there will be limited access and in some instances complete road closures in the areas surrounding the stadium and fan parks. This will make it difficult for travellers to move freely between offsite meetings.
The next critical date for the WC2010 is the 4th December 2009 when the Pool draw is completed. This draw will indicate where the teams will be based and where their supporters will be spending most of their time.
The match schedule will be updated after the draw on the 4th December 2009. Games will be played at: 13h30, 16h00 and 20h30. Travellers need to allow for traffic congestion both at the stadium and the Fan Parks. It is advisable to allow 2hrs lead time if travelling to / from these areas.
Recommendations for travel during this period:
Do not travel during these periods unless it is critical to travel.
Plan your trip well in advance, changes to a ticket over this period will be extremely difficult and very expensive.
Try to make appointments at a location that is in the opposite direction of a stadium / fan park..
Take flights during the times of when the games are being played. Games start at 13h30.
Allow for a minimum of 2 hours to get to the airport in Cape Town and possibly 3 hours for Johannesburg. The congestion on the roads both to and from the Airports is going to be chaotic – plan for delays.
Parking at the airport will be virtually impossible and it is advisable to get someone to drop / collect you from the airports. Transfer companies will be busy with tourists and will also be very expensive.
As the Vital game between Fiorentina and Lyon takes place this week Liverpool are close to being dumped out of Europe. Without Torres and Gerard Liverpool look lost. An email sent by Mike Gani tells about El Nino at Anfield. Is he Happy.If Rafa goes...Will he pack his bags
Spanish striker Fernando Torres talks about life at Liverpool and in the Premier League, and how he had managed to avoid the limelight despite his football superstar status.
The middle of October, and it is a tricky period for Liverpool Football Club. For the first time in more than 20 years they have lost four consecutive games. Worse, their next game is against the league champions, their much-loathed North West rivals Manchester United. It is no wonder, when it comes, that the match is a testy, bruising encounter, the tension thickening the air inside Liverpool’s Anfield stadium. So aggressively do both sides chase each other down, none of the players appears to have any room in which to manoeuvre; the moment they gain possession an opponent snaps in at their shins.
But then, after 65 minutes of battling stalemate, something extraordinary happens. Fernando Torres, Liverpool’s Spanish centre forward, who has been absent through the previous calamitous run of defeats with a persistent groin injury, lurks on the halfway line between two United defenders, watching the ball intently, rocking on his toes, waiting for his moment. It comes as his team breaks out of defence.
With the opposing defenders momentarily distracted following the path of the ball, he makes a sudden sprint sideways, creating himself a yard or two of space. His colleague Yossi Benayoun sees him go and slips an inviting pass into his path. Torres takes off in pursuit of the ball, United’s Rio Ferdinand a couple of inches behind him, trying to claw him back, laying an arm across his chest in an attempt to throw him off balance. But Torres is undaunted: brushing off Ferdinand, the world’s most expensive defender, as if he were an irritating fly, he bears down on the United goal.
When he is 10 yards from it, with a swoosh of his right boot, he smacks a shot so powerfully past Edwin van der Sar that the United goalkeeper barely has time to raise a hand before the ball thrashes into the back of the net.
The whole incident lasts less than three seconds. But it changes everything. The home supporters, who had been nervy, many of them convinced over the previous week that their club was in terminal decline, explode in relief. As Torres runs to the stands in celebration, the front of his red shirt clasped in his teeth, the better to demonstrate his fealty to the badge on his chest, there might well have been complaints about the noise as far away as Wigan.
Then, after a moment or two, the crowd gathers its feelings into one collective articulation. From somewhere in the heart of the Kop a chant begins, sung to the tune of The Animals Went in Two by Two: 'We bought the lad from sunny Spain. He gets the ball and scores again Fernando Torres, Liverpool’s number nine.’ And it doesn’t stop for 10 minutes.
This is what Torres, who is regarded by many as the best striker in the world, does: he scores goals that mean something. With a hammer-blow shot, he restores belief, puts a stuttering enterprise back on track, reinvigorates the cause. In 66 appearances for Liverpool he has, at the time of writing, done it 47 times. And how his worshippers love him for it. Such is the power of his play, and such is his ability to make telling contributions, that Torres, a man whose fitness over the coming weeks is to become inextricably linked with his club’s fortunes, has legitimate claim to be the most influential footballer in the country.
Certainly there is no one to touch him in hard commercial figures: more Liverpool tops with Torres 9 on the back are currently being sold than any other replica football shirt. There are not many football-mad boys in the country, it seems, who do not dream of one day growing up to be Fernando Torres.
A couple of weeks before the game, Torres, 25, is participating in a photo shoot for his sponsor, Nike. He is wearing one of the company’s new AW77 sweatshirts and has the hood pulled up, covering his shock of blond hair. He stares at the camera, a concentrated, contemplative look on his face, as if he has retreated into his own personal space to prepare for challenges ahead.
It is an intensity exacerbated by the huge black eye he sports, a trophy gained in a recent match when he headed the back of an opponent’s head instead of the ball (defenders in England, he says, appear to have much harder skulls than their Spanish counterparts).
Yet there is something oddly contradictory about his stare. Shiner notwithstanding, this is not some old bruiser daring the lens to match his gaze. The player who strides across a football pitch with a rippling muscularity is no shaven-headed meat-head but rather he has the fresh-faced, freckled complexion of a Californian surfer boy. And when the camera stops clicking and he introduces himself, his smile is so disconcertingly wide and youthful, he really does look as if he is staring at you from the pages of an American high school yearbook. No wonder in Spain the man who scored the goal that won his nation the Euro 2008 trophy is known as el Niño: the Kid.
"When I was a boy, I was really thin, small, long-haired," he says. "I always looked young. People thought, he can’t play football. I used that to my advantage. In the first season when I arrived here [in England], it is true that maybe 80 per cent of the players in the Premier League didn’t know me, so I could use the way I look. It was easier for me because they didn’t know what I can do. They think maybe they can bully me."
They were soon disabused. On a football field, Torres is no shrinking violet. At 6ft 1in, he terrifies opponents with his speed and physicality. The Liverpool fans soon spotted he was a lot more than he seemed. Within days of his arrival the Torres song was echoing around Anfield’s Kop, the stand that had once rung to the praise of Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Robbie Fowler.
"It is incredible," he says of the chant. "I can understand why the fans would sing [his colleague] Stevie Gerrard’s name, because he is from here. But now a player comes from another country and gets this? It’s amazing to get this. Each player has one place in the world where he is happy and as a result he plays well. My place is Anfield. Every game I can play there I feel good."
Torres’s journey to Merseyside is one he never expected to make. "As a kid I never once dreamt of playing for Liverpool," he says. "I always live in the present. I never dream about what might happen. Why? It might not."
Torres grew up in Fuenlabrada, a working-class suburb of Madrid. An early footballing memory is of being pressed into service to help his elder brother practise his goalkeeping.
"He is eight years older than me so I couldn’t say no. At first it was difficult for me," Torres says, pausing a moment with a dry comic timing. "But I can beat him now."
Playing with bigger children on the indoor courts of Fuenlabrada, Torres soon honed the physical side of his game. He found that he liked fighting his way through rival defences – it played to a competitive instinct so intense, he says, that he avoids doing anything at which he cannot display mastery. "Tennis, golf… why play if you cannot win? And I am useless at them, so I don’t play."
His mastery of football was never in doubt, and at the age of 11 he was signed up for the youth team at Atlético Madrid, the club his family supported. By the time he was 17, he was playing for the first team.
Atlético is a club that has long suffered in the shadow of its illustrious city rival, Real, and the presence of a world-class player in their midst was regarded by supporters as a sign of unusual providence. As he became Spain’s leading striker, they took Torres to their hearts, and when it became clear six years later that he was heading to Liverpool, there was close to revolution in the home stadium.
"It was difficult to see the people trying to stop the transfer, but last year when Liverpool played Atlético both sets of supporters joined in singing my name, so I think now the fans of Atlético understand my decision. It was really difficult. But after seven seasons there I never played in Europe [in the Champions League, the world’s most prestigious club competition]. I knew I needed to find a solution. I would love to have been like Stevie, he was in the academy at Liverpool, he was a supporter of Liverpool and he won trophies with Liverpool. That wasn’t going to happen for me at Atlético, so I needed to move. It was difficult, but I think I made the right decision."
Liverpool paid £23 million for his services, a fee which, when you consider that Joleon Lescott and Dimitar Berbatov have changed hands for far more, represents the bargain of the footballing century. Torres came to Liverpool, he says, because of the Spanish connection: the manager, Rafa Benitez, another Madrileño, spoke persuasively to him in his mother tongue. (Nine other squad players and six members of the backroom staff also spoke Spanish as a first language.) Which was just as well, as Torres didn’t speak any English at all.
"Not a word," he says. "The first month, that was really difficult. When Jamie [Carragher, Liverpool’s vice captain, and another home-grown talisman] spoke to me I didn’t realise he was speaking English. Even now, when two Scouse people are talking between themselves it is difficult to follow. I know some Liverpool words, but this is not the right place to say them. People say to me sometimes, “You have a Scouse accent”, but when I go to a different place it may be strange for them, so I try to speak proper English. But I have a few words. “Deffo”, I like that."
His English is rapidly improving. And his sharp eyes suggest he misses nothing. "My mother says to me, 'I see you in press conference yesterday speaking English, and you are very good.' That’s because she doesn’t speak English. I remember before I came to England watching Rafa Nadal or Fernando Alonso and thinking they were brilliant, but that was because I understand nothing. Now I can tell they speak like me: not very good."
Despite the advances in his English – encouraged by the fact that Benitez insists that it should be the lingua franca of the Anfield dressing-room – he still finds occasional cause to retreat into Spanish.
"Sometimes I speak it as a code,’ he says. 'If me and Albert [Riera, his team and international colleague] want to discuss a move on the pitch, we will speak in Spanish so the opposition fullback doesn’t understand us. It works for us because so far we have not come across an English fullback who speaks Spanish."
Beyond the language, there are some things he misses about his homeland: the ham for one thing, which he has flown in from Madrid. But he says his wife – his childhood sweetheart, Olalla Dominguez, whom he has dated since they met when they were both 15 – has settled easily.
Despite becoming a mother in July when she gave birth to their daughter, Nora, she is continuing to study for a degree in social education at Uned, the Spanish equivalent of the Open University. What he most likes about England is the sense of anonymity. It may sound surprising, knowing the enormous affection in which he is held in his adopted home, but Torres says he finds it much easier to avoid attention away from the pitch than he did in Madrid. Back home, he says, the intensity of scrutiny grows greater by the day as next year’s World Cup approaches. Spain are the favourites to win.
"If I can touch the cup it will be the best moment for a footballer. After that you cannot do anything better," he says.
"But there is high expectation for us, and that is not always the best for you, that pressure. I think you have one chance in your life to win the World Cup and maybe this is our chance. We have good players, playing well together, who have been together for three, four years. If we miss this chance, this may be it. The pressure is very big."
In Liverpool, he believes, there is far less critical analysis, the press is more forgiving, the supporters less intrusive. "Scouse people are very respectful," he says. "If they see me walking my dogs in the park, they say, 'A’right Nando, lad.' And that is all. I like that."
He likes it because the evidence would suggest he is not someone who courts publicity. For instance, when he and Olalla married last summer, they did so in a ceremony in a town hall in a Madrid suburb to which only two guests were invited. And neither of them was a photographer from Hello! magazine. Many footballers would regard that as a seriously wasted earning opportunity.
"I try to keep my private life apart," he says. "I try to live as normal a life as possible, because I am normal. I was born in a working-class place in Spain, my father worked every day of his life and I don’t like to be a big-head, or go to parties or events, or be seen about. I don’t like people talking about me. I prefer no one talks about me. I prefer to be at home playing PlayStation and being calm."
This is the extraordinary thing about Torres: he masks his genius beneath a carapace of total ordinariness. There is nothing exceptional about him off the pitch, he insists. For him, life is about football, family and an occasional five-hour session of Fifa 2010. But then a cynic might suggest that maybe he has no pressing financial need to put himself in the public gaze or to engage with the myriad commercial endorsements of the modern game, given that when he signed for Liverpool he was the highest-paid player in the country, pocketing a cheery £5m a year. So what does a young man spend all that money on?
"I don’t like people when they are famous or rich changing their lifestyle, so I try to be the same person as I always was," he says.
"I don’t like to buy flash cars or flash clothes. For me, the best thing is to keep with the people you knew back when you were not famous. You meet so many people who try to get you to go to parties, or to photograph you in flash places, to distract you from your goals."
When he leaves, after assiduously shaking hands with everyone from make-up lady to camera assistant, he heads off back home in an Audi 4x4, a car that, for the most coveted man in the most well-rewarded football league in the world, really does count as not very flash at all.
And yet, in another contradiction at the heart of Torres, for a man who says he does not like to be the centre of attention, he appears to enjoy posing for the pictures, naturally knowing how to hold a camera’s gaze.
"It is OK," he says of his role as a model. "But it is not my job. And I don’t do anything that stops me from my job: being a footballer. It’s not so hard for me now because I can control almost everything. I have experience and I know which is the route to follow. But when I was 17 and first in the [Atlético] team, then there was a different way."
What was that?
"Of people who want to know you, be your friend, take you to places that maybe it is best you don’t go. And if you follow that path maybe your career is over before you started. So I am really happy that I didn’t do that, but I could keep my friends and the important people around me. And now I’m 25 and playing for the best team in the world."
He makes it sound as if he has been fully absorbed into the Liverpool way. "Yes, when I go back to Spain I look the wrong way in traffic. I had a problem with a taxi in Madrid because I looked right not left, and I nearly got hit. And I start driving on the left instead of on the right."
Does this suggest he is here to stay? "Who knows," he smiles. "But for the next four years, yeah. Deffo."
A question for the Blog. Will Ruud van Nistelrooy be an effective signing for Liverpool and an adequate partner for Torres?