Yesterday, Sky Sports News showed a report on how the World Cup affected the people of South Africa and the country itself. The answer, not really. It is easy to say that the World Cup that we saw throughout June and at the start of July was not really at the standard we are used to seeing.
Not even the likes of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could make any difference. It took my cousin Cathal, (who runs the very successful blog Football Corner) to make me realise how woeful the World Cup actually was. We are now six months on from the tournament that crowned Spain as champions for the first time and it's fair to say that it's pretty much forgotten. There wasn't much to show for it with a lot of matches and teams disappointing.
A lot was expected from nations such as England, Brazil and to some extent France but none of them ever got going. We all saw what happened with England, a Rob Green error and the failure to beat Algeria meant that they could only manage second in their group. They capped off a quite awful tournament by losing 4-1 (should have been 4-2 if you all remember Lampard's disallowed goal) to an impressive Germany side in the quarter finals.
Going into the tournament, they weren't really a liked side after they got through to the finals thanks to the hand of Thierry Henry. Of course I'm talking about France. They made themselves look like more of a joke by refusing to train which resulted in Anelka being sent home.
Spain proved they were the best side in the world. After a shaky start everyone thought, as usual, that they wouldn't have the bottle. But they proved that you have world class players along with the passion and I don't think they're short of world class players. The final normally is the culmination of a great tournament and showcases some of the best football. Instead, we got a boring final in which Holland literally "kicked" Spain around the pitch. So why would it make a massive difference to South Africa? Yes, it's changed for the better but not by a huge amount.
I would love to hear any comments you may have.