2010 – South Africa

World Cup 2010 Final

2010 World Cup champion: The Spanish team with captain Iker Casillas holding the FIFA World Cup trophy

World Cup 2010 Facts

World Cup 2010 Poster

2010 World Cup poster

  • Date: 11 June – 11 July
  • Final: Netherlands – Spain 0-1
  • 3rd place: Uruguay – Germany 2-3
  • Teams: 32
  • Stadiums: 10
  • Host cities: 9
  • Matches played: 64
  • Goals: 145
  • Attendance: 3,178,852
  • Top scorers: Thomas Müller (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain), Diego Forlán (Uruguay) (5 goals)

World Cup 2010 Background

FIFA introduced a new aspect when it comes to choosing a host country for the upcoming World Cups. Due to the controversy of the 2006 World Cup host selection, FIFA announced it will rotate the hosting of a World Cup between its constituent confederations. This would continue at least until the selection of the 2014 World Cup host in 2007. This policy however did not last long, as it has been abandoned already in 2007 after Brazil was chosen as the 2014 World Cup host.

The 2010 World Cup bidding process was the first to implement the continental rotation rule. The 19th World Cup would be held in Africa, which meant only African countries were able to place a bid. 5 countries were interested: Egypt, Libia, Tunisia, Morocco and South Africa. As FIFA announced it will no longer accept joint bidding (which was accepted for the 2002 World Cup), both Libia and Tunisia withdrew.

With 3 African nations left, the voting process started. Egypt didn’t receive any vote and Morocco received 10. However South Africa that lost the voting process for the 2006 World Cup, received 14 votes.

This meant on May 15 2004 for the 7th time in Zürich, FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter announced the 19th World Cup would be held in South Africa. The first time in World Cup history a World Cup would be hosted in the continent Africa.

There existed some concerns whether South Africa was able to organize the preparations properly with the right planning and speed. FIFA officials always expressed their confidence in South Africa, and the country was indeed on time with the organizational process.

World Cup 2010 Background

9 host cities in South Africa

World Cup 2010 Participants

A record amount of countries participated in the qualification rounds for the 2010 World Cup. 205 countries of the 207 FIFA affiliated countries in that time tried to qualify. The 2010 World Cup holds now the record together with the 2008 Summer Olympics for the most competing countries for a sports event.

As was introduced in the previous World Cup in Germany, the defending champion (Italy) had to qualify as well. Only South Africa as the host country qualified automatically.

13 places for Europe were allocated to the following countries: France, Greece, England, Slovenia, Germany, Serbia, Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

Both Slovenia and Serbia qualified for the first time under their own names. However Serbia is considered as the direct and only successor of the Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro national teams. Slovenia is considered as the direct successor of the Czechoslovakia team, together with Czech Republic. All 3 former countries Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro and Czechoslovakia have participated in previous World Cups.

5 places for Africa excluding South Africa were allocated to the following countries: Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. Algeria qualified for the first time since 1986.

4 places for South America were allocated to the following countries: Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

4 places for Asia were allocated to the following countries: South Korea, Australia, Japan and North Korea which qualified for the first time since 1966. Australia was normally an OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) country, but became an official member of the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) on the 1st of January 2006.

3 places for North/Central America and Caribbean countries were allocated to the following countries: Mexico, United States and Honduras which qualified for the first time since 1982.

2 play-offs had to be played by 4 countries which didn’t qualify directly: AFC country Bahrain against OFC country New Zealand and CONCACAF country Costa Rica against CONMEBOL country Uruguay.

Both New Zealand and Uruguay won these play-offs and therefore qualified last minute for the 2010 World Cup. The last time New Zealand qualified was in 1982.

As was the case in the 2006 World Cup, South Africa 2010 contained teams from all 6 continents.

World Cup 2010 Match Ball

2010 World Cup match ball “Jabulani”

World Cup 2010 Groups

No special rules or policies have been introduced for the 2010 World Cup. The format of the 2006 World Cup has been used for South Africa 2010. A round-robin tournament was played meaning each team had to play against the 3 other teams in their group. 3 points were rewarded for a win, and 1 for a draw.The last 2 matches of each group were played at the same time.

Only the 2 best teams of each group would advance to the next round, the Round of 16. With the Round of 16 the knockout stage started. Number 1 teams of the groups played against number 2 teams of other groups. If a team loses, the team was immediately eliminated. After the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final a team would reach the Final. If a Semi-Final was lost, the team had to play the match for the third place.

In the knockout stage, extra time had to be played for 30 minutes when the score is even after 90 minutes. If the score is still a draw after those 30 minutes, the penalty shootout had to decide who the eventual winner will be.

The 8 seed countries were South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina and England. They were kept apart from each other and were placed in different groups.

2 countries from the same confederation were not allowed to be included in the same group, except for European teams. A maximum of 2 European teams were allowed to be included in the same group.

The groups were as followed:

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
South Africa
South Korea
United States
Group EGroup FGroup GGroup H
New Zealand
Ivory Coast
North Korea
World Cup 2010 Logo

2010 World Cup logo

World Cup 2010 Stadiums

10 stadiums were used in 9 host cities. 2 stadiums were used in the largest South African city Johannesburg: Soccer City and Ellis Park Stadium.

As was the case in the 1970 World Cup, there were some issues regarding the altitude of several host cities. 6 of the 10 stadiums were over 1200 meters above sea level. The 2 stadiums in Johannesburg had the highest altitude of around 1750 meters above sea level. It has been said the Jabulani match ball was affected as well due to the altitude. High above sea level, The ball appears to move faster in the air than when moving close to sea level.

The teams therefore prepared themselves for such altitudes by establishing their training camps mostly around Johannesburg. It is easier for players to adapt coming down to seal level rather than moving away from it.

The following 9 cities and 10 stadiums were used in South Africa:

Soccer City
Location: Johannesburg
Opened: 1989
Capacity: 84,490
Matches: 8
Status: Is the national stadium, goes by the name First National Bank Stadium and is the largest South African stadium
Cape Town Stadium
Location: Cape Town
Opened: 2009
Capacity: 64,100
Matches: 8
Status: Name was chosen by the public, was built for the World Cup and is currently a multi-purpose venue
Moses Mabhida Stadium
Location: Durban
Opened: 2009
Capacity: 62,760
Matches: 7
Status: Is a multi-use stadium and was constructed for the World Cup
Ellis Park Stadium
Location: Johannesburg
Opened: 1928
Capacity: 55,686
Matches: 7
Status: Is a rugby and football stadium and became in 2005 the first black-owned stadium in South Africa
Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Location: Pretoria
Opened: 1923
Capacity: 42,858
Matches: 6
Status: Is a rugby and football stadium and was expanded for the World Cup
Peter Mokaba Stadium
Location: Polokwane
Opened: 2010
Capacity: 41,733
Matches: 4
Status: Is a rugby and football stadium and was built specially for the World Cup
Mbombela Stadium
Location: Nelspruit
Opened: 2009
Capacity: 40,929
Matches: 4
Status: Is an all-seater stadium and was built specially for the World Cup
Free State Stadium
Location: Bloemfontein
Opened: 1995
Capacity: 40,911
Matches: 6
Status: Also called Vodacom Park and is a rugby and football stadium
Royal Bafokeng Stadium
Location: Rustenburg
Opened: 1999
Capacity: 38,646
Matches: 6
Status: Is a football, rugby and athletics stadium and increased its capacity for the World Cup
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Location: Port Elizabeth
Opened: 2010
Capacity: 42,486
Matches: 8
Status: First World-class football stadium in Eastern Cape which was built for the World Cup

World Cup 2010 Schedule

Group A
Date – TimeVenueResults
11/06 16:00Johannesburg – JSCSouth Africa1:1 (0:0)Mexico
11/06 20:30Cape TownUruguay0:0France
16/06 20:30Tshwane/PretoriaSouth Africa0:3 (0:1)Uruguay
17/06 20:30PolokwaneFrance0:2 (0:0)Mexico
22/06 16:00RustenburgMexico0:1 (0:1)Uruguay
22/06 16:00Mangaung/BloemfonteinFrance1:2 (0:2)South Africa
Group B
Date – TimeVenueResults
12/06 16:00Johannesburg – JEPArgentina1:0 (1:0)Nigeria
12/06 13:30Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethKorea Republic2:0 (1:0)Greece
17/06 16:00Mangaung/BloemfonteinGreece2:1 (1:1)Nigeria
17/06 13:30Johannesburg – JSCArgentina4:1 (2:1)Korea Republic
22/06 20:30DurbanNigeria2:2 (1:1)Korea Republic
22/06 20:30PolokwaneGreece0:2 (0:0)Argentina
Group C
Date – TimeVenueResults
12/06 20:30RustenburgEngland1:1 (1:1)USA
13/06 13:30PolokwaneAlgeria0:1 (0:0)Slovenia
18/06 16:00Johannesburg – JEPSlovenia2:2 (2:0)USA
18/06 20:30Cape TownEngland0:0Algeria
23/06 16:00Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethSlovenia0:1 (0:1)England
23/06 16:00Tshwane/PretoriaUSA1:0 (0:0)Algeria
Group D
Date – TimeVenueResults
13/06 20:30DurbanGermany4:0 (2:0)Australia
13/06 16:00Tshwane/PretoriaSerbia0:1 (0:0)Ghana
18/06 13:30Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethGermany0:1 (0:1)Serbia
19/06 16:00RustenburgGhana1:1 (1:1)Australia
23/06 20:30Johannesburg – JSCGhana0:1 (0:0)Germany
23/06 20:30NelspruitAustralia2:1 (0:0)Serbia
Group E
Date – TimeVenueResults
14/06 13:30Johannesburg – JSCNetherlands2:0 (0:0)Denmark
14/06 16:00Mangaung/BloemfonteinJapan1:0 (1:0)Cameroon
19/06 13:30DurbanNetherlands1:0 (0:0)Japan
19/06 20:30Tshwane/PretoriaCameroon1:2 (1:1)Denmark
24/06 20:30RustenburgDenmark1:3 (0:2)Japan
24/06 20:30Cape TownCameroon1:2 (0:1)Netherlands
Group F
Date – TimeVenueResults
14/06 20:30Cape TownItaly1:1 (0:1)Paraguay
15/06 13:30RustenburgNew Zealand1:1 (0:0)Slovakia
20/06 13:30Mangaung/BloemfonteinSlovakia0:2 (0:1)Paraguay
20/06 16:00NelspruitItaly1:1 (1:1)New Zealand
24/06 16:00Johannesburg – JEPSlovakia3:2 (1:0)Italy
24/06 16:00PolokwaneParaguay0:0New Zealand
Group G
Date – TimeVenueResults
15/06 16:00Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethCôte d’Ivoire0:0Portugal
15/06 20:30Johannesburg – JEPBrazil2:1 (0:0)Korea DPR
20/06 20:30Johannesburg – JSCBrazil3:1 (1:0)Côte d’Ivoire
21/06 13:30Cape TownPortugal7:0 (1:0)Korea DPR
25/06 16:00DurbanPortugal0:0Brazil
25/06 16:00NelspruitKorea DPR0:3 (0:2)Côte d’Ivoire
Group H
Date – TimeVenueResults
16/06 13:30NelspruitHonduras0:1 (0:1)Chile
16/06 16:00DurbanSpain0:1 (0:0)Switzerland
21/06 16:00Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethChile1:0 (0:0)Switzerland
21/06 20:30Johannesburg – JEPSpain2:0 (1:0)Honduras
25/06 20:30Tshwane/PretoriaChile1:2 (0:2)Spain
25/06 20:30Mangaung/BloemfonteinSwitzerland0:0Honduras
Round of 16
Date – TimeVenueResults
26/06 16:00Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethUruguay2:1 (1:0)Korea Republic
26/06 20:30RustenburgUSA1:2 a.e.t. (1:1, 0:1)Ghana
27/06 16:00Mangaung/BloemfonteinGermany4:1 (2:1)England
27/06 20:30JohannesburgArgentina3:1 (2:0Mexico
28/06 16:00DurbanNetherlands2:1 (1:0)Slovakia
28/06 20:30JohannesburgBrazil3:0 (2:0)Chile
29/06 16:00Tshwane/PretoriaParaguay0:0 a.e.t. 5:3 PSOJapan
29/06 20:30Cape TownSpain1:0 (0:0)Portugal
Date – TimeVenueResults
02/07 16:00Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethNetherlands2:1 (0:1)Brazil
02/07 20:30JohannesburgUruguay1:1 a.e.t. (1:1, 0:1) 4:2 PSOGhana
03/07 16:00Cape TownArgentina0:4 (0:1)Germany
03/07 20:30JohannesburgParaguay0:1 (0:0)Spain
Date – TimeVenueResults
06/07 20:30Cape TownUruguay2:3 (1:1)Netherlands
07/07 20:30DurbanGermany0:1 (0:0)Spain
Match for third place
Date – TimeVenueResults
10/07 20:30Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethUruguay2:3 (1:1)Germany

Date – TimeVenueResults
11/07 20:30JohannesburgNetherlands0:1 a.e.t.Spain

World Cup 2010 Memorable Matches

Group Matches

Group A

France – South Africa 1-2
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein – attendance: 39,415

The host country against 2006 World Cup finalist France. It was expected that both countries had a fair chance of advancing to the Round of 16. For South Africa it was the simple statistic that every host country of each World Cup always succeeded in advancing to the next round.  But this time things turned out differently. Although South Africa lost only 1 match against Uruguay, they were eliminated. This was the first time a host country was eliminated in the first round. They had the exact amount of points as Mexico, but Mexico advanced due to the goal difference rule together with Uruguay. France ended up playing 1 of their worst World Cups. Coincidentally, this was the case as well in 2002, when they played 1 of their worst World Cups after having won the tournament in 1998. Issues between the players and coach Raymond Domenech highly contributed France’s performance in this World Cup. Striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home after verbally abusing the coach and refused to apologize. The team refused to train in protest against Anelka’s expulsion. The French team spirit was far from great. They lost 2 matches including this one against South Africa. France managed to score only 1 goal in this tournament which was in this match. It was Florent Malouda who scored for France. Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela scored the 2 goals for South Africa. At least South Africa revenged themselves for the lost group match in 1998 against France.

Group B

Argentina – Nigeria 1-0
Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg – attendance: 55,686

Group B was almost exactly the same as group D of the 1994 World Cup. This group D consisted of Argentina, Nigeria, Greece and Bulgaria. In Group B of the 2010 World Cup it was not Bulgaria but South Korea which was a group member. Apparently it is becoming a tradition for Argentina and Nigeria to meet in the group stage. Since Nigeria qualified for the first time in 1994, both were placed in the same group in 1994, 2002 and now in 2010. 1998 was the only World Cup for Nigeria where they didn’t encounter Argentina. Nigeria has not been able to defeat Argentina yet. Argentina won again due to an early goal by Argentinian defender Gabriel Heinze. Argentina advanced together with South Korea. Nigeria will have a chance to revenge themselves in the 2014 World Cup, since they are placed in the same group with Argentina again!

Group C

England – USA 1-1
Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg – attendance: 38,646

England against USA was a very memorable encounter. Many times references were made to the legendary USA against England 1950 World Cup group match. This match was legendary won by USA against all expectations. This 1950 World Cup match is considered as 1 of the greatest World Cup shocks. Since this match, they haven’t encountered each other again until this 2010 World Cup match! England could finally have their revenge. But England couldn’t win. English midfielder Steven Gerrard did score the first goal in the first 5 minutes of the match. But due to a surprising mistake by English goalkeeper Robert Green, American midfielder Clint Dempsey scored the equalizer. The match ended in a draw and both countries advanced to the Round of 16. Both England and USA had the same amount of points and goal difference, so USA topped the group since they scored more goals than England. For the USA it was a close call though to advance! USA created an epic World Cup moment by scoring the winning goal in the match against Algeria which allowed them to advance instead of Slovenia. This goal was scored in in the last minute of the match by Landon Donovan!

The winning goal against Algeria (1-0) which allowed USA to top the group and to advance to the Round of 16

Group D

Germany – Australia 4-0
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban – attendance: 62,660

Germany met Australia before in Australia’s first World Cup back in 1974. West Germany won with 3-0. In this match the score wasn’t much different. Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Müller and Cacau scored a goal each. With Tim Cahill receiving the red card in the 2nd half, Australia was unable to score. This is the only match which Australia lost, but unlike 4 years earlier they didn’t advance. They had the same amount of points as Ghana but due to the goal difference rule it was Ghana which advanced. Both Germany and Ghana would make it at least to the Quarter-Finals. Germany did shockingly lose against Serbia where Lukas Podolski missed a penalty. A German player missing a World Cup penalty hasn’t happened since German player Uli Stielike missed a penalty in the first penalty shootout in the 1982 World Cup!

Group E

Netherlands – Japan 1-0
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban – attendance: 62,010

It was widely expected for the Netherlands to survive this round. The big question regarding Group E was mainly who would join the Netherlands? All 3 other countries Cameroon, Denmark and Japan have reached the Round of 16 before. Japan won both matches against Cameroon and Denmark and only lost this match against the Netherlands. Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder scored the powerful winning goal. The Netherlands won every match and topped the group. Japan joined them to the Round of 16. Cameroon lost every group match which has never happened before in a World Cup.

Group F

Slovakia – Italy 3-2
Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg – attendance: 53,412

France was not the only country to play 1 of their worst World Cups. Italy which won the 2006 World Cup, finished last in Group F. Initially it was widely believed Italy would advance easily, due to opponents like New Zealand and Slovakia. But the reality was far from the truth. Italy managed to win 0 matches and even lost against Slovakia in their last group match. Slovak striker Róbert Vittek scored the first 2 goals before Italian striker Antonio Di Natale scored the first goal for Italy. Slovak midfielder Kamil Kopúnek ended Italy’s hope by scoring the 3-1. Italian striker Fabio Quagliarella scored a last minute goal in injury time, but damage was already done. Italy lost and was eliminated. The last time Italy was eliminated in the group stage, was in the 1974 World Cup. Slovakia which played their first World Cup advanced together with Paraguay which topped the group. New Zealand became awkwardly the only 2010 World Cup country to have lost 0 matches due to 3 draws. But they were eliminated as well.

Group G (Group of Death)

Portugal – North Korea 7-0
Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town – attendance: 63,644

As expected Brazil ended up topping this group. But it wasn’t Brazil which torn North Korea to shreds. It was Portugal which finished 2nd. A memorable match this was due to the high amount of goals. 7 goals were scored by 1 team, an amount you would normally see in older World Cups. Raul Meireles, Simão, Hugo Almeida, Tiago (2x), Liédson and Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 7-0. North Korea lost every match and was eliminated. For the 2nd time Ivory Coast was placed in a ‘Group of Death’. In their previous World Cup in 2006, they were also placed with strong opponents. This time they were eliminated again.

Group H

Spain – Switzerland 0-1
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban – attendance: 62,453

This was the memorable match which Spain lost. It was their first group match and Switzerland surprisingly won with 0-1. Midfielder Gelson Fernandes scored the winning goal for Switzerland due to clumsiness in the Spanish defense. Although Switzerland defeated the then soon to be World Cup champion, Switzerland didn’t make it to the 2nd round. For Spain there was a different destiny. They would end up winning all future matches. Spain became the first country to lose the first group match, AND to win the World Cup! Spain topped the group because of the goal difference rule. Chile also had 6 points and had to accept the 2nd place of Group H.

Round of 16

USA – Ghana 1-2
Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg  – attendance: 34,976

This is the 2nd time Ghana played a World Cup, and it is the 2nd time they encountered USA. USA was eliminated in the group stage 4 years earlier and lost the match against Ghana. This match was an opportunity for USA to revenge themselves. But in this knockout match Ghana succeeded to prevail again. Kevin-Prince Boateng scored the first goal for Ghana after the first 5 minutes. USA was awarded a penalty in the 2nd half which Landon Donovan took successfully. Striker Asamoah Gyan became the hero by scoring the 2nd goal for Ghana in injury time. Ghana made it to the Quarter-Final for the first time. USA has gained another opportunity to revenge themselves, since they are placed with Ghana in group G of the 2014 World Cup!

Germany – England 4-1
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein – attendance: 40,510

A very memorable match, and not only because of England’s worst World Cup loss. It all started with 2 goals by Germans Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. English center back Matthew Upson scored England’s first goal 5 minutes after Podolski’s goal. What happened afterwards was 1 of the greatest 2010 World Cup shocks. English midfielder Frank Lampard scored a clear goal which crossed the goal line. However the ball bounced out of the goal which goalkeeper Manuel Neuer quickly shot back to the players. The whole world saw it was a valid goal except for the referee. He disallowed the goal and England had to start the 2nd half with a 2-1 score. No goals were scored by the English anymore. It was German forward Thomas Müller who scored 2 more goals for Germany. England was eliminated. This was the first time in World Cup history, a World Cup match between Germany and England  had a decisive result in normal time. 2 times the match was settled in extra time, and 1 time (1990) a penalty shootout had to be taken.

Argentina – Mexico 3-1
Soccer City, Johannesburg – attendance: 84,377

Argentina and Mexico encountered each other before in a World Cup. Mexico lost the Round of 16 match against Argentina in the 2006 World Cup. This was an opportunity for Mexico to defeat Argentina and to reach the Quarter-Final again after 24 years. Unfortunately for Mexico they were not able to advance again. Argentina won with 2-1 in 2006 but this time the score ended in 3-1. Carlos Tévez scored 2 goals and Gonzalo Higuaín 1 goal. But the shocking moment of the match occurred after Tévez’s first goal. He was clearly offside which the officials didn’t see. The problem of the officials was, the replay was instantly shown on the big screen, visible for everyone in the stadium! Due to a FIFA protocol, controversial incidents are normally not broadcast in the stadium. The Mexican players instantly ran to the officials to complain massively. But the referee (probably against his will) had to allow the goal. Only in the last 20 minutes striker Javier Hernández managed to score 1 goal for Mexico. But it was to late. Argentina advanced, and discussions about goal-line technology fired up once more. Finally this will be implemented in the 2014 World Cup!

Paraguay – Japan 0-0 (5-3)
Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria – attendance: 36,742

3 times Paraguay reached the Round of 16, but never the Quarter-Finals. This finally changed in the 2010 World Cup. Japan reached the Round of 16 only once in 2002. For a long time we had to wait to find out who would make it to the next round for the very first time. 0 goals were scored in 120 minutes so both had to take their first World Cup penalty shootout. Every player from Paraguay scored: Édgar Barreto, Lucas Barrios, Cristian Riveros, Nelson Valdez and Óscar Cardozo. Japan didn’t have such luck. Yasuhito Endō, Makoto Hasebe and Keisuke Honda scored successfully, but Yūichi Komano missed. It was Paraguay which reached the Quarter-Final for the very first time.


Uruguay – Ghana 1-1 (4-2)
Soccer City, Johannesburg – attendance: 84,017

Another controversial match was Uruguay against Ghana. Ghana had the opportunity be the first African country to reach the Semi-Final. They started well with a goal by midfielder Sulley Muntari in the end of the first half. Forward Diego Forlán equalized pretty quickly in the 55th minute of the match. No more goals were scored in normal time so extra time had to be played. But this match had also a very shocking moment. In the nail biting last minutes of extra time, it seemed Ghana was scoring the winning goal. The goal to bring an African country finally to the Semi-Final. But the ball didn’t enter the net. It was Uruguayan forward Luis Suárez who deliberately stopped the ball with his hands. He immediately received the red card and Ghana was awarded a penalty. The last moment of extra time was a penalty. It was Asamoah Gyan who would have the chance to bring Africa to the Semi-Finals. Unfortunately for him the pressure was to much, and he missed it. Luis Suárez watching from the sideline openly celebrated. Now the penalty shootout had to decide who would become the eventual winner. Players Diego Forlán, Mauricio Victorino, Andrés Scotti and Sebastián Abreu scored for Uruguay. Maximiliano Pereira missed. From Ghana’s side Asamoah Gyan and Stephen Appiah scored, but 2 players John Mensah and Dominic Adiyiah missed. It was Uruguay which advanced to the Semi-Final for the first time since the 1970 World Cup. Ghana was eliminated, and Luis Suárez enraged whole of Africa.

Argentina – Germany 0-4
Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town – attendance: 64,100

Another shocking result was the end score of Argentina against Germany. Everyone expected for this match to be tough for both sides. But it appeared Argentina somehow couldn’t overcome Germany’s play style. Thomas Müller scored the first goal 3 minutes after kick-off. In the 2nd half, Miroslav Klose and Arne Friedrich scored 3 goals in total in a time span of 21 minutes. Klose scored 2 goals. Argentina lost in the Quarter-Finals as was the case 4 years earlier. This was the 3rd 2010 World Cup match where Germany managed to score 4 goals. They were obviously very confident and the question after the match was: how would Spain, their next opponent, react to such impressive results?


Uruguay – Netherlands 2-3
Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town – attendance: 62,479

After the Netherlands succeeded in defeating Brazil in the Quarter-Final, they became more confident to reach a World Cup Final. Their next opponent was Uruguay. Many people wanted for the Netherlands to win due to the way Uruguay won the Quarter-Final against Ghana. It was an exciting match with 5 goals scored in total. The first goal was a surprising one by Dutch midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Even he was surprised when the ball entered the goal. A couple of minutes before the first half would end, Diego Forlán scored the equalizer. The 2nd half saw its first goal in the 70th minute by Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder. 3 minutes later Arjen Robben scored again for the Netherlands. With a score of 1-3 the Netherlands knew they would advance. In injury time however, Uruguayan right back Maximiliano Pereira woke both teams up by scoring the 2nd goal for Uruguay. But it was to late to create chances for a 3rd goal. Uruguay was out and the Netherlands reached a World Cup Final for the first time since 1978. Wesley Sneijder became the 2010 World Cup top scorer with 5 goals together with Diego Forlán, David Villa and Thomas Müller. Forlán and Müller scored their last goal in the match for the third place won by Germany. Villa scored his last goal in the Quarter-Final match against Paraguay.

Germany – Spain 0-1
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban – attendance: 60,960

The last time Spain managed to enter the last round was in the 1950 World Cup. This time Spain survived the knockout stage by defeating both Portugal and Paraguay with a 1-0 score only. They would continue doing this until they won the World Cup. This Semi-Final knew less action than the previous one. Germany unlike previous matches, were not able to score a single goal. From Spain’s side it was a defender who scored the winning goal. It was Carles Puyol who became 1 of Spain’s heroes by scoring a header. No goals could be scored anymore from both sides and Spain would play the Final for the very first time. Germany was so close in reaching a World Cup Final again. In the last 2 previous World Cups, Germany reached the Final once and the Semi-Finals once. Since 1990 Germany didn’t manage to find their 4th World Cup victory yet.

World Cup 2010 Final

For the first time in World Cup History, Spain finally made it to a World Cup Final. Their opponent was the Netherlands which never won a World Cup either. The last time a Final consisted of 2 countries who never won a World Cup before was in Argentina ‘78. The Netherlands unlike Spain, reached a World Cup Final before twice in West Germany ‘74 and Argentina ‘78. It was the first time as well that Spain encountered the Netherlands in a World Cup. It didn’t matter which team would win, a new country was about to become the 8th country to win a World Cup for the very first time.

World Cup 2010 Final

The 2010 Spanish team

The 2010 World Cup didn’t start well for Spain. They lost their first match against Switzerland with 0-1. They won nevertheless the other 2 group matches and advanced to the knockout stage. In every knockout match Spain would win with only 1 goal that was scored in the 2nd half. But in the Final this ended up a bit differently.

The Netherlands won every match before reaching the Final. Having beaten Brazil in the Quarter-Finals, their chances of reaching the Final highly increased.

World Cup 2010 Final

Special 2010 World Cup Final match ball “Jo’bulani” – Referring to “Jo’burg” (Johannesburg)

On the 11th of July, Spain and the Netherlands encountered each other in Soccer City in Johannesburg with an attendance of 84,490. A special gold version of the Jabulani ball was used just for the Final. The match was pretty rough with many fouls made from both sides. The Netherlands were playing aggressively, resulting in a total of 9 yellow cards. Spain received 5 yellow cards. The total of 14 yellow cards is new record, more than doubling the previous record which was 6 cards in the 1986 Final Argentina against West Germany.

World Cup 2010 Final

John Heitinga receives his 2nd yellow card of the match

No goals were scored in both halves. Dutch player Arjen Robbe had a memorable chance in a 1 on 1 challenge with goalkeeper Casillas, but the ball was miraculously stopped by Casillas his foot. The Final entered extra time where in the first half the score remained 0-0. Everyone expected that the Final would end with a penalty shootout, until the match reached the 116th minute.

World Cup 2010 Final

Iniesta is about to crush the Dutch dream

In that minute it was Spanish player Andrés Iniesta who made history by scoring the winning goal. He celebrated by tearing his shirt off to pay tribute to his deceased friend Dani Jarque. He died of a heart attack in the summer of 2009. His shirt stated “Dani Jarque siempre con nosotros” (Dani Jarque, always with us). The Netherlands was unable to score a quick goal in the last 4 minutes and as a result, lost their 3rd World Cup Final.

Spain entered the Final for the first time and won. They became the 8th country to win a World Cup and the first European country to win a World Cup outside Europe. Never in World Cup history 2 different countries from the same continent won successive World Cups (Italy won in 2006). Europe has now a total of 10 World Cup wins surpassing the total of 9 World Cup wins by South America.

World Cup 2010 Final

Spanish hero Andrés Iniesta celebrating his goal

The Netherlands became the only country to have lost 3 World Cup Finals without having won once.

In August 2010, both countries got fined for their aggressive play and lack of discipline in the Final. The Dutch federation had to pay $14,480 since 8 players received the yellow card. The Spanish federation had to pay a $9,650 fine since 5 players received the yellow card.

World Cup 2010 Final

Spain = Blue (Coach: Vicente del Bosque)
Netherlands = Orange (Coach: Bert van Marwijk)

World Cup 2010 Mascot

World Cup 2010 Mascot

2010 World Cup mascot Zakumi

For the 5th time an animal mascot was chosen for a World Cup. Unlike Germany 2006 mascot Goleo VI which was a ‘real life’ mascot, an illustrated animal has been introduced again. The 2010 World Cup welcomed Zakumi. Zakumi is a leopard who is cheerful, spontaneous, adventurous, sporty and likes to fool people in an innocent and nice way. He is created by Andries Odendaal, from Cape Town. The part ZA of his name comes from the South African country code (ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code). ZA stands for Zuid Afrika (Dutch for South Africa). Kumi means the number 10 in several African languages, referring to the year 2010. Kazumi has green hair and is yellow which matches the colours of the South African kit. His white jersey states South Africa 2010. The story is that Kazumi dyed his hair green which creates a perfect camouflage against the green colour of the football field. As with other mascots, he has a football and likes to invite anyone he can to play football with him. Zakumi has a motto which is “Zakumi’s game is Fair Play”. He represents and symbolizes the South Africa spirit, geography and culture and has the goal of unifying the world with football in South Africa.

World Cup 2010 Songs

In the last couple of World Cups, superstars are approached by FIFA to perform the official World Cup anthem and song. This was no different with the 2010 World Cup. It was American superstar R.Kelly who performed the official 2010 World Cup anthem. The English anthem is called Sign of a Victory and features South African gospel choir Soweto Spiritual Singers. They performed together with R.Kelly Sign of a Victory during the opening ceremony. This beautiful and powerful African rhythmic anthem did an excellent job in grasping Africa’s spirit and received generally positive critical reception.

Zamina Mina Zangalewa This Time for Africa! The 2006 World Cup contained an upbeat anthem and a more peaceful and serene song. With the 2010 World Cup this was the other way around. The 2010 World Cup introduced an upbeat tempo song which became immensely popular topping many charts worldwide. The song is called Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) and is sung by famous Colombian singer Shakira featuring South African Afro-fusion band Freshlyground. The song contains the English, Spanish and Fang (dominant Bantu language) language and is based on a traditional African soldiers’ song from 1986 Zamina Mina (Zangalewa). There was some criticism regarding why Shakira a Colombian singer had to perform this song instead of a local African singer. Anyhow Waka Waka can be considered as the most popular and famous World Cup song in World Cup history so far. More than 4 million copies have been sold worldwide and it became the best-selling and the fastest-selling World Cup song in the digital age. The music video is as of March 2014, the 8th most watched YouTube music video of all time. The music video starts with the legendary winning penalty by Italian Fabio Grosso against France in the 2006 World Cup Final. Other legendary moments such as an ecstatic Maradona in Mexico ’86 and a celebrating Pelé in Mexico ’70 are included. Shakira and Freshlyground performed Waka Waka during both the opening and closing ceremony.

If you are curious, listen below to the traditional African soldiers’ song Zamina Mina (Zangalewa) from the year 1986. It is sung by a makossa (Cameroonian musical style) group Golden Sounds from Cameroon! It is pretty identical to Shakira’s Waka Waka!

As was the case in the 1998 World Cup, we’re including a song which is known as an unofficial World Cup song. There are still people who think this song is an official 2010 World Cup song together with Waka Waka. Of course we are talking about Wavin’ Flag (Celebration Mix) performed by Somali-Canadian artist K’naan. Any person who watched the 2010 World Cup should be able to sing along to this English tune. If it wasn’t because of the radio, it was because of the commercials. Wavin’ Flag was used by Coca-Cola as the promotional anthem for the 2010 World Cup. The song became widely popular topping several charts.

World Cup 2010 Records

  • 2 countries qualified for the first time: Serbia and Slovakia
  • First time Serbia didn’t qualify as Serbia and Montenegro, since Montenegro became independent in 2006
  • First time Slovakia participated since the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993
  • First World Cup to be hosted in the continent Africa
  • First time Spain and the Netherlands encountered each other in a World Cup
  • Spain is the 8th country to win a World Cup
  • Spain is the first European country to win a World Cup outside Europe
  • Spain is the 12th new country to have played a World Cup Final
  • This is the 4th time a country has won the World cup after having lost 1 match
  • Spain is the 3rd country to have lost 1 match before winning the World Cup
  • Spain scored the fewest amount of goals in the World Cup for a champion (8)
  • Spain conceded the fewest amount of goals  in the World Cup for a champion (2)
  • Spain had the fewest goal scorers for a champion (3) (Villa 5 goals, Iniesta 2 goals and Puyol 1 goal)
  • First time a country won the World Cup which lost their first World Cup match
  • First time a Final didn’t contain Argentina, Italy, Brazil or Germany
  • Spain is the first country where no goals were scored against them in the knockout stages
  • First time 2 different countries from the same continent won successive World Cups (Italy won in 2006)
  • Only 6 out of 13 European counties made it to the Round of 16 which is a record low amount
  • Together with the 2002 World Cup, South Africa 2010 has a low record amount of only 2 penalty shootouts since the the Round of 16 made its introduction in 1986
  • Europe has 10 World Cup wins and South America 9 World Cup wins so far
  • A record amount of 14 yellow cards were given in the Final
  • Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas is the 3rd goalkeeper to have only conceded 2 goals before becoming World Cup champion
  • South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is the 2nd and last goalkeeper so far to be sent off, in the group match against Uruguay for tripping Luis Suárez inside the penalty area
  • First time a host team (South Africa) was eliminated in the first round
  • Italy is the only country which didn’t make it to the 2nd round twice after having won the previous World Cup (first time was in 1950)
  • First time there are 4 World Cup top scorers
  • South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira (from Brazil) is the 2nd trainer to have coached 5 different countries in a World Cup (Kuwait in 1982, United Arab Emirates in 1990, Brazil in 1994, Saudi Arabia in 1998 and South Africa in 2010)
  • South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira became the first coach to have coached 6 countries, he was the Brazilian coach in both the 1994 and 2006 World Cups

Did You Know

  • Yashin Award got renamed into Golden Glove Award
  • Most Entertaining Team Award was not awarded in this World Cup
  • New Zealand was the only undefeated team (3 draws), but were eliminated in the first round
  • Spain became together with Germany and Argentina the only team to have lost a match before winning the Final, but coincidentally all 3 teams won against the Netherlands in the Final
  • France ended up last in their group after having reached the 2006 World Cup Final, coincidentally this also happened in 2002 where they ended up last after having won the 1998 World Cup
  • Siblings Jérôme Boateng and Kevin-Prince Boateng played for different countries, Jérôme for Germany and Kevin for Ghana
  • Honduras team included the first 3 siblings in World Cup history: Jerry, Johnny, and Wilson Palacios
  • South African midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala scored the first 2010 World Cup goal in the match against Mexico, and as one could almost expect from an African team, the South Africans celebrated with a unique dance
  • 2 Round of 16 matches England – Germany and Argentina – Mexico where controversial since a goal scored by England was incorrectly dissalowed and a goal scored by Argentina was incorrectly allowed
  • FIFA president Sepp Blatter received lots of criticism after the  2 Round of 16 matches due to the fact that no technology was used on the field and that he was highly against this technology, he did apologise to both England and Mexico (2014 World Cup will finally have goal-line technology by the way!)
  • French striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home after verbally abusing the coach and refused to apologize, as reaction the team refused to train in protest against Anelka’s expulsion
  • English player David Beckham missed this World Cup since he tore his Achilles
  • German player Michael Ballack missed this World Cup due to a foul by Kevin-Prince Boateng that caused an ankle injury
  • Surface of the Jabulani match ball was textured with grooves, a technology developed by Adidas called “Grip ‘n’ Groove” which was used to improve the ball’s aerodynamics
  • The name of the 8 panels match ball Jabulani means ‘to celebrate’ in the Zulu language
  • Jabulani match ball contains 11 colours to pay tribute to both football (11 players) and South Africa (11 official languages)
  • A gold colour version of the Jabulani match ball was used for the Final called the Jo’bulani, referring to “Jo’burg” (common nickname for Johannesburg where the Final was held)
  • Jabulani match ball received extensive criticism from players and coaches before and during the 2010 World Cup who said that the path of the ball through the air was unpredictable
  • Former South African President Nelson Mandela made a brief appearance during the closing ceremony after much speculation whether he would make it or not due to his health
  • The vuvuzela (lepatata Mambu in the Tswana language) became a notorious instrument which was highly used in and out the stadium, the sound was perceived as very annoying which resulted in many complaints from the fans in the stadiums, players like Lionel Messi and Parice Evra and even the people at home!
  • Paul the German octopus became famous for predicting all the World Cup matches correctly involving Germany and the Final; he died 3 months after the World Cup

World Cup 2010 FIFA Awards

  • Golden Ball: Diego Forlán (Uruguay)
  • Silver Ball: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
  • Bronze Ball: David Villa (Spain)
  • Golden Boot: Thomas Müller (Germany) (5 goals)
  • Silver Boot: David Villa (Spain) (5 goals)
  • Bronze Boot: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) (5 goals)
  • Best Young Player Award: Thomas Müller (20 years old) (Germany)
  • FIFA Fair Play Trophy: Spain
  • Golden Glove Award: Iker Casillas (Spain)
World Cup 2010 FIFA Awards

Diego Forlán (Uruguay)

World Cup 2010 FIFA Awards

Thomas Müller (Germany)


World Cup 2010 FIFA All-Star Team

As was previously the case, only 11 players are included. Spain is the dominant country and is included in every position. For the first time a coach is added and Uruguay was included again since their last inclusion in the 1970 All-Star Team.

Iker Casillas (Spain)Philipp Lahm (Germany)
Sergio Ramos (Spain)
Carles Puyol (Spain)
Maicon (Brazil)
Andrés Iniesta Spain)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
Xavi (Spain)
David Villa (Spain)
Diego Forlán (Uruguay)
Vicente del Bosque (Spain)

World Cup 2010 in Action

2010 World Cup Intro

World Cup 2010 Highlights

2010 World Cup – 50 Most Shocking Moments

Top 10 Goals: 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

All Goals World Cup South Africa 2010

Spain, A dream fulfilled

Mandela, the beloved figure who loved football

Opening Ceremony

Shakira Performing Waka Waka in Closing Ceremony

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