The month of football madness ended in July 2010 in South Africa when Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They beat the Netherlands by 1 goal to 0 at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg in extra time.
South Africa proved that its capable of hosting world class events once again. It will be a while before an event of this magnitude will be hosted in South Africa again. Already there has been talk in the media of a F1 Grand Prix making its way to South Africa for the first time since 1993. The international response has been immensely positive.
Here are some interesting facts about the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa:
1. South Africa won their first match in a FIFA World Cup in the tournament.
2. South Africa also became the first host country in history to be knocked out in the first round of a FIFA World Cup tournament.
3. Siphiwe Tshabalala (South Africa) was the first player to score a goal in the competition in Bafana Bafana’s opening match against Mexico at Soccer City.
4. A total of 3,178,856 people attended the 64 matches in the tournament, the 3rd highest in the history of the FIFA World Cup. That’s an average of 49,670 people per match.
5. There were a total of 145 goals (of which 2 were own goals by Denmark and South Korea) scored in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This is not a record though.
The most goals (171) were scored in the 1998 FIFA World Cup tournament in France. Germany were the team that scored the highest amount of goals (16) in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Argentina and The Netherlands were the teams with most shots on goal (43) and North Korea were the team that conceeded the most goals (12) in the tournament.
6. 15 Penalty kicks were awarded in the tournament, but only 9 penalty goals were scored.
7. A total of 245 players were yellow-carded and 17 players were sent off after receiving red cards in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Netherlands were the team awarded with most yellow cards (23 in total).
8. Spain played in its first semi-final and final match of a FIFA World Cup tournament and became the 8th different nation in tournament history to win football’s grandest prize.
9. New Zealand were the only unbeaten team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They played to a draw in all three of their group matches (against Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia).
10. The Netherlands advanced to their 3rd FIFA World Cup final in history. They played in the final matches of the tournaments in 1974 (in West Germany) and in 1978 (in Argentina).
11. Two time FIFA World Cup winners Uruguay played in a FIFA World Cup semi-final match for the first time since 1970 (when the tournament was hosted by Mexico).
12. Thomas Müller (Germany), David Villa (Spain), Wesley Sneijder (The Netherlands) and Diego Forlán (Uruguay) all scored 5 goals in the tournament.
13. 2006 FIFA World Cup winners Italy were knocked out in the first round of a FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1974 (in West Germany).
14. Paraguay made it into the quarter final stage of a FIFA World Cup tournament for the first time.
15. Slovakia made it to the 2nd round of their first ever FIFA World Cup appearance.
16. England were knocked out in the 2nd round of a FIFA World Cup tournament for the first time since 1998.
17. Thomas Müller (Germany) was awarded with the FIFA Golden Boot award, Diego Forlán (Uruguay) was awarded with the FIFA Golden Ball award, Iker Casillas (Spain) was awarded the Golden Glove award and Spain were awarded the FIFA Fair Play trophy for their outstanding performances in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
18. The 2010 FIFA World Cup closing ceremony was reportedly broadcast in 215 countries to 500 million people.
19. It’s the first time European teams have won consecutive FIFA World Cup tournaments since Italy retained the title in 1938. It was also the first new winner and the first new finalist since then 1998 FIFA World Cup tournament in France and the first new winner without home advantage since Brazil in 1958.
And it’s the first time the winning team lost their opening match in a tournament. A team from Europe has also won the FIFA World Cup for the first time on a different continent.
20. Ghana were the last surviving African team in the tournament. They became the 2nd African team to make it to the quarter final stage in tournament history but were knocked out of the tournament by Uruguay in a penalty shootout.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be remembered as one of the most memorable tournaments in history. South Africans (and the rest of the world) will be talking about this tournament for years to come. If I’ve left something important out, please comment on this post.
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