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2010 World Cup Football South Africa Showcases Worldclass Black Talent
Yes, the world is in football fever. The 2010 FIFA World Cup (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) football, which captivates the globe every four years, is now in its quarter-final stage and all bets are on to see who will clinch the final cup this year. the year. Will the indomitable Germans beat the resilient Argentinians or will the Netherlands pull off an upset? The Football World Cup is the biggest and most anticipated sporting event of all time. Two hundred and four nations attempted to qualify for thirty-two spots, with the USA qualifying for the first time in decades. The 2006 final between Italy and France was watched by around 715 million. With changing demographics and 21st century technology making borders almost obsolete, this year’s reckoning is anyone’s guess. Fans pour into stadiums, crowd around televisions, with gladiator-like fervor. Stories are invoked, wars fought, players publicly attacked and punished. Loyalties to players and countries are drawn in stone with blood and sweat.
It is universally known as “the beautiful game”, for its elegant simplicity, the certain divine athletic ability of its players and its appeal to the common man. The skill of the game, passion and enduring love for the game creates a brotherhood that transcends sports. The unmatched high and insane excitement of GOOOOOAL! Like basketball, it elevates its gifted players to god status while at the same time connecting them to the mortals who live vicariously with them. More than any other sport, soccer is the great equalizer. Because not just skin color, nationality or club can dictate ability or greatness. It just is. A boy from a Brazilian favela with a devastating stroke or from an unknown village in the Ivory Coast can become a striker for a world-class English club. A good number come from extremely difficult circumstances, where pulling yourself up by your bootstraps often means borrowing a pair of hats and going to a game in a dust bowl. Today’s black footballers coming from faraway places to play for European clubs like Inter Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United. But for the World Cup, they return to play only for their national team. This is not to say that racism in football is not a serious issue. Fan taunts and behavior can be extremely ugly, cruel and primitive, coming as it does from a contingent that remains stubbornly ignorant and primitive. That the players consistently rise above it is a testament to their personal strength and integrity. Gaming has become a way of life that can change the trajectory of lives and communities. The staggering salaries are often accompanied by high-profile commercial endorsements from Nike, Gillette and others. Players share their good fortune, donating substantial sums to build hospitals, schools and life-saving social service programs.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa is the first to be played on the African continent and has the potential to change global perceptions on a number of levels. From the Africa Cup of Nations to the 2010 World Cup, footballers of African descent and nationality have put the world on notice: they are a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Team USA.
And no self-respecting football fan calls that football. It’s football, now and always.
Here are eight of the world’s best and brightest black footballers of the 2010 World Cup South Africa.
Club: Inter Milan; Cameroon national team
Earnings: $12. 7 million
The world is on notice. One of the best left-backs in the world, Samuel Eto’o’s achievements are significant for his country and club. He exemplifies footballing excellence in the spirit of great legends and has exceeded expectations at every club he has played for. His performance has been consistently excellent and he is currently the most decorated African player of all time, including the African Player of the Year for three consecutive years. A goalscoring machine, Eto’o scored over 100 goals in five seasons with FC Barcelona. He is the captain of the Cameroon national team and currently the highest paid footballer in Africa. He has participated in two World Cups and five African Nations Cups and is the all-time top scorer in the history of the African Nations Cup (winning the championship twice) with 18 goals. At the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Eto’o became joint top scorer
As a member of the Cameroon national team, he was a gold medalist at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Country: Cote d’Ivoire/Côte d’Ivoire
Earnings: $7.5 million Endorsements: Pepsi; Nike, Samsung
Mark the name because it is the future of football. Don’t be fooled by Drogba’s late entry into the football arena, he into a powerhouse. Known for breaking through impenetrable defences, Drogba is a goalkeeper’s nightmare. Signed by Chelsea for $37 million, he has proven invaluable. He has scored more goals for the club than any other foreign player and is the seventh highest ever goalscorer. most promising African footballers, he is one of the top goalscorers in the Premier League. The captain and all-time top scorer of the Ivory Coast national football team, Drogba signed for Chelsea for a record fee of £24 million, making him the most expensive Ivory Coast player in history. Drogba rose to prominence as one of the world’s most outstanding strikers in 2006 when he won the league title with Chelsea and captained the national team for the first time. At the 2006 World Cup he scored Côte d’Ivoire’s first goal in the competition and was voted African Footballer of the Year 2006. He is the only player to have scored in six FA Cup finals.
But much of this pales in comparison to his humanitarian work for his country. After Ivory Coast qualified for the 2006 World Cup, Drogba prayed for a ceasefire between the combatants of his country’s deadly 5-year civil war, which was honored soon after. In 2007, he was named a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and donated his $4.5 million signature as an endorsement fee for Pepsi to build a hospital in his hometown. Abidjan.
Maicon Douglas Sisenando
Club Team: Internazionale AKA Inter Milan
Earnings: $5.4 million
A talented right-back and a powerful backcourt, Maicon is a phenomenon in Brazilian football – no easy feat. He excels in defensive plays and provides great support to his team. Maicon scored Brazil’s first goal of the 2010 World Cup – a corner kick – against Korea in their first match. Maicon’s contribution to Inter Milan has included steadfast defense and attacking support, putting him in contention for the 2010 Ballon d’Or, the European Footballer of the Year award. In a sign of his abilities, Real Madrid recently paid £28m for him to join their club.
Club team: Manchester United
Position: Defender, Fullback; French captain
Earnings: $4 million
Evra is his version of the United Nations. Born in Senegal of Guinean descent and a French national, he is one of Manchester United’s most valuable players and surprisingly the captain of the French national team. Arguably one of the best left-backs in the world and a wicked left-back, Evra has won the Premier League and Champions League titles with Manchester United. During United’s 07–08 season, Evra became a key member of United’s defence. But he is not without controversy. After team-mate Nicolas Anelka was sacked from the squad following his row with coach Raymond Domenech, Evra led a player rebellion against the decision and publicly denounced the coach. As a result, Evra was benched for the final match against South Africa. However, he returns to a very distinguished career.
Club team: Barcelona; French national team
Earnings: Annual salary plus bonus: $6.2 million, Other income: $6.2 million
Endorsements: Pepsi, Gilette, Reebok
He is one of the most recognized and praised players in football and certainly a worthy distinction for one of the most outstanding strikers in the sport. During his meteoric rise at Arsenal, the phenomenal Henry emerged as the top scorer for almost every season with 226 goals in all competitions. The phenomenal Frenchman won two league titles and three FA Cups and was twice nominated for FIFA World Player of the Year. Possessed of devastating speed and superhero agility, he remains Europe’s all-time leading goalscorer with 42 goals with a penchant for the impossible and dramatic. Despite the controversy surrounding Henry’s penchant for using his hand to set up a goal, he is a football institution who has elevated the sport to an art form.
Club team: Chelsea (ENG); French national team
Earnings: $5.8 million Endorsement: Puma
Although his disdain rivals his potential, Anelka has shown tremendous potential as a striker. A relentless goalscorer who is lightning fast with superb control, Anelka’s goal won France their World Cup match against Ireland. His three-and-a-half-year deal and his reported fee mean that more money has been spent on Nicolas’ transfer during his career than any other player in football history.
Sully Muntari Country: Ghana
Club Team: Internazionale AKA Inter Milan
Earnings: $5.3 million, Endorsements: Puma
If Ghana takes the World Cup, you can bet Muntari will be instrumental in their victory. A football prodigy, Muntari was just 16 when he played for Ghana at the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina. He was voted star player during the 2008 African Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana.
Country: Ivory Coast
Club team: Barcelona
Earnings: $3.7 million
Toure’s titanic stature and blistering energy combine to make him one of the best midfielders in modern football, with a perfect combination of physical power and superb technique. He is the first player from the Ivory Coast to win the UEFA Champions League, in 2008/09, and one of the driving forces behind the team that rewrote football history by winning six trophies in a single season. He recently moved from Barcelona to Manchester City for £25 million, where he will join his brother, brother and club captain, Kolo. He was a powerful midfielder for his native Ivory Coast who made his debut at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
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