The final whistle (and vuvuzela) has been blown and the biggest sporting spectacle now moves on to Brazil. Below is a look back at the highlights, lowlights and views from ordinary people.
Fan Viewing Areas
If you could not get a ticket to the game a fan viewing area truly was the place to be. There were few reported incidents, the pre and post game entertainment at most venues was top notch and many of them were affordable and family friendly.
Success of the minnows
One thing this World Cup will be remembered for is the fact that a number of nations who are not noted as powerhouses in the footballing world triumphed over the big guns like France and Italy. It shows that as a sport, soccer is in a healthy position and that development initiatives around the world are bearing fruit. Paraguay, Japan, Ghana and the U.S.A all superseded expectations.
At the last World Cup France and Italy met in the finals. This time they met at the airport. Twitter user on France and Italy’s first round elimination.
They arrived in their droves, supported their teams to the end, and created a vibe wherever they went – even on non-match days!
A cacophony of accents, languages, music and cultures makes me stand still just to soak it up. Twitter user– Nelson Mandela Square
Uniting a nation
Even though Bafana narrowly missed out on making it to the second round, it is one of the first times in our history that our entire nation stood together to support a common cause.
A vuvuzela may only have one note, but those blowing in my suburb now sound both bitter & sweet. Twitter user after Bafana’s win over France and elimination from the tournament
Kiddie Amin kept his mouth shut
A month free of Julius rants. Could it be any better?
Can you believe we’ve heard nothing from the bugger for almost four weeks? Well it took some doing I’m told. They had to lay a trail of Breitling watches and Johnnie Walker Blue Label to a snare in the forest and trap him that way. David Bullard
Negative foreign media
While the media needs to perform a watchdog function and has a right to point out potential problems, it also has the responsibility to report on available facts. Many foreign media outlets did not do this. There was even one British journalist who stood outside Soccer City and reported that the stadium was not complete, pointing to panels that seemed open. Had she done her research she would have known that open panels are part of Soccer City’s aesthetic. At the time of writing there were already negative reports about Brazil as a host country.
What makes a constant moaning sound and is ruining South Africa’s enjoyment of the World Cup? England. Comedian Warren Robertson – Twitter
Some of the TV and radio commentary was, for want of a better word, dodgy. An incident that springs to mind was the Brazil-Portugal clash. Cristiano-I-swear-I-don’t-love-myself-more-than-I-should-Ronaldo had the ball and the commentator quipped, “Ronaldo’s mother suffered with cancer, and now he is looking to make the Brazilians suffer”.
Television viewers heard the commentator’s nose whistle 125 times during the #worldcup final. Twitter user
Lack of technology in refereeing
The thing that has most marred the World Cup was FIFA’s refusal to use technology. England scored a goal that was disallowed; Bafana’s keeper was red carded attempting to stop an attack when the player was offside; Spain broke away and scored after a goal kick that should have been a corner. The correct calls may have altered the outcomes of all of those games. The upside of the dogged media attention on refereeing errors is that FIFA have admitted they need to re-look at introducing extra officials and maybe even TV replays.
Andrea Boccelli should have been a ref at the World Cup. He would have fitted right in. Twitter user
- 245 yellow and 17 red cards were handed out during the tournament
- Over 700 million people worldwide watched the final between Spain and the Netherlands
- 3547 – Spain have now made more successful passes in a world cup than any team since 1966
- Italy have now drawn 21 games at World Cup Finals – more than any other side
- Brazil have now scored in 25 successive group matches at the World Cup, since drawing 0-0 with Spain in 1978
- Wayne Rooney has never scored a World Cup finals goal in eight appearances
- Holland join France, Hungary and Italy as the only sides to have beaten Brazil twice at the World Cup
- Nobody reported being headbutted by Zinadine Zidane (there were moments where Diego Maradonna looked like he was ready to fight with FIFA officials)