Picture from The Prague Post
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The world's biggest sporting event, kicks off in South Africa tomorrow.
As usual, although Malaysia isn't one of the 32 finalists in the World Cup, Malaysians are equally excited about it. Football fanatics, posers, trend watches, punters, bookies, mamak stall customers have all been discussing the up coming World Cup the last few weeks.
All over the country, mamak stalls, food courts, warong tom yams, kopi tiams, restaurants, pubs, hotels, shopping complexes, petrol stations and even karaoke joints have lined up activities in conjunction with this event.
A mamak stall owner said, "Ini World Cup datang, sini banyak pack. Pagi-pagi pun ada orang mari minum tengok bola. Banyak orang sudah kasi standby mau betting...Sekarang jadi bookie boleh jadi kaya oh."
The FIFA World Cup, also called the Football World Cup or the Soccer World Cup, but usually referred to simply as the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not contested because of World War II.
Of the 18 World Cups held since, only seven nations have won the title. Brazil have won the World Cup a record 5 times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. Italy, the current champions, have won 4 titles, and Germany are next with 3 titles. The other former champions are Uruguay, winners of the first World Cup tournament, and Argentina, with 2 titles each. England and France, both won one title each.
11 players to watch
His stop-and-go moves and brazen attacks make him the most exciting player in Europe — but can he blend in with Argentina's talent and all-new tactics?
Stat: Won European Footballer of the Year by a record margin
An end-to-end back and the face of a new-look Brazil, he is a menace on offense too; just check out his juggling act and strike for Inter against Juventus on YouTube
Stat: Helmed a defense that ceded 0.6 goals per game in qualifying
Since bombing out in '06 on a red card, England's one-man strike force has had a calmer head. And a better one: he nodded in seven straight goals in one '09 stretch
Stat: Was second highest scorer in England, with 26 goals in '09-10
An idol in Africa, where he's thrice been Footballer of the Year. He's in his third Cup, and he's a big-gamer: he's scored in two of his three Champions League finals
Stat: Cameroon's all-time leading scorer netted nine qualifying goals
St. Iker, perhaps the world's best goalkeeper, helped Spain end a 44-year title drought at Euro '08. His keen reflexes are key to his nation's chances for a first Cup win
Stat: Allowed zero goals in the Euro knockout round
For the full list visit TIME.
The next 16 teams:
Group A: Mexico, Uruguay, France, South Africa
Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, Greece, South Korea
Group C: England, United States, Slovenia, Algeria
Group D: Serbia, Germany, Ghana, Australia
Group E: Netherlands, Cameroon, Denmark, Japan
Group F: Italy, Slovakia, Paraguay, New Zealand
Group G: Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast, North Korea
Group H: Spain, Chile, Switzerland, Honduras
The final 4 teams:
Brazil, Spain, England, Argentina
The finals - Brazil Vs Spain
The winner - Spain
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