2010 FIFA World Cup
Host: South Africa
Third Place: Germany
Fourth Place: Uruguay
Top Goalscorer: Thomas Mueller (Germany) – 5 Goals
Participants: 32 Teams
Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Holland, Honduras, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Paraguay, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA
The first World Cup finals ever to be held on African soil will be deemed a success by many, although the football at times wasn’t great. The support from the locals and from a nation was second to none though, but the hosts will be remembered for being the first host nation not to qualify for the last-sixteen after failing to bypass Group A. They did, however, secure victory over the 1998 winners France, winning 2-1, and their enthusiasm before every game and on the pitch was both infectious and endearing to the rest of the world.
But, after 64 matches played in South Africa, there’s only one game that will ever truly be remembered and that was the final itself. The pre-tournament favourites were Spain and they justified their hype with a 1-0 victory in the final over Holland, who in a hot-tempered game were reduced to 10 men. Andres Iniesta scored the only goal of the final as Spain clinched their first FIFA World Cup and also made history by becoming the first country to win the tournament despite losing their opening game which at the times was a major shock (Spain 0-1 Switzerland). For Holland, it was another case of so near but yet so far as they finished as runners-up for the third time in their history.
Holland 0-1 Spain (AET)
Goalscorer(s): Andres Iniesa
Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
Third Place Play-Off:
Uruguay 2-3 Germany
Goalscorer(s): Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan; Thomas Mueller, Marcell Jansen, Sami Khedira
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth