Argentina’s such a diva

In what I feel is one of the funniest stories to come out of the World Cup so far, the list of demands made by Argentina to the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Center, where they will be staying for the duration of the cup, has been made public. And wow, what a list!!

Included in these demands were:

  • ten hot dishes a day, as well as 14 different salads for every meal
  • three different pasta sauces for every meal and at least three desserts
  • braai once every three days
  • ice cream available all day
  • six playstations for the players to use
  • all the rooms to be painted white

On top of those crazy demands (14 salads, really??), the sinks and toilets in the two washrooms reserved for Maradona had to be replaced. The bidet that has been installed includes a heated seat.  Yes, you read right: a heated seat. Diva much, Maradona??

Other teams had much simpler, less crazy demands.

  • Brazil requested lots of coffee and cookies, and no chocolate, as well that the pool be heated to 32°C
  • Slovakians have asked for two table tennis tables and an electronic dartboard
  • North Koreans have asked for Korean rice with all meals and the exclusive use of an entire floor of the hotel
  • The Italians are bringing their own gym equipment, as well as their own pasta
  • The Mexicans are bringing their own priest

It’s almost like J.Lo and Brangelina are staying there, not athletes!! Oh, well, I guess everyone needs somewhere to unwind and relax during the crazy, stressful month that is the World Cup. Still, 14 salads??

~Suz

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Oh, how I love Noel Gallagher

So I saw this video on The Dirty Tackle and just had to share with everyone.  It is of Noel Gallagher, lead guitarist and sometimes singer of British rock band Oasis, talking about team England and team USA.

I love Oasis, and I love listening to Noel Gallagher talk.  It’s funny, because until recently, I really couldn’t make out what he was saying.  Maybe he’s sober now, which is why it’s much easier to understand.

Regardless, here he is with his predictions.

And the commercials begin…

I’m not sure if you all knew this, but commercials aired during the world cup can be just as epic as the Super Bowl ads.  The difference is that unlike the Super Bowl, these have a worldwide audience of 200 million people.

There are two out already that I’ve managed to find.  Well, they were actually sent to me.  Thanks, Kasia!!

Anyways, two that are already out are Coke and Pepsi.

So here is he full-length version of the Pepsi ad. It runs two and a half minutes.  There is also a 60-second version, but I like this one better. It uses the Akon/Keri Hilson song, and has quite a number of well-known FIFA players.

The Coke commercial uses the K’naan song, Wavin’ Flag (World Cup version) in the background.  It runs a little over a minute long.  It’s computer animated, and is about a boy’s quest to find himself.  Or something like that.

My verdict??  As much as I drink Coke and not Pepsi, I’d have to say that the Pepsi commercial wins over the Coke commercial.  It’s much more entertaining, and makes the most sense.  Also, anything with Kaká, the hottest guy on the planet, has my vote 😀

What’s your favourite??

~Suz

World Cup Rings

The world cup will soon follow in the tradition of all professional North American sports- there will be rings.

Unlinke North American sports, however, where every member of the winning team gets a ring, the World Cup rings will be available for sale to the public.  At least, for this tournament.

There will be three kinds of rings made: a limited number of platinum rings encrusted with emeralds; 33 rings made of white gold; and the rest will be made of a silver/gold mixture.  There will be 2,010 rings made.

FIFA president Joseph Blatter will be receiving one of the platinum and emerald rings, while the player chose as the tournament MVP will receive a white gold version.

The ring will have known World Cup symbols such as the FIFA logo, the South Africa 2010 logo, and a spinning soccer ball on top.

The plan is that in the future, members of the winning team will all receive a ring.

Made by jewlers in Colombia, the rings will be sold from $2,490 for the low end to $249,000 for the high end.

In my opinion, they are only awesome if you played at the tournament; even more so if you won. Otherwise, they are a not-so-pretty ring that you can’t really wear every day.  I say use you quarter million for something much better.

Susana

Referees

So I’ve figured out that the World Cup is just as insanely important for the referees as it is for the players, so I’ve decided to do a post on just how they’re chosen.

Choosing referees takes just as long, and the process started way back in 2007.  In September 2008, 53 potential referees gathered for a week in Zürich for an “Elite Referee” seminar.  They were assessed in various areas (technical, physical, mental and energy performance as well as medical and physio preparation).

The content of the week-long course was divided between academic and practical training.  On Tuesday, the group did fitness training comprising various coordination, concentration and mobility exercises.  Wednesday began with weight checks followed by another training session on the pitch with the focus on energy performance management.  To finish off the day, the participants went into the auditorium to study videos, analysing and taking decisions on various match situations.

Thursday was devoted to fitness tests while on Friday, to round the week off, the referees were given a written test on the Laws of the Game as well as an oral English language test.

The list was narrowed down to 38 in October 2009.

In January, 2010, 30 referees from 28 countries were chosen to referee the cup.

And the training process does not stop once the list of referees and assistants is revealed.  It will become even more intensive, with those chosen heading to Zürich in late February for a medical check-up ahead of a seminar in Spain.  In May, a series of meetings with refereeing instructors from each Confederation will be held, where the final round of fitness tests will also take place.

Who would have thought so much effort went into picking the officials.  I’ve never heard of such a long and rigorous process for any football or hockey match, that’s for sure.

-Suz

And I’m officially jealous…

So I was reading about a contest that MTN, one of FIFA’s official sponsors and the only African one, had last summer.  And let me tell you, I’m insanely jealous.

Called Wafa Wafa, it loosely translates to “Last Man Standing.”  This contest had, in my opinion, one of the greatest prizes ever.

Thulani Ngcobo was the extremely lucky winner.  His prize?? His name in the Guiness Book of World Records.  His record??  Watching the most matches in a World Cup ever.

Ngcobo, 29, will receive tickets, accomodations, and transportation, to 38 live games in 31 days.  He will be taking in 9 cities, 10 stadiums, 3,420 minutes of football and 17,000 km of travel.

The 38 games comprise the opening game, 28 pool games (including opening game), 4 round of 16 games, 2 quarter-finals, 2 semi-finals, the 3rd place play-off and, of course, the final.

Yes, I am officially jealous.  If I’d known, I would have entered.  I’m not sure how, but I would have found a way!!

-Suz

England’s just so lucky

In yet another show of how awesome their luck is, England is now suffering from the possible loss of their starting left-back, Ashley Cole.

Cole, who currently plays for Chelsea, limped off the field in the second half of Wednesday’s game.

It was revealed on Thursday that Cole has suffered a fracture of his left ankle, and will sit out for approximately the next three months.

Although he should, theoretically, be back in mid-May, that maybe too tight for England.  It would give Cole only a month and a half and a handful of games to get back into top game form.

It Cole doesn’t make it back, his under-study, Wayne Bridge may have to take his spot.  This may complicate things even more for England, as having Bridge and John Terry  in the same locker room may prove to be too much.

Terry, who had an affair with Bridge’s girlfriend, has already been stripped of his captaincy, but is still first-choice on the team.

Stephen Warnock of Aston Villa currently pushing hard to be promoted above Bridge, who has been plagued by injures and poor form at Manchester City this season.

Poor, poor England.  I may not be cheering for them, but I do hope their luck gets a little better soon!!

-Suz