Posts tagged ‘World Cup’
There are plenty of people in Western Australia who will stand at the bar and tell you what is wrong with football in this state, many will tell you that no one wants to listen. It would appear that this is no longer the case with the Football Federation of Australia finally bringing their Fans Forum to Western Australia.
The event is to be held on Monday 20th of May at the Perth Soccer Club.
The choice of venue will not please many and shows a naivety on the part of those organising the event. Despite Perth having the best facilities this event should have been held at a neutral venue as it opens up Perth to the possibility of unfair criticism and accusations of favouritism.
On the panel will be CEO of the FFA David Gallop, Head of Hyundai A-League Damien de Bohun, Chairman of Perth Glory, Coach of Perth Glory Alistair Edwards and CEO of Football West Peter Hugg. It has not been revealed who will chair the meeting.
According to the FFA press release on the agenda are the following topics the Qantas Socceroos, Westfield Matildas, National Premier Leagues, FFA Cup, grassroots football and the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and National Youth League competitions.
Not The Footy Show can’t help but question the timing of this Forum. First of all the announcement a week ago by Football West that they will push ahead with the National Premier League despite most clubs having grave concerns over the structure and who is going to finance it. Maybe this meeting has been timed to coincide with this move and therefore expect a great deal of ‘spin’ to support this decision. One question that may be worth tabling is what would happen if no clubs in Western Australia submitted for the NPL? Which when one considers how little information has been given on this radical new league would be a sensible development, yet sadly clubs currently feel they are being pressured to sign up in order to survive. Some we have been advised even being encouraged to submit an application!
As well as coming to support the NPL, don’t be surprised if with David Gallop in town an announcement is not made on Football being granted money by the Government for a new home. Something that the game has been crying out for ever since all segments united and they moved out of the old Perry Lakes offices, something that cost the game greatly; as had we stayed like basketball and Rugby we may well have already had a new home.
Quite what the Head of the Hyundai A League will have to share with those who attend is questionable, apart from crowds being up and viewing on Fox being up. Maybe he can explain why the W-League side which no longer receives any funding from the A league side should still have to operate under the same name?
It could be an interesting evening if similar events in other states are anything to go by. It will also be interesting to see what the main topics of conversation prove to be. One can’t help feeling that the NPL and youth development will in fact take priority over some of those topics listed.
Another that probably needs to be raised is where will funding come from should the Socceroos fail to qualify for the World Cup next year?
If you want to air your views on the game and the direction it is heading make sure you attend this meeting. Football needs your voice.
The corruption case involving collapsed sports marketing company ISL (International Sport and Leisure) and FIFA saw the man presiding over the FIFA Ethics Committee Adjudicatory Chamber, Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert describe recipients of ISL’s generous donations as ‘morally and ethically reproachable.’ The men in question were former FIFA President Joao Havelange, and his former son in Law Ricardo Texeira along with Nicolas Leoz, once head on the CONMEBOL. The findings saw the all powerful Havelange relinquish his post as honorary President. The sun has finally set on the ‘sun-king’ as he was known. It was alleged that Texeira and his father in law pocketed USD41million in bribes relating to the television and marketing rights of the FIFA World Cup.
Current FIFA President, Sepp Blatter was cleared of any misconduct during his period as General Secretary of FIFA, however the Judge did criticise his handling of one very large payment which made its way into FIFA’s bank account rather than the then President, and Blatter’s then boss, Havelange’s.
For those who were unaware, ISL was Fifa’s media and marketing partner at the end of the 1990s. They were given the task of handling all TV rights negotiations for the World Cup. A very lucrative business one would expect, but ISL went broke in 2001, owing millions of pounds to creditors. During an investigation into the company’s collapse investigators found evidence that ‘commissions’ – or for want of a better word, bribes – had been paid to senior FIFA officials. They in turn helped secure lucrative TV deals, most notably in South America.
The judge’s findings stunned many who thought this would result in FIFA finally cleaning up its act, but he ruled that senior directors of FIFA were not guilty of taking bribes from the sports marketing company ISL. This is where the law has saved these senior directors, as they were found not guilty not because they hadn’t received money from ISL but because at the time the time that they were, such payments weren’t illegal under Swiss law. Unbelievable, but that was the law. It is not now.
All of this has been like a cold that would not go away for FIFA, ever since investigative journalist Andrew Jennings uncovered the link between ISL and FIFA. Only as recently as 2004 did FIFA set up its Ethics committee, long after the money had gone and ISL had ceased to exist. The outcome has not satisfied many outside of FIFA but the truth is the ‘investigative panel’ and the ‘decisions panel’ the latter headed by Judge Eckert has been unable to reveal more than most people already knew. The reason being FIFA’s own ethics committee can only enforce the rules set out in its own code of ethics.
The overall situation is laughable, but is probably best summed up by Kevin Roberts the Editorial Director of the Sport Business Group who wrote in an article on his take of the whole affair “ISL was born out of the growing but fairly recent realisation that there was big money to be made out of sport. Everything was new. Rules were being made up on the hoof because there were simply no precedent for much of what was happening and according to some of the people doing deals at the time, the entrepreneurs of the day were dealing with people who were at the same time self-interested, naïve and slightly astonished by the power they had unexpectedly acquired as the value of the rights they controlled soared.”
This comment could well sum up football in Australia of late, but maybe we are being a little cynical. Then again maybe we are not!
It definitely won’t happen in the next nine years, and in truth is unlikely to happen in the next 13 years. What are we talking about? England hosting the FIFA World Cup.
If they do decide to bid for 2026, and if they do manage to ‘convince’ all the key voters to give them the hosting rights one wonders whether the brits will follow what is fast becoming a nostalgic sideshow of the World Cup finals, the unique local football instrument.
Fans and viewers had to endure the Vuvuzela in South Africa, and one’s ears buzzed for hours after the experience. Now in Brazil next years ears will be bombarded by the cacophony of the Caxirola.
The organisers revealed the percussion instrument last week painted in patriotic green and yellow. According to Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff ‘the caxirola is not only compatible with football, but is a symbol of our country’s huge capacity to offer a much better instrument than the vuvuzela.”
As with the Vuvuzela, the world cup Caxirola’s will be made from recycled plastic, although the caxirola is said to produce ‘a harmonious ratting sound” when shaken.
If England were to win the hosting rights to the 2026 World Cup finals would we see the football rattle resurrected as a traditional football instrument? These wooden objects were twirled around above your head and made, not surprisingly, a rattling sound. However in the late 1970′s as hooliganism started to invade the game, they were outlawed due to being deemed a possible weapon. Would our nostalgic friends at FIFA welcome them back in the spirit of tradition? Time will tell.
The creation of the Football Federation of Australia in 2005 filled Australian fans with hope. After many botched World Cup Qualifying campaigns, a national League which comprised of two full time teams and the rest part timers, and fractured organisations running the game at all levels below it seemed as if the FFA as it has become known was the answer to everyone’s prayers.
The FFA came into being following the Crawford Report which had been instigated as a result of the Australian Government’s threat to withdraw funding to the sport. The Australian Government were unable to step in and take over the running of the game as any political interference would have constituted a breach of FIFA Statutes. The findings of the report were critically analysed by the board of Soccer Australia who believed that they were unable to implement the recommendations. So a new body was created with Frank Lowy at the head.
A raft of recommendations which made great sense were included in the Crawford Report, including pulling all management of the game under one umbrella, yet still supposedly giving the stakeholders the power of influence on decisions via standing committees. Many of the recommendations made on the running of the game below the elite level have been ignored or not enforced. Some have been implement in some states but not in others, and many have been allowed to fail as they ave been deemed a hindrance to those running the game. So the dawn that promised so much on that level has not brought the sunny day that everyone had hoped for.
What is of more concern is what is happening at the highest level in the games administration, despite failing to monitor the game at State level, they appear to have once again brought the game into disrepute. New CEO David Gallop must wonder what he has walked into.
The national team are on the brink of possibly failing to qualify for the World Cup next year, should they fail the cash injection that making the World Cup Finals brings will cause massive ramifications to the game as a whole. The reason that Australia finds itself in this predicament is that those running the game failed to develop talent adequately over the past ten years, gone is the rich vein of talent that at one point seemed never ending. Talent is still there, but the cutting of costs to state institutes of sport and the lowering of the entry age to the Australian Institute of Sport have had a devastating effect.
The Hyundai A-League has just completed a very successful season with crowd and television viewing figures on the rise. Yet still several clubs are teetering on a financial precipice. What is more the league is started to follow a trend in modern football that of a gulf between the teams at the top and those at the bottom of the league ladder. In a 20 team league that is bad enough but it is twice as bad in a 10 team one.
Now there is the matter of fiscal irresponsibility. It has come out that close to half a million dollars that the FFA gave to Trinidad and Tobago as a donation for the games development has allegedly been stolen by their president Mr Jack Warner. This should come as no surprise as Mr Warner’s reputation is questionable to say the least. In 2010 it was revealed that the FFA had given pearl necklaces to the wives of top FIFA officials, including Mr Warner’s. In addition the FFA had spent tens of thousands of dollars flying a junior Caribbean football team to a match in order to obtain Mr Warner’s vote for Australia to host the World Cup. In addition to this it was made public that more than $1 million was paid to consultant, Peter Hargitay, who said he could deliver Mr Warner’s vote as well as those of other members of the FIFA executive who would determine the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals.
If this is not bad enough two books are due out that are likely to lift the lid on what happened during that World Cup bidding process and also who is responsible for the poor fiscal management and decision making at the top of the game. Former head of corporate affairs at the FFA Bonita Mersiades who lost her job for asking too many questions Bonita Mersiades is set to release a book called ‘The Bid.” Also Andrew Jennings the author of ”Foul! The Secret World of FIFA Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals,” is supposedly due to release a book on the same subject.
There are a lot of positives in the modern game in Australia but before moving forward the game needs to face its demons. Accept the mistakes that have been made, that the Dutch system may not be the best one for Australian footballers to develop, that our players may develop later than in Europe because they do not play as much. We also need to accept that the administrators have made mistakes, but those mistakes need to be made public and transparency and communication must be the new modus operandi. To make this happen as it said in the Crawford report, the Stakeholders must find a voice. If they fail to speak the pain the game is about to endure will continue.
There are many in Australian football who are quick on the draw to gun down Socceroos boss Holger Osciek. His tactics were wrong, he picked the wrong team, he played the wrong formation, he played so-and-so out of position. Osciek like many coaches is bound to make mistakes, but we must never forget what he has to work with. Guus Hiddink was lucky that when he took over as Coach of the Socceroos he had a golden generation of players to choose from, who were all at or close to the peak of their game. Fifteen of the squad were playing regularly for their clubs in the top leagues in Europe while the support players apart from Mark Milligan, Archie Thompson and Michael Beauchamp, were all playing for second tier sides in Europe. These same players were on the wane when Pim Verbeek took over, and many have underplayed his achievement in having the team qualify for the World Cup finals without losing a game. Sadly he is remembered for saying that the A League was not of a suitable standard from which to pick international players, and Australia’s defeat against Germany. People are quick to forget that Germany also knocked four goals past England and Argentina.
Osciek, has not been blessed with such an array of talent, and has not had the benefit of a similar crop of talented players coming through at top clubs in the top leagues in the world when he needs them. He has also had to suffer the fact that many in Australia believed once the qualifying path was through Asia the country had a right to attend every World Cup. That is why the World Cup is such a big event, not just any country qualifies, you have to earn that right.
There is already a push for Australia to appoint a coach from within and it would appear, and one East Coast journalist picked up on this at the weekend, that Ange Postecoglou has certain media outlets already in his corner lobbying for him.
Many will forget that when Frank Farina was appointed Socceroos coach in 1998, Postecoglou was on the short list along with Eddie Krncevic and Dave Mitchell. He withdrew from the race saying that he lacked the relevant experience, despite his success with South Melbourne in the old NSL.
He has shown that he has matured as a coach since then but has continued to be successful as shown by his success in no time at Brisbane Roar and the ability to win them back to back Championships. What he has achieved at Melbourne Victory this season is also nothing short of remarkable. Last year they were a club in turmoil, now they are playing in the finals and it would be a brave man to bet against them.
His achievements this season have not attracted the attention that they warranted as up in Sydney, Tony Popovic has returned from an assistant role at Crystal Palace to take on his first senior coaching job at Western Sydney Wanderers and has taken the League Premiership at the first time of asking with a squad assembled in three months. A truly amazing achievement, and one that now has some people saying that Popovic is a challenger for the national job. He may not have key media outlets on his side as was pointed out at the weekend, but he is employed by the FFA who will ultimately make the decision.
There are however several questions that need to be asked before such an appointment. The first is would both give up the day to day running of a club side, with whom they have day to day contact and can influence their style of play and replace that for the sporadic coming together of players from many different clubs and styles of play for a fortnight, and try and mould them into the side they want? It is no easy task, and that is why some of the great club managers have shied away from International positions.
Popovic and Postecoglou are beacons when it comes to coaching the A League and would Australia not be best served to have them remain where they are at the moment and work towards easing them into a national role, having them involved with the national set up whenever possible. Graham Arnold has shown how much being around Hiddink and Verbeek has assisted in his development as a coach. At this point in time the last thing Australia needs to do is promote either of these talented coaches too early. Australia will no doubt one day again be coached by an Australian, but the timing must be right for the coach and the national team for it to be a success. Let us not be too quick to push for such a move, and should we fail to qualify for Brazil let us not take such an option for financial reasons. Let us make an Australian coach of the national team because the time is right, the coach is ready, and he is the best man for the job.
Are the Socceroos becoming a one man team? How strong is their reliance on Tim Cahill to pull them out of games? How long can he keep doing this?
There is no doubt that Australia’s performance against Oman yesterday was well below what many expected. Yet was the performance a total surprise? Australia may have players playing in overseas leagues but how many of them are actually playing week-in-week-out in the top leagues of the world? Our lowest number in 15 years, is the answer. So a performance like the one we witnessed is to be expected. Leagues in Korea and the UAE are not a match on those in Germany, Holland, France or England, even if they are better than the A League.
Australia is currently relying on the likes of Mark Schwarzer to keep the goals out at the age of 40, and he is still playing at the top, and Tim Cahill to score them. The latter is on the way down in terms of his career, having to move to America because his ankle injury could not sustain the rigours of so many matches in the EPL. In between they look to a Captain in defence in Lucas Neill who has sadly found that age has caught up with him and Marco Bresciano in midfield is supposed to still supply the inspiration, yet he too finds himself coming to the end of his career plying his trade in the Qatari league.
Based on these facts, and that around this crumbling spine you have a number of players only playing sporadically for their clubs in Europe is it really any wonder that the team played so poorly?
We heard various excuses trotted out by the commentary team, who spend so much time pumping up Australian football, that even they found it hard to actually find a positive in such a performance. It was incredible to hear ‘the heat and humidity of Sydney’ used as a reason for their lacklustre display. The players had been in Sydney for a week!
Apart from maybe reducing the number of media commitments they attended and using that time to get them to practice together, Australia should take a good hard look at the development that has taken place in the past eight to ten years, especially at our showpiece development establishment the AIS. Quite simply the development of talent and preparing them to compete at the top level has fallen well short of the standards set when the likes of the aforementioned players were coming through, along with Kewell, Viduka, Grella, Popovic, Moore, and the list could go on.
What is also interesting is to look at is how this ‘Golden Age of Australian football’ developed. Apart from starting at the AIS and having a good grounding very few started their overseas careers with top flight clubs, even if they managed to end up at them. Tim Cahill started at outside-the-Premier League Millwall, before signing for Everton. Lucas Neill also started at Millwall before moving to Blackburn Rovers. Mark Schwarzer started at Dynamo Dresden and Kaiserslautern in Germany before moving to Bradford City and then breaking into the Premier League. These are just a few examples of players happy to play in a lower league, prove their worth and work their way up. Ask any of them and they will tell you that the game-time they played at these clubs helped prepare them for life at the top level. Signing for a big club as a youngster often means very little senior football being played, and the more you play the more you learn and the better you become. Australia has a number of players signing for top clubs but how many of them have broken through into the first team? How many of them move on within a year? Some are loaned out and as their clubs realise gain valuable experience at a lower league club, those not loaned out and not in the first team squad rarely make the breakthrough. So does a young player signing for a big name club really help the national team?
Holger Osciek came into the role as head coach at an extremely unenviable time, with the national team going through a transitional period, some players simply are not ready for international football at this point in time, they have not played enough, learned enough or matured enough as players, this takes time. If he manages to get Australia to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next year ask yourselves how many of these players are honestly ready to match it with the greatest players in the world? If Australia qualifies, and everyone connected with football hopes they do, this current crop of players are going to have to grow up very fast as quite simply they are a long way off the pace at the moment. This is not Holger Osciek’s fault, you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but it is the fault of those charged with developing players at the highest level in Australia over the past eight to ten years. Hopefully is being looked at now and has been improved for the next crop of players coming through. Hopefully lessons have been learned.
Pressure is mounting for this years European under 21 football tournament in Israel to be moved.
Football Beyond Borders held a meeting in London recently and have urged such action or that key nations boycott the event. England are due to play Israel on June 11 at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium.
It is here according to Football Beyond Borders that “there is a supporters group who embody a political voice in Israeli society which is shaped by its Jewish fanaticism, aversion to Muslims and its penchant to treat arabs and other ethnic minorities within the country as inferior. There is clearly a widespread belief that Israel should not be allowed to host this tournament, considering its shocking human rights record and its increasingly systematic discrimination of Palestinians.”
A number of big name players have supported the push to boycott including Fredric Kanoute, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Arsenal’s Abou Diaby have signed a petition for the tournament to be boycotted. A full blown demonstration is planned for May 24th in London, and despite assurances from UEFA President Michel Platini that the tournament will go ahead it is believed that he has secretly asked the English FA to be on standby to host the event should things escalate.
Sport can heal so many hurts it can even see nations with long histories of hostilities come together and unite for 90 minutes or as long as a game lasts and unite in the joy of the spectacle. One can understand what the games governing bodies are thinking when they award tournaments to nations such as Israel, but should such nations receive the benefit of a major sporting event such as this when they have such poor human rights records? The same question was raised leading into the European Championships with one of the joint hosts, the Ukraine. Why do the game’s administrators continually select host countries that will create a public backlash and outcry, as well as the threat of boycotts?
Football in Israel has had a chequered history, in the main suffering because of the politics of the region. It competed in the Asian Football Confederation from 1954-1974. Then several Muslim states refused to compete against Israel. This political situation culminated in Israel winning the 1958 World Cup qualifying stage for Asia and Africa without playing a single game. FIFA then scheduled a playoff between Israel and Wales to make sure that the team did not qualify for the finals without playing at least one game; they lost to Wales.
In 1974, Israel was expelled from AFC. The country then played the majority of their matches against European teams, and competed in the European stage of qualification for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. For the next two tournaments, they entered Oceana’s qualification stage.
In 1994, Israel received full UEFA membership, 20 years after they had left Asia. In Europe, they remain a relatively minor nation in football terms. There are still many who feel that they have no place in Europe and the boycotting of the tournament later this year could well see them out in the cold again.
Interestingly, the presence of the Israeli Football Association in UEFA was a precedent cited by Australia to strengthen its request to transfer from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation. One has to ask if Israel were to be expelled how secure would Australia’s position in Asia remain?
Following Australia’s opening victory over India 4-3 in the 22nd edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh Malaysia, Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth asked when was the last time an Australian team gave five players their debuts in the same match. In any sport it would be rare, but that is the great thing about Charlesworth and the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
The competition this year has seen many of the competing nations blood young players for the future, and give some who will be competing at the Junior World Cup in India in December the chance to play in front of a big crowd and boost their experience. This is still an international competition, and each and every nation comes here wanting to compete and be playing off for the cup come the week’s end. However as Chalesworth pointed out it is not one of the key competitions, the Champions Trophy, the Olympic Games or the World Cup. It is a good tournament to judge what possible future internationals can achieve.
Australia’s five debutants in the opening game were Daniel Beale, Craig Boyne, Nick Budgeon, Josh Miller and Daniel Mirecki. Watching them perform you would have thought that all five had been playing at international level all their lives. Sure there were technical issues that the coaching staff will want to work on, but they must have been encouraged.
Charlesworth, however highlighted the fact that although they were new to the Kookaburras team they were not young players in terms of experience. With the exception of Daniel Beale all of the debutants are in their twenties and have a wealth of hockey experience having played in the Australian Hockey League and in some cases overseas. These players have not been pushed too early and the benefits of waiting and allowing them to mature as individuals was clearly apparent in their performances.
What must be even more pleasing is how quickly they have adapted with Budgeon scoring twice in his second game against Pakistan and Mirecki once in the 6-0 thumping of Pakistan in game 2.
Other players with a limited number of caps going into this tournament are Chris Bausor, Tristan White and Aran Zalewski from Margaret River, who had just one cap and one goal. Timothy Bates was another who sadly has succumbed to a possible abdominal tear in the opening game.
As Charlesworth said this may not be one of the World’s major tournaments but is an ideal one to see the emerging talent for years to come and start rebuilding for the next Olympic campaign.
Australia’s next test will be against host nation Malaysia on Tuesday
Australia’s women’s cricket team won their sixth one day World Title overnight. In doing so they posted the biggest wining margin in the final in the history of the competition, winning by 114runs.
Australia were the favourites going into the final against the West Indies and winning the toss elected to bat first. Opener Rachael Haynes scored 52, but Jess Cameron gave the team crucial momentum with 75 including 19 off one over from Tremayne Smart. Her innings won her player of the match as it came from just 76 balls and swung the game back into Australia’s favour. Australia made 7/259 and many felt this would not be enough but it was vital that the West Indies run chase started well.
Double International Ellyse Perry soon put paid to that with an inspired spell of bowling as she took three wickets for two runs in three overs. Her control, her line her length and her variation of pace were superb and constantly left the West Indies batters second guessing.
What made this performance all the more incredible was Perry had missed the last two games due to an ankle injury and was in serious doubt going into the final. A decision was made to pick the experienced Perry, although still only 22years old,ahead of promising fast bowler 17 year old Holly Ferling. It was a gamble that paid dividends.
A partnership between Deandra Dottin the scorer of the fastest century and fifty in T20 Internationals, and skipper Merissa Aguilleira caused a few hearts to flutter but then Lisa Sthalekar struck dismissing Aguillera. The same bowler then bowled Dottin and took a spectacular one handed catch to win the match.
The West Indies were dismissed for 145 and victory meant Australia’s women’s team are now the ODI World Champions as well as T20 World Champions and currently hold the Ashes. A superb effort by all concerned. The bar has definitely been set very high.
For many years the only reason that people knew where Cape Verde was located was purely because it was the only place in Africa that would allow South African Airways to refuel during the Apartheid era, and helped the airline and the country maintain links with Europe.
Now the tiny country made up of ten islands in the Atlantic ocean off the West coast of Africa with a population of just over half a million is on everyone’s lips for a very different reason, for in its very first African Cup of Nations Cup finals it has made it through the group stage and into the quarter finals. A truly remarkable achievement that no doubt has many other African nations green with envy.
It is hard to put this achievement into context, except by comparing it to the rise of Hoffenheim in German football and Wimbledon in English football, both clubs who rose from the minor leagues in their respective countries to compete in the top divisions in a very short space of time.
Cape Verde is the country with the smallest population taking part at the African Cup of Nations and a similar achievement would be that of Trinidad and Tobago or Costa Rica making the World Cup finals.
Cape Verde joined FIFA in 1986, and just a few years ago was ranked 182nd in the world. They have now climbed to a position just outside the top fifty. A rapid rise and a truly amazing one.
Their fans were kept on a knife edge during their game against Angola as whether they progressed to the quarter finals was largely dependent on the other game being played simultaneously, South Africa versus Morocco. For ninety minutes the rode the wave of emotions as one minute they were through before suddenly they were not; that roller-coaster ride that makes being a fan so special and memorable when the final whistle sounds.
Despite many being surprised their achievement should not come as that great a shock when one looks at the genetic stock of Cape Verdeans. A study taken in the last ten years revealed that their ancestry is 15.9% African and 84.1% European in the male line and more than 10% West African in the female line. With Portugal being the former colonial master they come from good footballing stock.
In fact Cape Verde has produced or had links to some very good players over the years, former Swedish player Henrik Larssen’s father is Cape Verdean, Patrick Vieira’s mother is Cape Verdeanas is Patrice Evra’s, both of these players playing for France. The Netherlands’ Luc Castaignos mother comes from Cape Verde.
While the following players who have or do play in the Portuguese national team are all Cape Verdeans such as Nani (Manchester United), Jorge Andrade (Porto, Juventus) Rolando (Porto) and Nélson Marcos (Benfica, Real Betis, Osasuna). Imagine how good they would be if they had managed to hang onto some of these players.
There is no doubt they have charmed Africa and the football world in general in this tournament and many will be watching their games with far greater interest in the future. Surely they couldn’t go on to become the first African nation to win the World Cup? is that too much to dream?