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Tag Archives: 2010 World Cup

Photostream : Paul The Octopus Predicts Spain Win In Final

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Media representatives gather in front of Awindow of the aquarium of octopus “Paul” better known as the so-called “octopus oracle” at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen July 9, 2010. The octopus has became a media star after correctly picking all six German World Cup results including their first-round defeat against Serbia and their semi-final defeat against Spain. On Friday “Paul” predicted Spain’s World Cup victory over The Netherlands and Germany’s victory in their third place match against Uruguay. (Getty)

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An octopus named Paul opens a box with decorated with a Spanish flag and a shell inside on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul’s task is to decide in favour of one of the shells hidden in boxes with the flags of the Netherlands (L)and Spain to act thus as oracle for the upcoming final match of the FIFA Football World Cup between the two countries on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus, who had predicted well the result of six German matches earlier in the tournament, predicted Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history.  (Getty)

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An octopus named Paul opens a box with decorated with a Spanish flag and a shell inside on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul’s task is to decide in favour of one of the shells hidden in boxes with the flags of the Netherlands (L)and Spain to act thus as oracle for the upcoming final match of the FIFA Football World Cup between the two countries on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus, who had predicted well the result of six German matches earlier in the tournament, predicted Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history. (Getty)

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An octopus named Paulopens a box with decorated with a Spanish flag and a shell inside on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul’s task is to decide in favour of one of the shells hidden in boxes with the flags of the Netherlands and Spain to act thus as oracle for the upcoming final match of the FIFA Football World Cup between the two countries on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus, who had predicted well the result of six German matches earlier in the tournament, predicted Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history. (Getty)

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An octopus named Paul sits in a box with decorated with a Spanish flag and a shell inside on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul’s task is to decide in favour of one of the shells hidden in boxes with the flags of the Netherlands and Spain to act thus as oracle for the upcoming final match of the FIFA Football World Cup between the two countries on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus, who had predicted well the result of six German matches earlier in the tournament, predicted Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history.  (Getty)

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Octopus “Paul”, better known as the so-called “octopus oracle” sites on a soccer ball in his aquarium at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen July 9, 2010. The octopus has became a media star after correctly picking all six German World Cup results including their first-round defeat against Serbia and their semi-final defeat against Spain. On Friday “Paul” predicted Spain’s World Cup victory over The Netherlands and Germany’s victory in their third place match against Uruguay. (Getty)

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An octopus named Paul sits on a football in his on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus with a perfect prediction record, decided Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history. The eight-legged oracle, who has become a World Cup sensation by correctly predicting all six Germany games, very quickly plumped for Spain carried live on national German television. (Getty)

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A tv in a bar screens the live broadcast of the Octopus oracle Paul, in Madrid, Friday, July 9, 2010. Octopus oracle Paul predicts Spain will beat Holland and win the World Cup.Paul’s pick was carried live Friday on TV stations around Europe. The world-famous octopus could be seen sitting on a tank marked with a Spanish flag for only a few minutes before grabbing out a mussel and devouring it, while completely ignoring the Dutch tank, indicating a Spanish victory in Sunday’s final match in the World Cup. (Getty)

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Photostream : King Juan Carlos of Spain meets with the winning Spanish FIFA 2010 World Cup team

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MADRID, SPAIN – JULY 12: Spanish Royal family (L to R) Princess Elena, Princess Letizia, Prince Felipe, Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos receive the winning Spanish FIFA 2010 World Cup team at Zarzuela Palace on July 12, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (Getty)

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MADRID, SPAIN – JULY 12: King Juan Carlos of Spain (C) receives the Spanish football team fresh from their victory at the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Zarzuela Palace on July 12, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.  (Getty)

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King Juan Carlos, center, holds the World Cup trophy next to Queen Sofia, right, and Vicente del Bosque, left, at the Royal Palace in Madrid on Tuesday, July 12, 2010. Spain won the World Cup after defeating the Netherlands 1-0 on Sunday. (Getty)

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MADRID, SPAIN – JULY 12: King Juan Carlos of Spain (3rd R) speaks with the manager of the national football team Vicente Del Bosque (3rd L) as he receives the Spanish football team fresh from their victory at the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Zarzuela Palace on July 12, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (Getty)

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MADRID, SPAIN – JULY 12: King Juan Carlos of Spain (C) receives the winning Spanish FIFA 2010 World Cup team at Zarzuela Palace on July 12, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (Getty)

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MADRID, SPAIN – JULY 12: King Juan Carlos I of Spain holds the trophy beside goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas (front R) while the FIFA 2010 World Cup winning team Spain are received by the Spanish royal family at Zarzuela Palace on July 12, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (Getty)

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Spain’s King Juan Carlos (R) speaks to national soccer team player David Villa during a reception at Madrid’s Royal Palace July 12, 2010. Spain stunned the Netherlands to win their first World Cup on Sunday in sensational fashion with a goal in the last minutes of extra time. (Getty)

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Spain’s King Juan Carlos, right, playfully gestures as he receives national soccer team coach Vicente del Bosque, left, during a reception at the Royal Palace in Madrid on Monday, July 12, 2010, following the teams triumphant return from South Africa. Spain won the World Cup after defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in the final on Sunday. (Getty)

World Cup champions return home to heroes’ welcome

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Spain’s Sergio Ramos, center, is congratulated by a policeman as the team comes down the plane steps after arriving at Madrid’s Barajas airport on Monday, July 12, 2010. Spain won the World Cup after defeating the Netherlands 1-0 on Sunday.  (Getty)

July 13, 2010

AFP – Spain gave its football team a heroes’ welcome Monday as their World Cup triumph over the Netherlands inspired a red and gold fiesta after years of dashed hopes.

As the South African hosts prided themselves for defying pessimistic predictions, up to a million people were expected to line the streets of Madrid for an evening victory parade to cap off their sporting fairytale.

A huge cheer erupted from a crowd gathered at Madrid airport when keeper Iker Casillas emerged from the squad’s plane with coach Vicente del Bosque and held aloft the golden trophy.

The team were to meet Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero before taking an open top bus through the capital in a moment of pure joy for a country hit by spiralling unemployment and a stuttering economy.

The party had begun immediately after Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta scored the final’s only goal late on Sunday, three minutes before the end of extra time after a match watched by an estimated 700 million people worldwide.

Spain's defender Carles Puyol (centre) and midfielder Xavi Hernandez (left) celebrate on the plane before their arrival at Barajas' airport in Madrid. As Spain returned to Madrid to a welcome befitting their status as freshly-crowned world champions FIFA president Sepp Blatter delivered a glowing appraisal to World Cup hosts South Africa.

Photo : Spain’s defender Carles Puyol (centre) and midfielder Xavi Hernandez (left) celebrate on the plane before their arrival at Barajas’ airport in Madrid.

Others imitated bullfighters and waved Spanish flags over passing cars while chanting “Ole!” to celebrate Spain’s first win World Cup triumph, garnering record Spanish viewing figures.

Zapatero said he had “suffered like never before” as he watched the game in Johannesburg’s Soccer City staudium.

The victory came exactly a week after Spain’s Rafael Nadal lifted the Wimbledon tennis trophy and caps a series of major sporting achievements, including a European title for the nation’s basketball team.

The victories have brought a sliver of happiness to a country where around 20 percent of the active population is jobless and the economy is forecast to contract by 0.3 percent over 2010 as a whole.

While Zapatero’s Socialist administration is keeping its fingers crossed that the feel-good factor will linger, the South African government is also hoping the tournament will bring long-term benefits.

Ever since it became the first African nation to win the right to stage the world’s biggest sporting event, South Africa has had to fend off accusations that rampant crime and lack of infrastructure made it an unsuitable choice.

While there were armed robberies of journalists and thefts from team hotels, a massive police deployment helped ensure the nightmare vision of fans being gunned down did not come to pass.

The crowning glory for the organisers came on Sunday night when South Africa’s first black president, the now 91-year-old Nelson Mandela, rode onto the field in a golf cart, bringing rapturous cheers.

President Jacob Zuma said the World Cup brought “priceless” benefits for attracting South Africans of all races into the stands. He said South Africa could now think about staging the Olympics.

But while the World Cup was marked by a show of unity, massive challenges now lurk in a country still struggling to bridge a racial divide some 16 years after the end of apartheid and a gaping chasm between rich and poor.

In a sign of the tensions bubbling below the surface, immigrants fearing anti-foreigner attacks sought refuge in several South African police stations in Cape Town and surrounding areas on Monday after looting at the weekend.

“The challenge, now, is to ensure that the infrastructure that has been developed, particularly the transport infrastructure, benefits all South Africans, especially the poor,” the Nobel Prize-winning archbishop Desmond Tutu said.

The Dutch won over few neutrals on Sunday with their sometimes brutal approach towards their opponents. Centreback Johnny Heitinga was sent off and seven other players booked by English referee Howard Webb.

The team however will be given a warm welcome on their return home with a parade along the canals of Amsterdam planned for Tuesday and a reception with Queen Beatrix.

“We have to be very proud of the team. They had us in raptures for a month,” Crown Prince Willem-Alexander told Dutch television.

“They will get the tribute next Tuesday that they deserve (in Amsterdam), and we will all see that it is also quite special to have come second here in South Africa.”

The end of the tournament was marred meanwhile by bomb attacks on crowds watching the World Cup final at two restuarants in the Ugandan capital Kampala which killed 74 people.

Ugandan authorities blamed Somali Islamist militants.

South Africans real stars of World Cup: Zuma

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South African President Jacob Zuma, left, and FIFA president Sepp Blatter, right, wait to present the bronze medal to Germany, during the medals ceremony following the World Cup third-place soccer match between Germany and Uruguay at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Saturday, July 10, 2010. (Getty)

July 11, 2010

(KATAKAMI / WEBINDIA123.COM)  On the eve of the final South African President Jacob Zuma praised South Africans as the real “stars and champions” of Africa’s first World Cup.

“When we won the rights to host the World Cup, we knew that working together we would be able to succeed. However, what has happened so far, has exceeded our expectations,” Zuma said in a statement Saturday evening.

“That is because of the role played by our people, the South Africans. They are the stars and champions of this tournament,” he said.

Zuma thanked South Africans “for putting the country first” by continuing to show massive support for the tournament, turning up to games in droves, even after the national team were knocked out in the first round.

“Let us keep celebrating, let the vuvuzelas keep blowing and let the football festival continue at Soccer City and the fan parks until the final whistle,” he urged, while also telling South Africans to give themselves “a pat on the back for a job well done so far.”