On June 11, there will be over 91,000 people in the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg to see the 2010 FIFA World Cup kick off.
The new stadium is just one of several purposely-built World Cup venues by hosts South Africa, who will open the World Cup 2010 tournament against Mexico. But, despite strong home support, they’ll be outsiders to progress through Group A.
Carlos Alberto Parreira’s Bafana Bafana side are ranked as low as 90th in FIFA’s world rankings, and are by far the weakest African nation competing, but with a partisan crowd cheering them on, they could well provide the shock story of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
In contrast, Brazil are the best side in World Cup football with five previous wins and few will be surprised to see them make it six, given their history and the strength of Dunga’s current squad.
Despite this, it is not the Brazilians who are favourites to claim the football World Cup in South Africa, for that honour goes to a nation who have never even been in the final before, let alone won the trophy.
Spain are the reigning European champions, but they’ve never been further than the quarter-final at a World Cup tournament, and they will certainly be looking to improve on that record at the football World Cup. The 2010 World Cup football draw saw Vicente del Bosque’s outfit grouped with Chile, Switzerland and Honduras in Group H, so they should have little trouble progressing, explaining why they’re seen as favourites in many pundits’ 2010 football World Cup preview.
But with the draw meaning that the favourites could end up facing each other in just the second round if one finishes runner up at the group stage, it could open up the tournament to other strong candidates. England are fourth favourites to win the Football World Cup 2010, but it won’t simply be patriotic fans looking to back them as, in Wayne Rooney, they have an in-form striker capable of unlocking the world’s toughest defences.
2010 World Cup football sides Argentina, France, Holland, Italy and Germany are also potential winners, meaning that football fans the world over are no doubt going to enjoy watching the tournament progress throughout the summer.