This past weekend Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup when they beat the Netherlands in the final at Soccer City in Johannesburg. Germany beat Uruguay by 3 goals to 2 a day before the final in Port Elizabeth at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium to clinch 3rd place in the tournament. In the end Paul the ‘Psychic’ Octopus was correct with 8 all of his match predictions. The month of football madness that was the FIFA World Cup is over now and life will get back to normal in South Africa. I’m sure that people will talk about this tournament for generations to come.
Here are some interesting facts about the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa:
- South Africa won their first ever match in a FIFA World Cup in the tournament in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. South Africa is the first host country in history to be knocked out in the first round of a FIFA World Cup tournament.
- A total of 3,178,856 people attended the 64 matches in the tournament, the 3rd highest in the history of the FIFA World Cup. (An average of 49,670 people per match).
- 145 goals have been scored in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. 2 goals were own goals (scored by South Korea and Denmark). Germany scored the most goals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup (16). A total of 15 Penalty kicks were awarded in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Only 9 penalty goals were scored though. Thomas Müller (Germany), David Villa (Spain), Wesley Sneijder (The Netherlands) and Diego Forlán (Uruguay) all scored 5 goals in the tournament.
- Ghana were the last surviving African team in the tournament. They became the 2nd African team to make it to the quarter final stage in tournament history but were knocked out of the tournament by Uruguay in a penalty shootout.
- 260 yellow cards and 17 red cards were issued in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Netherlands were the team awarded with most yellow cards (25 in total). Australia, Algeria, Brazil and Uruguay were all awarded with 2 red cards.
- New Zealand were the only unbeaten team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They played to a draw in all 3 of their group matches (against Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia).
- The Netherlands advanced to their 3rd FIFA World Cup final in history. They played in the final matches of the tournaments in 1974 (in West Germany) and in 1978 (in Argentina). Spain played in its first semi-final and final match of a FIFA World Cup tournament and became the 8th different nation in tournament history to win football’s grandest prize.
- It’s the first time European teams have won consecutive FIFA World Cup tournaments since Italy retained the title in 1938. It was also the first new winner and the first new finalist since then 1998 FIFA World Cup tournament in France and the first new winner without home advantage since Brazil in 1958. And it’s the first time the winning team lost their opening match in a tournament. A team from Europe has also won the FIFA World Cup for the first time on a different continent.
- Thomas Müller (Germany) was awarded with the FIFA Golden Boot award, Diego Forlán (Uruguay) was awarded with the FIFA Golden Ball award, Iker Casillas (Spain) was awarded the Golden Glove award and Spain were awarded the FIFA Fair Play trophy for their outstanding performances in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- The FIFA World Cup closing ceremony was reportedly broadcast in 215 countries to 500 million people. 6 million people watched the 2010 FIFA World Cup games in public viewing areas around the world. FIFA reported that the average television audience in Spain for the final was a record 15.6 million (or nearly 80 percent of market share), while in the Netherlands it was more than 90 percent.