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September 2, 2010

Proof That FIFA Don’t Even Watch Their Own Tournaments

More from FIFA: "Paints body well. Has basic understanding of religious/nationalistic iconography. Skilled at imitating intense facial expressions. Possesses head like a f**king melon."

If I asked you to identify three England players who excelled in South Africa, could you name even one?

Of course you couldn’t, because picking great England players in the 2010 World Cup is about as pointless a task as you could undertake.

Well, maybe picking a great French or Italian player from this past summer would be more pointless, but I digress.

FIFA released its technical report of the 2010 World Cup—they roll off their water beds to compile such a document after every tournament—and while they always make for great reading, this one’s especially brilliant in that it names Wayne “Broken-Ankled Ghost” Rooney as one of the Three Lions’ best in South Africa.

So there you have it, folks. FIFA was on safari all summer as opposed to attending games. Why am I not surprised?

The report gets better, too.

Wayne gets special praise from the 16-man “technical study group”—which includes such luminaries as Gerard “I want credit for Rafa winning the Champions League, dammit” Houiller and former Scotland NT boss Andy Roxburgh—for being the following things: “hard-working, energetic striker; worked hard for team; good technique.”

Perhaps to FIFA, actions like berating a cameraman and sulking after another disappointing game count as good technique, but I can’t really be sure. It’s only when I see that Ashley “Sexty” Cole and Steven “I’ll shoot from anywhere” Gerrard get named as the other two Englishmen to acquit themselves admirably that I glaze over, fall down, and begin speaking in tongues.

What did they say about Gerrard? “Dynamic midfielder with good vision and technique, who linked defence and attack.”

And Ashley? “Competitive left-back with good technique, made forceful attacking runs.”

Alright, two more generic-sounding descriptions that are perhaps misguidedly applied considering that the entire 23-man squad was absolutely dire this summer, but I suppose if either (or all three) were on form, you’d likely hear Alan Shearer spout these tidbits of modest praise on Match of the Day.

I’m guessing that FIFA had to name three players from every team, hence the mega-reach applied to the English? Not so; France and Italy, two other Euro “powers” who showered themselves in glory, each had just one player singled out as being worthy of praise: Hugo Lloris (diver by trade) and Daniele de Rossi (diver by habit) made FIFA’s grade, whatever that might actually be.

I don’t think any of us here think England had three good players at the World Cup, let alone three good minutes in the 360+ they stumbled through across their oh-so-memorable run to the second round. Not that such a salient point would stop FIFA from characterizing the English in the following way:

- “strong, hard-working players”
- “aerial strength used effectively at set pieces in defence”
- “rapid transition from defence to attack”
- “attacks using width”
- “effective use of full-backs”

In other words, absolute rubbish.

To their credit, FIFA do get Spain just about right (“capable of fantastic, highly attractive football”) and concluded their review with a fine, unintentional joke about the Oranje, who came so close to lifting the World Cup for the third time: “And up until the final, the Dutch also played some fine football.”

Bravo, FIFA, bravo. “Up until the final,” indeed.



About the Author

James T





11 Comments


  1. ben

    I think they only watched the first ten minutes of the USA match and then drew their conclusions.


  2. ben

    Wait, Rooney sucked in the 1st 10 min of the USA match, too. Maybe they were playing PES in the waterbed and filed a report on that?


  3. Keith

    Milner was decent later in the tourney, but he was gash against the US (mostly because he was still sick). Jamo didn’t cover himself in either glory or a shower of s**t, and Defoe was pretty good when he played.


  4. Tno

    I thought Ashley Cole played pretty well.


  5. made FIFA’s grade, whatever that might actually be

    apparently, that grade is a D+


  6. Outside Mid

    @ Blog Overlords: Will there be a liveblog of some type for tomorrow’s England Euro qualifier?/somewhat related to post in question, it’s England-y?


  7. James T

    @OM
    Might be able to swing that…


  8. Ryan

    Speaking of the Euros, nice little hat trick by Super Jew today.


  9. Outside Mid

    @ Ryan: I didn’t know Elie Wiesel was still playing. Good for him!


  10. @OM – alright, I literally LOL’ed at that



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