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2010 World Cup: Spain National Football Team Finally Wins

The 2010 World Cup held in Africa also had a first-time winner. After good campaigns but no actual title, Spain national football team finally joined the select group of World Cup winners.

In 19 editions of the tournament, only eight teams have won the soccer tournament: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, Germany, England, France, and Spain.

2010 world cup first goal scorer

2010 FIFA World Cup Facts

Dates: 11 June – 11 July 2010
Final: Netherlands – Spain 0-1
3rd place: Uruguay – Germany 2-3
Teams: 32
Stadiums: 10
Host cities: 9
Matches played: 64
Goals: 145
Attendance: 3,178,852
Top scorers: Thomas Muller (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay) (5 goals)


2010 world cup poster

FIFA World Cup 2010 Background

FIFA introduced a new aspect regarding choosing a host country for the upcoming World Cups.

Due to the controversy of the 2006 FIFA World Cup host selection, FIFA announced it would rotate the hosting of a FIFA tournament between its constituent confederations.

This would continue at least until the selection of the 2014 FIFA World Cup host in 2007. However, this policy did not last long, as it was abandoned in 2007 after Brazil was chosen as the 2014 World Cup host.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup bidding process was the first to implement the continental rotation rule. The 19th FIFA World Cup would be held in Africa, which meant only African countries could place a bid.

Five countries were interested: Egypt, Libia, Tunisia, Morocco, and South Africa. However, as FIFA announced it would no longer accept joint bidding (which was accepted for the 2002 World Cup), Libia and Tunisia withdrew.

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With three African nations left, the voting process started. Egypt didn’t receive any votes, and Morocco received 10.

South Africa lost the voting process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, receiving 14 votes for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

On May 15, 2004, FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter announced the 19th World Cup would be held in South Africa. For the first time in FIFA World Cup history, a world championship would be hosted in the continent of Africa.

Some concerns existed about whether South Africa could organize the preparations properly with the correct planning and speed.

FIFA officials always expressed their confidence in South Africa, and the country was indeed on time with the organizational process.

2010 world cup Slovenia

2010 World Cup Participants

A record amount of countries participated in the qualification rounds for the 2010 World Cup. 205 countries of the 207 FIFA-affiliated countries in that time tried to qualify for South Africa.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup now holds the record together with the 2008 Summer Olympics for the most competing countries for a sports event.

As was introduced in the previous FIFA World Cup in Germany, the defending champion (Italy) had to qualify as well. Only South Africa, as the host country, qualified automatically.

Thirteen European places were allocated to the following countries: France, Greece, England, Slovenia, Germany, Serbia, Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland.

Both Slovenia and Serbia qualified for the first time under their names.

However, Serbia is considered the direct and only successor of the Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro national teams.

Slovenia is considered the direct successor of the Czechoslovakia team, together with the Czech Republic.

south africa soccer suppoerters 2010

All three former countries, Yugoslavia, Serbia & Montenegro, and Czechoslovakia, have participated in previous FIFA World Cups.

Five places for Africa, excluding South Africa, were allocated to the following countries: Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast. Algeria qualified for the first time since 1986.

Four places for South American nations were allocated to the following countries: Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.

Four places for Asia were allocated to the following countries: South Korea, Australia, Japan, and North Korea, which qualified for the first time since 1966.

Australia was usually an OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) country but became an official member of the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) on January 1, 2006.

Three places for North/Central America and Caribbean countries were allocated to the following countries: Mexico, the United States, and Honduras, which qualified for the first time since 1982.

Two play-offs had to be played by four countries that didn’t qualify directly:

  • AFC country Bahrain against OFC country New Zealand
  • CONCACAF country Costa Rica against CONMEBOL country Uruguay.

New Zealand and Uruguay won these play-offs and qualified last minute for the 2010 World Cup. The last time New Zealand qualified was in 1982.

As in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, South Africa 2010 contained teams from all six continents.

south africa players celebrate

World Cup 2010 Groups

No special rules or policies have been introduced for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The format of the 2006 World Cup was used for South Africa in 2010. A round-robin tournament was played, meaning each team had to play against the three other teams in their group.

Three points were rewarded for a win and 1 for a draw. The last two matches of each group were played at the same time.

Only the two best teams of each group would advance to the next round, the Round of 16.

With the Round of 16, the knockout stage started. Number 1 teams of the groups played against number 2 teams of other groups.

If a team loses, the team is immediately eliminated.

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In the knockout stage, extra time had to be played for 30 minutes when the score was even after 90 minutes.

If the score was still a draw after those 30 minutes, the penalty shootout had to decide who the eventual winner would be.

The eight seed countries were South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina, and England. They were kept apart from each other and were placed in different groups.

Two countries from the same confederation were not allowed to be included in the same group, except for European teams.

A maximum of 2 European teams were allowed to be included in the same group.

The groups were as followed:

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup DGroup EGroup FGroup GGroup H
UruguayArgentinaUnited StatesGermanyNetherlandsParaguayBrazilSpain
MexicoSouth KoreaEnglandGhanaJapanSlovakiaPortugalChile
South AfricaGreeceSloveniaAustraliaDenmarkNew ZealandIvory CoastSwitzerland
FranceNigeriaAlgeriaSerbiaCameroonItalyNorth KoreaHonduras

2010 FIFA World Cup Stadiums

Ten stadiums were used in 9 host cities. 2 stadiums were used in the largest South African city Johannesburg: Soccer City and Ellis Park Stadium.

As was the case in the 1970 FIFA World Cup, there were some issues regarding the altitude of several host cities.

Six of the ten stadiums were over 1200 meters above sea level. The two stadiums in Johannesburg had the highest altitude of around 1750 meters above sea level.

It has been said the Jabulani match ball was affected as well due to the altitude.

High above sea level, The ball appears to move faster in the air than when moving close to sea level.

The teams, therefore, prepared themselves for such altitudes by establishing their training camps mostly around South Africa’s largest city Johannesburg.

It is easier for players to adapt to coming down to sea level rather than moving away from it.

The following nine host cities and ten stadiums were used in South Africa:

soccer city stadium 2010

Soccer City

Location: Johannesburg
Opened: 1989
Capacity: 84,490
Matches: 8
Status: It is the national stadium, named First National Bank Stadium, and is the largest South African stadium. Built in 1987 and staged the 1996 African Nations Cup final. It took a £300m upgrade to turn it into arguably the swishest stadium in Africa. “One of the most beautiful in the world” according to Diego Maradona.

Cape Town Stadium

Location: Cape Town
Opened: 2009
Capacity: 64,100
Matches: 8
Status: The name was chosen by the public, was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and is currently a multi-purpose venue. A skyline-changer of a stadium that replaced an 18,000-seater three years ago. Looks stunning and the spectators are right on top of the pitch to create some real noise and colour.

Moses Mabhida Stadium

Moses Mabhida Stadium

Location: Durban
Opened: 2009
Capacity: 62,760
Matches: 7
Status: It is a multi-use stadium and was constructed for the 2010 World Cup. Its signature feature is the ‘Arch of Triumph’ but the whole stadium is beautifully designed. The pitch, we’re told, is ‘immaculate’, which would be in keeping with the surroundings.

Ellis Park Stadium

Location: Johannesburg
Opened: 1928
Capacity: 55,686
Matches: 7
Status: Ellis Park stadium is a rugby and football stadium. In 2005, it became the first black-owned stadium in South Africa. South African rugby’s spiritual home, having staged the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. Reopened after a £45m facelift in June 2008 and hosted the final of last year’s Confederations Cup.

Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Location: Pretoria
Opened: 1923
Capacity: 42,858
Matches: 6
Status: It is a rugby and football stadium and was expanded for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. One of the oldest grounds in the country having been built in 1906. Not as modern as others and another pitch that suffers from too much rugby.

Peter Mokaba Stadium

Location: Polokwane
Opened: 2010
Capacity: 41,733
Matches: 4
Status: It is a rugby and football stadium built especially for the FIFA World Cup. Newly-built for the World Cup with fans towering over the pitch. It has a superb playing surface, but has been hosting matches for only a few months and because Polokwane is the smallest of the World Cup cities it gets just four matches.

Mbombela Stadium

Mbombela Stadium

Location: Nelspruit
Opened: 2009
Capacity: 40,929
Matches: 4
Status: It is an all-seater stadium built especially for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The signature feature of this new-build is the black and white seating to mimic a zebra’s stripes. Drainage issues forced the pitch to be relaid but, unlike Wembley, the word is they’ve got it right.

Free State Stadium (Vodacom Park)

Location: Bloemfontein
Opened: 1995
Capacity: 40,911
Matches: 6
Status: Also called Vodacom Park and is a rugby and football stadium. The pitch takes a battering from rugby, but organisers insist that won’t be a factor. The locals are among the most fanatical in South Africam sport so should help generate a decent atmosphere.

Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Location: Rustenburg
Opened: 1999
Capacity: 38,646
Matches: 6
Status: It is a football, rugby, and athletics stadium and increased its capacity for the 2010 World Cup. Well maintained and it’s commonly accepted that this ground will have the best and truest playing surface of the ten. It’s the only ground with an athletics track and there’s not much cover, so the atmosphere may not be great.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Location: Port Elizabeth
Opened: 2010
Capacity: 42,486
Matches: 8
Status: First World-class football stadium in Eastern Cape, which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. A lakeside arena built for the competition which opened 11 months ago. It is faultless to look at with another eye-catching roof structure and the pitch has got the nod from people who have played on it.

2010 FIFA World Cup Memorable Matches

Uruguay – Ghana 1-1 (4-2)

Uruguay – Ghana 1-1 (4-2) – Quarter Finals

Soccer City, Johannesburg, South Africa – Attendance: 84,017

A controversial match was Uruguay against Ghana. Ghana’s national team had the opportunity to be the first African country to reach the semi finals.

The African nation started well with a goal by midfielder Sulley Muntari at the end of the first half.

Forward Diego Forlan equalized pretty quickly in the 55th minute of the match. Unfortunately, no more goals were scored in standard time, so extra time had to be played.

But this match also had a very shocking moment. It seemed Ghana was scoring the winning goal in the nail-biting last minutes of extra time.

But the ball didn’t enter the net. Instead, Uruguayan forward Luis Suárez deliberately stopped the ball with his hands.

luis suarez saving ball in world cup

He immediately received the red card, and Ghana was awarded a penalty.

The last moment of extra time was a penalty. Asamoah Gyan would have the chance to bring Africa to the Semi-Finals.

Unfortunately, the pressure was too much for him, and he missed it. Luis Suárez watching from the sideline, openly celebrated.

Now the penalty shootout had to decide who would become the eventual winner.
Players Diego Forlán, Mauricio Victorino, Andrés Scotti and Sebastián Abreu scored for Uruguay. Maximiliano Pereira missed.

Asamoah Gyan and Stephen Appiah scored from Ghana’s side, but two players, John Mensah and Dominic Adiyiah missed.

Uruguay advanced to the semi finals for the first time since the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Ghana was eliminated, and Luis Suárez enraged the whole of Africa.

Argentina – Germany 0-4

Argentina – Germany 0-4 (Quarter Finals)

Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa – Attendance: 64,100

Another shocking result was the end score of Argentina against Germany.

Everyone expected this match to be challenging for both sides. But it appeared Argentina somehow couldn’t overcome Germany’s playstyle.

Thomas Muller scored the first goal three minutes after kick-off. Then, in the 2nd half, Miroslav Klose and Arne Friedrich scored three goals in total in 21 minutes.

Argentina was knocked out in the quarter-finals, as was the case 4 years earlier.

This was the third 2010 World Cup match where Germany scored four goals.

They were very confident, and the question after the game was: how would Spain 2010 squad, their next opponent, react to such impressive results?

Uruguay – Netherlands 2-3

Uruguay – Netherlands 2-3 (Semi Final 1)

Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa – Attendance: 62,479

After the Netherlands defeated Brazil in the Quarter-Final, they became more confident about reaching a FIFA World Cup Final.

Their next opponent was Uruguay. Many people wanted the Netherlands to win due to how Uruguay won the Quarter-Final against Ghana.

It was an exciting match with five goals scored in total. The first goal was a surprising one by Dutch midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Even he was surprised when the ball entered the goal. Then, a couple of minutes before the first half would end, Diego Forlan scored the equalizer.

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The 2nd half saw its first goal in the 70th minute by Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder. Three minutes later, Arjen Robben scored again for the Netherlands.

The Netherlands knew they would advance with a score of 1-3. In injury time, however, Uruguayan right back Maximiliano Pereira woke both teams up by scoring the second goal for Uruguay.

But it was too late to create chances for a 3rd goal. As a result, Uruguay was eliminated, and the Netherlands reached a FIFA World Cup Final for the first time since 1978.

Wesley Sneijder became the 2010 World Cup top scorer with five goals, Diego Forlan, David Villa, and Thomas Muller.

Forlán and Müller scored their last goal for the tournament in the third-place match, won by Germany.

Germany – Spain 0-1

Germany – Spain 0-1 (Semi Final 2)

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa – attendance: 60,960

The last time Spain’s national team managed to enter the final round was in the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

Espana survived the knockout stage by defeating Portugal and Paraguay with 1-0 scorelines. They would continue doing this until they won the FIFA World Cup.

This semi-final knew less action than the previous one. Germany was not able to score. From Spain’s side, it was a defender who scored the winning goal.

Carles Puyol became Spain’s hero by scoring a header. After that, no goals could be scored anymore from both sides and Spain would play the Final for the very first time.

Germany was so close to reaching a 2010 World Cup Final again. In the last two previous editions, Germany reached the Final once and the Semi-Finals once.

Since 1990 Germany hasn’t yet managed to find their 4th FIFA World Cup victory.

Fernando Torres kissing the world cup trophy

FIFA World Cup 2010 Final

Spain finally made it to the FIFA World Cup Final for the first time in World Cup History.

Their opponent was the Netherlands which never won a FIFA World Cup either. The last time a Final consisted of two countries who never won a World Cup was in Argentina in 1978.

The Netherlands, unlike Spain, reached a FIFA World Cup Final twice in West Germany ’74 and Argentina ’78.

It didn’t matter which team would win. A new country was about to become the 8th country to win a FIFA World Cup for the first time.

spain world cup winners 2010

The 2010 World Cup didn’t start well for Spain. They lost their first match against Switzerland by 0-1.

However, they won the other 2 group matches and advanced to the knockout stage. Spain would win each round in every knockout game by a solidarity goal.

The Netherlands won every match before reaching the Final. Having beaten Brazil in the quarter-finals, their chances of getting to the Final highly increased.

On July 11, Spain and the Netherlands encountered each other in Soccer City in Johannesburg with an attendance of 84,490.

A gold version of the Adidas Jabulani soccer ball was used just for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final in South Africa. The match was pretty rough, with many fouls made from both sides.

world cup final winning goalscorer

Aggressive Play

The Netherlands was playing aggressively, resulting in a total of 9 yellow cards. Spain received five yellow cards.

The total of 14 yellow cards is a new record, doubling the previous six yellow cautions record in the 1986 Final Argentina against West Germany.

No goals were scored in both halves. Dutch player Arjen Robben had a memorable chance in a one-on-one challenge with goalkeeper Iker Casillas, but the ball was miraculously stopped by Casillas his foot.

2010 world cup starting line ups

The South Africa Final entered an extra time where in the first half, the score remained 0-0. Everyone expected that the Final would end with a penalty shootout until the match reached the 116th minute.

FC Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta scored the most crucial goal in the history of Spanish football. The fans took over the streets in Spain, and the quick passing football, implemented by manager Vicente Del Bosque, inspired by Barcelona’s style of play, became a global reference.

Iniesta celebrated by tearing his shirt off to pay tribute to his deceased friend Dani Jarque. He died of a heart attack in the summer of 2009.

His shirt stated “Dani Jarque siempre con nosotros” (Dani Jarque, always with us). The Netherlands could not score a quick goal in the last four minutes and, as a result, lost their third World Cup Final.

Iker Casillas 2010 world cup

2010 World Cup Winner

Never in FIFA World Cup history have two different countries from the same continent won successive tournaments (Italy won in 2006). Europe now has 10 FIFA World Cup wins, surpassing 9 World Cup wins by South American nations.

The Netherlands became the only national team to have lost 3 FIFA World Cup Finals without having won once.

In August 2010, both countries got fined for their aggressive play and lack of discipline in the Final.

The Dutch Federation had to pay $14,480 since eight players received yellow cards. The Spanish National Federation had to pay a $9,650 fine since five Spanish World Cup winning team players received cautions.

when was iniesta in his prime

La Furia Were The 2010 World Cup Favorites

La Furia, as the Spanish national side is commonly referred to, became the first team to win the FIFA World Cup after losing the first match.

With a side made up of a mix of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid players, two of the world’s biggest teams, the Spanish arrived in South Africa as one of the 2010 World Cup favorites.

However, they were unexpectedly beaten by Switzerland in their first match. After this result, many started doubting the Spanish, but La Furia sorted itself out. In the group stage, victories over Honduras and Chile national team booked their place in the knockout stage.

Netherlands vs Spain world Cup semi final 2010

The Spanish Knockout Stages

In the 2010 World Cup round of 16, a formidable opponent: neighbor Portugal. The Iberian derby was rather balanced, but a David Villa goal sent the Spaniards into the quarter-final.

Paraguay and their rugged defensive system were their next opponents. And once again, David Villa was the hero, scoring a goal seven minutes from time.

In the semi-final, the Spanish faced the Germans. The 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament’s sensation team was the young German national side.

miroslav klose germany striker 2010

Watch Out For The Germans

With skillful players such as Mesut Özil, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Thomas Müller, together with veterans Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose, the team managed by Joachim Löw showed impressive speed and skill and exhibited in South Africa.

Before facing Spain, Germany had beaten England 4-1 in the round of 16 and thrashed Argentina 4-0 in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final.

Nonetheless, the Spaniards were not intimidated. Again, they needed just one goal to get through. This time defender Carlos Puyol played the role of hero.


The Resurrection Of Uruguay

Two-time FIFA World Cup winners in the first half of last Century, Uruguay had a hard time in the second half of the 20th Century and beginning of the 21st.

They became the third footballing power in South America, behind Brazil and Argentina. Sometimes, not even that.

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However, their excellent campaign in the 2010 World Cup symbolizes how Uruguayan football has recovered. Led by Diego Forlan, Uruguay qualified in a group that had France, hosts South Africa, and Mexico.

Then, they beat South Korea and Ghana before losing to the Netherlands in the semi-final. Finishing fourth was Uruguay’s best result since the 1970 World Cup.

2010 world cup knock out stages results

2010 World Cup Suprise Nation

Slovakia also proved to be a surprise. In their first World Cup as an independent country, they managed to qualify for the knockout stage by beating Italy in the last group stage match, eliminating the Italians from the 2010 FIFA tournament.

However, in the 2010 World Cup round of 16, they ended up being eliminated by the Dutch.


Brazil’s 2010 World Cup Journey

After what was considered inappropriate preparation for the 2006 World Cup, which resulted in Brazil coming home empty-handed, Dunga was chosen as Brazil’s manager for the four-year cycle until the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

World Cup winner in 1994 and known for being a big lover of discipline, he had no coaching experience at the time but was able to bring home a series of positive results before going to South Africa.

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Under Dunga’s management, Brazil won the 2007 Copa America and the 2009 Confederations Cup.

The coach put together a group he trusted and ensured that Brazil arrived in South Africa as one of the favorites to win the tournament. Everything worked out until the second half of the 2010 World Cup quarter-final.

In the group stage, Brazil beat North Korea and the Ivory Coast and drew with Portugal. Then, after qualifying first in the group, they faced Chile in the round of 16. Result: an easy 3-0 win.

disappointed brazil soccer team at 2010 world cup

Fatal Second Half

In the quarter-final against the Netherlands, Brazil played an almost perfect first half and went into the break leading 1-0, after Robinho scored, assisted by Felipe Melo.

However, no one could have imagined what would happen in the second half. The Netherlands equalized in the 52nd minute.

Wesley Sneijder crossed the ball into the area, and the defense failed. Keeper Julio Cesar came out and found nothing, and making matters worse, Felipe Melo headed the ball into his own net.

Brazil lost their cool and seemed to be lost on the pitch. Suddenly underperforming, they saw the Dutch score again.

This time, Kuyt headed the ball after a corner, and Sneijder finished off the move by heading into the net. The situation worsened when Felipe Melo fouled Robben and stamped on him, getting himself sent off.

A rather unexpected end to Brazilian hopes of winning their sixth title as they were at the end of the road for their 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign.

2010 world cup mascot

World Cup 2010 Mascot

For the 5th time, an animal mascot was chosen for the FIFA World Cup. However, unlike Germany’s 2006 mascot Goleo VI, a ‘real life’ mascot, an illustrated animal has been introduced again.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup welcomed Zakumi. Zakumi is a leopard who is cheerful, spontaneous, adventurous, sporty, and likes to fool people innocently and nicely.

Andries Odendaal from Cape Town created him. Kumi means the number 10 in several African languages, referring to 2010.

Kazumi has green hair and is yellow, which matches the colors of the South African national team kit. His white jersey states South Africa 2010. The story is that Kazumi dyed his hair green, creating a perfect camouflage against the green color of the soccer field.

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World Cup 2010 Song

In the last couple of tournaments, superstars have been approached by FIFA to perform the official World Cup anthem and song. This was no different from the 2010 World Cup.

It was American superstar R.Kelly who performed the official 2010 FIFA World Cup anthem. The English anthem is called Sign of a Victory and features the South African gospel choir Soweto Spiritual Singers.

They performed together with R.Kelly Sign of a Victory during the opening ceremony of the World Championship. This beautiful and powerful African rhythmic anthem did an excellent job grasping Africa’s spirit and received a generally positive critical reception.

andres iniesta world cup winner

Roja And Oranje Provide Numbers Aplenty

We give you the numbers behind the action when Spain won the most significant football prize at the Netherlands’ expense.

116 – Minutes were on the clock when Andres Iniesta scored the latest winning goal in a FIFA World Cup Final.

32 – years ago was the last time an extra-time goal was scored in the decider. Coincidentally, the Netherlands suffered when Argentina scored the second of two extra-time goals to seal a 3-1 win.

6 – Finals have gone into extra time, with 2006 and 2010 being the only time it has happened in consecutive FIFA World Cups. The other four deciders to feature extra time were in 1934, 1966, 1978, and 1994.

5 – European teams have now won the FIFA World Cup, and each did it in their first trip to the concluding match. Before Spain’s triumph in South Africa, Italy had won their first Final in 1934, West Germany in 1954, England in 1966, and France in 1998.

4 – Of Spain’s four knockout matches ended in 1-0 wins for the Iberians. This makes them the first team ever to keep clean sheets in all four of their knockout matches en route to the Trophy. Germany had previously won three consecutive knockout matches by a 1-0 margin in 2002 before eventually losing 2-0 to Brazil in the Final.

3 – Runners-up finishes at the FIFA World Cup now belong to the Dutch – an unwanted outright record for a country never to have won the tournament. The Netherlands, silver medalists in 1974 and 1978, had shared that dubious distinction with Hungary (1938, 1954) and Czechoslovakia (1934, 1962) going into the Final at Soccer City.

2 – Goals conceded by Spain – to Switzerland’s Gelson Fernandez and Chile’s Rodrigo Millar – equals the joint-fewest allowed in a FIFA World Cup by the winning team. They now share that record with France (1998) and Italy (2006).

2 – Reigning European champions have lifted the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Spain, winners of UEFA EURO 2008, was the first to accomplish this feat since West Germany won the 1974 world finals after conquering Europe in 1972.

1 – The side finished South Africa 2010 without suffering defeat – and it was not the world champions who lost their opening group match 1-0 to Switzerland. It was New Zealand who enjoyed this incredible honor thanks to draws with Slovakia, Italy, and Paraguay.

0 – Teams had previously won the FIFA World Cup after losing their opening group match. Spain defeated the Netherlands, the only team to have won the UEFA European Championship, after losing their first match.

World Cup 2010 Records

  • Two countries qualified for the first time: Serbia and Slovakia.
  • The first time Serbia didn’t qualify as Serbia and Montenegro since Montenegro became independent in 2006.
  • The first time Slovakia participated since the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993.
  • First FIFA World Cup to be hosted in the continent Africa.
  • First time Spain and the Netherlands encountered each other in a World Cup.
  • Spain, the 2010 World Cup winner is the 8th country to win the tournament.
  • Spain World Cup win is the first European country to win a tournament outside Europe.
  • The Spain national football team is the 12th new country to have played a FIFA World Cup Final.
  • The World Cup 2010 winner scored the fewest number of goals for a champion (8).
  • The Spain 2010 tournament squad conceded the fewest number of goals for a champion (2).
  • 2010 World Cup Spain squad had the fewest goal scorers for a champion (3) (David Villa 5 goals, Andres Iniesta 2 goals, and Carlos Puyol 1 goal).
  • The first time a Final didn’t contain Argentina, Italy, Brazil, or Germany
  • The 2010 World Cup champion is the first country where no goals were scored against them in the knockout stages
  • The first time two different countries from the same continent won successive World Cups (Italy won in 2006)
  • A record amount of 14 yellow cards were given to players in the Final.
  • The first time a host team (South Africa) was eliminated in the first round.
  • Italy is the only country that didn’t make it to the 2nd round twice after winning the previous FIFA World Cup (the first time was in 1950).
  • First time there are 4 tournament top scorers.
  • South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira (from Brazil) is the 2nd trainer to have coached five different countries in a World Cup (Kuwait in 1982, the United Arab.
  • Emirates in 1990, Brazil in 1994, Saudi Arabia in 1998, and South Africa in 2010).
    South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira became the first to coach 6 FIFA World Cups. He was the Brazilian coach in both the 1994 and 2006 editions.

adidas jabilani soccer ball

Did You Know

  • Yashin Award got renamed into Golden Glove Award for this World Championship.
  • The Most Entertaining Team Award was not awarded in the 2010 World Cup.
  • New Zealand was the only undefeated team (3 draws) but was eliminated in the group stage.
  • France ended up last in their group after reaching the 2006 World Cup Final. Coincidentally this also happened in 2002, when they ended up last after winning the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
  • Siblings Jérôme Boateng and Kevin-Prince Boateng played for different countries, Jérôme for Germany and Kevin for Ghana.
  • Honduras team included the first three siblings in FIFA World Cup history: Jerry, Johnny, and Wilson Palacios.
  • South African midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala scored the first 2010 World Cup goal against Mexico. As one could almost expect from an African team, the South Africans celebrated with a unique dance.
  • French striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home after verbally abusing the coach and refusing to apologize. In reaction, the team refused to train in protest against Anelka’s expulsion.
  • English player David Beckham missed this 2010 World Cup since he tore his Achilles tendon before the tournament.
  • German player Michael Ballack missed the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to a foul by Kevin-Prince Boateng that caused an ankle injury.
  • The surface of the Jabulani match ball was textured with grooves, a technology developed by Adidas called “Grip ‘n’ Groove,” which was used to improve the ball’s aerodynamics.
  • A gold color version of the Jabulani match ball was used for the Final called the Jo’bulani, referring to “Jo’burg” (a common nickname for South Africa’s largest city Johannesburg where the Final was held).
  • Jabulani match ball received extensive criticism from players and coaches before and during the 2010 World Cup, who said the ball’s path through the air was unpredictable.
  • Former South African President Nelson Mandela made a brief appearance during the closing ceremony after much speculation about whether he would make it or not due to his health.
  • The vuvuzela (lepatata Mambu in the Tswana language) became a notorious instrument that was highly used in and out of the stadium. However, the sound was perceived as very annoying, resulting in many complaints from the stadium fans, players like Lionel Messi and Patrice Evra, and even the people at home!
  • Paul, the German octopus, became famous for correctly predicting all FIFA World Cup matches involving Germany and the 2010 Final. He died three months after the tournament.

David Villa 2010 world cup

2010 World Cup FIFA Awards

Golden Ball: Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
Silver Ball: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
Bronze Ball: David Villa (Spain)
Golden Boot: Thomas Muller (Germany) (5 goals)
Silver Boot: David Villa (Spain) (5 goals)
Bronze Boot: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) (5 goals)
Best Young Player Award: Thomas Muller (20 years old) (Germany)
FIFA Fair Play Trophy: Spain
Golden Glove Award: Iker Casillas (Spain)

young leo messi

2010 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team

As was previously the case, only 11 players are included. Spanish players were the dominant country and were included in every position. For the first time, a coach was added, and the Uruguayan player was included again since their last inclusion in the 1970 All-Star Team.

Iker Casillas (Spain)


Philipp Lahm (Germany)
Sergio Ramos (Spain)
Carles Puyol (Spain)
Maicon (Brazil)


Andres Iniesta (Spain)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
Xavi (Spain)


David Villa (Spain)
Diego Forlan (Uruguay)


Vicente del Bosque (Spain)

2010 Audience And Viewing Numbers

Based on viewers watching a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes of coverage, the 2010 tournament reached nearly a third of the world population with 2.2 billion viewers, or three percent higher than in 2006, according to data compiled by KantarSport on behalf of FIFA.

The average in-home global audience for each match was 188.4 million, up six percent on 2006, while the highest average audience measured was for the final at 530.9 million, up five percent on 2006.

Unsurprisingly the competition’s most-watched match was the final between Spain and the Netherlands, which reached 619.7 million in-home viewers based on those watching at least 20 consecutive minutes of coverage.

This figure, however, rises to 909.6 million viewers based on watching over one minute and is likely to have surpassed one billion when out-of-home viewers are included.

Indeed, all the figures cited do not include people watching out-of-home at the FIFA Fan Fests and other public viewing venues, as well as in pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, or even online and via mobile handsets.

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