Who will win it all? Various sports magazines are devoting untold liters (that’s 0.26 gallons to the Americans reading this) of spilled ink to predicting the winner of the 2010 World Cup. Brazil’s looking strong as usual; England and Spain are fielding, arguably, their strongest teams ever; and with home continent advantage, an African team could surprise and make a deep run in the tournament. We will leave the prediction of the winning team to the Prensa Libre’s capable soccer-only supplement Don Balon. The XelaWho will undergo the epic task of predicting who will definitively not be winning the World Cup. Dial up your bookie because you can take this insight to the bank in our special futbol-themed June Issue.
First of all, North Korea is not going to win the World Cup. Kim Jong-Il will be lucky if upon arrival to South Africa his country’s team does not defect en masse to avoid returning to arguably the bleakest place on Earth. Although, if there are some Kim Jong-Il inspired Afro wigs that we could get our hands on to ironically cheer the North Koreans that would be cool.
Slovenia also will not win the World Cup. Until a recent Google search confirmed the existence of this country that is apparently somewhere near Italy, we assumed the FIFA Organizing Committee was playing a practical joke on us. But, Slovenia’s a real place—a real place that is not going to win a World Cup.
Thanks to Thierry Henry, we can be quite certain that Ireland will be unsuccessful in their 2010 bid.
Likewise, despite an all-star lineup, and the return of quarterback Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints find themselves playing football instead of futbol, and are therefore not favored to emerge victorious.
While perhaps a threat due to their surprise qualifying victory over Russia, Greece has decided that there has been enough rioting over the past month due to the collapse of the economy and that it would just be best to throw the rest of their games in order to preserve what little undamaged infrastructure is remaining.
Finally, we expect the much vaunted “XelaWho Curse” to continue into 2010—no country whose citizens are associated with this XW will win the tournament. For this go-round, this means that United States, Australia, & Guatemala (had they qualified) will be looking to get the monkey off their backs.