When the World Cup comes around, as a football fan, I want to see the best players on the planet on show. Coaches of national teams can pick 23 names for their respective squads, so you would think they would have enough chances to get it right.
However, glancing at the team sheets of some of the contenders, there are many stars missing and I am not happy about it. Furthermore, some omissions will be the reason why some of these teams will fail in South Africa.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin caused quite a stir when he said Tiger Woods would not be an automatic choice in his team for the Ryder Cup clash against Europe at Celtic Manor later this year.
Pavin was reacting as Woods slipped further outside the eight guaranteed selection spots in the latest American standings, meaning if the situation remained the same the world number one would have to rely on his largesse to make the team as one of his four picks.
All-time majors leader Jack Nicklaus was unusually outspoken when saying Pavin would need a "brain scan" if he did not to pick Woods, but with respect to a golf legend, the bald facts, not to mention the world number one's current off course difficulties, do not make this so cut and dried.
Because for all his supreme talents, Woods has a losing Ryder Cup record of 10 wins against 13 defeats.
London, England - As the clock ticks down and anticipation grows for the kick-off of the World Cup in South Africa, there is a burning question that bothers many soccer fans the world over.
It is not whether the African hosts will be up to the task of holding the sporting showpiece, or if the Vuvuzela will prove the most annoying accessory in the history of football spectating. No, the poser that is pressing on the minds of passionate devotees across the planet is who will be the World Cup's best player?
From armchair aficionados to brand executives who have paid millions of dollars to be associated with big-name footballers, each is keen to know which man will etch his legend into the history books by turning on the magic on the biggest stage of them all. You may have your own ideas on who it will be.
Over recent months, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has given the biggest hint yet that the sport may be returning to American soil, confirming his hopes to stage a U.S. grand prix again by 2012. But given the country’s troubled history with F1, does the country even want it to return?
F1 hasn’t always been so unpopular in the United States. America’s first ever Formula One grand prix took place in California in 1959, inspiring a generation of homegrown drivers to compete on the international stage, including its only world champions, Mario Andretti and Phil Hill.
The race has been held at various locations across the country, from Florida to Phoenix, to Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace, before settling at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway ten years ago. And the Speedway, which hosted the last U.S. Formula One race, can also boast the largest ever attendance at a grand prix of 225,000.
A tactical master class in Madrid saw Jose Mourinho give Internazionale their first European Cup since 1965. In two years at the San Siro, the charismatic and controversial Portuguese coach built a team that relied on hard work, discipline and resilience to become kings of the continent once more.
I saw it coming. Leading up to the semifinal tie against Barcelona, I wrote that Inter would eliminate the defending champions and go on to win the title. My opinion was formed after watching the Italian giants teach Chelsea a footballing lesson that Carlo Ancelotti will not forget anytime soon. So, indeed, they went on to contain the almighty Barca and then prevailed against Bayern.
Ernie Els should feel right at home on Wentworth’s west course - and you’d think that after designing it he would have an unfair advantage over the rest of the field at the BMW PGA Championship.
Golf is unique in many ways and this is just another twist when a player can directly influence about 7000 yards of landscape, and then head out to compete in European flagship event.
In the next few years the French Open may be forced to leave its iconic city center location of Roland Garros, in favor of an out of town setting which would allow it to expand like its grand slam counterparts already have. But is abandoning the bright lights of Paris really a good move for the French? And how will the alternative venues measure up?
Ever since the French Open began in 1928 it has been held on the red clay courts of Roland Garros, in the city’s chic sixteenth arrondissement.
As French as Wimbledon is English, Roland Garros, which is named after a French airline pilot and World War One hero, has become synonymous with tennis. And consequently, the French are far from impressed at proposals for a move from their prestigious home to the city’s less than glamorous suburbs.
Is this really a new glorious dawn for English cricket or another false one? The exciting, fun, entertaining thrill-a-minute ride that is 20/20 cricket was first played and devised in England and now a nation not exactly noted for regular sporting triumphs on the world stage can rightly claim to be the best.
I was in Barbados for the comfortable seven-wicket victory over Michael Clarke’s Australia and I have to say the English were certainly worthy winners.
Superbly led by captain Paul Collingwood and a rejuvenated Kevin Pieterson, they never looked in trouble. The squad combined experience with youth. Stuart Broad for example is an exciting prospect. It’s certainly unfair and way too early in his career to label him the next Ian Botham – I’m sure Stuart himself would be the first to conceed that – but the future’s bright for this nucleus of players.
Although many consider football to be a global sport, a look at the history of the World Cup shows only a handful of nations have mastered it. FIFA – the game's world governing body – recognizes 208 national associations but just seven have celebrated having the best team on the planet.
South Africa 2010 will be the 19th football World Cup. Of the previous 18 tournaments, five have been won by Brazil, four by Italy and three by Germany. Argentina and Uruguay have claimed two each and France and England one apiece. So, four European and three South American countries have triumphed but the world champions have never come from North America, Asia or Africa.
It is hard to see that record changing this time, although Africa's contenders will be bolstered by the first ever World Cup on their home continent. Ghana and Ivory Coast are arguably the strongest of those countries.
Sunday saw Barcelona and Internazionale crowned champions of Spain and Italy respectively; in my view, both clubs were worthy winners of their league titles.
Let’s start with Barça. After a historic 2008/09 season which saw them win an unprecedented six trophies, it was inevitable this year would be a letdown. There would be no way Pep Guardiola could inspire his group of players to do it all again.
However, their surprising defeat in the Copa del Rey aside, the Blaugrana actually came close to another impressive trophy haul.
They narrowly lost to Inter in the Champions League semifinals and made sure they would not end the season empty handed by winning La Liga on the final day with a record points total.