Hi, everyone, my name is Randy Paul. I normally blog at my own blog, Beautiful Horizons. John has graciously accepted my offer to blog about the upcoming soccer World Cup in South Africa starting in June.
My love of this sport goes back some thirty-six years and I blog about it regularly. A brief explanation as to my passion for the game is here. I have a breakdown of the groups and my educated guesses as to who comes out of the group stage in this post.
A bit about my biases: I’m married to a Brazilian and unless I’m possessed by an urge to sleep on the couch, I tend to pull for Brazil – except when they play the USA. I want to see the sport grow here and success on the international stage will only help. While I admire a number of Argentina’s players, especially Leo Messi and Gabriel Batistuta from several years ago, I don’t much care for Diego Maradona.
I think South Korea got away with murder in 2oo2. I’m not a big fan of the Italian national team’s typically boring defensive game, although I credit their last coach with some daring play in the 2006 World Cup. I think England has some fine players, but I think they are overrated. Spain is my favorite team in Europe, Ivory Coast in Africa and Japan in Asia.
On the club level, I pull for Arsenal in England, Barcelona in Spain, Lyon in France, Fiorentina in Italy, PSV Eindhoeven in Holland, Cruzeiro in Brazil and FC Kaiserslautern in Germany.
So, enough about me. As of this writing, there’s 129 days till the start of the first match. I’ll be back around Memorial Day with some updated predictions educated guesses. I hope you all will follow along and add your comments!