World Cup 2010, here we come

The biggest party on earth is starting amid all the problems that are plaguing the world! The World Cup, worshipped by billions, halts wars and brings humanity together for a short time. Soccer is indeed the big democratizer, the best equalizer and I am rooting for Africa this time.

Maybe for a short month we can have fun (with most people on the globe) without forgetting the general calamities that burden the planet. Call it Football, Futbol, Fussball or Soccer madness…Its accessibility makes it the most popular sport in the world.

I have found the best World Cup calendar online! It’s easy to use and gives you the schedules, national teams, groups and stages and the cities and stadiums where the games will take place.

I will repeat my predictions for the first round and I would love to hear from you as well (especially all the people who challenged me after my Group of Death post on December 6th!)

Ever since I remember I have rooted, like most Persians,  first for Brazil and then Germany. My favorite game of all time remains Italy 4-3 West Germany in 1970—I am keeping a grudge against Italy ever since.

I found out from Roger Cohen: ” the game is written in the blood of only a few nations, who have stamped their genius on it, and then there are the also-rans. Of the 18 World Cups played, half have been won by just two teams — Brazil and Italy. Another three went to Germany.”

Cohen cites Jean Paul Sartre also: “In football everything is complicated by the presence of the other team.”

My favorite soccer players of all time here

Check out the coolest world cup calendar here

Watch a couple of minutes of my favorite game Italy 4-3 West Germany in 1970

2010 World Cup Draw and the Group of Death

The 2010 World Cup draw was two days ago and I watched it for the first time live on Swiss TV; I am a big soccer fan and it was exciting to see the world gasp waiting for the final draw in Cape Town.

world cup draw 2010 groups michele roohani

There is as usual a group of death:

Group G
North Korea
Ivory Coast

where 3 of the 4 teams are known to have formidable soccer players.

These are my picks for the first round and yes I am brave enough to put my name on it!

world cup 2010 draw and michele roohani picks

The five time champion, Brazil, faces Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea in this very strong group G.

One of my most popular blog posts has been  “Gerd Muller, where are you?” and I labored over these images of my favorite childhood soccer players like Muller himself:

gerd muller michele roohani world cup 2010 draw

and the prince, Beckenbauer, then and now:

franz beckenbauer michele roohani 2010 world cup

“I don’t understand/like baseball and I tolerate American football only when my alma mater, USC, is playing but soccer stays close to my heart…There is a hierarchy of course like in any sport: we have princes and kings, Brazilian Gods and black pearls and panthers,  even a black spider (the Russian Yashin)!

There is  hand of God (Maradona) and real God (Pele):”

pele 2010 world cup michele roohani


jairzinho micheleroohani 1020 world cup

George Best,

george best micheleroohani 2010 world cup

the Charlton brothers,

the charlton brothers world cup 2010 michele roohani


eusebio world cup 2010 soccer mcihele roohani

and last but not least, Michel Platini,

michel platini world cup 2010 micheleroohani

who would certainly give a red card to Thierry Henry after his handball disqualified the stunned Irish team at the qualifier match for the World cup  which would be from June 11th through July 11th in South Africa.

Thierry Henry handball world cup 2010 mcihele roohani

To see my favorite post, “Gerd Muller, where are you?”, go here.

To see the full schedule on FIFA’s site go here.

Gerd Muller…Where are you?

Gerd Muller…Where are you? Beckenbauer, Pelé, Jairzinho, Eusébio, George Best, Gordon Banks, the Charlton brothers and captain Cruijff…These were my childhood heroes and I miss them; I got hooked watching the 1970 anf 1974 world cups with my dad in Tehran like most soccer crazy Persians (well maybe not the mullahs). Number 13, 10 and 7 were sacred numbers…


gerd mueller michele roohani

Watching Euro 2008,  I am constantly reminded of these great champions I admired as a little girl. I felt nostalgic today and put together these images  just to have these guys in the same place one more time – even if it’s only in my blog.


franz beckenbauer michele roohani

I knew der Kaiser since he was a mere prinz  beckenbauer (above)!

I don’t understand/like baseball and American football is only tolerated when USC is playing but soccer stays close to my heart…There is a hierarchy of course like in any sport: we have princes and kings, Brazilian Gods and black pearls and panthers,  even a black spider (the Russian Yashin)!


There is  hand of God (Maradona) and real God (Pele):

pele michele roohani

There was Jairzinho,


jairzinho michele roohani

The Charlton brothers,


charlton brothers michele roohani

The beatle George best,


george best michele roohani



eusebio michele roohani

The great Platini (aka the sun king in cleats):


michel platini michele roohani

Watching today’s players is exciting but they come and go or become media’s pretty boys while bending it like you know who…

My favorite team is Germany (after Brazil of course) – I don’t like the cheating Italians/Argentines – the British exasperate me with great national clubs but poor national teams and the French are annoying with their inconsistencies – I like great soccer and whoever plays best is my champion.


kaiser and the prinze michele roohani

Beckenbauer and Muller  are mere children in the above  picture. It took hours to put these images together but it was a labor of love…