Today we complete the first set of 2010 World Cup group play games. I’ve watched more than 90% of all the minutes – and yet managed to miss five goals live (Holland, Argentina, Slovakia, Brazil’s second and North Korea’s). It’s been an educational experience. I’ve learned many interesting factoids (many acquired by virtue of this being the first Twitter World Cup) and made a few observations as well.
I. Denmark’s starting lineup on Monday had just as many Dutch League players as the Netherland’s lineup (three).
II. Nigeria is the only country in this World Cup without any domestic league players on its roster. On the other hand, Germany, Italy and England’s rosters are made up completely of domestic league players.
III. Brothers in the Cup: The Boateng brothers on Ghana and Germany will face each other in the group stage. Kevin-Prince and his half-brother Jérôme are in the same group and will be on opposing sides June 23rd in Group D’s final match. It’s a fascinating story. After calling up forward Jerry Palacios on Tuesday to replace injured Julio Cesar de Leon, Honduras becomes the first World Cup team ever to roster three brothers. Jerry’s brothers Wilson and Johnny are also on the team.
IV. I thought I heard on the telecast that Ghana’s John Mensah was 19 years old and already had 63 caps. Turns out he’s 27. If he were 19, it would’ve made him the most capped player at that age this side of Mia Hamm…instead it means this is a meaningless factoid…though he does have a half-brother, Ekow Benson who has played for the Ghana National Team. Makes me wonder, which brothers have played for the USMNT…
V. Both goalkeepers in last Sunday’s Serbia vs. Ghana match, Richard Kingson and Vladimir Stojkovic played for Wigan last season. Neither impressed last season, so they may both soon be former Wigan keepers.
VI. The four youngest teams at this World Cup are: Ghana (24.1) followed by North Korea (24.8), Germany (25.0) and Cameroon (25.2). Ghana gets its youth by including Ghana’s World Cup roster includes eight members of its 2009 U-20 World Championship squad. Surprisingly to me, the oldest is not Italy, but the Italians are in the top four: Italy (28.2), Australia (28.4), Brazil (28.6) and England (28.7). The youngest team at each of last three World Cups has been African– 1998 Cameroon, 2002 Nigeria and 2006 was also Ghana.
VII. Impressive how many folks noted the resemblance between German midfielder Mesut Ozil and apparently not forgotten actor Peter Lorre.Mesut Ozil and Peter Lorre