By PaulÂ Bassey
Today, the greatest sports show on earth, with due respect to the Olympic Games, will kick off at the impressive 94,700 seatingÂ African Calabash Soccer City stadium that FIFA president Joseph Blatter has described as one of the best in the world. If the Fifa president himself can say that, then you better believe it .
For me the world cup starts tomorrow, when the Super Eagles will fly the flag of over 180 million people in what perhaps has been termed our most trying match, since we lost out narrowly to Italy in 1994.
Yes, my world cup starts tomorrow, but I have entered into this agreement to share with you on a daily basis my views on the world cup as they roll. Yes, daily I will endeavour to look at the world cup, not only from the eyes of Nigeria but from a global perspective.
I will need to remind us that though Denmark does not ring a loud world cup bell but that they qualified for the world cup ahead of countries like Hungary, Portugal and Sweden in Europe qualifying group1. It is here that we will be cautious not to take teams like Slovakia for granted because they mastered the likes of Northern Ireland ,Poland and the Czech Republic on their way to South Africa.
Here, we will not discuss how goals were scored and who scored the goals, rather we will look deeper than that, by trying to bring to you those things that the cameras missed and which you deserve to know. Here we will be as interactive as we can be, brisk, straight to the point.
It is only here we will be
told thatÂ Man U has been cursed, that none of their playersÂ will get to the final of the Cup. Ferdinand is off, Nani has gone home. Who next? Rooney? Park Sung ? However, over 50 per cent of this column is likely to be on Nigeria and the Super Eagles. No apologies.Â Russians and Brazilians will not be our target audience. ( they donâ€™t even understand English anyway ) What happens when the Super Eagles are knocked out? Not to worry we will cross that bridge when we get there, after all there are more stories in death than life.(?)
Wait a minute, who says we are leaving early? Perish the thought. Forget that North Korea is the lowest ranked by FIFA of all the qualified teams, victory over them has given coach Lagerback the confidence to dare Argentina and all their arsenals.
If you place all the Group B coaches side by side, even the 71 year old Greece coach Otto Rehhagel may not hold a candle to the Swede. Ask coach Onigbinde
While you are busy looking at the group matches, I have already eliminated either South Africa or France in the Group of 16 on the way to the quarter finals. Semi final here we come.
Donâ€™t mind me. I believe the fever has gotten to me, that is why I can believe anything.
Enjoy the opening ceremony, soak in the victory of South Africa over Mexico ( Six against the world ) and look out for me tomorrow even as we line out against Argentina.
I canâ€™t wait.