Germany tipped as the end nears
The end is nigh. Saturday sees the third place play off between Uruguay and Germany in Port Elizabeth. I’m going for the Germans in that one. Mainly because I want to see a fabelhaftes Tor. I sent the YouTube link of a song from the 1980s about Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to my nephew.
He sent an email back telling me that his girlfriend’s step sister knows Karl-Heinz’s son. Well the next step is to get that autograph.
I nearly asked Rudy Krol for his autograph today. He was the skipper of the Netherlands side that lost to Argentina back in 1978 in Buenos Aires.
I thought, no I am here working for the wonder station that is RFI so it might be a bit unprofessional.
But I’m leaving the country in around 48 hours. If you can’t be unprofessional now then when can you start? I must maintain this mantle of endeavour. But boy is it heavy.
Spain and the Netherlands are going to be having their final press conferences later at Soccer City after the final training sessions on the pitch.
The tension is reaching fever pitch. The world cup organising committee supremo is still cool and calm and collected.
Danny Jordaan was at it this morning, giving us the facts and figures. Dividing the gunk from the good. He is a class act.
I just hope the Brazilians have picked someone as eloquent because it appears they are going to need a plausible character to sell the country for the 2014 World Cup.
And they won’t have the apartheid card nor figures such as Desmond Tutu to wheel out if things start looking bleak.
They don’t have the Mandela factor either. South Africa has had those. They’ve flourished them at apposite moments and South Africa has enjoyed the run on goodwill too.
To a large extent the organisers haven’t squandered that energy.
Jordaan went metaphysical this morning. He cited "ubuntu" which is a word to describe connecting with other people. It’s about recognising that all human beings are of equal worth.
We all know that state was missing from these shores for too a long time. It was obviously that notion which kept the likes of Mandela, Walter Sisulu et al vibrant during the years in Robben Island.
Ubuntu has been given more heft of late. That wasn’t the situation when Rudy Krol took to the field for the final in 1978. But it will be the case when his successor Giovanni van Bronckhorst strides out with his team on Sunday night.