Considered To Be The Best Football Player In The World 2010 World Cup Football South Africa Showcases Worldclass Black Talent

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2010 World Cup Football South Africa Showcases Worldclass Black Talent

Yes, the world is in a football frenzy. The 2010 FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) World Cup football, which fascinates the entire world every four years, is now in its quarter-final stage and all bets are placed on who will win this year’s final trophy. Will the indomitable Germans overcome the resilient Argentina or will the Netherlands pull off an upset? World Cup Football is the biggest and most anticipated sporting event of all time. Two hundred and four nations attempted to qualify for thirty-two spots, with the US qualifying for the first time in decades. The 2006 final between Italy and France was watched by an estimated 715 million people. With changing demographics and 21st century technology making borders nearly obsolete, this year’s numbers are anyone’s guess. Stadiums are held in stadiums, crowding around television sets with gladiator-like fervor. History is told, wars are fought, players are pilloried and publicly punished. Loyalty to players and countries is etched in stone with blood and sweat.

It is universally known as the “beautiful game” for its charming simplicity, the divinely ordained athletic prowess of its players, and its appeal to the common man. Sportsmanship, passion and undying love for the game creates a sense of brotherhood that transcends sports. The incredible high and mindless excitement of GOOOOOAAAL! Like basketball, it elevates its gifted players to god-like status, while at the same time connecting them to the mortals who live through them. Football is a game of great equals than any other sport. Because skin color or nationality or club alone cannot determine ability or greatness. It’s straightforward. A boy from a Brazilian favela or an obscure village in Cote d’Ivoire can become a striker for a world-class English club with one devastating strike. A good number comes from extreme conditions, where pulling yourself up by the bootstraps means grabbing a pair of cleats and heading to the game on the dustbin. Today’s black footballers come from far and wide to play for European clubs such as Inter Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United. But for the World Cup they are back only to play for their national team. This is not to say that racism in football is not a serious problem. Fan taunts and behavior can be vaguely ugly, cruel and primitive, as if it comes from a force that remains stubbornly ignorant and primitive. That players consistently rise above it is a testament to their personal strength and integrity. Sports have become a way of life that can change the course of lives and communities. Amazing paychecks are often accompanied by great professional endorsements from Nike, Gillette and others. Athletes share their fortunes, donating large sums to build hospitals, schools and life-saving social service programs.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa is the first to be played on the African continent and has the potential to change global perception on many levels. From the Africa Cup of Nations to the 2010 World Cup, footballers of African descent and nationality have caught the world’s attention: they are a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Team USA.

And no self-respecting football fan calls it soccer. This is football, now and always.

Here are eight of the world’s best and brightest black footballers from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Samuel Eto’o

Country: Cameroon

Club: Inter Milan; Cameroon national team

Location: Striker

Earnings: $12. 7 million

The world has noticed. One of the world’s top left-backs, Samuel Eto’o’s performance has been significant for his country and his club. He exemplifies football excellence in the vein of the greats and has exceeded expectations at every club he has played for. His performances have been consistently outstanding and he is currently the most decorated African player of all time, including the African Player of the Year for three consecutive years. A goal scoring machine, Eto’o scored over 100 goals in five seasons with FC Barcelona. He is the captain of the Cameroon national team and currently the highest paid footballer in Africa. He has featured in two World Cups and five African Nations Cups and is the all-time leading scorer in African Nations Cup history (capturing the championship twice) with 18 goals. At the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Eto’o became United’s leading goalscorer

As a member of the Cameroon national team, he was a gold medalist at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Didier Drogba:

Country: Ivory Coast/Côte d’Ivoire

Club: Chelsea

Location: Striker

Earnings: $7.5 million Endorsement: Pepsi; Nike, Samsung

Mark his name is the future of football. Don’t be fooled by Drogba’s late arrival on the football field, he is a powerhouse. Known for breaching impenetrable defences, Drogba is a goalkeeper’s nightmare. Signed by Chelsea for $37 million, he has proven invaluable. He has scored more goals for the club than any other foreign player and is the 7th highest goalscorer of all time. An African football player, one of the top scorers in the Premier League. The captain and all-time top scorer of the Côte d’Ivoire national football team, Drogba signed for Chelsea for a record fee of £24 million, making him the most expensive Ivory Coast player in history. Drogba rose to prominence as the world’s leading striker in 2006 when he won the league title with Chelsea and captained the national team for the first time. At the 2006 World Cup, he scored Côte d’Ivoire’s first goal of the tournament and was named the 2006 African Footballer of the Year. He is the only player to score in six English Cup finals.

But much of this pales in comparison to the humanitarian work he has done for his country. After Côte d’Ivoire qualified for the 2006 World Cup, Drogba requested a ceasefire between the combatants in his country’s deadly 5-year civil war, which was soon honoured. In 2007, he was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and donated a $4.5 million signing fee to Pepsi’s support for the construction of a hospital in his hometown of Abidjan.


Country: Brazil

Club Team: Internazionale aka Inter Milan

Position: Defender

Earnings: $5.4 million

A talented right-sided fullback and formidable back-field, Maicon is a phenomenon in Brazilian football – no easy feat. He excels in defensive plays and supports his team well. Michonne scored Brazil’s first goal of the 2010 World Cup – a shot from a tight angle – in their first game against Korea. Maicon’s contributions at Inter Milan included staunch defense and offensive support, putting him in contention for the 2010 Ballon d’Or, the European Footballer of the Year award. In a nod to his prowess, Real Madrid recently paid £28 million for him to join their club.

Patrice Evra:

Country: France

Club Team: Manchester United

Position: Defender, Full-back; French captain

Earnings: $4 million

Evra is its own version of the United Nations. Born in Senegal and a French citizen of Guinean heritage, he is one of Manchester United’s most valuable players and, oddly enough, the captain of the French national team. One of the best left backs in the world and a wicked left wingback, Evra has won the Premier League and Champions League with Manchester United. During United’s 07–08 season, Evra became a key member of United’s defence. But it is not controversial. After team-mate Nicolas Anelka was dropped from the squad following an argument with coach Raymond Domenech, Evra led a player revolt against the decision and publicly denounced the coach. As a result, Evra was benched for the final match against South Africa. Nevertheless, he returns to a highly distinguished career.

Thierry Henry

Country: France

Club Team: Barcelona; French national team

Location: Striker

Earnings: Annual salary plus bonus: $6.2 million, Other income: $6.2 million

Endorsed by: Pepsi, Gillette, Reebok

He is one of the most recognized and admired players in football and certainly a fitting distinction for one of the game’s most prominent forwards. During his meteoric rise at Arsenal, the phenomenal Henry emerged as the leading goal-scorer in almost every season with 226 goals in all competitions. The phenomenal Frenchman won two league titles and three FA Cups and was twice nominated for FIFA World Player of the Year. With devastating pace and superhero agility, he is Europe’s all-time leading goalscorer with 42 goals to score impossible, dramatic goals. Despite the controversy surrounding Henry’s penchant for scoring goals using his hands, he is a footballing institution that has elevated the game to an art form.

Nicolas Anelka

Country: France

Club Team: Chelsea (ENG); French national team

Location: Striker

Earnings: $5.8 million Endorsement: Puma

Although his petulance rivals his ability, Anelka has shown immense potential as a striker. A relentless scorer who is lightning fast with excellent control, Anelka’s goal won France the World Cup match against Ireland. His three-and-a-half-year contract and his reported fee mean Nicolas has cost more money to replace him than any other player in football history.

Suli Muntari Country: Ghana

Club Team: Internazionale aka Inter Milan

Position: Midfielder

Earnings: $5.3 million, Endorsement: Puma

If Ghana wins the World Cup, you can bet Muntari will be crucial to their victory. Muntari was a football prodigy who was just 16 when he played for Ghana in the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina. He was voted an All-Star player during the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana.

Come on

Country: Ivory Coast

Club Team: Barcelona

Position: Midfielder

Earnings: $3.7 million

Tor’s titanic height and energetic energy make him one of the best midfielders in modern football, the perfect combination of physical strength with superb technique. He became the first player from Côte d’Ivoire to win the UEFA Champions League in 2008/09 and has been a driving force behind the team rewriting football history by winning six trophies in a single season. He was recently transferred from Barcelona to Manchester City for £25m, where he will join his brother, brother and club captain Kolo. He was a powerful midfielder for his native Cote d’Ivoire, who participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the first time.

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