Before prognostication, a disclaimer: I have never been able to pick a winner. Not that it has ever stopped me from trying to. Well, it has stopped me from buying stock, but let’s not talk about that.
I picked a winner in 1970. I chose Pele and Brazil but I was 10 and my dad told me to. I came close in 1974. I picked Holland–West Germany in the finals (Ajax and Bayern Munich were by the far the top clubs in the early 70’s) but I thought Cruyff and Neeskens would waltz through Beckenbauer and Netzer. Heartbreaker.
Oh well, this was then. I’ve learned a lot since.
I’m going to go with the safe pick: Algeria.
Hey, hey. Spain is playing beautiful soccer, an almost flawless team (I’m not high on Sergio Ramos—good player, though too much of a gambler on defense). Torres and Villa are the best forward tandem; their defense is very good, and their midfield is mindboggling. If Iniesta plays up to form, forget about it. Oh, and their coach isn’t Maradona. My ideal team.
So the final will be Spain vs. Argentina, and Algeria will win. Mark it down. I told you I’ve learned a lot since.
I’m not predicting the earlier rounds of this tournament. Quite a few teams are playing inconsistently, and then there’s the Chelsea Curse: Germany’s Ballack, Ghana’s Essien, Ivory Coast’s Drogba, Nigeria’s Obi Mickel, are all out. Should the African continent sue? Let me blame the ugly team’s curse for Robben’s injury as well. I’ll stick with who will win.
I like Spain too much, so I’m picking Algeria. Why Algeria? Can you imagine what will happen in Egypt if Algeria wins? There will be a revolution. In the next election Mubarak will win only 80% of the votes.
Only France winning the tournament with an Henri handball could provide as much fun. Poof. There goes the emerald isle.