5 Sporting Events to Look Forward to in 2011
Exactly one year ago I wrote about my five sporting events that I was looking forward to in 2010, and four out of five of them were highly enjoyable (damn that World Cup). But 2011 has no luxurious offers like that, so here is what I am looking forward to, sporting wise, in the year 2011.
19th February – 2nd April : Cricket World Cup
I am not a cricket fan. And frankly the last World Cup seemingly went on longer than Uranus orbiting the Sun, and was more confusing than the MLS Draft. I was even considering not bothering with it at all.
Then I hear England might have a chance. Back off their Ashes slaughtering of the Australians, they are now saying that a win is possible. Well hello, I like to hear that. After the success of the Twenty20 World Cup last year, England have every chance in the slightly longer version in Asia, hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Of course the team everyone has to beat is Australia who have won the last three versions. But then there are the likes of India and South Africa, I presume, because they always seem to be good.
Winners Prediction: England.
7th April – 10th April : The Masters
There are so many top golfers in the world right now, it is almost impossible to even consider who might win. European heroes Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy. Don’t forget the holder of the Masters Phil Mickleson who won in emotional circumstances. And Tiger Woods, don’t ever write him off.
It is so close to call, it just makes it all the more exciting. Who can take that step and be the best in the first Major championship of the year. I almost am too excited about it. And as long as it doesn’t have a Louis Oosthuizen style walk over about it, it should be a cracking and tense four days of golf.
1st July – 24th July : Copa América
Copa América, the European Championships of South America, bringing the flair, the glamour of the ten South American teams (and two other, less sexy ones), with their slick passing, entertaining football, beautiful weather and quality players.
Obviously, the Argentines and the Brazilians will go into this as the favourites, but still not having the best World Cups on their backs. Though, times have changed for the both of them, new managers, new style of play. But the stars remain, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Neymar, I can go on.
And then there is my favourite international team (aside from England), Chile. I love their attacking football in the World Cup, and despite them being dumped early by Brazil, I loved the football. The innovative 3-1-3-3 formation was successful, they finished one point behind Brazil in the qualifiers remember. Sadly, the manager is now gone, but their play has stuck by me, I’d love them to do well.
Don’t forget Uruguay as well, fourth in the World Cup. Quality strikers in Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani.
Oooh, I’ve had quite the love in with South American football here. Sadly, the awkward number of just ten teams means for it to work well, two non-South American nations are involved, namely Mexico and Japan. The same Mexico murdered by Argentina 4-0, and Japan, who lost to Paraguay 0-0 on penalties.
I can’t wait, I mean, the 2007 Copa América only averaged 3.31 goals per game. This will be quite the show.
9th September – 23rd October : Rugby World Cup
I am much more of a Rugby League man myself, but, it is hard not to get a tad excited when the other egg-chasing, Rugby League wannabe, Rugby Union gets together the 20 best teams in the world and says, “Hey, you produce a rather good month of rugby why don’t ya.”
And they occasionally do. This time out, its in New Zealand, so, not ideal for the old English supporter (not that it ever stopped them during the Ashes). England themselves always seem to peak in the World Cup, winning it in 2003 and finishing as runners up in 2007. Probably 3rd this year then.
New Zealand as hosts always seem to be the best team in the world, but never perform on the big stage. Could this be the time they change that, in front of their own fans, time will tell.
And of course, will there be any shocks? Who can tell. Argentina stormed there way through to third in 2007, can they pull it off again?
There are a lot of questions because I genuinely don’t know much about it. Other than the Newcastle Falcons aren’t that good.
Winners: South Africa
Someday: David Haye v Wladimir Klitschko
Oh come on, it is going to happen. When it will, who knows, July, August, September, whenever. Haye will fight a Klitschko at least, no doubt one of them being Wladimir. Who has just said he expects a fight.
And it is what we all want. Haye’s last fight, that farce against Harrison, is hardly something you’d want to gloat about, you want to beat the best. And that is just what the Klitschko’s are, the best.
Yet Haye is a handy customer himself, he can sure talk the talk, and so far has certainly walked the walk. His performance against the giant Nikolai Valuev was outstanding. But can he transfer it to the bigger stage, the big fight. They want it, we want it. It’s just a matter of when.
Hopefully soon, though.