The next 12 months promise almost unsurpassed tension and excitement in the world of football, with an array of highlights guaranteed to set nerves tingling in every corner of the world. And pride of place is very much reserved for one special country: South Africa.
Everyone, certainly, will be anxious to find out which 32 teams succeed in securing places at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, as qualifying for the next global showdown comes to its climax. And we are also in for a foretaste of what to expect at the first FIFA World Cup on African soil, as the South Africans host the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 from 14 to 28 June, featuring the six continental champions and FIFA World Cup holders Italy.
2009 will also give us the opportunity to form early impressions of the talented starlets destined to make their mark on the world game in the years to come. The FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cups represent the ultimate proving ground for youngsters who feel they have what it takes to make a splash on the global stage. Scouts, pundits and experts are not the only ones who find these contests a particularly enthralling prospect.
Naturally, a host of questions remain to be answered at club level too. Who will finish top of the league? Who will be promoted and relegated? Who will achieve star status? And who will be crowned continental champions?
It is no surprise that fans everywhere are already bursting with anticipation ahead of the new footballing year. You the fans will be nourishing hopes and dreams, cheering on your teams, and wishing your heroes a successful next 12 months. Share your thoughts with us by writing a few words in answer to the question:
What is your footballing wish-list for 2009?
Just click 'Add your comment' to have your say and please keep to the usual rules of fair play and mutual respect. We're looking forward to hearing from you!