On Monday 19 October, the European play-offs for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ were drawn in Zurich. The continent's eight best group runners-up now have a second shot at realising their dream of qualifying for next summer's finals, vying for a place at the tournament alongside group winners Denmark, Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany, Spain, England, Serbia, Italy and the Netherlands.
Excitement and tension are guaranteed, and plenty of lively debate too, not just because of the enormous prize at stake, but also due to the nature of the individual clashes. For example, can the Republic of Ireland break a 28-year-winless streak against the French? And what will happen in the first-ever meeting between Portugal and Bosnia Herzegovina?
"We're utterly determined to go to the World Cup in South Africa. We'll do everything in our power to win and make it there in the end," a confident-sounding Greece coach Otto Rehhagel declared. His Portuguese counterpart Carlos Queiroz made a similar statement: "We now face two finals, in which we can achieve everything we set out to do. We're determined to go to the World Cup."
"We'll be in South Africa," France striker Thierry Henry insisted. "If we succeed in qualifying, the people at home will be out celebrating for three days," Bosnia goal-getter Edin Dzeko said, aware of the huge significance attached to the two-legged ties.
In this week's Have Your Say debate, FIFA.com wants your opinions on the following question: Who will win the FIFA World Cup play-offs?
Will the Bosnians make it to the finals for the first time in their history? Can Otto Rehhagel steer Greece back to the greatest football show on earth after a 16-year absence? Will the South African showdown take place without superstars Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, Andrei Arshavin of Russia or Franck Ribery of France?
Tell us what you think! Click 'Add your comment' and let everyone know your opinion, remembering to keep your posts clean, respectful, on-topic and in English.
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