What do you need to set off a month-long party in every corner of the globe? It's very simple: a ball, ten wonderful stadiums and the best footballers in the world. All three key ingredients are lined up and ready to go from 11 June onwards, with the start of the long-awaited 2010 FIFA World Cup™ finals in the vibrantly colourful surroundings of South Africa.
Passionate fans from all over the planet in their hundreds of thousands are gearing up for the trip to the first FIFA World Cup finals on African soil, determined to experience this historic event first hand. Millions upon millions more will be following the battle for the prestigious trophy on TV in their home countries. Last week, FIFA.com asked you to Have Your Say and tell us about your plans, dreams, hopes and expectations for the thrilling and action-packed weeks which lie ahead.
We can’t wait, say fans
"I’m delighted to say I’ll be flying to South Africa with a mate so we can support England and Australia,” wrote Australian user Jordanlmp. "It’ll be a tremendous, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I hope Africa puts on a fantastic show and that it ends up unforgettable for everyone!"
Writing from Mexico, ARTUROLAVIN can hardly wait for the tournament to begin. Understandably, he is already buzzing with anticipation ahead of the opening match in Johannesburg, which features his national team against the hosts: "Our travelling group comprises seven friends who are going to South Africa to support Mexico. Apart from Mexico, we also want to watch Brazil and Spain. The icing on the cake will be our visit to Kruger National Park."
Everyone recognises that the norms and conventions of everyday life may not always apply during the incident-packed weeks of the FIFA World Cup. Badenser from Germany has rearranged his priorities accordingly: "I’m flying to South Africa with the Germany team on 6 June. I’m going to watch all three of our group games. And if we get through, I’m going to call my boss and ask him if I can stay. And I’ll keep doing it until we’re world champions."
Gearing up at home
Unfortunately, not everyone can make it to South Africa in person, but plenty of die-hard fans planning to follow the chase for glory from home have already made plans for the period from 11 June to 11 July. "During the group phase I’m going to drink mate tea and eat pancakes. If we reach the last sixteen, I’m going to throw a huge barbecue. For the quarter-finals we’ll have suckling pig. We’ll order pizza for the semi-finals. And if we win the World Cup, I’ll just go out and celebrate forever,” eljuanchiii gleefully told us from Uruguay.
Some folk have made important resolutions in connection with the FIFA World Cup finals. French user redkik said this: "I’ve waited four years for this tournament. Immediately afterwards, I’ll go out and look for a job, and that’s a promise! And another thing: I’ve managed to persuade my wife to love the World Cup." Brazilian fan Lana_Croft is determined to pass on her passion to everyone around her: "My house is already totally prepared, with yellow and green flags everywhere. I’ll be wearing my good old Canarinho shirt. There’s already a twinkle in my eye. And I have one unbreakable rule: Whenever Brazil play, it’s a holiday! So c’mon everybody, prepare your hearts!"
Whether you’re one of the lucky ones who is about to discover South Africa’s rich cultural and natural diversity for yourself, or if you’ll be feeling the passion nearer home: no-one is untouched or unmoved by the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Enjoy the festival, and share your delight and enthusiasm with your family and friends. It's certain to be an unforgettable few weeks. FIFA.com would like to thank all our users for the huge and heartfelt response, and wish everyone a fantastic and fun FIFA World Cup!