With 60 matches already completed at South Africa 2010, there are only four teams still able to dream of hoisting the FIFA World Cup™ trophy at Soccer City on 11 July.
Predictors and Fantasy managers have had a tough time during a tournament that has seen more than its share of shock upsets and surprise results. FIFA.com takes a look at the lucky few who have managed to claim a piece of the spoils in the first five rounds of McDonald’s FIFA World Cup Fantasy and Castrol’s FIFA World Cup Predictor Challenge.
Fantasy winner: odhank_mania
The Indonesian fantasy manager squeezed two points clear of his closest challengers to finish Round 1 on 125 points and claim a national team jersey signed by a star player.
Predictor winner: beabranches
It took an 815-point return to claim the maiden round of Castrol’s FIFA World Cup Predictor Challenge. Brazil’s beabranches accurately predicted 14 of the 16 available fixtures to win the maiden round.
Fantasy winner: mr_spritzer
In a repeat of the first round, our fantasy winner for Round 2 finished just two points clear of the second and third-place runners-up. Key to the Scottish manager’s victory was handing Argentina’s Higuain the captain’s armband. The tactic returned mr_spritzer 38 points thanks to Higuain’s hat-trick against Korea Republic.
Predictor winner: Pnortskim
Pnortskim weighed in at 847 points to win Round 2. The Croatian predictor scored on 12 of the 15 available matches, correctly predicting two of the tournament's biggest upsets: Serbia beating Germany and Italy drawing against New Zealand.
Fantasy winner: Portugaallo
Round 3 proved to be the tightest of the group stage rounds. Portugaallo was the top fantasy manager with 123 points. Four managers came within one point of the No1, but the man from Finland held on to claim the round prize.
Predictor winner: whitefrog
With 841 points, whitefrog finished well ahead of the pack in Round 3. His closest rival was 62 points behind. whitefrog foresaw South Africa beating France and Slovakia beating reigning champions Italy, two results that the majority of predictors thought virtually impossible.
Round of 16
Fantasy winner: Simoks
The first knockout stage of South Africa 2010 resulted in the highest fantasy score of the tournament as Simoks sped his way to 136 points. Simoks employed a lethal 3-4-3 formation to great effect and his trio of forwards (Villa, Tevez and Suarez) returned 55 points.
Predictor winner: footanas01
769 points was enough to shove footanas01 into first place for Round 4. The Belgian predictor jumped into the Top 15,000 with his Round 4 performance.
Thanks to the surprise exits of Brazil and Argentina, the quarter-final stage seemed to stump most fantasy managers and predictors.
Fantasy winner: Mo-181
Mo-181 claimed top spot for Fantasy with 122 points, the lowest winning score to date.
Predictor winner: ruquisimo13
ruquisimo13 hit a massive 924-point return, the highest predictor return to date, to win the round.
zercy-FIN is currently holding onto first place on the global fantasy leaderboard. If he can hold on for two more rounds he could drive away with our grand prize - a brand-new Kia Sorento.
Meanwhile, kc_alex2 is enjoying a slender lead at he top of the Castrol FIFA World Cup Predictor Challenge standings. He is 51 points ahead of closest challenger paulosala.
Who has what it takes to stay the course? Only time will tell, good luck to all challengers and remember, it’s not to late to play. There are still round prizes up for grabs for Round 6 and Round 7.