2010 World Cup Warm-up

The NHL and NBA seasons are heading into the final stretch which means it’s almost time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In just 10 days, international soccer (or football depending where you’re from) will take center stage. Here’s some general information about the event and what to look out for:
-The 19th World Cup is being held in South Africa, marking the first time the tournament has been hosted by an African nation. The month long tournament runs from June 11- July 11.
-In 2006, Italy defeated France 5-3 in penalty kicks to capture their fourth World Cup title. Brazil holds the most championship titles with 5.
-Spain edged Germany 1-0 to win the Euro-cup in 2008.
-As of May 26th, Brazil and Spain rank 1st and 2nd in the FIFA World Ranking

Key Injuries
-David Beckham will not play in his fourth World Cup for England after tearing his left Achilles tendon while playing for AC Milan in March.
-German captain Michael Ballack suffered torn ligaments in his right ankle after being tackled during Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Portsmouth for the FA Cup. A return in time for the World Cup has been ruled out because Ballack won’t be able to train for several weeks.

Keep an Eye on
Wayne Rooney: Rooney was chosen as the Professional Footballers’ Association Player’s Player of the Year (confusing, I know) for 2009-2010. He scored 26 goals in 32 games for Manchester United in the English Premier League this season. With Beckham on the sidelines, look for Rooney to lead the charge for England.

Kaka: Everyone has heard his name at some point and this year, Kaka will have the chance to make a big impact for Brazil on the international stage. This guy has a great shot and a knack for finding teammates on the field. He scored 8 goals and had 10 assists for Real Madrid in the Spanish Primera Division this season.

Fernando Torres: In 2008, Torres scored the game winner to give Spain its second Euro-cup title. The combination of Torres and David Villa give Spain a strong offense which could carry them through the tournament. Torres had 18 goals for Liverpool in the Premier League this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo: More than just a pretty face, this skilled winger scored 26 goals in 29 games for Real Madrid this season. During the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo scored just one goal for Portugal.

Toronto Can Still Party
So Canada isn’t in the World Cup, that doesn’t mean Toronto won’t be partying! During the tournament, licensed bars and restaurants in the city will be allowed to serve alcohol starting at 10am. Pick a team, grab some friends, and get ready to watch some great football (or soccer, whichever you prefer) action!

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