THE FFT SA2010 AWARDS
So itÃ¢ÂÂs all done for another four years. Time for us to ruminate, cogitate, digest then excrete the tournamentÃ¢ÂÂs highs and lows.
WeÃ¢ÂÂve decided to damn and praise in the form of the first ever World Cup 2010 World Cup Awards for the World Cup. The dizzying highs, the death-defying lows, the silliest names, the coolest granddads, the best jumpers, the most random moatsÃ¢ÂÂ¦ theyÃ¢ÂÂre all here.
Drink it in, bask in it, bathe in it - then don your Zakumi pajamas, put it to bed and move on with your regular lives, people. See yÃ¢ÂÂall in Brazil in four years' time Ã¢ÂÂ donÃ¢ÂÂt forget to wind your watches back four hours and wear a hat made of bananas.
Joachim LÃÂ¶wÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂluckyÃ¢ÂÂ blue jumper wasnÃ¢ÂÂt jammy enough to counteract the infallible fortune bestowed by Paul the Octopus. But the natty cashmere number Ã¢ÂÂ modelled duskily by the brooding German sex god Ã¢ÂÂ did rapidly become a Teutonic fashion craze, with upscale clothier Strenesse selling out of the Ã¢ÂÂ¬199 items overnight. Essential.
Must have-accessory II (The Klumps)
Alright, it was the first winter World Cup since 1978, and pampered hacks got upset when nights were chilly. Still no need for the lengths this Honduran bloke went to.
DungaÃ¢ÂÂs chunky roll-neck. The Brazil gaffer and Barry Chuckle-alike donned a woolly pully that looked like it was designed by committee and would have been more at home on Captain BirdseyeÃ¢ÂÂs poop deck. And unlike JogiÃ¢ÂÂs sell-out garment, Ã¢ÂÂDungawearÃ¢ÂÂ doesnÃ¢ÂÂt seem to have caught on around Copacabana Beach, where itÃ¢ÂÂs currently 34 degrees. Maybe next time heÃ¢ÂÂll go for some Dunga-rees.
You canÃ¢ÂÂt help but admire UruguayÃ¢ÂÂs Seb Abreu for his breathtakingly bold (some would say idiotic) quarter-final shootout penalty chip against Ghana. The phenomenon known as El Loco back in Montevideo chose the crucial moment to ping a cavadinha. Known elsewhere as the 'falling leaf', this roughly translates as Ã¢ÂÂsmall diggingÃ¢ÂÂ: the taker watches which way the keeper is going before scooping the ball gently down the middle. Bonus points, too, for looking like heÃ¢ÂÂd just wandered in from a Sepultura gig.
Mick Jagger. Stop going to England games, man!
Paul Simpson, June 29: Guilty Ã¢ÂÂ Jagger, Churchill & Blessed >>
Never blinking award
Like Great White sharks, snakes, seagulls, and halibut, Mesut Ozil is medically unable to blink. Let's get this lad a transfer to the Premiership - and an Optrex eyebath.
Names most closely resembling the warble of soul music backing singers
We can easily imagine The Supremes crooning Tshabalala and Toulalan as Diana Ross belts out a heartfelt ballad about her baby leaving her, poor lass.
Least recognisable Premier League player (in a good way)
Giovanni dos Santos
Least recognisable Premier League player (in a bad way)
Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Gareth BarryÃ¢ÂÂ¦
Biggest waste of taxpayersÃ¢ÂÂ money
Alan Shearer. Ã¢ÂÂOur knowledge of these two teams are limited,Ã¢ÂÂ smirked Shearer as Algeria prepared to take on Slovenia. So, you havenÃ¢ÂÂt been arsed to read the document about the teams that a squadron of BBC researcher drones have toiled to put together then, Al? Too busy golfing with Hansen? The quality of TV analysis has become so desperate that weÃ¢ÂÂre no longer surprised when an ex-footballer gets paid to trot out bleeding obvious clichÃÂ©s and knee-jerk wrongheadedness (Ã¢ÂÂSo much for Spain winning the World Cup,Ã¢ÂÂ grinned Shearer after their defeat the Swiss). But to openly flaunt your ignorance? A disgrace.
Least accurate sphere
The J*b*l*n*. Don't mention the ball!
Most accurate sphere (of sorts)
Paul the octopus.
Most remarkable media backlash
Australia's shoddy 4-0 defeat to Germany prompted an unprecedented witch-hunt Down Under. Coach Pim Verbeek was called upon to quit mid-tournament, his tactics were labelled "un-Australian," and rumours of a player revolt swirled round the camp. The departing Verbeek won't forget his brutal treatment in a hurry Ã¢ÂÂ and even when the Socceroos recovered to win a game, their government thoughtfully decided to overshadow them by eating itself.
Mike Tuckerman, June 24: Politics overshadow Socceroos win >>
Gareth BarryÃ¢ÂÂs pathetic late attempt to Ã¢ÂÂtake outÃ¢ÂÂ Mesut Ozil. By the time the lumbering midfielderÃ¢ÂÂs challenge was disgracefully hacking at thin air, the sprightly German was in another time zone. Like a Mercedes purring past a Raleigh tricycle, it was the entire game in miniature.
Gerrado Torrado. Try saying it.
Best accidental jump into a moat
Serbian forward Milan Jovanovic deserved a good celebrate after scoring his nationÃ¢ÂÂs winner against Germany. But when he jumped over the advertising hoardings delightedly he must have been surprised to find himself standing in the narrow but inexplicable body of water which runs round the perimeter of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. If only the Northumbria Police could find a moat so quickly.
Most patriotic reaction to a national anthem
North Korean Jong Tae-Se bursting into tears before the Brazil game. Truly epic patriotic weeping.
Kicking the Busquets
A big thanks to everyone who booted Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets Ã¢ÂÂ the tournamentÃ¢ÂÂs most-fouled player Ã¢ÂÂ for making this joke possible.
Best 44-year itch-scratching
Germany finally getting their own back for that 1966 Geoff Hurst goal-over-the-line business. Sure, Frank LampardÃ¢ÂÂs was BLOODY MILES across, but theirs was in the World Cup Final. Shall we call it quits, lads?
Ã¢ÂÂBreaking African HeartsÃ¢ÂÂ Award
One billion people live in Africa, and each and every last one of them is now a heartbroken, bereft, blubbering mess because of Asamoah Gyan's last-minute penalty miss against Uruguay Ã¢ÂÂ making him a bigger bastard than love rats Darren Day, Dwight Yorke and Grant Bovey combined.
Tim Cahill, whose granÃ¢ÂÂpappy has got a tattoo from his neck to his knees and is the chief of a village in Samoa. Respect gigantically due.
Biggest en masse switch to supporting another sport
England fans to Andy Murray for around six days in late June, until he went and blew it, too. Erm, when does the cricket start again?
Most laughable miss
Having been delivered the slowest and most accurate pass in history on a silver ruddy platter, NigeriaÃ¢ÂÂs Yakubu somehow conspired to blunder from three feet out against South Korea, spooning it back past the post. So massively moronic that he even started laughing at himself.
Gaffer most gagging for a game
WeÃ¢ÂÂre surprised that badger-bearded boss Diego Maradona didnÃ¢ÂÂt just storm onto the pitch in his grey suit towards the end of the Germany game, dribble past eight defenders and then head in his own cross, before being wrestled from the pitch calling the refÃ¢ÂÂs mum a pig-dog-whore-snake. You know he wanted to.
Red hot & Dutch
Wheeler-dealing, high-level ticket tout extraordinaire Robbie Earle was sacked by ITV after it transpired that heÃ¢ÂÂd flogged a number of tickets for a Holland game. Unfortunately for him Ã¢ÂÂ but happily for lady-oglers everywhere Ã¢ÂÂ they ended up in the moisturised palms of a gaggle of attractive orange minidress-modelling Dutch stunners working for a beer company. More remarkably, the fallout from the story revealed that the pundit had been granted FOUR HUNDRED tickets for the tournament, including 40 for the final. Which presumably means that half the main stand at Soccer City yesterday was full of ITV punditsÃ¢ÂÂ mates instead of real fans. Super news.
Tightest shirt in showbiz
ArgentinaÃ¢ÂÂs not-really-a-right-back Jonas Gutierrez. Figure-hugging!
Least surprising big surprise
Diego Forlan! HeÃ¢ÂÂs not the player he was at Manchester United! He can score goals! WhatÃ¢ÂÂs going on? Er... heÃ¢ÂÂs been banging them all over the shop for six years since he left Old Trafford, you Premier-centric muppets!
Best childish playground chuckle of a name
New ZealandÃ¢ÂÂs Shane Smeltz. Ha!
Service to broadcasting medal
The germs that scuttled down Jim BeglinÃ¢ÂÂs throat and spared us all from his inane nonsense during the Germany vs Uruguay semi-final. Well infected, malevolent micro-organisms!
Giovanni van Bronckhorst: 61mph of wrong, walloped vigorously over 41 yards past Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera. Booooooom!
Most appropriate jig
South AfricaÃ¢ÂÂs excellent display of co-ordinated dancing following Siphiwe Tshabalala-lalalalala-ooooooh-daaaarlingÃ¢ÂÂs barmstorming opening goal of the tournament. Great moves and genuine jubilation.10.0! 10.0! 10.0! from the World Cup Brekkie juryÃ¢ÂÂ¦
Least appropriate jig
ItÃ¢ÂÂs tough to forgive Luis Suarez his nasty little last-minute handball against Ghana Ã¢ÂÂ even if every analyst in town has admitted that any professional in that situation would have done the same thing. But what is really unforgivable is him openly dancing a sodding samba when Gyan missed his penny, swinging his hips with even further gusto on the final whistle, and then declaring himself Ã¢ÂÂthe new hand of GodÃ¢ÂÂ. Git.
Paraguay vs New Zealand. A team unwilling to score against a team unable to score. Televisual Diazapam.
No prizes for guessing who had to wear DungaÃ¢ÂÂs wally-jumper on the flight home to Rio after BrazilÃ¢ÂÂs exit to Holland: Felipe Melo scored a horrible own goal then got red carded for a horrible challenge, setting a new and horrible record. Bozo. (And we know FIFA awarded the own goal to Sneijder, but they don't have jurisdiction over us, so tough, Sepp.)