Who Is The Best Football Player Of All Time 2010 World Cup Football South Africa Showcases Worldclass Black Talent

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2010 World Cup Football South Africa Showcases Worldclass Black Talent

Yes, the world is in the grip of football fever. The 2010 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Associations) World Cup, which takes the world by storm once in four years, is now in its quarter-final stage and all bets are off to see who will win this year’s final trophy. Will the unbeaten Germans overcome resilient Argentina or will the Netherlands pull off an upset? The World Cup is upon us, the biggest and most anticipated sporting event of all time. Two hundred and four countries tried to qualify for thirty-two spots, with the US qualifying for the first time in decades. The 2006 final between Italy and France was watched by an estimated 715 million people. With changing demographics and 21st century technology making borders almost obsolete, this year’s count is anyone’s guess. Lovers pour into stadiums, hang around televisions, with the fervor of gladiators. Histories are referenced, battles are waged, players are insulted and publicly chastised. Loyalty to players and countries is carved in stone with blood and sweat.

It is universally known as “the beautiful game” for its beautiful simplicity, the God-ordained sportsmanship of the players and its appeal to the common man. The skill of the game, passion and lasting love for the game creates a brotherhood that transcends sports. Unbelievably loud and insane GOOOOOAAAL excitement! Like basketball, it elevates its talented players to godlike status while connecting them to the people who live through them. More than any other sport, soccer is the great equalizer. Because not only skin color, or nationality or club can dictate ability or greatness. It is alone. A boy from a Brazilian favela with a devastating kick or an obscure village in the Ivory Coast can become a striker for a world-class club. A good number arise from extremely difficult situations, where pulling yourself up from the couch usually means grabbing a pair of keyboards and going to play in a dusty bowl. Today’s black footballers who come from far away countries to play for European clubs such as Inter Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United. But for the World Cup, they will return to play only for their national team. This is not to say that racism in football is not a serious issue. Fan taunts and behavior can be unspeakably vile, cruel and primitive, as can a contingent that remains stubbornly ignorant and primitive. That the players consistently rise above it is a testament to their strength and personal integrity. Gaming has become a way of life that can change the trajectory of lives and societies. The staggering salaries are often accompanied by high-profile commercial endorsements from Nike, Gillette and others. Players share their good fortune, donating large sums of money to build hospitals, schools, and life-saving social service programs.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa is the first to be played on the African continent and has the potential to change the world’s perception on a number of levels. From the Africa Cup of Nations to the 2010 World Cup, footballers of African descent and nationality have put the world on notice: they are a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Team USA.

And no self-respecting football fan would ever call it football. This is football, now and always.

Here are eight of the world’s best and brightest black footballers at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Samuel Eto’o

Country: Cameroon

Club: Inter Milan; Cameroon national team

Position: striker

Income: $12. 7 million

The world has been warned. The success of Samuel Eto’o, the world’s left winger, is of great importance for his country and club. He plays the best football in the vein of the great legends and has exceeded expectations at every club he has played for. His performances have been consistently excellent and he is currently the best African player of all time, including the African Player of the Year three years in a row. A scoring machine, Eto’o scored over 100 goals in five seasons with FC Barcelona. He is the captain of the national team of Cameroon and currently the highest paid footballer in Africa. He has participated in two World Cups and five African Cup of Nations and is the top scorer in African Cup of Nations history with 18 goals (two-time champion). At the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Eto’o became the top scorer

As a member of the Cameroon national team, he won the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Didier Drogba:

Country: Ivory Coast/Côte d’Ivoire

Club: Chelsea

Position: striker

Earnings: $7.5 million Endorsements: Pepsi; Nike, Samsung

Mark the name, it is the future of football. Don’t be fooled by Drogba’s late arrival on the pitch, he’s a powerhouse. Drogba, known for breaking through impenetrable defenses, is a nightmare for goalkeepers. Signed by Chelsea for $37 million, he became invaluable. He has scored more goals than any foreign player in this team and is the 7th top scorer. One of the most promising African footballers, he is one of the top goalscorers in the Premier League. The captain and top scorer of the Ivorian national football team, Drogba moved to Chelsea for a record fee of £24 million, making him the most expensive Ivorian player in history. Drogba became known as one of the world’s leading strikers in 2006 when he won the league title with Chelsea and captained the national team for the first time. At the 2006 World Cup, he scored Ivory Coast’s first goal at the tournament and was named the 2006 African Footballer of the Year. He is the only player to score in six FA Cup finals.

But much of this pales in comparison to his humanitarian work for his country. After Ivory Coast qualified for the 2006 World Cup, Drogba called for a ceasefire between the combatants of his country’s deadly five-year civil war, which was soon honored. In 2007, he was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and donated his $4.5 million signature to endorse Pepsi for the construction of a hospital in his hometown of Abidjan.

Macon Douglas Cisenando

Country: Brazil

Club Team: Internazionale, AKA Inter Milan

Position: Defender

Earnings: $5.4 million

A talented right-back and powerful full-back, Maicon is a phenomenon in Brazilian football – no easy feat. He excels in defensive plays and provides great support to his team. Maicon scored Brazil’s first goal of the 2010 World Cup – a corner kick – in their opening game against Korea. Maicon’s contribution to Inter Milan included solid support and attack and put him in contention for the 2010 Ballon d’Or award, the European Footballer of the Year award. Noting his skills, Real Madrid recently paid 28 million pounds for him to join their club.

Patrice Evra:

Country: France

Club team: Manchester United

Position: defender, defender; French captain

Earnings: $4 million

Euro is your own version of the United Nations. Born in Senegal of Guinean heritage and a French citizen, he is one of Manchester United’s most valuable players and surprisingly the captain of the French national team. Arguably one of the best left backs in the world and a wicked left winger, Evra won the Premier League and Champions League with Manchester United. During United’s 07–08 season, Evra became a key member of United’s defence. But he is not without controversy. After team-mate Nicolas Anelka was dropped from the team following his fight with manager Raymond Domenech, Evra had a player protest against the decision and publicly condemned the manager. As a result, Evra sat out the final against South Africa. However, he returned to high office.

Thierry Henry

Country: France

Club team: Barcelona; French national team

Position: striker

Earnings: Annual salary plus bonus: $6.2 million, Other income: $6.2 million

Endorsements: Pepsi, Gilette, Reebok

He is one of the most recognizable and respected players in football, and certainly a worthy distinction for one of the most prominent strikers in the sport. During his meteoric rise at Arsenal, the incredible Henry was top scorer in almost every season with 226 goals in all competitions. The flamboyant Frenchman won two league titles and three FA Cups and was twice nominated for FIFA Player of the Year. Possessing the devastating speed and agility of a superhero, he remains Europe’s leading goalscorer with 42 goals and a knack for scoring impossible and dramatic goals. Despite the controversy surrounding Henry’s penchant for using his arm to score goals, he is a footballing institution who has elevated the sport to an art form.

Nicolas Anelka

Country: France

Club team: Chelsea (England); French national team

Position: striker

Earnings: $5.8 million Endorsements: Puma

Although his anger rivals his potential, Anelka has shown enormous potential as a striker. A relentless goalscorer who accelerates with superb control, Anelka’s goal sealed France’s World Cup win against Ireland. His three-and-a-half-year contract and reported fee mean that more money has been spent on transfers for Nicolas during his career than any other player in football history.

Sully Muntari Country: Ghana

Club Team: Internazionale, AKA Inter Milan

Position: midfielder

Earnings: $5.3 million Endorsement: Puma

If Ghana win the World Cup, you can bet Muntari will be instrumental in their victory. Football prodigy Muntari was just 16 when he played for Ghana in the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina. He was selected as an all-star player at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.

Yaya Toure

Country: Ivory Coast

Club team: Barcelona

Position: midfielder

Earnings: $3.7 million

Toure’s titanic stature and intense energy combine to make him one of the best midfielders in modern football, with the perfect combination of physical strength and superb technique. He is the first Ivorian player to win the UEFA Champions League in the 2008/09 season and is one of the driving forces behind a team that rewrote football history by winning six trophies in one season. He recently moved from Barcelona to Manchester City for a fee of £25m, where he will join his brother, brother and club captain Kolo. He was a powerful midfielder for his native Cote d’Ivoire who made his debut at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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