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2010 World Cup - Ultimate Music Preview - Group D

Group D

Australia: Phoenix

The Australian National Team is really very European. Like most competitive countries, they have a large contingent of players making a living in Europe. They were a joke in the world of international soccer until they imported European football by hiring a Dutch manager, Guus Hiddink. In 2006, he led the team into the second round, where they were knocked out by eventual champions, Italy. Phoenix, like the Australian team, has a European feel, probably due to the fact that they're a French band. Their sound has an electronic and indie air to it. We like their music and we like the Australian team, and, while we re more than content to listen to a few of their songs, we'd be hard pressed to label them as the next best thing. Australia has a few strong players in Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer. They play with a lot of heart, and despite still having a Dutch manager, we'll be very surprised if they get to the second round. Like Phoenix, they aren't the next big thing.

Germany: Coldplay

With Germany and Coldplay, you know what to expect. Germany is a great footballing nation that will probably make it to the quarterfinals or semifinals by simply stepping onto the pitch, playing teams to a draw, and then efficiently destroying their opponents in penalty shoot-outs. They have flashes of brilliance and an awesome history. Coldplay is the same in a lot of ways. We basically know we're going to get from Coldplay at this point. It's good music but it's not going to change the industry. Germany won the World Cup in 1954, 1974, and 1990 but hasn't won since reunification and definitely hasn't been able to keep pace with Italy and Brazil as far as winning major tournaments the past 10 years. Still they have a lot of talent and could easily advance deep into the World Cup. The story here is that they lost captain Michael Ballack for the tournament after a member of the Ghana national team made an ugly tackle at the end of the Premier League season. Everyone is waiting to see what happens to Kevin Prince-Boateng when Germany and Ghana play in the first round.

Big questions marks are still lingering over this team because they don't have a great striker. Miroslav Klose has been relegated to the bench at Bayern Munich with Mario Gomez. Lucas Podolski scored two goals this year. They have to hope that Bastien Schweinsteiger makes up the difference from midfield along with 13 year old German captain, Philip Lahm.  The lead up to this World Cup is reminiscent of lead up to Coldplay's release of Viva la Vida.  Fans were excited for the new album but no one was really sure what to expect.  Would they go for a harder sound?  Would they regain their form from years past?  The result was an album that was universally respected.  We expect a similar result for Germany in the World Cup.

Ghana: Poison

Ghana's best player, Michael Essien, is out of the World Cup. We'd use U2 due to Bono's injured back, but that's way too much of a compliment for Ghana. So, Poison, with Michael Essien playing the part of Bret Michaels, it is. Ghana is a good but not great footballing country. They have talent and have won the African Cup of Nations four times, the latest back in the 80s. Not much has happened with them lately though. We expect them to park the bus, but their chances of advancing out this group are about as good as Poison's chances of winning a Grammy next year. Slim to none.

Serbia: Jack White

When the White Stripes broke up, Jack White took most of the creative talent with him, just like Serbia took most of the footballing talent when Yugoslavia broke apart. Like Jack White, Serbia is legit. They're line up includes players from Chelsea, Manchester United, Inter Milan, and a host of German sides. They have a hard edge to them due to the presence of Nemanja Vidic and Branislav Ivanovic. Jack White's reputation proceeds him and when he finds the right combination of people around him, his work is brilliant. It remains to be seen whether or not Serbia has found the right mix. They were on the losing end of a 6-1 drubbing from Argentina back in 2006 but they also have a long history of getting to the second round.  They have matured as a team since the last World Cup and we expect them to advance to the knock out stages.

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  1. Re: Serbia.... when Yugoslavia broke up it was Croatia who got BRONZE at the world cup 98. So "Serbia took most of the footballing talent when Yugoslavia broke apart" is probably not correct.

  2. Thanks for the comment, nik. I see your point. Post-war, Croatia has a better record, having taken the bronze at 98, and two first round exits in '02 and '06. The Serbs made the second round in '98, did not qualify in '02, and a first round exit in '06. Croatia also has a better record in the Euros. I'd be better served to say that Serbia took some talent and, perhaps just as important, the Yugoslavia name and history.


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