LATEST PICK-UP: Panini South Africa 2010 World Cup Collection

The first instalment of ‘Latest Pick-Up’ comes with an explosion of personal nostalgia alongside a huge bang with an (almost) complete collection of the Panini stickers from the 2010 World Cup.

This tournament occurred during my high school years meaning most of my time was spent away from studying and focused on the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Steven Gerrard, Sergio Busquets, Rafael Marquez and of course Siphiwe Tshabalala take to the pitches of South Africa. A tournament full of emotions with England being mediocre as always, Spain winning the biggest tournament in the world through an extra time goal from Andres Iniesta and the annoyance of just how frequent people decided to blow into those fucking Vuvuzelas. Away from the pitch, the purists were collecting Panini stickers but for me, I’ve arrived late to the party. As always, I started the collection for the tournament but failed to keep it up throughout hence why I have decided to return to it and finally complete it.

Alongside the world coming together to watch what happened on the pitch, we collected the stickers and listened to K’Naan’s ‘Wavin’ Flag’ (in association with Coca-Cola of course) whilst kicking a ball around at our local pitch and then went home and played the video game (which you can read about here). It’s how we live through the World Cup.

After weeks searching through the depths of the wonderful E-Bay, I finally came across a seller offering 500 stickers, four unopened packets and an album for a reasonable price so of course, I jumped at the chance.

Maybe one day I’ll eventually stick them all into the album but until then, the pile will sit on my desk as I bask in its glory.



[ Retro Gaming ] : 2010 South Africa World Cup

Games that accompany major international tournaments always add to the buzz surrounding the tournament. In 2010, I was 13 years old and at school. With the World Cup being in Africa, the games kicked off ten minutes after school finished (normally) meaning me and my mates pedalled the fastest we possibly could to catch them. What made it more exciting was playing the Fifa World Cup game after following the matches themselves. It added something to the experience of such a renowned and loved event like the World Cup. We could embark on our own journey through the tournament either with a whole team or a player that we created ourselves. It made us feel so much more involved with the global tournament than just simply spectating.

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The game features a tribal and Safari-like design obviously to portray the South African World Cup. The World Cup tournament feature is something I loved because you could take over smaller countries and attempt to topple the footballing giants, which offered intensity and excitement.

Now, looking back, the squads were something I was mostly interested in. I decided to look through the best national teams in the world’s squads and see who was highest rated and who was in the squad itself – Nostalgia at insane levels!

First up, I looked into England and ‘mediocre’ instantly jumped to mind. Aaron Lennon out wide and Emile Heskey upfront. Glen Johnson at right back with Rob Green in net albeit accompanied by John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney. England’s team on the game is like real life: average.


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Next, Germany’s starting XI. Rene Adler was a solid goalkeeper in the line-up, being the highest rated. Miroslav Klose, the eventual all-time leading World Cup goalscorer, led the line with a young Mesut Ozil playing in behind. Michael Ballack was a player who also sat in the middle of midfield.


Brazil is five-time champions of this prestigious tournament so I was obviously going to dive into their squad. Julio Cesar, with an 89 overall, was between the sticks with Lucio and Juan in centre-back. No sign of Thiago Silva yet in the starting XI according to this game. Kaka, Luis Fabiano and Robinho in attack with Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato on the bench alongside Dani Alves. A talented team despite their exit in the quarter-finals to the Netherlands.


The Netherlands went all the way to the final, beating Uruguay and Brazil on their way, with a fairly strong team (especially in comparison to now). Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie and Rafael Van Der Vaart all in the starting line up.


The final team I decided to have a peak at was one of the best international sides football has seen, Spain. Champions of Europe in 2008, eventual champions of the 2010 World Cup and then the European Championships in 2012, this team dominated world football for years and is looked at as one of the strongest teams the game has seen.


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A young Sergio Busquets was included in the squad but wasn’t the highest rated. He then showed incredible form in the years following (as you already know). Fernando Torres and David Villa led the line in this game. An incredible team.

Now, looking past the teams and into actual gameplay itself, the graphics on this game were seen as stupendous back in 2010 and still today, they are good. The inclusion of confetti on the walk out (and the fact it stays on the side of the pitch) adds a little something. The addition of manager cuts is also a nice factor. Marcello Lippi is spot on. Below are a few shots from gameplay showing you what the game looked like.

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Football video games give fans a sense of being involved on-pitch and let them live their dreams of winning titles. This game was something I loved playing alongside watching the games because it added something extra.

Football is a lifestyle. #FOOTBALLISPERMANENT

[Retro Game] : The question is, ‘Can you FIFA 08?’

FIFA throughout my childhood and into teenage years was wonderful. A stress free life, bashing career mode with your mates every night until I hit A-Levels and FIFA had to take a back seat. However, FIFA 08 was during a time I could play it every night without trouble and that’s what I did. A game full of legendary players we now worship and some we still dislike. Cover stars Wayne Rooney and Ronaldinho give some stardom to the game alongside the gameplay itself. I’ve played this game both on PlayStation2 and Xbox 360 and both have impressed.

The opening sequence provides something great, apart from the skill tutorials which I’m not a fan of myself. However, the gameplay footage of Ronaldinho, Rooney and LA Galaxy’s David Beckham improves the title sequence (Xbox 360).

Being the football ‘nerd’ I am, I went straight to look at the squads on my return to this game and I was blown back by nostaglia and happiness. The AC Milan squad is incredible. A midfield of Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf and Kaka line up behind Alberto Gilardino and number 99, Ronaldo.


Not only do Milan have this starting XI with Alessandro Nesta at the heart of the defence, Paolo Maldini, Cafu Alexandra Pato and Filippo Inzaghi sit on the bench for the pre-set FIFA08 line ups. Alongside this, the sibling of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Willy Aubameyang, sits in the reserves.




Across the city of Milan, Inter hosted their own superb line up. Throwback to the days Milan was host to two incredible football teams rather than two mediocre ones like we have today. Hernan Crespo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic lead the line for the Nerazzurri with Patrick Vieira and Luis Figo still in the line up. Sheeesh.


Now moving to Spain. Barcelona have a young Lionel Messi who was still being mentored by the one and only Ronaldinho. Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o play upfront and Yaya Toure and Xavi holding. Real Madrid have a partnership of Raul and Ruud Van Nistelrooy up top, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Robinho in midfield and World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro in defence. El Clasico was exciting in 2008. Ah, this game makes me really, really happy! The nostalgia brewing when playing this game is incredible.



Now, onto career mode. A incredible throwback for myself. In this FIFA, the option to chose a sponsorship deal is still within the game and the transfer system is very simple compared to the recent editions.



FIFA 08 isn’t all good though. I feel the first touches of each player are a bit poor but this could be due to the technology at the time due to recent editions being fine in this area. However, this is still a game you should try and play again. I enjoyed my return to it, you might also. Blow of the dust on your Xbox360/PlayStation and play.