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.

 

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[ 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.

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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.

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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.

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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