1. Ireland were there… oh no, wait, we weren’t. Thanks, Thierry.
2. It gave us two of the all-time great World Cup anthems
The official song — Shakira’s Waka Waka.
And the unofficial one — K’naan’s Waving Flag.
3. Before the first ball was kicked, there was controversy
The Jabulani, which cost a few quid to develop, was slammed as a beach ball.
4. Siphiwe Tshabalala got the tournament off to a stonking start
5. And we fell in love with the hosts as they celebrated – Bafana Bafana, baby!
6. Just leave the vuvuzelas at home the next time, please
7. ITV cut to an ad break and missed England’s first goal of the tournament
8. Unfortunately for Rob Green, they didn’t miss his absolute howler
9. Maicon re-wrote the laws of geometry to score against North Korea
10. Favourites Spain lost their opening game to Switzerland
Gelson Fernandes’ goal was one of only two that the miserly Spanish defence conceded in the entire tournament
11. Rooney gave the England fans a piece of his mind
12. Kader Keita took himself off Kaka’s Christmas card list
Source: Jason Southard/YouTube
13. There was mutiny in the French camp (what’s new?)
Nicolas Anelka was sent home for aiming some choice language at coach Raymond Domenech — and then in protest, his team-mates refused to train.
14. Ronaldo fluked one in Portugal’s 7-0 win over North Korea
But at least he had the decency to celebrate with a smile, rather than by ripping his shirt off.
15. Yakubu took his place in the World Cup hall of shame with this miss
“Unmissable,” said Alan Hansen. “The worst miss I’ve ever seen,” said Alan Shearer.
16. Emmanuel Eboue revealed that he apparently speaks Korean
17. A psychic octopus looked into the future
18. England crashed out against Germany — but all anyone wanted to talk about was Lampard’s ghost goal
Looks over the line to me.
19. Don’t forget that Mesut Özil made Gareth Barry look like an old man too
Source: Kuckus Mumu/YouTube
20. In fact, Özil was pure class for the entire tournament
Source: raveesh jaggi/YouTube
21. Carlos Tevez scored this scandalously offside goal against Mexico in the last 16
22. And then a few minutes later, Gabi Heinze gave the camera man a puck
Watch where you’re walking, Gabi!
23. Luis Suarez cheated tournament darlings Ghana out of a place in the semis…
24. And cried as he went off the pitch…
25. But Asamoah Gyan whacked his penalty off the crossbar…
26. An entire continent wept…
27. And Suarez celebrated like nobody’s business as Uruguay went through in the shootout
28. After ripping England to shreds, Germany did the same to Argentina in the quarters
29. But Jogi Löw’s men found one team too good — Spain
Carles Puyol headed them out of the tournament in the semis.
30. Nelson Mandela took his seat for the World Cup final between Spain and Holland
31. Somehow, Howard Webb didn’t think that Nigel de Jong deserved a red card for this “tackle” on Xabi Alonso
32. Arjen Robben must still have nightmares about this moment
Source: Arash Borhani/YouTube
33. Andres Iniesta kept a cool head
Source: Neda Azadi/YouTube
34. And celebrated with a touching tribute to Espanyol captain Dani Jarque who died suddenly in 2009
His t-shirt read “Dani Jarque siempre con nosotros” (Dani Jarque, always with us)
35. Iker Casillas stopped by for a post-match interview with girlfriend Sara Carbonero
“O madre mia,” indeed, Sara.
36. Manchester United reject Diego Forlan won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player
37. And at long last, Spain were the champions of the world