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2010 World Cup - Who will win?

Average: 3.7 (10 votes)

Unless you've been living on the moon for the last few months, you'll know that the Fifa World Cup kicks-off today in South Africa.

Thirty-two nations will compete, in a total of 64 games, with the competition culminating in a 11 July final. Because so many countries are involved, the competition is as much a cultural event as a sporting one. The global TV audience for the tournament will be made up of viewers in more than 215 countries and will run into hundreds of millions.

This will be the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation and South Africa are pulling out all the stops to make sure it will be one of the best ever; five new stadiums have been built for the tournament, five of the existing venues were upgraded and transport infrastructure was improved.

Spain are favourites to lift the trophy with Brazil close-behind, but who can write-off the hosts, South Africa or the holders, Italy? Will there be a fairy-tale ending with one of the "smaller" nations like New Zealand or North Korea going all the way?

With three games a day coming up over the couple of weeks, it's going to be hard work to try and catch them all - we can expect lots workers to be suddenly calling in sick!

Key words

culminating - coming to completion / climax; ending
run into - (phrasal verbs) to reach a particular cost or amount, as a total
pull out all the stops - (idiom) to do everything you can to make something successful
favourite - (adjective) a competitor thought likely to win, usually used in sports gambling
write off - (phrasal verbs) to consider as a loss or failure
fairy-tale ending - a happy, but very unlikely ending
call in sick - to telephone work or school to say you are ill and will not be there

Is your country involved? Who do you think will win and why? I'm going for Argentina to win (even though they have a crazy coach). Leave your answers below!