New Zealand is back at the World Cup following a 28-year absence as the All Whites capitalized on Australia’s move to Asia by winning their Oceania section and then defeating Bahrain in a two-legged play-off back in November. They enter the tournament as huge underdogs and anything positive that they can achieve in Group F alongside Italy, Paraguay, and Slovakia will be considered a superb achievement. Getting to the tournament was the goal and anything extra in South Africa will seen as a success. But, with nothing to lose could New Zealand spring a surprise or two?
TALE OF THE TAPE
FIFA Ranking: 78th
World Cup Appearances: 1 (1982)
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 0-0-3
Best World Cup Finish: Group Stage
Road To South Africa: Oceania Qualifier, Defeated Bahrain in Play-off
Morning everyone! Thanks to all who have visited the site in the last couple days. We have received some wonderful feedback on the Fabio Lopez Interview. If you haven’t seen it check it out below. Some exciting stuff is in the works as well for next week. Australian National Team captain Jason Culina was kind enough to give us an interview and we will also look at the state of football in Liechtenstein as well and in true One Game, One World style probably throw in a surprise to the mix.
Anyway enough of that, let’s go to today’s Morning Kick-Off.
You are probably asking yourself what the heck does that mean. Well, I came across this fantastic story about a couple of English guys who were looking to do a football documentary on a place unspoiled by the greed and riches of the English Premier League. They ended up in Pohnpei, one of the four islands in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Gorgeous Scenery From Pohnpei
To make a long story short, the two men in question, Journalist Paul Watson and filmmaker Matthew Conrad became coach and assistant coach respectively of the Pohnpei national side, a team that is not affiliated with FIFA at the moment and that has never won a competitive fixture.
The work that is being done by these two is absolutely fantastic and refreshing in this day and age where some players make hundreds of thousands of dollars, pounds, and euros a week. This is a super story right up our ally at OGOW and we will be giving you an exclusive scoop on it sometime this month. Continue reading
Jailed in Singapore, stones thrown at him by an angry mob in Albania, and cheating death in England. It all sounds like the life of an international spy rather than a footballer. Lutz Pfannenstiel however is not your everyday player. The German goalkeeper has the distinction of being the only man to have played at the professional level on every continent (excluding Antarctica of course, though there are still plans for that..read on!).
So one can imagine that a career spanning nearly two decades and 25 clubs brings with it some unique experiences. And that is exactly what Pfannenstiel relayed to us at One Game, One World when we spoke to him recently.
Now in Namibia as player coach of Ramblers FC and goalkeeper coach for the Namibian national side, Pfannenstiel has not lost any of his desire for football. At first glance it might seem that his career took a path similar to if you spun a globe around and stopped it with your finger 25 times or so. However, upon listening to Pfannenstiel, who has played in nearly 400 matches in his career, you don’t get the ravings of a madman, but rather the inspirational football musings of a true globetrotting legend. Continue reading