As African soccer teams enter the final round of the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil, I'm taking a quick look at the ten teams. By the way, Southern Africa is not just absent from the tournament, but also absent from the top 10. But that is a matter for another time:
Algeria: Humm, Fennec? I am not sure. What I know about this team is that they are keen on winning without having to do the work: sort of "by hook or crook". Great football nation with some of Africa's greatest fans. But it does appear that they bring out their game when they play neighbouring countries.. If they make it to the final 5, how far can they go? How well can they play?
Burkina Faso: I want the Stallions in. Bancé needs to scare some people on a global level.. They have the fastest growing fan base in Africa. The President is a huge fan too and does not hide it. They did so well in the last African Cup of Nations and as Vice-Champions, I just wish for them to have greater opportunities to taste the world cup. They have never been there.. and it will be HUGE if they make it to Brasil.
Cameroon: Are the teeth that have been lost grown back? Eto'o has announced he is done with the team. Have the leadership issues been sorted? I think there is something wrong with the Indomitable Lions and that needs to be sorted out first. Otherwise, they may end up in Brasil and be the "scandal team", like France was in South Africa 2010. I still have my cherished dreams from the Roger Milla days, when we danced Makossa.. and Cameroon used to bring shivers.. but those days are gone.
Cape Verde: Oh please!! This is one team that should go to Brasil. The team is young, the coach looks like a basketball player, and the players have vibes, style and swag. The Blue Sharks gave us so much thrills in their African Cup of Nations outing that I just want them in Brasil.. to heat up the game!
Côte d'Ivoire: Humm. What can I say? The elephants are in a sort of "end of generation". Their qualification is most probable. Didier Drogba needs to be in Brasil. We need soccer artistes.. people who do "zouglou" and "couper-decaler" with football. It does not seem that the level of the elephants has gone up since they played finals agains Egypt.. but hey! The expression that summarises my feelings is what they say in Côte d'Ivoire "L'éléphant, c'est un animal qui trompe". It says the elephant is an animal that "trompe", a word which means "trumpet" and "deceive" at the same time. Yes, the elephant trumpets: make a hell of a noise, gathers dust, scares adversaries.. but does not satisfy at the final run. Something akin to what someone said about the Holland team: a bra with lots of support and no cup!!
Ethiopia: The team is still learning. But is that positive or negative? Actually I dont know much about the team, but the only reason Ethiopia needs to go to the World Cup, for me, will be to show off the beauties!! Those Ethiopian girls rock. It will be good to have some awesomely beautiful Ethiopians give a run to the Brasilian ladies for their beauty.
Ghana: These days, Black Stars seem to be stuck in a third-place kind of situation. I dont know how this will play out.. but if Ghana can place 3rd in Brasil.. then that will be HUGE. Plus, Asamoa Gyan needs to clear that missed penalty in a "world cup match". So I am in favour of Ghana making the list.
Nigeria: Okay, being African champions is not enough. I was fairly disappointed at the Confederation Cup outing of the Eagles. But I will say Keshi deserves to be in Brasil. He has worked for it.
Senegal: These Lions give me the yikes. I'm not sure of them on the discipline end. Soccer is not just the game, but if you are going to Brasil as an African team, you need to represent the continent well. I'm not sure here.
We will go to Brasil.
We will come with the vuvzelas
And we will dance to the African beats..