The 19th World Cup Finals kick-off in just seven days, and the impending five week surge of ill-informed tabloid jingoism is tantalisingly within reach. Trying hard to not get carried away, but gnawing at the rope which tethers him to his kennel with excitement nevertheless is Dotmund, who today completes his in-depth look at the runners and riders for South Africa 2010. Today, a sneaky peak at the reigning European champions, a second-time Central American qualifier, a team from a country with a lot of cheese in and a team from a country which is quite long and thin.
For many people, major sports tournaments are the only occasion that national anthems are heard. These peculiar tunes have become a genre of their own, transcending the mere hymns that many of them were in first place, and they range from the gloriously uplifting to mournful dirges. The selection of words has, in many countries, brought about national debate that has been all-encompassing. In the case of Spain, it was decided that it would probably be for the best just to not bother having any for the sake of national unity.