Teams come to the World Cup with different aspirations.

For some teams the main aim is to play well and be a credit to their country.

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert said, after his team had snatched a last gasp equalizer against Slovakia, that this was the ‘greatest’ result in New Zealand football history.

His team’s fantastic draw against World Champion’s Italy will now be ‘the greatest result ever’ in New Zealand World Cup history.

And so it should be. It is great to see the bookmakers’ odds of 16-1 for an Italian 5-0 victory being made to look ridiculous. Bookmakers never lose, however!

Other teams like Italy and England are castigated for similar results because they are in South Africa to win the tournament.

The same goes for referees.

Some referees come to a World Cup to referee a single match, hopefully successfully, and forever be recognised as a World Cup referee.

They can then go home satisfied.

Other referees come to a World Cup to referee the Final match.

They are FIFA’s elite referees.

Depending on the teams involved, their performances and how successful their own national team is in the tournament, one of this group of possibly no more than eight referees will referee the Final  at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on 11th July 2010.

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