Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guide to the World Cup: The Countries

We hate to pick favorites here at Afropop, but when it comes to the World Cup, it's understandable that we particularly like countries with rich musical traditions tied to Africa and the diaspora. That means South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Algeria, Ghana, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, Mexico, and of course the United States. In addition to prowess on the pitch, these countries all have unique troves of musical talent. A guide to our favorite countries playing in the World Cup, musically and soccer...ly, below.


Basic overview of the World Cup:
  • 32 teams qualified after extensive competition to get in
  • Teams divided into eight groups of four
  • Each team plays each other team in their group once (6/11-6/25)
  • Two teams from each group move onto second round (6/26-6/29)
  • After quarter finals (7/2-7/3) and semi finals (7/6-7/7), two teams move onto finals
  • In the finals (7/11, 2:30 EST), they're playing for four years of bragging rights and that beautiful gold trophy



Now... the teams:

South Africa
  • Nickname: Bafana Bafana (The Boys)
  • Odds of winning: 150/1
  • Who'll they'll play: Mexico (6/11), Uruguay (6/16), and France (6/22)
  • Stars on the pitch: Steven Pienaar, Benni McCarthy
  • Stars on the stage: Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Vusi Mahlasela, Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, Soul Brothers, Lucky Dube, Brenda Fassie, Juluka, Blk Jks
  • Watch & listen:


Cameroon
  • Nickname: Lions Indomptables (Indomitable Lions)
  • Odds of winning: 125/1
  • Who they'll play: Japan (6/14), Denmark (6/19), Netherlands (6/24)
  • Stars on the pitch: Samuel Eto’o, Alexandre Song
  • Stars on the stage: Henri Dikongue, Manu Dibongo, Richard Bona, Zap Mama, Francis Bebey

  • Watch & listen:


Nigeria
  • Nickname: Super Eagles
  • Odds of winning: 150/1
  • Who they'll play: Argentina (6/12), Greece (6/17), South Korea (6/21)
  • Stars on the pitch: Peter Odemwingie
  • Stars on the stage: Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Tony Allen, King Sunny Ade, Kotoja, Dr. Sir Warrior, Adewale Ayuba
  • Watch & listen:


Cote D'Ivoire
  • Nickname: Les Éléphants (The Elephants)
  • Odds of winning: 40/1
  • Who they'll play: Portugal (6/15), Brazil (6/20), North Korea (6/25)
  • Stars on the pitch: Didier Drogba, Salamon Kalou, Kadeir Kaita
  • Stars on the stage: Alpha Bondy, Dobet Gnahoré, Les Go
  • Watch & listen:


Algeria
  • Nickname: Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes)
  • Odds of winning: 700/1
  • Who they'll play: Slovenia (6/13), England (6/18), U.S. (6/23)
  • Stars on the pitch: Antar Yahia
  • Stars on the stage: Cheb Mami, Cheb Khaled, Moh Alileche, Souad Massi
  • Watch & listen:


Ghana
  • Nickname: The Black Stars
  • Odds of winning: 100/1
  • Who they'll play: Serbia (6/13), Australia (6/19), Germany (6/23)
  • Stars on the pitch: Dominic Adiyiah, Asamoah Gyan, Andre Dede Ayew Pele
  • Stars on the stage: Smilin' Osei, Seprewa Kasa, Dr. Victor Olaiya
  • Listen:


Brazil
  • Nickname: Seleção (The Selection)
  • Odds of winning: 9/2
  • Who they'll play: North Korea (6/15), Ivory Coast (6/20), Portugal (6/25)
  • Stars on the pitch: Luis Fabiano, Kaka
  • Stars on the stage: Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Alceu Valença, Beth Carvalho, Jorge Benjor, Chico Buarque, Kiko Klaus, Suba
  • Watch & listen:


Argentina
  • Nickname: Albicelestes (White and Sky Blue)
  • Odds of winning: 7/1
  • Who they'll play: Nigeria (6/12), South Korea (6/17), Greece (6/22)
  • Stars on the pitch: Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano
  • Stars on the stage: Charly Garcia, Julio Iglesias, Eduardo Falú, Astor Piazzolla
  • Watch & listen:


Honduras
  • Nickname: La H (The H)
  • Odds of winning: 1000/1
  • Who they'll play: Chile (6/16), Spain (6/21), Switzerland (6/25)
  • Stars on the pitch: Carlos Pavon
  • Stars on the stage: Guillermo Anderson, Rafael Coello Ramos
  • Watch & listen:


Mexico
  • Nickname: El Tri (after the three colours or “tricolor” on the Mexican flag)
  • Odds of winning: 100/1
  • Who they'll play: South Africa (6/11), France (6/17), Uruguay (6/22)
  • Stars on the pitch: Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Rafael Marquez
  • Stars on the stage: Maná, Vicente Fernández, Banda La Michoacana
  • Watch & listen:


United States
  • Nickname: The Yanks
  • Odds of winning: 80/1
  • Who'll they'll play: England (6/12), Slovenia (6/18), Algeria (6/23)
  • Stars on the pitch: Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey
  • Stars on the stage: I think you guys know this one...
  • Watch & listen:




Keep coming back for additional music features, tips on where to watch in NYC, featured match-ups, news from South Africa, and more!
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