E.Sports Executive Producer and Anchor, Yaw Ampofo-Ankrah was among the 84,100 crowd that witnessed the 2010 Fifa World Cup Final between Holland and Spain and shares his thoughts on a record breaking night at Soccer City.
What a night! A night that started with lights and dazzling pyrotechnics. A night that ended with tears of joy and pain. A night that had two winners; Spain and South Africa.
The long list of over 300 special dignitaries included the iconic Nelson Mandela accompanied by his wife Graca Machel, President Jacob Zuma, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Muzi of Swaziland and actor Morgan Freeman.
Long before the scenes of joy and pain and the sea of red and orange, there was pomp, pageantry,razzmatazz, music and acts of simple yet breathtaking artistic creativity.
Long before Andres Iniesta scored with four minutes left in extra time to give Spain their first World Cup title, there was the question of who would carry the day? Who could have dared imagined that the answer had already been provided by an OCTOPUS?
In referee Howard Webb, there was no telling what the Englishman,90 minutes plus potential extra time and dreaded shoot out would produce. It was billed as the pioneers of 'total football' versus the 'perfectors of the art'. The blazing 'oranje' of Holland against the Red Fury or La Fura Roja of Spain. In the end, the winner might well have been an octopus named Paul....said to have psychic powers.
Commentators in Spain have jokingly asked Spanish football officials to present a winners medal to Paul the octupus for 'his' predictory instincts that dealt a mental block to the dutch on Friday night when the much hyped two -year old creature stuck to the red and yellow flag of Spain.
Whilst many have dismissed the predictions as a media circus, there are interesting facts we must not ignore. Paul afterall predicted ALL of Germany's six World Cup games correctly. The cephalopod, based at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, decided that Spain would win the final by going for the mussel in the box with a Spanish flag rather than the one with a Dutch flag on it.
The finals may not have been the end to end spectacle with spectacular goals most experts had predicted, but perhaps these words by the 8th Fifa President Joseph Sepp Blatter sums it all up.
"It was a very attractive World Cup and for me it was also a very emotional World Cup,"
When i arrived here in South Africa on Sunday 6th June with the rest of the e.Ghana crew, there was an unmistakable scent of anticipation that stung the senses through the early morning Johannesburg breeze. Yes we all had hopes for our dear Black Stars and quiet optimism for the African continent. But little did we know what was in store for this incredible World Cup on African soil.
After the dust settles and everyone returns home, only two nations will proudly hold the bragging rights that can never be denied when the history of the World Cup is recounted. South Africa as proud hosts of the first ever African World Cup and Spain the winners of the most prized title in World Football.
Did i say only two nations? Well ofcourse Ghana's Black Stars made it to the quarterfinals and also made history. After the tremendous supports the team has recieved, the question remains; Will coach Milovan Rajevach stay or walk?
By Yaw Ampofo Ankrah