The World Cup 2010 opening ceremony starts at 2 pm EST. Here's what you can expect, with a preview video of Shakira performing the World Cup theme song 'Waka Waka.'
LIONEL MESSI (Argentina): Shy, only 22, and already considered the best soccer player in the world, he’s a magician with the ball. You’ll need slow motion to keep track of his footwork once he starts weaving through opponents inside the box. He scored one goal in his first World Cup appearance, in 2006, which also made him, at age 18, the youngest player to play for Argentina in the World Cup. “Messi is a creature as biologically adapted to play football as a shark is to smell blood, a salmon to swim upstream, a squirrel to gather nuts,” says the London Times. He plays professionally for Barcelona. Soccer fans in Pretoria, South Africa, wave to Messi and teammate Juan Sebastian Veron during practice on June 6.
International guidance helped strengthen US soccer. It could improve the US Supreme Court nomination process, too.
Sunday's World Cup stampede during a friendly between Nigeria and North Korea injured more than a dozen people, but officials say this will not be a problem at any of the tournament's official matches.
Five-year-old girls dance on the shoulders of women during the 'Coca' celebration in Redondela, in rural northeastern Spain, Sunday. The tradition of dancing with daughters on the shoulders is taken from a local legend, believed to originate from the Middle Ages, about two women who were saved from a dragon by dancing in this manner. The children are dressed in traditional costumes called 'Penlas'.
FIFA, the world's governing body of soccer, said 150,000 additional World Cup tickets will be available Friday for next month's tournament in South Africa.
A Palestinian boy runs through an alley in Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday.
The German soccer federation announced Monday that national team captain and star midfielder Michael Ballack will miss next month's World Cup 2010 due to an ankle injury.
As the host country of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa may be heading down a path towards long-term debt.