It’s less than four days away and football fans all over the world are like kids at Christmas.
The 2010 Fifa World Cup begins on Friday as hosts South Africa take on Mexico in Johannesburg.
The Rainbow Nation will have to perform miracles to reach the second group stage, but there’s only one team on the pundits’ lips in terms of favourites.
Spain broke a 44-year hoodoo when they clinched the European Championship two years ago, and it’s widely expected that they will be the standout side in the sub continent this month.
With a nucleus of Barcelona-bred midfielders alongside devastating strikers Fernando Torres and David Villa, as well as the world’s best goalkeeper Ilker Casillas, Vincente Del Bosque’s squad have overtaken five-time winners Spain as bookmakers stack the odds in their favour.
Indeed, despite going down 1-0 to a stubborn and determined USA in 2009’s Confederations Cup, the perennial World Cup underachievers have a record of just one defeat in 25 games under his stewardship.
Villa looks hotly-tipped to claim the Golden Boot prize, but the more likely option is that Brazil’s Luis Fabiano will be have the individual trinket on his mantelpiece come July.
Having won the Euros with such confidence 24 months ago, and with a growing confidence in their camp, the early betting is going on Del Bosque’s men.
But will what is surely the best, in terms of quality, team hold their nerve to lift the Jules Rimet in Soccer City on Sunday, July 11?
Bookies Totesport have them at 4/1 to do just that.
Spain begin their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on Wednesday, June 16 at 3pm, live on the BBC.