Have to give props to Spain, who became only the 5th of I believe the last 50 teams to lose their opening match and manage to bounce back and qualify for the knockout stage. Also a nice pick me up for a country fresh off this tragedy.
Senoras, bienvenudos al segundo grupo de partidos del copa mundial 2010!
The World Cup obviously better for having the best team in the playoffs. I still think they will win, but then I'm pigeon-holed aren't I: I picked them to win World Cup 2006(fail), picked them to win Euro2008(win), so why change now that they are the best team in the world when I was on the bandwagon before it even had wheels?
Finally, don't believe the hype that Europe's World Cup is a disappointment. If you watch alot, then it was no surprise that France & Italy were the 2 shakiest Eurpoean name teams, and it's not too big a surprise they are out.
It is a well known fact that European teams have won 9 of the 10 World Cups held on European soil (and non-powerhouse Sweden made it to the 1958 final on home soil before losing to Brasil), yet have never won a World Cup held outside of Europe. However, in Spain, Holland, and Germany they have 3 teams still entirely capable of winning the tournament outright, and in Portugal and England they have 2 more teams that could make a deep run (but I don't think they will)
Western Europe has not fallen yet.