June 18th, 2010

World Cup ‘Ballers On Breaks: South African Adventures

Ferreira World Cup 2010

In between the first week of World Cup action, a few of the national squads took a football timeout to do good deeds (or, in Paolo Ferreira’s case, look cute while fending off jacket-eating wildlife.)


World Cup 2010Hugo Lloris was just one of the  seemingly less-than-enthused France NT players who visited the Dam Se Bos township last Sunday. Despite being chosen by the city of Knysna to help local residents inaugurate their new football pitch – a thank you for hosting the French and Danish national teams during the tournament -  Andre-Pierre Gignac and a few other compatriots wore their longest faces during the day trip.

Why so?

France national team 2010 WCWell, we’ll tell you.

The squad is peeved at their own country’s sports minister -  Rama Yade – for publicly ridiculing their posh South African pads. For the initial half of the tournament, Les Bleus are staying at a resort in Knysna which overlooks the Indian Ocean. Yade, who also paid a visit to the town’s youth separately, felt the accommodations lacked “decency” during an economic crisis.

France national football teamFrance NTNot everyone was down on their luck, though. Florent Malouda managed some hand gestures and a smile as he posed with his posse, and Thierry Henry helped Patrice Evra muster up a playful pout during the trip.


Portuguese Soccer FederationTwo days before the WC began, Cristiano Ronaldo and the team’s head coaches took time out of their training schedules for a Nelson Mandela meet and greet. Not too shabby.

Back at base camp that same day, Pedro Mendes, Ricardo Rocha, Paulo Ferreira, Rolando, Daniel Fernandes, Danny and Beto visited a wildlife park.


England's midfielder Joe Cole poses during a photoshoot at the  Royal Bafokeng Sports CampusJust this past Monday, Matthew Upson and Michael Dawson paid a visit to the SOS Children’s Village project.

Prior to that, Joe Cole stood on a rock.

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13 Responses to “World Cup ‘Ballers On Breaks: South African Adventures”

  1. Amy says:

    Apparently the French sports minister was staying at an even MORE expensive hotel, so the French media had their “oh snap!” moment

  2. aristeia says:

    Still not as awesome as when the Italians went to SA for the Confed Cup and frolicked w/ lion cubs. We’ve got to start getting some more pics like that coming in soon…. can’t we get like, Crouchie w/ a giraffe or something?

  3. Liz says:

    LOL Joe Cole stood on a rock.

  4. CLB says:

    For the sake of all South Africans, it would be worthy to note that, while we are abundant with diverse wildlife, we are civilised here in South Africa. We do have tarred roads, electricity, running water and good infrastructure systems :) We don’t have lions and elephants living in our backyards (thank god) :) Many people seem to think otherwise because they just don’t know.

    • gunners4eva says:

      thank you so much for posting this! Im also south african and sometimes the belief of some people that we all have to hunt for our food with spears gets a bit much. Its great that the teams are visiting all the impoverished areas. Go malouda for actually looking happy! He probably made those kids' day :)

  5. Gastrominosaurus Rex says:

    I've been to that wildlife park, it's the Rhino and Lion Park in Fourways, a suburb of Johannesburg. Not only can you stalk famous footballers, but you can also pet baby lion cubs! It's win-win!

  6. C16 says:

    Awww! Cute, all of them!

  7. mimi says:

    the last sentence just cracked me up…
    reminds me of the hilarious old spice commercial ending, ”I’m on a horse”

  8. Lolinha says:

    Ferreira clearly does not have an Italian's magic touch. That lion got ripped off and he knows it. His pack is probably still reminiscing about the entire (lush) Italian Nt during the Confederations cup and this little fella has to make do with some puffed up Portuguese.

    Remember this: http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0dTlehsfidfZB… and this: http://www.fifa.com/mm/photo/tournament/competiti… ,

  9. Mariam says:

    the french team is unhappy because they knew they were going to lose because they can't play like a team. on a lighter not, the lion cub it so sweet!!! but i think the Portuguese team came out with a win, to meet Mandela!?!?!? thats priceless. anyone can take a safari. england is also doing a good thing too,

    • Ana;) says:

      lol thats just what I was going to say!! The French team knew nothing was going to work out.

  10. Nikki says:

    That lion cub is such a cutie pie , I wouldn't mind if it ate my jacket lol ! Also well in to the England squad to go to the SOS children's village , making a difference . I love it when football do their part for the community .

  11. Homeskillet17 says:

    awww! look at that lion cub! aww!!!