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What kind of World Cup?

South Africa’s tournament will not be like Germany in 2006. We’re going to the southern hemisphere—where most of the world lives and things work differently

Once, there was something mysterious about World Cups. In a world without satellite television or the internet, we lived on meagre rations of foreign football. Every four years, players, styles and moves appeared, enchantingly, out of nowhere. Now, we have access to almost the entirety of global football, and many of those players are in Britain. Before cheap air travel, attending a football match in a foreign country was a complex adventure which few fans could afford. It wasn’t much easier for the teams—it took the Yugoslavs three weeks to sail to Uruguay in 1930. In 1954, the South Koreans’…

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