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World Cup 2010: Superb soccer crosses all borders

Climax of world's biggest sports tourney brings all nationalities together.

Although a record six African countries qualified for the World Cup, only Ghana made it through the first round, and then beat the United States in a tight match, to move on to the quarterfinals. The Ghanaians then lost in an incredibly close match against Uruguay, in which a Ghana goal was stopped by a Uruguayan handball. Ghana was awarded a penalty kick but failed to score and went on to lose a penalty shootout.

Nigeria's team did not fare well, losing two matches and tieing one to go out in the first round. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was so disgusted that he announced Nigeria would withdraw from all international soccer competition for two years in order to get its house in order. FIFA intervened to get Jonathan to reverse his decree. Nigeria is relying on special schools for young soccer players to build up its national talent.

Zimbabwe did not succeed in its hopes to cash in on the World Cup by attracting tourists from neighboring South Africa. It seems President Robert Mugabe's dictatorship frightened off potential visitors.

Germany, which reached the semi-finals, fielded a team which highlighted the country's new ethnic and racial diversity.

On the lighter side, everyone knows that World Cup soccer hotties have been featured in their underwear on the covers of glossy magazines. But GlobalPost took a unique perspective and showed the World Cup's 10 least sexy soccer players.

And now that the World Cup is coming to a close, why not read GlobalPost's Insiders' Guide to the 32 teams that started in the tournament one month ago and then take our quiz to see how much you know about the soccer tournament?

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/africa/100710/world-cup-2010-superb-soccer-crosses-all-borders