Johannesburg: The world will go Spainish after the FIFA World Cup finals tonight, so hopes the Waka Waka girl Shakira, who is rooting for her team Spain to beat the Netherlands in the ‘Grand Finale’ at Soccer City here on Sunday.
The Colombian beauty, who is all set to give a stellar performance during the closing ceremony before the final kicks off, though appreciates the “very good football” played by Holland, but desperately hopes that ‘OctoPaul’ gets his prophecy right yet again.
“I have to confess that, Hispanic as I am, it is my moral duty to support the Spanish team. Partly the reason is also because I have a few friends in the Spanish side,” Shakira said at a media conference on Saturday. “I hope Paul’s prediction is right,” added the Colombian singer.
Admiring the courage displayed by the Dutch side throughout the tournament, Shakira said she is hoping to witness a “well-contested final”.
“The Dutch haven’t lost one match throughout the tournament. That shows they have been in great form. But I feel Spain are playing some really good football and look favourites to me,” Shakira said.
She confessed that the World Cup has made her a “crazy” football fan. “I never imagined the first thing I would do in the morning is to read the sports pages of a newspaper. This World Cup has surely driven me closer towards football,” Shakira said.
“I love the way David Villa scores the goals and feel Gerard Pique’s is very strong in defence. Also, Wesley Sneijder is pretty good,” she said, rather enthusiastically.
Shakira, who performed during the opening ceremony concert of the World Cup on June 10, will perform the World Cup anthem Waka Waka during the 30-minute closing ceremony.
“Waka means to shine in Swahili, which is one of the many languages spoken in Africa. Every player wants to shine at the World Cup so I find this song very appropriate to the event,” she said. “The FIFA concert was a very emotional experience for me and I hope Sunday evening will be much, much better,” she signed off.
She was also charmed by immigration officials, who performed the Waka Waka dance with her when she arrived, she said. “It’s amazing what this World Cup has done. It’s a perfect combination of hope, joy and celebration. You must remember that South Africa has overcome so many barriers to host the tournament. I have never seen so many smiling people ever in my life. Everything is just so inspiring,” she said.
The other artistes at the ceremony include multiple Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jozi, Stoan Seate, Slikour, Zuluboy, Abigail Kubeka, Theo Kgosinkwe, Afrikaans artists Nianell and flutist Wouter, Nigeria’s 2Face, Ghana’s Samini and popular local traditional group Ihashi Elimhlophe.