Last Friday the Swiss National Team ended their World Cup with a 0-0 draw with Honduras. Their tournament concluded with a 1-1-1 record, starting with a memorable 1-0 victory over World Cup favorites Spain. I talked with Blaise Nkufo one last time before he joins the Sounders FC in training to talk about his World Cup experience.
Q: What was the last match like? What was the feeling going in knowing that you held your own fate?
Blaise: We were under control after two games with 3 points with the prospective to beat Honduras. Of course the pressure was high, but we were confident. What we missed was the first goal during the first half. We don't have any regrets because the possibility to qualify was there and we gave our best of our self. It was up to us and we did not take the chance.
Q: Obviously not the result you wanted, but how did you feel about the World Cup experience?
Blaise: It was a great experience to play with the best team in the world, I mean the team which deserved to be in South Africa. They showed great character during the qualifications for this World Cup - that makes you proud. Personally, the motive has to be always the victory, you need to deal with the adversity (for example after a bad decision by the referee) and the expectations. Finally, you have to be ready mentally and physically. Football is so brutal, especially when you lose at the World Cup. Everything changes. That was my World Cup experience.
Q: What was the highlight for you? What will stand out most in your memory when you think of the 2010 World Cup?
Blaise: The highlight was the win over Spain. The feeling was fantastic. After that, you think anything is possible. I have really enjoyed each day passed in South Africa. I won't forget the kindness and the commitment of people in any hotels we have been.
Q: Now that the tournament has ended for you, who do you think will win the Cup?
Blaise: I still think that Spain will win the World Cup. Spain plays attacking football, they have great players, they know how to deal with the expectations and the pressure. At the end of the day, they would like to confirm their success two years after their victory in the European Cup. However, I won't forget Brazil.
Q: I think every Sounders FC fan wants to know - when do you plan to join the team in training?
Blaise: I plan to join the team as soon as possible. I am really excited to wear the Sounders jersey.