world cup south africa 2010 and neurosurgery

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    Acarunantplabechumiliated throughgoals. Another reason for success of this sport isthat there is no correlation between economic and cultural develop-ment of a given country and its playing abilities. A small, developingcountry canwin over a large, developed country, which increases thedesire to practice the game of soccer.




    Tbeas physical abilities permit. There are national and international,youth, adolescent, professional, and veteran tournaments that havegreat acceptance. As has occurred with most sports, soccer was rstplayed by men only because it was considered a rough activity andwas banned for women. Today, soccer is a popular activity among

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    WOFrom the Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital de Especialidades del CentroMedico Nacional Siglo XXI, Mexico City, Mexico

    hom correspondence should be addressed: Gerardo Guinto Balanzar, M.D.ail:]

    Citation: World Neurosurg. (2010) 74, 2/3:231-232.DOI: 10.1016/j.wneu.2010.07.029

    Journal homepage:

    Available online:

    1878-8750/$ - see front matter 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    RLD NEUROSURGERY 74 [2/3]: 231-232, AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2010 231orld Cup South Africa 2010 and Neurosurgrardo Guinto Balanzar

    e SoccerWorld Cup South Africa 2010, one of themost importanternational sporting events, took place recently. This is a uniquent because a single sport becomes a social, cultural, economic,political phenomenon, uniting billions of people worldwide.occer is such a popular sport because it can be played virtuallywhere as it does not require special equipment: One ball, a play-eld, and two players is enough to begin the game. Another

    son for the popularity of soccer is that the rules are very simple,oring its quick learning.he rst Soccer World Cup took place in Uruguay in 1930 withticipation of a small group of specially invited teams. Since then,World Cup has taken place every 4 years using a selection systemed on a long and complex competition scheme that occursnths before the World Cup and in different geographic areas. Atpresent time, 32 countries are able to participate in the World

    p competition. The teams enthusiastically prepare to achieveir best playing level to obtain a privileged place according to therld classication. Teams from countries that historically haveyed a protagonist role are pressured by their fans at such a levelt if they do not obtain rst place during theWorldCup, they areply disappointed and are subjected to severe criticism until theirt World Cup participation. Only rst place is worth the effortthese national selections.lthough the World Cup is an athletic competition, it is usually

    ried beyond this concept. Nationalism is aroused because teamiforms often include colors from national ags, and nationalhems are played before each match. This nationalism also ex-ins the high popularity of this event because the playing eldomes a battleeld where the opponent is to be conquered andGerardo Guinto Balanzar, M.D.President, Mexican Society of Neurological SurgeryProfessor and Chairman, Hospital de Especialidades

    del Centro Medico Nacional Siglo XXI

    he key for success in this discipline remains elusive because thet team does not always obtain the greatest victory. It is not suf-nt to have popular athletes among the team because teamworktters most for success. Strategy plays an essential role, and allm members should understand and apply it and adapt it accord-to the conditions of each match. The primary purpose is a col-

    tive victory; personal luster should be sacriced in many casesause the team wins as a whole.nother factor that determines success in this sport ismental andotional control from each player, who must act appropriately atright time. Sometimes, in fractionsof a second, decisionsmaybede that can imply victory or defeat. Control of emotions is also aisive factor: The team able to remain calm and act at the rightment usually becomes the winner. Also, because soccer is a con-t sport, there are frequent personal provocations, either verbal orysical, whichmay generate penalties that favor the opposing teameven lead to a players expulsion, and this can noticeably reduce ams possibilities for success. The winning team knows how torcome these situations, leading to the expression that soccer isyed with the feet but won with the should be a leader for each team in the playing eld, andt is the player who is absolutely respected by his teammatesause of his playing abilities and his attitudes within and outsideplaying eld. This player also transmits the indications of thech during the match to his teammates and provides his ownections that change accordingly to match is no age or gender discrimination for playing soccer. It can

    practiced from early childhood and can be continued for as long

  • women, and Womens World Championship matches have recentlybeen approved.

    TTrathegreWoSouablSpetheSoumademways of life in different regions of Africa. The organization of thisevent also represents a great economic success because it is followedclosely almost worldwide and becomes a highly appreciated public-ity product where everyone winsorganizers, players, media com-pan



    geon becomes the team leader who will be responsible for identify-ing the strategy to follow for each case and adapt it accordingly to

    countries can participate in forums and interact with other special-ists from countries with more advanced technologic development.This event also has a social importance because it allows communi-cations among neurosurgeons and their families, which helps tocreglotanicaticialloretW








    23ies, travel agencies, and tourist destinations.t is possible to nd several parallels between the World Cup andrld neurosurgical activity. Neurosurgery is one area of medicinet at present has experienced greater development worldwide.ching centers for this specialty receive an increasing number oflications each year. Several factors have inuenced the increased

    pularity of the eld of neurosurgery, including more comprehen-e knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the central nervoustem; higher technologic development; improvement in commu-ations; and, especially, an enthusiasm with the specialty that isrently expressed by neurosurgeons, who inuence new genera-ns, stimulating them to follow their chosen path. Even with therent technologic development, it is necessary, however, to recog-e that the human nervous system still bears mysteries and chal-ges to solve, which increases the attractiveness of the eld.lthoughknowledge is oneof themainpoints that determines thecess of a surgeon in this specialty, this is not the only asset to besidered. Teamwork is essential because the involvement of dif-

    ent specialists from nearby areas obtains better results. The pro-s beginswith thephysicianofrst contactwho identies apatho-ic entity andcontinueswithother experts in several elds, suchasaging, neurology, anatomy, and physiology, until a surgical pro-ure is performed, where other specialist physicians are requiredng with allied medical personnel and residents. The neurosur-2 WORate bonds among different neurosurgical societies around thebe. Also, cultural and humanistic areas are regarded as impor-t. The host country has an opportunity to share relevant histor-l, geographic, and demographic information and to expose par-pants from other countries to cultural and traditional norms thatw a better understanding of that country. Opportunities exist for

    urn invitations for the attendees.ORLD NEUROSURGERY also represents a forum where all neu-

    urgeonsnot only can contribute to the scientic area, but also canticipate in social, political, and cultural areas. No discriminationsts regarding the country of origin of the neurosurgeon, espe-lly regarding the development of his homeland. The intellectualality of the work presented has the greatest relevance. The higherquality of the presentations, the greater the benets obtained forneurosurgical community.We have to work together in this newllenge, the main goal of which is to become as the leading com-nication medium among neurosurgeons worldwide.

    tion: World Neurosurg. (2010) 74, 2/3:231-232.: 10.1016/j.wneu.2010.07.029

    nal homepage:

    ilable online:

    -8750/$ - see front matter 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.he Soccer World Cup 2010 was the rst to take place in Africa.ditionally, these championships took place only in Europe orAmericas, which are the two continents where this sport has theatest popularity. Changes occurred in 2002, however, when therld Cup was played in Asia jointly by two countries (Japan andthKorea). In 2010, South Africa showed theworld that theyweree to carry out such a championship tournament successfully.ctators not only witnessed excellent athletic achievements fromteams, but also were exposed to various aspects of daily life inth Africa, thanks to the mass media who showed viewers thein cities; natural beauty of the countryside; technologic, political,ographic, and social development; and culture, traditions, and

    advances and results obtained at each step.There are also world events in neurosurgery. The most important

    event is the Congress organized by the World Federation of Neuro-surgical Societies (WFNS