For all but the Spanish and the Dutch the World Cup is now over, but for those who have still not had enough of football there is always the chance for some virtual glory by leading their team of choice to victory on the Nintendo Wii.
The game is great fun, flows well and indeed it feels like you are actually watching a real game of football thanks not just to the graphics but the ongoing, commentary which reflects the dynamic of the game. While it does get a bit repetitive (even by football commentators standards) the commentary does match what is going on in the game very well, with a last minute winning goal generating more excitement than an opener for example.
However one does not play the game for the commentary, it is fast, free flowing and great fun to watch the world's best players go at it with results sometimes more exciting than the real thing (think France more on which later).
There are options to go into more detail in team management for real aficionados but for those who find such things boring you can just go straight into the game with nearly two hundred teams to choose from.
The game can be played co-operatively with up to three players on one side or of course you can take on your friends and family in Friendly's or in the World Cup itself.
The game play is also pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Players are moved and can sprint using the nob on the "nunchuk" device while you can pass and shoot (and do tricks) by pressing buttons on and shaking the main Wii remote. One downside is that if you keep playing your thumb will probably start to feel a bit soar from pushing the movement stick in different directions constantly.
The difficulty level can be adjusted for to match the tastes of those who hate losing, those who enjoy realism and for those who enjoy a challenge.
Easy level is for those who enjoy a goal-fest, but is a bit short on realism. I tried it out and managed to win the World Cup as Mexico, along the way I managed to beat Germany 10-6 despite having two of my players sent off
I bit too easy I thought, so I took a risk and put it up to medium. After being walloped 2-0 by the USA (yes I was England) I decided that if I'm going to be walloped I'll at least be walloped as another country.
Hence a dismal performance from South Africa and from real-life semi-finalists Uruguay. However practice makes perfect and I started to make progress with (could you believe it) France.
In the opening game against Uruguay both teams hammered away at each other but could not break through with a goal (it has to be said Uruguay were hammering me more than I was hammering them). Then a last minute header from Thierry Henry gave me a good victory with which to start my World Cup dream.
So Mexico next and it begins badly and to cut a long story short, despite some valiant efforts I lost 4-2. So it all came down to the last game with South Africa a win would do it, a draw might be enough.
Again it does not begin well South Africa get ahead by 3 goals to 1. However a courageous fight-back brings me level at 3-3, can I get a last minute goal to clinch it? Will a draw be enough?
Unfortunately the answer to both questions is no. Still I'm getting better and despite going out in the group stages yet again I'm confident my performance will only improve and with four points under my belt I will not be meeting with Monsieur Sarkozy for a dressing down (or in his case a dressing up).
If you like watching football you will enjoy this game, if you like scoring goals and hate losing give it a go on easy, if you like some the tension and challenge of the real thing go on medium. On hard? Don't even think about it, you probably have more chance becoming a professional footballer.