Date: November 8 & 9, 2008
Place: Athens, Greece

For the first time in the history of world cups, the competition returned to the same city. 41 players participated in the tournament.

The 2008 Kick Off 2 World Cup will be remembered for the (first of many?) gold medal of Gianni Torchio, the man who was considered to be the best years before he won the title. But it will also be remembered for Dagh Nielsen. During a period when the KOA was getting tired of watching the same old people battling for the medals, all of them from Greece & Italy, the big Dane was the new kid on the block who obliterated everyone on his way to the final before he knuckled under Gianni's thirst in the very last game. Two questions are on everyone's mind: If this was Dagh's first world cup, how much can he improve his game after he's had the tournament experience he's missing, and how many other quality players are there out there just waiting to be discovered?

The two aforementioned players displayed unmatched skill and they never encountered any trouble before playing each other. Thanks to their presence, the Rickmasworth goals per game record was shred to pieces as this year the average goals per game were 7.73! It is therefore not surprising that Dagh won the top scorer trophy and Gianni the best defense trophy (nothing is missing from his collection any more). Alkis Polyrakis returned to the WC podium after three sterile years and won the bronze medal. Rodolfo Martin once again won the Silver Cup and Apostolos Terlis won the Bronze Cup, the trophies given to the 17th and the 33rd player respectively. Steve Camber was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in appreciation of his continuous presence in world cups and his work on the Kick Off 2 disk.

Some people played better than expected in this competition, some worse. More than any other time I realized that none of it really mattered; all that matters is that we have lasted one more year, a group of close friends with a common interest that brought us together but is far from being the only thing that keeps us together. All KOAers are so profoundly and intricately entwined - those gone, those still playing, those generations yet to come - that the fate of all of us is the fate of each, and the hope of the association rests in every heart and in every pair of hands. Therefore, after every failure, we are obliged to strive again for success, and when faced with the end of one thing, we must build something new and better in the ashes, just as from defeat and disappointment we must weave hope, for each of us is a thread critical to the strength - to the very survival - of the Kick Off tapestry.

Note: The 41 players were divided into three groups of 10 and one group of 11. The top four players from each group qualified to the World Cup Groups, those who finished in places 5-8 competed for places 17-32 in the Silver Cup Groups, while those who finished in places 9-11 faced each other in a league for places 33-41 in the Bronze Cup Group.














Goals in the finals (Click to enlarge):



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