World Cup

Sun, July 9th 2006

Team of the tournament

The best 11 players of World Cup 2006

Five Italians, three French make up my team of the tournament. As could be expected from a team conceding just 1 goal (an own goal, at that) on the way to the final, the Italians make up the majority of the defence.


Fri, July 7th 2006

...and the worst bits of the tournament

The worst moments of Germany 2006


Ok, I’m English, and I’m bitter, but the sight of the Portugese players throwing themselves to the ground was frankly embarrassing. And then having the gaul to complain about the referee after the France game. 4 and a half hours of football without a goal before finally beging defeated.

Portugal vs Holland

Two teams and a referee making a mockery of football. I nearly put this game in the best bits, as it was fascinating to watch, but the sight of 2 incredibly talented teams trying to out-cheat each other is a sight I hope not to see again soon.


Ronaldinho arrived at the World Cup aiming to cement his place amongst the greats of Maradonna and Pele. Instead returned home a fallen hero, anonymous in all Brazil’s 5 games. Overshadowed by Ronaldo (there’s a fat joke there somewhere…)

Sepp Blatter/FIFA

The usual raft of idiotic quotes from Blatter through the tournament. The decision not to allow video evidence and to encourage bookings led to a cheat’s charter.

The dull knock out stages

Of the 14 knockout games to date (excluding the final) the good games could be counted on one hand.

Argentina’s antic after defeat by Germany

What action FIFA will take I’m not sure, but Argentina’a behaviour after losing on penalties was outrageous. Argentina oozed class early in the tournament, but became arrogant and seemed to believe they deserved to win without performing.

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Highlights of the tournament

The best moments of Germany 2006

Cannavarro against Germany

A perfect display of defending by the Italian. Never rushed, always tried to play football and great commitment to the side in his 99th appearance for the Azzuri.

Zidane against Brazil

After France took the lead, Zidane took control of the game giving the Brazillians a masterclass of skill. Always available for a pass and never gave the ball away, denying Brazil a chance to build any kind of pressure.

England vs Paraguay - the first 5 minutes

For 5 minutes England fans were able to believe we had a world beating team. A feeling that had deteriorated before full-time, unfortunately.


Partly for the comedy factor, partly for his acheivement of become top World Cup scorer of all time.

Like an overweight, Sunday league player, he often looked anything but a top class professional footballer, but the flashes of his ability that he showed (when he didn’t have to move) brought back fond memories of his better days. Despite his immobility he was far from being the worst Brazillian forward.

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Thu, July 6th 2006

Zidane penalty ends Portugal cup run

France 1 - Portugal 0

After a first half penalty from Zinedine Zidane, France closed down the game with ease to qualify for the second World Cup final.

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Wed, July 5th 2006

Italy dump out hosts in game of the tournament

Italy 2 - Germany 0

After a raft of uninspired knock-out phase matches, the hosts Germany and Italy fought out one of the most exciting semi-finals of all time, and restored the reputation of the World Cup.

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Mon, July 3rd 2006

England crash out on penalties again

England 0 - Portugal 0 (Portugal win on penalties)

England lose in the quarter finals (again) on penalties (again) to Portugal (again). The inquest started immediately with the prime villains being Eriksson, Rooney and Ronaldo.

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Wed, June 28th 2006

Johan Cruyff has blamed Holland’s World Cup exit on the country’s immigration minister for not allowing Ivory Coast-born Salomon Kalou to become a Dutch citizen.

Not being allowed to include players from another country, is quite some excuse…

See: BBC


Puyol, Aragones and Spain were unhappy at the free-kick awarded to Thierry Henry that led to France’s decisive second goal.

The striker [Henry] was angry at the referee for not taking action over the rough treatment he received from Puyol in May’s Champions League final in Paris, which Barcelona won 2-1.

After the match, Henry said: “Next time I’ll learn to dive maybe, but I’m not a woman.”

From: BBC


It was a stupid, unnecessary foul by Puyol, but it was hugely disappointing to see Henry go down holding his face when he clearly was not struck there.

There are beginning to be too many sour tastes being left in the mouth after games in this World Cup.



Tue, June 27th 2006

The Portuguese Football Federation, on the basis of the Fifa Fair Play documents, will put in a request to overturn the card for Deco


Mon, June 26th 2006

The problem, in essence, is this. Fifa has encouraged referees to brandish yellow cards whenever possible at this World Cup but refuses either to have a post-match court of appeal where poor decisions can be overturned or retrospective punishments handed out

The result is a cheat’s charter.

From: The Guardian



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