Thursday, June 29, 2006


Watch As the Germans Prepare

There are several factors that should play an important rule in deciding who will win today's game between Germany and Argentina, most importantly:

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Paris Hilton In Love With Lukas Podolski

Reports are out that claim Paris Hilton has been taken by World Cup fever - the Lukas Podolski kind.

Paris says she finds the blond wunderkind “magical.” and "glamorous". Paris continues to say she wants to get to know Cologne.


The Real Reason for Klinsmann Choosing Jens Lehmann over Oliver Kahn

Like Oliver Kahn has pointed out - we've never actually heard Juergen Klinsmann's reasons for dropping the winner of the last Golden Ball Award in 2002 for his understudy Jens Lehmann.

I submit the following alternative possibility:

If Lehmann goes down then what better backup to bring in then Kahn? You know Kahn will be ready no matter what. In fact, German supporters might even cheer when Kahn comes in. And don't forget for a second how team morale would be affected by having Kahn come in - it would surely not be depressed or let down and at a minimum stay even keel (if not improved).

Now imagine the alternative, Lehmann who has been playing abroad for some years, is somewhat unknown to many of the other German players who play in the Bundesliga, and is then brought in if Kahn were to go down. It would not be a stretch to imagine things could suddenly go wrong if this were to happen between games or in the middle of a game.

There you have it, the real reason Klinsmann may have selected Lehmann first - it's easier to go this route then the alternative.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Germany through to quarter-finals.

Klinsmann continues to prove his ability of converting the impenetrable panzer to a speedy BMW roadster with his team winning 2-0 over Sweden.

Podolski scored 2 goals, however he was not man of the match. That should go to Klose or even more so Ballack. Klose did a lot of digging to create the chances for Podolski. Ballack had about half a dozen pretty good chances himself.

Next Germany faces Argentina in what will almost surely be a classic match of 2 super powers.

If there was any disappointment with Germany's play today it may have been Bastian Schweinsteiger did not look as fantastic as he has in some of the earlier games or with Bayern Munich. Knowing Bastian this was simply just not his day, he'll roar back with superb play in some future games.

When will Gerald Asamoah see his chance to play?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


England and Sweden play to a tie

In group play today Sweden tied up the game at 2-2 in the 90th minute after dominating much of the 2nd half.

Monday, June 12, 2006

War and Soccer

Alternet has an interesting article that backs up the points made in the "World Cup According To Character" - by Henry Kissinger.

The last World Cup final pitted Brazil against Germany, teams that represent global North-South polar opposites in the way the game is played. As Muhammad Ali was celebrated not just for his unique skills in the ring but for his iconic resistance to the racial order, so the universal popularity of Brazil is based not only on its exquisitely poetic style -- the "Joga Bonito" (beautiful game) -- but also on its role as a proxy representative of the Global South.

The German game epitomizes the industrialized West: physical power, relentless drive, unshakable organization and a machine-like efficiency in punishing opponents' mistakes. It's a kind of Blitzkrieg -- the modern German game, as Simon Kuper has noted, had its roots in Nazi sports culture and the militaristic virtues it lionized -- that overwhelms opponents with physical power on the ground and in the air, often winning "ugly" by a single goal. The best-known German players of the past half century have been goalkeepers, field commanders in defense and midfield, as well as clinical if artless goal-poaching forwards. There has never been a Pelé on the German team; in Brazil, by contrast, each year brings a new crop of awesomely talented teenagers from the favelas whose audacious skill and flair inevitably anoints them as "the next Pelé."

Brazil's style is more akin to advanced guerrilla warfare in which the insurgents have the momentum and the confidence. They combine impossible skill with breathtaking audacity and guile, an ability to shoot from great distances and apply boot to ball in a manner that improbably "bends" its trajectory. The telepathy with which they are able to anticipate each other's movements allows them to dazzle both the opposition and the crowd with the fluidity of their passing movements and their propensity for doing the unexpected. The adversary literally never knows where the next attack will come from, or what it will be. And the smiles of the Brazilians, even in crucial games, tell you that they're enjoying themselves. On the field, you'll rarely see a German player smile.

When Ronaldinho, currently rated the greatest player in the world, spotted the English goalkeeper David Seaman two yards off the goal line in their 2002 World Cup clash, he unleashed a 40-yard free kick that looped over Seaman's outstretched gloves, wickedly dipping and curling into the top corner of England's goal. So thunderstruck were the English TV commentators that they insisted the strike was a fluke, a pass that went fortuitously awry. It's for such moments that the soccer fans of the Global South live.

Australia Scores Their First Ever Goal, and Second, and Third!

Drama, action, goals, yellow-cards, change of leads, kangeroos, samurais - the Australia vs Japan game had it all! 6 Yellow cards, 4 goals, Japan gets the first goal, Australia ties it up and then goes on to score another 2.

Talk about an action packed game, folks if you missed it then look for the replays or TIVO.

Australia Scores Their First Ever Goal, and Second, and Third!

Drama, action, goals, yellow-cards, change of leads, kangeroos, samurais - the Australia vs Japan game had it all! 6 Yellow cards, 4 goals, Japan gets the first goal, Australia ties it up and then goes on to score another 2.

Talk about an action packed game, folks if you missed it then look for the replays or TIVO.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Next Matches: 12-Jun-06
9:00am - Group F - Match #12
Australia vs. Japan
12:00pm - Group E - Match #10
United States vs. Czech Republic
3:00pm - Group E - Match #9
Italy vs. Ghana

Here is a full list of matches.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

English Lack Attacking Focus

With all the stars England have, they did not look strong at all. None of the English forwards looked like they had a killer instinct or wanted to take charge of the game. The English defence and goalkeeper looked like they were stronger components of their team. If the English want to beat Sweden they will need to play with more drive up front like they are capable of.

In fact looking more closely the world has flip-flopped.
Germany looked like the creative force up front but lacking defense, and England looked like traditional Germany with stronger defence.

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup Fashion - German Style

Let's take a break from all the seriousness and take a look at fashion. For those not in the know, the following dresses are called a "Dirndl".

Polish Hooligans?

have always been a problem at football. Alcohol is often involved, leading to violence. The British hooligans were the first to travel abroad to matches throughout Eurpoe. For this World Cup more than 15 countries have worked together with German forces to prevent hooliganism.

In fact the problem of this World Cup may not be terrorism or racism but rather Hooliganism. All it takes is one day, one small confrontation could erupt into something much larger. Sitting in the heart of Europe, Germany could see hooligans crossing its borders from all sides.

Experts say this year the English hooligans may not be the worst but rather the
Polish hooligans.

Last November a massive fight involving over 100 Polish and German hooligans brawled in a wooded area in the middle of the night near the Polish border. The rumble was organized by both sides using text messaging. Even members of a motorcycle gang were involved.

German police are especially concerned about a match between Germany and Poland on June 14 in Dortmund.

Reports have surfaced that a small number of English hooligans have made it into Germany ahead of the World Cup.

Another 200 to 300 more hooligans from Sweden may be inside Germany.

It's worse, not just Poland and England, but there is a budding hooligan culture in Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy too. All countries within an easy train ride by young adolescent inebriated males looking for an adrenaline rush.

For the 1990 World Cup in Italy, many English hooligans — then regarded as the worst—didn't even bother buying round-trip tickets. They knew they would be deported, which would be cheaper.

For some hooligans they see this World Cup as a chance to prove that they are the "best" hooligans in the world. British hooligan expert Dougie Brimson warns that English fans will be a "prime target" for foreign firms out to seize England's former reputation for producing the most dangerous supporters.

Pele + Claudia Schiffer = SuperstarModel

What could be better than seeing all-time soccer greatest Pele and Claudia Schiffer together?

Together as in carrying in the golden World Cup trophy to open up the World Cup.

Hosts Fight Through Pressure

Missing Ballack but still coming out with a decisive win, hosts Germany have shown the depth of players they have. Phil Lahm and Bastien Schweinsteiger are 2 notables, Podolski came close. Both of the Costa Rica goals were questionable, the 2nd clearly offside.

FIFA World Cup Group A
Lahm - 6
Klose - 17
Klose - 61
Frings - 87
4 - 2 Costa Rica
Wanchope - 12
Wanchope - 73

Latest Photographs:




Latest Commentary

By Timothy Collings

MUNICH, June 9 (Reuters) - Highlights of the opening World Cup match between hosts Germany and Costa Rica on Friday:

90 + 3 FULL TIME - Germany get the perfect start on home soil with a convincing win over the central Americans.

90 + 1 SUBSTITUTION (Costa Rica) Randall Azofeifa comes on for striker Ronald Gomez.

90 + 1 SUBSTITUTION (Germany) Bernd Schneider hands the captain's armband to Frings as he is replaced by David Odonkor.


Frings fires a powerful curling right foot shot into the top corner from about 30 metres giving Porras no chance

80 ACTION - German defender Per Mertesacker's powerful header is saved from point blank range by Porras

79 SUBSTITUTION (Germany) - Klose gets an ovation from the crowd as he is replaced up front by Oliver Neuville.

78 SUBSTITUTION (Costa Rica) - Cristian Bolanos comes on for Mauricio Solis in midfield.


Wanchope grabs his second goal to give Costa Rica hope as he cleverly flicks the ball past Lehmann from what looks an offside position after latching onto a through ball by Walter Centeno.

72 SUBSTITUTION (Germany) - Sebastian Kehl replaces Tim Borowski in midfield.

68 ACTION - The impressive Lahm romps forward again down the left beating two defenders but his weak toe-poked shot from close range is easily saved by Porras.

66 SUBSTITUTION (Costa Rica) Jervis Drummond replaces the injured Gilberto Martinez at right back


Klose gets his second goal and Germany's third when he follows up to score from close range after his header is saved by Jose Francisco Porras following Lahm's cross from the left.

47 ACTION - Costa Rica missed a chance when the unmarked Fonseca sent a diving header wide from inside the area after a right wing corner by Walter Centeno

45 + 1 HALFTIME - Germany lead 2-1

40 ACTION - Germany striker Lukas Podolski curls a freekick just over the bar from 25 metres.

30 YELLOW CARD - Costa Rica's Danny Fonseca is booked for ungentlemanly conduct after failing to move back 10 metres to allow Germany to take a free kick.


Miroslav Klose puts Germany back in front from four metres with a tap in at the far post after being set up by Bastian Schweinsteiger. Klose celebrated the goal on his 28th birthday. 12 GOAL - GERMANY 1 COSTA RICA 1

Paulo Wanchope equalises after breaking the offside trap and calmly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Jens Lehmann from the edge of the area having been fed by Ronald Gomez.


Left back Philipp Lahm curls a right foot shot into the top corner that goes in off the far post after cutting in from the left and shooting from just outside the area.

3 ACTION - Germany's Torsten Frings fires a shot just over the bar from 20 metres.

KICKOFF - Costa Rica kick off the 18th World Cup finals tournament at the Allianz Arena.


1-Jens Lehmann  18-José Francisco Porras 
21-Christoph Metzelder  3-Luis Marín 
3-Arne Friedrich  4-Michael Umaña 
16-Philipp Lahm  20-Douglas Sequeira 
17-Per Mertesacker  5-Gilberto Martínez 67 
19-Bernd Schneider 91  8-Mauricio Solís 78 
18-Tim Borowski 72  6-Danny Fonseca
8-Torsten Frings  12-Leonardo Gonzáles 
7-Bastian Schweinsteiger  10-Wálter Centeno 
11-Miroslav Klose 79  11-Rónald Gómez 91 
20-Lukas Podolski  9-Paulo Wanchope 


23-Timo Hildebrand  1-Alvaro Mesén 
12-Oliver Kahn  23-Wardy Alfaro 
6-Jens Nowotny  15-Hárold Wallace 
4-Robert Huth  2-Jervis Drummond 67 
2-Marcell Jansen  17-Gabriel Badilla 
5-Sebastian Kehl 72  22-Michael Rodríguez 
15-Thomas Hitzlsperger  16-Carlos Hernández 
22-David Odonkor 91  7-Christian Bolaños 78 
13-Michael Ballack  14-Randall Azofeifa 91 
14-Gerald Asamoah  19-Alvaro Saborío 
10-Oliver Neuville 79  13-Kurt Bernard 
   21-Víctor Núñez 

Match Info

FIFA World Cup Group A- FIFA World Cup Stadium Munich- 17:00
Referee: Horacio Elizondo (Argentina)
Attendance: 59000

Rooney is In, Ballack is Out

It appears everyone was focused on the wrong star to miss the first game. Rooney is fit and will play, Ballack is out. Yesterday it was announced a nagging calf injury has caused Ballack to not play in today's game. Today Ballack has announced he is ready to play. This is fast turning into the Ballack Saga.

''It seems Michael Ballack cannot play against Costa Rica,'' Germany coach Klinsmann announced at a media briefing on Thursday afternoon. ''He only trained for 30 minutes on Wednesday and then had to pull out. We wanted Ballack on board as he is our captain and leader but it's important he recovers.

''We want him to get back to full fitness so that he can be fit for the other games in the competition.''

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

All of the world is waiting to hear Rooney's test results

No not drug test - the test results from the broken bone in his foot.

England's Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has been adament saying Rooney will play in the World Cup.
But today he like everyone else is waiting for the results.

Rooney has flown back to England to take the test.

Recently Franz Beckenbauer has suggested if Ivory Coast can make it out of the Group stages then they stand a good chance of making it to the Finals.
First of all I completely agree, but for reasons of a mathematical nature and instead I will raise the question of whether this is really as bold of a statement as it first sounds.

Ivory Coast are in a group with Holland and Argentina. If they manage to beat 1 of those teams and beat SerbiaMontenegro then they face the knockout stage and if they make it past that then they go on to the quarter-finals. If Ivory Coast can beat one of Holland or Argentina then they have proven they are already a good team, and furthermore if they can beat or draw the other match (Holland or Argentina) then they will most likely finish first in their group and play the 2nd place of another group further making it easier in the knockout stage. Once a team gets into the quarter-finals they are 2 wins away from the Finals.

The challenge for the next couple of weeks is to make it out of the Group stage. After that the experts and predictors will be saying "If team X can just make it out of the knockout stage then they will stand a good chance of making it to the Finals".

Cliche cliche, I just wish I was as recognized as Beckenbauer to be able to make such "predictions" without really being questioned.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rooney Rushing It?

Sven-Goan Erikson is risking Rooney's future if he allows Rooney to come back this soon. Rooney suffered a broken metatarsal very recently on April 29th, about 6 or 7 weeks ago. Rooney wants to play in the opening game this week.
With the quality of players England have can they not make it out of the group stages?
If England isn't able to make it out of the group stages missing one player (albeit Rooney), then they've got more serious questions to answer. Is one player really going to make such difference in group stages? Sure in the following stages England will need everyone and Rooney will make a difference at that point.

Would the less risky move not be to rest Rooney for another couple of weeks until at least England make it out of the group stages?
In fact Former England captain Bryan Robson has also suggested this could be a mistake. Then there are Sir Alex Ferguson comments which do not hide the fact that he believes Rooney is his property.

We all know the kind of player Rooney is, coupled with his youth we can imagine his desire to put up with some pain in order to come back and play. Does anyone really believe Rooney of all players would be conservative and if there is any pain or that he would not come back? Come on, Rooney would play with a broken foot, he'll tell the doctors and trainers and coaches whatever it takes to play. Therefore it is up to Sven-Goan Erikson to make the decision and keep Rooney out for at least the group stages, anything else would be a foolish decision.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Germanys Lack of Defense May Cost

This article describes some of the points in the challenges Germany faces in this years World Cup.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Do Not Underestimate European Soil

Here is an interesting item, the World Cup winner is most often from the same continent as where the host country. In fact, 15 of the previous 17 World Cup winners have come from the same continent as the host.

European Soil:
European team: 8
American team: 1
Asian team: 0
African team: 0

American Soil:
European team: 7
American team: 0
Asian team: 0
African team: 0

Asian Soil:
European team: 0
American team: 1
Asian team: 0
African team: 0

Year Winner Runner-Up
1930 Uruguay Argentina
4 - 2
Montevideo, Uruguay
1934 Italy Czechoslovakia
2 - 1
Rome, Italy
1938 Italy Hungary
4 - 2
Paris, France
2 - 1
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1954West GermanyHungary
3 - 2
Bern, Switzerland
5 - 2
Stockholm, Sweden
3 - 1
Santiago, Chile
1966EnglandWest Germany
4 - 2
London, England
4 - 1
Mexico City, Mexico
1974West GermanyNetherlands
2 - 1
Munich, Germany
1978Argentina Netherlands
3 - 1
Buenos Aires, Argentina
1982 Italy West Germany
3 - 1
Madrid, Spain
1986 Argentina West Germany
3 - 2
Mexico City, Mexico
1990 West Germany Argentina
1 - 0
Rome, Italy
1994 Brazil Italy
0 - 0
Pasadena, California
1998 France Brazil
3 - 0
Saint-Denis, France
2002 Brazil Germany
2 - 0
Korea / Japan

Does this give additional credibility to the prediction of Italy winning this years World Cup?

Ballack Had More to Gain from Chelsea than Vice Versa

When Ballack said this really wasn't about the money he may not be lying. Ballack's decision of Chelsea was a move to:
1) Gain more experience, since he had been playing in the German Bundesliga his entire professional career, arguably the English Premiership is easily as good as the Bundesliga but no one can argue a much different experience (different pressures, different language, more international coverage), therefore will help develop Ballack as a player

2) Perhaps just as important is that Ballack is now free from being pigeon-holed by some Germans of being from East Germany, the following interesting
explains how Ballack was labelled as not having character due to where he was from!
3) Arguable Chelsea is currently a better Champions League contender then Bayern, their most recent history has shown this

Looking at the other way - what did Chelsea gain from signing Ballack?:
1) Solid mid-fielder with excellent playmaking and proven goal scoring (including fantastic headers)
2) Not as reliant on Lampard, now with Ballack it'll be interesting to see what happens with Lampard, but if Chelsea determine they have another hole to fill then Lampard may become trade bait
3) Someone who can will be able to get Drogba the ball, this tandem will be incredible to watch

Therefore I believe Ballack had much more to gain signing with Chelsea than Chelsea stood to gain by signing Ballack.

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