Tuesday, June 06, 2006

World Cup News - June 6

In a little under 72-hours the hopes and dreams of people the world over will be answered, at least for a moment, when the World Cup gets underway. However, three days is a long time to go with nothing to read, so here is some World Cup news for you.

Paraguay's striker Jose Cardozo is out of his nation's squad due to an injury he received during Saturday's friendly against Bavaria. He will be replaced with Dante Lopez who plays with Genoa.

Italy is having some injury problems as defender Gianluca Zambrotta has been ruled out of their first match against Ghana and central defender Alessandro Nesta might be out as well after aggravating an old adductor muscle injury in Friday's 0-0 friendly draw with Ukraine.

Serbia and Montenegro's bit of nepotism came to an end as defender Dusan Petkovic dropped out of the squad after the media back home became enraged that his father and team coach named him to replace injured Lecce striker Mirko Vucinic.

Germany captain Michael Ballack feels good about his chances of recovering from a calf injury in time to play in the tournament opener on Friday. By the way, German coach Juergen Klinsmann thinks the home field advantage will lead his side to the championship.

U.S. captain Claudio Reyna is fully fit and ready to lead the red, white and blue to victory against the Czech Republic on Monday.

Brazil's Ronaldo has resumed practicing after having to come off of a weekend friendly due to blisters on his feet.

The French are doing their best to ruin their chances before a single ball is kicked as a major goalkeeper controversy has broken out in camp.

South Korean players will each see a 500 million won ($528,000 us) bonus if they bring home the cup. For the record, they do have to win it, not just steal away with it to Korea.

Yet another goalkeeper has given the new World Cup ball a thumbs down as England's Paul Robinson says it is "more like one used for water-polo." Anyone know what Kasey Keller thinks of the ball?

Refs plan on handing out more cards this time around for dangerous fouls such as striking with the elbow and punish athletes for faking fouls or intentionally delaying games. There goes Italy's playbook.

Brazil's coach Carlos Alberto Parreira thinks Ronaldinho will have a wonderful World Cup. In other breaking news, Parreira also explained that the sky is blue.

England, Iran and Brazil arrived in Germany yesterday, but today saw the arrival of 323 police officers from 13 European countries. These officers will patrol jointly with their German colleagues to help prevent hooliganism. Foreign officers helping patrol Germany without a war having to be fought, what a great idea.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is being very cautious when it comes to guessing the economic impact hosting the games will have on her country. She also did not mention how much of the economic boost will be due to the sex trade.

The country as a whole is trying to brace for the influx of travelers, even ones they might not want, however some in Nuremberg only now seem to realize that they will host a few of the matches.

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer is draping her body in nothing but the German flag to try and convince her Germany countrymen to wave flags at the matches. This is all part of Germany's 'Land of Ideas' campaign that is trying to remake the image of the country. Says Schiffer, "I hope within Germany we can make it cool that we can wear a German flag and not be embarrassed about it."

It turns out Munich has more to offer in the world of food then just beer.

A beer brewer in the UK has developed World Cup Fever beer which uses a mixture of lager, Munich and extra pale malts. By the way, the UK will also see one of the most technologically advanced networks ever developed used to make sure their beer keeps flowing.

Everyone's favorite FIFA boss Sepp Blatter denies that the World Cup has become over commercialized. His comments are brought to you by Anheuser-Busch, Vodafone and the McDonalds, home of the McBavarian burger.

If you are looking for a quick history of the men's World Cup since 1930, here is one from the Gulf Times.

It's over and the Czech Republic has won the 2006 FIFA World Cup or so says Electronic Arts, maker of the video game 2006 FIFA World Cup. They played it and here are the stats:

World Champion: Czech Republic
World Cup Final: Czech Republic 2 Brazil 1
1st team to be eliminated: Ecuador
Golden Shoe winner: Milan Baros, Czech Republic (7 goals)
Golden Ball winner: Pavel Nedved, Czech Republic

How did the USA do? "They managed wins over Italy (3-2) and Ghana (2-0) and tied the Czech Republic (2-2) in the difficult Group E before its luck ran out against the powerful Brazilian side in the Round of 16." I guess we will know on Monday if you can trust a video game to predict the future.

Finally, just a reminder that we have another World Cup coming up next year as the women get their chance to shine in China. Blatter said that tournament might be the best ever.

Only 3 days till kickoff...


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