Monday, June 28, 2010













Labels: , ,

50% OF THE LAST 16

Uruguay 2-1 South Korea
USA 1-2 Ghana
Argentina 3-1 Mexico
Germany 4-1 England

Uruguay are expected to go through but South Korea gave a great fight which gave them equal rights to go further. It ended with who took the opportunities best. USA were beaten 1-2 by Ghana. Although USA were playing well in this tournament, it is great to get a representative from Africa into the quarters.

Well, I just finished the Germany-England match few hours earlier. I have to say that England were extremely unlucky to get a goal from Lampard disallowed. Fuck the excuse of machine intervention into the human game of football! FIFA and UEFA should adopt it by accepting the fact that it is humanly impossible not to make such mistakes in the football match. Video replays should be adopted because it had caused a lot of unfairness in the football matches. Henry's handball was so heavily criticized before the World Cup but there is nothing done about it. The disaster will continue to happen. Imagine getting a goal scored totally offside or having a goal disallowed when it crosses the line for the World Cup final later. Will the winners who won because of having such advantageous calls against the opponents be deserving winners? People thought it is fine since Argentina and Germany played better. What if it was the opposite way?

Still, without taking that disallowed goal into account, Germany is to me considered the better side of the match. If the goal was allowed, it could change the course of the match and improved England's performance after the break. This is because the momentum suddenly swung to England's favour. Or it may not, we will never know. We don't know but this open debate starts because of not adopting the video technology. Let those morons in charge in the higher echelons of world football associations debate till kingdom come about protecting the human touch in football.

I said the following in my post last Friday. I guess Capello did push them hard but with the bad luck they faced, they did not recover. They were slaughtered alive by Germany with the clean, disciplined work rate and dangerous counter-attacks.

Now, the strangest thing is that the Germans are giving England so much respect as if England are the favourites to kill them in the next match. Oh please, the English should instead be praising the high heavens that they even qualify to the next round given their pathetic performance. If they don't improve, I suggest that they will be slaughtered alive by the disciplined German side. Capello better come out with a good plan before it is too late. The current one is not working!

Argentina beat Mexico as expected but I am really impressed with this Mexican team since the start of the tournament. They gave Argentina a really good match and just like England, were unlucky to be at the receiving end of an offside goal by Tevez. I have to salute this young team for their determination, creativity and attractive football. May they grow more improved and matured in years to come. I wish to see them well prepared in the next World Cup.

Messi still didn't score but he was as dangerous as always with one shot on goal forced out by the goalie. I hope to see him score in the next match. Can a team mate send him an assist please? Tevez had scored a brace in the latest match and the scorcher was beautiful! He was truly the man of the match for me in the match. However, the first goal looked to be a clear offside. Again, video technology should be used in football matches, please!!! I hope there will be no more allowed offside goals and disallowed goals passing the goal line till the end of the tournament!!!

FIFA in firing line after phantom goal
June 27, 2010

By Andrew Warshaw

When football's lawmakers ditched the idea of goal-line technology once and for all just over three months ago, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said he hoped the decision would not come back to haunt the organisation at the World Cup.

"Questions will always come, we just hope they will not come in the World Cup," said Valcke at the time. What must he and his colleagues be thinking now?

Anyone who knows anything about the vagaries of football will recognise that England might still have lost heavily to Germany on Sunday had Frank Lampard's 'goal' been allowed to stand by the Uruguayan referee.

But it was the mother of all howlers and FIFA and all those who oppose goal-line technology in favour of persisting with the tired argument that human error is part of the game now need to stand up and be counted.

Millions of fans watching the Germany-England game across the world will have been doing so, not out of a keen sense of loyalty to either team, but because this is the World Cup, the one tournament that sucks in neutrals and non-sports fans alike to showcase the game at the highest level.

Many will have known that in tennis, cricket and even rugby, wrong decisions are re-examined so that justice is seen to be done. Not, it seems, in football.

Lampard's disallowed strike in Bloemfontein would have brought the score back to 2-2 and given England a massive psychological boost; of that there is no doubt. Of more doubt, sadly, is whether FIFA will at last take the plunge and accept that some decisions bring the game into disrepute - an accusation so often levelled at players and coaches.

Valcke's inauspicious remark back in March followed the International Football Association Board (IFAB) meeting in Zurich when a handful of self-interested traditionalists were too afraid to take responsibility to push football into the 21st Century.

It had been widely anticipated that after years of intense but fruitless debate, the IFAB would finally give the green light to offer referees scientific help when making game-changing decisions.

Instead, a majority of football's custodians voted 6-2 against both Hawk-Eye, used successfully in cricket and tennis, and a highly sophisticated microchipped ball system developed - irony upon irony - in Germany.

Instead too, the IFAB - made up of FIFA plus the four home British associations - decided to consider pressing ahead with the more "human" experiment of two extra officials, trialled during this season's Europa League and the pet scheme of UEFA president Michel Platini.

Siding with FIFA against technology were the Welsh and Northern Irish, two federations who don't even have a full professional league yet. England and Scotland, who have long embraced the idea of technology, were scandalously outvoted.

Year after year, Hawk-Eye and Cairos, a German firm owned by Adidas - rivals in business but united in the cause of technology - had been invited to the IFAB to present their findings. And year after year they were sent away to fine-tune their product with every encouragement that they were on the right track to solving one of football's greatest injustices. What, one might ask now, was the point?

"I don't understand why they invited us out there to start with if they never wanted technology at all," said Paul Hawkins, managing director of Hawk-Eye. "The technology works but their process for decision-making is totally unrepresentative of football. I doubt there is any issue in football that is so unanimous."

After Sunday's debacle, you can say that again.

Even more frustrating has been FIFA's decision not to use their 'two extra officials' idea in South Africa. You may not agree that two additional pairs of eyes are an acceptable substitute for virtually foolproof technology but at least it's something.

An extra official behind Manuel Neuer's goal would surely have flagged up the fact that Lampard's sublime effort was well over the line. Frustratingly for neutral fans everywhere, not even that luxury was afforded to Fabio Capello's team.

Don't get me wrong, England were well beaten in the end. But they might not have been. If there is one lesson to be learned from Sunday - apart from English teams not giving opponents two-goal starts before they begin playing - is that something has to be done, and soon, to bring in some kind of rule that prevents the kind of officiating disgrace, however innocent, that occurred in Bloemfontein. A kind, crucially, that played a big part in eliminating one team and helping the other advance.

If that means two extra officials, one behind each goal, in all future major competitions, so be it. Better than nothing - but too late for England.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Uruguay VS. South Korea (6/26/10 3:00 PM BST)
United States VS. Ghana (6/26/10 7:30 PM BST)
Netherlands VS. Slovakia (6/28/10 3:00 PM BST)
Brazil VS. Chile (6/28/10 7:30 PM BST)
Argentina VS. Mexico (6/27/10 7:30 PM BST)
Germany VS. England (6/27/10 3:00 PM BST)
Paraguay VS. Japan (6/29/10 3:00 PM BST)
Spain VS. Portugal (6/29/10 7:30 PM BST)

Denmark 1-3 Japan
Cameroon 1-2 Netherlands
Paraguay 0-0 New Zealand
Slovakia 3-2 Italy
North Korea 0-3 Ivory Coast
Portugal 0-0 Brazil
Switzerland 0-0 Honduras
Chile 1-2 Spain

I just finished watching the Portugal VS. Brazil and Chile VS. Spain matches. The Portugese-Brazilian match was fine for the first half but was extremely boring came the second half as both teams seem to be happy to settle for a draw. I slept in the final 15 minutes of the match. Brazil did not even field their best 11 as they just need a draw to be the leader of the group. What I don't understand about both teams, especially Brazil, is that they were not careful enough to get so many yellow card bookings. If I am not mistaken, there are 7 yellow cards shown.

Thank goodness for Spain that they did not get out of the tournament but Fernando Torres must start to find the touch of scoring soon. They can't rely on David Villa alone. Spain again wasted tonnes of chances in the second half. They have to start being effective. The match against Portugal will be a crucial test.

Apart from Spain-Portugal, other interesting matches to catch are Brazil-Chile, Argentina-Mexico and Germany-England. I hope Argentina and Spain will go very far till the end of the tournament.

Enjoy football guys! The exciting period of the tournament just got started!

Labels: , ,


I found out I can get World Cup live matches good reception of the Indonesian RCTI channel in my apartment in Johor Bahru. That means I don't have to go down to watch with smokers as my lungs have been loaded with second hand smoke lately. For those in Singapore, you can try the antenna recommended by the HardwareZone forum to receive RCTI and even Malaysian channels.


Labels: , , , ,

Friday, June 25, 2010


Seriously, why is everyone so surprised by their exit? Even before the World Cup kicks off, I will be expecting these two countries not to go far. Even if they can qualify to the second round, it is impossible for them to go very far. The simple reason is age. Both teams are way, way, way too old and without any hot superstar to carry them far. Most of the players are qualified to retire from international football. Even those more talented players are not performing or recovering from injury. France are also committing suicide with their team problem.

When I reached Sibu on the eve of the opening match between Mexico and South Africa, just 2 hours before kickoff, I already thought all bets in Italian and French matches should be placed against them. Many people questioned my 'football wisdom' for this suicidal betting advice. I guess people are rating France and Italy too highly just because they were the previous World Cup finalists. Four years is a long time my friend.

I gave the same advice for England. Don't be too optimistic of them because of their superb underachievement tag in big tournaments. I told them to pick their rivals. At least this is providing more acceptance. Let's face it, they don't have a full squad to depend on. Capello had to beg some to come out of retirement. Ferdinand, who is one of their crucial central defense chess piece, was injured. Gerrard had a bad season. Lampard's not that great too. Terry had been caught in controversies and almost killed England had he not held back in time. Rooney is the only striker fit to be considered a true striker but he just recovered from injury and he is not a dribbler so he needs major support. If he is Ronaldo or Romario, then it is fine. Keep sending him through ball passes and he will dribble through the defence to score.

Of course, I am not fully correct. I also advised people not to bet on Germany as they are quite a young side. I suggest taking Serbia or Ghana and even Australia. Of course, Australia's bet backfire as they lost 4-0. I told my friend, Johnny Shevchenko that I acknowledge that Netherlands are a good team but their team has many great players who are fragile. Injury seems to be a major problem that hits Holland. I told him they can go far provided their major stars stay injury free.

I am wishing Argentina and Spain to win this World Cup so of course I told everyone not to bet against them. That's the danger about betting when your preference overcomes your logic. Spain's first match was an upset by Switzerland. I am sure I get some swearing in my name for those who bet on them. The same scolding is expected when Argentina only beat Nigeria by a goal in a match which Nigeria were playing very well actually. I also suggested bets against Portugal and even Brazil. I see Brazil as a team which require time to prove themselves while Portugal have never impressed me much in big tournaments. They of course proved me wrong in the second match with that famous 7-0 win.

Now, the strangest thing is that the Germans are giving England so much respect as if England are the favourites to kill them in the next match. Oh please, the English should instead be praising the high heavens that they even qualify to the next round given their pathetic performance. If they don't improve, I suggest that they will be slaughtered alive by the disciplined German side. Capello better come out with a good plan before it is too late. The current one is not working!

Japan qualified last night with a 3-1 win against Denmark. Congratulations to them for the great victory! Spain will be in the focus today as they must not follow France and Italy. Sometimes, I suggest they should rather play simple football than beautiful football for the sake of victory. Beautiful football is encouraged because fans like me will be thrilled. However, it does not guarantee victories. Chile will not be an easy opponent to play against. I wish them the very best!

Now, why is this World Cup such a low goal scoring affair? We can blame the ball but if my memory serves me right, every World Cup tournament for the past few years have ball problems. They even give this ball, the Jabulani (sounds very similar to some vulgar word, haha!) a wind tunnel test! Goodness gracious me! Is it the weather, the food, the atmosphere, the altitude or the loud long plastic trumpets, vuvuzelas?

Well, maybe all of them contribute to the performance instability of many teams but I also feel this World Cup is the first in a very long time where you don't have scoring machines! There are some ex-scoring machines or scoring machines who just recovered from injury. Here is a list of devastating strikers when I started watching football since 1996. You can see those names in bold are the ones playing in this World Cup (either too old, out of form, recovered from injury or left alone). Perhaps Diego Forlan is the only one among them to be considered performing. Some teams don't even have decent strikers to start with. England comes to mind, just one Wayne Rooney to depend on and no partner/s in crime. Italy's and France's exits can be highly attributed to the lack of a dependable No.9 with a huge presence in front of the goal.

Alessandro Del Piero
Gabriel Batistuta
Jürgen Klinsmann
Roberto Baggio
Alan Shearer
Davor Suker
Dennis Bergkamp
Thierry Henry

Samuel Eto'o
Fernando Torres
Didier Drogba
Ruud Van Nistelrooy
Roy Makaay
Hernan Crespo
Christian Vieri
Diego Forlan
Andriy Shevchenko
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Francesco Totti
Wayne Rooney
Luca Toni
Miroslav Klose

From The Sunday Times
June 13, 2010
Verdicts on the Jabulani fly in different directions
The altitude’s the problem, not the ball. Or is it?

Duncan Castles and Nick Harris

The much-criticised World Cup football has received mixed reaction from players now that it is actually being used in tournament matches. There had been a torrent of criticism for the Jabulani ball, which was made especially for South Africa 2010, and was unveiled amid much fanfare by adidas, the company that makes the ball.

But after the first couple of games opinions differed, perhaps reflecting the difference in altitude rather than the ball itself. The opening day was toughest at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium 1,740 metres above sea level. “It is a problem,” said South Africa midfielder, Kagisho Dikgaco. “It’s difficult, when you have a long ball coming towards you and it’s waving around. But they’re not going to change the ball now.”

In Cape Town, at sea level, there was qualified praise from Diego Forlan to partly balance out the complaints and cautious punching by the keepers. “It’s a good ball, it’s better,” said the Uruguayan. “The problem is when you play in the altitude then it’s really quick. It’s harder to control, quicker coming to you.”

This contrasted with the general level of criticism beforehand, expressed most graphically by Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo. “The ball is horrible, it’s hard to believe that such a ball will be used in a World Cup,” he said. “The other ball is like a nagging woman: you kick her and she’s still there. This one is like a spoiled little rich kid, who doesn’t want to be kicked in any way.”

It isn’t just South Americans brought up on makeshift pitches and improvised balls; most players dislike it. That the handful of favourable reviews emerged from men partially remunerated by sponsorship deals with the manufacturer hardly helps adidas’ case — but it wasn’t meant to be this way.

The Jabulani was part designed in England by Dr Andy Harland, who has a PhD and a decade’s experience in “engineering” footballs. Dr Harland’s expertise measuring the flight of spherical objects and a wind tunnel at Loughborough University, were used to confirm that it is “the most stable and most accurate adidas ball ever”.

Like its in-house predecessors, the Jabulani is stitchless. A reduced number of panels and a new configuration of aerodynamic grooves are claimed to “provide unmatched flight characteristics”. So what’s gone wrong? By Dr Harland’s account, they simply don’t kick consistently enough.

The Jabulani isn’t any lighter than previous designs, but the revised aerodynamics do mean it flies through the air 5% faster. A higher velocity, says the scientist, means that small variations in striking angle can result in increased changes in the travel of the ball. The high altitude at which some matches are being staged could further increase ball speed and flight variation.

“I realise a number of players have made complaints,” says Dr Harland. “But with the best will in the world, there isn’t a player who can kick the same way twice. Our kicking robot can.” Strike it the same way, however, and according to Dr Harland’s wind-tunnel tests the Jabulani will respond more consistently than any before it. “Footballers should be rewarded for their skill by a ball that responds uniformly. The desire wasn’t to flummox the players with unpredictable flight.”

Holland knew they were in trouble when assistant coach, Philip Cocu, tried kicking it around at the team’s South African training base with Frank Rijkaard. If two of the finest strikers of a ball in the nation’s storied history couldn’t handle the Jabulani what were they to do? As for England, the ball was offered directly to the FA in February, but opportunities to use it with the team were limited; there were just two training sessions before each of two Wembley friendlies this year.

England are, in any case, contracted to use Umbro balls as part of their own sponsorship deal, although the squad has used the Jabulani continually since assembling on 17 May.

Frank Lampard is one player who has spoken favourably about the Jabulani. He has been acquainted with it longer than most, from the design phase at Loughborough University.

“This ball is quite true in its flight when you hit it cleanly, which is what you want,” he has said. “There is obviously a lot of human error in football, on certain days you catch the ball wrong [and] as players we look to criticise ... If players are moaning about the size or the weight I think that is probably just football players.”

Lampard’s Chelsea team-mate, Petr Cech, has also been fairly positive about the ball. “At first when I saw the ball I thought very nice ball but is it going to be disturbing much when it flies? I would say no, because when the ball is in the air you hardly see too much colours because the white one is really dominant so, in this respect no problem for the goalkeeper,” Cech said.

“As I said it is nice to catch, it feels good in the hands as well as kicking, it has a good control when I try to kick it. I like even the way that there is not many cuts on the ball, it is quite solid and all together so this is a new for me as well.”

Adidas has a seven-year contract, for which the firm paid £200m, to be official ball suppliers to Fifa between 2007 and 2014. Of the firm’s annual global income of around £8.5bn, some £1bn is from football products, including kits and balls. Adidas hopes to sell around 15m Jabulani balls in 2010, ranging in cost (retail prices) between £14.99 and £80. Those potential ball sales are believed to be worth around £60m this year.

The ball was used at the 2010 African Nations Cup and in leagues in South Africa, Argentina and the USA.

Labels: , ,


Longest Wimbledon match ever won by Isner in over 11 hours
June 25, 2010

LONDON, June 25 — The world’s longest tennis match finally ended at Wimbledon yesterday when John Isner claimed the incredulous fifth set of a three-day epic against Nicolas Mahut 70-68 after 11 hours and five minutes on court.

The American 23rd seed ended the contest with a backhand passing shot after another hour of play on Court 18 after the match had resumed at 59-59 in the deciding set after it was stopped by bad light on Wednesday.

“I am a little bit tired,” an elated Isner said in an on-court interview.

“When you play a match like this with an atmosphere like this you don’t feel tired. This crowd was fantastic.

“The guy (Mahut) is an absolute warrior. I want to share this day with him, it was an absolute honour. I wish him the best and see him somewhere down the road and it won’t go 70-68.”

Isner completed an eye-watering 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 70-68 first-round victory with every vantage point taken by a packed crowd on Court 18.

Isner fell to the ground in disbelief and after the two players hugged at the net Mahut sunk into his chair and covered his head with his towel.

The previous longest match was the six hours 33 minutes epic between Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement at the 2004 French Open. — Reuters

Match stats

* Longest match (time elapsed): 11 hours and five minutes. Previous record: 6 hours and 33 minutes (F Santoro bt A Clement, I round, French Open 2004).

* Longest match (games played): 183 games. Previous record: 112 (P Gonzalez bt C Pasarell, Wimbledon, 1969).

* Longest set in Grand Slam: 70-68, 8 hours and 11 minutes. Previous record: J Newcombe bt M Reissen 25-23 (US Open, 1969).

* Most aces in a match: Isner 112, Mahut 103. Previous 78 by I Karlovic, 2009 Davis Cup.


Thursday, June 24, 2010


France 1-2 South Africa
Mexico 0-1 Uruguay
Nigeria 2-2 South Korea
Greece 0-2 Argentina
Slovenia 0-1 England
United States 1-0 Algeria
Ghana 0-1 Germany
Australia 2-1 Serbia

Uruguay VS. South Korea 6/26/10 3:00 PM BST
United States VS. Ghana 6/26/10 7:30 PM BST
Germany VS. England 6/27/10 3:00 PM BST
Argentina VS. Mexico 6/27/10 7:30 PM BST

Well, 4 of the 8 groups have concluded. Four more groups to end by this Friday. For the four groups, the most exciting matches to catch are the following 2 matches.
Portugal VS. Brazil
Chile VS. Spain

I went to watch the Mexico-Uruguay match and Ghana-Germany match. The major surprise early this morning was Australia's victory over Serbia. I guess this World Cup is filled with too many upsets that upsets are no longer surprising. I don't even bat an eyelid anymore when a much higher ranked country is dethroned. To be fair, Australia are not bad, I watched their previous match. They finished with the same points like Ghana but missed the last 16 because of the 4 goals conceded from the first match against Germany. Ghana were good but they did not pressure Germany much.

I expected France to lose their final match so there is nothing surprising about the defeat. I saw Thierry Henry at the end of the match as it ended later than the Uruguay-Mexico match. I couldn't help but thought that Henry must be thinking he should have not had that handball in the first place. They could suffer less humiliation if Ireland had gone through. Irish fans must be cursing back home looking at how France 'wasted' their World Cup opportunity like that.

England went through with a slim 1-0 victory thanks to Defoe. Our dear friend, Rooney, is still not scoring a single goal. They are facing Germany for the last 16, a very tricky match indeed. I doubt they can survive if they don't improve. They just barely went through to the last 16. Argentina's match against Mexico will be exciting too. Actually it is a joy watching the young Mexicans play. I believe with experience, they will become damn good. They were not pushing Uruguay hard enough during the match. They wasted tonnes of opportunities in front of goal. What a waste! Congratulations to South Korea for going into the last 16!

Japan have the chance too tonight if they play well against Denmark. Italy must beat Slovakia tonight and hope Paraguay kill New Zealand if they want to go to the next round. They are also in a very difficult situation like England. Spain too have the same fate like Italy. They have to beat Chile to ensure going through. Chile must avoid defeat to be sure of going through, a draw is sufficient. Switzerland will also have to beat Honduras as they have the same points as Spain in a very tricky situation. Portugal should go through with the superior goal scored advantage over Ivory Coast. Mathematically speaking, Ivory Coast still have the chance if they can beat North Korea with a bigger margin. Brazil just need a draw to make sure they stay as the group champions.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Slovenia 2-2 United States
England 0-0 Algeria
Germany 0-1 Serbia
Ghana 1-1 Australia
Netherlands 1-0 Japan
Cameroon 1-2 Denmark
Slovakia 0-2 Paraguay
Italy 1-1 New Zealand
Brazil 3-1 Ivory Coast
Portugal 7-0 Korea DPR (PRK)
Chile 1-0 Switzerland
Spain 2-0 Honduras

You know one thing I noticed very obviously during the first round? That all the players featured in the nice Nike advertisement did not perform well and some of them continue to play badly during the second round.

If Spain grabbed the headlines in the first round for the upset by Switzerland, then the second round headlines must be given to France. For the wrong reasons though.....England too are somehow going the France way. There are speculations but not yet. For both countries, the captains seemed to be the cause. Germany too lost to Serbia apart from France losing to Mexico.

For the right reasons, Brazil and Portugal have to be the ones to grab the headlines. Brazil showed their samba in the win over Ivory Coast while Portugal finally broke the World Cup dry spell of goals with 7. Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France especially have the risk of missing out on the knock-out stage. Their third and final match in the group will be extremely crucial and for France, they must hope that either Uruguay or Mexico win the match for them to have any mathematical chance.

This World Cup has so far been the most closely fought competition since I first watched football in 1996. Big teams do not perform up to expectations. Although I have to say that coincidentally some of them like Italy and France are loaded with players past their prime, those on the brink of retirement. Smaller teams played very well defensively, giving bigger teams hard time to unlock the defences. Brazil is the only team out of 8 groups so far guaranteed of qualification no matter how the matches will end in the last round. This is how close the competition is so far.

World Cup 2010: Who Can Qualify For The Next Stage?
A look at the numbers...
By Ewan Macdonald
Jun 21, 2010 11:00:00 PM looks at the possibilities for every team from Group A to H, heading into the final days of the group stage.

Group A
France-South Africa
6/22/10 4:00PM
6/22/10 4:00PM

* Uruguay need only a draw to progress to the next stage in first place. Should they lose and France or South Africa draw, they will qualify in second place. Should they lose and one of France and South Africa wins, it will come down to goal difference.
* Mexico need only a draw to progress to the next stage in second place. Should they lose and France or South Africa draw, they will qualify in second place. Should they lose and one of France and South Africa wins, it will come down to goal difference.
* France require a win over South Africa; and for Uruguay and Mexico not to draw; and to secure a superior goal difference to the losing side of the other fixture, in order to qualify in second place.
* South Africa require a win over France; and for Uruguay and Mexico not to draw; and to secure a superior goal difference to the losing side of the other fixture, in order to qualify in second place.

Group B
Nigeria-South Korea
6/22/10 8:30PM
6/22/10 8:30PM

* Argentina need only avoid defeat against Greece to qualify in first place. Defeat is fine, too, unless it is by three or more goals, and South Korea win, in which case they will finish third. Second place is possible if they lose by a high margin to Greece but are not leapfrogged by South Korea.
* South Korea are guaranteed to qualify in second place if they win and Greece drop points; or if they win by a higher margin than Greece; or the same margin whilst preserving a goals scored superiority.
* Greece will finish second if they secure more points than South Korea. If they win and South Korea win, then it comes down to three-way goal difference, in which the Greeks must score two goals more than the Koreans.
* Nigeria must beat South Korea and hope that Greece lose to Argentina. Only this set of results will see them qualify in second place.

Group C
6/23/10 4:00PM
United States-Algeria
6/23/10 4:00PM

* Slovenia will qualify for the next stage with a draw against England. They can also qualify in second place - or even first - with a narrow defeat, providing that Algeria win only by a slim margin against the United States.
* The United States will guarantee qualification with a win over Algeria, and will finish first if Slovenia can only draw at the time, or if England win by a narrow margin. A draw will be enough if Slovenia beat England, or if Slovenia and England draw while the USA preserve a better goal record than England. The only scenarios that see the USA finish first instead of second is if they secure a better goal difference than Slovenia whilst the Europeans draw with England; or if England beat Slovenia and the USA retain a better goal difference than them. Meanwhile if the USA lose they are definitely out.
* England are guaranteed to progress if they defeat Slovenia. They can also qualify in second place if both matches end in a draw and they score three more than the United States do in their tie with Algeria (e.g. 3-3 and 0-0.) Defeat eliminates England entirely, as does a draw if either USA or Algeria pick up a win. First place is possible for England only if they win and the USA and Algeria draw, or Algeria win.
* Algeria cannot win the group but can qualify in second if they beat the USA and Slovenia win; draw; or lose by a significantly greater margin than Algeria.

Group D
Ghana- Germany
6/23/10 8:30PM
6/23/10 8:30PM

* Ghana need only avoid defeat to qualify. If Serbia beat Australia and Ghana and Germany draw, Ghana finish second. If Serbia beat Australia and Germany beat Ghana, Ghana finish third.If Australia draw with Serbia and Ghana retain their goals scored advantage over Serbia in a one-goal loss, Ghana qualify in second; a larger margin of defeat results in a third place finish. If Australia beat Serbia and Ghana lose, Ghana qualify in second place.
* Germany will qualify in first place with a win over Ghana, assuming Serbia fail to beat Australia by a three goal margin. A draw with Ghana will see them through in second if Australia and Serbia draw; or if Australia win without repairing their goal difference. Any other scenario results in elimination for the Germans.
* Serbia will qualify with a win over Australia. They will finish second in doing so unless Ghana and Germany draw; or if Germany win and Serbia can repair their goal difference over them. A draw will be sufficient for Serbia to qualify in second place if Germany lose; or if Germany win and Serbia secure a better goal record than Ghana.
* Australia will qualify in second place if they beat Serbia and Ghana beat Germany. They can also qualify in second if they win and Ghana and Germany draw, providing that Australia can overcome a mammoth goal difference margin of seven; or if Germany beat Ghana and Australia can overcome a their goal difference margin vis-a-vis the Africans. Realistically Australia need a win, and a Ghana win.

Group E
6/24/10 8:30PM
6/24/10 8:30PM

* The Netherlands have already qualified and are likely to finish first. They will only finish second if they lose and if the winner of the Denmark-Japan fixture can secure a better goal record than the Dutch.
* Japan will qualify in second place with a draw or a win against Denmark.. They can win the group if the Dutch lose and the Japanese can secure a superior goal record while winning versus Denmark.
* Denmark will qualify in second place with a win against Denmark - no other result will suffice. They can win the group if the Dutch lose and the Danes can secure a superior goal record while winning versus Japan.
* Cameroon are eliminated.

Group F

6/24/10 4:00PM
6/24/10 4:00PM

* Paraguay Paraguay will qualify for the next stage in first place with a win against New Zealand. They can also finish second if they lose and Italy and Slovakia draw; or if Slovakia beat Italy while repairing their goal difference deficit over the Paraguayans. Any other scenario results in elimination.
* Italy will qualify with a win over Slovakia. They will also qualify if they draw and Paraguay defeat New Zealand; or if they draw while Paraguay and New Zealand draw, while scoring more than New Zealand. Should Italy and New Zealand both draw by the exact same scoreline then a drawing of lots will take place to determine qualification. Italy can only finish in first place if they win, while Paraguay and New Zealand draw and Italy achieve a better goal difference than Paraguay. Or, if Italy win, New Zealand win, and Italy achieve a better goal difference over New Zealand. Any other scenario will result in elimination.
* New Zealand New Zealand will qualify in first place with a win over Paraguay unless Italy also win with a bigger scoreline. They can also qualify in second if they draw and Italy and Slovakia draw, and while doing so also score more than Italy (e.g. 1-1 and 0-0.) Should New Zealand and Italy both draw by the exact same scoreline then a drawing of lots will take place to determine qualification. Any other scenario will result in elimination.
* Slovakia cannot finish first. They will finish second if they win and New Zealand fail to beat Paraguay. They can also qualify in second place if they win and New Zealand defeat Paraguay, providing that the Slovakians can repair their goal difference deficit over the South Americans.

Group G
DPRK-Ivory Coast
6/25/10 4:00PM
6/25/10 4:00PM

* Brazil have already qualified for the last 16. A draw is all they need to clinch top spot.
* Portugal need only a draw to qualify, but a win will see them top the group. They will also qualify if they lose and Ivory Coast fail to win. They can still lose in the event of an Ivory Coast victory so long as the two results don't result in a swing of nine or more goals. Should Portugal lose 3-0 and Ivory Coast win 6-0 then lots will be drawn to determine who progresses.
* Ivory Coast require a win, coupled with a Portugal defeat, which ensures a minimum nine-goal swing to progress. A 6-0 victory and a 3-0 Portugal defeat will be mean a drawing of lots.
* DPRK are eliminated.

Group H
6/25/10 8:30PM
6/25/10 8:30PM

* Chile only need a draw against Spain to qualify as group winners. They will also progress even if the lose and Switzerland fail to beat Honduras. A win will guarantee top spot.
* Spain will qualify top of the group if they defeat Chile by even a single goal and Switzerland do not beat Honduras by two goals or more. If Spain can only draw with Chile, they will only progress if Switzerland fail to beat Honduras. If Spain lose, they can still advance provided Switzerland also lose by an equal or bigger margin.
* Switzerland will make the last 16 if they defeat Honduras and Spain can only draw with Chile. If Switzerland only manage a draw, they can still go through if Spain lose to Chile. Switzerland can finish top of the group if they win and Spain beat Chile, but they must have a better goal difference than both Spain and Chile. If Switzerland and Spain are levelled on points, goal difference and goals scored, the Swiss will go through having beaten Spain.
* Honduras cannot finish top of the group. They can only finish second if they beat Switzerland and Spain lose to Chile, and they record a better goal difference than the Spaniards.

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 18, 2010


Netherlands 2-0 Denmark
Japan 1-0 Cameroon
Italy 1-1 Paraguay
New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia
Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal
Brazil 2-1 North Korea
Honduras 0-1 Chile
Spain 0-1 Switzerland
South Africa 0-3 Uruguay
Argentina 4-1 South Korea
Greece 2-1 Nigeria
France 0-2 Mexico

Well, Switzerland created the biggest shock of the tournament with a 1-0 victory against Spain. The Spanish seemed lost of ideas and resorted to a lot of crosses and corners at the wings which always ended up useless. Although they did have many good chances on goal, I guess luck was not on their side. Buffon is injured and most probably Italy will have to continue the rest of the campaign without him. Italy were lucky to get the draw after Paraguay were ahead in the match. Japan created history when Honda gave them the goal for the win against Eto'o's Cameroon.

New Zealand and Slovakia played one of the most boring matches in the tournament. I heard people who watched it were complaining like hell. There was one who shared to me that he was struggling to stay awake throughout the match. Was it that bad? I watched the Ivory Coast - Portugal match and in all honesty, Ivory Coast played better and of course, like most matches watched so far, the African countries are a lot tougher in their plays. Portugal looked too soft compared to them and Cristiano Ronaldo was heavily guarded throughout the match. Deco looked like he should have retired before the tournament, almost invincible.

Higuain scored the first hattrick in the low scoring World Cup tournament where teams are defending extremely tight. Lucky for him, most of the goals were presented to him in front of goal as he did not really create them from scratch. South Korea were quite good actually if you watched the match. It is just that they had a lousier finishing touch than Argentina. Mexico managed to beat France in the last match before this post although they only managed a draw against South Africa in the opening match. Every decent football fan will want France out as soon as possible for the way they qualify to play in the tournament.

From here onwards, Spain and England better perform miles better or can end up going home early from the tournament. I also hope the goals start pouring in as the players get used to the Jabulani ball.

Worldview: Why Has World Cup 2010 Been The Lowest Scoring Tournament For Years?

Frustrated fans, perplexed players...
Jun 17, 2010 4:28:00 PM

It's been the lowest scoring opening round of matches in the World Cup by some way for the last three tournaments and fans, players and officials alike are scratching their heads as to why.

Is it down to a paucity of attacking endeavour? How much has the Jabulani ball really effected the number of goals? Is it down to the fear of losing an opening game paralysing teams? Perhaps it's due to increased excellence in defence? Or maybe the altitude is leaving teams a spent force? UK takes a look at some of the stats to see if they help pinpoint a reason for the lack of entertainment.

Where have all the goals gone?

The Facts

So far in World Cup 2010 only 25 goals have been scored which falls way below the previous two tournaments. In 2002 an impressive 46 goals were smashed in (although eight of those came in Germany's demolition of Saudi Arabia) and 39 were netted in 2006.

2010 first group games
2006 first group games
2002 first group games
25 (1.56 goals per game)
39 (2.43 goals per game)
46 (2.88 goals per game)

The Opinion

Brazilians have long been admired as the leading attacking nation in the world, so who better to ask than Brazil's Andre Baibich. "I believe the teams are using the wrong strategy to attack in this World Cup. All teams seem to be trying to attack with width. If you look at the matches you always see the attacking team passing the ball around and getting it to their winger, trusting him to dribble past his marker and create the space. But there's always a full-back and a winger defending on the sides, so there's no space.

"If there's a place on the pitch with a little bit of space, the way I see it, it's between the defence and midfield lines, at the edge of the box. If you look at England's goal against USA that is very clear. Heskey moves back and finds that tiny space to flick the pass and find Gerrard alone to score."

The Jabulani ball

The Facts

2010 first group games
2006 first group games
2002 first group games
398 shots (132 on target)
352 shots (159 on target)
357 shots (181 on target)

The Opinion

Germany produced by far the most impressive attacking performance of the opening round, with many putting this down to the fact the Bundesliga has used the Jabulani ball for sixth months. So does familiarity breed contentment? "If you watch the Bundesliga and the World Cup, you see that the ball reacts completely differently," says Francois Duchateau of Germany. "Nobody said anything about the Jabulani before the World Cup, but in South Africa this ball is really going crazy. It drifts away, doesn't know top spin and jumps off very high. This is not usual.

"In German league competition, there was no discussion about the ball. So it has to do with the South African circumstances. Is it the altitude? Or maybe the pitches? We don't know. But Germany has no advantages because of this crazy beach volley ball!"

Defence is the best form of attack

The Facts

2010 first group games
2006 first group games
2002 first group games
4 goals in last 10 mins
10 goals in last 10 mins
7 goals in last 10 mins

The Opinion UK's Graham Lister puts this year's tournament in historical perspective. "It seems that caution and defensive organisation are triumphing over the cavalier approach that brought some of the previous World Cups alive. There is a premium on risk-taking and it's called pressure.

"Those who were enthralled by earlier tournaments, particularly the seminal 1970 World Cup, must wonder why teams with vaunted attacking riches are finding it so hard to locate the flair. It's a case of keep what we've got - a clean sheet at kick-off - and hope to nick something, rather than let's show the world what we can do by filling our boots.

"The pressure, though, will only intensify as the competition progresses, so it's to be hoped that the shackles will soon be flung aside as teams start to realise that boldness is still the route to glory."

Stopping the opposition

The Facts

2010 first group games
2006 first group games
2002 first group games
57 cards (4 red) 72 cards (3 red) 55 cards (3 red)

The Opinion

Carlo Garganese,'s Italian expert, is well versed in catenaccio, so what is the current defensive trend? "Defending is easier, not better. The sweeper has disappeared from the game because through balls have disappeared. And through balls have disappeared because the synthetic balls travel too fast and are either swept up by the goalkeepers, or run out of play.

"The only ball defenders have to watch out for is the diagonal through pass - such as Robinho's for Elano's goal during the match against South Korea - but even these are becoming rarer and rarer."

Also revealing is the Castrol Index for the first round of matches, which finds that eight of the top 10 performing players in the first round were either defenders or goalkeepers. Here is the list:

1. Gabriel Heinze (Argentina, Def) 9.51
2. Waldo Ponce (Chile, Def) 9.33
3. Manuel Neuer (Germany, GK) 9.22
4. Antolin Alcaraz (Paraguay, Def) 9.20
5. Gregory Van Der Wiel (Netherlands, Def) 9.19
5. Gary Medel (Chile, Mid) 9.19
7. Jung Sung Ryong (South Korea, GK) 9.15
8. Lee Jung Soo (South Korea, Def) 9.12
9. Martin Demichelis (Argentina, Def) 9.06
9. Park Ji-Sung (South Korea, Mid) 9.06

Up in the air - the effect of altitude

The Facts

2010 average altitude
2006 average altitude
2002 average altitude
783.7m 148.25m 33.95m

The Opinion

Peter Pedroncelli is's African expert. "Acclimatising is key to the World Cup players. But a number of teams have been training at altitude and they do not seem to be superior in any particularly pronounced way.

Added to that, at altitude an object encounters less wind resistance, and this may also affect the flight of the ball, and in this case, the flight of the much maligned Jabulani."

Fallen stars

The Facts

So far, the competition is being fought-out without the likes of David Beckham, Michael Ballack and Nani, while Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben are struggling to gain full match fitness in order to feature prominently in this summer's tournament.

The Opinion International's World editor Peter Staunton offers this take. "Italy were missing Andrea Pirlo against Paraguay, and certainly his guile could be seen as a big miss for the world champions. England counted out Gareth Barry but to what extent could he have contributed in a playmaking sense against USA? Precious little, in my opinion.

"The lack of impact from 'star names' is less to do with their outright absence than it is their ineffectiveness in international systems. Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney seem to be fish out of water in their national teams, as opposed to their clubs. Domestically, teams are built around them over a course of months.

There simply is not that window of opportunity at international levels. It's more a case of sink or swim. Indeed only Joachim Loew (Germany), with Mesut Oezil, Marcelo Bielsa (Chile) with Alexis Sanchez and Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay) with Diego Forlan have got genuine return from their playmakers so far."

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 14, 2010


Three days gone. We have been complaining about the lack of goals until early this morning our local time (Singapore/Malaysia) when the Germans killed Australians 4-0. Most of the matches ended 0-0, 1-0 or 1-1. Serbia were beaten 0-1 by Ghana with a penalty kick. Unknowns Algeria were beaten 0-1 by Slovenia. England were held 1-1 by United States. I hope they improve from their first performance.

South Koreans scored the highest goals amount with the 2-0 win against Greece before the Germany-Australia match. Uruguay were unfortunately held to a 0-0 draw with France. I was hoping Uruguay to beat France but they were down to 10 men. Mexico, with their young side, managed only a draw against the host, South Africa. I believe they will improve as the tournament progresses as they gain experience and momentum to play as a team. It was just as entertaining a match as the Argentina-Nigeria match.

Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0 but it could have gone either way. Mikel John Obi's absence could be the reason for their ineffectiveness but Nigeria had been dangerous for the entire match. Higuain wasted tonnes of chances but to be fair to him, some of them were difficult to execute and Messi was dangerous like hell with his tries on goal. One of those chances was merely blocked by the fingertips of the goalie. The funny thing about that match was that we thought the referee's uniforms resemble the Spanish jersey with the red background and yellow highlights. Maradona was also very dramatic showing his emotions at the side of the pitch. The green laser shone at Messi and Maradona was another thing being talked about after the match.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Let the fever begin! Who will win the World Cup this time around in South Africa? Look at the odds below. Who can win the Golden Boot? Look at the odds below too.

The matches are played at our local Malaysian and Singaporean time of 7:30pm, 10:00pm and 2:30am. There are a lot of nice matches to be played at Champions League timing (2:30am). Imagine Champions League football for the entire month! The semi-finals, the third placing and final are all played at 2:30am too. The 7:30pm timing is the worst, with just one match worth mentioning. The 10pm has only half as much of exciting matches to watch.

I want Spain or Argentina to win the FIFA World Cup 2010. I want England to have a chance too but their chances seem to be lower than Spain and Argentina in my football dictionary. As for the golden boot winner, I see Luis Fabiano as a good contender for the crown, looking at how deep he plays, his opponents and the support he gets. David Villa, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez have the chances too and I rank them slightly behind Luis Fabiano, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kaka as the third level.

If you catch all the matches listed below, you already need to watch 17 out of 64 matches. If you add all the matches in Round of 16 and the quarter-finals, you have 12 more matches. That will give you a grand total of 29/64 matches to catch!

One tip to give you guys is to change your sleeping time. I know many people who can't just change their sleep time easily. I normally sleep early at night to enable myself to wake up at 2:30am. If you must sleep later, then try to wake up for the 2nd half. At least you catch half the match or more if extra time is added.

Interesting matches to watch at 7:30pm:
Holland vs Denmark - 14 June 2010

Interesting matches to watch at 10pm:
Argentina vs Nigeria - 12 June 2010
Ivory Coast vs Portugal - 15 June 2010
Mexico vs Uruguay - 22 June 2010
Portugal vs Brazil - 25 June 2010

Interesting matches to watch at 2:30am:
Uruguay vs France - 12 June 2010
Italy vs Paraguay - 15 June 2010
France vs Mexico - 18 June 2010
Cameroon vs Denmark - 20 June 2010
Brazil vs Ivory Coast - 21 June 2010
Spain vs Honduras - 22 June 2010
Ghana vs Germany - 24 June 2010
Chile vs Spain - 26 June 2010

1st Semifinals - 6 July 2010
2nd Semifinals - 7 July 2010
Third placing - 10 July 2010
Final - 11 July 2010

The winner odds in Singapore:
01 SPAIN 4.50
02 BRAZIL 4.50
03 ENGLAND 8.00
05 ITALY 16.00
06 GERMANY 8.50
07 HOLLAND 7.50
08 FRANCE 20.00
09 IVORY COAST 40.00
10 PORTUGAL 20.00
11 CHILE 80.00
12 PARAGUAY 50.00
13 GHANA 100.00
14 SERBIA 75.00
15 USA 75.00
16 NIGERIA 75.00
17 URUGUAY 80.00
18 DENMARK 100.00
19 MEXICO 75.00
20 CAMEROON 85.00
22 GREECE 35.00
23 AUSTRALIA 250.00
25 SLOVAKIA 200.00
26 SLOVENIA 300.00
27 JAPAN 500.00
29 ALGERIA 500.00
30 HONDURAS 500.00
31 KOREA DPR 500.00
32 NEW ZEALAND 500.00

The top scorer odds in Singapore are:
1 D. Villa Spain 8.50
2 L. Messi Argentina 9.00
3 W. Rooney England 10.00
4 F. Torres Spain 12.00
5 R. Van Persie Holland 13.00
6 L. Fabiano Brazil 13.00
7 G. Higuain Argentina 15.00
8 C. Ronaldo Portugal 18.00
9 D. Drogba Ivory Coast 26.00
10 D. Milito Argentina 30.00
11 N. Anelka France 30.00
12 M. Klose Germany 35.00
13 Nilmar Brazil 35.00
14 S. Aguero Argentina 35.00
15 C. Tevez Argentina 35.00
16 Kaka Brazil 35.00
17 J. Defoe England 35.00
18 Robinho Brazil 40.00
19 A. Gilardino Italy 40.00
20 L. Podolski Germany 40.00
21 T. Henry France 45.00
22 M. Gomez Germany 45.00
23 K. Huntelaar Holland 45.00
24 A. Di Natale Italy 45.00
25 A. Robben Holland 45.00
26 P. Crouch England 45.00
27 S. Eto'o Cameroon 50.00
28 F. Lampard England 55.00
29 D. Forlan Uruguay 55.00
30 Cacau Germany 55.00
31 L. Suarez Uruguay 65.00
32 V. Iaquinta Italy 65.00
33 S. Gerrard England 65.00
34 N. Bendtner Denmark 65.00
35 D. Kuyt Holland 65.00
36 F. Ribery France 65.00
37 H. Suazo Chile 75.00
38 R. Santa Cruz Paraguay 85.00
39 N. Zigic Serbia 100.00
40 Player not listed in the Starting List 4.50

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Johan Cruyff: Winning The World Cup Will Be 'Impossible' For England Under Fabio Capello
Dutchman believes that English football is being influence by Italian managers
By Anthony Sciarrino
Jun 7, 2010 11:36:00 PM

Holland legend Johan Cruyff believes that England cannot win the World Cup under Fabio Capello, citing that the way the Three Lions play is too similar to Italy as they are 'only interested in the result'.

The former Barcelona star believes that the influx of Italian managers like Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and Capello has affected football in England.

"With Capello on the bench, all the world knows how England will play. It's a curious situation in England,” Cruyff told The Mirror.

"The Italian coaches are influencing the philosophy. There are the examples of Ancelotti, Mancini and Capello.

"England now have many similarities to Italy. The mentality has changed and now they are only interested in the result.

"After the failure in Germany is 2006, now England needs a great spectacle but that is impossible with Capello as coach."

This is not the first time that the Dutchman has criticised Capello and his attack on the Three Lions boss is one of the few that he has faced since becoming England manager.

Cruyff believes that Spain, Argentina and Brazil are the three teams that will be the favourites to win in South Africa, but he is not as optimistic about Holland’s chances.

"If Spain can show their quality on the pitch then they can aspire to great success. But they must improve with each game without suffering from growing pressure.

"They must show the same pride and quality that they did at Euro 2008 to win the World Cup.

"It would be unfair for Argentina just to rely on Lionel Messi. Their system and team must be strong and they must make changes when necessary to make sure his work is not lost.

"Brazil have incredible talent and they are different now. Now they have a big keeper, a good defence and a more European style. They can be more negative. For me now, Spain is the Brazil in this World Cup.

"Holland has some good players but the stars don't play in Holland. Without playing in Holland, it's impossible for the team to improve long term."

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, June 07, 2010


They are probably the four figures grabbing the biggest headlines of the football world these few days. The first three players are risking to miss the World Cup 2010 competition. Robben may still make it but nothing is fully confirmed at this stage. I don't have to say much about him but he is too injury proned that I believe the Dutch should not put so much hope for him to perform in top form during the World Cup. Drogba's and Ferdinand's absence will be major blows to both Ivory Coast and England. These two are major players in their respective teams. The chances to advance into the competition will be lowered by a lot with their absence.

I hope this is it for the injury list for the World Cup. We are barely 3 days away to the start of the competition. I know there are more other names who got injured late into the competition preparations like Michael Essien, Michael Ballack, Andrea Pirlo, Diego Milito, Julio Cesar, Mauro Camoranesi and John Obi Mikel but these three are major names that will miss out. We football fans want to have an enjoyable World Cup competition where all the great players will be present to show us the Beautiful Game!

Benitez on the other hand has left Liverpool. The likely destination is Mourinho's hot seat at Inter Milan. He may have performed badly and Liverpool also losing their invincibility tag in Europe for the last two seasons but you have to admit he is probably the most successful Liverpool manager for a long, long time. Liverpool had always been living in the shadows of Manchester United and Arsenal since the early 90s and later Chelsea too. Benitez came and created the impossible with less money than his counterparts. That famous Champions League final victory against AC Milan is still today a miracle and incredible win.

I guess the lack of funds to buy more players as well as the inability to win the English Premier League are two major reasons for his exit.

Rafael Benitez Stats at Liverpool:
Seasons: 6
Premier League titles: 0
FA Cup wins: 1
FA Community Shield wins: 1
Champions League titles: 1
UEFA Super Cup wins: 1
UEFA Manager of the Year 2004/05 Special - Which Stars Will Miss The World Cup With Injury?

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 04, 2010

11 June - 11 July 2010

We are about a week to go for the World Cup fever to begin. Are you football fans ready?

1. Can the under-performing teams like England, Holland and Spain finally become real World Cup contenders?

2. Will Maradona be able to bring Argentina and Messi their must awaited World Cup?

3. Can Capello's strict discipline push England to win the World Cup?

4. Can Sneijder and Van der Vaart strengthen Holland at the core to win the World Cup?

5. Can Spain finally be the world champion as they are probably the most all-rounded team?

6. Which team will be the biggest surprise of the tournament?

7. Will Brazil be a serious contender despite not having many magicians on form this time?

Many questions but one thing for sure, I will have severe lack of sleep during this one month. I will pick the matches very wisely so I can still work!

I am hoping for Spain to win it but I don't mind Argentina too. Whatever it is, I hope for an entertaining tournament!

Players who can shine during the World Cup:
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
3. Wayne Rooney (England)
4. Kaka (Brazil)
5. Xavi Hernandez (Spain)
6. Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
7. Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon)
8. Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
9. Wesley Sneijder (Holland)
10. Andres Iniesta (Spain)
11. Rafael Van der Vaart (Holland)
12. Cesc Fabregas (Spain)
13. Steven Gerrard (England)
14. Luis Fabiano (Brazil)
15. Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
16. Carlos Tevez (Argentina)

Those in bold are expected to perform extremely well, some of them carrying the weight of the entire country on their shoulders.

Labels: , , , ,


Probably the best chance to see Jose Mourinho for the first time. These kind of friendlies normally don't guarantee the attendance of the top stars. Even if they are present, the playing time will be minimal. Therefore, I will not put in too much expectations for it. I hope they will visit Singapore too. That will be great!

Real’s Malaysia trip feels Ramadan bite
June 04, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — Real Madrid’s proposed pre-season fixture with the Malaysian national team has yet to be finalised due to a clash with Ramadan and venue issues.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Azzuddin Ahmad expects the game against the nine-times European champions to take place on August 21 — in the middle of Ramadan where Muslims fast for the holy month.

However, Malaysian news agency Bernama said Azzuddin was discussing with national coach K. Rajagobal about playing at 2200 local time as Muslim players and fans can eat before sunrise.

Azzuddin also said he was hopeful refurbishments to the National stadium, due to start shortly, could be delayed by two months so that they could use the venue for Real game.

The Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium has been earmarked as a possible alternative.

The national team also play a friendly match on July 17 against English Championship (second division) side Cardiff City, taken over by Malaysian businessmen Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Chan Tien Ghee last month.

“Playing Cardiff City and Real Madrid, especially, who have a list of world class players, will give my players valuable experience and world class competition,” Rajagobal said.

The FAM have brought forward domestic fixtures to accommodate the arrival of Cardiff, who will also play a fixture against the under-19 team on July 15. — Reuters

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 03, 2010




Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Matches not to be missed for the group stage. Seems like Group A has more actions to be expected. However, in almost all World Cup tournaments, expect some big upsets. South Africa will be a very different place with different weather, culture and food. These elements will contribute to the performances of every team.

Uruguay - France --- 6/11/10 8:30 PM GMT
France - Mexico --- 6/17/10 1:30 PM GMT
Mexico - Uruguay --- 6/22/10 4:00 PM GMT

Argentina - Nigeria --- 6/12/10 1:30 PM GMT

Netherlands - Denmark --- 6/14/10 1:30 PM GMT
Cameroon - Netherlands --- 6/24/10 8:30 PM GMT

Italy - Paraguay --- 6/14/10 8:30 PM GMT

Ivory Coast - Portugal --- 6/15/10 4:00 PM GMT
Portugal - Brazil --- 6/25/10 4:00 PM GMT

Spain - Honduras --- 6/21/10 4:00 PM GMT
Chile - Spain --- 6/25/10 8:30 PM GMT

Labels: , ,