Saturday, July 08, 2006


My final two predictions:

Germany VS. Portugal 1-0

Italy VS. France 1-0

Will Kahn play as Lehmann offers his position? Will Klose play? Ballack will not play to rest his calf injury. Injury will also be forcing Lahm and Mertesacker to be rested. Borowski will be another doubt. Portugal will be without Miguel who has a knee injury.

After this World Cup, I should record down the accuracy of all my predictions. By the way, like everyone said, this World Cup is too damn predictable and most people play safe! One striker up front!

“No one takes risks, everyone’s afraid [to go on the attack], and teams are very stingy… this was the worst display of football ever,” Alfio Basile (former albiceleste headman) said at a press conference in Tandil as Boca Juniors prepare for the second half of the calendar year.

According to his observations, any team that advanced to the second round could have advanced as there were no teams that stood out from the pack. “The teams that advanced [France and Italy] were the ones that took the most risks.”

I also read about the software company Information Builders (IBI) in their British office with the verdict being reached through a series of weighted indicators that included the following variabled beloved by 'amoral' players. Haha!

Dives, feigned injuries, referee intimidation, tantrums and inability or laxck of desire to sing national anthems. Here are the champions:

Dives: Italy (32)
Tantrums: France (28)
Feigned Injury: Paraguay (12)
Anthem Silence: Serbia and Montenegro (31)

Referee bullying award are shared between Croatia, France, Italy and Portugal as all had shunted various officials back with extreme invasions of personal space five times apiece, although Croatia are strictly winners as they managed all five incidents in only three matches.

Information Builders have baptised their ratings as the ‘IBI Foul Play Index’ and Paraguay can hold their heads high/low leaving Germany with an index of 45, closely followed by finalists Italy (40) with Holland, the Ivory Coast and Portugal all with 37.

Trinidad and Tobago get a pat on the back for being the best behaved team in the tournament, with a mere 14; a paltry four dives, three tantrums, two faked injuries and only three players not booming out the national anthem. Brazil, Costa Rica and Sweden were all good boys with 15.

On the nationalistic lungful side, Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Spain all scored perfect marks with each and every player – regardless of how cat-matingly off-key the voices were – giving their larynxes a workout for the homeland.

Going on statistical extrapolation from what’s been recorded so far, Sunday’s final between France and Italy should see the Azzurri on flying form and Les Bleus providing the obstreperous Gallic fits to go along.

Hopefully the stats will prove evergreen the quote attributed to Mark Twain but actually coming from Queen Victoria’s favourite statesman, Benjamin Disraeli, “There are three types of lies; lies, damn lies and statistics.”

(Reports and sources taken from:


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