World Cup

Exclusive Interview with Paul the “Psychic” Octopus

It’s the big one everyone wanted. A one-on-one, man-to-octopus chat with possibly the greatest World Cup tipster in history. The two-year-old cephalopod who resides in the western German city of Oberhausen has become an international celebrity thanks to his correctly predicting every German result. But now his legacy is assured after …

Introducing Your World Cup Final: Ajax vs. Barcelona

The build up to World Cup finals always serve as an appropriate time to take stock, reflect on football’s past and generally get excited about the prospect of the crowning of the new world champions. But there’s an inexorable link that provides the basis for this Sunday’s clash between Spain and the Netherlands.

You Can’t Say You Weren’t Warned, Part 2

This is getting silly now. Yesterday, I offered evidence to show the similarity between Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s semi-final strike and one he scored a few months beforehand. And now it’s a case of déjà vu after Carles Puyol’s winner for Spain last night.

An All Too Rare Occurrence: The World Cup Will Get a New Owner

Every World Cup final since the quadrennial tournament began in 1930 has involved at least one of just four teams: Brazil, Italy, Germany and Argentina. That this year’s final will break that 80-year quadropoly is cause for celebration: Either Spain or Holland will win the World Cup for the first time on Sunday at Johannesburg’s Soccer …

Spain Pushes Past Germany 1-0 to Reach the Cup Final

I had to step out of my office for a couple of minutes while I was watching Spain’s 1-0 semifinal win over Germany. Spain had the ball in its possession as I was leaving, and when I returned, Spain had the ball in its possession. Xavi to Iniesta to Xavi to Villa to Sergio to Xavi. It’s possible Spain never gave the ball up during …

You Can’t Say You Weren’t Warned

Sure, if there’s a better goal scored in the World Cup than Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s screamer last night, then we will all have been very lucky indeed. But the lad van Bronckhorst has had “previous” in the 40-yard department you know.

Spain Faces its Test of Fire

It’s not that Spain’s quick passing “progressive possession” game can’t match the whirlwind of attacking exuberance and defensive tigritude that is Joachim Low’s youthful German side; after all, Barcelona, on whose game and players the Spanish team’s approach is based, have for years been one of Europe’s top club teams. But the Spain that …

Holland Bests Uruguay, 3-2, to Reach the Final

Uruguay took the longest, most difficult route to the World Cup, the last to qualify in South American and only after winning a playoff. No wonder they wanted to stick around so long. Let’s also give Holland its due: this team deserves its spot in the World Cup final. Holland has run the table in both qualifying and in the World Cup. …

Your World Cup Semi-Final Preview

There are but four games remaining in World Cup 2010, and we shouldn’t even count the third/four place game, which is about as pointless as putting your money on England to win the whole shebang in the first place.

The Reason Behind Germany’s Success: They’ve Got 13 Men!

It’s hard not to resort to cliche when looking at the intricate preparations undertaken by Germany when it comes to World Cup’s, or indeed anything they do in relation to football. But if they do go on to lift their fourth trophy next Sunday night at Soccer City, FIFA may well need to make some extra medals.

Worst Piece of Refereeing of the Tournament

No, not the goal line debacle in the England-Germany game, nor the various bizarro sendings off — and I’ll admit I won’t count the disallowed goal against the U.S. because the ref has never made clear what infringement he was calling, so it’s impossible to rate the error. But in tonight’s Spain-Paraguay nail-biter, I think I saw the …

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