Posts Tagged ‘World Cup’

Italy wins the World Cup!

In Sports on 10 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

The Azzurri denies the les Bleus and win the World Cup 2006.  Although it was not the glorious of way to win, the Azzurri lifted the World Cup for the 4th time through the means of a penalty shootout.  Which they won it with a 100% accuracy.  5 out 5 of penalties were scored, giving them a 5-3 win on penalty shootout.  This was totally unheard of for the Azzurri, who had bowed out of previous World Cup through penalty 4 times out of the total 5 penalties that they had taken.

In the end it was a controversial penalty, a superb header, an outrageous head-butting and a missed penalty that will be well remembered in this year World Cup 2006 Final.  Forza Italia!


Its devastating!

In Sports on 1 July, 2006 at 7:53 pm

Simply devastating!  Argentina is out of the World Cup 2006!  Its true, reality is always so cruel.  This is not the year for Argentina football.  Not the year for Lionel Messi.  Not the year for Juan Riquelme.  I was out of control when Argentina crash out of World Cup losing 2-4 on penalty shoot out to host Germany.  Devastating, simply devastating!

I simply can’t understand when coach decide to defend a one goal advantage.  After Roberto Ayala score a header into Germany net, Jose Pekerman decide to play defensive.  Out came Riquelme, and in came a defensive midfielder Esteban Cambiasso; Out came Hernan Crespo, and in came Julio Cruz.  And the worst thing is that Argentina had also lost their first choice goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri through injury.  And sure enough Germany score and the rest is really history.

World Cup is not important to Star Players?

In Sports on 19 June, 2006 at 3:00 pm

I’ve heard over this afternoon radio whereby some audiences who called in and said that playing for the country is not important to those soccer players who had made their name.  This is because these star players are normally paid handsomely by their private club, like those in English Premier League, and they wouldn’t stress themselves to go all out for the World Cup.  Since in the event they might get injured and cost them their career, especially when their private club will urge them not to do that.

This is quite far from the truth…

Private club will hope that their investment will not be injured during the World Cup season.  But those star players who thought the same have no place in the World Cup.  Look at Wayne Rooney, he suffered an injury during the English Premier Leagure season, but how eager was him to play after he himself think that he has recovered.  This make his club manager not very happy with him.  How about Michael Owen?  He is definitely a star player, but if you don’t think so, he is still handsomely paid by their private club, especially in Real Madrid.  Why did he get a pay cut to just go to Newcastle?  Because he wants to be selected in this World Cup.  In Real Madrid although he was highly paid, he was mostly on the bench, this is not good as he will not be conditioned enough to play for World Cup, which is confirmed by England coach.  Thus he decided to go back to English Premier League where he can always start as the first 11.

If you are a star player and you have made all the money you want, what more do you want?  Glory.  And what better game to give you glory then playing superbly in the World Cup?  This is like an athlete who win in all major competition and earn herself a few million but is without an olympic gold.  You will be always a star player but you will never be a legend like Pele, Maradona and Beckenbauer.  Eric Cantona was a superb player under Manchester United but he didn’t shine in the World Cup stage for France.  Thus anyone who didn’t watch English Premier League will ask: “Eric who?”.  And anyone watching English Premier League will know about George Best and will regret that he didn’t shine in the world stage.

Any star player who just think about the money he made in his private club will just be that, a star player.  He will never be a legend.  10 or 20 years down the road and few will remember who these star players are.  And Pele, everyone who loves soccer still know about Pele.

Fever and fever

In Sports on 15 June, 2006 at 3:00 pm

I didn’t know that I will start my World Cup 2006 viewing sick.  Some how or rather I fell sick 2 days before the kick off of the World Cup 2006 and hasn’t fully recover when the ball was kick off at the Munich stadium on 9th June 2006.  So with still a bit of fever, I was catching the fever on my bed.  With a big head I saw how 6 goals were score in the first 90 min of the World Cup 2006.

The fever is still on, but it is not my fever, but the soccer fever.  And now all 32 teams has demonstrated their skill on the big world stage.  Germany is closer to getting into the round of 16; Brazil is such a disappointment; England has no creativity; Ecuador is such a surprise; Spain is stunning; Czech Republic shows how wrong the FIFA world ranking is by trouncing the rank 5 USA; And finally Argentina has hope.

It pays to be a soccer coach

In Sports on 3 June, 2006 at 3:43 pm

Forget about studying hard to get that first degree, playing soccer is the way to go.  Today’s Straits Times reveal the pay of 16 national coach whose country is involve in the upcoming World Cup 2006.  Out of the 16 countries featured, the lowest paid coach (if we disregard the special case of Ukraine’s coach as he cannot get paid if he want to hold on to his Member of Parliament seat) of Ivory Coast is already a stunning S$270,000 per year. 12 out of the 16 is in the million dollar club (which means their earning per year is more than S$1 million).  And the highest?  England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson earns an unthinkable S$12 million.

So why do we need that degree again?

P.S. Its 6 days till the kick off.

Adidas World Cup Final Official match ball

In Sports on 2 June, 2006 at 3:00 pm

The coming FIFA World Cup will feature a ball by Adidas that uses the latest technology.  If you click on the soccer ball on the left to get a bigger picture, you will notice that this soccer ball is not using pieces of pentagon shape panel to stich into a ball.  The special shape panel resulted in a much smoother surface and a much rounder ball.  Furthermore the panels are not just simply sew together, they are thermal bonded.  This will create a seamless surface and together with the special shape panel give a better trajectory and accuracy.  High quality material used to make the ball also enable it to fly exceptionally well.  No wonder the cost of this ball is a whopping US$129.99.

I hope using this ball in World Cup 2006 will let us see more exceptional goals and a much more exciting game.

Oh, did I mention?  Its 7 days to World Cup 2006 kick off.

My Prediction

In Sports on 2 June, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Worldcup 2006OK, I don’t usually do this kind of things for the World Cup, as I seldom look into my crystal ball.  So with the help of my faithful PuzzleBall, below is my prediction for the 16 teams that will get into the knockout round.  However the PuzzleBall did tell me that it would be better if I adjust my prediction after each teams played their first match.

So here goes:

  • Group A: Germany and Poland
  • Group B: England and Sweden
  • Group C: Argentina and Netherlands
  • Group D: Mexico and Portugal
  • Group E: Italy and Czech Republic
  • Group F: Brazil and Croatia
  • Group G: Korea Republic and Switzerland
  • Group H: Spain and Ukraine

I am hoping here that there will be no upset for those great teams, except for France, which will be beaten by both Korea Republic and Switzerland.  Ever since France beat Brazil in France 98, I have a dislike for France.  So when France crash out of the group stage without scoring even a single goal, I was a happy man and when Brazil finally lift the cup, it was euphoria!  Ole, ole, ole…

June is finally here!

In Sports on 1 June, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Worldcup 2006Yes June is finally here!  No its not about the school holiday, I have not been enjoying this kind of student’s privilege for quite sometimes already.  This is about the world’s hottest event; Yes, that’s right, the FIFA Worldcup 2006! Its June and the wait is finally going to be over.  The fever is going wild on 9th June; 8 more days to go.

How have I been preparing for the Worldcup?  First I’ve bought an Adidas mini match ball for decoration purpose and then I happen to bump into this shop at Suntec City that is selling this 3D Puzzleball by Ravensburger.  I’ve bought the Puzzleball and is using it as a display in my office instead of the actual mini match ball.  I will be playing around with the mini matchball at home when I watch the live telecast soccer match.  I’ve also bought a cheap Argentina polo-t, hunted around for a good magazine that give giant score sheet free with the current issue (in the end NewMan is the magazine that gives the largest score sheet complete with telecast schedule as well) and downloaded wallpaper of FIFA Worldcup.  I will be stocking up tidbits, drinks and maybe some fruits cocktail during this weekend as well.

World Cup 2006 Adidas Mini Match Ball

So all is ready, bring on the final!  Bring on the final!  Did I mention its 8 days to FIFA Worldcup 2006?

FIFA Worldcup 2006

In Sports on 22 May, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Its another 18 days before the actual kick off of the year’s hottest soccer event, the FIFA Worldcup 2006.  18 days seems to be very long, especially when the media has been hyping up the event to get it to become hotter and hotter.  Electronic Arts come to the rescue; It has launched a new game call 2006 FIFA Worldcup.  The game promises to quench your thirst before the real thing come this 9th June.

I was playing this game at my brother-in-law house.  The music, the atmosphere, the experience are all the closest you can get to experience the real thing; Especially when the graphic is so stunning.  Except for the occasional slow down, which can be tolerated, this game can definitely quench that thirst before the coming of the event.  My Brazil team has reached the knock out round with perfect score, I am now aiming for that coveted cup.

FIFA Worldcup 2006

In Sports on 23 April, 2006 at 5:41 pm

So the worldcup is coming.  Finally.  46 Days left to be exact.  So 10th June 2006 is a day to stay up late and watch 22 people chase after a round object.  10th June because, though Germany 2006 starts on 9th June in Munich, it is already 10th June in Singapore.

So which team will I be supporting?  Argentina?  Brazil?  England?  I am really not sure this time round.  I’ve supported Brazil in 2002, but I’ve always like Argentina.  England is a team that I wish will win finally, after such a long wait from their previous victory.

Something that is puzzling me though.  Why must original football jersey be so expensive?  Over S$100 each.  Really must it be so expensive?  When would I earn enough to think that S$100 is not expensive?  Its not that I can’t afford it, but it is expensive, it is a price that I would need to think for a while before I would decide whether to spend it or not.

So would I be sporting a new jersey this coming worldcup?  Well… I don’t know.  And if I decide to just buy it, which one will it be?  Argentina?  Brazil?  England?