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FOOTBALL SUMMER
by Fran on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 12:00:49 AM EST
Financial Times: And whose foot will the slipper fit?

History suggests there are two routes to winning the Golden Boot, awarded to the top scorer at each World Cup: play in a lot of games; or batter in a hatful in one match against poor opposition.

Prime exponent of the second method was Oleg Salenko, the Russian forward who, in 1994, hit five against a dispirited Cameroon in a meaningless group match to finish as the tournament's joint top-scorer with Hristo Stoichkov of Bulgaria.

That was a case of an ageing team with nothing left to play for capitulating - as Bulgaria themselves did against Spain four years later. The side most likely to cave in like this in 2006 is Iran. Given that their final group game is against Angola, it is difficult to see any opposition forward cashing in.

Group D is, nonetheless, probably the one with the greatest disparity between teams and it would be no great surprise to see Portugal and Mexico scoring freely in their opening matches.

by Fran on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 12:40:55 AM EST
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Seen in an article about France's "defensive prowess" - I like this title by L'Equipe, France's most read sports newspaper (and I believe also the most read newspaper in the country):

"Zidane participates in the collective effort"

And they put this title next to a picture of Zidane doing a nasty, illegal, tackle-from-behind:

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 04:16:07 AM EST
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At least that's in L'Equipe, not in a British tabloid. Otherwise we'd be in for another round of deconstruction.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 04:46:35 AM EST
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<snarky-snarkies>, Migu?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 05:21:23 AM EST
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Well, we can't see on the image whether he first touched the ball or the opponent's legs, or whether he is doing a twist.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 06:31:58 AM EST
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Exactly, he could have played the ball and then the forward fell over his outstretched leg, which is not a foul (unless our man Sepp has changed the rules again).

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 06:44:55 AM EST
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hehe that made me laugh, I imagined Zidane doing a breakdance on the field
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 09:16:34 AM EST
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