World Cup Champions for a Day

September 11, 2009

“A handful of amateur carpenters, fisherman and laborers, in amongst a few professionals, won a football game yesterday. It wasn’t a big game, or a particularly meaningful one in the grand scheme, but it was an official game, and that’s something. For a tiny island nation of 48,000 it means the first competitive victory since 2001, and one of only a few in their history.” (WorldCupBlog)

Faroe Islands national football team
“The Faroe Islands national football team is the national football team of Faroe Islands and is controlled by the Faroe Islands Football Association. It is considered one of the weakest members of UEFA and has never advanced to the finals of any major international competition.” (Wikipedia), (W – Faroe Islands)

Faroes – Aland 7-1. 1989 Island Games final. 2nd half. “…Bergur Magnussen!!!” (YouTube)


The Ugly, Diving Duckling

September 11, 2009

“Eduardo has been sentenced to a 2 game ban for ‘diving.’ UEFA could not write a diving specific prohibition because the offense is too amorphous. Thus, Platini relied on an ambiguous and long unused snippet of statutory text. Technically, Eduardo was convicted of ‘simulation.’ But the legal logistics are not exactly what bothers me.” (futfanatico)

Brazil’s World Cup worries

September 11, 2009

“‘I’m happy. You may not believe it but I’m really happy,’ beamed Brazilian coach Dunga following his side’s 4-2 win over Chile in Salvador on Wednesday night. Dunga, unlike his Argentine counterpart Diego Maradona, should have reasons to be cheerful. World Cup qualification was guaranteed by Brazil’s dismissive defeat of Argentina last weekend and his team are the current Copa America and Confederations Cup holders. But Dunga rarely seems happier than when he is locked in battle with his country’s demanding fans and press corps – and neither side is contemplating a truce in the conflict.” (WSC)

Ugly Soccer Shirts: Germany

September 11, 2009

“Here is a picture list of ‘Ugly’ German soccer shirts from the past 20 years or so. As with any ‘Ugly’ shirt post, some of these straddle the fence between being interesting/unique and being plain ugly. If you know of more shirts from Germany that deserve to make the list, let me know and I’ll add them.” (The Best Eleven)

England’s Emphatic Win Places Me In Unfamiliar Territory

September 11, 2009

“In the run up to England’s World Cup qualifier with Croatia on Wednesday I was filled with hope that the Three Lions could avenge the nightmare of two years ago and qualify for the World Cup in the process. This though only represented half of my thoughts. I also harboured feelings of dread, images of England once again failing to put in a performance when it mattered and visions of Scott Carson making a nightmarish return to the England team. I was astonished and delighted then to witness a clinical and ruthless England comfortably sweep aside Croatia and cruise towards the World Cup with two games left to play. Does this now mean that England are a genuine hope at the World Cup or am I just hopping on the bandwagon of expectation that rides around every two years at tournament time?” (ThreeMatchBan)

Road to South Africa

September 11, 2009

“It is time to take a look as time runs short in the current cycle of World Cup qualifying, with most teams around the world having two games left to play. Rather than going through it region by region, the focus is on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking and how it is most likely to affect World Cup seedings when the draw is held in December. A top seeding in a finals group gives a country a good chance to advance and the best chance to avoid a so-called group of death (FIFA also factors in other criteria, such as a country’s performance in recent World Cups).” (NYT)

Paul Le Guen’s formula puts Cameroon on threshold of the World Cup

September 11, 2009

“Remember Titi Camara? Of course you do. The former Liverpool and West Ham player is currently manager of his native Guinea, where he has accused the country’s football association of racism because it refuses to pay him €10,000 (£8,800) per month. ‘It’s because I’m black and African,’ reckons Camara. ‘If I were a white European they would have no problem paying me at least that much.'” (Guardian)