How Germany reinvented itself

July 3, 2010

Thomas Muller
“In 1997, German football was on top of the world. Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, the two powerhouses from the Ruhr area, had won the Champions League and UEFA Cup, respectively. A year earlier, Berti Vogts’ Germany had triumphed in the Euro 1996 final against the Czechs. Below the radar, however, something strange and disconcerting was happening: Germany was running out of decent players.” (SI)

Argentina 0 – 4 Germany
“No trash talking needed. Germany was just too good for Argentina. Miroslav Klose scored twice to move into a tie for second on the all-time World Cup scoring list, and Thomas Mueller and Arne Friedrich added goals to give Germany a resounding 4-0 victory Saturday in the World Cup quarterfinals. As cameras flashed, the Germans hugged and high-fived each other before walking around the edge of the field, saluting their fans.” (ESPN)

Germany Eliminates Argentina From World Cup (HIGHLIGHTS, VIDEO)
“No trash talking needed. Germany was just too good for Argentina. Miroslav Klose scored twice to move into a tie for second on the all-time World Cup scoring list, and Thomas Mueller and Arne Friedrich added goals to give Germany a resounding 4-0 victory in the World Cup quarterfinals. As flashbulbs popped, the Germans hugged and high-fived each other before walking around the edge of the field, saluting their fans.” (Huffington Post)

Argentina 0-4 Germany – Video Highlights, Recap, Match Stats – World Cup – 3 July 2010
“It was a match-up of two top teams in the World as Argentina faced Germany in the quarterfinals on Saturday, July 3, 2010. The winner of the match would play either Paraguay or Spain in the semifinals. Argentina was coming off a 3-1 win over Mexico in the round of 16 while Germany beat England 4-1 in the round of 16.” (The 90th Minute)

Hearing (African) Voices: The Twenty Ten Project

July 3, 2010

“Much of what we read about this World Cup comes from a sanitized McWorld that represents one side of globalization: the stadiums, hotels, shopping malls, media hospitality suites, and articles of South Africa are often only slightly different from the same anywhere in the world at any other modern mega-event. In places such as Johannesburg and Cape Town it is easy to stay in familiar worlds, and sometimes hard to experience anything else: writers at this World Cup for outlets such as Sports Illustrated have to, apparently, sneak away from their ‘security task force’ in order to leave the ‘compound’ for something as simple as a haircut. The consequent perspectives offer little that an imaginative writer could not produce with a fast internet connection from any airport Hilton.” (Pitch Invasion)

Football, at Sea (reading the World Cup through Moby Dick)

July 3, 2010

“I was challenged to connect The World Cup to Moby Dick. Readers of the novel and fans of the beautiful game will see points of intersection just as peculiar as what follows here.” (From A Left Wing)

Uruguay 1-1 Ghana: nothing to separate the sides

July 3, 2010

“A game that got increasingly exciting, before an incredible finale. Penalties and Suarezgate aside, a ‘draw’ was a fair result. Both sides fielded their expected line-ups – Uruguay had named their team 48 hours before kick-off, whilst Ghana’s team featured the predicted two changes because of suspensions. The opening to the game was played primarily in Ghana’s half, with Uruguay dominating possession.” (Zonal Marking)

World Cup 2010: Uruguay 1-1 Ghana (Uruguay Win 4-2 On Penalties)
“If this isn’t the signature match of this World Cup, an absolute classic awaits. All the “total football” focus had been on Holland v Brazil but in the end only Brazil played like they did in 1974; while this… this match was total… everything. The streets of Ghana’s capital Accra are not as packed as Ned Boulting and ITV would have been hoping when they flew 3,000 miles to get there. Most of the locals are filmed showing two fingers to Boulting and his cameras and we are assured that this is a prediction of the scoreline, rather than an invitation to the patronising outsiders to foxtrot oscar.” (twohundredpercent)

Black Star Tragedy
“Football, we learned last night during the Ghana-Uruguay game, is the most effective tool for mass torture every devised by the human race. A vast majority of the over eighty thousands fans in the stadium, and millions of viewers throughout the world, were left speechless and unwound by what we saw unfold. For me, it was a little bit like reliving the final of the World Cup in 2006, with an early euphoria followed by an equalizer, then a game dragging on and on into penalties, with Gyan’s missed shot at the last minute playing the role of Zidane’s head-butt as the dramatic and decisive instant of the night. The sorrow, the indignity, the sense of unfairness of it all was too much to even contemplate.” (Soccer Politics)

Unloved Uruguay
“The Italian JobI will admit under the cover of darkness, with a long head start from those who might disagree, that I supported Uruguay against Ghana. Beirut had been gutted by the Brazilian loss in the afternoon (and here there are the Brazilians and there are the Germans, all else being commentary), so all that was left behind was a sense of solidarity for the little guy, for Africa, for the Third World, for the poor…” (TNR)

Ghana’s Elimination by la Mano del Diablo
“If la Mano de Dios works in the service of an attack on goal, helping the ball over the keeper, across the line, or to the foot of a well-placed teammate, la Mano del Diablo does its opposite – a hand raised on the line to stop a ball speeding toward the back of the net. The Hand of God works in one direction, the Hand of the Devil in its opposite.” (From A Left Wing)

Uruguay earns first WCup semifinal spot in 40 years after ousting Ghana
“Nothing, it seemed, would go in for Ghana. Not the shot kicked away at the goal line. Not the block ruled a handball an instant later as extra time ticked to a close. Not the subsequent penalty kick that sure-footed Asamoah Gyan sent bouncing straight up off the crossbar.” (ESPN)

Uruguay 1-1 (4-2 on penalty kicks) Ghana – Video Highlights, Recap, Match Stats – World Cup – 2 July 2010
“A spot in the semifinal round was at stake as Uruguay faced Ghana in the quarterfinals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Ghana was looking to be the first African side to reach the semifinals while Uruguay was looking to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1970.” (The 90th Minute)

Better to be Feared

July 3, 2010

“In his 2006 book How Soccer Explains the World, author and editor Franklin Foer examined the role that a given nation’s government plays in its World Cup success. As it turns out, the correlations between repression and good soccer seem to be closely related. With the exception of 1998 champions France (its 1940-44 Vichy regime notwithstanding), only one World Cup champion since 1970 can boast of a fascist-, strongman-, or junta-free twentieth-century history. Notably, 1970 champions Brazil and 1978 hosts and winners Argentina won their titles while toiling under authoritarian military juntas.” (Laphams Quarterly)

Determination: Broken

July 3, 2010

“World Cup success is determined in a narrow, interminably cruel window of four weeks, usually less for those not traditional powers, once every four years. Through the collision of time, money, effort, coaching, tactics, health, form, draw, and referees, a singular determination is made about the relative quality of a national team program based on a handful of games.” (Match Fit USA)

Bob Bradley and Landon on the Daily Show… A must see!!

July 3, 2010

“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c. Landon Donovan & Bob Bradley” (The Final Third)