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The FIFA World Cup: Which country will win and who will be the star?

     
8:58 am on Jun 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So it all kicks off today in Munich. The best footballers (not soccer players) on the planet will be competing in a festival of the beautiful game.

So who do you think will win the trophy? Who will win the Golden Boot? And who will be the new kid on the block that everyone will be talking about.

WebmasterWorld is a global forum so there must be lots of different opinions out there.

10:36 am on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Nyook ASSEL

LOL, I had to speak that one out loud before I got it.

Anyway, BDW, to tread on your Scottish toes again ;) : is there any chance to end the weird situation that one state (the UK) can send up to four participants to football championships? I realize that would mean the end of an ancient tradition, but the four of you together would make a stronger team.

10:54 am on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...but the four of you together would make a stronger team.

Stronger? Hmm. I wonder what the teams of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are doing whilst the World Cup is on...

;-)

Syzygy

11:36 am on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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that would mean the end of an ancient tradition

The ancient tradition counts for more than results... and really, size doesn't necessarily matter. Australia is very strong in Tennis and yet they are a small nation. Success at world level is more about passion within the nation, and the sport in question being engrained in the culture, like a religion - as soccer is in Brazil but is not in the USA.

11:51 am on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Each of the four home countries has their own Football Associations so they are entitled to their own national teams. The UK is not really one state. Scotland and Wales now have their own parliaments.

In any case we in Scotland invented the game and here is the conclusive proof, [theherald.co.uk...]

I wonder what the teams of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are doing whilst the World Cup is on...

Let's not get this out of perspective.

England population: 49 Million
Scotland population: 5 Million
Wales Population: 2.9 Million
N. Ireland: 1.7 Million.

Scotland in particular has been punching well above its weight in international competition for many years. The English have ten times the population of Scotland so they should do better.

(If we had a population of 49 million in Scotland we would be winning it at least every second attempt). ;)

12:53 pm on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>> England population: 49 Million

Yes, but surely half that number are Scots...

>>>Scotland population: 5 Million

Which, over that geographical area, means the population is probably too far apart to be able to pass the ball to one another...

My World Cup Fantasty Football Team is now ranked 188,579 overall - a drop of 12,818 places(!), and second last in the inter-office tournament. Hmm, with selection skills like that perhaps a job as Scotland manager beckons...

;-)

Syzygy

1:02 pm on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, but surely half that number are Scots

You should be so lucky ;)

BTW there we have more than our fair share of Sassenachs up here. I am going to the pub this evening to watch the TnT game and you can bet your sweet bippy that it will be half full of Engerlund fans :)

5:02 pm on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Australia is very strong in Tennis and yet they are a small nation."

Actually my friend, Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. (Unless you count Antartica) Or are we talking about population total or per capita?

5:46 pm on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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AND THE ENGLISH SCORE! WHOOPA WHOOPA!
5:57 pm on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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2-0.

I think that it's a flattering score line. England were pretty crappy most of the match and Trinidad and Tobago were unlucky a couple of times.

Lucky, lucky, lucky. (as Kylie Menogue used to say)

6:00 pm on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I L-O, L-O, L-O, L-O-V-E it (as Ashley Simpson would say) :)
7:47 pm on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Still looks like a "W" to me :)

Go England! Go Rooney!

9:55 pm on June 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's best that I have a few hours to think about this before commenting. ;)
5:00 am on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My son: Trinidad & Tobago all the way (hehe)! He seriously wants them to win, or at least get past the first round.

My wife: Go England!

Me: Who cares. I rank below my son, my wife and my cat. :/

<added>Oooops. Wrong again. My wife just corrected me. It's my wife, my son and my cat.</added>

6:01 am on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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IF England play continue to play like they did against T & T, there will be tears sooner that
you think.
7:52 am on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Congrats to England. Terrible play, most of the time, and they should not just blame T&T and the heat. In the first half England often played the old-fashioned long-ball game - losing the ball in 75% of the cases. I thought that style had been abandoned decades ago. Fortunately the team had enough perseverance to keep on fighting the 'red wall' until the end.

Looking forward to this evening: Holland - Côte d'Ivoir.

8:33 am on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am surprised not to hear anyone commenting on the fact that England's first goal was a clear foul. Crouch was climbing all over Brent Sancho and pulling him by the hair to ensure that he got to the ball.

The TV studio panel had a laugh at this after the game. They thought it was a hoot so evidently they believe that dirty play is acceptable where England are concerned, (and Gordon Strachan thought it was funny too)! I checked all the online newspapers this morning and none of them mentioned the foul. It's as though there is a collective blindness when things like this happen.

Don't believe me? Have a look at the picture ... [england.worldcupblog.org...]

9:33 am on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm extremely pleased with England's progress. We've played poorly for two games yet won both. Rooney looked good considering such a long lay off. Performances can only get better. The results can't!

OK so Crouch climbed over the defender but what about Gerrard? Was that a dodgy goal too?

T&T played a negative, containing game and didn't quite get away with it.

9:45 am on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am surprised not to hear anyone commenting on the fact that England's first goal was a clear foul.

We have now... ;-)

Syzygy

10:31 am on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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OK so Crouch climbed over the defender but what about Gerrard? Was that a dodgy goal too?

The question must be would Gerrard have scored in the last minute if the first goal had not been scored? Who is to say that TnT would not have gone on to score as England threw everyone forward in the closing minutes?

My point is that, like the referee, the media have largely turned a blind eye to this. There has been very little comment about an incident of cheating that could ensure that TnT go out and England progress to the latter stages of the world cup. I'm sorry, but pulling someone's hair to gain an advantage is clearly not on. I just cannot condone blatant dirty play. Can you?

People dismiss this as irrelevant because England are the big name. If TnT had scored after pulling Ferdinand's hair at the other end there would have been a massive outcry in the English media.

5:02 pm on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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great match on with Netherlands vs. Ivory Coast!
5:07 pm on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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ThomasB gave me 50:1 on the US winning. So go US! :-D
5:09 pm on June 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Jake, due to legal reasons I might have to pull the bet 2 minutes before the final is over. ;)
8:08 pm on June 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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what the h is the ref's problem? Just go in but a red card for Pope is too harsh. Soon players will be afraid to even touch another player for fear of being carded.
8:49 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And that's the way it should be. If you give a soccer player an inch, they'll take a mile. The one thing I hate seeing is the scene a wimp will give to try and draw a foul. Really impedes game progress. As soon as players play the ball and not the player, the good game will be absolute.
9:44 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The best thing they could do to improve the game would be to enforce the rule that says a direct free kick is awarded if any pleayer "holds an opponent". During this World Cup the incidence of players being allowed to pull arms, jersey's, shorts and even hair seems to really be on the increase. (take note P.Crouch).

Why do the referees allow this blatant fouling to go on?

6:21 am on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The game has to be careful to not impose too many rules, we do not want it to become a stop start sort of game. I do think the the refs have been a bit inconsistent but also some of the players have picked up some silly and unnecessary yellow cards.

I am very sleep deprived here in Bangkok but how could anyone miss tonight's match - Holland v Argentina - it could be a classic.

7:53 am on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I changed my views Argentina / Spain all the way lol
8:12 am on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The game has to be careful to not impose too many rules

This already is a rule.

It's just that the players don't obey it because they know that the referees are probably not going to penalise them for it.

12:09 pm on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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precisely, there has to be a little rough and tumble now and again, but I agree if the shirt pulling etc is too much then sure blow the whistle, no need for a card.

They should card anyone that encurages the ref to give someone else a card, and anyone that falls, bounces and does more than three rolls before stopping glimpsing to see if the ref is looking before moaning in agony, only to be running around like a rabbit in a few minutes.

Anyway enough of the rules.. I am just looking forward to seeing the Argentina v Holland match. I do think that Argentina will make it to the finals, question for me is who will they face will it be Brazil or England?

12:27 pm on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Surely Joe Cole's goal, lst night, has to be goal of the tournament so far. Even the Brazillians would be proud of that one.
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