Football Champions

Diego Lugano

Going over the “best team of the tournament” is always difficult since some really good players play for some inferior teams, and thus don’t get to strut their stuff late into the tournament, when most have already forgotten about them.

So we’ve solved the problem: one XI with those who’ve received maximum exposure – semifinal teams only – and one best XI of those dumped out in the quarterfinals or earlier.

Simple in theory, but agonizing in reality, as ever.We’ve used the 4-2-3-1 since it was the predominant formation in this World Cup and has been much fancied in… Continue reading

THE BIG PICTURE Many will be shocked to see Uruguay still alive and kicking, and just one win away from the World Cup final. Theoretically South America’s fifth best team (based on World qualification) la celeste have outlasted Chile, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina to be CONMEBOL’s sole remaining representative. Some might even be annoyed at Uruguay’s presence here, since it’s a direct result of Luis Suarez’ handball (since Adiyiah’s header was definitely going in). Good news for those people is that Suarez is suspended for this game as a result of that handball, which breaks up that fearsome Forlan/Suarez combo… Continue reading

THE BIG PICTURE Hands up if you thought this Ghana team would struggle without injured captain/superstar midfielder Michael Essien. Now use that hand to slap yourself in the face. Gently, but still do it. That slap is from the likes of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Kwadwo Asamoah , Anthony Annan and Dede Ayew, all of whom have impressed in midfield for the Black Stars this tournament. The even bigger shock for me has been striker Asamoah Gyan, who was so impotent in front of goal at Africa Cup of Nations 2008 that maniacs started threatening his family, but has looked very… Continue reading

He may not garner the attention of Diego Maradona, incur the wrath like Dunga or keep the world on the edge of its seat like Loco Bielsa, but Oscar Tabarez is making a name for himself in the inane world of South American coaches.

It’s largely due to the exception “start” – if you can call it that – of Uruguay, but it certainly helps that he’s still throwing in his little quirk of naming the lineup days ahead of a match. Even so, you’d think he’d play his cards close to the vest for a World Cup quarterfinal.

Never.… Continue reading


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