Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Quarterfinals Serve Potential Classics
The Mail & Guardian, June 29th, 2006 3:48PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

But others will tell you the quarterfinalists "ooze class." Whereas four years ago South Korea, Turkey and Senegal had never advanced so far as the final eight, this year, six of the eight teams have won the World Cup before, with Ukraine the only newcomer to the quarterfinals. FIFA President Sepp Blatter is in raptures (and taking credit) now that the traditional powers are back. "This time we're seeing quality play from players who came here fresh. They're in good shape," he said, partly because Blatter decreed that Europe's domestic leagues end their seasons by May 15. The pick of the bunch is tomorrow's opener between Argentina and Germany, arguably the most attractive sides at the finals so far. Juergen Klinsmann's German team had been all but written off at home and abroad prior to the June 9 opening, but it's rebounded in stunning fashion since, winning each of its four matches while riding a wave of patriotic emotion long absent in Germany. Its opponents have won three and drawn one, after having played much tougher opposition. The second game tomorrow pits Italy against Ukraine. Off the field, there's been a dark cloud hanging over the Italians all tournament long. There's the Serie A scandal involving four clubs that employ many players on the national team. Then there's the more recent shock that former Juventus player Gianluca Pessotto attempted to commit suicide. As Gianluigi Buffon, Italy's keeper said: "I'm finding it difficult at the moment, almost impossible, to talk about soccer or matches and all the emotions that you're supposed to feel at a World Cup."

Read the original story...



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Ancelotti: Blatter 'Unable to Keep His Mouth Shut'     
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti on Tuesday accused Sepp Blatter of being "unable to keep his ...
Report: Spain's Tax Authority Probes Barca, Real Stars     
Marca on Wednesday reported that some of La Liga's highest profile players over the last several ...
Reports: Moyes to Take Over at La Real?    
Spanish media reports claim that former Manchester United coach David Moyes is among the names being ...
Balotelli 'Finally!' Scores for Liverpool     
Mario Balotelli on Tuesday came off the bench to save Liverpool from a League Cup fourth-round ...
Study: Barca Produces the Most Professionals in Europe     
According to new research, La Liga giant Barcelona has produced more professional players in Europe's top ...
Clattenburg Dropped for Breaching Referee Rules    
English referee Mark Clattenburg has been dropped for this weekend's Premier League games for breaking the ...
Mourinho Blasts Fringe Players Following Shrewsbury Win     
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho criticized his fringe players for not taking their chance to impress him ...
Blatter on Russia: Soccer and Politics Should Not Mix     
FIFA President Sepp Blatter, in Russia on Monday for the unveiling of the official emblem for ...
Report: Evra Out for a Month     
Juventus defender Patrice Evra will be out for a month with a hamstring strain, the club ...
UEFA Reduces CSKA Stadium Ban     
UEFA on Monday reduced CSKA Moscow's stadium ban over its fans' racist behavior to two games ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives