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


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
Chandler Could Return to Training Next Week     
U.S. international Timothy Chandler is set to return to Nurnberg team training in 10 days, ESPN ...
Garcia: Roma's Scudetto Dream Not Over    
AS Roma coach Rudi Garcia says that he has not given up hope on the Scudetto ...
Giroud Honors Hillsborough Victims     
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud paid tribute to the victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster after scoring ...
PSG President: Blanc Has My Full Support    
Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi claims that coach Laurent Blanc has his "full support" amid recent ...
Donovan Opens Up About Aging    
Speaking at a promotional event for Samsung, U.S. men's national team midfielder Landon Donovan opened up ...
Dortmund Blanks Wolfsburg German Cup Semi    
Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday reached its sixth German Cup final, beating Wolfsburg 2-0 thanks to goals ...
Candidate: FIFA Must Close Inequality Gap    
FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne believes soccer's world governing body should do more to tackle inequality ...
Report: Man City the World's Best Paid Team    
Manchester City's first team is apparently the best-paid in world sports, according to a new report ...
Vice President Biden to Attend World Cup    
The World Cup trophy made its first stop in the United States on Monday as part ...
Beckham's Stadium Plan Runs into Opposition    
David Beckham's plan to build a waterfront stadium to house his new MLS franchise in PortMiami ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives