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Section 1: What provoked Zidane?

By Paul Kennedy
Managing Editor
Soccer America

Just what did Marco Materazzi say or do, if anything, to provide France captain Zinedine Zidane to viciously head-butt the Italy defender and get sent off in Sunday's World Cup final?

"According to several very well informed sources from the world of football," the anti-racism group SOS ...

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WOITALLA: Italy shrugs off the jeers

By Mike Woitalla
in Berlin

The fans who watched the World Cup final in Berlin's Olympic Stadium probably enjoyed the final more than the estimated 1 billion who watched on TV.

The festive atmosphere began an hour before kickoff. Fans belted out competing chants. They danced and sang along to the piped-in ...

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MAHONEY: Italian pragmatism reigns supreme

By Ridge Mahoney
In Berlin

On a night of finely balanced tensions, set under darkening skies and poised between two teams replete with heroic storylines and marvelous players, a great career ended in disgrace and a grand tradition prevailed once again.
Italy, purveyor of defensive efficiency, rode out numerous French attacks to end regular play tied at 1-1, then ...

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Section 1: Klinsmann wants more time to decide

By Paul Kennedy
Managing Editor
Soccer America

Juergen Klinsmann wants more time to decide whether he will remain as Germany coach.

Klinsmann is considered the leading candidate to replace Bruce Arena as U.S. national team coach if Arena's contract is not renewed, but he's under heavy pressure to remain as Germany coach, despite objections ...

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Section 1: Zidane lets feet do the talking

By Paul Kennedy
Managing Editor
Soccer America

Retiring Zinedine Zidane is letting his feet doing the talking.

In what would be unheard upon in American sports, Zidane has refused to speak to the press since before France's opening game of the 2006 World Cup. Even before the final game of his career, he didn't talk to ...

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Section 1: Seven Italy players picked to World Cup All-Star Team

Seven Italians and four Frenchmen head the 23-man MasterCard All-Star Team, as selected by FIFA's Technical Study Group.

World Cup semifinalists Germany and Portugal also had four players apiece on the all-star game. Argentina had two, and Brazil and England one apiece.

The MasterCard All-Star Team:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Jens Lehmann (Germany), Ricardo (Portugal).
...

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WOITALLA: A Tabloid Trip

By Mike Woitalla
in Munich

Even the Germans who would never admit to reading the Bild newspaper can't escape its giant headlines. They jump out from the newsstands and can be easily spotted if someone's reading the tabloid at the far end of a subway  car.

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Section 1: Zidane nominated for MVP award that eluded him in 1998

Retiring France star Zinedine Zidane heads the list of players on the short list for the 2006 World Cup MVP award -- the adidas Golden Ball.

Zidane is one of seven players in Sunday's final who were nominated for the award. Three Frenchmen -- Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Zidane -- and four ...

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WOITALLA: Gulati says U.S. Soccer to conduct complete review of technical areas

By Mike Woitalla
in Munich

Theo Zwanziger, the president of the German soccer federation (DFB), says he believes Juergen Klinsmann will remain coach of the German national team.

Klinsmann says he'll decide after discussions with his family, following the World Cup.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati won't ...

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MAHONEY: France ends Scolari's run

By Ridge Mahoney
in Munich


To stop a most remarkable streak required a gritty team on a great run of its own led by a flickering star not yet willing to be dimmed.

France, mired in self-doubts in the run-up to the World Cup and a surprise runner-up finisher in group play behind Switzerland, knocked off Portugal, 1-0, ...

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Section 1: 'The night of tears'

Germany's dream of winning a fourth World Cup title ended Tuesday night when it fell to Italy, 2-0, in overtime in the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup.

All across Germany, fans were glued to the game, hoping that the improbable run of Juergen Klinsmann's team would continue, and a lot of tears were shed when
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WOITALLA: The Dortmund boost fails Germany

By Mike Woitalla
in Dortmund

If Bruce Springsteen were German, he'd write songs about Dortmund.

The Ruhr city was once a leading producer of steel, coal and beer, but its last coal mine closed two decades ago, the last blast furnace folded in 2001, and the eight  breweries that once ...

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Section 1: Ribery enjoys spotlight

By Paul Kennedy
Managing Editor
Soccer America

Franck Ribery came out of nowhere to be one of the stars of the World Cup.

He's only played two seasons of top level soccer and never played for France before being called up for the World Cup, but ...

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Section 1: Frings' suspension leaves big hole in Germany lineup

By Paul Kennedy
Managing Editor
Soccer America


The suspension of Torsten Frings has put a damper on German hopes of reaching the World Cup finals.

The German national team was flying to Dortmund on Monday for Tuesday's Germany-Italy semifinal when it received news that the 29-year-old defensive midfielder was banned for his part in the brawl ...

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WOITALLA: The Fan Fest Phenomenon

By Mike Woitalla in Hamburg

Fans who take the S-Bahn to the Hamburg Fan Fest get out the Reeperbahn  station and walk east down the red-light avenue.

The McDonald's is flanked by Erotik Heaven and Blue Banana's Table Dance  Club. Across the street is the St. Pauli Theater, soon to stage "The Threepenny Opera" by Berthold ...
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