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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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Section 1: Ronaldinho takes heat

By Paul Kennedy
Managing Editor
Soccer America

Ronaldinho, the reigning World and European Player of the Year, came in for heavy criticism in the aftermath of Brazil's shocking exit from the World Cup.

O Globo and Estado de Sao Paulo, two of Brazil's biggest newspapers, ran identical headlines: "Ronaldinho was the big ...

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MAHONEY: Portugal wins banal battle

By Ridge Mahoney
in Gelsenkirchen
 
It is sometimes said of a match decided on penalties that neither team deserved to lose.

In the case of Saturday's quarterfinal between Portugal and England, neither team really deserved to win, and the team less deserving to lose, did.

Despite playing a man up for ...

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Section 1: Toni answers critics

By Paul Kennedy
Managing Editor
Soccer America

Luca Toni came into the 2006 World Cup as one of the tournament's most hyped players. having scored 31 goals for Fiorentina in the 2005-06 season, the most goals by a player in Serie A since 1957.

But Toni didn't score in Italy's first four games at the World ...
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MAHONEY: The party rolls on

By Ridge Mahoney
in Berlin

For a few more days at least, "PartyZone Deutschland" will stay on the air.

A show by that title is running regularly on German television, portraying the activities and adventures of fans attending games as well as gathering at "FanFests" to party in front of big-screen TVs. After the round of 16, FIFA ...

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Section 1: Return of the Galacticos

By Paul Kennedy
Managing Editor
Soccer America

When the World Cup began, Frenchman Zinedine Zidane looked tired, and his Real Madrid teammate, Brazilian Ronaldo, was overweight.

The two Galacticos were dismissed as past their prime, but they played key roles Tuesday in leading their teams into the quarterfinals, where they meet Saturday in Frankfurt.
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WOITALLA: The Kaiser's Cup

By Mike Woitalla
in Munich

The German media often report on the VIPs at World Cup games like this:

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German President Horst Koehler and Franz Beckenbauer attended last night's game."

They see no need to introduce Beckenbauer.

His campaigning is ...

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Section 1: Crespo shines in spotlight

Hernan Crespo can no longer say he's being overlooked.

With goals in each of his three 2006 World Cup games -- he swears he touched the ball Jared Borgetti appeared to head into his own goal during Argentina's 2-1 overtime victory over Mexico -- and the nifty backheel to teammate Esteban Cambiasso for the ...

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