In the first of eight group previews, I am joined by Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer to
with a little help of Andy Brassel, Simon Hill, and Simon Kuper look at Group E. Â The Netherlands
are the seeded nation in a group with no easy points. Â Denmark won its UEFA qualifying group.
Slovakia often gets confused in the geographically and culturally challenged United States with
Slovenia. But theÂ Repre unlike the Slovenes feature incredible quality and top flight talent up
and down the squad. Marek Hamsik of Napoli is the biggest name in the squad, but he is far from
alone in providing the potency Slovakia relies on going forward.
Sean Wheelock covers North American for the BBC and is best known for his word on the BBC's
World Football Phone-In. On today's edition of the World Cup Buzz podcast, "The Big Wheel" joins me
to focus on Group C; specifically, England and the United States.
Jonathan Wilson Interview: World Cup Buzz Podcast The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson is one of the
The Danes typically perform well when they qualify for major tournaments. This current Morton
Olsen led team was less fancied than any Danish side since the early 1980's. Yet they qualified out
of a strong UEFA group with relative ease, finishing ahead of serial qualifiers Portugal and
ESPN have recently released their brilliant advertising campaign for this summer's World Cup in
the form of creatively designed artistic murals. 33 in total, all 32 nations are represented with
the above placed South Africa World Cup mural to highlight what's to come. Continuing reading after
the break to view each nation's unique and colorful mural.
The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson is one of the most influential soccer writers in the
English-language world, whose ability to explain the tactical side of the game has changed the way
the game is covered. On today's podcast, the author of Sunderland: A Club Transformed, Behind the
Curtain, and Inverting the Pyramid joins us to discuss two other areas of expertise Eastern
European football and African football as we continue profiling the nations competing in this
summer's World Cup.
Italy has yet to kick off their defense of the World Cup title but the Azzuri might already have
their next coach. The BBC is reporting that current-Fiorentina boss Cesare PrandelliÂ has been
given the opportunity to replace Marcello Lippi after the World Cup.
Sky Sports' Andy Gray broadcast the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday and will work with
Fox Soccer Channel this summer as a World Cup analyst. Earlier this week Andy joined me to talk
about both events, giving us an overview of which nations he sees as strongest ahead of the finals
in South Africa.
ESPN's radical decision to dump American commentators in favor of several British based ones has
created much consternation among the supporters of the game stateside. Those reared on the domestic
game and American commentating styles decried the move away from the traditional nationalistic
fervor around the World Cup to a more objective based analysis provided by the likes of Ally
McCoist, Efan Ekoku, and others.
This is, without a doubt, the group of the tournament for most of the English speaking world.
The England vs. USA matchup on June 12 is one of the most anticipated matches of the first two
weeks as the founders of the sport taking on a nation coming into its own on the international
Grant Wahl is a senior soccer writer at Sports Illustrated and author of The Beckham Experiment.
He joins me on this edition of the World Cup Buzz podcast to talk about the three teams
representing CONCACAF: Honduras, who most will view as longshots; Mexico, who experienced a drastic
turnaround after firing Sven GÃ¶ran Eriksson; and the United States, whose expectations are
elevated after success in their last trip to South Africa.
Australia Overcome New Zealand In World Cup Warmup
Australia struggled to defeat New Zealand 2-1 in both team's first World Cup warmup match. The
former Oceanic rivals were deadlocked into injury time of the second half when Brett Holman gave
the Soceroos the narrow victory.
Someone who walks with an uneven spine is sure to have an awkward gait.
And without recently ruled-out central midfielder Lassana Diarra, France will similarly be
unable to engage their core correctly, and it's the final, damning factor proving their march
through the 2010 World Cup will likely an uncomfortable one.
Simon Hill is the lead commentator for Fox Sports Australia and, in addition to leading the
channel's A-League efforts, covers the region's international game. Simon joined me early last week
to talk about the five teams from Asian and Oceania that will be competing in South Africa:
Australia, New Zealand, North Korea, South Korea and Ja
Simon Kuper Interview: World Cup Buzz Podcast One of the co-authors of Soccernomics, Simon
One of the co-authors of Soccernomics, Simon Kuper is also an expert on Dutch soccer. On this
edition of the World Cup Buzz podcast, I talk to Simon about the romance surrounding the Oranje,
when we learned about the team from Euro 2008, and whether he feels a suspect defense and hold up
in South Africa.
This is the group with a history of expectations, both unmet and exceeded. Argentina (SPI rank
4) have the most talented player in the world, Lionel Messi, and plethora of stars including Maxi
Rodriguez (Liverpool), Segio Aguero (Athletico Madrid), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool) and Carlos
Tevez (Manchester City) just to name a few.
ESPN's use of the World Cup as a launching pad for broadcasting sports in 3D has been highly
publicized. If the demand for the extra dimension is as high as some are predicting the World Cup
could lead to an entirely separate broadcast station, ESPN 3D.
When you are 11 years old, the word "gay" has a very specific meaning.Â It has nothing to do
with homosexuality.Â It is all-purpose adjective that refers to some activity or event that no
self-respecting 11 year old boy would want anything to do with.Â Classical music was gay.
I've seen some odd World Cup TV commercials so far, but this has to be one of the strangest yet.
The ad features a tiny streaker. According to the press release, "Meet Tiny. He streaks for a
living and is looking for people to help him get to the World Cup. He's actually been streaking for
years but you probably haven't seen him.
Most of Spain's roster for the 2010 World Cup is unchanged from their Euro 2008 squad with Cesc
Fabregas and David Villa being the standouts. But Spain manager Vicente del Bosque included a few
surprises, Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and teammate Pedro joined Javi Martinez as players
earning their first cap for the national team.
Martin Tyler will be calling this summer's World Cup for ESPN, serving as the network's lead
commentator in South Africa. Earlier this week Martin joined me to talk about last week's FA Cup
final, Saturday's Champions League final in Madrid, the 2018 World Cup bid, but mostly, the England
Inter coach Jose Mourinho is renowned for making controversial remarks, Â for using the media to
hammer his pointÂ and for manipulating the press to engage in psychological games against his
toughest opponents. The focus here will be on Mourinho's latest statement which is actually
inaccurate if one is to consider the many factors associated with the World Cup and involved in the
buildup to the biggest sports tournament in the world.
On this episode of the World Cup Buzz Podcast, Richard Farley discusses with Tim Vickery the
South American teams who will be competing in the 2010 World Cup. Also discussed is the Albiceleste
viability of Esteban Cambiasso as well as dissecting the five South American teams who qualified
for South Africa from CONMEBOL.
We have a FLO TV Personal Television to give away to a lucky winner, courtesy of FLO TV and
World Cup Buzz.
The FLO TV Personal Television is a personal hand-held TV that features tons of programming
including ESPN's mobile coverage of the 2010 World Cup, which includes a 24-hour-a-day channel
dedicated to the tournament from June 11 to July 11.
We're fewer than fourweeks away from the kickoff in South Africa and as European leagues close
out the world's collective football eye turns towards national teams. National team camps gear up
in the next week or two and a few international friendlies will precede the big event. Here are
World Cup Buzz's breakdown of each of the eight groups and the game to watch in each of them.
They say that the bookies always win when it comes to betting, but they don't have to if you end
up having a laugh along the way. Skybet have a slogan which states 'it matters more when there's
money on it' and of course if you're familiar to betting on football matches you'll agree with this
statement, as the chance to win big money is an exciting prospect that can mess with your emotions
With the World Cup fast approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to the
amazing talent that ESPN has assembled to broadcast the matches. The level of football experience,
both on the pitch and in the booth and studio, is very impressive.
Chris Fowler is one of the most recognizable faces at ESPN, anchors College
Game Day, and will serve as a host for the studio coverage where he will anchor all of the studio
coverage as well as SportsCenter's World Cup segments.
Bordeaux Manager Laurent Blanc will accept the French Football Federation's offer and take over
the French national team after this summer's World Cup. At Bordeaux Blanc, 44, achieved the French
League and Cup double but finished a disappointing sixth in this year's campaign.
On Monday, it was announced that an ankle injury suffered in Saturday's FA Cup Final would keep
German national team captain Micheal Ballack out of the World Cup. Joining us to talk about that as
well the Nationalmannschaft's chances this summer is the Guardian and Sports Illustrated's Raphael
Michael Ballack's injury in Saturday's FA Cup final was both ironic and damaging. Ballack was
injured by Kevin Prince-Boateng a former German youth international who now features for Ghana,
Germany's first group opponent. Adding to the irony is that Boateng's brother Jerome will likely be
on Germany's final 23 man squad.
Kicking off the World Cup Buzz podcast's two months of coverage, the Talk network welcomes back
Andy Brassell, one of the media's leading experts on professional football in Western Europe. Andy
joined me late last week to talk about the nations from his coverage area who will be competing in
South Africa as well as offer a pick for this summer's finals.
The Football Association was once again rocked by scandal when Lord Treisman, chairman of both
the FA and England's 2018 World Cup bid, was forced to resign after the Mail On Sunday
published excerpts from a conversation in which Treisman accused Spain and Russia of conspiring to
bribe officials in South Africa.
Today marks the launch of World Cup Buzz's World Cup 2010 Fantasy Challenge which it's free to
register and you have the opportunity to win big cash prizes.
The concept is simple. Pick your best 11 from the 32 competing teams and see how they do in the
2010 World Cup. And then enter a public league so you can compete against 11 soccer fans from
around the world.
Some English pundits have dubbed it the group of EASY. England, Algeria, Slovenia, and Yanks
(USA), but like every World Cup group that does not feature a true accidental qualifier (like North
Korea or New Zealand) each team in Group C has enough quality to cause problems.
The United States based Spanish language television network Univision has recently announced
they'll be offering soccer fans a "comprehensive interactive experience"Â on their new site when
they stream all 64 World Cup matches this summer for free in addition to an already available free
Cacau could play a key role for Joachim LÃ¶w's side
Joachim LÃ¶w has indicated to reporters that he plans to take all six strikers from his
provisional 27 man squad to South Africa. "Our plan is to have all six strikers with us at the
World Cup because we want to be flexible.
Yesterday was a big day for the various national teams headed to South Africa. It's Roster Day!
Below are a few stories looking at the 30-men provisional squads and the surprises and stories
associated with them.
ESPN has minute-long profiles for all 32 countries in an ad campaign entitled "One Game Means
The past few days has seen a number of provisional and even final squads announced for the World
Cup, but today two of the most anticipated provisional squads were revealed. England has delivered
their 30 provisional players amidst controversy regarding manager Fabio Capello's involvement in a
bizarre form rating website which sports his name.
The intensive month of World Cup football will see most fans of the game clambering towards the
matches which contain the ordained stars that are expected to light up the tournament with their
skills. Much is expected from the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, while many fans will
also have their eyes open to look out for the fortunes of Premier League stars such as Didier
Drogba and Fernando Torres.
What do George Best, Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, George Weah and Alfredo Di Stefano all have in
common? They were all world class players in their prime but never got the chance to show people
their talents on the biggest stage of them all the World Cup.
It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of a brand-new eBook today entitled What The
World Cup Means To Me. The free eBookÂ features stories from some of the top 21 soccer writers and
personalities around the world including Soccernomics author Simon Kuper, BBC World
Football Phone-In's Tim Vickery, ESPN's Rebecca Lowe and Tommy Smyth, GolTV's Phil Schoen and many
NASL and WorldCupBuzz.com are pleased to announce a content sharing agreement. WorldCupBuzz.com,
part of the EPL Talk Network, features daily World Cup news and analysis as well as a daily World
Included in this agreement is promotion of NASL.com and NASL teams on the WorldCupBuzz.
ESPN debuted its newest TV commercial this morning to promote its coverage of the 2010 World
Cup. This time, ESPN gives a nod to the "quarterback" of soccer, the number 10. Pele, Maradona,
Messi and other soccer gods.
The video is set to the "Out Of Control" song by U2.
What do you think of the video and how does it compare to the ones you've seen thus far?
Over the past few months ESPN has been rolling out documentaries from prolific filmmakers as
part of their "30 for 30â€³ series. On June 22 ESPN will air The Two Escobars, a
documentary surroundingÂ Andres Escobar's infamous own goal against the United States in the 1994
World Cup and his subsequent murder upon his return home.
Shakira? That was a lot of people's (including mine) reaction when it was announced the Latin
American pop superstar would record theÂ officialÂ anthem for the 2010 World Cup. Well the single
has finally arrived and I'll reserve judgement on it for now. Check out the song, embedded below,
and look out for Shakira to perform the song with the South African Band Freshlyground at
The Fifa World Cup Celebration Concert on June 10.
Welcome to World Cup Morning Buzz. Every morning we'll bring you 5-10 of the most interesting
stories from other news outlets as the fervor surrounding the kickoff in South Africa gets into
high gear. If you have a suggestion for a story we missed leave it in the comments section.
We'll kick things off with a video from the 2006 World Cup some may have missed.
The Netherlands have had some of the greatest players to ever grace the beautiful game: the
likes of Cruyff, Bergkamp, Gullit, Seedorf, De Boer, Kluivert and so on. Yet the one thing that has
always eluded the creators of 'Total Football' is the biggest trophy of them all the World Cup.
Early on in the easy to read guide World Cup 2010, The Indispensable Guide to Soccer and
Geopolitics, authors Steven D. Stark and Harrison Stark paint a clear and vivid picture on
what the reader is to expect. "Because of this link between soccer and affairs of state,
geopolitics can actually affect the outcomes of games" an early passage reads.
The ESPN World Cup Companion is due out in bookstores this week. I was able to get my hands on a
copy before it was released, so I thought I'd share a quick mini-review of it to give you a glimpse
of what's inside the book as well as to show you some of the photography and featured sections.