Sponsored post It seems that referees are back in the firing line after the World Cup final in
which Rotherham-born Howard Webb issued 14 yellow cards during the battle between Spain and the
Netherlands. Many watching the dirty tactics of the Dutch must have been amazed that no players
were sent off in the first half [.
OTP is shutting down for a couple of weeks (if Â£100,000-a-week players need a rest we reckon we
deserve one too). We'll have some exciting things in the pipeline when we return. In the meantime,
why not visit a couple of sponsors (we'll call it holiday pay!). 1. Recuperated players Watching
tired, below par footballers embarrass [.
Chelsea midfielder smacks young Crystal Palace fan in the face Given that he hasn't played for
seven months, you could forgive Michael Essien if his shooting was a little wayward. Whether the
boy who felt the brunt of his off-target effort in the warm-up before a friendly against Crystal
Palace feels the same way is doubtful.
Following the World Cup, OTP takes a look at the possible talent that could be moving to the
Premier League this summer after impressing on the world's biggest stage. 1. Diego Forlan
Impressive throughout the tournament, the ex-Manchester United flop has lived up to his potential
with Atletico Madrid in Spain.
Market closed amid rumours of Anfield move Bookmakers Paddy Power have stopped taking betting on
Joe Cole's next club following a flood of bets on the ex-Chelsea player moving to Liverpool.
Liverpool had been available at odds of 11/2 to be Cole's next club on Saturday morning but was
backed into just 7/4 after punters piled [.
The summer transfer window's most sought after star After becoming a hero for correctly predicting
eight results at the World Cup, Germany's octopus oracle Paul is set to be signed up by Madrid Zoo.
This move comes on the back of correctly predicting Spain would beat Holland in last Sunday's final
and defeat Germany in the semi-final.
Ex-ref reaches surprising conclusion We all know referees are always eager to take the blame as
much as possible, which is why we were shocked that Graham Poll passed the buck when asked if his
infamous third bookable offence sending-off of Croatia's Josip Simunic was worse than Mauricio
Espinosa's decision to disallow Frank Lampard's goal against [.
Man Utd star tweets out on reality TV OTP was pretty certain that nobody actually watches Big
Brother any more. But Channel 4 can console themselves with viewing figures of one and a celebrity
endorsement to boot. Rio Ferdinand is seemingly a fan of the show. So much so that he has been
flouting a Manchester United [.
What's in the Berba-bag? Manchester United launched their new home kit in Chicago this week. And
very nice it is too (you know we are suckers for a retro shirt at OTP). Anyhow, in the Windy City
to model the kit were Ryan Giggs, John O'Shea, Gabriel Obertan, Wes Brown and Dimitar Berbatov. And
it is Berbatov [.
The best player to pull on an England World Cup shirt? In case you were wondering how much a match
worn England World Cup shirt is worth in Germany at the minute, the answer is not very much.
Bastian Schweinsteiger got his hands on Frank Lampard's shirt after Germany's last-16 victory over
England (a special gift [.
And not a Jabulani in sight Following yesterday's outrageous Icelandic goalkeeping gaffe, here is
another indefensible moment for the Goalkeepers' Union to contend with. Paris Saint Germain goalie
Apoula Edel might have killed off any hopes he had of a regular starting position in Ligue Un this
season with this almighty cock-up in a pre-season friendly [.
Ah, the old convertible backwards roll No doubt many Germany fans woke up with splitting headaches
the morning after their national team defeated Uruguay to finish third in the World Cup. But nobody
in all of Deutschland had a better excuse than this guy. During his post-match celebrations, the
gentleman in question got a quick lesson in [.
No, not a cheap, frozen goalkeeping howler Icelandic goalkeeper Ogmundur Olafsson managed this
monumental clanger just two minutes into his side HK's match against Thor. The keeper attempts to
pick-up a harmless shot as it heads out of play for a goal-kick and somehow manages to turn the
ball into his own net.
Indications that Becks would be skint if he wasn't a footballer David Beckham has revealed a secret
desire to be a professional Lego builder if he hadn't made it as a footballer. The ex-England
skipper mentioned his love of the little plastic bricks during a live webchat. Overlooking the fact
that being paid to build children's toys [.
Iron Mike dons Posh kit West Ham's pre-season friendly at Peterborough was given some extra, erm,
bite by the presence of Mike Tyson. The cash-strapped boxer was in Peterborough for a Â£100-a-head
Evening With The Baddest Man On The Planet. He went onto the pitch at half-time wearing a
Peterborough shirt and told the crowd through a [.
Tel tries his new kit on Following the kind-of-surprising-but-kind-of-predictable news that Thierry
Henry is leaving Barcelona and heading to the MLS, the France international has arrived at New York
Red Bulls. To quell any rumours that this was a marketing ploy to maximise profits for both parties
as an over-the-hill Henry winds down his career, the 32-year-old [.
When World Cup celebrations go phlegm-y Spain defender Gerard Pique provided one of the more
disgusting moments of the World Cup victory celebrations. The very drunk Barcelona star - already
staggering around the open-top bus - decides it might be nice to spit at a member of Spain's
backroom staff. The ex-Manchester United man achieved a direct [.
Giving mannschaft a whole new meaning Germany's World Cup squad was made up of 'a bunch of gays',
according to Michael Ballack's agent. Michael Becker made the comments in Der Spiegel news
magazine. Speaking before the World Cup, he allegedly told reporter Aleksander Osang which players
in the squad were gay and that a former international was [.
He ain't got it New Manchester United signing Javier Hernandez is so sick of people pretending to
be him on Twitter, he decided to use Twitter to deny having an account. The Mexico star borrowed
the account of international team-mate Rafa Marquez to post a mugshot of himself holding a sign
saying 'I don't have Twitter' [.
Arsenal star caught out by Catalan pranksters Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas' transfer saga was
stirred up by his World Cup-winning team-mates when they forced him to wear a Barcelona shirt.
Fabregas was at the front of the celebrations in Madrid being 'introduced' to the crowd by Pepe
Reina when his would-be new skipper forced him into the [.
Leather-flavoured chewing gum One of the best flashes of individual skill and brilliance of the
entire World Cup came not during any of the matches, but the warm-up for the third-place play-off.
Germany's Mesut Ozil shows his class - as a footballer, if perhaps not a human being - by spitting
out his chewing gum, kicking it [.
One man, his rum and coke and his iPod dock It looks like Spain's flight back to Madrid from South
Africa was an extremely long one if you didn't happen to be Pepe Reina. The worse-for-wear
Liverpool keeper paraded his iPod dock around the plane, delivering a beautiful performance to
World Cup lovebirds Iker Casillas and Sara [.
Get it down and pass it around On the final day of South Africa 2010, Adidas and FIFA eventually
found a way to control the crazy flight of the Jabulani ball and stop players ballooning free-kicks
into row Z. Spain's Xavi and Javi Martinez tested out the latest developments ahead of kick-off in
yesterday's World Cup final.
Eight out of eight for octopus Paul the psychic octopus finished the World Cup with a correct
prediction for each tentacle as Spain won the World Cup, just like he predicted they would. In the
now familiar routine, Paul ignored a mussel in a jar adorned with the Dutch flag and once again
dined in a jar [.
"Love lift us up where we belong..." The World Cup began for Spain with suggestions that having
girlfriend Sara Carbonero reporting from directly behind his goal was distracting Iker Casillas.
But it ended with them lifting the trophy and Casillas distracting the missus at her place of work
Only a yellow since he didn't chop his head at the same time Holland midfielder brought a little
slice of Tekken to the World Cup final when he unleashed an outrageous karate kick on Spain's Xabi
Alonso. The Manchester City man launched his foot into the Real Madrid player's chest with no
chance at all of getting [.
1. The best team won. And more than that, the team that actually wanted to play football won. 2.
And one of the best players of the tournament scored the winning goal in the end. Andres Iniesta is
one of the few top players to live up to his hype in South Africa. 3. Typical that Sepp [...]
Floored by security Serial pitch invader Jimmy Jump attempted to nick the World Cup trophy before
kick-off in this evening's World Cup final. Wearing a red hat and a T-shirt reading 'Jimmy Jump
against racism', the Barcelona fan beat tight security to very nearly get his hands on the trophy
before security took the opportunity to beat [.
Logo d'oh Given that the logo for the London 2012 Olympics looks like Lisa Simpson carrying out
illegal and immoral activities with her brother, it is very difficult for anyone British to take
the high ground on this. But you do have to wonder what the organisers for Brazil 2014 were
thinking about when they gave [.
1. It is always a pleasant surprise when a match that is essentially a dead rubber turns out to be
a really good match. 2. You have to wonder whether the make-up of the World Cup final and the
Golden Boot charts might be different if Thomas Mueller had been available for Germany's semi-final
Put your money where your mouth is Whether you are hunting out that old orange t-shirt you used to
have or planning tapas for a pre-match meal, we have a much easier way of backing your World Cup
final favourite. Just click on the image above, place a Â£20 bet and even if you lose you will
Ex-England star attempts to end siege with "can of lager" Paul Gascoigne has arrived at the scene
of a siege with armed fugitive Raoul Moat to lend his support to the suspected killer. The
43-year-old is in the village of Rothbury, Northumbria, where Moat was rumoured to have been hiding
since shooting his ex-girlfriend, killing her [.
I did not say ze incident Several football websites were caught out when a Kenyan newspaper ran a
fictional interview with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The interview, published in The Standard,
is so ridiculously hilarious that you have to wonder how they fell for it. The article doesn't
exactly draw you in gently.
Hola Carlitos! Spain's squad received a royal visitor in their changing room shortly after the
semi-final victory over Spain. Queen Sofia paid her nation's most successful national team of all
time a quick visit to congratulate them Most of the team were still in their kit as the Queen
wanders around and everyone enjoys some mutual applause.
Did he do it after all? The Kenyan journalist at the centre of a row over an alleged one-to-one
interview with Arsene Wenger has fought back at Arsenal's suggestion that the article was
fictitious. Ampher Apidi has today had a picture of himself cosying up to Wenger published in The
Miss-a-likes When David Villa slid onto Andres Iniesta cross during last night's World Cup
semi-final but agonisingly could not connect, I - and probably most England fans old enough to
remember - could only think of one thing: its remarkable similarity to another semi-final miss
against Germany. The slide and awkward body shape, as well as the [.
They're simply the best The World Cup is nearly over. Just one insignificant knockout match and the
third-place play-off left. OTP decided to take the post semi-final lull as our cue to unleash our
team of the tournament. It's a tough call, of course, but here are the players we think were the
best in show [.
English official handed top job English referee Howard Webb has been chosen to officiate at the
World Cup final on Sunday. The Premier League ref has impressed in his matches so far at the
tournament, and he will become the first Englishman to land football's most prestigious refereeing
gig since Jack Taylor in 1974.
1. A victory for the side playing the nicest football and a victory for Paul the octopus. Here's
hoping his German keepers don't hold it against him. 2. But for all that tiki-taka, it turns outs
you can't beat a thumping header to win a World Cup semi-final. Take that, Beckenbauer. 3. Pedro
was generally a far [.
Backing Spain could make you squids in Paul the octopus, who has correctly predicted all of
Germany's World Cup results so far, has picked Spain as the winners of tonight's World Cup
semi-final. The tentacled oracle is given two jars by staff at his aquarium in Oberhausen - one
with the Germany flag and one with the [.
1. Holland didn't show too much to concern either Germany or Spain and yet they have won another
match and they are in the World Cup final. 2. There is life in Giovanni van Bronckhorst's old legs
yet. That was an absolutely unstoppable strike. 3. Not that it will stop us all joking that Luis
Suarez would [.
Gos gets his Bosman England under 21 star Dan Gosling has walked out of Everton for nothing after a
monumental administration cock-up by the club. The youngster had been stalling over a new contract
because, despite his super sub status, he did not feel he was playing enough football. And because
the Toffees failed to put an [.
Hansi Flick has got the moves There hasn't been too much good released into the universe as result
of James Corden's World Cup Live, but this pole dancing coaches video is one of the exceptions.
Someone has spotted that a few World Cup coaching staff seem to have been lured into performing
sexy dances around the poles [.
Semi-final flutter If you take advantage of 888 Sport's free Â£20 bet by clicking on the link above
you could be quids in without any risk. A Â£20 bet on Uruguay to win tonight's World Cup semi-final
against Holland would currently get you a very nice Â£130. If the South Americans don't have what
it takes to [.
Knitwear will continue Germany's run Don't expect any touchline fashion statements from Germany
coach Joachim Loew for tomorrow's semi-final against Spain - he is under pressure to stick with the
blue v-neck that has served him well so far at the World Cup. He said: "I'm not driven by
superstition but the coaching staff want me to [.
Man City boss loses locks and scarf for pre-season Roberto Mancini, you old prankster! The
Manchester City manager was so eager to raise a smile from his players as they returned to training
for pre-season that he decided to turn up in fancy dress. The Italian arrived dressed as David
Villa in 20 years time, and we [.
C-Ron sparks 'who's the mummy?' conundrum While it is not unusual these days for a celebrity figure
to go to Africa and return with a new child in tow, Cristiano Ronaldo has found a very roundabout
way of accomplishing this. The Portugal star has announced via his official website that he became
a father in [.
Who said modern players didn't get a buzz from winning the World Cup? A replica World Cup trophy
made from 11 kilos of cocaine has been seized by police in Colombia. The statue - engraved and
painted gold to look like the real thing - was discovered during a security check at a mail
warehouse at Bogota [.
Arghhh! Argentina defender (I use the term loosely) Martin Demechelis picked the second-half of his
side's humiliation by Germany to show why he had worn a headband for most of the tournament. The
Bayern Munich man attempted to scare his opponents into surrendering their lead with his gruesome
Highlights Argentina 0-4 Germany 1. Now we can safely assume that Diego Maradona actually knows
Thomas Mueller is not a ball boy. 2. England are better than Argentina. The evidence is
conclusive... 3. There wasn't too much hype surrounding Bastian Schweinsteiger before the
tournament, but if you were asked to pick the best player in the world based [.
Crazy Diego's history with current Germany squad If Germany have been stoking the flames with
Argentina this week, then Diego Maradona and his men are certainly no angels. The Argentinian coach
was winding up his quarter-final opponents as far back as March when he stormed out of a press
conference with Germany's Thomas Mueller, demanding to [.
1. Congratulations to the goalscorer, Left Post. To be fair, Right Post has to take a lot of credit
for the assist. 2. Welcome to crazy penalty land, where there's no consistency over encroaching
into the area, stonewall penalties are turned down and borderline penalties are given. And that's
just in the space of a few [.
1. Brazil make great winners and really bad losers. Their ill-discipline virtually killed off their
chances and their decision not to bother defending at all in the last five minutes was
embarrassing. 2. If Brazil were going to go out, a Wesley Sneijder header was not where we would
have put our money on where the [.
1. Wow! What a pulsating, open, end-to-end match. These two teams showed that you can entertain and
progress in the World Cup. A few other teams would do well to take notice. 2. It is not very often
that a player sent-off in a World Cup quarter-final become a national hero, but I reckon Luis
Heiress released without charge Paris Hilton was arrested by South African police on suspicion of
possessing cannabis during yesterday's World Cup quarter-final between Holland and Brazil. Cops
swooped on the socialite as she left the match and she appeared before a special World Cup court
(perhaps Luis Suarez should appear later today) late last night.
Get your hands on the latest line from the House of Sepp OTP has got some gear from the FIFA
Collections line to give away. And it's really easy to be in with a chance of winning. All you have
to do is follow us on Twitter (as many of you already do) and tweet the following: RT [...]
Thankfully, the Uruguay-Ghana match turned out to be a fantastic football spectacle. But for a
horrible few minutes it looked like it was going to be remembered for something much less welcome.
Uruguay's Jorge Fucile fell very awkwardly after being backed into by Ghana's Samuel Inkoom while
he happened to be about 4ft off the ground.
Glenn Hoddle thinks so Ex-England boss Glenn Hoddle has been outlining his blueprint for an
overhaul of English football - and walls are a pretty important part of it. The former Chelsea
manager, who is currently running his own coaching academy in Spain, has made a series of
suggestions for improving England's prospects on the international stage.
A-Lahm bells ringing Due to some slight reputational issues in the past, Germany have generally
tried to avoid anything that may even slightly signify that they hate/want to invade another race
or nationality when the eyes of the world are watching. On occasions they have even been reluctant
to fly their national flag out of fear that [.
Clever clogs Holland manage to make a right mess of a supposedly clever set-piece routine when
Arjen Robben's discreet corner kick was spotted by Brazil's Daniel Alves. Robben attempted to kick
the ball before pretending that he was leaving the corner to be taken by Wesley Sneijder. But the
sneaky ploy was spotted by Alves, who beat [.
Goodbye, strawberries. Goodbye, cream After two days cold turkey, it is time for the quarter-finals
to get under way. After 18 days of at least two matches a day, no doubt the two-day break came as a
bit of a shock (we no it did to us). We have established that grumpy Scottish people and grunting
Way back before the World Cup began we spotted that all manner of misfortune seemed to be befalling
those players involved in Nike's Write The Future campaign. And things have only got worse for
football's Swoosh-wearing collective since then. Every player featured in the campaign's flagship
advert has suffered injury, a lack of form, an early [.
And other competitors from the FIF-emo World Cup Our friends at Brazilian footy blog Bola nas
Costas have obviously found themselves at a bit of a loose end with the lack of football over the
last couple of days. So they indulged in the pointless but very entertaining pastime of
Photoshopping footballers and managers into emos.
Flops' secret nickname for coach England's players referred to coach Fabio Capello as Postman Pat
out of the Italian's earshot, according to The Sun. The disrespectful players alleged poked fun at
their boss as he began to lose authority within the camp. An England insider said: "The resemblance
to Pat was first noticed by backroom staff.
Uruguay's would-be Spielberg It turns out that it is not just Uruguay's play that Diego Forlan has
been directing so far this World Cup. The Atletico Madrid striker-turned-midfielder has been
filming a series of videos detailing his and his team-mates' time at South Africa 2010. The most
recent video (above) shows the Uruguay squad enjoying a barbecue.
England World Cup winner Martin Peters reckons Fabio Capello and Sir Alf Ramsey are similar
coaches, but Sir Alf pips him on the disciplinary stakes. The two bosses seemingly shared a dislike
of WAGs, but we are not sure the Italian tucks his players in at night!