Off the Post Archives for January 2010

The Premier League and the Men in Black

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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 [.

Top 10 things we are looking forward to after our holidays

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OTP is shutting down for a couple of weeks (if £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 [.

Video: Michael Essien makes a child cry

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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.

Top 10 World Cup players your club should sign

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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.

Bookies Paddy Power suspends bets on Joe Cole joining Liverpool

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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 [.

Spanish zoo makes transfer bid for Paul the octopus

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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.

Graham Poll reckons his three yellows weren’t as bad as Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal

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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 [.

Fake Big Brother romances annoy Rio Ferdinand

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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 essentials can Dimitar Berbatov not bear to launch the new Manchester United kit without?

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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 [.

Bastian Schweinsteiger wears Frank Lampard’s England World Cup match shirt for a park kickabout

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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 [.

Video: Another ridiculous goalkeeping howler

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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 [.

Video: When celebrating finishing third in the World Cup get painful

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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 [.

Video: Outrageous goalkeeping howler from Iceland

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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.

David Beckham wants to build Lego for a living

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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 [.

Mike Tyson cheers on Peterborough against West Ham

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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 £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 [.

Video: Thierry Henry arrives at New York Red Bulls, does a photoshoot

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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 [.

Wrapped up: World Cup final

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Drunken Gerard Pique spits at Spain backroom staff

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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 [.

Germany squad ‘a bunch of gays’

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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 [.

Don’t expect to follow Manchester United’s new signing on Twitter

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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' [.

Video: Cesc Fabregas wears Barcelona shirt at Spain’s World Cup celebrations

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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 [.

Video: Mesut Ozil plays chewing gum keepy-uppy

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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 [.

Video: Drunk Pepe Reina serenades Iker Casillas and Sara Carbonero, shows off his dodgy dancing

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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 [.

Video: Adidas and FIFA finally get the Jabulani under control

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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.

Paul the psychic octopus finishes the World Cup with 100 per cent record

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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 [.

Video: Iker Casillas kisses reporter girlfriend Sara Carbonero during live interview

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"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 instead.

Video: Nigel De Jong’s karate kick on Xabi Alonso

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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 [.

Top 10 conclusions: Holland 0-1 Spain (aet)

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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 [...]


Jimmy Jump attempts to steal the World Cup trophy

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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 [.

Liveblog: World Cup Final - Holland v Spain

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Join in the discussion below or add #offthepost to your Tweets on Twitter Off The Post - World Cup Final Live Blog


Football Lookalikes: Brazil 2014 World Cup logo and an Arsene Wenger facepalm

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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 [.

Top five conclusions: Uruguay 2-3 Germany

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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 against Spain.

Wrapped Up: World Cup semi-finals

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Greatest World Cup moments re-created

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Who are you backing in the World Cup final?

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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 £20 bet and even if you lose you will [...]


Gazza arrives in Rothbury to offer his support to armed gunman Raoul Moat

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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 [.

Hilarious fake Arsene Wenger interview in Kenyan newspaper dupes UK media

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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.

Video: Carlos Puyol meets the Queen of Spain wearing only a towel

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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.

Journalist behind the fake Arsene Wenger interview hits back

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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 Standard newspaper.

Lookalikes: David Villa v Germany and Paul Gascoigne v Germany

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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 [.

OTP World Cup 2010 team of the tournament

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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 [.

England team make it to the World Cup final… well done, Howard Webb

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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.

Top five conclusions: Germany 0-1 Spain

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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 [.

Wrapped Up: World Cup quarter-finals

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Video: Paul the psychic octopus predicts Spain victory against Germany

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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 [.

Top five conclusions: Uruguay 2-3 Holland

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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 [.

Everton lose Dan Gosling on free transfer after bizarre admin FAIL

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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 [.

Video: Pole dancing coaches of the World Cup

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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 [.

Put a free £20 on Uruguay, win £130 if they beat Holland

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Semi-final flutter If you take advantage of 888 Sport's free £20 bet by clicking on the link above you could be quids in without any risk. A £20 bet on Uruguay to win tonight's World Cup semi-final against Holland would currently get you a very nice £130. If the South Americans don't have what it takes to [.

Germany coach Joachim Loew to stick with lucky blue jumper

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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 [.

Uruguay already know the outcome of their big match

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The result is in Uruguay have already got the result of the big match they've been preparing for this week. And we can now announce it here on OTP: Nacho Gonzalez and Andrés Scotti have defeated Juan Guillermo Castillo and Diego Godin in the men's doubles table tennis. The man behind the camera is once again Diego [.

‘Do Are Ya? Roberto Mancini

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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 [.

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes father to a baby boy

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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 [.

Cocaine replica World Cup seized

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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 [.

‘Do Are Ya? Martin Demichelis

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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 undercut.

Top five conclusions: Argentina 0-4 Germany

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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 [.

Video: Diego Mardona storms out of press conference because he thinks Thomas Mueller is a ball boy

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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 [.

Top five conclusions: Paraguay 0-1 Spain

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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 [.

Top five conclusions: Holland 2-1 Brazil

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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 [.

Top five conclusions: Uruguay 1-1 Ghana (4-2 pens)

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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 Suarez [.

Paris Hilton arrested for drugs possession at Holland-Brazil match

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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.

Competition: Win some classy FIFA merchandise

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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 [...]


Video: Jorge Fucile nearly breaks his neck (Uruguay v Ghana)

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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.

Is the humble brick wall the answer to England’s World Cup woes?

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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.

Germany enjoy some mild racism and stereotyping

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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 [.

Video: Arjen Robben’s corner trick FAIL (Holland v Brazil)

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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 [.

Yay! The World Cup is back

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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 women [.

Video: Spoof of Nike’s cursed Write The Future campaign

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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 [.

What if Diego Maradona was an emo?

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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.

Fabio Capello called Postman Pat by England players

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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.

Diego Forlan’s World Cup video diary

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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.

Video: Martin Peters compares Fabio Capello to Sir Alf Ramsey

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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!