A week into the tournament and it isn’t the Messis and the Ronaldos at the top of the scoring chart but Messrs Own Goal, with three strikes. This is an unlikely achievement, given there have only been a total of 39 scored in 19 World Cups. Muller, though, joined the anonymous Own Goal at the top of the charts by the end of the day.
After skinning a couple of defenders and scoring with a drive, Messi wheeled off in celebration. You would think he has done it tons of times for it to matter so much, but he actually hasn’t. It was eight years since his last World Cup goal.
It was as if the Honduras wrestling contingent had landed in Brazil two years too early for the Olympics with players nicknamed ‘The Nightmare’ and ‘The Pitbull’. They did seem to be more intent on causing physical harm to the French players than the ball, picking up four yellows and a red.
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Ecuador were Ecuador were on par, or even better, for the most part of the match but it counted for nothing after Switzerland’s last-minute winner. Then the Swiss mocked them — ‘You have the cocoa but we make the chocolate.’
Those in-charge of pairing the good-will mascots with the players certainly had a wicked sense of humour at Porto Alegre, sending out the tallest kid of the lot in tow with the 5’4” French winger Mathieu Valbuena.
Croatia have barred access to the media after nude pictures of their players were leaked online. Two photographers hid in the bushes to click pictures of players in the shower. Unamused, the Croats have shut shop to the media. “How would you feel if someone took naked pictures of you?” thundered Croatia coach Nico Kovac.
At least 12,000 people are expected to watch Germany’s first World Cup game against Portugal on Monday, on up to 850 couches at the Alte Foersterei stadium in Berlin. The stadium is christened the “World Cup living room,” allowing fans to transport their own sofa onto the pitch to watch the games for free.
Pepe, oh dear Pepe. A tackle followed by some head banging, but not the kind that Paulo Bento or Jurgen Klopp will approve. Seriously, who butts head with a player on the floor?