They say that consistency helps in football. Especially in terms of number of players you use. This seems to be one of Japan’s tactics, as they enter this game with the same XI that...
If you’d told New Zealand beforehand that they’d go through the group unbeaten and finish above Italy, I daresay they’d have settled for that. And they’d be right to feel pretty pleased with themselves, but they’ll be frustrated that it wasn’t enough to get them through, and they go home as just the sixth team in World Cup history to be eliminated despite not losing a game. (Trivia time: how many of the other five can you name? Answers below.)
The 2010 World Cup kicks off in just three weeks time, so by this point the majority of football fans everywhere are only using products made by official tournament sponsors and eating impala for breakfast. Our intrepid Wikipedia monkey Dotmund has once again put his vuvuzela aside for just long enough to take a look at another of this summer’s groups. Today we find out about the reigning champions, a South American dark horse, a team from a very long way away and a European team who have only ever been in the World Cup before in disguise.
For many people, major sports tournaments are the only occasion that national anthems are heard. These peculiar tunes have become a genre of their own, transcending the mere hymns that many of them were in first place, and they range from the gloriously uplifting to mournful dirges. The selection of words has, in many countries, brought about national debate that has been all-encompassing. In the case of Spain, it was decided that it would probably be for the best just to not bother having any for the sake of national unity.