Tag: Portugal

World Cup 2010: Spain 1-0 Portugal

I’m not sure what channel I’m watching but it’s not one of ours. The pundits sound refreshing. There’s a Scotsman who looks a bit like Hansen but uses verbs and sounds interested. In fact, it’s as if it is Hansen but he’s next to proper pundits, so he has to raise his game so as not to sound lazy and under-informed. Alongside him is a nicely understated Dutchman who is always to the point. He admires the Spanish not simply because “they’ve got Torres,” but because “there are always two options for the man with the ball… it’s not about the man with the ball if he has no options.” Simple logic. I’m not even pining for Lee Dixon, the best the Beeb has to offer. And on the end is an American fellow with a German sounding name but a broader Californian accent than even the state’s governor himself. Proper broadcast journalist, too. He has a take on Fernando Torres’s fitness because “I spoke to Torres.” Can’t imagine Alan Shearer would even try. Unfortunately, though, whatever channel this is has had to buy in the BBC’s match coverage – journalistic budgets aren’t what they were. And so we’re soon in the company of Jonathan Pearce and Mark Lawrenson, the comedy double act with two straight men; Lawrenson possibly one of the reasons music hall died. Pearce avoids the...

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World Cup 2010: Portugal 0-0 Brazil

Whether or not Group G was this World Cup’s Group of Death, it appears to have taken place in 1966, at Goodison Park, with Eusebio scoring every goal. The game Lineker and co. are expecting is taking place in some fantasy world far from the realities of the group table. No-one is saying Brazil v Portugal is destined to be as bad as it turns out. But there are clues. Brazil are through. Portugal need a point, or at least to lose by not many. Both sides have changed nearly half their teams. Brazil’s strengths are supposedly their two holding midfielders, the best goalkeeper in the world and a boring manager who’s built the team in his own image. And Portugal have kept a thousand clean sheets in their last thousand and three games. Yet virtually all of this is overlooked in favour of more clips of Eusebio (didn’t he run funny!!) and the usual Pele bits from 1970 – believe me, you know the ones. “You can’t tire of seeing that sort of stuff,” insists Shearer, incorrectly. There’s friction between Clarence Seedorf and Hansen over the relative merits of Cristiano Bloody Ronaldo (CBR). Seedorf claims CBR can’t “carry a struggling team on his shoulders.” Hansen counter-claims that CBR did it at Old Trafford for three years. It will be news to Man Yoo fans that their team were...

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World Cup 2010: Portugal 7 (SEVEN) North Korea 0

It was a transformation more complete than a Doctor Who regeneration. “North” Korea went from “well-organised, but more than that, they can play” just before half-time to “this lot” by the end of the BBC’s coverage, by-passing “plucky” completely. In fact, the transformation was quicker than that. In between Portugal’s second and fourth goals, seven minutes in total, Korea’s record in the run-up to these finals had changed from a series of good draws with 1-0 defeats against Paraguay and Mexico “who have done well here” to “no wins in six matches.” Stalinist revisionism at it’s most clinical. The Beeb haven’t stinted on the stereotyping with the Koreans, or at least the communist, totalitarian ones, especially regarding what will, or more to the point, won’t be shown of the Chollima’s games “in Pyongyang.” According to match commentator, Simon Brotherton, they “only showed highlights” of the Brazil game and not until seventeen hours later. And he adds, without a shred of evidence I’m sure, that they wouldn’t have shown a minute if Korea had lost heavily. Of course, this might well have been down to the cost of taking the coverage, which has been a stretch for better-resourced broadcasters. And only eventually did Brotherton explain that 17 hours after the game was actually “prime time” in Korea. But, you know, facts…good story etc… “Technically known as the Korean Democratic People’s...

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World Cup 2010: Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal

If this World Cup has yet to really catch, there were high hopes beforehand that these two teams would provide the first really absorbing contest – both are packed with undoubted talent, and are probably battling for a single qualification sport behind Brazil. But with hindsight, this last factor was the critical one and ought to have made us realise that we’d be in for yet another game defined principally by caution. This game always looked likely to be the crunch one for both teams, and if it had come last it might have been a humdinger. Coming first, neither team was willing to take much in the way of risks, apparently happy to leave it to see who could nick a result off Brazil or else rack up the better goal difference against North Korea.

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World Cup Preview: Group G

The 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in just two weeks today, which is so exciting the hair on my legs keeps on spontaneously erupting into flames. By this time next week – when your correspondent Dotmund (to use his Brazilian footballer nickname) completes his guide to the groups – all the final squads will be announced and we’ll be good to go. This is especially useful for him, as he’s just realised he’s not written the preview for Group H yet. Group G, however, is in the can. Let’s suckle at the teat of knowledge and learn about the fortunes of Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast and Portugal.

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