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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Win VIP World Cup Tickets

How would you like to be at the 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa - with all expenses paid. Of course, you would. So now, in partnership with Windows Casino, you can win two VIP tickets to the World Cup Final.

The first prize is:
  • 2 VIP Tickets to the 2010 Football Final in Johannesburg, South Africa on 11th of July 2010
  • Hospitality Package for the Match

    1. Welcome Gift
    2. Drink Reception
    3. 4 Course Buffet with Beverages
    4. Hotel – Stadium – Hotel Transfer
  • Accommodation for 3 nights in Johannesburg
  • Return Flight Tickets
All you need to do is deposit and play at least £/$/€/R100 at Windows Casino between February 15th and Feb 28th to qualify. Then keep playing to climb the leaderboard.


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posted by mark_s at 12:20 PM 0 comments

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sepp Blatter and A Brave New World

2010WorldCupOnline wants to know why two South American countries seem to be playing in North America.

It's a good point. The answer, of course, is for the same reason that Australia has moved to Asia and Israel to Europe. Football, it's the world game, but just not the world as we know it. Maybe it's the world as FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants it to be.

And speaking of the always, er, interesting Mr Blatter. I couldn't help but enjoy his comments that John Terry's affair would have been "applauded" in Latin countries.

This is just the latest in, I don't know, hundreds of stupid things Blatter has said down the years.

My all time favourite is this:

"There are gay footballers, but they don’t declare it because it will not be accepted in these macho organisations. Look at women’s football – homosexuality is more popular there.”

There's loads more but I just bring myself to post them.

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posted by mark_s at 6:39 PM 0 comments

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hiddink Could Make The World Cup After All

Let's face it, Russia's failure to make the World Cup 2010 - mainly, I feel, due to complacency on the part of the players - was a surprise. Most of all to me.

I've always backed sides managed by Guus Hiddink to do well and, frankly, he's made me a lot of money down the years by always coming through when I've bet on his teams.

His management of South Korea ahead of the 2002 World Cup Finals was a masterclass for any international manager. What he did was take a worse than mediocre side and turn them into a competitive team.

Because South Korea had no competitive games before the 2002 Finals, Hiddink lined up a succession of friendly matches over a period of eighteen months against teams from around the world.

After drubbings by France and the Czech Republic among others, by the time the 2002 World Cup Finals rolled around, they were hammering Scotland and drawing with England.

And, of course, he steered Australia to the second round in 2006 and got Russia through to the Euro 2008 finals at the expense of England.

Having left his post as Russia manager, Hiddink has already, very wisely, turned down an approach from North Korea to manage them at South Africa 2010. But, it appears the Dutchman may be interested in taking over coaching duties with Nigeria.

Interestingly, Nigeria's World Cup group includes his old side South Korea, but - if he takes the job - you would definitely back Hiddink to get Nigeria through to the second round and possibly the quarter finals.

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posted by mark_s at 8:33 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Random World Cup Thoughts

A few things have caught my attention today, but nothing especially worth a full post, so instead I present you with some random thoughts on today's World Cup news stories.

Apparently Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has GUARANTEED that 'keeper Chris Kirkland will be in the England squad for South Africa 2010. Martinez said, I quote, "After working with him I can guarantee 100 per cent that he will be in the England squad".

This is more than a little strange as a) I wasn't aware that Martinez was England manager and b) as far as I can tell, Fabio Capello has never picked Chris Kirkland for an England squad.

Meanwhile, over at that bastian of sensible reporting, the BBC, is the shocking revelation that Ronaldinho might not go to the World Cup as he was left out of the Brazil squad for their final warm-up match in March.

Er, not much of a revelation considering that he hasn't been in a Brazil squad for over a year. Something which even the article itself admits. Good work, boys.

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posted by mark_s at 2:13 PM 0 comments

Monday, February 08, 2010

Do The German FA Not Want To Win The World Cup

If you remember the 2006 World Cup, you may recall that relations between then coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the German Football Association were frosty, to say the least. In fact, despite leading Germany to third place in the Finals, Klinsmann choose not to renew his contract and he walked away.

Well, it appears that history is repeating itself. The DFB (German Football Association) have apparently given current coach Joachim Low a 48 hour deadline to agree a new contract.

Needless to say, Low is livid and, speaking to ZDF TV, said:

"I am the national team coach and I will not be given any ultimatum. It is our right to make demands and whoever knows us knows that we are not hungry for power or money.

"We are interested in other things like the development of the team."

And so it looks like the German Football Association's hardball tactics have back-fired once again and - just like in 2006 - they will go into the World Cup Finals with a coach whose contract expires at the end of the tournament. The DFB should really put the interests of the German national team ahead of trying to assert their authority over a very capable manager. If it ain't broke, don't break it.

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posted by mark_s at 2:33 PM 0 comments

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Must Be Nice To Be Italy

I think, barring injuries and one or two uncertainties - like the fitness of Owen Hargreaves - most of us can pretty much predict the entire England 2010 World Cup squad right now.

And, to be honest, it's a squad that looks a little weak in terms of breadth and depth. After the first 11, there aren't too many truly top class players. Wayne Bridge, Peter Crouch - these are good Premier League players, but, if you are honest with yourself, they are not first tier international players.

So, it must be nice to Marcello Lippi, Italy head coach. Lippi has announced he has already decided on 17 of his 23 man squad for South Africa 2010, but is struggling to choose the remaining six.

The reason, and I quote, "It's a tough choice given that at the moment at least 35 players are playing to a high level."

Now, hands up how many of you really think that England is in with a chance of winning the 2010 World Cup? Yup, thought so.

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posted by mark_s at 12:53 PM 0 comments