World Cup Daily: Déjà vu for Capello and Algeria seek revenge
In The Headlines
Ghana did their best to overshadow Portugal’s World Cup exit with Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince-Boateng sent home and suspended before kick-off.
The Black Stars had been embroiled in a row about bonuses that had already seen $3m in cash flown out. In the meantime, Muntari was reported to have attacked a Ghana official while Prince-Boateng got in trouble for verbally abusing Kweshi Appiah.
In the end they got the cash, with John Boye pictured kissing a wad of notes hours before putting the ball in his own net for the Selecao. The good news is it now appears Nigeria are involved in a similar row over bonuses – oh boy…
Portugal’s failure to score a million goals meant USA qualified despite losing to Germany in an eerie mirror image of their 2002 group stage progression.
The evening’s action proved money can’t buy World Cup happiness as Fabio Capello’s Russia departed in a result that means the three highest paid coaches at these finals have gone home early.
Pictured wearing two watches and the kind of red vest not seen since a visit to McDonalds in the 1980s, Capello blamed a laser pen for the Algeria equaliser that saw the Fennec Foxes progress.
Algeria face Germany seeking revenge for the 1982 Shame of Gijon incident where Die Mannschaft played for the result that saw them and Austria through and meant fans would forever be forced to switch between two simultaneous final group games, missing goals and action in the process.
The non-England Camp
With the Three Lions at home and licking their wounds, the focus instead turns to hosts Brazil who will be out to avoid some Euro 96-style heartbreak on home soil.
Luis Suarez may have been banned for four-months and sent home, where he is set to receive a hero’s welcome , but fans of footballers with a bit of bite need not fear because Fred is on hand for Brazil, or rather Marcelo’s hand, as this video of the 30-year-old larking about shows.
The Selecao are getting a helping hand in their preparations ahead of the crucial second round clash with Chile, after a news team helicopter was spotted spying on a Chile training session – will it be enough though?
Sergio Aguero is out of Argentina’s clash with Switzerland, though that shouldn’t be a problem provided Lionel Messi can match the hat-trick he scored last time the two teams met.
Leroy Fer is out of Holland’s game with Mexico while Nigeria star Michel Babatunde’s tournament is over after the midfielder fractured his wrist.
Belgium, meanwhile, are keeping an eye on captain Vincent Kompany who missed their final group fixture.
Fans across France went wild last night, with the country’s Algerian contingent taking to the streets to celebrate the Fennec Foxes progression. There were also wild scenes in London, with Hounslow awash with fans of the North African team who made the second round for the first time in their history thanks to West Ham target Islam Slimani.
Luis Suarez is set for a hero’s reception in Uruguay and also has a fan in Diego Maradona, who wore a T-shirt during his TV show with the words “Luis We are with you” crudely written across it. How touching.
In Other News
World leaders have got in on the action again, with Belgium prime minister Elio Di Rupo taking to Twitter to bet Barack Obama some “great Belgian beers” that the Red Devils will get passed Team USA – why not just head to Ladbrokes boys?
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