From the publishers of THE HINDU
VOL.29 :: NO.23 :: Jun. 10, 2006
All eyes will be on Ronaldinho. He carries not merely the responsibility of being a Brazilian footballer but also the planet's poet laureate of football. The stage is ready, and we await a performance from a player whose beauty is singular proof of football's PRE-EMINENCE as a sport, writes ROHIT BRIJNATH.
`The best is still to come'
Should Rooney play in the World Cup, there is every POSSIBILITY that he can help his talented team-mates to go two steps beyond what Gascoigne, Lineker and Co. achieved in 1990.
Theo, the exception
Ideally, youth should always, within reason, be given its fling. But a TEENAGER should not be pitched into a World Cup team after months without a first-team game of any kind along the lines of what happened to Theo Walcott.
The toughest thing about SUCCESS is that you have got to keep on being successful. This is the price Brazil have to pay every time they enter a competition and in Germany it will be no different, writes CINDY GARCIA-BENNETT.
TEAM ANALYSIS - ARGENTINA
Hungry for revenge
The last three tournaments have seen ARGENTINA arrive as one of the favourites only to make a swift exit. They will be determined to make things different in Germany, writes MATIAS GRECO.
TEAM ANALYSIS - FRANCE
Old is gold for Les Bleus
Senior members of the side such as Zidane, Makelele, Thuram, Vieira, Henry and Trezeguet have MORE WORK to do than just being at their peak form if France hopes to be in Berlin on July 9.
TEAM ANALYSIS - ITALY
Attackers win matches. Believe it or not, that might well be the mantra of Italy manager Marcello Lippi, who, unlike most of his predecessors, has a fleet of TOP-CLASS STRIKERS at Germany 2006 to add to the nation's traditionally strong defensive department, writes CINDY GARCIA-BENNETT.
TEAM ANALYSIS - HOLLAND
The Oranje fans will be looking forward to seeing the likes of defender Johnny Heitinga, midfielders Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart, and forwards Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben flourishing on the world stage for the FIRST TIME in Germany, writes RORY SQUIRES.
TEAM ANALYSIS - GERMANY
Home is the word
Much of the HOME NATION'S success in 2006 will depend on how they come to terms with the weight of expectations, writes BEN GLADWELL.
TEAM ANALYSIS - PORTUGAL
Watch out for Figo and Co.
There are THREE KEY INGREDIENTS to winning a World Cup talent, desire and luck. And arguably no team playing in this summer's tournament has all these qualities in greater abundance than Portugal, writes BEN RUMSBY.
These teams are not quite in the class that would make them the favourites in the World Cup. Though they are very realistic about their chances in Germany 2006, they hope to leave the tournament with a POSITIVE MARK.
On the big stage
The World Cup provides the scope for players to display their talentson the HIGHEST STAGE. ANDY HAMPSON looks at the potential stars youngsters and veterans alike of Germany 2006.
Europe finds Asia a reservoir of talent
It is up to Asian players to meet the challenge and prove they are GOOD ENOUGH to compete at the highest level or fall by the wayside and remain big fish in small ponds, writes NEALE GRAHAM.
Red & Yellow Cards
The showing of the Red or Yellow cards was NECESSITATED after several misunderstandings and comic incidents. These incidents were invariably inmatches where the players and the referee did not have a common language of communication, writes L. R. NATARAJAN, a former FIFA referee.
Leading the charge
Football captains have to give their best, CONTROL THE GAME and provide the manager inputs about tactical patterns and formations that could be tweaked. They also have to keep their cool and manage their young players during situations that could potentially be explosive, writes N. U. ABILASH.
Cricketers catch football fever
Besides playing in the Test series, the players of the West Indies and Indian teams will be rooting for their FAVOURITE sides inthe World Cup. Ram Mahesh finds out their preferences.
Lara's lavish party, a poet in the Indian team, a nervous scorer, a batsman called `BOUNCING',a new game, `Wari' ... S. RAM MAHESH takes a look at them all.
Copyright © 2006 Sportstar
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of Sportstar.