Jun 21, 2014

Togetherness, the need of the hour

The tag of ‘golden generation’ follows the current crop of exceptionally skilled footballers in the Ivory Coast national team with much ...

Briefing

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Chilly hot!

First and foremost, it’s important to praise Marcelo Bielsa for his revolutionary work with Chile. After taking over a dynamic, young side in ...

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Unpredictable side

The austerity measures forced on Greece, which has been at the centre of the European debt crisis the last few years, appear to have had its ...

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From the fringes to the forefront

World Cup is not always about the stars and their magnificent feats. There have also been quite a few instances of lesser lights coming into ...

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Teams to rely on tried and tested methods

The World Cup in Brazil — although major tournaments seem to produce surprises invariably — is hardly expected to cause a significant rupture ...

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Heat could cool European footballing ardour

The searing South American heat will stifle European teams and tired defences may concede goals. Ayon Sengupta on the course the 2014 World Cup ...

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Desperate to win at home

The unending protests over economic issues in the country have been a sore point ahead of the World Cup. However, the unrest seems to have had ...

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Can the ‘magic triangle’ do the trick?

Considering the amount of talent at its disposal, one wonders how Croatia struggled in its qualifying campaign. It finished second in Group A, ...

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Blooding youngsters

Mexico, which won the gold medal in football at the London Olympics in 2012, had an appalling qualifying campaign in the CONCACAF group, losing ...

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A mere roar isn’t enough

In 1990, when Cameroon made its run to the quarterfinals, beating defending champion Argentina on the way in the opening group match, it helped ...

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A champion that lacks presence

Spain enters the 2014 FIFA World Cup with expectations somewhat reduced. British bookmakers see La Furia Roja as the fourth favourite to win ...

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No great expectations

“This is the challenge I have been waiting for.” Replacing Bert van Marwijk after Euro 2012 was evidently a major personal joy for Louis van ...

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Facing tough times

It would be preposterous for anyone to believe that Australia would have a great time at Brazil 2014. With luck having deserted the Socceroos ...

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Not short of options

“We’ll wait for Falcao until the last day, the last minute. We have a lot of people to make the final decision. We’ll find the most logical ...

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Togetherness, the need of the hour

The tag of ‘golden generation’ follows the current crop of exceptionally skilled footballers in the Ivory Coast national team with much ...

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Fragile defence

Japan, which is making its fifth consecutive appearance in the World Cup, is one of the earliest teams to book a berth to Brazil. Under Italian ...

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All eyes on Suarez

On May 31, there must have been a collective sigh of relief across Uruguay, when the country’s final squad of 23 for the World Cup was ...

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Banking on youth

One of the most telling moments of England’s World Cup build-up came off the pitch, away from the players, crowds and live TV cameras on the ...

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Eyeing another bull run

It is very strange that Italy seems to do well at the World Cup whenever some scandal or turmoil at home precedes the big event. Its four ...

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A fighting unit

The arrival of Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto as Costa Rica’s national coach brought in a lot of positives. The Los Ticos, as the national team is ...

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A well-rounded outfit

For eight years no other team has imploded as spectacularly as France. It started with the final of the 2006 World Cup, continued in the EURO ...

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Its strength is defence

It is safe to say there isn’t much excitement around Switzerland’s chances at the World Cup. Its squad is inexperienced and the style of ...

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The coach is dreaming high

“There are seven games in the World Cup, and I want to reach the seventh” says Ecuador’s Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda. The 57-year-old was ...

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No win to show but no pushover as well

Honduras failed to score a goal at the last World Cup. The less glamorous team from Latin America is yet to record a win at the World Cup ...

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A strong contender

Latin America’s dominance is all too evident, as players from the region have often been the bulwarks of club sides across the world. Uruguay, ...

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Powered by Dzeko

Life may be rough and tough and the recent devastating floods may have added to its misery but football is turning out to be a soothing balm ...

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Hit by lack of friendlies

Drawn in a group that also comprises Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Nigeria, Iran may be the least prepared of the competing teams. A ...

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Aiming to soar higher

You don’t normally expect scores such as 76-0 and 67-0 in football. Except in Nigeria, that is. Last year, in the Nigerian league, ...

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Brimming with talent

The Germans haven’t won a trophy in 18 years. Heading into this summer’s extravaganza, history, timing and location isn’t on Joachim Loew’s ...

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All about one man!

Even with the World Player of the Year Ronaldo in its ranks and a fair bunch of talented players to rally around him, Portugal seems to have ...

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Will black stars spring a surprise yet again?

It was sheer bad luck that Ghana went out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The team missed a last minute penalty during extra-time, ...

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Time for redemption

After creating a ripple in international football by reaching the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, the United States has not done anything ...

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Red hot devils need to deliver

Bookmakers have ranked Belgium as the fifth favourite to lift the World Cup, right behind host Brazil and former champions Argentina, Germany ...

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Ready to outfox opponents

Algeria, playing in consecutive World Cups for the second time in its history, is in Brazil with a strong squad, benefitting from FIFA’s new ...

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A chance to improve

Russia is returning to football’s biggest stage after a gap of 12 years. Unlike the former USSR, a powerhouse in football that had reached the ...

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On a gruelling mission

Asia’s most accomplished side, South Korea, embarks on a difficult mission with one of the youngest squads in the 2014 World Cup. South ...

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Big game, big bucks!

A television audience report produced for FIFA noted that the 2010 World Cup had “reached over 3.2 billion people around the world — 46.4% of ...

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Sankar’s historic moment

Komaleeswaran Sankar chased a dream and enjoyed the thrill of realising it when he became part of the officiating team in the 2002 World Cup, ...