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World Cup diary - Uruguay win hearts and minds in South Africa

Published: 01 Jul 2010 - 07:23:34

Uruguay's success at this summer's FIFA World Cup has been keenly felt by the residents of Kimberley, the working-class mining city where the South Americans based themselves at the beginning of the tournament.

The Uruguayan Football Association even plans to facilitate coaching schemes in the area, before inviting the most promising young players to Uruguay, for further training.

The locals have taken the outsiders to their hearts, as local senior citizen Pulane Boikanyo indicated: "I want to hug them. They have made us proud".

Understated and overachieving...sounds like a mantra the England team should adopt.

TEVEZ READY FOR GERMANY

Argentina's Carlos Tevez believes previous World Cup opponents Mexico were a tougher proposition than quarter-final opposition Germany.

"I was more afraid of Mexico than Germany because the Mexicans play better football - they took the ball from us in the first minutes of the first half and at the start of the second. We would have suffered more if we hadn't struck at the right moments," he told Argentine newspaper Clarin.

Tevez may have set himself up for a big fall with those words, bearing in mind the over confidence with which England faced the Germans on Sunday.

READ THESE

- FIFA monitor reports of Nigeria ban

- Aguirre quits as Mexico coach

GHANA STAY COOL

Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac has asserted that his side do not feel any pressure by attempting to become the first African side to reach the semi-finals of a FIFA World Cup competition.

Speaking ahead of their match against Uruguay, he stated: "We are not thinking about the pressure. We have already proved that we are a team that knows how to compete. We will try to relax and are very happy with the whole situation. We have no obligation but still we want to use this opportunity to do our best and to make history."

Wise words indeed, but does Rajevac have the fire in his belly often required at the gritty end of a World Cup tournament? We shall wait and see.

JAPANESE PM HAILS TEAM

Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan, issued the following statement following his national team's World Cup exit via a penalty shoot-out against Paraguay: "The players and the bench were united and showed the world the potential of Japanese soccer. I sincerely congratulate their efforts."

I wonder if the England side were sent an invoice for services rendered, after their lazy jaunt across the world?

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Tom Littlefield
Seen as the heir apparent to Jan Molby until an underactive thyroid gland curtailed this youngster’s development, Tom Littlefield will now concentrate on making a “big pitch” (pun) during South Africa 2010. As Barnet’s staunchest Gooner, he is well placed to judge good football. So, while the England team provides your compulsory tournament displeasure, Tom will look to rouse your enthusiasm for the beautiful game (and WAGS) in the oasis of oratory that is his World Cup Diary.

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