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World Cup diary - Maradona heats up Germany clash

Published: 02 Jul 2010 - 07:54:28

Argentina coach Diego Maradona has retaliated to remarks attributed to Germany midfielder Schweinsteiger about the negative behaviour of Argentina players when the teams clashed at the same stage four years ago.

"What's the matter Schweinsteiger? Are you nervoussh?" mocked the mercurial firebrand, in a ridiculous German accent.

DEMICHELIS TAUNTS TERRY

Argentina central defender Martin Demichelis laid into England defender after his display against Germany on Sunday: "Seeing the way Terry played against Germany, if I was Terry I wouldn't be able to go back to my country."

This may have been a clever way of detracting from a very good Germany performance against England, or it could be that quite a few countries strongly dislike the English. I shall keep my opinion to myself.

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MULLER TAKES HIS TURN

Germany forward Thomas Muller has offered his own psychological analysis on where England have been going wrong.

"There are so many alpha males in the squad and it is difficult to have so many alpha males and roll in the same direction but you don't only need chiefs, you also need Indians, those willing to do hard work - that maybe a problem with England that players aren't mentally prepared to go that extra mile for their team."

It seems Muller is another player the English have upset. I can't help but feel rather proud of England, after that.

VAN MARWIJK RESTORES ORDER

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk has exemplified at least one of the reasons why the Netherlands have more of a settled camp during this World Cup.

After striker Robin van Persie was alleged to have said that midfielder Wesley Sneijder should have been substituted instead of him during the win over Slovakia, van Marwijk demonstrated his man management skills in eradicating any feelings of ill will.

"I will never accept anything that could upset the next match," Van Marwijk told Dutch national broadcaster NOS.

"I spoke to Robin and he is supposed to have said something about Wesley. I've spoken to Wesley and after that I called the team together...told them what I think and then drew a line under it."

If only Mr Capello could have shown the same tactical nous when dealing with Steven Gerrard and John Terry.

MATTHAUS - GERMANY BETTER WITHOUT BALLACK

Michael Ballack won't be pleased to hear ex-Germany captain Lothar Matthaus has insisted that Ballack's ankle injury has helped the side.

"I'm genuinely upset for Michael Ballack, but I have to say his absence has helped Germany," Matthaus told Fifa.com.

"I don't mean that in a spiteful way, but Ballack was arguably holding up a number of players who've now blossomed. Ballack often took a lot of pace out of the game, but that wouldn't fit the mentality of this young team. Missing out is a personal catastrophe for Michael, but it's benefited Germany."

KLOSE...FURTHER AWAY?

Miroslav Klose has hinted that he may be poaching on pastures new, after the World Cup. The Germany goal machine barely figured at club side Bayern Munich last season, and left the world in no doubts about what really motivates him: "Of course there have been enquiries, especially from Eastern Europe, which are really lucrative."

KING RICARD LOOKS FOR NEW THRONE

Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson insists he is a capable custodian at Premier League level, if given the chance to prove himself.

The shot-stopper is without a club, following four first-team appearances in two years at Wigan Athletic.

"I would still like to stay in England because I know I could play every week in the Premier League."

Richard, I am sure there are several million Arsenal fans that would carry you to the Emirates if monsieur Wenger signalled his interest.

BRAZIL DECORATES STATUE

Rio de Janeiro's renovated Christ the Redeemer statue has been decked out in green and yellow lights, in readiness for national team Brazil's match with the Netherlands today.

The statue had fallen victim to vandalism and disrepair, but is now a gleaming beacon of pride for the nation.


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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