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World Cup diary - Schweinsteiger better than Messi

Published: 05 Jul 2010 - 08:05:06

German newspaper The Welt has lauded Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger after his performance in Saturday's 4-0 quarter-final demolition of Argentina.

'Better than Messi: Schweinsteiger completes his masterpiece', read the headline.

Now I remember why those Germans aren't very popular in England.

IT'S A KINDA MAGIC

Sebastian Abreu of Uruguay believes he should be treated like French legend Zinedine Zidane, after his audacious penalty knocked Ghana out of the World Cup, and secured his own country a fixture with the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

When asked whether he was mad to have attempted a penalty similar to Zidane's in the last World Cup final, Abreu retorted: "What adjective did you use to describe Zidane's penalty? Crazy? No, magic. So why not Abreu?"

Sebastian, a career of genius is what defined Zinedine Zidane. If a decent penalty defined a career, I would be the Lord Governor of Britain, not the braggart of Barnet Park.

IKER LEARNS FROM PEPE MISTAKES

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas has publicly thanked his deputy Pepe Reina for the penalty save that helped put Spain into the semi-finals of the World Cup. Casillas dived to his left side to save Oscar Cardozo's penalty in the 59th minute of Saturday's quarter-final against Paraguay.

Reina conceded two Cardozo penalties in Liverpool's 2-1 defeat to Benfica in last season's Europa League, and handed the benefit of his knowledge to Spain's number one, saying Reina had "told me where he was going to shoot it."

FORLAN'S TENNIS PAST

Diego Forlan has revealed he forwent a potential tennis career, so that he could pay for his sister's care, after a catastrophic car accident left her wheelchair-bound.

Alejandra Forlan was 12 years old when she lost the use of her legs in the accident, which killed her boyfriend. Brother Diego dropped his pursuit of tennis for football at 16, and said: "My family is always united and that accident meant that we became even more so and I became a footballer in order to pay for the costs of her recovery."

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MANDELA DOUBTFUL FOR WORLD CUP FINAL

World Cup officials say they have no news on whether South Africa President Nelson Mandela will attend next Sunday's final, which takes place at Soccer City.

Rich Mkhondo of the organising committee said the 91-year-old, still grieving after the death of great-granddaughter Zanani, three weeks ago, has "an open invitation to attend any matches he wants to attend...If he comes, we will be very happy. If he does not, we will understand."

INIESTA READY FOR GERMANY

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta has played down suggestions that his country’s victory over Germany at Euro 2008 will give them a psychological advantage when the two sides lock horns in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

"I think it has nothing to do with what happened two years ago. That will have no part to play when we meet", said the Barcelona man.

"Germany have played a brilliant World Cup so far and they have brought in a lot of young players who were not there in 2008. They must be tremendously motivated but we are also at the top of our game and keen to progress further," added Iniesta, highlighting the fact that we could be in for a cracker on Wednesday.

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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