World Cup 2010 - Who is your pick?

If I were the coach I don’t think I would be looking forward to returning home to face Dear Leader.

BTW, I picked France! Well, they have provided the most entertainment. :rolleyes:

Did they train yesterday? :smiley:

Group F.

Team Pts

Paraguay 5
Slovakia 4
New Zealand 3
Italy 2


Italian & French football back on the crap heep.

Well, most of them are on £100,000 a week.

What. The French?, The Italians?, or The English?. There playing like they’ve never seen each other, never mind trained together.

Paraguay did what they had to do to top Group F with a scoreless draw with New Zealand in Polokwane on Thursday. The South Americans finished with five points, one ahead of Slovakia, who knocked out holders Italy in the group’s other match, while the All Whites go out unbeaten after their third consecutive draw.

Chances were very few and far between in a contest between the naturally defensive New Zealanders and a Paraguay side who looked comfortable enough playing for the draw that would take them through. There were a few early opportunities from free-kicks, as Kiwi Chris Killen almost got to the end of a long ball to the far post and Paraguay captain Denis Caniza shot wide two minutes later, but given each side’s well-organised defence, most of the action was restricted to the midfield. Caniza had the closest effort of the first period just before the half-hour mark, but his swerving shot was too high to trouble the goalkeeper.

New Zealand knew that a goal could send them through to the knockout rounds for the first time in their history, and they came out a bit more determined to go forward after half-time. The Oceanian representatives were almost rewarded in the 48th minute after some good work by Tony Lochhead down the left. The full-back’s cross found Simon Elliott just outside the area, but the veteran midfielder blazed past the corner of the goal with plenty of space.

A measure of the lack of opportunities was that the first corner of the match did not come until the 62nd minute, but from that Paraguay went close to scoring. Claudio Morel took a clever short delivery, which reached the head of Cristian Riveros, but his glancing effort was saved by the quick reflexes of Mark Paston in goal. Paston proved himself the hero for New Zealand as Paraguay pushed hard for a winner as the match wore on. In the 76th minute, he dived well to save Edgar Benitez’s shot, and then just got a touch at the feet of Lucas Barrios from the rebound to keep the ball out of his net. Shortly after, the big goalkeeper denied Roque Santa Cruz twice, once when he came off his line to smother at the striker’s feet from a breakaway, next with a punch from a dipping shot off a free-kick.

It was still a historic finals for the All Whites, who won their first points in the FIFA World Cup, and finished the group undefeated and in front of four-time world champions Italy. Paraguay will now face the second-placed team from Group E, which will be the Netherlands, Japan or Denmark on 29 June in Pretoria.

France and Italy out. Germany or England go out on Sunday. What a Cup!

It could be Spains turn tommorrow, if they lose to top of the table Chile & Switzerland beat Honduras.

I watched the all whites (in black) and made sure I felt no emotion in way of support towards them so as not to offend my neighbour John.:).

To go through undefeated and get knocked out seems a bit tough.

NZ’s run was quite impressive considering their team’s professional backgrounds.

Argentina has looked solid and I think they will make a long run. They seem to buy into Maradonna , and he sure is exciting to watch on the bench.

Uruguay has also impressed me. Their next match will be interesting for sure.

I think the winner will be a South American team this year. They look so strong so far. I don’t see anyone challenging them.

Brazil and Uruguay may meet in the semi’s, Argentina may be able to cruise to their semi.

I just don’t see anyone beating either Brazil or Argentina. But, I have a 20% success rate picking the first 3 group games :smiley:

takes more than that to offend me, and anyway we are both part of Anzacistan :stuck_out_tongue:

I think I read this is the 4th time a team has been undefeated and not progressed. That said before hand 1 point and not getting thrashed would have been a great outcome.

Re the value below is from an article in the local paper
[i]Using a website that calculates players’ value on the international transfer market, the starting Italian lineup was worth a whopping $255 million, with New Zealand rated at less than $16 million.

The most valuable Italian player, Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi, was valued at $52.5 million, or three times the value of the entire All Whites starting XI. [/i] :eek:

England and USA …goodbye.

Roll Argentina!!! =) Yes there were some questionable calls, but that has been in nearly every match thus far. Really hoping for Brazil --Argentina final.

I was so eager for the USA to do well & beat Ghana, best game I’ve seen thus far.

As for England… Well… There is going to be a massive inquest. Ripped to pieces.

IMHO this is a direct result of the high number of overseas players in the Premier League. From a domestic competition point of view it is good but it reduces the number of English players at that level (same in Rugby). This has to be one of the worst teams they have sent to the WC.

How different would things be had everyone been healthy as well?

Too much money, too many primadonnas…money should indicate also adifference in player’s ability…but that’s hardly the case…only in soccer we have such a spread between actual abilities and money earned.
Could not happen in rugby, or football for sure…neither baseball, or hockey, or almost any serious sport.
England-France-Italy…: their exit makes me happy…maybe they’ll start paying less all those sissies we have to watch all day long ,hey, why we could not buy some nz or korean player…pay them what they are worth, and not those astronomical figures that no player is worth, since they cannot make any significative difference.??..for sure England and France have a great sporting system, but in Italy, everything has been killed by soccer and its stupid support crew ( newspaper, so called journalists, hooligans).
National television sent there almost ALL of their journalists, and tenths of so called ( and well payed) experts…obviuously, talking about…nothing…

what about Sonny (Money) Bill Williams :rolleyes:

ESTI who do you mean, Ferdinand and Beckham?

Hard to say but doubt it would have made a huge difference.

Well, he signed with Canterbury, leaving I think 3 mln of euros of contract in Toulone…just to contend for a spot for next year world cup:)
Sure, there are players who do not have a salry completely representive of their value, but could destroy any player from, let’s say, Portugal.:slight_smile:


Its not about individuals, its a team sport.

What where seeing is players of Algeria, NZ, Ghana etc etc raising there games. They know the world is going to be watching, there trying to get into the top leagues themselves, so they can be earning the top wages.

Wow, I am a fantastic future teller :stuck_out_tongue: Seems England was even more geriatric than Italy…

yeah well he’s not winning too many friends as it is obviously a ploy to get to play in the RWC and while the $ are less versus Europe a HUGE precedent has been set. Plus there are a heap of people waiting to see if he lives up the hype.

Here is the latest

Sonny Bill will consider return to NRL
Sonny Bill Williams will consider a return to the NRL after his 18-month contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union expires at the end of next season.

On the same day fellow French rugby union defector Mark Gasnier confirmed his return to St George Illawarra, Williams said switching back to league was an option he would examine after next year’s World Cup - along with a professional boxing career.

Williams, who will fight fellow Kiwi Ryan Hogan in Brisbane tomorrow night as part Anthony Mundine’s KO To Drugs event, said becoming a full-time boxer had genuine appeal but his immediate focus was trying to break into the All Blacks team for the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

Beyond that, league, boxing and a return to Europe to play rugby union were all options the 24-year-old former Bulldogs superstar will weigh up when the time comes.

‘‘Of course league is always an option,’’ Williams said. [b]’'Right now it is all about rugby but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to say that it is an option. If there is one thing I have learnt since I left the NRL it is that as a professional athlete, it is always good to have things up your sleeve.

''I am happy with where I am at right now and people might think it is a circus - me signing here for one year and there for one year - but at the end of the day I ain’t got no one to please except myself and my family, and I feel that keeping myself on my toes is the best thing for me at the moment.[/b]

''I have been playing professional sport since I was 18 and when you are at one spot for too long it can drag on a bit, but signing short term adds pressure both ways. It keeps you on your feet and I feel it brings the best out in me.

‘‘In 18 months I don’t know where I am going to be, I don’t know what my mindset is going to be. But right now my mindset is to get this fight over and done with - it’s my off-season and this is a great way to stay in shape - and then I’ve got 18 months to prove myself in New Zealand.’’

Despite his determination to succeed with the All Blacks, Williams said that a return to the NRL would not be dependant on how well he did during his time in New Zealand.

‘‘Things were working out in France and everyone thought I was going to stay there for the cash because everything was going so well but I came back to New Zealand so you never know what is going to happen,’’ he said. ‘‘Toulon has already said they want me to go back after my contract so it is good to have that option, too.’’
Ad Feedback

After making his professional boxing debut a year ago, Williams is also not ruling out a career in the ring. ‘‘I have got league as an option, rugby as an option and boxing as an option,’’ he said.

''It is no secret from the way I play rugby that I like the physical contact so it is only natural that I would be attracted to boxing and to be OK at it has lit some fires inside me that have drawn me to the sport.

‘‘But in saying that, I am 18 months away from what I am going to do next in my life and I am very eager and very excited to get to New Zealand and put on my rugby boots and try to prove myself over there.’’

In the meantime, Williams said he would watch Gasnier’s comeback to the NRL with interest.

Although Gasnier was regarded as one of the best centres in the game before he quit the Dragons in 2008, Williams felt he had been better suited at fullback for Stade Francais because of the size of the outside backs in the heavy European conditions but expected he would have no such problems in the NRL.

‘‘In European rugby they play a lot of crash and bash, and that is why I felt that when I saw him, his best position was fullback,’’ said Williams, who bulked up from 103 kilograms to 110kg to play inside-centre outside Jonny Wilkinson last season at Toulon.

''Obviously [Gasnier] is a special talent and he went really well, but it was tough because when I watched him they were moving him all over the joint, but in some of the games I saw he carved at fullback.

‘‘He is a strike weapon and I will be just as eager as the next bloke to see how he goes for the Dragons, to see if he can just slide back in to where he was a couple of years ago.’’

Germany - Argentina 4-0. :eek: Looks like Germany plays well even without the ex-captain Michael Ballack :cool: