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Fourth Place winner, January 2009 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! :happy: :thumbsup:

With the world cup about a 100 days away and our beloved Belgium taking a well deserved break, I thought we might as well give the other countries some advice on how to manage a successful world cup campaign.

After all, 6 world cups in a row :thumbsup:, just ask the Dutch, French or English how hard it is :cool: .

I'm sure we, with our excellent world cup history (with our heroic battles against Argentina, Russia, Spain, Uruguay, Holland...), are in a good position to judge who will and who won't succeed in Germany come june.

I was thinking we could check out all countries one by one, maybe invite some people from those countries to come here and point out their strengths and weaknesses (as long as we can avoid the Flo's and Marc's of this world) themselves.

With 32 teams and 100 days to go, I suggest we take 2 or 3 days per country to discuss them. Is everybody happy with that?? :happy: :happy: :thumbsup:

Starting with group A...

Germany

After losing the last final and 2 world wars, do you think the Germans are up for it this time?

Be welcome to discuss! :cool:
 

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Pepinovic said:
Starting with group A...

Germany

After losing the last final and 2 world wars, do you think the Germans are up for it this time?

Be welcome to discuss! :cool:
The last time they were lucky to reach the final IMHO. This time they have a team that can grow, with Podolski, Mertesacker, Lahm and other youngsters. They also have some experienced players like Ballack, Schweinsteiger (although he's still young), Lehman so if they can put their ego's aside they might make it. They have a coach with a great playing career, but he's not being totally embraced by the Germans, which can work in two ways.
Anyway, all of this doesn't really matter as they have home-advantage, which means they simply can't afford to look bad.

Very wild guess: If they don't meet Brasil, Argentina, Sweden or Ukraine before the semi's they can reach this stage of the tournament, if they meet Holland or England before the semi's they will reach the final :frownani: :googly: :jester:
 

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Their defence is really a problem, and I doubt they're going to be able to solve it by the time the WC starts. Players like Huth and Metzelder are not going to play much more than they do now in the forthcoming months, and others often lack the experience for big tournaments I'm afraid.

All in all, if they can sort out their problems in defence, combined with the fact that they play at home they can reach the semis imo.
 

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Yeah, Germany is a tough one. Perhaps their situation is a bit comparable to Belgium's, although they ofcourse still have beter players than us. They have a talented selection, one of the best in years, with some excellent youngsters in it. But like you guys said a bit inexperienced. Where in the past Germany's, strenght was that always had a quite old, experienced and tall team it's now their weakness.
But Germany is a team that always does well.

They'll definately survive the group stages and the half-finales are also a strong option (depends on the teams they'll be facing), but if they'll win the thing... I have some doubts.
 

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Fourth Place winner, January 2009 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #5
Tonight they lost 4-1 in Italy, playing with
Lehmann; Friedrich, Huth, Mertesacker (Metzelder 46), Lahm; Deisler, Frings (Borowski 67), Ballack, Schneider (Schweinsteiger 67); Podolski (Asamoah 46), Klose

At least now they know what they're at :D
 

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Admiral said:
Their defence is really a problem, and I doubt they're going to be able to solve it by the time the WC starts. Players like Huth and Metzelder are not going to play much more than they do now in the forthcoming months, and others often lack the experience for big tournaments I'm afraid.

All in all, if they can sort out their problems in defence, combined with the fact that they play at home they can reach the semis imo.
They have to get Wörns back. Do you think it can also be an advantage to have players that have not played much during season, like Huth?

Could this also work for Italy with Del Piero for example and an injured Totti?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lebowski said:
They have to get Wörns back. Do you think it can also be an advantage to have players that have not played much during season, like Huth?

Could this also work for Italy with Del Piero for example and an injured Totti?
I am a very big believer of this. Look at Baros for example or the whole Greek team at Euro 2004.

I read an interview with Thierry Henry the other day and he said not having played for a while in the season was very important - it felt like he was even hinting at another early exit for France and actually, it wouldn't be the first tournament so-called giants get beaten by minnows early on.
 

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Pepinovic said:
I am a very big believer of this. Look at Baros for example or the whole Greek team at Euro 2004.

I read an interview with Thierry Henry the other day and he said not having played for a while in the season was very important - it felt like he was even hinting at another early exit for France and actually, it wouldn't be the first tournament so-called giants get beaten by minnows early on.
This 'being fresh'-aspect is all by all an overrated factor imo. Last WC about half of Leverkussen's line-up, which had competed for the CL, league and cup till the very last moment, featured in the WC final as well.
 

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MutOofd said:
Who will you guys root for? I'll adopt "da USA" for a couple of weeks :cool:
USA. BUt they are in a tough group with Italy. I hope they can get out of it. I am also cheering for Netherlands.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The 2nd team is los Ticos aka Costa Rica, reaching their 3rd world cup, after having reached the 2nd round in 1990.

Who can name 2 players, apart from Paulo Wanchope, from their team? And are we still underestimating CONCACAF teams like them?

Discuss :cool:

I'm going for Australia of course and after them the Dutch :thumbsup:!
 

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Ivory Coast and Argentina, although it doesn't seem like my favourite players Aruna and Aimar will get a lot of playing time.

Ivory Coast won't get far I'm afraid, but does have to most exotical name of the tournament in German imo: Elfenbeinküste :cool:
 

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Pepinovic said:
The 2nd team is los Ticos aka Costa Rica, reaching their 3rd world cup, after having reached the 2nd round in 1990.

Who can name 2 players, apart from Paulo Wanchope, from their team? And are we still underestimating CONCACAF teams like them?

Discuss :cool:

I'm going for Australia of course and after them the Dutch :thumbsup:!
Carlos Hernandez and Dany Fonseca were the 2 goal scorers in the game vs. Iran. I am not sure if they are regulars or not though. I don't know much about Costa Rica. But with them, Mexico, USA, and Trinidad and Tobago, CONCACAF is a bit stronger this world cup. Costa Rica I believe can cause some major upsets in their group with Germany, Poland, and Ecuador. I don't expect them to get out of the group, but I expect them to throw some excitement into it.
 

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(Ex-)players from the Jupiler league in the World Cup 2006

Poland

Michal Zewlakow (Anderlecht)

Sweden

Christian Wilhelmsson (Anderlecht)

Ivory Coast

Boubacar Barry Copa (KSK Beveren)
Etienne Arthur Boka (Strasbourg/Ex-Beveren)
Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal/Ex-Beveren)
Didier Zokora (St Etienne/Ex-Genk)
Romaric Ndri Koffi (Le Mans/Ex-Beveren)
Gnegneri Yaya Toure (Olympiakos/Ex-Beveren)
Gilles Yapi Yapo (Young Boys/Ex-Beveren)
Arouna Kone (PSV Eindhoven/Ex-Lierse)
Aruna Dindane (Lens/Ex-Anderlecht)

Serbia (and Montenegro?)

Ivica Dragutinovic (Sevilla/Ex-Standard Liege)

Ghana

Eric Addo (PSV Eindhoven/Ex-Club Brugge)

USA

Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege)

Czech Republic

David Rozehnal (Paris St Germain/Ex-Club Brugge)
Jan Koller (Borussia Dortmund/Ex-Anderlecht)

Croatia

Tomislav Butina (Club Brugge)
Joseph Didulica (Austria Vienna/Ex-Germinal Beerschot)
Ivan Leko (Club Brugge)
Bosko Balaban (Club Brugge)

Australia

Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven/Ex-Germinal Beerschot)
Josip Skoko (Wigan/Ex-Genk)
Archie Thompson (PSV Eindhoven/Ex-Lierse)
John Aloisi (Alaves/Ex-Antwerp) :star:

South Korea

Seol Ki-hyeon (Ex-Antwerp and Anderlecht/Wolverhampton)

Togo

Kuami Agboh (Beveren)
Dare Nibombe (Mons)
Adekambi Olufade (Ex-Lokeren and Charleroi/Al Siliyah)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It is just before the Australia v Brazil Group game at the World Cup.
Ronaldinho goes into the Brazilian changing room to find all his teammates looking a bit glum. "What's up?" he asks.

"Well, we're having trouble getting motivated for this game. We know it's important but it's only Australia. They're sh*te and we can't be bothered".

Ronaldinho looks at them and says "Well, I reckon I can beat these by myself, you lads go down the pub."

So Ronaldinho goes out to play Australia by himself and the rest of the Brazilian team go off for a few jars. After a few pints they wonder how the game is going, so they get the landlord to put the teletext on. A big cheer goes up as the screen reads "Brazil 1 - Australia 0 (Ronaldinho 10 minutes)".

He is beating Australia all by himself!

Anyway, a few more pints later and the game is forgotten until someone remembers "It must be full time now, let's see how he got on". They put the teletext on.

"Result from the Stadium "Brazil 1 (Ronaldinho 10 minutes) - Australia 1 (Viduka 89 minutes)".

They can't believe it, he has single handedly got a draw against Australia!!
They rush back to the Stadium to congratulate Ronaldinho. They find him in the dressing room, still in his gear, sat with his head in his hands. He refuses to look at them. "I've let you down, I've let you down."

"Don't be daft, you got a draw against Australia, all by yourself. And they only scored at the very, very end!"

"No, No, I have, I've let you down... I got sent off after 12 minutes"
 

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Discussion Starter #19
How do you guys enjoy the world cup so far?

:proud: :proud:
 

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Well,
I have the feeling I have missed the best matches so far. It seems everytime there is a great match I have something to do or somewhere to be. I'm looking forward to Brazil vs Croatia this evening and hope we get some magic from the Brazilians. I also think there hasn't been too much magical stuff, except maybe from Robben, Rosicky or C. Ronaldo.
 
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