World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

You dive me crazy

paul_armstrong_55x55.gifWe’ve had complaints from one or two quarters claiming that our coverage of Wednesday’s semi was influenced by sour grapes towards Portugal for having beaten England.

If that was the case, we’d be permanently sour during the latter stages of every tournament. There was no antipathy from us towards Brazil in 2002, nor Portugal in 2000 or 2004 for that matter.

Our pundits and production team first took issue with Portugal in this tournament following that horrible game with Holland, several days prior to the Rooney/Ronaldo shenanigans...

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Vote for your goal of the tournament

LONDON - Time to vote for your goal of the tournament.

If you enter (by phone/text) there's a chance to win a signed England shirt and a behind-the-scenes tour of Match of the Day, and most of the money (70p+ out of £1) goes to Sport Relief.

About the BBC's World Cup graphics

paul_atherton.gifMUNICH - Not long left in the International Broadcast Centre now - is there anything else you would like to know about the BBC production here?

In the meantime, we've received plenty of emails asking about Match of the Day's on-screen graphics so I asked one of our graphics operators Alex Rice to explain more..

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In defence of Portugal?

phil_mcnulty.gifNUREMBERG EN ROUTE TO BERLIN BY TRAIN (6.5 HR JOURNEY!) - Portugal’s reputation as the World Cup’s pantomime villains was confirmed in their semi-final defeat against France.

Cristiano Ronaldo was a target for the “boo-hiss” brigade, while we could have spent the entire match shouting “he’s behind you” at the fourth official whenever “Big Phil” Scolari wanted to debate yet another decision.

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Best young player of the World Cup?

LONDON - Cristiano Ronaldo - by all accounts the best player on the pitch in Wednesday's semi-final - was apparently leading in the vote on Fifa's website to find the Young Player of the Tournament.

He appears to have been overtaken by Luis Valencia, the Villarreal player from Ecuador, who England beat in the second round.

Something funny going on?

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German hospitality

MartinHELMSTEDT - There is always a bit of risk in accepting an invitation to a stranger's house.

So we weren't quite sure what to expect when blog reader Stephan offered us beer and a barbecue at his mate Sebastian's place while watching the France v Portugal semi-final.

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