World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Your charity money's safe....

LONDON - Here are the answers to the homework quiz - well done to those who had a stab....

1. Iran's Medhi Mahdavikia
2. Three Croats, seven Australians
3. Tunisia's goalkeeper Ali Boumijel - born April 1966
4. Arsenal
5. Tunisia's dos Santos - originally Brazilian

After the heart-felt pleas from our bloggers in the States I'm sure we'll do our best to paint a full picture of the World Cup. Surely a USA win over Italy would knock Randy Johnson's ERA off the sports pages for one day at least ?

Svan in Belgium

paul_fletcher.gifMONS, BELGIUM - After a lot of thought we have decided to go with a suggestion from Tom and name our camper van Svan.

It works on so many levels - it made us laugh, it has a great England connection and is just four letters, making it easy for the less co-ordinated of us bloggers to type.

There was a great response to our appeal for a name, with some pretty wacky and others hinting at a thought process well beyond our capabilities. Much appreciated.

By the way, where are you Gregory Sibret?

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BBC 1, Technical gremlins 0

paul_atherton.gifIBC, MUNICH – On Sunday, the German FA organised a practice match to allow all the broadcasters to test out their systems before the opening game on Friday. The match was played at the Allianz Arena in Munich, the venue for the opening match, between two German under-12 sides (no, the 1 and 2 aren’t the wrong way round!) posing as Germany and Costa Rica.

A film of the game was repeated today so everyone could have another run through. So we had Ray Stubbs in the studio presenting the action, joined on the couch by pundits Paul Armstrong (Match of the Day editor and fellow blogger), executive producer Phil Bigwood and producer Sunil Patel. Jonathan Pearce provided his usual vibrant commentary.

And the game was pretty good! It was only 15 minutes each way but the standard was frighteningly high. Mini-Germany won 1-0 if you’re interested, mini-Klose scoring the only goal.

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Plain sailing

paul_fletcher.gifTHE ENGLISH CHANNEL - The ferry is on the move, whisking our camper van towards France.

Everything seems to be going very smoothly, if you'll pardon the pun, - though Ricco only realised he had left the front of the stereo on a sideboard in his house once he had posted his keys through the door.

riccoferry203.gifExpletives spewed forth, followed by a dash through Surrey to retrieve a set of keys from Ricco's wife.

If nothing else, it gave Ricco the opportunity to test his driving skills through winding country lanes.

We have been very impressed with the suggestions to the key issue of what we should call our mobile home.

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Party Fever sweeps Leipzig

celina_hinchcliffe2.gifLEIPZIG Anyone descending on Leipzig on matchdays will have to wander down the Football Mile on Gottschedstraße. 150,000 fans are expected for a mile long street party from 11am til midnight. Fans from the two nations playing that day are encouraged to celebrate their culture and party til the early hours.

There are two main stages as well as the street party. There will be music, dancing, face painting and culinary delights. Angola is travelling with a tribe and their country's biggest pop star "Kituxe", Holland have arranged their "Supporters club Oranje" for some World Cup atmosphere.

Speaking of the Dutch, I'm back here on Sunday for Holland v Serbia and Montenegro. After the game, I'll interview Martin Jol. If you can, tune into World Cup Match of the Day on BBC 1 at 23.35 BST and hear his thoughts on the World Cup so far. Any thing you think I should ask him, let me know.

Little slice of Italy

matthew_roberts.gifCOLOGNE - We're waiting for the Italiam team to arrive in Germany tonight, but in the meantime we took the chance to have a look around their hotel, which is owned by an Italian straight out of the Soprano's.

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No escaping Wayne's foot

phil_mcnulty.gifBADEN-BADEN Wayne Rooney does not just possess the most famous metatarsal in England - his foot is now at the centre of world debate.

I attended England's morning training session as Rooney flew back to Manchester for the scan that will send a nation into either delight or despair.

And it quickly became clear Wayne's foot is not just a national obssession in England, it has created a monster of amateur medics across the globe.

Members of the English media were eagerly claimed by foreign television crews from around the world to give their considered verdicts on the foot that is haunting a nation.

Indeed, it can now almost take its place in history alongside one of the most famous injuries in sporting history, namely Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann's broken neck in the 1956 FA Cup final.

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Picture this

Ross Kinnaird, the photographer with Getty Images who is following the England camp, sadly wasn't the chap who got the snap of Wayne Rooney's scissor kick that adorned every back/front page on Tuesday. But I asked Ross for his thoughts on the photo that made a lot of money for someone:

Developments in today’s lenses and camera equipment make taking action shots like these a lot easier if you’re focused on one player for a substantial amount of time. Rooney is undoubtedly at the centre of all the attention at the moment, so the question is not how long it takes to get mid-air shots like this, but more about how long you dare to take the camera off Rooney to shoot enough of the action from the other players in the squad. It can be tricky to juggle!

Ross also had some answers to questions about his Ronaldo picture.

I shot the Ronaldo picture in 1998 with a 400ml lens, at a 15th of a second with an aperture of about F11. The one difference that made this picture so different was that I actually shot it on film. I used up three or four films on Ronaldo alone to get the right image - after processing there were only about three images that were suitable for printing. With digital it’s more about trial and error to get the right shot because the image is naturally accessible immediately.

Ross says if he had to give one top tip on making it as a sports photographer, it would be to "think for yourself and definitely don’t be afraid to be that little bit different and go against ‘the pack’ occasionally. The Ronaldo shot is a perfect example."

On Rooney watch

LONDON - Here's what happened with Wayne Rooney -- arrived for scan at 1200 BST-ish, stayed for 25 minutes, then left Whalley Range in a fast car, last seen heading "towards the M6".

----- UPDATE: 1730 BST: Rooney is back in hospital in Manchester - to get the results of his scan? He spent the afternoon at the house of his girlfriend's parents in Croxteth, Liverpool. --------

Some say the results are expected this evening - but we've heard other reports saying they might not be out until tomorrow. There is one blog already claiming to know the results..

Whatever you read, it's one of those news stories where no-one really knows.

"The scanning room is in between the ladies and gents toilets," is the kind of desperate-for-something-to-say detail we've been getting on the wall-to-wall BBC News 24 coverage.

From early on Wednesday, the hospital was besieged by journalists and photographers - all looking for the definitive snap of him with a 'good news' grin on his face.

It's also probably the reason there is no media conference in Germany today, to prevent anyone asking questions.

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