World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Technical tantrums

MartinERNST-AUGUSTUS-PLATZ, HANNOVER – Finally! I can’t tell you how good it feels to be blogging again after 24 hours of technical gremlins and tantrums from yours truly.

My laptop internet connection and digital camera had stopped working leaving me as the chocolate teapot of this blog operation.

I don’t take very well to things that previously worked, just breaking for no apparent reason and so I’ve been stomping about our camper van, two campsites and a fair few motorway service areas, with Fletch eyeing me warily in case I was about to explode.

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How England can turn it on

LONDON - Phil McNulty's post this morning on England divided opinion.
On a similar theme, Newsnight correspondent Paul Mason has some strong views on what the team need to do to fire on all cylinders.

Verdict on that 20-card trick

mandeep_sanghera.gifNUREMBERG - The antics of Holland and Portugal's players stunned me as I watched their second-round match from the stands.

The referee was more like a croupier than the match official of a last-16 World Cup tie.
He dealt a record-equalling number of cards - 16 yellows, including four players (two from each side) being booked twice and seeing red.

Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy had to watch from the bench and said afterwards that he thought the referee had lost control of the game. It certainly appeared so from where I was sitting.

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Doing it Jurgen's way

nigel_adderley.gifGERMAN MEDIA CENTRE, BERLIN - You can tell things are going well for Germany when the television pundits start pontificating wearing their old football shirts. Even Stefan Effenberg - whose own international career ended in disgrace at the World Cup - has donned one to get behind the cause.

Even with my poor German it's noticable how the words "Klinsmann" and "California" have now been banished to the dust-bin of German football history as well.

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What's the World Cup like where you are?

claire_stocks2.gifLONDON - Our blog has readers from all over the world, many of whom are forced to go to all sorts of lengths to watch the action.

There is Beaman in Berlin, The Gaffer in Florida, Wes in Melbourne (he's got Ashes tickets!), Working Nomad (an ex corporate slave trying to pay his way around the world via his blog), England fan in Barcelona and Super Si in Sydney (his wife left him after moving there two years ago apparently) to name but a few.

I asked Steve Ditchburn to tell us what it's like in Malta at the moment. If you would like to tell us about what it's like watching the World Cup where you are, get in touch by email or post a comment with a link to your blog.
Claire S, blog editor.

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Snapping Rooney as he bursts through

Ross Kinnaird is a sports photographer covering the World Cup for Getty Images. He has been sharing some of his photos and the techniques behind them on our blog.

His latest guest entry shows Wayne Rooney muscling his way through the Ecuador defence.

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The strangest campsite in Germany?

paul_fletcher.gif HEADING TO HANNOVER - Ricco and I have stayed at quite a few campsites over the last few weeks.

Some have had great facilities, others modest. Some have been in great locations, others miles from anywhere - but none have been quite like Herr Schmidt's.

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Jeers or cheers for England?

phil_mcnulty.gif BADEN-BADEN - It was intriguing to see the change in body language among England fans as a steamy afternoon in Stuggart moved to its conclusion.

Exuberant at the start, anxious in the middle, name on the cup at the end.

England's campaign is a World Cup groundhog day. Play poorly, do enough to win or at least get the result you need, progress towards the closing stages...

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Is Torres Man United's main man?

phil_mcnulty.gifBADEN-BADEN - England's World Cup win against Ecuador was top of the agenda in Stuttgart - but there was a hot little rumour doing the rounds among the foreign media.

Namely, that Manchester United are close to sealing a £20m deal for Atletico Madrid's brilliant Spanish striker Fernando Torres.

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Last to leave the party

organ_grinder_203.jpg STUTTGART - Outside of the passion and pain on the pitch, it is the little things that catch your eye as the world’s cultures collide at this tournament.

The last guests to leave England’s post-match party were dancing in the streets as I walked back through the city’s main square in the early hours.

The strains of Football’s Coming Home and "1-0 to the Arsenal" sounded bizarre coming out of the pipes on a traditional German wind-up organ.

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