World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

The last journey

MartinESSEN - After the semi-final between Italy and Germany in Dortmund we will get on the road towards Svan's final destination in Germany - Berlin.

We've been on the road for four weeks now and Berlin has always been the shining light at the end of our blog tunnel - but we're going to be a bit early for the final, so we want your suggestions of something to do on the way.

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England missing Munich's party

phil_mcnulty.gifMUNICH - The reminders of what might have been are everywhere here in Munich as England's conquerors Portugal prepare to face France in the World Cup semi-final.

Even the drive to the hotel gave us a sharp reminder of what we thought was to come from Sven-Goran Eriksson's so-called "Golden Generation" of players.

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Spaghetti-kicking out of step

sam_wilson.gifDORTMUND - Germany’s optimism has until now been tempered by caution. Not any more.

Ahead of the semi-final against Italy here tonight, Germans are wholly confident they can progress to the final. Every Italian I’ve met says exactly the same thing about Italy.

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Germany to win? I don't think so

paul_fletcher.gif DORTMUND - I'm not going to make many friends saying this but I do NOT want Germany to win the World Cup.

I've spoken to quite a few England fans over the last few days who have expressed the view that they would be happy to see Michael Ballack lift the World Cup trophy in Berlin on Sunday - and a few people on this blog have expressed a similar sentiment, not to mention my fellow bloggers Paul Armstrong and Paul Atherton.

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Help, my lungs are burning!

paul_fletcher.gif ESSEN - Four laps of a running track. Easy right?

If only I could say that was true but after running a mile for Sport Relief on Monday evening I felt the cool touch of the grim reaper on my shoulder and the hot burning sensation of the devil in my lungs.

Check out the video.

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Don't underestimate Italy and pitbull Gattuso

mandeep_sanghera.gifDORTMUND - Italy held an open training session ahead of their semi-final against Germany and it was notable for the fact that there was not the normal array of prancing about for the cameras.

The players were put through their paces in the sweltering mid-afternoon heat and Gennaro Gattuso and Gianluigi Buffon, in particular, caught the eye.

Hardman midfielder Gattuso rarely holds back and he showed little sign of being any different during the session.
He reminded me of the description the German commentators use when describing Wayne Rooney.

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