ON THE WAY TO BERLIN - With Italian football mired in alleged corruption, would it not be a travesty of justice for Italy to walk off with the World Cup trophy on Sunday?
It’s a question I’ve been putting to Italian fans in Germany all this week. Not surprisingly, they dismiss the question out of hand.
Continue reading "Would Italian victory be just?"
MUNICH - Contrary to popular belief, England have not been knocked out of the football tournament going on here in Germany. In fact, I just saw them convincingly win their latest game 5-2.
Their passing was slick, their skills put the opposition to shame and, at the final whistle, they saluted the crowd and hugged the Israeli/Palestinian team they’d just played off the park. Confused? You shouldn’t be because this is what we’ve come to expect from the Street Football World Cup.
Continue reading "Street Footballing Man"
DORTMUND - Imagine interviewing one of Germany's biggest sporting legends. Imagine interviewing him straight after Germany are dumped out of the World Cup.
Boris Becker rocketed in my estimations though. The guy was clearly gutted but he stuck to the commitment and talked eloquently for our Match Of The Day highlights programme.
Continue reading "Italy wreck Becker's Berlin party plans"
DORTMUND - I said on Tuesday that I did not want Germany to win the World Cup.
As I sat in the stadium in Dortmund on Tuesday evening I was stunned by the manner in which my wish came true.
Continue reading "Happy now?"
MUNICH - If the World Cup semi-final between Portugal and France is half as eventful as the pre-match press conference, it is destined to become an all-time classic.
Rarely have there been such scenes of chaos, confusion and a little touch of ill-feeling as there were when Portugal boss "Big Phil" Scolari and his French counterpart Raymond Domenech met the media deep in the bowels of the Allianz Arena.
Continue reading "Most bizarre media conference ever?"
DORTMUND - For the second time in four days I was there, in the thick of it waiting for the boiling atmosphere to bubble over and the party to start.
But again the atmosphere was killed in a second - the second it took Fabio Grosso to curl the ball round Jens Lehmann and into the net to set Germany on the way to World Cup semi-final defeat.
Continue reading "The greatest party that never was"
MUNICH - Being a fairly Anglo-centric person (despite being mostly Welsh) I never thought I'd see defeat mean more to England fans until I saw the Germans here tonight.
Everybody had a German flag painted somewhere on their anatomy and you couldn't get a decent seat anywhere as every bar, restaurant and kebab house in this part of Bavaria tuned into watch what many believed would be another step towards a football dream and a nation's rediscovery of collective well-being.
Continue reading "Stricken"