England Expects World Cup Special

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Read our 20-page World Cup Special with the lowdown on all 32 squads in South Africa.


  • 2 Mediamix Supplement Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Could this betheir time?AFTER a disappointingqualifying period,Portugal will probablynot be entering the 2010World Cup with a whole lot ofconfidence.The team which has been

    drawn in one of the mostdifficult groups alongsideBrazil, North Korea and IvoryCoast won just one of theirfirst five qualifying games forthis years tournament.However, in the second half

    of qualifying, Portugal went onto score eight goals andsecured a place in the finalstage of the 2010 contest bybeating Bosnia-Herzegovina.Known as the Seleco, the

    Portuguese side has noshortage of talented players,including captain CristianoRonaldo, the most expensiveplayer in history after a 80mtransfer to Real Madrid. Otherkey players include Brazilian-born striker Lidson, andmidfielders Deco and Simao.But, despite their credentials,the star-studded team hasnever enjoyed significant

    international success.The highest Portugal has

    ever come in the World Cup isfourth, in 2006, when Ronaldofamously winked at thePortuguese bench afterManchester United team-mate,Wayne Rooney, was sent off.The team is certainly capable

    of great things. In 2002, theteam played extremely wellduring World Cup qualifying.This early success fizzled outthough and Portugal wereeliminated at group stage.It is hoped that Mozambican-

    born coach, Carlos Queiroz,who took over when Brazilian,Luiz Felipe Scolari, left tocoach Chelsea in 2008, can leadthe Seleco to success.Queiroz is no stranger to

    success at club-level, havingbriefly coached at Real Madridand been Alex Fergusonssecond in command atManchester United on twooccasions.Portugals first fixture in

    South Africa is on June 15when they face Ivory Coast.They will then play NorthKorea on June 21, followed by

    Brazil on June 25.Ahead of them is no easy

    task but, with an abundance ofworld-class players in theranks, maybe this will be theyear Portugals internationalambitions are fulfilled.

    AT HOMECapital: LisbonLanguage: MainlyPortuguese, although theregional language ofMirandese is alsorecognised

    Population: Approximately10.7 million

    Currency: EuroKnown for: The Algarve, Portwine, peri-peri sauce andsardines and attractions likeBlem Tower in Lisbon aWorld Heritage site

    Best time to visit: July, whenaverage temperatures in theAlgarve soar

    InspirationalleadershipPARAGUAY have enteredthis World Cup with theaims of progressingthrough the early stages aftersecuring their place with twogames to spare.The team has featured in

    seven previous tournamentsand this 2010 event will betheir fourth consecutiveappearance.Manchester City forward

    Roque Santa Cruz andSunderland defender Paulo daSilva have been named inParaguay's preliminary squadand, despite not taking to thepitch in much of the qualifyingstages, its no doubt SantaCruz is important toParaguays impressive form.Leading the team through

    the competition is ArgentinianGerardo Martino, aninspirational choice as theteam made their best-everqualification performance forthe 2010 World Cup. Martino,also referred to as El Tata, wasa talented attacking midfielderduring the 1990s, and then

    moved into coaching in 1998.During the qualifiers,

    Paraguay recorded 10 wins andcollected 33 points. The teamdefeated Argentina 1-0 andPresident Fernando Lugo thendeclared a national holiday toallow the nation to celebratethe achievement.Paraguay's top scorer in the

    qualifiers, Salvador Cabanas,is ruled out due to an incidentwhich caused a head injury.The squad also includesBorussia Dortmund strikerand freshly nationalisedArgentine Lucas Barrios.Barrios, whose mother isParaguayan, has enjoyed a fineseason with Dortmund, as hasclubmate Nelson HaedoValdez, who also made thesquad along with fellow strikerOscar Cardozo of Benfica.Oscar Cardozo, Nelson Haedo

    Valdez and Santa Cruz were allpart of the Paraguay team atGermany 2006 World Cup andthe disheartening group-phase,so they should be ready tomake amends and get somegoals during the South African

    tournament.On June 14, Paraguay will be

    facing Italy in Cape Town,then on June 20 they will be upagainst Slovakia and then onJune 24 the team will tackleNew Zealand.

    Currency: GuaraniLanguage: Spanish andGuarani

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  • 3Mediamix Supplement Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Madrid reign supreme twicein the La Liga championshipAs well as a revitalised

    squad and the capablecoaching style of Capello, thefact that the competition isbeing held during SouthAfricas winter should go inEnglands favour, as the milderconditions will, in theory, suitthe England players.Drawing a line under

    Englands failure to qualify forthe UEFA Euro championshipsin 2008, the team havequalified pretty convincinglyfor this years World Cup,scoring an impressive 34 goalsalong the way.The teams leading lights will

    be keen to prove their worthfor their national team. WithDavid Beckham out of thecompetition, the pressure is onthe remaining players to pullout all the stops.In midfield, Frank Lampard

    and Steven Gerrard will bothbe trying their best to score asmany goals as possible andWayne Rooney will certainlybe looking to perform well forhis country.

    Capello and the boysare on the glory trailAS ever, expectationsfor England will beextremely high, andthe appointment of FabioCapello in 2008 has given theteam the shot in the arm itneeded, following variousdisappointments, not leastcrashing out of thecompetition in 2006.Having appeared in 11

    previous World Cups, Englandis no stranger to thecompetition but it is winningthat all-important final whichmatters so much to the playersand the fans who are keen forthe team to finally bring homethe bacon some 44 years aftertheir last victory.Under Capello, the team won

    all but one of its qualifyinggames for the World Cup, atrack record he and the teamwill be looking to replicate atthe competition itself.Known as a tough coach to

    please, Capello has animpressive track record,having led three Italian teamsto victory in the Serie Acompetition and helping Real

    AT HOMELanguage: EnglishPopulation: Approximately59 million

    Currency: PoundBest time to visit: Summer though there is noguarantee of sunshine inEngland!

    National emblem: The rose,in recognition of the Warsof the Roses in the 15thcentury

    Known for: Fish and chips,the Royal family, TheBeatles, its heritage

    AT HOMELanguage: JapaneseCurrency: YenPopulation: Approximately127 million

    Capital: TokyoKnown for: Sushi, geishas,Mount Fuji, origami andsumo wrestling

    Did you know? Japan hasthe highest lifeexpectancy of any countryin the world

    REGARDED as one ofthe best Asian teams,Japan has won theprestigious Asian Cup onthree occasions in 1992,2000 and 2004.However, when it comes to

    World Cup tournaments, theteam which is often referredto as the Samurai Bluesbecause of their distinctiveblue kit, or Okada Japan inhonour of the current coach has had mixed fortunes.The Samurai Blues have

    qualified for the past fourWorld Cups consecutively which is no easy feat.Yet their success at

    international-level is limited:during their first-ever WorldCup in 1998, Japan lost allthree of their matches.In 2002 when they co-hosted

    the tournament with SouthKorea, the team were knockedout of the competition byTurkey in the 16th round. Andduring the last World Cup, inGermany in 2006, the Japaneseside was once again knockedout of footballs greatest

    contest, after they failed towin any matches duringgroup play.During the fourth round of

    the Asian qualifiers for SouthAfrica, Japan became the firstteam other than South Africa to qualify for the World Cupby beating Uzbekistan 1-0.Interestingly, current coach

    Takeshi Okada managed theJapanese national team duringtheir first-ever World Cupappearance in 1998. The 53-year-old former defender, whoplayed 24 games for Japanbetween 1980 and 1985,returned to the role of coach inDecember 2007.The teams captain is Yuji

    Nakazawa, Japans third mostcapped player of all time.Nakazawa, a member of theteam in 2000 when Japan wonthe Asian Cup, announced hisretirement from internationalfootball after the 2006 WorldCup six months later, though,he withdrew his decision andreturned to the game.Other key players in the

    current squad include

    midfielder ShunsukeNakamura, who plays for LaLiga; midfielder KeisukeHonda, and 24-year-old strikerShinji Okazaki.Japans first World Cup

    match is on June 14, whenthey will play Cameroon

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  • 4 Mediamix Supplement Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    AT HOMELanguage: KoreanComprises: 14 separateadministrative divisions

    Population: Approximately24 million

    Motto: Powerful andprosperous nation

    Currency: North Koreanwon

    Time difference from UK: +9hours

    Best time to visit: Springand autumn

    National emblem: Coat ofarms showing sacredmountain, where leaderKim Jong II was born, andfive-pointed red starsymbolising the countrysrevolutionary spirit.

    JUST as the 1966 WorldCup has special meaningfor England, it is alsosignificant for a much lesserknown team North Korea.This was the year that the

    squad made it through to thefinal eight, an achievementthey will be hoping to equal, ifnot better, at this yearscompetition.And if their performance to

    get to the final qualifyinground is anything to go by,then they are definitely ones towatch.Against all odds, thanks to

    some amazing football, NorthKorea deservedly managed toseize one of four covetedautomatic qualification placesfor this years World Cup.The squad narrowly missed

    out on qualifying for the 2006World Cup in Germany, some-thing they were determinednot to repeat this time round,so after more than 30 years inthe football wilderness NorthKorea are back and a force tobe reckoned with.

    So what is the key to thesquads success? Despite mostof the team coming from home-grown clubs, there are a fewvital players who have earnedtheir stripes on theinternational scene. Theseinclude Jong Tae-Se who playsin Japan and Hong Yong-Jowho is currently signed for FCRostov. Other key players aremidfielder Mun In-Guk, who isseen by many as holding thewhole team together, and theextremely able and reliablegoal keeper, Ri Myong-Guk.Guiding the whole team with

    a suitably pragmatic approachis coach Kim Jong-Hun.Rather than trying to meet

    the big boys head on andpotentially risk early defeat,he has decided to acknowledgethe teams lack of inter-national experience and takeon a, so far, highly effectivedefensive style of play.Kim Jong-Hun is remarkably

    upbeat about his teamschances and is obviouslyrelishing the challenge ahead

    Back from thewilderness

    THE first African countryto qualify for the WorldCup 2010 in SouthAfrica, the Ghana nationalfootball team could well bethe cream of the continent.Nicknamed the Black Stars,

    the country played as the GoldCoast before gainingindependence from the UK in1957.Ghana qualified to play in

    the senior FIFA World Cup forthe first time 2006 and will bemaking its second appearancethis year after winning 2-0against Sudan in Accra in thequalifiers.But although this may give

    the impression Ghana haslittle international experience,the Black Stars have enjoyedhuge success in this field,winning four CAF African Cupof Nations titles, two FIFA U-17World Cups, and they were thefirst African team to lift theFIFA U-20 World Cup in 2009.They also qualified for five

    straight Olympic GamesFootball Tournaments when

    the tournament was still a fullsenior national teamcompetition.Since the 2006 World Cup

    Ghana have gained inexperience and look set to be amajor contender this year.Leading the team is Serbian

    coach Milovan Rajevac, aformer defender who playedfor Yugoslavia, and one of hispriorities has been to create astrong defence for Ghana. Hehas also instilled a sense ofteamwork and solidarity.This, combined with their

    mix of youth and experienceand mental strength, shouldstand them in good stead, andthe team have been identifiedas dangerous outsiders.The team boasts some top

    class players includingmidfielder Michael Essien,who plays for Chelsea and isone of the most excitingplayers in South Africa, aswell as Inter Milan's SulleyMuntari, formerly ofPortsmouth, and Eric Addo,making his second World Cupappearance.

    AT HOMELanguage: Ghana has 47ethnic languages, butEnglish is the country'sofficial language