Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Villar success highlights wider malaise

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Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar could win the vote as player of the Copa America – emulating Oliver Kahn, the Germany keeper named top player at the 2002 World Cup.

If, or when, this happens, regardless of their merits as players, the vote could highlight a deficiency in the football played at the tournament.

Villar captains a team who reached Sunday’s final against Uruguay without winning any of their five matches, even if they scored five goals in three group games.

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino said in an interview with Reuters in Asuncion in April he felt his team were shaking off the shackles of a tradition of defensive football with strength in the air to achieve a new balance.

Forlan’s fond memories of Leeds

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SOCCER/FORLANIt was a surreal experience to sit at Atletico Madrid´s training ground talking to a Uruguayan former Manchester United player about the Leeds United team circa 2002.

That´s what happened to me on Monday after interviewing Diego Forlan, whose face lit up when I told him I was from Leeds.

Uruguay’s performance not to be sneered at

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SOCCER-WORLD/URUGUAYUruguay’s achievement in reaching the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 40 years was greeted by a fair amount of sneering in some sections of the media.

The Luis Suarez handball incident — the Uruguay striker stopped a goal-bound shot on the line in the last minute of extra-time in their quarter-final against Ghana who missed the resulting penalty — which helped them into the last four led to suggestions that they should feel embarrassed or ashamed to be there.

Uruguayan passion for soccer helps make friends in distant places

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URUGUAYUruguay’s run to the last four of the World Cup is something of a fairytale, despite the Luis Suarez handball incident – the tiny nation with a glorious soccer history, their squad led by a scholarly coach and a dashing striker, battling on to write a new chapter as its bigger, more illustrious neighbours fall by the wayside.

I followed Uruguay for a while in this World Cup campaign but my link with them goes back a few years. I thought it worth sharing because if soccer is a sport that unites the world, the Uruguayans have played their part beyond the spotlight.

Reuters World Cup 2010 podcast — quarter-finals (II)

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Listen!

Join us for a look back at the extraordinary first two quarter-finals at the World Cup and a look forward to Germany v Argentina and Spain v Paraguay. Paul Radford, Felix Bate, Jon Bramley and Kevin Fylan argue over the merits of penalty goals in soccer and consider Ghana’s desperate misfortune.

Did the punishment fit the Suarez crime?

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SOCCER-WORLD

When Uruguay’s Luis Suarez handled the ball in the final seconds of extra-time in the World Cup quarter-final against Ghana, the ball was heading across the line for a dramatic winning goal.

The officials did well to spot the offence in a crowded area at the end of what must have been a tiring encounter to be in charge of. But did the punishment of a penalty and a red card for Suarez really fit the crime?

Reuters World Cup podcast — quarter-finals (I)

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Join us for an in-depth look at the first two World Cup quarter-finals, Netherlands v Brazil and Uruguay v Ghana, with our soccer experts Paul Radford, Owen Wyatt, Felix Bate, Mark Gleeson, Helen Popper and Kevin Fylan.

World Cup 2010 quarter-finals podcast

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Welcome to our latest Reuters 2010 World Cup podcast, as we follow the lead of the world’s most famous psychic octopus and try to predict what will happen in the quarter-finals. Kevin Fylan is joined by Paul Radford, Jon Bramley, Ken Ferris and Mr Mark Gleeson.

More points for opening matches, less yawning

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SOCCER-WORLD

The World Cup is under way and with it the traditionally lifeless opening group matches with teams happy to settle for a draw, fearful all could be lost in only the first encounter.

But that could change for ever with one magic swipe. Teams that win their first match in the group phase should be awarded four points for victory compared to the current three, and all but make sure of a spot in the second round. That would give teams a great incentive to play entertaining, attacking football instead of the drab game we saw between Uruguay and France in Group A on Friday. After all this is the World Cup.

France break Irish hearts to seal World Cup slot

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France ensured the likes of Franck Ribery, Karim Benzema and Thierry Henry will be at the World Cup in South Africa next year after winning through with a goal that has left Irish fans seething.

There was nothing wrong with the finish from William Gallas, but Thierry Henry admitted using his hand to keep the ball in play and commentators and Irish supporters are already talking of “The Hand of God II” and “The Hand of Henry” in reference to Diego Maradona in 1986.

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