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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Swedes show Dutch courage

By Philip O'Connor

Sweden’s 3-2 victory over the Netherlands to qualify for Euro 2012 may have surprised many observers, but Swedish footballers have a long history of success against Dutch opposition.

The home of "Total Football" has for many years been something of a finishing school for Swedish footballers, and five of the players in the victorious Sweden squad play their club football in the Netherlands.

Many others have passed through Holland on their way to better things.

“Holland is not unlike Sweden. When they get there, Swedish players are well-schooled and it’s a good country to go to, especially as a first stop (in their career),” Henrik Larsson told the Reuters Sports Blog the day after the Swedes handed the Dutch their only defeat of the qualifying campaign.

“They play good football and most people there speak English, so you can make yourself understood much easier than in a league that has a more difficult language,” Larsson said.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Soccer Break Wednesday

SOCCER-EURO/Happy middle of the week to you all, and if like me you are in London where the sun is out and there is very little football to write about, you are forgiven for thinking the season is over and the grasscourt tennis season is about to kick in.

Don't look so worried, David (right). While the weather will probably change before I’ve finished writing this blog, the good news is it’s only March and there is plenty more football left. It's just this week it’s the international break.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

FIFA’s World Cup decision day — live

We'll be following all the presentations and the vote itself as FIFA's executive committee decides on the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Spain/Portugal, Russia, England and Netherlands/Belgium are the four rival bids for 2018, while Australia, South Korea, Qatar, United States and Japan battle it out for 2022, with the vote to come on Thursday.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

World Cup final live — Spain 1 Dutch 0 – how it happened

We've followed every World Cup match live here and it's now time for the final --- the Netherlands v Spain. Join us here for commentary, discussion of the game and the best photos in the world.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Losing team’s national stock markets at risk

SOCCER-WORLD/By Ross Kerber

Two national market indexes that may not shine on Monday are those of Spain and the Netherlands, whose soccer teams are scheduled to meet in the World Cup's championship game on Sunday.

Whichever country's team loses can expect a drag on its market index of 49 basis points, said Wharton business school professor Alex Edmans. That is the amount that national stock indexes tend to be held back on average on the day after their country is eliminated from the World Cup, according to a paper he published in 2007 with two co-authors, Diego Garcia of the University of North Carolina and Oyvind Norli of the Norwegian School of Management.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

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

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.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Reuters World Cup podcast — quarter-finals (I)

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.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

World Cup 2010 quarter-finals podcast

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.

from Olympics Notebook: Vancouver 2010:

Winter Games: picture of the day

OLYMPICS-SPEEDSKATING/Paul Barker writes on Tuesday:

I spent much of the day editing the women's 500 metre speed skating race, looking at many very good pictures. Jerry Lampen's frame of Annette Gerritsen of the Netherlands crashing as Nao Kodaira of Japan speeds past was the image of the day from that event.

from Olympics Notebook: Vancouver 2010:

Winter Games: Picture of the Day

OLYMPICS-SPEEDSKATING/

Each day, Paul Barker chooses his favourite frame from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Today was day one of comeptition ... over to Paul:

"Reuters photographer Lyle Stafford caught Sven Kramer's emotion perfectly after Kramer climbed into the stand to celebrate his 5,000 meter speed skating victory with his father and mother (top) and other supporters from the Netherlands."

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