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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Sorry Germany, the oracle octopus has spoken

SOCCER-WORLD/OCTOPUSThere are only three things that are certain in life -- death, taxes and the World Cup predictions of a British-born octopus in western Germany.

That being the case, there's hardly any point in playing Wednesday's semi-final between Germany and Spain -- the Spanish have got it won.

Paul the Octopus has spoken, eating his food from the container with the Spanish flag at Sea Life and thus sealing Germany's fate.

Paul has a perfect World Cup record -- correctly predicting the results of all five of Germany's matches so far, even the shock defeat against Serbia, and scoring exactly the same number of goals as Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney into the bargain.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

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

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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 Reuters Soccer Blog:

If England’s footballers were matchplay golfers

SOCCER-WORLD/It's a strokeplay knockout golf tournament -- let's call it the World Cup of golf -- and an English player is on the tee box of the 18th hole needing a birdie four to advance.

After struggling earlier in his round he has fought back to be level with his opponent but the best finisher will play Paul Lawrie and then Tony Jacklin in the next two rounds while the loser will take on Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Clinton gets serious about soccer

SOCCER-WORLD/By Jon Herskovitz

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is serious about his soccer. He is a cheerleader for the US bid to host the World Cup; proud of the prowess on the pitch in South Africa for the red, white and blue; a fan of the noisemaking vuvuzela and a thinker who sees the beautiful game as a way to gain insight on disputes between ethnic groups and nations.

Clinton, still jubilant after attending a dramatic U.S. victory in stoppage time over Algeria a night ago, spoke to a roundtable of reporters for about an hour on Thursday. For him, the game is an intellectual pursuit and a passion. One book he cited was How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory on Globalization, by Franklin Foer. Foer offered some insight on his theories in an interview a few years ago with Mother Jones magazine.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

World Cup podcast – day 14

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Kevin Fylan, Paul Radford, Andy Cawthorne and Felix Bate discuss a few of the forthcoming second round matches at the World Cup, including the classic Germany v England.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

The toughest job at the World Cup (part 2)

SOCCER-WORLD/Chile's 1-0 win over Switzerland, with a controversial goal and a dubious red card for their opponents, may have been highly controversial but there was no contesting the words of their coach Marcelo Bielsa afterwards -- simply because it was almost impossible to understand what he was saying.

After our first excursion into the mind of Bielsa, here are some more gems from the spectacularly verbose Argentine, whose team need a draw against Spain on Friday to make sure of a second round place.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Swiss breathe much-needed life into World Cup

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Who would have thought it would fall to Switzerland to rescue the World Cup from drowning in a sea of tedium?

Until the nation that voted against giving itself an extra day's public holiday stunned European champions Spain 1-0 in Durban on Wednesday, the first week of the World Cup had been desperately disappointing.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

A South Africa rugby match is a whole other world

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The contrast between the highly-controlled environs of the soccer World Cup venues and the likes of Cape Town's Newlands stadium, home to a South Africa v France rugby test on Saturday, was marked.

At Newlands, the supporter is king. For decades fans have turned up early with their own food and lit hundreds of barbeques, or brais as they are known in South Africa.

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