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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)

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:

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:

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.

Spain look forward to ‘Bon Nadal’ in Barcelona

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spain

Spain got the draw they wanted for the Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, with Rafa Nadal to get the tie underway at 1600 GMT on Friday with his singles match against Thomas Berdych on Friday.

It has been, to say the least, a testing time for Nadal of late, with the Spaniard having to fight his way back from an injury that kept him out of Wimbledon and wrecked his chances of finishing the season as world number one.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Arsenal emerge as shining light in Champions League

Out of eight Spanish and English teams playing in the Champions League this week, only Arsenal were victorious.

Was this a blip for the two powerhouses, or is it another indication that Europe's top club competition is becoming more balanced?

Ricky Rubio and the Sportswrap speed special

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Ricky Rubio is the one that got away from the NBA. The number five draft pick opted to spend another year or two in Spain rather than join the Minnesota Timberwolves and FC Barcelona are understandably elated to have got him.

Click the video above to see Rubio celebrate his 19th birthday by helping Barcelona demolish Fenerbahce in the Euroleague. We also take a look at Jenson Button’s homecoming after his Formula 1 world title victory, and why batsmen the world over should be glad a certain Usain Bolt opted for track and field over cricket.

Chris Paul’s Ricky Rubio regret

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paulNew Orleans point guard extraordinaire Chris Paul told Reuters he was dreaming big about the Hornets this upcoming season, setting his sights on an NBA title, but he was also realistic about how stiff the competition would be.

Asked who he regarded as improving teams, Paul went right to the reigning champions.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

A great win over Spain … now can the U.S surprise some more?

The Confederations Cup, effectively a warm-up tournament for the World Cup, rarely captures the imagination but fans in the United States aren't lacking enthusiasm for the tournament after their team produced a major upset by defeating European champions Spain 2-0.

Goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey ended Spain's world record run of 15 successive victories and their 35-match unbeaten sequence, a world record streak they share with Brazil. That run has taken Spain to world number one in FIFA's global rankings.

Spain’s sporting state of grace

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pauPau Gasol’s triumph with the LA Lakers has prompted more articles in the Spanish media celebrating the country’s incredible run of sporting success.

Gasol was a vital cog in the Lakers machine this season and joins a long list of Spanish champions in individual and team sports.

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