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FROM the unanimous assertion that France would set the standard to the promise of oppressive humidity and warnings that the tournament would be disrupted by a notorious rainy season, the 17th World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea proved that, when it comes to setting the scene for FIFA’s venture into the unknown territory of Asia, we knew nothing.
SO, HASTA luego Jose-Antonio Camacho. The eternally angry Spanish national coach took his leave on Tuesday, perhaps to pursue a lucrative career in deodorant commercials. The sweatiest coach in the Far East this June seemed to have escaped the traditional post-World Cup cull of those hapless souls whose tactical masterplans had failed to come to fruition.
ANGRY Brazilian football fans stoned a bus carrying their World Cup heroes after the players cut short a victory parade.
JOSE Antonio Camacho quit yesterday after four years in charge of Spain, despite earning praise for a spirited World Cup campaign.
THE sight of dejected Germany captain Oliver Kahn slumped against the goalposts at full-time in Yokohama was one of the enduring images of the World Cup final, but the Bayern Munich man received a timely pick-me-up yesterday when he became the first goalkeeper to win FIFA’s Golden Ball award.
IF GOD is indeed a Brazilian, as the five-time world soccer champions of Brazil like to claim, then the national coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, is his new prophet.
AT MIDNIGHT on Sunday evening, the carriage did not come to whisk old Big Phil Scolari away from the scene of riotous celebration before setting him down at the end of an unemployment queue, nor did the World Cup trophy turn to a pumpkin in his hands. This was no dream, a miracle perhaps, but not a dream, although the fact of Scolari’s contract having expired around two hours after the final whistle of the 2002 World Cup in Yokohama, is no lie either.
BRAZIL captain Cafu yesterday revealed his desire to match Pele’s three World Cup triumphs as he celebrated his country’s return to the "top of the world" thanks to the inspiration of Ronaldo.
HE railed against Japan, lashed out at FIFA, mocked Pele, and dismissed the World Cup finals as "mediocre." He even had a dig at David Beckham.
BRAZIL’S Rivaldo, who went into the World Cup amid doubts about his fitness and criticism over his international form, was in defiant mood yesterday after his team’s triumph over Germany.
HUNDREDS of thousands of ecstatic Brazilians took to the streets yesterday in a blaze of firecrackers and samba to celebrate their unprecedented fifth World Cup win.
A WAVE of patriotic fervour swept Germany despite their team’s 2-0 defeat in the World Cup final.
AN EPIDEMIC may soon sweep Japan: the-World-Cup-is-over Syndrome.
SIR ALEX Ferguson was one of the few pundits who tipped Brazil to triumph in Japan and South Korea and the Manchester United manager would have been rubbing his hands yesterday, having backed the South Americans at a generous 8-1 before the tournament began.
AS THE famous gap-toothed smile faded, the enormity of what he had achieved slowly began to register on Ronaldo’s face.
A DEEP depression has settled over the Far East, where Japan and South Korea are reporting multiple incidences of a new illness which has been termed "World-Cup-is-over" syndrome.