Jessica Hilltout has been traveling around Africa taking pictures of matches as they are played in the continent's small villages, its players, goals, boots and balls. It is especially striking to compare that last collection to all the official World Cup balls. You can see slightly larger versions of some of Hilltout's pictures here and here.
Goals are become scarce in the final 16 knockout phase of the World Cup. A discussion has been going on over at the Guardian's World Cup blogs. In the knockout phase the number of goals has declined from 42 in 1986 to about 25 in 2006. There hasn't been a World Cup Final since 1986 where both teams scored. There have been a mere 3 games in the knockout phase from 14 where both teams have scored. For the first time ever a team, Switzerland, has been eliminated without conceding a single goal. Does something need to be done? Do bigger goals, no goalkeeper, fewer players or changed rules need to be considered?
Two goals worth a million words. In Arabic, English, Chinese, Portuguese and yes, German. Italy's 2 goals against Germany, from 8 different commentators, one of them being Diego Maradona. Heavy YouTube usage unfortunately, although the post links to the leading Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera.
Screw Nike adverts. It's what they can do on the pitch that counts. Poetry without the bells and whistles. Some of the young names to look out for in this Summer's football World Cup in Germany: Manuel Fernandes (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Wayne Rooney (England).