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Bonus World Cup kickaround

Good morning. Only 21 days to go.

It's been a while since a nutty Diego Maradona story, no? On his way to announcing Argentina's 23-man World Cup squad, Maradona ran over a cameraman and then called him a naughty name.

Laurent Blanc, who helped spearhead France's run to the 1998 title and scored the first golden goal in World Cup history, will take over as France's coach following this year's World Cup, replacing Raymond Domenech. Le President previously was manager at Bordeaux.

England defender Rio Ferdinand says he won't accept the captain's armband until he proves himself fit. Ferdinand is fighting to recover from back, groin and calf injuries.

Injured German midfielder Michael Ballack says that midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will have to take over as the team's leader. While not an official endorsement of Schweinsteiger for the captain's role, Ballack said: "Schweini must do it now and take on more responsibility. He is so confident and has class. I don't see any others who can set the tone and bring such presence."

Australia's Harry Kewell is still battling a groin injury and isn't practicing much with the Socceroos. He probably won't play in Monday night's friendly against New Zealand.

And now, for your YouTube o' the day: Total Football by the 1974 Dutch, soundtrack by...Yanni. Both are mesmerizing in their own special way.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  May 20, 2010; 9:13 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
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Next: Oguchi Onyewu aims for World Cup


I don't remember this game, but the 74 World Cup was the first one I watched with my father and brother. Of course we weren't allowed to play soccer in the house, so I kicked a pillow around the living room. 36 years later, my sons are kicking pillows around. Good times.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 20, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Truly a thing of beauty on the offensive end but that defense they played looks like a U-6 game of bunch ball only with well organized offside traps.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | May 20, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Nice of Floyd to drop a bomb so close to the start of the Tour de France...could he somehow talk about his doping experience with the English WC team sometime over the next few weeks?

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 20, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Shocking dog bites man news: Floyd Landis admits to systematic PED use...just in case anyone believed the b.s. he's been peddling (pun intended) since his Tour title was stripped away. On the other hand, his big sin was being arrogant enough to get caught, taking the stuff during the tour.

Posted by: fischy | May 20, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Spain's squad doesn't include many surprises. Oft-injured hero from Euro 2008 Marcos Senna is out.

Posted by: Reignking | May 20, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse


That may just be a future child of mine's middle name... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1 | May 20, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

that passing is mesmerizing, but they sure did send a lot of balls over the crossbar.

Posted by: troy6 | May 20, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Funny that Ballack would tip Schweinsteiger, who is perhaps the only German player more arrogant than Ballack.

Posted by: jack35 | May 20, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Mostly beautiful but how did that shot at 1:00 make the highlight reel?

Hey I-270, if you were to read that to your sons, would they know what the word "reel" refers to? Kids these days.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | May 20, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse


That may just be a future child of mine's middle name... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1

But that nickname "Schweini" is terrible!

As for Landis...what, it wasn't the whiskey? :)

Posted by: Reignking | May 20, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I always get hungry for roast pork after reading about Schweinsteiger

Posted by: Kev29 | May 20, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@Reignking -- No surprises for Spain? Victor Valdes and Pedro Rodriguez -- they've never even been capped before. I'm hoping Valdes is starting when they play the USA (semis?) -- he's bound to make some boneheaded play to turn the game in our my dreams, anyway.

Posted by: fischy | May 20, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I suppose I was thinking about the omissions. How Valdes has never been capped is mind-boggling.

Speaking of mind-boggling...La Liga in debt to the tune of €3.53bn - report. I like how Numancia made a profit, though.

Posted by: Reignking | May 20, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

If Argentina makes it past the second round, it will be in spite of Maradona, not because of him.

Re: Landis. Proof is in the pudding. He was caught. Lance? It's hard to believe that he is clean given all the other riders he competed against/with who have been caught (Basso->Hamilton->Vinokourov and everyone in between!), BUT he hasn't been caught and he's been tested more than anyone else.

Posted by: delantero | May 20, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The Guardian doesn't censore quotes. Or maybe it's because the Brits use "arse" rather than our term. Wichever term you choose, Maradona is it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 20, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

How stupid is France??? Way to undermine your coach and your team as the tournament is about to begin...And to replace him with Blanc? Maybe for Scolari or Capello, or Hiddink. But for an unproven Blanc? Come on!! Stupid!!!

Posted by: alan19 | May 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Uruguay had a player sent off in the 69th minute of that match, but from those highlights it appears as if they were playing down a man or two (or three) for the entire match.

Really some poor finishing by the Dutch in that match, as it should have finished much worse that 2-0.

(not at all to take away from the artistry and creativity from the winning side.)

Posted by: tab5g1 | May 20, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

well, a lot of people think Dommenech should have been replaced 4 years ago. Everyone knows this is it for him. So I don't see how naming his eventual replacement makes any difference at this point.

And why not Blanc? he's had some club success, and the guy was a winner as a player. Better him than some retread off the coaching carousel.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 20, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

i heard PU offered Blanc Nowak's job, but he didn't want his family eating cheesesteaks in a ugly city that was far away. or something.

Posted by: VTUnited | May 20, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, 1974, when players smoked at halftime and had beers before showers, and nobody had thought of finishing drills yet.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | May 20, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Bonus Pires quotes from L'

You don't frighten me, S de L de M pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called "Donald Garber," you and all your silly S de L de M DP. I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 20, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Was this how the agressive offsides trap was invented? LOL The Uruguayos got caught sooooo bad so many times lol.

And watching the Dutch play, during the era of Cruyff, it has me thinking the one who brought that beautiful style of play we are used to seeing barca' play, it is not necessarily spanish, Cruyff brought that to Barca' and they brought that to the NT.

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | May 20, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

that was crazy how every time Uruguay got the ball, the entire Dutch team started running upfield. i don't think i've ever seen 5 players in an offside position at once like that before.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 20, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the word 'nutty' to describe Maradona. It's too judgemental.

I prefer 'wacky' or 'zany'.

And instead of 'behavior' or 'actions' could you use the word 'antics' instead? Preferably prefaced by 'madcap'?

Thanks from all the fun-loving fans out here.

Posted by: mmathai | May 20, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Going out Gurus are giving away VIP passes to the DC v Milan game.

Posted by: bigbadbri | May 20, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Cruyff sucks. Never won a World Cup.

Mike Wilbon

Posted by: knape1 | May 20, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I didn't realize "Total Football" was nice, crisp, short passes, give and go's, transitioning smoothly into the box, and then kicking the ball into the upper deck with nothing but net to shoot at.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 20, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, "total football" also involved a love of back heel passes.

Posted by: fischy | May 20, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

ESPN commercial with U2's Out of Control

#10 - Pele
#10 - Maradona
#10 - Zinedine Zidane
#10 - Wayne Rooney
#10 - Platini
#10 - Ronaldhino
#10 - Landon freakin' Donovan?!?!?

one of these things is not like the other...

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | May 20, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Diggin' the 2 girls 1 cup music on that video.

Posted by: Pete803 | May 20, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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