Saturday World Cup kickaround
*While Planet Futbol's attention is acutely focused on Johannesburg ahead of Sunday's final, there is a match 660 miles away today in Port Elizabeth: Germany vs. Uruguay for third place (2:30 p.m. ET, ABC, Univision, ESPN Deportes) -- the second consecutive tournament in which the Germans have taken part in the prelim.
Interest in these consolations is low to begin with, and by staging them far from the final, FIFA has further diminished the attraction. The match should have been held near the championship venue. In this case, Ellis Park would have been perfect. In 1994, the Bulgaria-Sweden third-placer was held on the same field as the final a day earlier (not advised, given the wear and tear on a surface over the course of the tournament). In 1998, while title preparations were being made at Stade de France in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, Netherlands and Croatia played at Parc des Princes in the city.
Between illness and injury, the Germans would probably prefer to skip this and go home. However, if he plays, Miroslav Klose would have the chance to equal or surpass Ronaldo's scoring record. And from a purely entertainment standpoint, the third-place match is worth watching: The previous eight have yielded an average of 4.1 goals. In '94, with Bulgaria not the least bit interested, Sweden scored four times in the first half and goofy goalkeeper Thomas Ravelli did cartwheels in the penalty area while the ball was upfield.
*French legend Michel Platini, president of UEFA, fainted at a Johannesburg restaurant Friday evening after suffering from flu symptoms in recent days. He was taken to a hospital for tests. No signs of any heart-related problems were detected, FIFA said. Platini, 55, was to remain under care as a precautionary measure.
*Read my story about the possibility of penalty kicks in the final. Columnist Sally Jenkins tells us why winning is so important to so many people. On the non-World Cup front, Paul Tenorio profiles D.C. United rookies Andrew Quinn and Jordan Graye, former DeMatha High School teammates.
*Yes, this spread in The Post's Style section belongs in People magazine, but like it or not, interest in the World Cup has been bolstered by, er, abs-tract art.
July 10, 2010; 4:01 AM ET
Categories: 2010 World Cup , D.C. United , Germany | Tags: D.C. United, Michel Platini, World Cup
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