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May 29, 2010

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World Cup Cover - Sports Illustrated May 29, 2010

May 29, 2010 | Richard Deitsch
IN THE LAND OF CLOCKS THE SWISS HOPE THAT JUST A LITTLE TIME WILL HEAL ALEXANDER FREI'S WOUNDS. IN LATE FEBRUARY THE NATIONAL TEAM'S ALLTIME LEADING SCORER BROKE his arm during a game in the Swiss...

May 29, 2010 | Richard Deitsch
STYLISH AND DANGEROUS HONDURAS IS BACK IN THE WORLD CUP AFTER A 28-YEAR ABSENCE. LIKE SPAIN IT STRESSES SPEED, SHORT PASSES AND BALL POSSESSION, EVER MOVING FORWARD. In the qualifying round...

May 29, 2010 | Richard Deitsch
THE KEY TO SOLVING SPAIN, AS THE U.S. DEMONSTRATED LAST YEAR, IS SOLVING ITS QUARTERBACK, WHO RUNS LA FURIA ROJA FROM THE MIDFIELD

May 29, 2010 | Ben Reiter
Jozy Altidore WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE FIRST U.S. PLAYER TO HAVE A BIG IMPACT ON THE INTERNATIONAL GAME. HE HASN'T YET LIVED UP TO THAT PROMISE, BUT AT 20 HIS POTENTIAL IS STILL IMMENSE, AND IN...

May 29, 2010 | Alexander Wolff
IT DIDN'T HAPPEN THE WAY WE IMAGINED, BUT AMERICANS FINALLY HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH THE WORLD'S GAME

May 29, 2010 | Grant Wahl
PLAYERS, TEAMS AND COACHES TO WATCH, SPECIALISTS TO ADMIRE, ARRIVALS TO ANTICIPATE, TWEETS TO READ AND—WHY NOT?—SOME RANDOM FACTS FOR BAR CHATTER

May 29, 2010
HOW THEY STACK UP

May 29, 2010 | Sebastián Pérez Ferreiro
FRANCE

May 29, 2010 | Sebastián Pérez Ferreiro
TO BE FAIR, THE NASTY HEAD BUTT THAT ZINÉDINE ZIDANE LAID ON MARCO MATERAZZI IN THE 2006 WORLD CUP FINAL SHOULDN'T HAVE ENDED ONLY THE CAREER OF THE FRENCH master. It should also have shown the...

May 29, 2010 | Sebastián Pérez Ferreiro
THREE MANAGERS, 42 PLAYERS AND LOTS OF SUFFERING. THAT WAS MEXICO'S BALANCE SHEET AFTER THE CONCACAF QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT. BUT THE PRELIMINARY GAMES ARE RARELY accurate predictors of how a team...

May 29, 2010 | Sebastián Pérez Ferreiro
SOUTH AFRICA 2010 WILL MAKE HISTORY NOT ONLY AS THE FIRST WORLD CUP HELD IN AFRICA BUT ALSO, IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, AS THE FIRST IN WHICH THE HOME TEAM DIDN'T ADVANCE TO the second round. South Africa...

May 29, 2010 | Sebastián Pérez Ferreiro
MAY THE LAST ONE TO ARRIVE NOT BE THE FIRST ONE TO LEAVE. THAT MIGHT BE THE REFRAIN SUNG THIS JUNE BY URUGUAY, THE 32ND TEAM TO PUNCH ITS TICKET TO SOUTH AFRICA, WITH a win and a draw against...

May 29, 2010 | Mark Bechtel
THE VOLATILE, SLIPPERY MIDFIELDER WITH THE DRAMATIC FACIAL SCARS HAS MADE LES BLEUS—AND ALL OF FRANCE—ASK, ZIZOU WHO?

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
ARGENTINA

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
GENIUS AND CHAOS WERE NEVER FAR APART DURING DIEGO MARADONA'S PLAYING DAYS. THE MORE UNRULY HIS LIFE BECAME, THE MORE HIS BRILLIANT PERFORMANCES RESTORED order. On the pitch, at least, Maradona...

May 29, 2010
Sports Illustrated PRESENTS

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
FOR YEARS THIS WAS THE SCOUTING REPORT ON NIGERIA: PLENTY OF TALENT AND ATHLETICISM, NOT MUCH DEFENDING, EVEN LESS TACTICAL COHESION AND A TENDENCY TO self-destruct when it really mattered. (For...

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
COACH HUH JUNG-MOO HAS A PROBLEM. HE LACKS THE GRAVITAS OF SOME OF HIS ILLUSTRIOUS FOREIGN PREDECESSORS, SUCH AS DICK ADVOCAAT AND GUUS HIDDINK (WHO MASTERMINDED South Korea's semifinal run in...

May 29, 2010 | David Sabino
IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO QUANTIFY A WORLD CUP, BUT THERE'S NO HARM IN TRYING

May 29, 2010 | Grant Wahl
The Big Rollout FOR THE HOST COUNTRY, THIS WORLD CUP IS MORE THAN A GLOBAL SOCCER TOURNAMENT. IT IS VIVID PROOF THAT A NATION THAT ONCE SYMBOLIZED RACIAL OPPRESSION HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO A...

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
SIX YEARS AGO GREECE PROVIDED PERHAPS THE GREATEST CINDERELLA STORY IN THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL SOCCER BY WINNING THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP. THE GREEKS WILL have to channel all the spirit of...

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
FOR ALL OF ITS DIFFICULTY IN QUALIFYING, ARGENTINA GOES TO THE WORLD CUP WITH A SINGULAR WEAPON: THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD

May 29, 2010 | Mark Bechtel
ENGLAND

May 29, 2010 | Mark Bechtel
NO COUNTRY DOES WORLD CUP DRAMA QUITE LIKE ENGLAND. IN 1998 IT WAS DAVID BECKHAM PICKING UP A RED CARD FOR KICKING DIEGO SIMEONE OF ARGENTINA. AFTER ENGLAND'S loss (on penalty kicks), Beckham...

May 29, 2010 | Mark Bechtel
AFTER TWO LACKLUSTER LOSSES IN THE 2009 CONFEDERATIONS CUP, U.S. COACH BOB BRADLEY SHOOK UP HIS SQUAD FOR ITS LAST GROUP GAME, AGAINST EGYPT, BY GIVING JOZY ALTIDORE, who had been playing as a...

May 29, 2010 | Mark Bechtel
SLOVENIA IS THE SMALLEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD CUP, WITH A POPULATION OF TWO MILLION PEOPLE—AND AT TIMES DURING QUALIFYING, IT SEEMED AS IF ALL OF THEM WERE BEHIND THE ball. But there was no...

May 29, 2010 | Mark Bechtel
GIVE THE ALGERIANS THIS: THEY MIGHT BE THE WEAKEST AFRICAN TEAM (OTHER THAN THE HOSTS) IN THE WORLD CUP, BUT THEY KNOW HOW TO KEEP THINGS INTERESTING. THEIR PATH to South Africa was arguably the...

May 29, 2010 | Mark Bechtel
ENGLAND'S WORKING-CLASS HERO HAS BEEN CARRYING MANCHESTER UNITED ON HIS SHOULDERS. NOW HE'LL TRY TO DO THE SAME FOR THE THREE LIONS

May 29, 2010 | George Dohrmann
GERMANY

May 29, 2010 | George Dohrmann
ROBERT ENKE'S SUICIDE LAST NOVEMBER ROBBED GERMANY OF ITS WORLD CUP GOALKEEPER. ENKE HAD BEEN POISED TO ASSUME THE MANTLE OF OLIVER KAHN, WHO HELPED THE Mannschaft reach the final in 2002, and...

May 29, 2010 | George Dohrmann
THE BLACK STARS WERE PERCEIVED TO BE A WIDE-EYED GROUP AT THEIR FIRST WORLD CUP, IN GERMANY IN 2006. THOUGH THEY ADVANCED TO THE SECOND ROUND, THE 3-0 DRUBBING THEY took at the feet of Brazil left...

May 29, 2010 | George Dohrmann
THIS IS THE FIRST WORLD CUP APPEARANCE BY SERBIA AS AN INDEPENDENT NATION. A TEAM MADE UP OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO QUALIFIED IN 2006, AND AS PART OF YUGOSLAVIA the region was represented in nine...

May 29, 2010 | George Dohrmann
WITH GUUS HIDDINK AT THE HELM DURING THE 2006 WORLD CUP, THE SOCCEROOS WERE A DANGEROUS BUNCH. THEY DEFEATED JAPAN, OUTPLAYED BRAZIL FOR MUCH OF A GAME that ended in a 2-0 loss and then tied...

May 29, 2010 | George Dohrmann
GHANA'S DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER HAS THE SIZE AND SPEED TO CONTROL RIVAL ATTACKERS, BUT HE ALSO HAS A NOSE FOR THE OPPONENTS' NET

May 29, 2010 | Bryan Armen Graham
NETHERLANDS

May 29, 2010 | Bryan Armen Graham
ENTERING THE 2008 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS, IT SEEMED THE ONCE-REVOLUTIONARY DUTCH CONCEPT OF TOTAL FOOTBALL WAS ON LIFE SUPPORT. THE ORANJE HAD FAILED TO qualify for the 2002 World Cup and had...

May 29, 2010 | Bryan Armen Graham
CAMEROON'S CHANCES OF RETURNING TO THE WORLD CUP FINALS FOR AN AFRICAN-RECORD SIXTH TIME SEEMED IN SERIOUS PERIL EARLY IN THE LAST STAGE OF QUALIFYING. A SHOCKING loss to Togo prompted the...

May 29, 2010 | Bryan Armen Graham
IF THE BLUE SAMURAI DON'T ADVANCE FROM THE GROUP STAGE, IT WON'T BE FOR LACK OF AMBITION. JAPAN COACH TAKESHI OKADA IS AIMING FOR THE SEMIS—A SEEMINGLY QUIXOTIC goal for a country that's never won...

May 29, 2010 | Bryan Armen Graham
SOCIAL SCIENTISTS SAY DANES ARE AMONG THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH, AND THE CURRENT STATE OF THE NATIONAL TEAM WILL DO LITTLE TO DAMPEN THEIR MOOD. SHORT ON star power but long on chemistry,...

May 29, 2010 | Bryan Armen Graham
THE MOST INDOMITABLE LION OF ALL HAS EMBRACED HIS ROLE AS CAMEROON'S NEW CAPTAIN AND THE ICON OF AN ENTIRE CONTINENT

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
ITALY

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
FOUR YEARS AGO, AMID THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE-PEDDLING SCANDAL IN THE HISTORY OF THE ITALIAN GAME, THE AZZURRI WENT INTO THE WORLD CUP WITH EBBING EXPECTATIONS AND dramatically won it all. That team,...

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
LOSING YOUR TOP GOAL SCORER IN THE MOST HORRIFYING AND SENSELESS WAY—GUNNED DOWN IN A MEXICO CITY BAR—IS THE KIND OF EVENT THAT CAN EITHER RIP A TEAM APART OR BRING it together. For Paraguay it...

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
AUSTRALIA'S DEPARTURE FROM OCEANIA'S CONFEDERATION OPENED THE WAY FOR NEW ZEALAND TO RUN ROUGHSHOD OVER THE LIKES OF NEW CALEDONIA AND VANUATU AND MAKE a playoff against the fifth-place Asian...

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
THIS ONE'S BEEN AWHILE IN THE MAKING. AFTER SLOVAKIA AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC WENT THEIR OWN WAYS IN 1993, FEW BELIEVED THE FORMER WOULD MAKE MUCH OF AN IMPACT IN soccer. After all, most of the old...

May 29, 2010 | Adam Duerson
ITALY'S LIONIZED KEEPER KNOWS WHAT NO OTHER GOALIE COMPETING IN SOUTH AFRICA KNOWS: WHAT IT'S LIKE TO WIN A WORLD CUP

May 29, 2010 | Adam Duerson
BRAZIL

May 29, 2010 | Adam Duerson
CHANGE CAME QUICKLY TO THE SELEÇÃO AFTER ITS 1-0 QUARTERFINAL LOSS TO FRANCE AT THE 2006 WORLD CUP. MANAGER CARLOS ALBERTO PARREIRA STEPPED DOWN JUST 10 DAYS after the tournament ended, taking...

May 29, 2010 | Adam Duerson
DURING ITS FIRST WORLD CUP FINALS, IN 2006, IVORY COAST DREW INTO THE GROUP OF DEATH. THE ELEPHANTS WERE THE WILD CARD, THE TEAM LEAST LIKELY TO ADVANCE FROM a pack of powerhouses—Argentina, the...

May 29, 2010 | Adam Duerson
WITH A GREAT SIGH OF RELIEF, PORTUGAL MANAGER CARLOS QUEIROZ WALKED OFF THE PITCH AFTER A 1-0 PLAYOFF WIN OVER BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA ON NOV. 18 AND DESCRIBED HIS team's rocky qualification run (which...

May 29, 2010 | Adam Duerson
FIGHT THE URGE TO WRITE OFF THE WEAKEST LINK IN THE 2010 GROUP OF DEATH. YES, THE CHOLLIMA LACK INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE. IT RARELY LEAVES ASIA, AND ONLY A HANDFUL of starters play club ball...

May 29, 2010 | Gabriele Marcotti
IN ITS QUEST FOR AN UNPRECEDENTED SIXTH WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP, THE VAUNTED SELEÇÃO HAS PUT ITS TRUST IN A MAN OF FAITH

May 29, 2010 | Richard Deitsch
SPAIN

May 29, 2010 | Richard Deitsch
SELF-BELIEF FLOWS FROM BILBAO TO SEVILLE. LA FURIA ROJA, WHICH WAS ONCE REPUTED TO BE AS SOFT AS PAELLA, FINALLY FOUND ITS RESOLVE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME OF Euro 2008 and defeated powerful...

May 29, 2010 | Richard Deitsch
LED BY A COACH CALLED EL LOCO, CHILE MIGHT BE THE MOST INTERESTING TEAM IN GROUP H. THE RISING SOUTH AMERICAN POWER HAS A REPUTATION FOR LETHAL FINISHERS (SUCH AS Marcelo Salas and Iván Zamorano...