Saturday, June 19, 2010

World Cup Previews: June 20

We Have Liftoff!
(Slovakia vs. Paraguay)
The Soccer Is Out There

Slovakia have an alien playing forward in Martin Jakubko who hails from Saturn--Saturn Moscow Oblast of the Russian League that is. Paraguay counters with the superhero duo of Hulk (defender Carlos Bonet who strangely plays wing for his club team Olimpia in Paraguay) and Bird (forward Edgar Benitez)

All Immigrants Welcome
(Italy vs. New Zealand)
It Does Takes Two To Tango

Italy won two World Cups by stealing top Argentine players and getting them to play for the Italian national team back in the 1930s. Mauro Camoranesi continues in this tradition being born in Buenos Aires. New Zealand, on the other hand, stole an English player in Tommy Smith. He represented England at the youth level having been born in the town (Macclesfield) that 9-foot 7-inch England forward Peter Crouch hails from. Smith did grow up in Auckland so switched allegiance given he no longer wanted to be associated with the most boring team in world soccer--the Land of Eng. Smart move on Smith's part and Camoranesi has not done too bad choosing Italy over Argentina given his 2006 World Cup winner's medal.

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
(Brazil vs. Cote d'Ivoire)

For Cote d'Ivorie, you can't tell your Toures without a program. Kolo (#4) is the oldest brother and is a defender with Manchester City. Yaya (#19) is the younger brother and a midfielder with Barcelona. Ibrahim is the one in the stands cheering them on and plays his club soccer in Saudi Arabia.
Now Brazil's defender Luisao, or Big Luis in English, (#14 and whose "real" name is Anderson Luis da Silva) is the the older brother of Alex Silva who did not make the Brazil squad this time around and is not related to Gilberto Silva (#8) who did. Gilberto Silva has no brothers playing pro soccer but he does have an anteater at the London Zoo named after him. Thiago Silva (#15) is also not related to the other Brazilian squad Silvas but he has played in Portugal where Luisao now plays his club football.

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