FIFA World Cup Germany 2006

The FIFA World Cup 2006 was the most exciting and brilliant tournament in football history: passion, accion and goals. Get all the reports, matches, news, photos and videos every minute. Germany 2006 is here!

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Germany crushes Costa Rica 4-2

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Miroslav Klose gave Germany a great victory in the first game of the World Cup. The host nation scored four times to get their campaign off to a rousing start but the ease with which Paulo Wanchope bagged his brace of goals asked uncomfortable questions about the quality of German central defenders.

In fact, Germany and Costa Rica had never met before last night and in front of just under 60,000 persons in Munich's new stadium they were expected to defy historical precedent by opening the 2006 Cup with a display of decent football. In the end, there was no doubt that they delivered.

With Ballack out, Bernd Schneider was the captain. However, Ballack's role as the creative hub was taken by Tim Borowski, the gangling 26-year-old Werder Bremen midfielder.

According to his club-mate, Frings is the successor to Jens Jeremies as a hard-tackling defensive midfield player, went the distinction of committing the first foul of the 2006 World Cup when he brought down Walter Centeno just inside the German half with barely 30 seconds gone. And two minutes later Frings also hit the first shot of the tournament, sending a 25-yard drive dipping over José Porras's bar with the aid of a slight deflection. It was a foretaste of the swerving drive with which, 85 minutes later, the same footballer would complete the night's scoring.

However, it was another defender who set the match alight with a marvellous goal in the sixth minute. We noticed that the Costa Ricans sensed no danger when the diminutive Lahm took possession wide on the left before cutting inside and, still 30 yards out, unleashing a right-foot shot that curled over Porras's vain leap and inside the far angle. As we saw, Germany were looking likely to increase their lead when Costa Rica struck back.

And in the 12th minute an incisive three-man move transferred the ball to Wanchope, who beat the offside trap with the leggy nonchalance familiar to the supporters of West Ham, Derby County and Manchester City before striding clear to sweep the ball to the goal.

With Klinsmann gesticulating and shouting encouragement from the technical area, Germany regained the lead in the 17th minute. Schneider made ground down the right and cut the ball back to Schweinsteiger, whose run into the area drew the defence and made space for Klose to touch home his shot at the far post.

Forward Lukas Podolski opened the second half by driving narrowly over from 20 yards but Costa Rica missed a great chance to equalise in the 48th minute when Danny Fonseca made an unseen late run to meet Centeno's corner and, completely unmarked, headed wide of the far post.

Costa Rica tried to respond, and Centenos's probing paid off in the 73rd minute when he bypassed the centre- backs with a clever ball that encouraged Wanchope to stride in and flip the ball over the plunging Lehmann. But when Frings lashed the ball home from 30 yards with three minutes left, it was the cue for wild celebrations among fans for whom the incessant criticisms of Klinsmann's regime will, for the time being, be set firmly aside.

Ecuador surprises Poland and win 2-0

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Ecuador defeated Poland 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen and got a big step to the second stage of the Cup.

Ecuador had their heart on their sleeves and the flag on their faces as they went for an unlikely win.

Ecuador took the lead in the 24th minute. Agustin Delgado flicking on a long throw into the box and Carlos Tenorio headed home to stun the Poles, who had a decidedly better start to the game.

The game started drifting in the second half, before things came to life in the 80th minute. Agustin Delgado tapping home after some great work from Ivan Kaviedes.

Poland have their best chance so far as Ecuador switch off momentarily, but substitute Ireneusz Jelen smacks his left-foot shot off the crossbar.

Poland go agonisingly close to pulling one back again, as Pawel Brozek cuts on to his left foot from 20 yards and curls a fine shot against the post with Cristian Mora well-beaten.

Beautiful Opening Ceremony: The World Cup begins!

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Four years after Brazil won the last World Cup in Japan, the greatest tournament in the World started again. The Opening Ceremony was nice and colourful, with a very good show of cultural expressions and World Champions parade.

German model Claudia Schiffer and Former Brazilian footballer Pele carried the World Cup Trophy to the center of the Stadium, marking the begining of the show.

FIFA's president Joseph Blatter, Franz Beckenbauer and Germany's president Horst Köhler gave the entry speech in the Ceremony.

After that, many World Cup winners from England, France, Argentina, Italy, Germany and Brazil walked into the pitch to receive a warm ovation.

And the Ceremony finished with a musical piece by Herbert Gronemeyer and an African pop Group. The passion of football was greatly expressed in the show. Now the ball will kick off and millions of fans will keep the track.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cissé suffers horrible injury and will miss the Cup

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French striker Djibril Cissé suffered a heartbraking injury that will take him away from the World Cup. He got a broken leg in France’s friendly game over China in St Etienne.

The football player winced in pain as he was taken off after only 10 minutes into the encounter in the France’s final match on home soil before heading for the World Cup. The striker was chasing the ball down the right flank and was simply knocked off balance by an opposing defender. And the worst part was that as he fell, the Cisse’s right leg twisted under him and buckled above the ankle, fracturing his tibia and right fibula.

In fact, this unfortunate injury comes only 20 months after he broke his left leg playing for Liverpool against Blackburn in the Premier League. It will be the second consecutive major international tournament he has missed after being banned for five matches of Euro 2002 for a sending off in an under-21 match. Cissé was expected to start upfront for France alongside Thierry Henry in the opener against Switzerland on Tuesday, after top scoring for France in the World Cup qualifiers with 4 goals.

But he must now face the prospect of sitting through the world cup in plaster as he underwent immediate surgery on Wednesday night, as France coach Raymond Domenech said:

"He is in hospital and he's undergoing surgery, it's a vicious blow to all of us... Everything was going so well. All the players are depressed. Even during the game you could see it. They just lost interest in the match."

Thierry Henry also revealed that Cisse’s injury had greatly affected the French footballers,

"I was beside him when he fell and I heard him yell,’ said Henry. ‘Losing a team mate and a friend like that just before a World Cup, it's very tough."

Speculations come up to say that either Fenerbahce’s Nicholas Anelka or Ludovic Giuly of Barcelona will take the spot in the squad. "The rule is that we can replace an injured player until a day before the first match,’ said the French coach. "For the moment I have other worries. Then we'll think about it and talk about it between us."

Monday, June 05, 2006

England arrives in Germany with Rooney and Defoe

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England National team arrived in Germany for the World Cup on Monday, with a really big expectation. They have one of their best teams since they won the title in 1966.

The squad arrived with the players walking the short distance from the plane to their transportation vehicle, emblazoned with the slogan "One Nation, One Trophy, Eleven Lions" - a reference to the animal that's on the England crest.

As we saw, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick were handed large bunches of red roses and white lilies by local officials.

David Beckham, one of the symbols of this team, was the first player off the plane, followed by injured striker Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United forward returns to England on Wednesday to have another scan on his broken right foot. England has until Friday to decide whether to keep Wayne Rooney or call up standby striker Jermain Defoe, who also travelled to Germany.

According to our sources, England is staying at the isolated Schlosshotel Buhlerhohe, in the mountains above the spa town of Baden-Baden.

The British team had trained outside London before flying to Germany. Beckham and defenders Ashley Cole and John Terry were rested because of ankle, thigh and knee injuries. FA spokesman Adrian Bevington expressed that they sat out training purely as a precaution and would all be available for England's first match against Paraguay on Saturday in Frankfurt.

Bevington also told us that Gary Neville and Rooney trained separately with physios. Neville was rested from England's final warmup match on Saturday - a 6-0 win over Jamaica - because of a hamstring injury.

"Gary is expected to train tomorrow and Wayne will continue with the rehabilitation of his foot with England's medical staff," Bevington claims.

Coach Eriksson is confident Rooney will stay with the squad, a hope boosted after reports said he was running and kicking a ball with both feet during training on Friday.

Nakata: Japan is not ready for the Cup

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Hidetoshi Nakata is the main player in Japan squad, but somehow he's not happy with the situation. Nakata has expressed his disappointment with the 'Blue Samurai's' attitude a week before their first match against Australia.

Nakata feels his teammates are not pullinmg hard enough, specially in their last preparation game against Malta. "We got nothing from this match," he said. "It doesn't matter what sort of football you play, unless you run and work for each other it's pointless. Those are basic concepts."

The Bolton midfielder has already complained that the atmosphere within the Japanese team was "too friendly" and said the Asian champions were "not ready" to face this Cup.

Shunsuke Nakamura, the only squad member who has dared to cross swords with Nakata, suggested his fellow midfielder might want to lighten up. But Nakata needs to express his voice.

"We're hardly at the stage where we can suddenly change things," Nakata told reporters. "I feel that we're missing the heart."