The shock news from Germany is the death of goalkeeper Robert Enke. The 32-year-old died after apparently committing suicide at a train crossing near Hanover yesterday. The popular keeper was expected to be Germany’s No.1 next summer. This article is accompanied by another one about the depression which forced Sebastian Deisler to quit football aged 27.
Richard Dunne knows a thing or two about failed mantras from previous World Cups if his latest comments are any guide. Speaking ahead of Saturday’s first play off game against France the Aston Villa defender says the Republic have ‘spirit’ while the French have ‘skill’. He’s hoping this attribute and the famous Croke Park atmosphere will see the Irish through. I had similar high hopes when drinking out of my World Cup mug in 2002. “Pride”, “Passion”, “Belief” were its mantras. I couldn’t help think that “Guile”, “Cunning” and “Tactical Awareness” would have proved much more useful as we fell at the quarter final stage against Brazil. Let’s see if the Irish can prove me wrong and vindicate my World Cup mug.
Here’s The Daily Mail with an in-depth look at World Cup preparations in South Africa. The tone veers from downbeat – a prisoner from the apartheid era gazes out towards the notorious Robben Island, a resident of one black township compares having a World Cup in his country with someone buying an expensive car when there is no food in the house, the stats about crime are rolled out again – to enthusiastic about the World Cup and the footballing culture in Africa. Find out more here.