UK woman cycles to World Cup

World Cup Bafana Bafana 2010 returns following illness caused by watching too many World Cup videos and eating more Doritos than the human body can reasonably be expected to cope with. All in the line of duty, you understand. It therefore seemed fitting that as I return, some players are preparing to bow out for good.

Despite suggestions to the contrary, it seems Ronaldinho may not be part of the Brazil World Cup squad after all. At least that’s what this Telegraph report says. I’m not so sure. Ronaldinho has apparently played very well for AC Milan recently, while Robinho, his supposed replacement, sulked on the bench at Man City for ages. Is the friendly against the Republic of Ireland really a final opportunity for Robinho to stake his case before coach Dunga decides which of the two he should take?

Mind you, the gap-toothed one isn’t the only South American star who could be scouting around for a holiday location come June. This one fell foul of his boss some time ago, a man who clearly regards three-month suspensions for mouthing off to journalists as part and parcel of his job description.

One player touted to buck the trend and take the long trip to South Africa is Chris Kirkland. Wigan boss Roberto Martinez says we should forget about the list of injuries which have hampered the 28-year-old’s career. These injuries include: a hairline fracture of his glass jaw, a collar bone broken so often Kirkland’s doctors now refer to them collectively as “the collar bones”, a dislocated eye, the mysterious loss of his fingerprints, and ear gout. Is this man really capable of being England’s third choice keeper at the World Cup?

What is going wrong in Germany at the moment? While a row over coach Joachim Low's contract is over, on the surface at least, you have to wonder what the future holds. I say this because German football federation president Dr Theo Zwanziger sounds like a man backed into a corner. He may take his revenge if Germany leaves South Africa any earlier than the semis.

As the John Terry saga finally bites the dust, the Mirror’s David Anderson says the story “seem like a doddle compared to the overdue Blockbuster fine scandal” which threatens to rock English football. Like it.

And finally, we’ve had the Norwegian collecting shirts en-route to South Africa and the Algerian walking to the World Cup. Now say hello to the Buckinghamshire woman who is cycling from Cairo and travelling through Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. The adventure is an aid of the charity SCI (Schistosomiasis Control Initiative) “which aims for a world free of neglected tropical diseases.” Good luck to her. Find out more about SCI here.

Best World Cup Player Of The Decade Part 5: the 1980s follows immediately after this post.

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