Brent Atema stands in as host along with guests Euan Marshall and Ed Malyon to discuss the action in the Copa America Group Stages.

Best moments, players, goals etc are all up for discussion. And they also look forward to the Knock-out stages.

Subscribe to the podcast and have the latest show downloaded via our iTunes feed.

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right-click on that link, you can download the MP3.

Alternatively, you can subscribe via your reader of choice

Like Facebook? Like the gibfootballshow page.

Follow the gibfootballshow on Twitter.


Ronaldinho was at one point the greatest footballer on the planet. Stefan Kelly wonders if he’ll ever be that player again.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better return to the Brazilian league,” … “The focus is on winning the title, it’s a trophy I haven’t won it yet.”

These were the words used by the samba star upon his return to his homeland in the colours of Flamengo, Ronaldinho is clearly a man who does not lack ambition. However, his ambitions are not transferring to realities on the pitch at the Engenhao at the moment.

When using the phrase “be the same” I am not referring to the world-player of the year Ronaldinho but the player who can entice with his willingness, audaciousness and ability to mesmerize. It’s safe to say he hit the zenith of his career a long time ago, back in the days of linking up with Deco and Eto’o at Barca, but the rate at which it is collapsing is far too radical for a player of his quality. At the time of Pep Guardiola’s arrival, his off the pitch antics, poor performances and frequent injuries forced him to become the shadow of the man he previously was, this resulted in a switch to the San Siro.

At Milan he was a completely different player and was eventually shunned out to players like Pirlo and Seedorf amongst a,lot of younger talent, the San Siro was never going to be the place for him and therefore never was.

His profile remained extremely high throughout world football even after his move away from Barca. He remained one of Nike’s biggest assets and still managed to feature in their fabulous advert for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, this featured him using his talismanic skills to dance around defenders. It made him look like a god but the sad part of that story was that Dunga ended up not selecting the man dubbed “Player of the Decade”.

The following season at Milan was disappointing to say the least, in fact you could call it an absolute disaster for the Brazilian. His difficult adaptation to Italian football shone through, scoring 1 goal in 11 games and clearly lacking the pace that once made him so dangerous. Another move was needed for the once inhibited playmaker and the only way was down. Words can’t describe how happy I was when he decided to avoid a big-money move to Blackburn, watching him struggling to keep up with the pace and strength of the Premier League would depress me, in some ways it will forever make me remember Ronaldinho at his best when I think of the man. Instead he opted for the more romantic option, a homecoming to the nation that loved him for his samba style trickery and brashness, Brazil. He joined Flamengo after hometown club Gremio had to withdraw from the race for his signature as they lacked the necessary funds.

At the time of writing Ronaldinho has played 4 games, out of 8 shots has scored twice, and has laid on one assist

However, these are not telling half the story. Earlier this year Flamengo won the Rio State Championship aka the Carioca and to say Ronaldinho was disappointing would be an understatement, he seemed constantly uninspired and nowhere near living up to the inevitable hype surrounding him.

It’s fair to say Flamengo’s start to the Brasileirao has been an eventful one. Thiago Neves is quickly becoming one of the most exciting players in the league and fans also mourned as Dejan “Rambo” (or “Pet”) Petkovic played his last game for Fla. Most importantly though to the fans and journalists alike, Ronaldinho has risen from the dead and seems to be, for the first time in years, brace yourself.. playing well.

His scintillating performance during Fla’s 4-0 crushing of Avai displayed to the world how he still has the potential the world saw at PSG all those years ago. Scoring one and setting up one, he undoubtedly made all the headlines. This looks like it might have not been a once-off performance as the next week, he once again looked inspired against Bahia and scored once more for the black and red of Flamengo.

It may be that we will have to wait for his retirement farewell game before we see him in the colours of Brazil again but signs of Ronaldinho redeeming himself don’t look too far away and I don’t think anyone wouldn’t want that to happen.

If you enjoyed Stefan’s article why not follow him on twitter – or visit his website The Midfield Diamond



As we look ahead to July’s Copa America, here’s the second of our three-part preview by the wonderful Ed Malyon, looking at Group B.

There’s not much to say about Brazil that hasn’t been said previously. Mano Menezes is currently using the 4-2-3-1 that’s been very popular in domestic football in the last 18 months. It allows the wealth of attacking talent to all fit into the XI with, of course, plenty in reserve. Santos starlet Neymar plays on the left of the attacking three, most probably alongside Robinho and former Manchester City man, Elano.

read more »


Please give a warm gibfootballshow welcome to Stefan Kelly. One of a host of new writers that will become regular fixtures of the GFS family.

Brazil is in a peculiar situation at the moment. With the impending pressure placed on the national team, or Selecao, growing greater in light of the recent fall from grace in the eyes of the samba nation. Last week’s 0-0 result against Holland hardly delighted the home fans in Goiania. The European based players were thrown out of their comfort zone and given the job to impress their own fans. If Brazil fail to live up to the expectations of people around the world in time to win the world cup on home soil in 2014, it would simply be a disaster.

read more »


So the the news out of Brazil last night was all about Ronaldo’s pending retirement. I thought out writing a fitting tribute to one of my favourite players of all time, but then I looked at my good friend Scott’s site and he had already captured everything I wanted to say.

So go to his site and read a wonderful tribute.


Another talented writer makes his début on gibfootballshow. Euan Marshall originally from Glasgow and now a resident in South America uses his new found love of Latin football to tell Blackburn Rovers fans all about their new signing Mauro Formica.

Under ambitious new ownership and with some decent form under their belt, Blackburn Rovers have all the makings of a football club on the rise. To go along with the shrewd loan signings of Schalke 04′s Jermaine Jones and the returning Roque Santa Cruz, Blackburn have decided to go out and buy a South American attacking midfielder. They did not end up with Ronaldinho Gaúcho, but they have managed to sign an extremely exciting and promising young Argentine, Mauro Formica.

Formica’s recent form for Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina has generated a lot of buzz and interest throughout the football world. His 16 appearances and 2 goals in the 2010 Torneo Apertura attracted suitors from all over Europe, with Rubin Kazan, Galatasaray, Genoa, Blackburn Rovers and Monaco all looking to facilitate his move across the Atlantic. He looked certain to sign for Les Rouge et Blanc in France, but as Newell’s tried to squeeze more money out of the principality club, the move stalled. That was when Blackburn jumped in and made an improved offer which was swiftly accepted by Newell’s. Finally, “El Gato” (“the Cat”) agreed a contract with Rovers which will see him in Lancashire for the next three years.

A Newell’s boy born and bred, Mauro signed his first professional contract with la Lepra in 2006 when he was 18 years old. He has always been highly coveted at Newell’s, and after three years he broke into a regular first team place in the 2009/2010 season, managing 38 appearances and 8 goals in all competitions. However it was not until this season’s Apertura where 22 year-old Mauro really blossomed, becoming a key player in the Newell’s squad.

Formica hails from a nation notorious for hyping up their young talents, with several youngsters tipped to be reincarnations of national football heroes like Diego Maradona or Ariel Ortega. Unsurprisingly, Mauro has not been able to escape this, with several pundits dubbing him (inexplicably) the “new Batistuta”; however the more accurate comparison comes from Argentina’s neighbours Brazil, in the shape of Real Madrid’s Kaká.

Not only does he bear a truly startling physical resemblance to Kaká (everything except the 80s style mullet), Formica also has several similarities to the Brazilian in his playing style. Watching the way he drives at defences, with the ball appearing to stick to his boots, you would be forgiven for thinking you were watching a young Kaká. He skips past defenders in the same way that Kaká does, naturally and with pace.

However Formica isn’t just a dribbler, he has technique and flair in abundance, making him a fantastic player to watch. He has a tremendous passing range, a great first touch, he hits a great shot from distance, and he is able to pull off deft flicks, back-heels and nutmegs when the situation calls for it. Without trying to over-hype the 22-year old, he really does possess the skill set of a truly world class attacking midfielder.

Mauro Formica belongs to a generation of very talented Argentine footballers, and unfortunately for him this could seriously affect his chances of featuring for the national team in later years. Formica is a number 10, an attacking midfielder, what the Argentines refer to as an enganche, and he’s going to have some serious competition on the international scene. Already Ángel di María has made a name for himself at Real Madrid and has appeared several times at international level, furthermore two of the game’s most promising players will be desperate to fill the number 10 role; Javier Pastore of Palermo, and Erik Lamela of River Plate.

As I have mentioned earlier, Formica is a proper South American number 10. At Newell’s he played either behind two centre-forwards or as the left sided attacking midfielder in a 4-3-2-1. He serves as an excellent link between the midfield and attack, and is able to intuitively move into the right areas to receive the ball and then produce the killer pass. He has all the wonderful passing attributes of a great playmaker, and his equally wonderful dribbling skills mean he can go it alone if necessary and provide a different threat to opposing defences.

Certainly the main question regarding Formica’s move to Blackburn is whether he will be able to adapt and thrive in the Premier League. English football is certainly a very different game from what Formica is used to back home, the pace is much higher, with creative players not allowed much time on the ball, and overall the game is a much more physical affair. It is expected that Formica will need some time to adapt, and he may find it hard to make much of an impact between now and the end of the season.

Formica will be hoping to slot into a position similar to his number 10 role at Newell’s. He will have players like Morten Gamst Pedersen and Junior Hoilett to link up with in midfield, and two good forwards to aim at, fellow South American Roque Santa Cruz, and the Croatian Nikola Kalinić. A main part of his success at Newell’s was his excellent ability to link with players around him, so Formica will be hoping to develop the same rapport with his new Ewood Park team-mates.

With all of these qualities and obvious potential, Blackburn will be hoping that the introduction of Formica will bring some real South American class to their midfield to help their push for European qualification. How much of an immediate impact he will make is impossible to know, but with Formica’s style and talent we can be sure of plenty breathtaking moments from el Gato for years to come.

To read more of Euan’s work please have a look at his wonderful website “I like football me” and also catch him on twitter for all the goings on in Brazil and South America. Also soon to join the gibfootballshow podcast ;)


Quarter Final time, and teams only 2 games from the final, some classic games lined up and the two games today did not let anyone down, Brazil and Holland played out a good match however the limelight was stolen by Uruguay and Ghana a tremendous match end to end action, great goals controversy, heroes, villians, it had everything.






Wesley SNEIJDER (53′ 68′)     ROBINHO (10′)  
1.Maarten STEKELENBERG     1.Julio CESAR  
2.Gregory VAN DER WIEL – Y     2.MAICON  
3.John HEITINGA – Y     3.LUCIO – C  
5.Giovanni VAN BRONCKHORST     4.JUAN  
6.Mark VAN BOMMEL     5.Felipe MELO – R  
7.Dirk KUYT     6.Michel BASTOS – Y OUT – 62
8.Nigel DE JONG – Y     7.ELANO  
9.Robin VAN PERSIE OUT – 85   8.Gilberto SILVA  
10.Wesley SNEIJDER     9.Luis FABIANO OUT – 77
11.Arjen ROBBEN     10.KAKA  
13.Andre OOIJER     11.ROBINHO  
Subs     Subs  
21.Klass Jan HUNTELAAR IN – 85   16.GILBERTO IN – 62
      21.NILMAR IN – 77

Brazil could not have hoped for a better start, Melo’s great pass found Robinho 1 on 1 and he finished neatly and Brazil looked in cruise control some lovely football, passing and moving off the ball, Holland looked lost of ideas and the best thing that happened for them was the half time whistle.

I don’t think anyone could see a way back for the Dutch or how the Brazilians could not find a way to extend their lead, Sneijder found a way though swinging a free kick in from the left, Melo jumped to head the ball away but he only got a slight contact and Cesar was unable to punch it away, an equaliser that shocked everyone, the Brazilians were the most effected the passing stopped flowing and movement wasn’t the same, from that point I could only see one winner, and I wasn’t wrong, Holland won a corner, it was whipped into the near post Kuyt flicked it on and Sneijder was left alone to head the ball past Cesar a shock lead, the Oranje delighted and Brazil had no way back Kaka’, Robinho, and Luis Fabiano couldn’t combine to any effect and the Netherlands booked their place in the semi-finals.

It really was a game of two halves, no Dutch players to mention from the first half and no Brazilians to mention from the second half, Robinho started very brightly, the touch and passing was superb, causing endless problems for van der Wiel on the right of Hollands defence.

Also the Brazilian defending overall in the first half was fantastic, everytime the Dutch got near the Brazilian box, 3 or 4 players swarmed round them, Lucio and Juan did a great job of slowing the attack down so the midfield could close in, a great display of defending.

In the second half I thought Sneijder was the best player on the pitch started getting on the ball controlling the game, Robben was quiet second half, apart from that no Dutch players stood out for me, just the fact the Brazilians stopped playing and allowed the pressure to build on them.

Overall I think it has to go down as a bad Brazilian performance, Melo has to take the blame, cause the first goal, lost his man for the second and sent off for a horrible stamp, Brazil were the favourites to win the whole thing but this performance really let them down, Holland move on and have a great chance to make the final and could win the tournament playing in a not typically Dutch style.






Diego FORLAN (55′)     Sulley MUNTARI (45+2′)  
Diego FORLAN Goal   Asamoah GYAN Goal
Mauricio VICTORINO Goal   Stephen APPIAH Goal
Andres SCOTTI Goal   John MENSAH Miss
Maxi PEREIRA Miss   Dominic ADIYIAH Miss
Sebastian ABREU Goal      
1.Fernando MUSLERA     22.Richard KINGSON  
2.Diego LUGANO OUT – 38   2.Hans SARPEI – Y  
4.Jorge FUCILE     3.Asamoah GYAN  
6.Mauricio VICTORINO     4.John PANTSIL – Y  
7.Edinson CAVANI  OUT – 76   5.John MENSAH – C – Y  
9.Luis SUAREZ     6.Anthony ANNAN  
10.Diego FORLAN     7.Samuel INKOOM  OUT – 74
15.Diego PEREZ     11.Sulley MUNTARI  OUT – 88
16.Maximiliano PEREIRA     15.Issac VORSAH  
17.Egidio AREVALO     21.Kwadwo ASAMOAH  
20.Alvaro FERNANDEZ  OUT – 46   23.Kevin Prince BOATENG  
13.Sebastian ABREU IN – 76   10.Stephen APPIAH IN – 74
14.Nicolas LODEIRO IN – 46   18.Dominic ADIYIAH IN – 88
19.Andres SCOTTI IN – 38      


Game of the tournament  I think, it had everything you can ask for in a football match, a great goal (Muntari) great set-piece (Forlan) drama, a player making a sacrifice for his team (Suarez), pressure (Gyan), and them the ultimate drama in a penalty shootout, the bravery of Gyan to score his 2nd penalty, I could go on all day.

Uruguay started the better of the two teams then just before Half-Time Ghana settled down and began attacking, could have scored a couple but it was Sulley Muntari who opened the deadlock with a wonder strike.

Diego Forlan got his team back in the game with a quite tremendous free kick, it seemed to swere from left to right and Kingson’s movement let him down taking a step to the left before watching the ball fire past him and into the top corner.

The game went to Extra-Time and seemed to be heading to penalties in injury time Ghana won a corner and a scamble ensued in the box Appaih had his shot blocked, the ball came to Adiyah’s head surely he must score….but Luis Suarez was there, but this time blocking with his hands, the linesman spotted it, and the referee pointed to the spot, with the last kick of the ball, Asamoah Gyan would either send his team to the World Cup semi-finals or take the game to penalties. The width of the crossbar decided Ghana’s fate, Gyan went for power and not accuracy and the latter failed him, Uruguay and Ghana would decide the game on the lottery of a penalty shoot out.

In all penalty shootouts there are heroes and villains, unfortunately for Ghana they had the villains on their side Captain John Mensah and young Dominic Adiyah missing the spot kicks and it was Sebastien Abreu who stepped up and cooly chipped the ball past the diving Kingson, Suarez the Uruguayan hero, the continent of Africa in disbelief, so close but yet so far.

Kingson the goalkeeper had a good game, making some quality saves one even striking his face, didn’t have a chance with any of the penalties, Boateng and Annan were fantastic in the Ghana midfield, Boateng came to life when asked to play behind Gyan, Annan enhanced his reputation with a solid performance, very likely he’ll be moving from Rosenborg very soon. Not much else I can add to previous reviews of Asamoah Gyan’s performances at this World Cup, he showed he has considerable mental strength, after missing a penalty to win the game for his team he stepped up in the shootout and struck a beautiful penalty into the top corner.

Uruguay will miss Suarez in the semi-final he was always dangerous, looked dead on his feet in extra time (probably why he used his hands) Forlan had a great game, always looking to break forward, scored a great goal, pretty much lead his team forward, a captain’s performance.When Lugano came off injured his replacement Scotti did well hard to come in and play at centre back but he looked assured and never got caught out, also scored his penalty.

A great game to watch, outshone the Netherlands v Brazil game by a mile and Uruguay back in the semi-finals for the first time since 1970 still no African team made it past the Quarter-Finals, they’re getting closer.


Suarez, van der Wiel and de Jong all missing through suspension, Diego Lugano will miss out through injury, some big decisions to make for both coaches, should be a good game, Netherlands will start as favourites but I don’t think Uruguay are that far away from causing an upset, the loss of Suarez is a huge blow after all the goals he’s scored in Holland, but maybe a more unfarmilar player to them like Cavani and Abreu will cause them more problems, a change to the Netherlands defence and central midfield could cause disruption to the Oranje machine but they have quality players to come in, looking forward to this one, so much at stake for both teams.


After yesterday’s great games setting up the great Quarter Final of Germany v Argentina I started today hoping that the games today would set up another great Quarter Final and Netherlands v Brazil, standing in that way were the shock nation Slovakia and the very entertaining Chile.






Arjen ROBBEN (18′)     Robert VITTEK (90+4′)  
Wesley SNEIJDER (84′)        
1.Maarten STEKELENBERG – Y     1.Jan MUCHA  
2.Gregory VAN DER WIEL     2.Peter PEKARIK  
3.John HEITINGA     3.Martin SKRTEL – Y  
4.Joris MATHIJSEN     5.Radoslav ZABAVNIK OUT – 88
5.Giovanni VAN BRONCKHORST     7.Vladimir WEISS  
6.Mark VAN BOMMEL     11.Robert VITTEK  
7.Dirk KUYT     15.Miroslav STOCH  
8.Nigel DE JONG     16.Jan DURICA  
9.Robin VAN PERSIE OUT – 80   17.Marek HAMSIK – C OUT – 87
10.Wesley SNEIJDER OUT – 92   18.Erik JENDRISEK OUT – 71
11.Arjen ROBBEN – Y OUT – 71   19.Juraj KUCKA – Y  
Subs     Subs  
17.Eljero ELIA IN – 71   10.Marek SAPARA IN – 87
20.Ibrahim AFELLAY IN – 92   14.Martin JAKUBKO IN – 88
21.Klass Jan HUNTELAAR IN – 80   20.Kamil KOPUNEK – Y IN – 71


Arjen Robben made his comeback and gave a whole new balance to the side, giving the width that van der Vaart just doesn’t provide, and he completely terrorised the Slovak defence breaking down the right cutting inside and firing the ball low past Mucha in the Slovakian net. Robben was superb looked very fit and sharp, Sneijder also played well, trying to always stay open and controlling the play.

Heitinga and Mathijsen were caught out of position a few times today, Vittek had a chance to equalise in the second half, but he could only fire his shot straight at Stekelenberg, he should have done better, any attempt to place it, would have brought the scores level. Questions had been asked over the Dutch defence before the tournament and this was the first time they had been tested.

I feared the worst for Slovakia before the game and they proved me wrong and played pretty well, Weiss and Stoch cause problems down the channels always looking to find Vittek with the final ball, Slovakia could have easily have brought the scores level, until that is Holland got their second, Mucha charged out, Kuyt beat him to the ball, he then squared it to Sneijder and he made it 2-0 and the game was safe.

Vittek eventually got his goal, Stekelenberg brought down Jakubko inside the box, Vittek picked up the ball put it on the spot and with the last kick of the game he made it 2-1 and got his 4th goal of the World Cup.

Slovakia will leave the World Cup knowing they have exceeded their own expectations, and you can’t ask anymore from a team than that.






JUAN (35′)        
LUIS FABIANO (38′)        
ROBINHO (59′)        
1.Julio CESAR     1.Claudio BRAVO  
2.MAICON     2.Ismael FUENTES – Y  
3.LUCIO – C     4.Mauricio ISLA OUT- 62
4.JUAN     5.Pablo CONTRERAS OUT – 46
6.Michel BASTOS     6.Carlos CARMONA  
8.Gilberto SILVA     7.Alexis SANCHEZ  
9.Luis FABIANO OUT – 76   8.Arturo VIDAL – Y  
10.KAKA – Y OUT – 81   9.Humberto SUAZO  
11.ROBINHO OUT – 85   11.Mark GONZALEZ OUT – 46
13.Dani ALVES     15.Jean BEAUSEJOUR  
18.RAMIRES – Y     18.Gonzalo JARA  
Subs     Subs  
16.GILBERTO IN – 85   10.Jorge VALDIVIA IN – 46
20.KLEBERSON IN – 81   20.Rodrigo MILLAR – Y IN – 62
21.NILMAR IN – 76   21.Rodrigo TELLO IN – 46


A commanding performance from Brazil, although Chile started the better team, they never really tested Julio Cesar, along with Lucio and Juan putting in imperious performances it never looked any more than a stroll from the Samba boys. Kaka looked more like the player we know and love, making some nice runs, setting up Fabiano from the goal, with every match he looks sharper.

Robinho is playing very well so far, linking with Fabiano and Kaka so well, his goal was set up after a powerful run by Felipe Melo replacement Ramires, a very strong powerful players, he danced through 5 Chile players layed the ball off to Robinho and he curled it past Bravo, this was the cherry on the cake, at the bottom of the cake was Communication and discline first and a great header from Juan got them on their way.

Alves did a good job filling in for Elano although not as creative, he filled in well for Maicon and fought hard in the middle of the pitch.

Chile tried to play their attractive football and for all they have twisted and turned and dazzles us, I just wonder if they have a finishing product a cutting edge, only 2 goals in this World Cup is not good enough for an all out attacking team. Again Beausejour and Sanchez showed nice glimpses, Suazo was very ineffective not the same player of the qualifying process.

They picked up fans on the way through this tournament however on the grand scheme of things it was just a step to far to think they could beat Brazil in this form, it will take a good team to put the Brazilians out, unfortunately for England the better team won.


What a match we have here, 5 times champions against the wannabes, my mind already casts back to the 5 goal thriller of 94 with Romario’s goal and the cradle celebration, then the penalty defeat for the Dutch in France 98, Taffarreal the hero, so many attacking players, 2 similar styles either it will cancel each other out or it will be a classic, I’m hoping for a 6-5.

Brazil just edge it.


Some good game and some bad games, the most important things is for me the best 4 teams from the 2 groups went through and have set up to tasty matches, bring on the Last 16.






1.EDUARDO     1.Julio CESAR  
2.Bruno ALVES     2.MAICON  
5.DUDA – Y OUT – 54   3.LUCIO – C  
6.Ricardo CARVALHO     4.JUAN – Y  
7.Cristiano RONALDO     5.Felipe MELO – Y OUT – 44
10.DANNY     6.Michel BASTOS  
15.PEPE – Y OUT – 64   8.Gilberto SILVA  
16.Raul MEIRELES OUT – 84   9.Luis FABIANO – Y OUT – 85
19.TIAGO – Y     13.Dani ALVES  
21.Ricardo COSTA     19.Julio BAPTISTA OUT – 82
23.Fabio COENTRAO – Y     21.NILMAR  
Subs     Subs  
8.Pedro MENDES IN – 64   17.JOSUE IN – 44
11.SIMAO IN – 54   18.RAMIRES IN – 82
14.Miguel VELOSO IN – 84   23.GRAFITE IN – 85


Not going to spend long on this game as it was truly awful, only 2 half chances I can think of from Ronaldo and Fabiano, the memory I do have is the referee handing out Yellow card after yellow card, a very scrappy game, one of the truly bad games at this World Cup, the fact that both teams had all but qualified really showed in the performances, Nilmar and Baptista did nothing to push for a starting place, as did Danny for Portugal, Fabio Coentrao played well again, one of the surprising stars so far, really want to see more of him for club and country.

Only high note I can leave this on is that both teams will play again and they won’t play worse, and I expect much much more, or they won’t last long.






      Yaya TOURE (14′)  
      ROMARIC (20′)  
      Salomon KALOU (82′)  
1.RI Myong Guk     1.Boubacar BARRY  
2.CHA Jong Hyok     3.Artur BOKA  
3.RI Jun Il     4.Kolo TOURE  
4.PAK Nam Chol     5.Didier ZOKORA  
5.RI Kwang Chon     9.Cheik TIOTE  
8.JI Yun Nam     10.GERVINHO OUT – 64
9.JONG Tae Se     11.Didier DROGBA – C  
10.HONG Yong Jo     13.ROMARIC OUT – 79
11.MUN In Guk OUT – 67   18.Kader KEITA OUT – 64
13.PAK Chol Jin     19.Yaha TOURE  
17.AN Yong Hak     21.Emmanuel EBOUE  
Subs     Subs  
16.KIM Kum Il IN – 67   15.Aruna DINDANE IN – 64
      7.Seydou DOUMBIA IN – 79
      8.Salomon KALOU IN – 64


Despite all the connetations of what the Cote D’Ivoire could do to qualify in my eyes it was always a nothing game, CIV were never going to score 8 and Portugal were never going to ship lots of goals, it was nice though for Drogba and his men to get a well deserved victory in this tournament, the only down side for me was the appearance of Kader Keita, he who feigned injury causing Kaka’ to get sent off, a disgraceful bit of simulation, I would have expected FIFA to ban keita for at least the next match, after some internet searching it seems that FIFA have said nothing about the incident, so a note to all players at the World Cup It seems trying to get someone sent off in a match is encourage in this tournament so keep up the good work, god FIFA boil my blood at times.

Anyway back to the football, I thought Yaya Toure took his goal really well placing the shot rather than trying to smash it, was a nice finish, for the Romaric goal the way Drogba took the ball down was superb, a deft touch and a wonderful shot so unlucky it didn’t go in Romaric was there to head the ball in so Drogba’s effort was not wasted, from the highlights I saw Gervinho looked very dangerous again and I look forward to him having another great season for Lille, on a different day he could have had 2 or 3 goals.

Artur Boka’s performance today sort of brings Sven’s lineup choices up again, Boka played in 3 great balls that set up the 3 goals, Tiene set up no goals in the 2 games he played, Gervinho should not have been dropped after the Portugal game and maybe these choice cost Ivory Coast a place in the last 16, this group shows apart from drawing a tough, the fixtures can play a part also, I wonder if Ivory Coast’s last  game had been against Brazil or Portugal if the standing would have looked any different, a lot harder to play Brazil when they need to win the game as Eriksson’s man found out in Jo’burg.

Korea DPR lie bottom of the group, I feel sorry for them, not disgraced in the first game and things looked good for them, positives will be #9 Jong Tae-Se #10 Hong and the #8 Ji all played well in the 3 games, shame Jong couldn’t get his World Cup goal, maybe next time.






1.Diego BENAGLIO     18.Noel VALLADARES  
2.Stephane LICHSTEINER     2.Osman CHAVAZ – Y  
5.Steve VON BERGEN     3.Maynor FIGUEROA  
6.Benjamin HUGGEL OUT – 78   5.Victor BERNARDEZ  
7.Tranquillo BARNETTA     6.Hendry THOMAS – Y  
8.Gokhan INLER     7.Ramon NUNEZ OUT – 67
10.Blaise N’KUFO OUT – 69   8.Wilson PALACIOS – Y  
13.Stephane GRICHTING     10.Jerry PALACIOS OUT – 78
16.Gelson FERNANDES – Y OUT – 46   11.David SUAZO – Y OUT – 87
17.Reto ZIEGLER     16.Mauricio SABILLON  
19.Eren DERDIYOK     17.Edgar ALVAREZ  
Subs     Subs  
15.Hakin YAKIN IN – 46   12.Georgie WELCOME IN – 78
23.Xherdan SHAQIRI IN – 78   15.Walter MARTINEZ IN – 67
9.Alexander FREI IN – 69   19.Danilo TURCIOS IN – 87



Only able to watch the 3 minute highlights from the BBC Website, and I think that’ll be enough, doesn’t sound the best game, and it ended a boring nil nil which I am happy with as both Spain and Chile can advance, I hate teams that come to a World Cup to defend, then you defend so much you forget to attack and fail to score against Honduras (no offence) you don’t then deserve to go through at the expense of 2 great attacking teams.

Had to mention David Suazo’s miss, a great cross from Alvarez after he left Gritchting for dead, but the former Inter man could only flick his header wide, need to also mention Benaglio’s save, Alvarez through on goal surely thought he had scored but Diego Benaglio pulled out a tremendous one handed save, possibly the save of the tournament, you need to see it.

Both teams will now go home, and probably deserve to, Honduras showed more attacking ideas than Switzerland, they need to show more going forward in future tournaments, hopefully Honduras will come back stronger with the experience.






Rodrigo MILLAR (47′)     David VILLA (24′)  
      Andres INIESTA (37′)  
1.Claudio BRAVO     1.Iker CASILLAS  
3.Waldo PONCE – Y     3.Gerard PIQUE  
4.Mauricio ISLA     5.Carles PUYOL  
7.Alexis SANCHEZ OUT – 65   6.Andres INIESTA  
8.Arturo VIDAL     7.David VILLA  
10.Jorge VALDIVIA OUT – 46   8.XAVI  
11.Mark GONZALEZ OUT – 46   9.Fernando TORRES OUT – 55
13.Marco ESTRADA – Y/R     11.Joan CAPDEVILA  
15.Jean BEAUSEJOUR     14.Xavi ALONSO OUT – 73
17.Gary MEDEL – Y     15.Sergio RAMOS  
18.Gonzalo JARA     16.Sergio BUSQUETS  
Subs     Subs  
16.Fabian ORELLANA IN – 65   10.Cesc FABERGAS IN – 55
20.Rodrigo MILLAR IN – 46   20.Javi MARTINEZ IN – 73
22.Esteban PAREDES IN – 46      


Very enjoyable game, Chile started like a house on fire really taking it to Spain in the first 20 minutes, but then found themselves 1 down, after a crazy moment from keeper Bravo the ball fell to David Villa 35 yards out and he curled it beautifully with his left foot swerving into the empty net, Chile then lost their temper and racked up the yellow cards, including 2 for Manual Estrada, the second of which was not deserved Torres ran across him, Estrada was not even looking at Torres, and the Liverpool man fell over Estrada’s feet went down like a tonne of bricks and the Chile midfielder was given his second yellow and his marching orders, a disgraceful decision and could have cost Chile their place, as while Torres was on the groud Villa had set up Iniesta for Spain’s second.

Marco Bielsa had some work to do at half time, calming down his players was the priortity surely, and it looks like it paid off, substitute Rodrigo Millar hit a shot deflected off Pique and over Casillas into the net.

Bielsa’s men had calmed down however it sort of took the edge off the game and it petered out into a nothing last 15 minutes when nothing of note happened, luckily Switzerland could have still been playing and still not scored and both teams went through.

Alexis Sanchez again was lively again the player that was unexpectedly impressed me is the big #15 Beausejour “The Frenchman” they call him has pace and power, a very strong runner, has the ability to deliver a quality cross and he showed against Honduras he has an eye for goal, the 26 year old plays for America in Mexico and has scored 3 goals in 45 games, I’m surprised at the lack of goal, I will be keeping an eye on Jean.

Again Torres didn’t look himself tonight I wonder if Del Bosque will percivere with Fernando or maybe go for Jesus Navas or Pedro and move Villa to the middle for the Portugal surely he can’t start a 70% Torres again.

Portugal will take on Spain and Chile will play Brazil 2 potentially fantastic games, make the mouth wet with anticipation.