2002-05-30

    
Publication YearIssue Date 
  2002-05-30

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May 31, 2002
  France, 1998PDF files may take a moment to load

Let me begin by saying that I'm no sports fan. Perhaps my knowledge of athletic lore is best defined by the fact that I had to check with my little brother to make sure that the World Cup is a soccer-related event. However, in spite of my lack of enthusiasm towards it, I do have vivid memories of this sporting event. I am living proof that the World Cup, if nothing else, is impossible to ignore.

May 30, 2002
  ArgentinaPDF files may take a moment to load

Make no mistake, Argentina is the team to beat in 2002, as long as they make it out of their group.

Argentina got the most unfortunate draw in the tourney and landed a group with Nigeria, Sweden and England. While England shouldn't be a problem as the Argentinians torment them every four years, Sweden and Nigeria are no laughing matter. Both are among the world's elite and Argentina will face a tough road through group play.

May 30, 2002
  USAPDF files may take a moment to load

If the USA men's national soccer team had a mascot, it could only be Rodney Dangerfield. More than any other, this is the side that gets no respect. But why? The Americans have skilled players such as keepers Brad Friedel of the Blackburn Rovers and Kasey Keller of Tottenham Hotspur, who are both playing in the English Premier League.

May 30, 2002
  IrelandPDF files may take a moment to load

All Irish football fans best hope there was many a four-leaf clover sent o'erseas with our boys, especially since our most skilled player is back on the Emerald Isle. Roy Keane's much-publicized departure from the club was a huge blow to Ireland's chances but one benefit is that it has galvanized the rest of the squad.

May 30, 2002
  BrazilPDF files may take a moment to load

No one expects the sweet sounds of carnival to fill the streets of Yokohama after this year's final but there really should be no limit to what the ultra-talented Brazilian squad can accomplish. Stifling proof: the starting 11 features Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Cafu and Emerson--men who only need one name.

May 30, 2002
  GermanyPDF files may take a moment to load

In case you didn't know, there is a culture beyond bratwurst, beer and sauerkraut in Germany. Relationships end because of it, millions are made with it, even little children know and love it, and foreigners and non-believers follow it with disbelief. This is, of course, the German soccer culture.

May 30, 2002
  EnglandPDF files may take a moment to load

Damn it! England is in a group with Argentina again. For the last decade England has been cursed with bad luck, or more specifically, Argentina. Let's hope this year won't involve any red cards and Argentinian volleyball.

May 30, 2002
  PolandPDF files may take a moment to load

Most associate Poland with stupidity, drunkenness and Catholicism. However, this World Cup season, there is another stereotype to add to that list. Thanks to a gift from the Nigerian nation, the Polish can proudly say that good soccer should be added too.

Let me tell you about Emmanuel Olisadebe. Sounds Polish, doesn't he? Thanks to some clever immigration policy, this Nigerian transplant is now a Polish citizen and the nation's star striker.

May 30, 2002
  ItalyPDF files may take a moment to load

It has been a long wait for Italian soccer fans. Twenty years have passed since the last time Italy has had the privilege of lifting the most prestigious trophy of all: the World Cup. This, along with the significant amount of confidence that Italians retain in this year's team, puts a great deal of pressure on the 23 players selected to represent their nation in the 2002 World Cup.

May 30, 2002
  FrancePDF files may take a moment to load

They eat and drink like no other nation. They consider themselves and their nation superior to any living creature. You got it--I'm talking about the French.

It's still unbelievable, how no team was able to stop the French from winning the 1998 World Cup, but well, they did. In a plain and simple final against Brazil, Zinedine Zidane and his head left no doubt as to who should be the World Cup champion.

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