Hola amigos, it's the First XI World Cup bulletin!
Here's what's happening in land of contrasts South Africa today:
Friday 25 June 2010
15:00 Portugal v Brazil, Durban, BBC One
15:00 North Korea v Ivory Coast, Nelspruit, BBC Red Button
19:30 Chile v Spain, Pretoria, ITV1
19:30 Switzerland v Honduras, Bloemfontein, ITV4
It's all downhill from here. Or is it uphill? Whichever one means that it's all about to get very serious and very exciting. We're so confused, we've watched far too much football - 44 games in the last two weeks. The four matches today conclude what's turned into a pretty awesome group stage. Solid defensive performances! Dodgy red cards! Massive LOLs at meek exits for Italy and France! Massive LOLs with James Corden! Actually, scrap that last one... Spain are another side looking at an ignominous early exit today, needing to match Switzerland's result as they face a competent Chile side. The Spaniards go into their game with an unbeaten record against Chile, winning six of their seven games against them before today. But records are made to be broken. Or played. We forget which.
During their match with Chile Switzerland set a new record for the longest time without conceding at the World Cup finals - nine hours and and 18 minutes. Well done Switzerland. Honduras haven't won in seven games, and haven't scored in six of those. Not so good, Honduras.
Brazil face former colonial masters Portugal today in a match dubbed "tasty" by all. Brazil have won 12 of their 18 games against Portugal. North Korea love shooting from distance, but aren't very good at it - they've had 17 shots from outside the box off target so far in South Africa, more than any other team. Ivory Coast need to score a hatful and hope Portugal lose heavily too.
On this day in 2006 in the second round England beat Ecuador by the skin of their teeth via a flukey David Beckham free kick that didn't even look like it had gone in. It was no fun at all.
MATCH OF THE DAY 15:00, BBC One
PORTUGAL V BRAZIL
Group G. Moses Mahiba Stadium, Durban. Capacity: 70,000
Sometimes the snow comes down in June. Sometimes the sun goes round the moon. Just when I thought a chance had passed. You go and save the best for last. And what a game it is, too. Former colony versus former settlers. World number four versus world number two. The new abs-alicious Ronaldo versus the country who spawned the original flab-alicious Ronaldo. A game to down tools for. A game for the purists. A game to drool over. We could go on, but instead we’re going to list names. Kaká. Ronaldo. Robinho. Deco. Nilmar. Pepe. Nani. Papi. Okay, we made him up, but you get the point.
PLAYER TO WATCH
RICARDO CARVALHO (above)
Carvalho and his dwindling hairline rarely miss a chance to appear on the Portuguese team’s highlights reel. The Chelsea man infamously put his nuts on the line for Rooney to stamp on at World Cup 2006, before his donkey-like defending gave away a decisive penalty in the semi-final against France. And let’s not forget his sending off late in that game, which meant he missed the 3rd/4th place play-off. That said, he’s still one of the world's best defenders, so will be key to Portugal’s chances of success. Will he be brilliant, or will he mess it up with a really obvious shirt tug? Tune in to find out.
HALF TIME QUIZ
1 Which two countries have won the World Cup exactly twice?
2 What is Spain’s best finish?
3 Which country did Gary Lineker score a hat-trick against in ’86?
4 What was the name of Ant and Dec’s 2002 World Cup song?
5 James Milner is England’s most capped U-21 international of all time with 46 appearances, but which Spurs player is the second?
1 Jon Dahl Tomasson. 2 Rustenberg. 3 Alan Shearer. 4 Czechoslovakia, Holland and Hungary. 5 Marco Materazzi.
MATCH OF THE DAY 2
MISS SPAIN vs MISS SWITZERLAND
Who's hotter? Have a think, do a series of tests, possibly powernap on it, then tell us your answer in the comments box.
Journalist and girlfriend of Iker Casillas Sara Carbonera says: "I love goals"
Disc jockey Tanja La Croix says: "I love music"
Look at this excellent picture of Ireland's Robbie Keane and Damien Duff celebrating France's exit on Monday! HAHAHAHAHA!
Check back at 11 for tomorrow for the next First 11 World Cup Bulletin.