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The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatic's Guide
Alan Black & David Henry Sterry
This dynamic duo of die hard soccer fanatics break down the biggest sporting event in the world: the divas and the divers, the winners and the whiners, the myths and the madness. World Cup South Africa 2010, Alan Black & David Henry Sterry style - for those who like their soccer with a side of brains.
Did you know?
· More tickets have been sold in the USA for the World Cup than any other country outside of South Africa
· 1 million condoms have recently been shipped to South Africa
· President Obama is a soccer fan and has met with FIFA executives at the White House. The USA is bidding for the 2018 Finals. The committee includes Henry Kissinger, New York Mayor Bloomberg and TV star Drew Carey
.· USA v England on June 12, the second day of the tournament, marks the 60th anniversary of one of the World Cup’s most famous matches – USA’s shock 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 tournament in Brazil.
· The first recorded soccer game in America took place at Plymouth Rock on what is now known as Thanksgiving. They used a pumpkin for a ball.
· Soccer is the most popular participatory sport in the USA, numbering more players than all the other major sports combined.
· It's estimated there are 250 million registered soccer players in the world
· America beat the number one team in the world, Spain, and very nearly beat Brazil in last year's Confederations Cup.
· England's Wayne Rooney attempted to castrate Portugal's Ricardo Caravalho in World Cup 2006.
· Argentina's Lionel Messi, pound for pound the greatest soccer player in the world, is just over 5 feet tall.
· Uruguay’s José Batista, one of the fiercest hard men in World Cup history, was once sent off 56 seconds into a match for nearly breaking a Scotsman in half.
· Holland’s Arjen Robben is generally acknowledged as the current diva of dives, with Daniel Day-Lewis caliber theatrics. Breathe on him and he crumbles like a house of cards.
· Andres Escobar, a Colombian who scored against his own team, was shot 12 times in his home country, while onlookers yelled, "Goal!"
· In Latin America, American players are regularly pelted with everything from batteries to baggies full of warm liquid waste.
· The World Cup Final is the biggest media event in the world, bigger than the Super Bowl and the World Series combined. One in four people in the known universe are expected to tune in.