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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

World Cup equals clichés and clashes

The World Cup is probably the biggest cliché-generating event in sports. Let's see how many we can go through in this column. \nLet's begin, the more things change the more they stay the same. With the supposed changing of the guard of football, Brazil, winner of four previous cups, will face three-time winner Germany.\nBut the ball is also round, so anything can happen. The third/fourth place match is being played by South Korea and Turkey. Both teams were not expected to make it out of the first round. No one especially expected them to be playing in the second to last game of the tournament.\nThe teams are now playing for national pride so Korea will beat the Turks, because they have the home team support. It will be a high-scoring affair, but the Korean fitness and an extra day's rest will swing the game in favor of the Koreans. \nI wonder how Korea will perform as the favored team. They will have a lot more at stake in this game then the Turks will have. I'm also sure there will be more creative refereeing going the way of the home country's team as they face yet another European team in the knock-out stage of the Cup.\nThe final game pits the two greatest soccer-playing nations against one another. The two nations have combined to win seven World Cup titles. This however will be the first time that they face each other in the final match of the tournament. It's going to be a fun and interesting match up. \nBrazil is going to its third final in a row. In 1994 they beat Italy on penalties to win the title and in 1998 they lost to France behind the brilliant play of Zinedine Zidane.\nGermany has a World Cup tradition to rival that of Brazil. This will be their eighth appearance in the final game of the World Cup, a record. However they have been in a relative slump of late; they haven't won a major tournament since they won the 1990 World Cup held in Italy. \nThis is a clash of the titans. Samba versus Porsche. \nThere are basically two schools of thought on how football should be played, especially on the national stage. One is very meticulous and precise. The game is broken down to the fundamentals and everything is calculated; it is a team game -- German soccer. \nThe other school is more free-flowing. It is known around the world as "The Beautiful Game." It relies on individual talent and spontaneous creativity -- Brazilian football.\nBoth teams have great players who are skilled in their style. Both teams have about equal talent and they measure up close enough when it comes to the tap.\nThe game will come down to who performs better in their chosen mode of play. Can the Germans mount an attack on the Brazilian defense that has basically been untested all tournament? Or will Brazil ride its strategy of score-more-than-you're-scored-on all the way to a fifth World Cup? \nBoth teams came to the tournament with their doubters, but it will be the Brazilians that silence theirs. They have so much more experience and still have the bad taste in their mouth after leaving France with an 0-3 loss. \nGermany shouldn't be too discouraged. They have the building blocks of a team that will run the table in the 2006 World Cup. And guess what, it is being held in Germany.\nOh, when can a dejected Nigerian fan start dreaming of beer steins, lederhosen and sauerkraut?

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