Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 13th 2014 Contents A68
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 13, 2014
RIO DE JANEIRO---Preparing to perform at her
third World Cup, pop star Shakira says she thanks
football for changing her life.
Shakira says she "will never forget that I met the
love of my life at the World Cup."
She and Spain defender Gerard Pique met when
promoting her 2010 World Cup anthem, "Waka
Waka---Time for Africa," and the couple have an
Speaking ahead of today's closing ceremony con-
cert, Shakira says "if it wasn't for the World Cup
my son Milan would not be here."
In Maracana Stadium before the Argentina vs.
Germany final she will perform "La La La (Brazil
2014)" with Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown.
Shakira says though Pique was affected by defend-
ing champion Spain's early exit, "I have a way of
Germany will win
BERLIN---Chancellor Angela Merkel is optimist
about Germany's chances of winning the World
Cup final against Argentina, but is cautioning
football fans that anything can happen.
Merkel told German public Television ZDF yes-
terday, "It certainly won't be easy tomorrow; after
the 7:1 everybody thinks 'It's almost done' --- that's
why we all need to cross our fingers again."
Germany, fresh from its 7-1 semifinal win over
host Brazil, will play an Argentina team led by Lionel
Messi at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro
today. The chancellor and German president Joachim
Gauck will travel to Brazil hoping to watch the team
win the trophy.
Merkel did not want to predict the final score,
but said the most important thing is simply that
RIO DE JANEIRO---Brazil police tell local news
media they have arrested 19 people suspected of
vandalism during recent anti-World Cup protests
in Rio de Janeiro.
Saturday morning's arrests are apparently aimed
at preventing more protests during today's final
World Cup match between Argentina and Germany
in Rio's Maracana stadium.
Police tell the G1 news portal says police seized
gas masks, fireworks and firearms.
Calls to the police department for more details
On Friday, police said more than 25,000 soldiers
and police will be deployed in the city today. It's
the biggest security detail in Brazil's history. (AP)
Shakira: I thank
World Cup for
changing my life
Dutch stays unbeaten
RIO DE JANEIRO---Brazil's World Cup
campaign came to a disappointing end as
the hosts lost to the Netherlands 3-0 in
the third-place play-off.
Robin van Persie converted a third-
minute penalty for the Dutch after Thiago
Silva was adjudged to have fouled Arjen
Robben inside the area.
Daley Blind piled further misery on Brazil
when he steered home from the middle of
Brazil improved as Ramires shot wide,
while Oscar was denied a penalty but the
Netherlands wrapped up third place when
Georginio Wijnaldum swept in late on.
It completed what was a hugely disap-
pointing World Cup for Brazil, having start-
ed as one of the tournament favourites
before limping out in embarrassing fashion
with a record 7-1 semi-final defeat by Ger-
many on Tuesday.
As an added insult, Brazil's fiercest rivals,
Argentina, secured their place in the final
24 hours later, beating the Netherlands on
penalties to set up the possibility of winning
the World Cup at Brazilian football's spir-
itual home, the Maracana, today.
Having been backed so vocally through-
out, supporters turned on the team in the
Germany game, cheering the opposition
attacks and directing loud boos at their
own players, but in particular coach Luiz
Felipe Scolari, whose long-term future as
national team boss is now in huge doubt.
In the build-up to yesterday's game,
Scolari had spoken of the need to play with
honour and restore some of the country's
wounded pride, giving what is often seen
as a needless fixture an added sense of
For the Netherlands, it likely remained
little more than an unnecessary additional
game, having perhaps overachieved in their
run to the semi-finals where they lost on
penalties to Argentina.
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal, whose
attention now turns to new club Manches-
ter United, said play-off games should
never be played.
Brazil's fans throughout the tournament
have packed homes, bars and fan parks to
watch the action, leaving streets near
empty, and there was little indication in
the build-up to the game that their interest
Thousands had descended on the fan
park in Rio de Janeiro, while the Estadio
Nacional was close to capacity.
When the teams emerged from the tun-
nel to go through their pre-match warm-
ups, the players were greeted by loud cheers,
which were significantly louder when their
injured talisman Neymar appeared.
The striker - who scored four goals before
a back injury ruled him out of the Germany
debacle - was wearing a full training kit
but watched from the bench as his team-
mates went on to the pitch.
It seemed the Brazilian fans were deter-
mined to support their team but they also
made it known they had not forgotten the
defeat by Germany as loud boos rang out
when the names of Scolari and beleaguered
striker Fred were read out.
It was as rousing a rendition of the
anthem as any throughout the tournament,
but thoughts of redemption lasted barely
three minutes, when Brazil captain Silva
pulled back Robben and the referee awarded
a penalty, which Van Persie expertly con-
The home fans were stunned into silence,
but it was to get worse barely 15 minutes
later when they conceded a second. This
time defender David Luiz headed a tame
clearance straight to Blind and the Dutch
defender found the top corner for his first
Brazilian faces were sullen, perhaps fear-
ful of similar capitulation that saw Brazil
concede five goals in just 18 minutes against
They improved as the half wore on, but
it was not enough for the players to avoid
being booed as they trudged towards the
Pele remembers despair of Maracana final
RIO DE JANEIRO---It's the
day of the last World Cup finale
in Brazil. Pele is nine years old.
Back then, he's just Edson
Arantes do Nascimento.
Edson has been playing out-
side. He rushes into his house
and notices his father is crying.
Brazil has just lost to Uruguay
at its sacred Maracana Stadium
in Rio de Janeiro. The nation has
been thrown into mourning.
"Eight years later in the World
Cup in Sweden I saw my father
cry again but with happiness
because we won the World
Cup," Pele said yesterday, the
eve of the final's return after 64
years to the Maracana.
He adds: "I have luck."
With that first World Cup tri-
umph in Stockholm in 1958 (the
17-year-old Pele scored twice in
the final), a footballer and a team
of Brazilians began a World Cup
legacy that captured five titles,
three of them for the man now
known as Pele. No team or play-
er can match that record.
Today, Pele, now 73, will
watch the final at the Maracana,
one of 74,000 people --- around
100,000 less than crammed into
the arena in 1950 --- at one of
sport's most glorious events.
Sadly for him and 200 million
others, Brazil won't be there, but
the man revered for 50 years as
the world's best player, the
favourite son of the most cel-
ebrated team, will be.
He won't be the main attrac-
tion or even a sideshow at the
2014 final. Unless FIFA and local
organisers spring a major sur-
prise, Pele won't be part of the
glittering closing ceremony that
will include Brazilian supermodel
The man who did more than
anyone to make Brazil the No.
1 football nation on the planet
has barely been seen during the
His interview with The Asso-
ciated Press yesterday is at a
sponsor's event for Subway
restaurants. He is sitting in a
small backroom in Rio wearing
a bright yellow Brazil shirt with
a gold cross hanging from his
neck and says he's not fussed
that he won't be at the centre
of things today at the Maracana.
Soon after the interview, Pele
popped up at the counter to help
make some sandwiches. The
crush of reporters and television
cameras that pushed him back
at one point was shrugged off
with a smile and a joke: "Hey,
if you don't play nicely I will
push you all outside!" he said
In the back office, Pele told
the AP he picked four teams to
do well at this World Cup: final-
ists Germany and Argentina, and
Brazil and Spain. Spain, the
defending champion, was
knocked out in the first round.
Fifa's President Sepp Blatter, second left, gives Netherlands' head coach Louis van Gaal
his medal during the award ceremony after the World Cup third-place soccer match
between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, yesterday.
Subway Global Ambassador and Brazilian soccer legend Pele,
serves a sandwich to a lucky customer at a Subway restaurant in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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