World of Sport

World Paper Round: Black Stars in blackjack party

World of Sport

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How
do you best prepare for a World Cup quarter-final: a bowl of pasta, a Horlicks
and an early night? Not if you are Ghana. The Black Stars were up till gone 2am
in a full-blown casino in Johannesburg.

The
happy-go-lucky Ghana side, who are now Africa's sole representatives in the
tournament, had a long night at the Sun City Hotel casino - a venue in which
smoking and drinking is actively encouraged, according to the Daily Express.

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Black
Stars
boss Milovan Rajevac operates a relaxed approach which would make even
Sven Goran Eriksson appear positively austere and tyranical, and the paper
reveals that the players are unsurprisingly 'absolutely loving' the regime.

The
Sun describes it as a "stupendous PR coup", as the Ghana 'playboys'
chinked beer bottles with journalists and enjoyed a drink and a party two nights
before the biggest match in their country's history.

The
gamble has paid off thus far for Rajevac, in stark contrast to the boot-camp
mentality employed by Fabio Capello at England's camp, and the players have
given the coach a damning verdict, according to the Daily Star (pictured, left).

England's
flops believe the Italian was 'way out of his depth' at the tournament in South
Africa, and cannot understand how he has been so successful elsewhere.

The
same paper lead with the revelations that the squad lost their respect for
Capello due to his frenetic antics on the sidelines, and the way he was
apparently unable to gather his composure.

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Much
as the team has been highly criticised for their inability to perform on the
biggest stage, the players themselves believe their coach was overawed by the
immensity of the tournament.

Manchester
City goalkeeper Shay Given says in The Sun that England were right not to pick
his club team-mate Joe Hart, because selecting the 23-year-old would have
'wrecked' his international career.

The
same paper has Michael Owen begging Capello to 'let me save the Three Lions',
with the striker vowing to bolster impotent England's forward line if selected.

If
you think Owen has confidence in himself, try Fulham forward Bobby Zamora, who
tells the Daily Star "I've always felt I've been top notch" and does
not care if people laugh at him being touted for a spot in the England side.

The
FA
are in turmoil, according to the Daily Express, with another senior official
David Sheepshanks backtracking furiously on an initially supportive backing of
Capello. "Make up your minds!" the paper implores the association.

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The
Daily Mail reveal that the management of the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus are
seriously petrified of their brand spanking new facility being forever cursed
after England's ill-fated stay.

The
Spanish papers are immensely excited ahead of their country's clash with
Paraguay, and AS simply says: "It's Spain time!"

Marca
(pictured, above) hits back at assertions from the Paraguay camp that the South
Americans are going to "intimidate" Spain by lining up profile
pictures of their four "hotshots" - David Villa, Andres Iniesta, Xavi
and Fernando Torres.

In Germany, the papers have striking legend Gerd Mueller lauding new protege Thomas Mueller in TZ, while Bastian Schweinsteiger tells Argentina to "have some respect" in FAZ.

And finally, Argentine newspaper La Nacion (pictured, left) urges Diego Maradona to avoid looking to "match" Germany, and instead "outgun" their quarter-final opponents.

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