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And That Was LFW On The 2007 Copa America!

And so after a great three weeks of football it is time for us to take a break and then get back to the day jobs and make some money.

Thanks to everyone who dropped by, we’ve really enjoyed meeting up here with so many other fans of Latin football and come the end of August we’d like to come back and keep it going.

So we’d like to ask if people out there would be interested in a more regular blog on football from South America and if so what kind of thing they would like to see in it – is there an interest in news and views on the club scene here or are people more interested in the international game and the World Cup qualifiers which kick off shortly?

Post a comment on what you’d be interested in and hopefully many of us can reconvene here again in a few weeks time.

Also it has been suggested that we send out an e-mail notifying people about when we are back up and running again. If you are interested in receiving this then e-mail us at: latinfootballworld@gmail.com
and we’ll send out an e-mail notifying you when we’re back again.

Goes without saying we’ll treat your details with total confidentiality and never share them with anyone else.

We’ll be in touch

Cheers

Andrew and Tom

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Abreu, Riquelme, Zidane….and Antonin Panenka

I watched the Argentina-Mexico game last night in Maracaibo with some Argentine and Mexican colleagues and after Riquelme’s chipped penalty and we got to talking about the inevitable – how one day a goalkeeper is going to stand still and the penalty taker will end up looking like a fool.

The Mexican colleague told us it already happened in Mexico, and believe it or not to Sebastian Abreu, the same man who successfully tried the stunt against Brazil the night before last.

Apparently Abreu, who played for Monterrey, tried to chip in a penalty against Chiapas and the keeper stood his ground. (Unfortunately we can’t find any video of it.) Abreu looked like an idiot but they don’t call him El Loco Abreu for nothing and he wasn’t afraid to try it again on a much larger stage on Tuesday night. (What cojones!)

We also got to talking about the origins of such cheeky penalties. The first guy we can ever remember pulling it off, or even trying it, was Antonin Panenka, who beat the great Sepp Maier in the penalty decider of the 1976 European Championship.

Back then it was a novelty. Now it seems to be gaining in popularity. Riquelme’s last night was lovely, as was Abreu’s against Brazil.

But goalkeepers or goalkeeping coaches would do well to follow the lead of German keeper Jens Lehmann, who researched how opponents hit their penalties. That research helped him keep out the Argentines in the quarter finals last year.

Of course, the way to beat even that system is to do it a la Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final and not chip it into the middle of the goal but into the top corner. Like this.

If anyone else has stories of particularly special Panenkas – or even better, unsuccessful ones – then drop us a line. We’d love to hear them.

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Chile Slap Six With 20-Game Ban

The six Chilean players accused of running amok in a hotel room after their match against Mexico last week have been banned from representing their country for 20 games each, the country’s FA said.

Jorge Vargas, Pablo Contreras, Rodrigo Tello, Jorge Valdivia, Reinaldo Navia and Álvaro Ormeño were accused of attacking employees in the hotel restaurant, throwing food and insulting female guests. They are banned for 20 games, will not receive any bonus payments due from this Copa America and they can never captain their country, the FA said in a statement.

An official later said the players could appeal to reduce the punishment after sitting out 10 games. 

The Chilean players were given time off to relax on July 5 after their 0-0 draw with Mexico ensured them a quarter final tie against Brazil. However, things got out of hand and the hotel lodged an official complaint at the players’ behaviour.

Worst was to come for the Chileans on the field as Brazil humiliated them 6-1 and knocked them out the competition.

The news was particularly harmful to Reinaldo Navia. Chilean news reports said his club Colo-Colo had decided not to renew his contract because of the incident and were looking for a replacement in Argentina.

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Chilean Coach Acosta Resigns

Chilean coach Nelso Acosta resigned today, three days after his side were beaten 6-1 and dumped out of a disastrous Copa America.

Acosta’s team won just one of their four matches and conceded 11 goals. They were also embarassed off the field when a group of players were accused of taking part in a drunken rampage after drawing with Mexico and qualifying for the quarter finals.

Acosta, 63, said it was time to make way for a new coach and made vague references to the abuse he took as the national manager.

“I am retiring from the national side after I think 10 years in charge and making some history,” he said, fighting back tears. “They can now take their time and choose a new coach.”

“It is not right that the man in charge is attacked every time something happens,” Acosta added. “People should be careful, they must have some respect.”

Acosta took Chile to the World Cup in France in 1998 with players like Ivan Zamorano and Marcelo Salas in the ranks but they drew their three matches and were hammered 4-1 by Brazil in the knock out stages.

After a brief spell in charge of Bolivia in 2004 he returned to take over at Chile again in 2005 but could not take them to the same heights as during his first term.

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Today’s Headlines

“Brazil repeat steps to victory in 2004” – Folha de S.Paulo on the similarities between this Copa campaign and the one in 2004 – second in their group, cruise through the quarters and Uruguay in the semis.

“Robinho seeks career milestone” – Lance on Robinho’s quest to finish top scorer for the first time in a competition.

“A clásico worth a place in the final” – El Pais, Montevideo

“Tevez or Milito is the question for Basile” – La Nacion, Argentina

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Today’s Headlines

“Argentina builds another goal-fest to affirm a route with intimidates” – La Nacion, Argentina

“Basile: This was our best game” – Clarín, Argentina

“The made us dance a tango” – Todo Sport, Peru

“They played like never before…..and won like never before” – El Universal, Mexico

“The catastrophe of the national team” – Ultima Hora, Paraguay

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What You’ve Been Waiting For – The Copa America Song!

Everywhere you go in Venezuela you hear snatches of the Copa America theme song. It’s typically tropical and like Venezuela itself full of life. We think it’s rather catchy but you decide for yourself here. Three Lions it is not.

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