With only two days to go and excitement building another strange phenomenon is starting to appear. Football fever is said to be rampaging in several countries around the world. It manifests itself in several different ways and can lead to anything from singing and dancing in the streets to driving around in cars which have been painted in the patients national colors. The funny thing is to look at anyone who has this strange disease you would not think there was anything wrong with them. It also takes different forms in different countries.
In England for example, the home of the football which seems to be the cause of the disease, every four years there is a slump in production tied in to a large rise in people missing from work. The only place this does not happen is in the pubs which is kind of strange. Maybe there is some special medicine which you can get in them. One pub in Manchester has seen the manager changing his name to Fabio Capello and all the staff changing their names to Wayne Rooney for the duration of the World Cup.
Its not all bad news though, the Russians were able to announce a 70% fall in crime rates while their team was in action during USA 94 and Bangladeshi students had had their exams moved until the 14th July a short period after the final has been played . Brazilian banks on the other hand have been told they can close if they want during matches to avoid the opportunities of raids on their branches and vans while the Brazil national team are in action.
Algeria's sales of plasma TV's have hit the roof in preparation for their first appearance in 24 years with some people retiring early so they do not miss a minute of the action. In 2006 the residents of Khartoum in Sudan, sat in the dark and watched the matches after their local power company warned of power cuts if they overused some of their household appliances. So watch out for outbreaks of this deadly disease, it should start appearing in a country near you in about 2 days if I was to hazard a guess.
World Cup Spread Betting news this morning sees both Joe Cole and Michael Ballack being released on free transfers which should start a bit of a scramble especially for Cole. Portugal have been hit with the news that Nani is out of their plans after he injured his collarbone. There are also concerns over Pepe who is trying to regain fitness in time for the kickoff. Spain's Andres Iniesta is to undergo a scan to determine the extent of an injury he picked up in the 6-0 thrashing of Poland. The Spanish are starting to fire on all cylinders now even though they are trying to play down the favorite's tag which has been attached. Arjen Robben will miss Holland's first match. John Terry says he is concerned by the altitude and hopes the team will have fully acclimatised by Saturday. He is also looking forward to renew his partnership with Ledley King which began many moons ago when the pair played together for Senrab, a Sunday league side in London.
And finally, beware of Argentina after Lionel Messi came out and said that player for player there is no better team at this years World Cup. He's dead right if they can just bring it all together and play as a cohesive unit.