Balls Around The World

Balls Around The World
By Alfredo Garcia Updated

It's World Cup Eve and here are your links of the day.

  • Goldman Sachs may not the be most popular investment bank in the world, but all is forgiven by their fascinating World Cup and Economics Report. You don't have to know your Keynes from your Keanes to get something out of it either.
  • Chelsea will officially release Ballack, Cole and Belletti when their deals run out at the start of July. This had been expected in the case of Cole since Chelsea were unwilling to raise his wages from £80,000 a week to the £100,000 he wanted. Ballack was on £120,000 a week, but was apparently agreeable to a pay cut, so his release is a little more surprising. Belletti was marginalised this year, making only 13 starts, so he can't be surprised. Still, this might be a sign that the Abramovich Gravy Train is slowing down.
  • Steven Strasburg, the most highly paid baseball rookie ever made his big league debut last night, and didn't disappoint. The Big Lead has the story and video.
  • GAA blogger and Mayo man, An Spailpín Fánach, comes to terms with their shocking defeat to Sligo. Bonus points for the Moby Dick quotation.
  • Lakers win Game 3 of the NBA finals in Boston to put them ahead 2-1. Ray Allen certainly fell to Earth in a hurry, following up his record 8 three pointers in Game 2, with only 2 points in Game 3. Video is here.
  • Zonal Marking has a great look at Chile's unusual 3-3-1-3 formation. Despite finishing second in South American qualifying, just one point behind Brazil, they've not attracted much attention. Who knows, maybe they'll finish ahead of Spain, and that much anticipated matchup will be in the second round instead of the final. Zonal Marking is a great site, and he's really pumping out articles at the moment.
  • Rafael Benitez will be the next manager of Internazionale but is apparently in no hurry to sign. Meanwhile Kenny Dalglish wants the Liverpool job, Sven Goran Eriksson has always been a Liverpool supporter, while the Liverpool top brass want Roy Hodgson. Since Hodgson was previously the Inter manager, he would be the symmetrical choice, Dalglish the sentimental, and Eriksson the sycophantic.
  • Slate takes a look back at the professional football leagues of 1920s America. This is all new to me, and really puts their third place in the 1930 World cup in a less surprising light.
  • And finally, Tiger Woods will play at this year's JP McManus Pro Am, along with assorted celebrities. Perhaps he'll get to compare notes on career recovery with Hugh Grant. Just to remind ourselves, here's Tiger's statement on his return to fucking.
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