He came into the tournament as the world's best player, but the Real Madrid star failed to deliver, not helped by the lacklustre performances of his team-mates, as Portugal won only one game. He joins Diego Maradona (1982), Marco van Basten (1990), Zinedine Zidane (2002), Ronaldinho (2006) and Lionel Messi (2010) in the group of superstars who couldn't find their form on the biggest stage.
Little Street Kisses
In a proactive move, an organisation called Little Street Kisses distributed thousands of pamphlets to visiting World Cup fans in Recife last week. The leaflet, which advised sports fans the rules of engagement with local sex workers, included these gems:
• A deal is a deal and she's a professional. This business has nothing to do with love, no matter how much fun you had.
• Sometimes, things just don't work out. If it happens to you, don't worry. Keep calm and try again later.
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• There are no guarantees in this business. If you are unsatisfied, mention it, but keep calm. Never ask for your money back.
• Alcohol might make you relax, but might make things more difficult later. Less, in this case, may mean more!
Meeting the Bullet Man
He scored arguably the greatest free kick in history, and 20 years later people are still asking him how he did it. Roberto Carlos, back in Brazil as a World Cup commentator for a local television network, told the Herald on Sunday it was probably the most common question he fielded from fans. The freakish set-piece, scored by the fullback against France in 1997, was even studied by a team of French scientists. Carlos, who was nicknamed El Hombre bala (the Bullet Man) for his ability to strike free kicks at more than 160km/h, missed Brazil's clash with New Zealand at the 1999 Confederations Cup in Mexico. But he was part of the team that beat the All Whites 4-0 in Switzerland in their final warm-up game before the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The double devils
The headline of the week goes to Salvador's A Tarde newspaper, after the second round matches last Tuesday. "Um Triunfo dos diabos" ("A victory for the two devils") headed the front page of the sports section. It was referring to Belgium's win (they are known as the Red Devils) along with Argentina's last-gasp win over Switzerland.
Double = less troubleOf the many elaborate costumes seen in and around the stadiums at this World Cup, German fan Rolf Schneider has come up with one of the best - and simplest. The Herald on Sunday caught up with him in Fortaleza, wearing his half Brazil, half Germany shirt, which he made by cutting two replica shirts in half and sewing them together. "People seem to like it," he said. "And it keeps everyone happy." Schneider, who was also wearing half-length lederhosens, predicted Germany would lose in the semifinals, "like we always do".
Local media goes crazy
Media coverage here has reached incredible levels. One national daily newspaper has a 12-page sports section devoted almost entirely to the World Cup, with only quarter of a page on other events such as Wimbledon. It's also the same space given to a daily World Cup crossword about the tournament's history, facts and figures.