Six of the highest-paid players in World Cup 2010 have lost up to $21 million collectively because of the euro's slide.
LIONEL MESSI (Argentina): Shy, only 22, and already considered the best soccer player in the world, he’s a magician with the ball. You’ll need slow motion to keep track of his footwork once he starts weaving through opponents inside the box. He scored one goal in his first World Cup appearance, in 2006, which also made him, at age 18, the youngest player to play for Argentina in the World Cup. “Messi is a creature as biologically adapted to play football as a shark is to smell blood, a salmon to swim upstream, a squirrel to gather nuts,” says the London Times. He plays professionally for Barcelona. Soccer fans in Pretoria, South Africa, wave to Messi and teammate Juan Sebastian Veron during practice on June 6.
Italy's Andrea Pirlo, Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba, England's David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand are all either out of the World Cup or listed as questionable. Here's a rundown of which other key players may miss the Cup.
Italy's Andrea Pirlo, Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba, England's David Beckham, and Rio Ferdinand are all out of the World Cup – or listed as questionable. Here's a rundown of other key players who may miss the Cup.
ITALY - $35.8 billion: No. 10 but spending less. Over the past decade, Rome decreased state military spending by 13.3 percent – more than any other country in the top 10. According to Stockholm-based SIPRI's annual report, of the 19 states in the G20, only Argentina, Indonesia, and Italy did not increase their military spending in 2009. A comrade holds a photo of Italian Army Sgt. Maj. Roberto Valente in Naples, Italy, on Sept. 17 after Valente was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Handsome Dan, Yale University's bulldog mascot, stands near future graduates during commencement at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., on Monday.
Ivory Coast's defender Kolo Toure (c.) heads the ball next to Japan's forward Takayuki Morimoto (r.) during a friendly match between the national soccer teams of Ivory Coast and Japan at the Stade de Tourbillon in Sion on June 4 ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Ivory Coast will play in group G and Japan will play in group E.
A member of Brazil's Xikrin Nation holds a baby before the Indigenous Nations' Games in Pagagominas, Brazil, in November 2009. A French documentary by Thomas Balmes, "Babies," opened the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on April 29. The Focus Features film followed four babies in four places - Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco, and Tokyo – through their first year.
England soccer legend David Beckham – arguably the biggest British import since the Beatles – suffered an heel injury Sunday night that is expected to prevent him from playing in June's World Cup.
Manchester United prodigal son David Beckham returns home to Old Trafford for the first time in seven years today, representing AC Milan in a clash for a quarterfinal place in the European Champions League, the world's richest club soccer competition. There's a brewing insurgency in Manchester, though, against the clubs US owner Malcolm Glazer.