Argentina coach Diego Armando Maradona was a brilliant player. But as national team manager, there's been more trouble than brilliance – like some of his team picks, for example.
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.
Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan, wearing the pink jersey of the overall leader, touches pink balloons prior to the start of the ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race from Frosinone to Cava De Tirreni, Italy, on Monday.
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.
A glass blower makes a New Years glass bauble at a factory in Klavdiyevo, Ukraine, on Dec. 16.
Tensions between Algeria and Egypt remain high in the wake of Saturday's World Cup match. Gamal Mubarak, Egypt's political heir apparent, is a big soccer fan. The next match: Wednesday.
The soccer team may reside in Spain, but it's raison d'etre is for regional autonomy.