Countdown begins for FIFA 2006

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:40 IST

The FIFA World Cup is just over a fortnight away, and the national squads from across the world are gathering for the biggest sporting extravaganza.

Countdown begins for FIFA 2006
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New Delhi:

The FIFA World Cup is just over a fortnight away, and the national squads from across the world are gathering for the biggest sporting extravaganza. Before leaving, though, the Mexican team prays for some divine intervention. Mexico has never made it past the World Cup quarterfinals, and with an early 2nd round exit in the 2002 WC the team is trying everything they can for a better showing this time around. So much so that the 21 member World Cup squad attended a mass in Mexico city. The country's top churchman blessed the national soccer team on Saturday to chants of "We Can Do It" before the players flew to Europe. Mexico will play friendlies with France and the Netherlands before the World Cup starts next month. German squad assembles The entire German squad for the World Cup assembled in one place for the first time. With just 19 days to go, the German team arrived in Switzerland and took to the field immediately. Much like England, Germany too is saddled with injury worries with six players still battling for full fitness. Even so, coach Jurgen Klinsmann has already programmed two training sessions per day at the new Stade de Geneve. Brazil gearing up Also getting ready to gather as a national team were the Brazilians. Several members of the squad departed the country from various points on Sunday amidst a rapturous send-off from football crazy fans. Brazil is being considered a hot favourite for a sixth title and coincidentally, their training base for the moment is also in Switzerland. "It is marvelous to arrive here and receive this kind of love before boarding. It's the best thing,a€ said Brazilian midfielder Ronaldinho. Football free zone All of Germany may be caught up in football fever, but one restaurant has declared itself a football free zone. Too much of anything is too bad, and that's what the owner of this German restaurant Tapa's Papa's feels. So much so that he has initiated a unique project called the "Football Free Zone.a€ He hastily clarifies that he isn't anti-football, he just doesn't want any television sets in his restaurant. Tapa's Papa's is also selling merchandising over the Internet and surprisingly the idea seems to have found several takers. Yes, even in football crazy Germany.

Topics : Football ICC World Cup, 2011
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