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28 The Ocelot Wo


From the World Cup kick-off on June 11 to the final on July 11, there’ll be no escaping football this month. England is in Group C and will be playing the USA on June 12, Algeria on June 18 and Slovenia on June 23. Below is a guide to who’s who in which group with a few random facts thrown in for good measure.....


Group A


South Africa These guys won the last time they hosted a World Cup. Alright that was rugby, but you never know. Weird Fact - South Africa has 11 official languages.


Argentina With the hand of God they won in 1986. God won’t be needed this year as they’ve got Messi. Weird Fact - Argentina has 12,000 public telephones.


Mexico - The inventors of the Mexican wave might be hiding a few tricks under their sombreros. Weird Fact - Mexico introduced chocolate, corn, and chilies to the world.


Nigeria - With players like Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke this team will definitely make life difficult for commentators. Weird Fact - Nigeria is the most populous African country


England - England has a knack of getting its country’s hopes up before dashing them at the quarter final stages. We all pray they can do a bit better this time. Expect to see lots of St George’s Crosses everywhere.Weird Fact - Rooney isn’t actually Shrek.


Uruguay Having won the World Cup in 1930 and 1950, you might think thy stood a chance but you’d be wrong. Weird Fact - No- one I know has ever met someone from Uruguay.


Group B


Greece A surprise win at Euro 2004 means they can’t be ruled out. Watch out for any large wooden horses wheeled onto the pitch. Weird Fact There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet.


Group C


USA - Those yanks might now have Barack for president but bizarrely they didn’t pick him for the team. Expect them to wear big shoulder pads and helmets. Weird Fact - New York isn’t actually the capital city.


Algeria - The land of Albert Camus is not expected to do too well in the cup. Weird Fact - Women make up 70 % of Algeria's lawyers and 60 % of its judges.


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Slovenia - This EU country only became independent after the break-up of Yugoslavia but they do take their footie seriously. Weird Fact The Slovenian school leaving age is 14.


South Korea is considered the most successful national soccer team in Asia. Park Ji-Sung plays for Man U. Weird Fact - South Korea has the world's highest estimated national IQ


France - With Thierry Henry, Anelka and Ribery in the national side the French can’t be ignored. Weird Fact - Carla Bruni is actually really fit.


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