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David Gendelman

The party’s over, and we’re already forgetting what she looked like. Futfanatico says reality has already been digested by the Spanish metanarrative, while David Gendelman at Fair Play says we’re all already losers. At True/Slant, Zach Dundas argued before the match that the two squads embodied the two sides of soccer: control versus incident, era versus accident. Fake Sigi says it wasn’t the worst World Cup ever, just “crap soccer masquerad[ing] as the pinnacle of the sport.” And The Globe and Mail’s John Doyle enjoyed watching the upending of North American notions of sport as a series of Hallmark moments.

(Image credit: mallix/Flickr through a Creative Commons license.)

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The Best World Cup Referees: The Aura of Pig-Pen

Some World Cup referees are bad, as we know — while some work on their game presence and prepare as meticulously as Mourinho. “You should know in advance what could happen,” says Pierluigi Collina, once considered the best in the game. “You should be informed about the tactics by the teams and the characteristics of the single player, which part they normally play, which part of the field they normally cover, which kind of foot they normally prefer.” (David Gendelman/Fair Play)

The Man Who Shot Salvador Cabanas

Everyone knows who almost killed Salvador Cabanas, the Paraguayan striker shot in the brain in a Mexico City nightclub early one January morning. But this is Mexico, and the coverup is wide — including the police. Meanwhile, Cabanas, who was set to play for Sunderland and possibly in the World Cup, is speaking and playing. He just can’t remember what happened what he did yesterday. (David Gendelman/Fair Play)

Maradona: Viva la Revolución!

The 2008 Emir Kusturica film Maradona by Kusturica isn’t available in the United States — which is apt, given that it reveals Maradona as a revolutionary in short shorts, seeing conspiracies and corrupt power throughout the West and resolved to battle them through soccer…at considerable cost to himself. Even the Hand of God goal was, for Diego, “as if I’d stolen an Englishman’s wallet.” (David Gendelman/Fair Play)