Dutch stars refused penalties, Neymar agent attacks Scolari
World Cup whispers: Vlaar volunteers, Scolari feels the heat, Belgian beauty scores contract
DOUBLE DUTCH REFUSAL
Unlucky Dutch defender Ron Vlaar only took the first penalty of Holland's World Cup semi-final shootout against Argentina after two of his team mates refused, according to manager Louis van Gaal. The Aston Villa centre back, who had a magnificent match, failed with his effort and Argentina went on to win the tie. Van Gaal also said that he would have replaced goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with Tim Krul had he any substitutions left. Cillessen, who has never saved a penalty, could not stop any of Argentina's efforts.
SCOLARI RIDES THE STORM...
Brazil's disgraced head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has announced he'll make a decision on his future after Saturday's third place play-off against Holland in Brasilia. Scolari guided the Selecao to their fifth World Cup title in 2002, but all that has been forgotten in the aftermath of Brazil's humiliation in Tuesday's semi-final. The Brazilian press are now clamouring for his resignation, reports the BBC, but Scolari is insistent he'll only consider his future once the tournament is over: "The end of the World Cup is Saturday, that's when we'll decide”.
...BUT NEYMAR'S AGENT TWISTS THE KNIFE
One person who has made up his mind when it comes to Big Phil is the agent of crocked striker Neymar. With shock of the 7-1 semi-final drubbing now wearing off the blame-game has begun and Wagner Ribeiro kicked things off by describing Scolari as an "arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous old jerk". He also released a sarcastic six-point list of requirements for Brazil's next coach which stated that the ideal candidate would have been sacked by Chelsea, coached in Uzbekistan and won nothing with Portugal... Andre Villas-Boas anyone?
ZABALETA'S NEW LOOK
Following his side's semi-final triumph over Holland, Argentina's balding right-back Pablo Zabaleta cut an unusual figure during the post-match celebrations. The Man City man, who has two Premier League titles and an FA Cup to his name, showed that you never get used to winning by donning a fetching blue wig that offset the giant plaster covering much of his face - the result of a nasty cut picked up during the game. The 29-year-old even posted a selfie on Twitter so fans could enjoy the full impact of his new look.
Orgulloso de ser ARGENTINO!!!! pic.twitter.com/wvDVZmr7kR
— Pablo Zabaleta (@pablo_zabaleta) July 9, 2014
THE GOALS HAVE DRIED UP
What sort of game will the World Cup final be? With one notable exception the high-scoring football of the group games has vanished in the knock-out stages to be replaced by the all-too-familiar cautious approach. Seven of the knock-out games have gone to extra time and four to penalties. The eight round of 16 games produced just 18 goals, and the four quarter finals only managed five. Argentina have scored two goals in 340 minutes of knock-out football. The final could be 1990 all over again.
L'OREAL SIGNS UP BELGIAN BEAUTY
One fan who will have good reason to remember the World Cup fondly is Belgian teenager Axelle Despiegelaere, who became something of a favourite with cameramen during the early stages of the tournament. Pictures of the blonde 17-year-old in her Red Devils outfit in Brazil went viral and now she has landed a modelling job after she was spotted by L'Oreal. Her first "beauty tutorial" for the brand in Belgium has been watched half-a-million times in less than two days.