Argentina want the Falklands, piranha soup for England?
World Cup whispers: Argentina banner causes controversy, but England stars admire the view
FALKLANDS FURORE Three days before football's showpiece event gets underway and the first controversy has arrived. Argentina defeated Slovenia 2-0 in their final friendly before the World Cup, but the match at La Plata, north of Buenos Aires, was overshadowed by a pre-match stunt as the Argentine squad unfurled a banner on which was written: "Las Malvinas Son Argentinas (The Falklands are Argentine)". The Daily Telegraph says the banner is "regularly put on show before Argentina's games" but such a stunt so close to the World Cup is likely to lead to tension with England, who went to war with Argentina over the Falklands in 1982
ENGLAND SETTLE IN After a goalless draw with Honduras – and an eight-and-a-half hour flight from Miami – England wasted little time settling into their new World Cup digs yesterday. Habitual Instagramers Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge took to social media to mark their arrival at Rio's Royal Tulip Hotel. Sturridge posted a panoramic video of his hotel room view, while Oxlade-Chamberlain showed-off an idyllic photo of England’s beachfront base. Ross Barkley and Steven Gerrard posted similar pictures on their accounts.
SOUP WITH A BITE So what sort of grub awaits England and their supporters when they arrive in the Amazonian city of Manaus later this week? Earlier this month Associated Press sent a reporter to sample some dishes and they recommended the 'calda de piranha' – or what we in England would call Piranha Soup. Then there are Bijus, a bit like an omlette consisting of banana, cheese slices, fried eggs and crushed Brazil nuts, and also the tart 'mari mari' fruit that looks like a "giant string bean".
TAKE A PUNT Fancy a bet on the World Cup? Metro offers some good odds guaranteed to make you rich, or perhaps poor. Neymar is favourite to finish the tournament top-scorer with odds of 10/1, but what about a long shot on Bosnia and Manchester City hitman Edin Dzeko at 66/1? From Bosnia to Belgium, and Metro advises punters to back Belgium to reach the semi-finals at odds of 13/2. Closer to home and if you fancy putting a few quid on England, why not a tenner on Danny Welbeck to finish as the Three Lions’ top scorer. His odds are 9/1.
SUAREZ IS 'PSYCHOLOGICALLY SPECTACULAR' The Guardian reports that Liverpool and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez is confident he recover from knee surgery to help fire his country out of Group D and into the knockout phase. The striker has been helped in his rehab by a simple elastic band and he could even be ready to play in Uruguay’s group opener against Costa Rica on Saturday. "Psychologically, I've been spectacular," declared Suarez. "At no time did I feel pressured, at no time have I felt sad because at no point did I think there was a chance of me missing the World Cup."
BECKS BACKS ROONEY David Beckham has lent his support to Wayne Rooney, just days after Paul Scholes questioned whether the England striker's best days are behind him. "When opposing teams see Wayne Rooney's name on an England teamsheet, it still scares them," Beckham said, although it didn't seem to scare either Ecaudaor or Honduras last week. "I will always back Wazza because he is a great talent," added Becks.