In Depth

Mexican coach becomes a hero, as Villa ends career in tears

World Cup whispers: crazy coaches, amorous armadillos and centre-Barack Obama

Mexico manager Miguel Herrera
MEXICAN COACH IS VALUE FOR MONEY

Another week and another Mexican hero. After the brilliance of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa against Brazil, it was manager Miguel Herrera who stole the limelight as Mexico booked their place in the last 16 with a win 3-1 win over Croatia. He might be the lowest-paid coach at the finals (earning in a year what Fabio Capello gets in a week) but his touchline antics mean he is probably the best value. His reaction to Mexico's win over Croatia was priceless, as were his haircuts in the 1980s.

VILLA IN TEARS AS SPAIN CAREER ENDS

David Villa's international career ended with Spain's 3-0 win over Australia and he signed off with delightful back-heeled goal. But Spain's all-time leading scorer, with 59 goals in 97 games, couldn't hold back the tears when he was substituted in the 57th minute, and a glittering career that saw him win the World Cup and European Championship ended. Manager Vincent del Bosque said he was unaware it was the 32-year-old's last game. Other Spain legends including Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Iker Casillas will also call it quits after the tournament.

NAUGHTY ARMADILLO CAUGHT ON CAMERA

World Cup mascots are not supposed to bump and grind with scantily clad samba dancers, but try telling that to Brazil's very own Fuleco the Armadillo, who was filmed getting down and dirty at a promotional event at Rio. The footage will not help his "supposedly child-friendly image", reports Australian website News.com. It's not the first time Fuleco has courted controversy. The decision to choose an armadillo as mascot was criticised after it was claimed that Brazil's preparations for the tournament were actually destroying the creatures' habitat.

DYKE READS A DEATH IN BRAZIL

FA chairman Greg Dyke's choice of reading matter during an England training session in Belo Horizonte ahead of the their final group game against Costa Rica appeared strangely fitting. The former BBC director general could be seen poring over A Death in Brazil, not the story of England's World Cup campaign but a treatise on Brazil's "history of slavery and the richly multicultural but disturbed society that was left in its wake", by Australian auther Peter Robb.

MUGS MISTAKE SMALLING FOR OBAMA

Cricket fans may remember a set of mugs famously proclaiming England spinner Ashley Giles the 'King of Spain' a few years ago, but a firm producing World Cup merchandise has gone one better by mistaking Manchester United defender Chris Smalling for the most powerful man on earth, US president Barack Obama, reports the Daily Mail. The mugs are now being sold for £1 a pop. It is believed that in their efforts to get royalty free pictures of the England players the company accidentally picked a picture of Obama.

GERMAN STARS TRY RUGBY

German players, who are as good as through to the last 16, warmed up for their final group game against the USA on Thursday by training with a rugby ball. The game doesn't have much of a following in Germany, but English-based players including Lukas Podolski showed some of their team mates how to play. However, there was some confusion as they appeared to end up playing American football.

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