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The Independent Culture
As an antidote to the season just passed, the International World Cup, for teams culled mostly from London's expatriate community, is the perfect prescription. Over the weekend 32 eleven-a-side teams - either from local leagues, or convened for the occasion - will represent footballing outposts as varied as Ivory Coast, Surinam, India and Chile, as well as the home nations.

The event, in its second year - Sierra Leone beat England 3-1 in last year's final after tossing the Netherlands aside, 4-0 in the semis - follows World Cup format, with groups of four leading to knock out rounds. It all takes place on eight pitches at Malden Vale FC, tomorrow and Sunday, starting 10.30am, Grand Drive, London, SW20.

You might, of course, prefer to watch a jaded national side demonstrate the gulf in technique and team-play between themselves and Brazil (featuring a mere handful of its World Cup winners, including Dunga, above) at Wembley on Sunday (4pm tickets available). This has definite attractions, few of them English. But the delights Brazil served up against Sweden at Villa Park last weekend were another reminder, after a season from hell, what football is all about.

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