The Highlight Reel: 'Hola, Jose...' A very special phone call

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Both are extroverts, have a winning personality, a taste for controversy, a reputation for being mavericks, a love of the limelight, and the unflinching loyalty of their players. So it's no great surprise that Maradona and Mourinho should be kindred spirits. "I like Mourinho a lot", the Argentina coach says.

"He seemed to me a guy to take to your bedside table and ask him each time you need something".

It's perhaps best not to speculate about the great man's nocturnal requirements, given his long and rather chequered history. "I've got his phone number, I might call him," Napoli's favourite adopted son added about his new compadre.

'Au revoir to the Italians'

David Pleat got rather confused in the excitement of the world champions going out yesterday. "It's au revoir to the Italians!" he shrieked on Five Live, recalling the glory days of Alan Partridge.

Did u txt any1?

What with fans in England tweeting via their phones, a record number of text messages were sent on Wednesday (260 million) – smashing the previous record of 253 million on New Year's Day.

J'accuse, Ginola!

Has David Ginola been going heavy on that Carte Noir again? He used to advertise it after all. The former Tottenham man's ongoing spat with Gérard Houllier has re-erupted, after the latter blamed him yet again for France's failure to qualify for USA '94 (Ginola's overhit cross led to the crucial Bulgarian goal).

"In 2010, 17 years after, when I see the same person go on television and talk about this event where they treated me like a criminal for too long a cross, I'm sorry, I find this over the top," Ginola has told L'Equipe. "It's enough! Until my death they are going to talk to me about this! If at the time Gérard Houllier hadn't said these type of things, they wouldn't talk to me about this now. It affects my personal life, my children, it affects a lot of things, it's intolerable. Now, it's enough. I'm so sick of it... I have decided to press charges".

Goodness. Houllier is steadfast: " Non, je ne regrette rien," he didn't say, but might have done.

Hard-hitting journalism

Not so much highlight as lowlight: Rafik Saifi, the Algerian player, disgracefully slapped a female journalist after his team went out to a last-gasp US win. Asma Halimi, from Algerian newspaper Competition, felt the force of Saifi's frustration. The pair had fallen out over a piece she'd written. Thankfully, revenge was sweet, and instant: Halimi returned the compliment – but her lengthy nail caught Saifi on the lip, drawing blood. The player threw a drink bottle in disgust but was led away. "I said nothing to him and he reached over and hit me," Halimi said. "So I hit him back. I said nothing to him first."

Own goal from Bill?

Bill Clinton has shared his unique view of the USA v Algeria match. "When that sucker went in there, I said, 'Thank God for overtime'." By "sucker", he means goal. Awesome. Sepp Blatter meanwhile, who sat next to the former President, revealed via his must-read Twitter page another of Bill's conversational gems: "At the game, Bill Clinton told me 'football connect people'. I couldn't agree more, it's what the World Cup's about." Deep. They'd make a heroic addition to the cursed ITV pundit sofa.

Ich bin ein Berwinner

A headline in German newspaper Berlin BZ reads: "Yes! Now we are going to sort out the little English girlies."


The inevitable has happened. Football's domination of the internet is nearing completion. The sound of this summer simply won't go away: YouTube has installed a vuvuzela button. Click on the little football at the bottom of the video screen. Then cover your ears.