Advice for England

BERLIN: Bild newspaper gave England some charitable advice on how to take spot kicks after Germany’s rivals lost, as usual, on penalties. With Germany having made it four out of four shootout wins against Argentina and England having made it four out of five losses after missing three of four kicks, Bild explained patiently: “The ball has to go in the goal.”

Prodi to cheer Italians

DORTMUND: Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi intends to cheer on Italy against Germany in their their semi-final on Tuesday. “I will follow the match between Italy and Germany. It will be a tough match and therefore I must back the Italian team,” Prodi said, adding he had been invited to attend by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Sporting events are a part of bilateral relations,” Prodi said.

No hat-trick yet

BERLIN: The World Cup is still waiting for its first hat-trick after 138 goals scored in the opening 60 games. With just four games left nobody has notched a treble and this could be the first tournament without one. Portugal star Pauleta hit the last one in Korea against Poland four years ago. He now has the chance of a repeat against France in the semis. Miroslav Klose of Germany is also looking for a repeat having hit three goals against Saudi Arabia in 2002. There have been 46 hat-tricks in total to date.

Podolski earns contract

DORTMUND: Lukas Podolski’s good form at the World Cup, where he has scored three goals, has seen him earn a new contract with clothing firm Adidas. “Lukas Podolski represents a new generation of players who will make their mark on international football in years to come,” said Adidas’ Herbert Hainer. Podolski, who has just joined Bayern Munich from Cologne, has already been involved with the firm for two years.