but this week a "head butt" has launched 100 times as many discussions on websites, news programmes and editorial columns. Why did French footballer Zidane head butt Italian Marco Materazzi in the chest? Since the incident during the world cup finals last Sunday, rumours have run rife about what the Italian defender said, to get what's been called an out of character reaction from the French Midfielder. Newspapers and TV channels have hired lip-readers to find out, but they didn't reach the same conclusion. In a TV appearance on Wednesday, Zidane said Materazzi insulted his mother and his sister, without giving any extra details. The star midfielder acknowledged that his gesture was inexcusable, but he said he had no regrets. FIFA has launched an investigation into the incident. In the meantime, Zidane's now notorious head butt has inspired a light hearted song which is set to become a summer anthem in France.
For the past four weeks, media around the world has been dominated by the World Cup. So much so that it makes you wonder how people occupy their time before the tournament got underway. All of football crazy Europe has been glued to TV screens over the past month. Here's just a taste of what's been keeping soccer fans on the edges of their seats!
Now, as the Soccer World Cup draws to an end in Germany, a new competition kicks off. For talented footballers who have won glory for their country now starts the courtship by rival soccer clubs eager to boost their ranks. And after the performances on the field, big business will also be flexing its own "corporate" muscle. Footballers with the right looks have historically found themselves swamped with lucrative offers for product endorsements and can quickly find themselves being the face of a new advertising campaign for soft drinks, training shoes or deodorants. So which stars of the 'The Beautiful Game' have potential for making money with their looks off the field? Ben Fajzullin has this alternative perspective on the World Cup from Berlin.
The Football World Cup is in full swing in Germany. Teams from 32 countries have been battling it out on the playing field, in international football' s biggest event. The Germans are very proud to play host country, which partly explains why the mood there is one of celebration. One aspect of that, appears to be the development of what is being called "positive patriotism." An odd expression, but in Germany, where patriotism has been viewed with much suspicion since the end of World War Two, it marks a real change in attitude.
The world's biggest football event in the world is taking place in Germany at the moment. Inevitably, big business makes the most of an event of this kind. But the World Cup's commercialisation has reached epic proportions. Emirate airlines, McDonalds, Mastercard, and all the other brands crowd in to try and profit from the feel-good factor that surrounds the championships. Phenomena such as VIP areas, the World Cup lottery, and the privileges of sponsors have created a gap that leaves the 'poor' fan on the outside, looking in. German investigators are currently investigating one sponsor - the EnBW energy group - which stands accused of giving match tickets to politicians and government employees. Deutsche Welle reports.
The World Cup football which kicked off on June 9, will draw hundreds of thousands of football aficionados from around the planet. Here is a piece for football fans who were lucky enough to bag tickets for the event, and who do not know Germany nor the Germans very well. Deutsche Welle has this humorous Postcard.
English football fans have a bit of a reputation. But the British government wants to change that. About three-and-a-half thousand Brits, convicted of football-related violence, will have to hand in their passports to police this week. And that'll force these hooligans to give up their tickets to the World Cup. Deutsche Welle has this report on British efforts to keep the peace in Germany:
Several of the most fancied teams failed to impress at the last World Cup. Argentina, France and Portugal were all knocked out as early as the group stage. Their poor performances were partly due to a long club season. A lot of the world's best players were exhausted by the time the World Cup came up. So is that going to be the case this time round? Radio Prague talks to Czech Republic and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Europe's best striker would have to be Thierry Henry from France. The French team is impressive. It also has Zinedine Zidane who plays for Madrid, Trezeguet and Vierra at Juventus, William Gallas from Chelsea. But the question is can they play as a collective? Radio France International has more.
The World Cup is going to be good for business in Germany. But what about the oldest trade of them all - prostitution? Sex workers are also gearing up for the championships. A lot of ladies will be coming from Poland for the event. And hot on their heels are going to be - not just football fans - but also a group of nuns. More from Radio Polonia.
Tickets for the World Cup aren't the easiest to get a hold of and they aren't all that cheap. And then there are travel expenses, hotels and food that football fans have to finance. The Swedes have come up with a clever idea. Hoards of football fans there are planning on caravaning around Germany during the World Cup. It's certainly a good way to get to the various games which are being held in 12 different cities, as Radio Sweden discovers.
This webpage receives support from the European Union