Early Doors

Weird World Cup newsround

Early Doors

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On the pitch, each of the four World Cup quarter-finals delivered more than enough thrills to compensate for the underwhelming early rounds of matches.

The Dutch fightback against Brazil that has cost Dunga his job, Germany's drubbing of Argentina, Spain and Paraguay's profligate penalty taking and Luis Suarez's last-minute handball have all provided plenty of memorable moments here in South Africa.

But off the field too, there have been odd events to keep the back pages filled, even without rampaging WAGs and fans to keep the news hacks busy.

Here are some of the odd stories to have come out of the tournament so far:

I'm Pavlos and I actually need the toilet-gate

After the 0-0 draw against Algeria in Cape Town sucked the joy out of the World Cup for everyone, not just England fans, reports of an irate fan berating David Beckham in the England dressing room seemed to capture the mood of a disgruntled nation.

Pavlos Joseph, from Crystal Palace, was arrested after gaining access to the bowels of the stadium after the game, although he claims it was only his own bowels he was interested in.

However, it looks as though the whole thing may have been orchestrated. A Sunday Mirror news hack, Simon Wright, has been accused of harbouring Joseph in a luxury hotel under a false name, and helping him gain access to the stadium in return for exclusive rights to the story.

Joseph has been sent home after paying a £65 'admission of guilt' fine. Wright will have his case heard this week.      

Koreans attempt permanent getaway

After the world finally got to see the North Korean team in action, they were pleasantly surprised to see the Democratic People's Republic side hold the mighty Brazil to a 2-1 defeat.

The result was so unexpected and encouraging that a late deal was sealed to screen the team in action live for the first time back home when they played Portugal in their next game.

However, two of the squad were not getting as whipped up in the frenzy as everyone else, and tried to defect before the match against Ronaldo and co in a bid to escape the hard labour sentence handed out to the 1966 players after they returned home without the trophy.

It was a wise, if ultimately unsuccessful move - Portugal demolished them 7-0. Let's hope we don't see an entirely new 23-man squad come their next fixture.

England lose pride - and pants

The immediate venting of anger following England's exit took many desperate forms.

The players were castigated for carrying on as though they had won the World Cup after their 4-1 defeat to Germany, even though the grainy picture used as the basis of the story showed the players slouched in their seats, Aaron Lennon smoking a cigar and a total of two beer bottles between the eight men in the shot. Hardly the customary scenes of debauchery associated with celebrating footballers.

Ledley King and Ashley Cole were castigated for daring to share a joke as they arrived back at Heathrow more than 24 hours after their elimination, rather than emerge from their flight still wailing like grieving Mediterranean widows.

But a tonic was provided with news that staff at the squad's Bafokeng Sports Complex base had been caught trying to steal a few souvenirs from their exalted guests. As well as cash, clothes and a medal, the news that some of the 'pampered stars' had their underwear stolen was relayed with gleeful schadenfreude.

When baboons attack

Forget Ghana's heartbreaking epic with Uruguay, the highlight of the World Cup for Early Boers thus far was finally seeing a wild baboon galloping along the side of the road in Sun City, after being promised plenty of monkey mayhem.

But Peter Crouch's family were lucky enough to get up close and personal with the majestic beasts when their apartment was raided by them.

Crouch's girlfriend Abby Clancy said: "They were in their hotel room when these three baboons jumped in, walked straight through the bedroom into the lounge to the fruit bowl, took what they wanted and walked out. It's like they knew where the fruit was."

Isn't nature wonderful?

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QUOTE OF THE DAY:  "I must say that at the time I thought it was a bad decision to leave Theo Walcott at home. And I think that has been proved right. I can only speak from experience but he was one of the most dangerous players I have ever played against. Barcelona players are not scared easily but I can tell you that when we played Arsenal last season he truly worried us." - Lionel Messi reveals he was left baffled when he found out Fabio Capello was not bringing Theo Walcott to South Africa.

FOREIGN VIEW: "A change might be what (Ashley Cole) is looking for. When a player is the best in his position in the world and doesn't play for Real Madrid, you have to consider it a waste... I think Madrid's admiration of Steven Gerrard is not a secret. He is at the point now where he needs to win things. I can guarantee that under this Real Madrid set-up he will win things. I really think both of them are Real Madrid-bound." - Spain defender Sergio Ramos is typically understated in claiming the England duo will be at the Bernabeu next season.

COMING UP: There's the Armchair Pundit with his own take on events in South Africa, plenty of analysis from our select squad of experts and the World Cup news ticker will be ticking away with, er, World Cup news.

It's stage two of the Tour de France today. You can keep up-to-date either via our live commentary and peloton tracker or watch it on the Eurosport Player. Why not join the peloton yourself by joining the #tourdetweet?

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