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SAMBA BEATS

Castro salutes

Havana: Former Cuban President Fidel Castro congratulated retired Argentine footballer Diego Maradona for his television program analysing the World Cup and also saluted current Argentine goal-scorer Lionel Messi for carrying on the glory for Argentina. “Just as I salute you (Maradona), I also salute Messi, a formidable athlete who gives glory to the noble Argentine people,” Castro said.

Messi Centuries

Brasilia: Brazil striker Neymar scored the 100th goal of the 2014 World Cup when he netted his side’s first goal in their final Group A game against Cameroon on Monday. The goal came in what is Brazil’s 100th World Cup game.

Missed it

Brussels: Belgian Queen Mathilde embarrassingly mixed up Belgium’s strikers after the country’s 1-0 victory over Russia on Sunday, congratulating Romelu Lukaku instead of Divock Origi for scoring the winning goal. “Bravo, really. And it’s for you, the goal too,” she said as she arrived at Lukaku. “No, he’s over there,” Lukaku responded, pointing towards Origi. “Well, in any case you played very well,” concluded the queen.

Attention

Fortaleza: On Brazil’s waterfront, getting people’s attention at the World Cup is hard work. But a circus performing in the city may have figured out a way to top them all: It’s using a small air-plane, fitted with loudspeakers to tout “tonight’s grand spectacle.” The circus puts on nightly performances, featuring clowns, acrobats, high-wire acts, and antics with performers in two-man zebra costumes.

Save that

Buenos Aires: While Argentina notches victories in the World Cup, President Cristina Fernandez is grappling with a debt crisis and feels like a goalkeeper facing endless penalties and a biased referee.