The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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World Cup wows


A fantastic physique and a cool hair cut. He is a good-looking man with a lot of oomph. When I saw him, the first thing I uttered was 'wow'. The Spaniard stands out for his style and pace.

June Tomkyns, beautician


The Peter Pan of football! Mature moves and innocent charm ' just the kind of man my friends and I would fall for. And how that handsome nose becomes a trifle red when the going gets tough!

Madhumita Das, final-year college student


There's something very sweet and down-to-earth about him and he doesn't look like a celebrity at all. There is a very cute next-door guy kind of look about him, which makes him very endearing.

Swastika Mukherjee, actress


He looks extremely athletic and hence quite hot. He has this energy about him which is very appealing. His hairstyle is also quite interesting and makes him stand out.

Lovey Burman, Kookie Jar proprietor


Without any doubt, the coolest of them all. If one forgets the infidelity streak, he comes across as pretty cool. Reports say he is a great dad and he's always very well put together. His experimentation with his hairstyle is also quite interesting.

Kiran Uttam Ghosh, fashion designer

He's way too handsome. I think he's one of the most well-dressed and fashion-conscious footballers around. He can carry off just about anything, be it hairstyle or clothes.

Shonal Rawat, model


Some new words and phrases — and a comic strip — have also been kicked off by FIFA 2006, enriching the English language. Or endangering it, in some cases.

The chief perpetrator is England striker Peter Crouch. He invented a jerky robot-like dance (picture right), seen first on television after he scored a goal in a friendly against Hungary last month. Since then the dance, which many compared to Star Wars’ C3PO’s routine, and which leapt from the football field to all of England’s dance floors, has been variously called “Doing-the-Crouch”, “Crouchbop” or “Robot Crouch”. Prince William wanted to see the footballer perform it when he visited the England training camp!
Crouch’s act, the serious game-watchers feel, is more embarrassing than cool — probably why he’s kept it under wraps in the Cup so far. But what they object to more is the number of “crouching headlines” the 6 ft 7 inch beanpole striker has set off. So there’s “Crouching Peter, Hidden Talent'”; “Crouching Peter, Hidden Talisman”; “Crouching Robot, Hidden Geek” and “Crouching Fouler, Hidden Grabber”. Crouch even drove the fine FIFA commentators to excruciating excess. When Michael Owen crawled off the pitch and Crouch ran in against Sweden, one muttered: “Crouching England, Hidden Owen”.

Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, 17, has been credited with reinventing the word “theomania”, ordinarily meaning the conviction that one is God or has been specially chosen by God. During the build-up to the Cup it meant the madness over Arsenal player Walcott, chosen to play for England before he had played a serious match for his club. Wonder what will happen if he does take the field against Ecuador and scores.
Ronaldinho has inspired Brazil’s well-known comics writer Mauricio de Sousa to start a strip, ‘Ronaldinho Gaucho’, as a child. It includes his brother Asis, sister Daisy, biggest fan Diego (no prizes for guessing who) and two dogs Champ and Fireball. The little boy Ronaldinho retains his adult hairstyle — and actually looks like a little girl.
But the words that will live the longest are: “Is Ronaldo fat'” So asked Brazil’s President. There are many variations doing the rounds on the Net: “Ronaldo is fat, isn’t he'” Or, “Is Ronaldo fat or fit'”, or, “So, is Ronaldo fat or not'”

Don’t ask Zico and his boys.

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