Dancing Brazilians praying for no more than 10 goals

Desert Outtakes: Samuel Eto’o asks for peace, Spain’s wasted penalty practice and Eni Aluko responds to ‘weirdo twitterati’

Scoring and dancing

Roy Keane’s wish for the Brazilians to stop celebrating every goal with a dance routine might actually come true – if they manage to score 11 times.

The former Ireland and Manchester United captain felt the Brazilian team were being disrespectful to South Korea during their last-16 win with the extent of their celebrating for all four goals. Brazil manager Tite has no intention of stopping them, however. Not only did he get involved in one of the dances himself but he explained afterwards his team are “very young and have a love of dancing, joking and making moves. There’s no interpretation other than happiness at the goal, happiness for the team, happiness for the performance. There was no disrespect.”

It all shouldn’t come as so much of a surprise to the Cork native, Barcelona forward Raphinha told reporters before the first game that his team had their samba moves prepared: “To tell you the truth we already have dances prepared for up to the 10th goal. We have some 10 dances prepared for each match – one of the first, one for the second, one for the third. If we score more than 10, then we’ll have to start innovating.”

Peaceful Eto’o

Just days after being recorded appearing to knee a fan in the head, Samuel Eto’o has told Algerian fans to find peace. The former Cameroon and Barcelona striker has apologised for the incident – which happened as he was approached by fans when leaving Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea – but also claims he’s been the target of “relentless provocation”.

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Cameroon beat Algeria on away goals in a World Cup qualifying match in March, with Algeria complaining to Fifa about the referee and looking for a replay in the aftermath.

“I pledge to continue to resist the relentless provocation and daily harassment of some Algerian supporters,” explains the peace-loving four-time African player of the year. “Indeed, since the Cameroon-Algeria match on March 29th in Blida, I have been the target of insults and allegations of cheating without any evidence.

“During this World Cup. Cameroonian fans have been harassed and pestered by Algerians on the same subject. I would like to mention that the scenario of Algeria’s defeat was cruel but perfectly in line with the rules and ethics of our sport.

“To Fennecs’ fans, I wish that they find peace and manage to overcome the disappointment of a painful defeat, now behind us.”

The individual involved – an Algerian YouTuber – has reportedly filed a complaint to the local authorities in Qatar where Eto’o is acting as an ambassador for Fifa.

In words

“The moment he saw me off a little bit with either my run-up or the smoothness of me kicking it, he pulled me back in. He knew exactly what I was doing wrong. I just kept doing the same thing over and over again, I never changed it. Continuous, continuous, simple. It’s so important.”

—  David Beckham called into the England camp this week and told Trent Alexander-Arnold how Alex Ferguson helped him with his free-kicks as well as stressing the importance of practising.

In numbers

1,000 – Luis Enrique ordered his Spain players to each take 1,000 penalties over the last year in preparation for the World Cup. In Tuesday night’s shoot-out they missed three from three. Either somebody didn’t do their homework or they wasted a lot of time.

Do the math

Former England international Eni Aluko has been quick to respond to “weirdo twitterati” who tried to mock the World Cup pundit for an on-air mistake.

Aluko was giving the stats behind the excellent recent performances of Brazil’s Richarlison, explaining he’d scored 19 times in 40 games for his country before adding another against South Korea. “You do the math, that’s one goal a game pretty much,” she said. Obviously meaning a goal every second game.

The sort of mistake you hear from former male pros daily, and even on occasion from top presenters such as Channel 5′s Dan Walker who was quick to jump to her defence: “We all know what she meant and if either of the blokes alongside her had said it ... it would have been ignored. The bile beneath this says a lot more about the authors than Eni Aluko. PS I once called the Pentagon an ‘octagonal shaped building in Washington’.”

Not that she needed it of course, the former Chelsea and Juventus forward responded herself on social media: “Got myself a first class law degree, 102 caps & a Doctorate but Maths wasn’t always my forte. Nearly 1 in 2 games is the math on Richarlison. But some of you weirdo twitterati knew that already. Might also learn from the rest of the analysis conveniently ignored.”

Then when back on air the following day, she displayed the character that earned her those 102 international caps, during her analysis of the Switzerland team in advance of their last-16 defeat to Portugal: “Embolo up front, two goals already this World Cup, he’s scored seven in 15 for Monaco this season – I’ll let everyone else do the maths on that one!”

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue is a sports journalist with The Irish Times