Posted by Paul Grant
JOHANNESBURG -- This will astound and amaze you, but tennis legend and notorious wallflower Boris Becker has gone out on a limb and chosen Germany to beat England. If you don't have the sarcasm font on your computer, let me say that Becker is from Germany.
Among the things that the Grand Slam champion had to say in his column for the Daily Telegraph:
"I think there's more pressure on the England players because the core of the team won't play in four years' time. By 2014, they are going to be too old. They are called the golden generation and yet they haven't won a big championship. They know that it's now or never for them at the World Cup."
And here's another harpoon across the bow:
"I think now the cards are new. Germany expects the team to go far, and Germany expects the team to beat England."
Do they have bulletin boards in the dressing rooms of soccer stadiums?
About this Blog
Leander Schaerlaeckens (top left) is a soccer writer for ESPN.com.
Jeff Carlisle (top center) covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN.com.
Brent Latham (top right) covers soccer for ESPN.com and works as a soccer commentator for a national television station in Guatemala.
Chris Jones (bottom left) is a writer-at-large for Esquire and a contributing editor for ESPN the Magazine.
Jeff Bradley (bottom center) is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Jemele Hill (bottom right) is a columnist for Page 2 and writer for ESPN the Magazine.
Michael Griffin (not pictured) is an editor for ESPN.com.
Paul Carr (not pictured) is a researcher for the ESPN Stats & Information group.
John Brewin (not pictured) is the senior editor at ESPNSoccernet.com.
Ravi Ubha (not pictured) covers soccer and tennis for ESPN.com.
Andrew Hush (not pictured) is a soccer researcher for ESPN International, having previously been editor of Soccer New England magazine.
James Martin (not pictured) is the soccer editor for ESPN.com.
Paul Grant (not pictured) is a deputy editor at ESPN.com.
SCORES & SCHEDULES - Group Stage View Scoreboard »
South Africa Nightly
Ray Stubbs offers a nightly preview to the next day's action (ESPN globally). More »
The tournament's hottest talking points under the microscope (ESPN globally). More »
Watch the best all-time World Cup moments from the last 40 years (Across Europe). More »
STATS & RECORDS
WORLD CUP HISTORY
Soccernet Knockout Bracket
Complete a bracket by selecting the winning team for each of the 15 tournament matches. All brackets lock at the kickoff of the knockout stage on Saturday, June 26, 2010. Points are awarded for each correct pick, with point values increasing as the tournaments progress. Overall prizes awarded, sign up now!