We are getting close. The quadrennial moaning about the new adidas 'Jabulani' ball has started, right on schedule. First it was Hugo Lloris. Now Brazil, with Kaka in training, has barely arrived in South Africa and goalkeeper Julio Cesar is grousing, albeit with tongue in cheek. From the AP:
Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar is not happy with the ball that will be used during the World Cup, saying it looks like something from a "grocery store."
Cesar also called the Adidas ball "horrible" and "terrible".
The goalkeeper, who won the Champions League with Inter Milan last week, did not elaborate on his views of the lively ball.
Cesar said "they are always trying to make things difficult for the goalkeepers," and later joked that he has only himself to blame for choosing to play the position.
Today's factoid: At the mile-high altitude of Jo'burg's two stadiums, the ball will travel 5% faster than at sea level. That should really reassure Cesar's brethren between the sticks.
We'll be along in a bit with a look at this weekend's friendlies. Meantime, other items in the World Cup news include:
It was chaos today as remaining World Cup tickets were to go on sale in South Africa - and the computer system promptly broke down. Put that together with last night's glitches outside Soccer City stadium and it looks like there's still some work to do.
Lort! Denmark's phenom defender Simon Kjaer is on the limp. But he's still in the squad, as Morton Olsen keeps Kjaer in the final 23-man a day after he was stretchered off during Danes' 2-0 win over Senegal.
Key Greek defender Vassilis Torosidis has resumed training.
And Samuel Eto'o has two words for critics, including Roger Milla: "Shut up". That's the sanitized version, anyway.