Brazil gets lucky.

Brazil gets lucky.

Brazil gets lucky.

What the foreign papers are saying.
June 25 2002 6:27 PM

Brazil Gets Lucky

The World Cup, which is, as soccer fans like to say, the biggest sporting event on earth, is front-page news in most of the international press this week. Brazil's Folha de Sao Paolo offers a remarkably self-critical assessment of the country's advancement to the semifinals, admitting that the Brazilian team might not have made it so far without several favorable calls from the referees. It gives Brazil's next opponent, Turkey, substantial credit for reaching the semis in just its second cup appearance.

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The Korea Times' story on South Korea's loss to Germany in the semifinals concedes that the Germans were "powerful and organized." Despite the "end to the dream," however, it says this year's cup was a success for the nation because the team advanced much farther in the tournament as it was expected to: "This team, their magnificent fans and South Korea itself have emerged with massively enhanced reputations."

The British Guardian, having recovered from England's loss to Brazil in the quarterfinals, focuses on Germany's Michael Ballack, who scored the game-winning goal against South Korea but got himself suspended for the final. It also provides color about the game absent from many other international papers' coverage: "More than 65,000 packed into the Seoul World Cup stadium—and tickets had been changing hands for as much as £1,700 outside—to make the stands a sea of red."

Germany's Handelsblatt looks past the World Cup final to a bidding war for broadcast rights to Germany's top soccer league. The head of the pay-per-view channel Premiere said he would only buy next year's rights from the media conglomerate that owns it, KirchMedia, enabling KirchMedia to bid 300 million euros for the games. But mogul Herbert Kloiber defied expectations and upped his bid to 320 million euros despite not receiving support from pay TV revenues.

Dan Rosenheck is the Economist's bureau chief for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.