Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion
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The World Cup is ominously close! So that you aren't caught offside (they have that in soccer, right?), we're previewing all the participants, bringing you Four Things You Don't Know About Them. If you have a tidbit, send it along to Today: the Netherlands! And for World Cup previews that are even better than ours, check out That's On Point, who helped us with these as well.

• 1. If You Have To Ask, You Can't Afford Him. Hernan Crespo, Argentina's star forward, is one of the most expensive soccer players of all time with a combined transfer fee of £68,000,000 (about $122 million for those scoring at home). He has never been sold for less than £16,000,000. — (thanks to Matt Rollins).


• 2. Caution: Do Not Open At Work. It's hard to argue that anyone has done more to popularize Argentina's national team than Keyra Augustina, who proudly sported a version of Carlos Tevez's jersey in those glorious photos. — (thanks to Cliff Schexnayder).

• 3. This Time, It's Personal. Can't wait for June 21, Argentina vs. the Netherlands at Gelsenkirchen. Rematch of France 1998, in which Ariel Ortega headbutted Edwin Van Der Sar (notice how that is almost impossible) AND an all-time class goal from Dennis Bergkamp. — (thanks to Mike Cardillo).

• 4. The Hand Of God Goal. Diego Armando Maradona, regarded by some as the greatest player in the history of the game, is truly a rags-to-riches story. Born in a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, he was spotted by a talent scout at the age of 10 while playing on a neighborhood club team. He led Argentina to the 1986 Word Cup championship with a 3-2 win over West Germany. But it was one of his two goals against England in the '86 quarterfinals that was voted Goal of the Century in a 2002 online poll conducted by FIFA. (The other goal, he later admitted, was scored illegally with the help of his hand).

(Tomorrow: Poland)

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