World cup 2014
World Cup Diary

World Cup diary: Mario Balotelli willing to save England's bacon ... for a price

Italy striker wants a kiss from the Queen if his team beat Costa Rica

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 June, 2014, 1:05am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 June, 2014, 7:31am

Mario Balotelli is winning the social media World Cup.

After putting up a picture of a sticker album filled entirely with his own sticker a couple of days ago, he took to Twitter in the aftermath of England's defeat to Uruguay with an offer of salvation for Woy's boys, who now need Italy to win both their remaining games to have any hope of reaching the knockout stage.

But the AC Milan striker has demanded a heavy, heavy price: 

Time for England to front up. Just how much do you really want to stay in this World Cup?

How about it Lizzie? Bear in mind that England also need Italy to beat Uruguay ... who knows what Mario will require for that.

Meanwhile, the most amusing moment of the match for Scotland fans (apart from England's performance obviously), was this Scotland fan celebrating wildly among the Uruguayans in the stadium, waving a Saltire, and dressed in Scotland away kit and Jimmy wig.

This guy was definitely getting very, very drunk with his new pals last night.

And then this image - the Sun's front page in England tomorrow, featuring a crying Kai Rooney (4 years old). Stay classy guys.

Emotional day for Serey Die

Ivory Coast midfielder broke down in tears during the national anthems before their game against Colombia. Immediately, unfounded rumours on Twitter claimed his father had died just hours before kick-off.

But Die said it was just the emotion of the moment - his father actually died 10 years ago. 

“My life has always been difficult,” Die said. “It’s true, I thought about my father who died in 2004. I also thought about my tough life - I didn’t think that one day I would be here, playing. This emotion overwhelmed me and I am a very emotional person.

“I fought [against the tears] but I couldn’t."

Unfortunately for Die, it was his mistake that handed Colombia their winner in the 2-1 defeat.

Mexico take on locals in beach kickabout

You might think that in between matches and training the last thing World Cup players would want to do on their day off would be play more football. 

But it seems Mexico's team just couldn't resist as they went for a stroll along Iracema beach in Santos, stripping off for a kickabout with locals. 

Manchester United striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (wearing a Santos jersey lent to him) and six of his teammates - Hector Herrera, Diego Reyes, Alan Pulido, Raul Jimenez, Marco Fabian and Miguel Ponce - put together a pretty formidable seven a side team. Watch them in action below. More photos here

We're not sure Mexico coach Miguel Herrera would have been too amused if one of his squad had picked up an injury, but with this and the squad coming out to party with fans a couple of days ago, El Tri are certainly making friends.

Mbia and Rakitic maybe a bit too friendly

Former Sevilla teammates Stephane Mbia and Ivan Rakitic swapped shirts after Croatia's 4-0 win over Cameroon, but those apparently weren't sweaty enough or something, as they decided to go a step further in the tunnel and swap shorts too.

Please say this is not going to become a thing now.

Spain coach misses the bus ...

Thursday was not a good day for Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque. First there was that whole crashing-out-of-the-World-Cup-in-one-of-the-tournament's-biggest-failures-ever thing.

Then Vicente seemed to be jumping on the Chile bandwagon on which so many fans and pundits are now riding, as he boarded their bus by accident. 

Still, it's somewhat understandable if he had other things on his mind.

Meanwhile, in case you haven't seen it, here's how Spain's biggest selling newspaper, Marca, covered the news. Brilliant cover, just a pity about the wine advert - but if ever there was a suitable time to drown sorrows, this is it.

... but Chilean rioters don't miss theirs 

Talking about buses, Chile's fans got a bit carried away with their win and for some reason took it out on Santiago's public transport.

AFP reports: "A total of 527 buses were damaged during celebrations in the Chilean capital, rioters assaulted 41 drivers and hijacked six vehicles, city transport chief Guillermo Munoz told broadcaster Chilevision."

Apparently bus operator Transantiago is not popular for poor service and high fares.