No beef — or sex — for Mexican national team

05/25/2014 12:01 AM

05/25/2014 1:18 AM

You might have seen the headlines last week about Mexican coach Miguel Herrera banning his players form eating red meat until the World Cup. The beef ban is to prevent players from testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol, which was found in meat processed in Mexico.

According to reports, Herrera also is prohibiting his players from having sex during the World Cup.

“If a player can't go one month or 20 days without having sexual relations, then they are not prepared to be a professional player,” he said. “So then we will not be looking for sex or having sex at the World Cup just to have it. We are going to go after what we came for, a competition that gives us the opportunity to rise above and do something really great.”

•  Best 23 NOT going to World Cup: You know all the stars headed to Brazil this summer — Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and the list goes on. But some of the world’s best players are from nations that did not qualify. EA Sports, as part of its promotion of its new FIFA World Cup video game, did a statistical analysis of top leagues and came up with the 23 best players whose teams did not qualify:

Goalkeepers — Samir Handanovic (Slovenia), Petr Cech (Czech), Kossi Agassa (Togo). Fullbacks — Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia), Martin Olsson (Sweden), Seamus Coleman (Ireland), Papa Souare (Senegal). Center backs — Mehdi Benatia (Morocco), Marko Basa (Montenegro), Cedric Mongongu (Congo), Martin Skrtel (Slovakia); Midfielders — Juan Arango (Venezuela), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia), Aaron Ramsey (Wales), Mateusz Klich (Poland), Szabolcs Huszti (Hungary), Jefferson Farfan (Peru), Gareth Bale (Wales), Lasse Schone (Denmark); Forwards — Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon).

•  Mix it up: Among the 23 players Jurgen Klinsmann chose for the 23-man U.S. roster is midfielder Mix Diskerud. In case you were wondering, Mix is not his real first name. His full name is Mikkel Morgenstar Paalsonn Diskerud. His mother nicknamed his “Mix” because he ran around like crazy as a little kid, and he reminded her of a Mixmaster blender whirring ’round.
•  Pelé’s picks: Brazilian great Pelé had this to say about the upcoming World Cup: “I hope that Brazil will win the World Cup. To me, the two best teams from Europe are Germany and Spain — Spain, because they have been playing outstanding football for years now and Germany because there are well organized and love to play attacking football. They are almost more Brazilian than we are.”
•  Portuguese 101: With the World Cup just a few weeks away, it’s a good time to start brushing up on our Portuguese. Here are some phrases that could come in handy. “Bola” means ball. “Craque” is a really good player. “Cabecada” is a header. “Goleiro” is a goalkeeper.

Key Dates

June 1: England national team arrives in Miami.

June 2: FIFA Deadline for final 23-man rosters.

June 4: England vs. Ecuador, Sun Life Stadium.

June 7: England vs. Honduras, Sun Life Stadium.

June 7: USA vs. Nigeria, Jacksonville.

June 9: Ghana vs. South Korea, Sun Life Stadium.

June 12: World Cup Opener, Brazil vs. Croatia, Sao Paulo.

Michelle Kaufman

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