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Angola national football team at the 2006 Football World Cup

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By user Bobo

Yes, I will elicit the comments of my darling girlfriend as she saw that I was starting to write this article. "Is that the sound of a tumbleweed passing by or are you just pleased to see me." Bless.

These guys, the so-called "Palancas Negras", along with Ukraine and Trinidad and Tobago are the World Cup virgins. And, of the three, they have the smallest number of recognizable players. Still, Rui Manuel Marques is good enough for Leeds United, and, since they qualified by beating Rwanda, as well as getting past Gabon and Zimbabwe, even the country's president has gone soccer nuts.

SL Benfica's great Pedro Mantorras is sure to provide some interesting play for the team, and having helped the Portuguese club to the 2004/05 league victory, is sure to be one of the star players for the team barring any sudden injury. Otherwise, as World Cup Virgins, it may be impossible for them to achieve what Senegal did four years ago (even less so since they're sadly not facing the host nation on the first day of proceedings, which is something of a pity). If anyone's for seeing history repeat itself at the hands of the Germans, it's me. What was that I hear you cry? Yes, the final score was 5-1, yes, Michael Owen scored a hat trick, and okay, yes, that was four and a half years ago.

But it doesn't really bother me as much as it should. I think most soccer fans are united in wishing the World Cup virgins the best of luck, and with Angola one of the more promising African teams out there, who wouldn't.


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