Monte Carlo Stars, Dubai Marina: The World Cup at its best

Jay Asser 12/07/2014
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Reaching its climax: Monte Carlo Stars is in the grips of World Cup fever.

Monte Carlo Stars offers a unique dining destination to watch the World Cup Final and third-place match with its exciting surroundings.

Located in Dubai Marina, the restaurant boasts the biggest terrace in the area and combines football action with delectable cuisine. Popular dishes from countries in the tournament are available, giving guests the opportunity to get a taste of the World Cup experience.

“The host country, Brazil, is in another continent but we have created an ambience at Monte Carlo Stars that will make our diners feel as if they are watching the matches from the heart of the stadiums in Brazil,” said general manager Ibrahim Al Sheikh.

“Monte Carlo Stars’ World Cup extravaganza is in tune with it high-profile image of a themed restaurant at the forefront of the flourishing ‘Eatertainment’ trend.”

The regular menu features the usual pub grub with starters like spicy buffalo wings and cheese nachos, while a variety of salads, steaks, sandwiches, seafood, burgers, pizza and other international specialties are also available.

“We invite our customers to enjoy the match live from our restaurant and savour the delicious dishes from our new menu as well as enjoy a variety of Shisha flavours in the covered and air conditioned Shisha Lounge Terrace with the breathtaking views of The Marina.”

Monte Carlo Stars has a number of viewing options with a giant television screen, two large projectors and 19 individually-controlled TVs. The individual screens allow for private viewing in the booths with specialty sports channels.

The family-friendly venue, suitable for all ages, is near shopping centres and has an environment for kids with clowns, playroom supervisors, painting, games, cartoons and child-friendly seating and silverware.

A prediction promotion gives guests a chance to guess the winning team of the World Cup by reserving a table for the two remaining games. The prizes feature 10 vouchers for an Iftar buffet for two and 10 vouchers to drive a BMW 520 for two days for free.

Don’t miss out on a distinctive setting to take in the final two matches and enjoy delicious cuisine at Monte Carlo Stars.

What: Monte Carlo Stars
Where: Dubai Marina
When: Open until 23:00 and later for World Cup matches
Contact: Visit www.montecarlostars.com or call 04 368 8590

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Mertesacker urges Germany to repeat Brazil display in World Cup Final

Sport360 staff 12/07/2014
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Focussed: Mertesacker wants Germany to replicate their semi-final display.

Per Mertesacker thinks Germany will lose the World Cup final if they do not perform to the exact same standard as they did against Brazil.

Germany pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the history of football when they hammered Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals last week.

The comprehensive nature of the win means Germany will go into tomorrow’s final against Argentina as big favourites, but Mertesacker has warned against the idea that Germany should already be regarded as world champions before the first whistle.

“We must stay focused and play the same way that we did against Brazil, otherwise we have no chance,” the Germany defender said. “Our performance against Brazil was nearly 100 per cent.

“If you look at the stats, the passing, the goals we scored, everything was so fluent. “But if we drop five per cent then we will have no chance.”

The streets of Germany were packed with jubilant fans who had stayed up to watch Joachim Low’s team rip the hosts apart with a ruthless attacking display on Tuesday.

Mertesacker wants the memories of that night in Belo Horizonte to be put to the back of his team-mates’ minds by Sunday night.

“(Winning 7-1) is dangerous for us,” the Arsenal centre-back added. “We can’t lose our focus now because we scored seven goals.

“We must keep calm and be aware of the situation. Our main target is to win the final.

“We want to finish on a high. We want more history. We don’t want to just settle for this result before the final.”

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Zabaleta: Argentina winning World Cup in Brazil an added bonus

Paul Hirst 12/07/2014
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Behind enemy lines: Pablo Zabaleta (c) is targeting glory in their rivals’ backyard.

Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta would love nothing more than to win the World Cup in the spiritual home of Brazilian football.

When the World Cup draw was made last December, South American football fans dreamed of a Maracana final involving the continent’s two super powers.

But instead of facing Brazil in Rio de Janeiro tomorrow, Argentina will instead take on Germany, who obliterated Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men in the first semi-final on Tuesday.

Brazilians and Argentina have been bitter rivals ever since the beautiful game was brought to the continent by Englishman Charles Miller in 1894.

Argentina detest the fact that Brazil have won three more World Cups than them. There is a neverending debate in the two countries about who was better – Pele or Diego Maradona – and this summer Neymar and Lionel Messi were branded as big rivals for the Golden Boot.

Local fans in Sao Paulo were firmly against Argentina in their semi-final against Holland on Wednesday – and that has been the case throughout the tournament.

But such vitriol against the old enemy has been counter-productive as it has only served to fire the Argentinians up during the tournament, according to Zabaleta.

“It’s special for us to play in this country,” the Manchester City defender said. “Especially because Brazilian fans have been against Argentina for this World Cup.

“Sometimes, if you have all the people against you, you feel even stronger. I think that we showed that against Holland and we feel very proud to have made the final.”

Even though Argentina is next door to Brazil, some 1668 miles separate Rio de Janeiro from Buenos Aires. That has not stopped thousands of Albiceleste supporters driving to Rio, many of them in camper vans that are parked along the central reservation on the Avenida Atlantica next to the Copacabana.

And many more will flood the city this weekend in the hope that they will watch history unfold before their eyes.

“You can imagine people from Argentina selling their cars to come here, even without tickets,” Zabaleta added. “This is something that happens in Argentina.

“We love football. We know how special it would be for this country to win another World Cup.

“But obviously we appreciate how Argentinian fans are doing everything to support the team. As a player I feel very proud, everyone feels very proud. Hopefully we can give them another trophy.”

Unlike Germany, Argentina only just squeezed through to the last two. Alejandro Sabella’s men needed a penalty shootout to defeat the Netherlands and make it through to their first final in 24 years.

The bookmakers have Germany as favourites for the showdown after their 7-1 win over Brazil, but that does not faze the Argentinians.

“We are just 90 minutes away,” Zabaleta said with excitement. “This is special, we have been working really hard for this moment.

“Germany are probably of the best teams in this World Cup. But as we say in Argentina ‘we don’t play the final, we win the final’. This is something that we are thinking about and hopefully we can play a great game and try to win it.”

Zabaleta’s theory does not quite add up. Argentina have lost two of the four quarter-finals they have contested. Their last victory came in 1986 – when Zabaleta was just two years old – as Diego Maradona captained the Albiceleste to a 3-2 win over West Germany.

This time it will be the turn of Maradona’s heir, Messi, to skipper the side in the showdown. Messi has scored four of Argentina’s goals in this World Cup and he also set up Angel di Maria for the second round winner against Switzerland.

Zabaleta believes it would be fitting, therefore, for the Barcelona star to lift the trophy this weekend.

“He is our main player, he is the captain of this team, he is the leader of this group of players,” the rightback said. “We can imagine how special it would be for Messi to lift the World Cup.”

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