The Rio Report

5 crazy things you missed: Spain blame flop on Eurovision winner

The Rio Report

Often some of the funniest, most interesting and quirky moments at huge sports events go almost unnoticed, rarely featured in reports or blog posts.

So here are five ridiculous things you may not have already seen or heard about from the last few days in Brazil with the World Cup now in full swing.

Did you see anything particularly noteworthy that passed off without mention? Feel free to bring it to our attention in the comments section below...

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1.) Spain blame World Cup disaster on Eurovision winner

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England's World Cup has been bad, but at least we only lost by the odd goal against Italy and Uruguay. Spain's has been cataclysmic. If England's tournament was the footballing equivalent of the eruption of Krakatoa, then Spain's was the mass extinction event which wiped out the dinosaurs.

So it's only logical that the Spanish should be casting their net far and wide in the search for answers - and it seems that they've cast far and wide enough to trawl in Conchita Wurst, the bearded lady from Austria who won the Eurovision Song Contest last month.

Spanish conspiracy theorists have collected a string of bizarre coincidences relating to 1966, the last year that Austria won Eurovision. Among them are Atletico Madrid winning the Spanish league, Real Madrid winning the Champions League and both Manchester United and AC Milan flopping in their respective domestic championships. You can read the full, fascinating story of Brazil 2014's oddest theory here.

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2.) Five World Cups, six fingers

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Can you spot ‘it’ in this picture? It is glaringly obvious!

Brazil has found an entire family of cheerleaders who have unique attributes to roar them to their sixth World Cup title: the Da Silvas, from Brasilia, 14 of whom were born with a rare genetic condition which gives them six fingers on each hand.

You'd think with such a condition that the Da Silvas would all be concert pianists, and indeed several of them excel at the guitar - but the family's true passion is football, not music.

"Everyone in Brazil loves football and wants to be a footballer as well when they grow up," said 15-year-old Joao de Assis da Silva, who claims that his unusual attribute helps him on the pitch.

"Having six fingers has helped me a lot playing football. I can hold the ball more easily, my hands are bigger than other people's so it's easier to reach up to get balls that go over my head."

We're going to assume that Joao is a goalie rather than a dastardly exponent of the sort of handballs that fellow South Americans Luis Suarez and Diego Maradona have shown at World Cups.

Read and see more about the amazing Da Silva family here.

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3.) Buy yourself a genuine World Cup shirt

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Kompany auctions Belgium World Cup shirt for charity

Belgium and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has decided to do his bit for charity while in Brazil: rather than keep his shirt for the World Cup opener against Algeria in his cupboard to gather dust for years, he's decided to sell it for charity.

At the time of writing, the auction had gone over £3,000, with proceeds to be split between the BX Brussels football club where he learned his trade, and SOS Children's Villages, a charity promoting childcare, health and education in developing countries.

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4.) Gerrard receives 'Unclassified' rating from Spanish newspaper

Remember when exams were difficult? When the aim wasn't to get everyone a pass grade, but instead weed out those who simply aren't cut out for academia? That approach has long gone from British education, but many of us are still able to remember the old 'U' grade you used to be able to get for A-levels and so on. It stood for 'Unclassified', the ultimate insult for pupil, teacher and everyone involved at the end of two years' schooling.

And that's the approach that Spanish newspaper AS took towards Steven Gerrard. Gerrard looked like one of the world's finest players at Euro 2012, but two years on he has laboured through his worst ever tournament in an England shirt, and AS stuck the boot in in unprecedented fashion by simply refusing to grant the England captain a rating following the England v Uruguay match.

The paper usually rates players from one to three spades, with three being the best - but Gerrard didn't even rate the minimum, with a plain dash used to highlight his night of shame.

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5.) The Five Stages of Grief, re-imagined for England fans

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Enough said. Nothing more to see here, folks. Move along.

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