Perhaps the only thing more predictable than ESPN’s Allan Hopkins describing Shaka Hislop’s signing with F.C. Dallas as a major development, is the sour grapes stomping of Portugal manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, as quoted by the Guardian’s Paul Kelso.

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed after the game that he was pushed by the French defender Willy Sagnol as he attempted to reach a Luis Figo cross. “He was a very bad referee, I should have had a penalty,” said the winger afterwards. His coach agreed that a foul went unpunished, a sentiment demonstrated when he led most of Portuguese bench to the edge of the technical are in protest at Larrionda’s decision to wave play on.

“It was a penalty, they had to give a penalty, and against Ronaldo it didn’t happen,” Scolari said before implying that the officials had conspired against his side. “The referee made a mistake when he did not give a penalty when Ronaldo was fouled. The referee knows exactly what he is doing. We know South American referees know how to kill the game.”

There was criticism for the French players too, whom Scolari accused of insulting his team during confrontations after the final whistle. “The French players made some absurd comments about our country and our athletes that I cannot repeat, and they did not show respect to our country.”

From the Contracts Are Made To Be Broken Dept., Thursday’s Mirror complains that Real Madrid, having just hired Juventus’ Fabio Capello, are on the heels of Chelsea’s Arjen Robben and Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas.

Left out of the Dutch side that didn’t make it out of the round of 16, Edgar Davids has composed a letter to Voetball International, criticizing manager Marco Van Basten.

”I personally think van Basten has crossed all borders over good morality and respect,” wrote Davids.

”With all his comments he shows a lack of personal class. Mostly because this doesn™t look like an accident.

”In the past he has been disparaging about other players with a successful international career also.”

There’s no truth to the rumor that Davids’ missive was crudely copied from a Jalen Rose blog entry inspired by a Larry Brown-imposed DNP earlier this spring.