Diego Maraotter: Growing the beard of truth

13:28, Jul 08 2014
Diego Maradona
FATHER FIGURE: Diego Maradona.

And they are tied. Even stevens. This could be going to penalties.

Diego Maraotter, our formerly leading World Cup football picks pundit, is locked at 9-9 with football writer Tony Smith while his colleague, Sam Worthington, is just one back on 8.

It's been a horror run for Maraotter who, after picking 9 from 11 matches, is now 9 from 14.

Diego Maraotter
HOT STUFF: Diego Maraotter knows how to work facial hair.

He is feverishly looking for any edge he can gain so after picking a depleted Brazil to beat Germany in the first semi-final, he turned his mind to growing a beard - the result was startling (see left).

"I thought it was time to really channel my otterfather, Diego Maradona. His beard appears to have given him strength in recent years... and I take strength from whatever he does.

"I'm told Tony had a moustache in the past, but Sam doesn't appear to me like he's ever had to shave. This could be the advantage I am after."

Smith and Worthington were unimpressed, remaining focused on the football rather than the weirdy-beardy games.

"Without Neymar in attack Brazil won't have the firepower to beat the World Cup's best keeper, Manuel Neuer," Smith said.

Worthington also noted the loss of Brazil's skipper, Thiago Silva (suspended). He believed the Germans boasted too much quality across the park.

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