RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil great Ronaldo got reluctantly dragged into the Luis Suarez quagmire Thursday — and wound up riffing on parenthood and fairytale villains.
At a FIFA news conference, he was asked about the Uruguay striker's suspension for biting an opposing player.
"Why do you want my opinion? I never bit anyone," he answered through a translator.
Then Ronaldo kept going: "But I know that bites hurt. My young kids used to bite me and I used to punish them. In my home, punishment is called 'the dark room with the big bad wolf,' so I suppose for an adult four months with no football is the same."
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Three haircuts. One goal.
World player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo finally found a style that was good luck for scoring. He gave Portugal a 2-1 win over Ghana when he slammed home the ball with his left foot in the 80th minute.
It was his first goal of this year's tournament, but third different haircut. Thursday's edition had the sides shaved down close with a line carved along one edge of a short Mohawk.
Ronaldo won't get to show off any other on-field hairdos at this World Cup: Portugal was eliminated.
SUAREZ BIT ME!
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The Adidas World Cup ad campaign with star players baring their teeth was always a bit iffy when it came to the image of Luis Suarez, considering his history of biting opponents on the pitch.
The shoe company was taking down the Suarez ads after he did it again against Italy, but as of early Thursday, one such poster was still up near Copacabana beach. Amused fans took photos of themselves in front of it appearing to be chomped by the Uruguay striker.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State employees in New York have permission to take an extra-long lunch break.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo posted a letter to U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Thursday saying he had approved an extra hour for lunch for all state employees starting at noon. That would allow them to watch the entire World Cup game against Germany.
BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?
SAO PAULO (AP) — South Korean coach Hong Myung-Bo says he believes in his players, not in a higher power.
Facing extremely long odds of advancing to the round of 16 going into a matchup with heavily favored Belgium, the stone-faced coach managed to break a smile when asked if he was relying on any divine intervention to help the team through.
As it turns out, the former captain for South Korea's semifinal run at its home World Cup in 2002 isn't big on that.
"I don't have a religion so I don't ask for divine help. I just look at my players and I believe in them," he said. "Of course, there are players who have a religion and that could be a way that they get help as well."
Earlier in the news conference, he was asked by a journalist is he could provide South Korea with a "miracle."
"We will do what we can," he said plainly. "I don't know if you can call it a miracle but we will have to wait for the results."
— By Aron Heller — www.twitter.com/aronhellerap
MISSING THE MATCH
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's most prominent fan, Chancellor Angela Merkel, won't watch Thursday's match between the country and the United States.
Merkel and other European Union leaders will be holding a solemn ceremony in Ypres, Belgium, to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I as the game kicks off. They will then attend a working dinner on the first day of a two-day summit.
The German government says Merkel's evening will be dedicated entirely to working with her European colleagues.
Merkel traveled to Brazil for Germany's opening 4-0 win against Portugal and posed for photos with the team.
Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Brazil during the 2014 World Cup. Follow AP journalists covering the World Cup on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_Sports/world-cup-2014