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Notable omissions from our Top 50

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No. 40: Marouane Fellaini, Man Utd

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No. 39: Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal

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No. 38: Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea

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No. 37: Robin van Persie, Man Utd

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By ESPN Staff

Mexico voodoo promo gets new partner

MEXICO CITY -- After Radioshack dropped out, a Mexican newspaper has found a new U.S. corporate sponsor to help put a voodoo hex on the U.S. national soccer team -- and end Mexico's decade-long losing streak.

Blockbuster stores in Mexico City began trading Record newspaper coupons for voodoo-doll likenesses of U.S. soccer players Friday. The back of the dolls' jersey reads, "Gringos."

They should be used to wish for a Mexico goal during the World Cup qualifier Wednesday in Colombus, Ohio, according to the instructions.

Mexico has not beaten the Americans on U.S. soil in 10 years.

"Hold a needle firmly between your thumb and index finger and prick slowly the part of the doll where you want to affect the opponent," the instructions say.

Electronics retailer RadioShack, of Forth Worth, Texas, dropped out as a distribution partner last week after learning details of the campaign.

But Record merely had to go to Dallas to find another co-sponsor, DVD and video game rental chain Blockbuster Inc. A phone message left with the company's public relations office was not returned Friday.

But Record spokesman Daniel Paz said the promotion is lighthearted.

"In soccer, training and practice are what determine the results. The best team will win," he said. "But without any doubt, this little doll can help the good vibes of the Mexican fans to change the history of Mexico and turn things around."

Mexico fan Mauricio Munoz, picking up one of the Blockbuster dolls, said he doesn't believe black magic will have any effect on his team or the winless streak.

"But in any case," he said, "it's a good way to have fun."

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