Tag Archive | "Kaka"

So Long Sol



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solcampbellnotts

Sven Goren Eriksson’s Notts County revolution has taken a hit as Sol Campbell has decided to leave the club—after only one match. No reason has been given for Sol’s departure, but maybe the fourth division reminded him too much of playing for Portsmouth.

Unfortunately, allegations of racism have tarnished the third round of the Carling Cup. Blackpool’s Jason Euell was the victim of verbal abuse while El-Hadji Diouf, now of Blackburn, claims to have had bananas tossed at him. Unlike Euell, nobody believes Diouf…hmm, I wonder why.

Avram Grant is back…well sort of. The former Chelsea manager has agreed to a coaching role in the remote Russian republic of Komi. What a fall from grace for a man who was one John Terry missed penalty from winning the Champions League. Football really is a fickle bitch.

On the subject of remote coaching outposts, Bryan Robson has agreed to coach the Thai national team. He replaces another Englishman, Peter Reid. The English might not rate their own managers, but apparently they’re more than good enough for Thailand.

You might remember Joe Cole. Plays for Chelsea, had a great goal in the 2006 World Cup, and has been injured for the past two seasons. Well he’s recovered and he’s ready to be the point in Chelsea’s new diamond formation, or what Joe refers to as the ‘sausage roll’ position. Seriously folks, he’ll be here all week.

And in economic news, season ticket sales are down in Italy. And no club has been hit harder than AC Milan. Looks like an aging Ronaldinho isn’t as big of a draw as fan favorite Kaka. And to add insult to injury, no one has sold more season tickets than cross town rivals Inter Milan. Ouch, that’s got to hurt.

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Ronaldo Gets His ‘Dream Move’



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Ronaldo gives the deal a thumbs up.

Ronaldo gives the deal a thumbs up.

It’s a move that’s been two years in the making, and now it’s come true. Cristiano Ronaldo is going to Real Madrid. Manchester United has accepted £80m for the petulant Portugueser, making a nice £67m profit off of the sale of the whining winger (they bought him for £12.2m in 2003). Newly elected Madrid president Florentino Perez has quickly fulfilled his promise of bringing superstars to Madrid by signing Kaka yesterday and Ronaldo today. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Perez was in charge during the first Galactico era. Now let’s see if Madrid can get past the first knockout stage of the Champions League.

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Kaka’s A Galactico



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Kaka makes the move to Spain.

Kaka makes the move to Spain.

The soap opera didn’t last long as Kaka signed with Real Madrid last night. Madrid paid AC Milan £59m for the Brazilian playmaker, surpassing the record transfer fee of £46.7m that Madrid paid to Juventus in 2001 for Zinedine Zidane. Kaka will also wear the #5 shirt that Zidane wore for Los Blancos. Kaka reluctantly left Milan for financial reasons (and after speaking with David Beckham) and most certainly won’t be the last big name player to be moved for such reasons. While Milan is left to ponder who can replace the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year, Madrid has set their sights on long sought after prize Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Don’t Let ‘The Duck’ Walk



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This is how many titles AC Milan will win if they sell Pato.

This is how many titles AC Milan will win if they sell Pato.

Monday is the day AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi will announce to the world where superstar Kaka will be playing next season. With reports already circulating that he has reached an agreement with Real Madrid, and with Chelsea submitting a very hefty last-minute bid, it seems eminent that the Rossoneri talisman will be playing outside of Italy next year. And the reason for his departure is, as AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani himself admitted, ‘solely economic.’ This transfer is yet another blow to the once dominant Serie A. But the move that could damage the Italian top flight even more is if Milan lost teenage sensation Alexandre ‘The Duck’ Pato to Chelsea.

While Milan supporters may be, and rightfully so, angry and disappointed by the departure of Kaka, it’s a harsh reality of today’s world that there are few clubs who can afford to turn down €70m for a player. And the fact of the matter is that Kaka is 27-years-old and spent much of the past season injured. It’s true that he’s only two years removed from being named FIFA World Player of the Year, and he still has some very good years ahead of him, but it wouldn’t be blasphemous to say that he’s on the downside on his career. And what AC Milan, and all of Serie A, desperately need is a massive infusion of youth. And €70m can buy a lot of talented youth.

That’s why losing Pato would be a massive loss, to not only Milan, but all of Italian football. The 19-year-old has a more than respectable tally of 23 goals in 51 appearances for Milan and is becoming a Brazilian national team regular. ‘I have seen him in training and on the pitch,’ says David Beckham, ‘He is only 19 years of age and I think he can become one of the greatest players in the world.’ Not small praise from someone who has played with the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Eric Cantona. The Duck is exactly the type of player that you build a team around, not sell—especially if you’re AC Milan.

The Serie A may not have as much money to throw around as it did in the late 80s and early 90s, but it’s far from broke. In fact, according to Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance 2009, Serie A enjoyed the highest one year growth in revenue of all the big five European leagues. But its wages/revenue ratio was 6% higher than that of clubs in England and Spain. If you combine that stat with the fact that the Serie A generates less total revenue than its English counterparts, it means that English clubs have €27m more to spend on players. If you have less money to spend you need to make shrewd purchases. Instead of spending €24m on a flop like Ricardo Quaresma, wouldn’t it make economical sense to find, develop and play less expensive youngsters?

Milan has already lost one talented youngster in midfielder Yoann Gourcuff. After appearing in just 18 games (14 of those as a substitute) for the Rossoneri in 2007/08, the 22-year-old was loaned to Bordeaux. He went on to start 35 matches for the Ligue 1 champions this season, and all he did was score 12 goals and assist on 11 others. Fed up with his lack of playing time at the San Siro, he recently made his loan move permanent and signed a four year deal with the French club. He only cost Bordeaux €10m. That’s the same amount AC Milan paid the LA Galaxy for 32-year-old David Beckham.

If every player were Gary Neville or Paolo Maldini, fans wouldn’t have to deal with their heroes leaving their club for another. But the reality is that player’s move around—a lot. And at 27, you can’t blame Kaka for wanting to play in another country or make more money. He’s also helped to bring many trophies to the San Siro, and fans should appreciate him for that. He should be allowed to leave if that’s his wish, but to let The Duck walk would be a devastating mistake. If Milan and Italian football want to be back on top, it’s talented, affordable young players like Pato that will lead the way.

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Adidas Barbershop Artwork



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adidasmessi2

To celebrate the Confederations Cup being played in South Africa for the first time, Adidas has created a series of ‘barbershop’ artwork that honors Kaka, Lionel Messi, Steven Gerrard and hometown hero Steven Pinaar. In Africa, to have a haircut named after you, such as the ‘Denzel,’ is one of the highest honors one can receive. The name of the campaign is Kopanya, a South African word that means together. The Confederations Cup begins on June 14 with the final to be played on June 28. The countries competing are Brazil, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand and the United States.

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The Ups And Downs Of Football



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rollercoaster

One day you’re riding high, and the next you’re back to being a bum. Such is life in the world of football. Just ask Rafa Benitez and Jurgen Klinsmann. Leading up to the match, the ‘Fact Man’ was busy telling the press how terrified other teams were of his juggernaut Reds, and then they went out and got embarrassed at home by Chelsea. Meanwhile, Klinsy’s job status—never the most secure in Europe—took as serious hit as they played the Washington Generals to Barcelona’s Globetrotters. Football is a fickle game indeed.

Not only did Chelsea exercise their demons last night at Anfield, according to Frank Lampard, they’re now the team to beat. Not one to get carried away, is he? If you ask John Terry, Liverpool were getting carried away with the dirty tricks they were using to try and get him booked. Fortunately for the Blues, they have ‘supernatural’ Branislav Ivanovic on their side.

I’m not sure exactly what Ivanovic’s powers may be, but I wonder if he had anything to do with bringing Adriano back from the dead.

Spanish relegation battlers Osasuna don’t need help from the dark side, all they need is a little pork. Two weeks ago a local pig breeder offered twelve suckling pigs if they beat fellow bottom feeders Espanyol, which they did 1-0. Then they followed that up with a 4-2 demolishing of Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón—which earned them twelve more delicious piggies. Good news for everyone but Osasuna’s two Muslim players.

In case you really want to know, Kaka doesn’t want to go to England and wishes to stay at AC Milan. Maybe he’ll change his mind when he hears Craig Bellamy’s offer to clean his boots. No word on what other services the Welshman has offered.

Boot cleaning might not be enough to lure Kaka, but it might convince Zenit St. Petersburg striker Pavel Pogrebnyak to move to City. The Russian is keen on a move to England, as long as it’s not Blackburn. Can you really blame him?

It seems Lukas Podolski’s love slap isn’t going completely unpunished. The German police are now involved and investigating the incident. Good to see the German police have nothing better to do. I guess I better get my ‘Free Lukas’ t-shirt ready.

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Playing The Blame Game



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nelson-muntz

When a massive club from a mammoth league gives up two away goals to a big club from a lesser league, then you know that the next day’s papers will report that the sky is falling and play the blame game.  In case you didn’t notice, that happened in yesterday’s Manchester United v. FC Porto Champions League quarter-final match. Of course there’s other news to report, but it’s not as sexy as a team in crisis. (Remember Arsenal earlier in the year, and Liverpool soon after?)

Let’s jump right into it. Whose fault is it that United wet the bed against Porto? If you ask Sir Alex, it’s his fault. Edwin van der Sar blames the leaky defense. Darren Fletcher takes a different path and actually gives Porto credit for playing a good game. So obviously it must be all his fault.

Former crisis club, now best in the world, Liverpool could lose goal scoring machine Fernando Torres to Italy or, gasp, Germany. Not one to let anything go unremarked upon, ‘Facts’ Benitez is holding a press conference about it. Just kidding, but don’t be surprised if he does.

Remember Chelsea? Just last year they playned in the Champions League final and are currently just four points behind league leaders Manchester United. It seems nobody else does, considering the coverage Liverpool and United have been receiving this year. It might actually be a good thing, since captain John Terry revealed that he used to be scared of Anfield, but he’s not anymore. He’s also not scared of the boogie man or the monster in his closet anymore as well. Maybe he needs another pep talk from Avram Grant to help him out. Or just Jose Mourinho back.

Did Manchester City’s ear just perk up? It seems Kaka hasn’t completely ruled out a move to England. Which, of course, means he must be going to City?

In lesser, but more curious transfer news, Villarreal is reportedly interested in non-goal machine Bobby Zamora. If I were Jozy Altidore I would be so pissed right now considering in his last two matches he’s scored as many goals as Fulham’s non-striker has all season.

And in much lesser news, David Beckham’s AC Milan teammate Christian ‘Bobo’ Vieri wants to join him and play for the LA Galaxy.  And they said Becks isn’t helping MLS grow.

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Kaka’s New Sony Ad



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Back to Life…Back to Reality



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shotlove3

The celebration of great men is now over and it’s back to work for most us of. (My apologies to those Bob Cratchits that didn’t get the day off.) But luckily we have the daily reality show that is football to keep our minds off of our TPS reports. And just like our favorite reality shows, there are certain characters that get more air time than others. And while we really didn’t intend to make this a Rafa Benitez website (though that might not be a bad idea for a spin-off); the “fact man” is at it again. If sports are a live action soap opera, the most real of reality shows, then Rafa is Tila Tequila. So let’s start our roll call of random things filling our brain in that wackiest of places−Liverpool FC.

Keeping up his infatuation with all things Manchester United, the jellybean with a goatee has this to say, “We’ve made a team that can compete with them but economically we’re inferiors and can’t afford the players they can. I have enough data to bore you.” Rafa has data? Bore us? C’mon Rafa, there’s nothing more exciting than watching a grown man read from a well organized list of childish complaints.

Read the full story

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Five Reasons Why Platini Hates English Football



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Me? I don't hate the English.

Me? I don't hate the English.

Michel Platini claims that he doesn’t hate English football. Yet, his recent outburst during which he threatened to ban Manchester City from the Champions League because of their pursuit of Kaka seems to suggest otherwise. This isn’t the first time that the UEFA president has had less than complementary things to say about the English. Following are five quotes from the man himself, which prove that Michel Platini hates the English.

“I would love to give the Champions League to Juventus. I was in Turin when Del Piero stunned Iker Casillas of Real Madrid.” (12/29/08) Chelsea plays Juventus in the next stage of the Champions League.

“I want to create a situation where every team has a chance of winning and there is a more level playing field. But in England teams win either with morality or without it. We want transparency and financial fair play, but sometimes you do not have that in England” (2/6/09) This quote speaks for itself.

“Nothing. England should have done better on the pitch. I don’t want to say that we’re missing England. If England aren’t capable of finishing in the top two of a group of six, that’s their problem.” (7/6/08) His response when asked whether he missed England competing at Euro 2008.

“But it’s ridiculous. I don’t need to say more. How one guy can cost £150m is ridiculous. From a football point of view, social point of view and every point of view.” (2/6/09) His thoughts regarding Manchester City’s pursuit of Kaka.

“They had Di Stefano and Puskas in the past, and as Ronaldo is considered one of the best or the best player in the world it’s normal. If the club has the finances they can do it, if they don’t have the money they can’t.” (6/28/08) What he said regarding Real Madrid’s 120 million pound attempt to  buy Christiano Ronald. Apparently that’s not ridiculous.

Whether or not he’s Napoleon, it definitely seems to me that he has an anti-English bias. And it wouldn’t be so worrying if he weren’t the UEFA president. With bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups underway, I have to wonder whether his feelings will affect England’s chance of hosting a World Cup. Being outspoken as player is one thing, but as a person who possesses considerable power he should keep his personal prejudices to himself.

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