Tag Archive | "World Cup"

A Bolt Of Lightning Everywhere



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usainbolt

Well it’s the last day of the international break and let’s hope our favorite players don’t get Tevezed before they return to their clubs. While club football may have been on a break, conspiracy theories and over-inflated egos didn’t. Nor did we take a break (don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.)

The world’s fastest man and, apparently, the world’s number one celebrity football supporter, Usain Bolt, will be a guest of the English FA as England take on Croatia in a World Cup qualifier. Not that long after palling around with best mate Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid last week, he’ll be at Wembley rooting on England. The Jamaican sprinter is such an England fan he even used the word ‘we’ when talking about today’s match.

He may not be as fast of foot as Bolt, but Didier Drogba is quick to pat himself on the back. The former want away striker, who has now declared himself Chelsea-for-life, claims that he’s an unselfish player who doesn’t, ‘look at my scoring statistics.’ I agree with him. The way he got himself red carded during the 2008 Champions League final so that John Terry could be forced to take a penalty was definitely soulless selfless.

Another man who doesn’t mind taking one for the team is Manchester United midfielder and Scottish captain Darren Fletcher. The hard-nosed player has encouraged his teammates to question their opposite number if they’re ‘up for a battle?’ He also goes on to say he’ll be ‘in your face and kicking at your ankles.’ I’m sure those are comforting words for Arsene Wenger after he questioned Fletcher‘s role on the pitch during the last Manchester United v. Arsenal match.

Wenger’s problems with the Scottish aren’t restricted to the playing field. He blames the Eduardo diving suspension on, ‘Scottish people working at UEFA.’ David Gold, former chief executive of the Scottish FA and current UEFA general secretary, has come out and explained that, ‘It’s not all pals together’ at UEFA. No word if he was having a glass of red wine with Sir Alex Ferguson at the time of the statement.

Old pal Juande Ramos has been tipped for a return to football. After resurrecting his reputation at Real Madrid after his Tottenham debacle, the Spaniard is rumored to replace Leonardo at AC Milan. Like Martin Jol (now at Ajax after a successful stint at Hamburg), Ramos is finding that being fired from White Hart Lane might be the best thing to happen to a manager.

And let’s end on a truly joyous note (for once). Liverpool fan Michael Shields, who was incarcerated four years for a crime he didn’t commit after Liverpool’s Champions League victory in Turkey in 2005, has been released from prison today. Congratulations Michael.

Posted in Jason Parker, What's Going On?Comments Off

What Was Javier Aguirre Thinking?



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He may not have been on the job very long, but Mexican national team coach Javier Aguirre is already making headlines—for all the wrong reasons. The former Atletico Madrid boss received a three match ban and a $25,000 fine from CONCACAF for kicking Panama midfielder Ricardo Phillips during a Gold Cup group match. He will miss Mexico’s final Gold Cup match, and more importantly, could miss TWO of Mexico’s World Cup qualifying matches. That’s not a smart move considering ‘El Tri’ sit fourth out of six in their qualifying group. I’m sure former national team coach Paco Ramirez knows how Aguirre is feeling.

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What Becks And Wills Were Really Thinking



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England recently kicked off their bid to host the 2018 World Cup in grand fashion–by enlisting Prince William and David Beckham to help promote the cause. English magazine talkSPORT gives us a glimpse inside the heads of Britain’s best.

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Tell Us What You Really Think



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stefaneffenberg

As the old saying goes, opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one. Unlike a**holes, which are only shared on adult websites and magazines (does anyone read porno mags anymore?), footballers opinions make front page headlines around the world.

Stefan Effenberg has been out of football since 2004, but that didn’t stop German newspaper Bild from digging him up for an interview. The former Bayern München player accused David Beckham of being underhanded. It shouldn’t be huge news, but mention the name David Beckham and you’ll make headlines. Maybe he just doesn’t want England to host the 2018 World Cup.

What is it with frustrated Germans today? Recently fired Jurgen Klinsmann is unhappy by the way he was treated by Bayern München. He claims he was made a scapegoat for things he couldn’t control and he could’ve won the Bundesliga if given the chance. Maybe he could have, maybe he couldn’t have; but like a Tootsie-Roll Pop, the world will never know.

Lionel Messi has decided to offer his two cents on the Carlos Tevez saga. The Flea says to sign him up as he’s one of the best in the world. I have to admit it struck me as odd that he didn’t make a plea for him to come to Barcelona. Normally when players talk up their countrymen, they say how great they would be at their club. Just saying.

‘Facts’ Benitez loves to talk about his club’s inability to financially compete with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea. So I wonder how he can explain his club’s £50m bid for Carlos Tevez. Especially considering he recently said how United can spend £40-50m on a player and he can’t. Rafa, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has decided to stay at the Emirates and turn down the advances of Real Madrid. Considering his massive transfer budget this summer (which must make ‘Facts’ jealous), I have to take my hat off to the man for sticking by his club. Or as he probably knows, if he takes the Madrid position he’ll be out of a job within 3 months. I guess the march in support of the Professor isn’t necessary after all.

I know Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough won’t be happy to see Manchester United field a reserve team against fellow relegation battlers Hull City this weekend. But I hope to G*d that they won’t actually sue the club if they do. Why is it everyone feels the need to sue when they go down? Can’t they just accept they’re shit? Or maybe, instead of suing somebody, they should use the Hull City method of motivation.

His girl might have left him and his team might have had a disappointing season, but, damn it, this is Frank Lampard’s best season ever—according to him. Maybe instead of Fat Frank, we should start calling him Old Silver Lining.

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Life Outside The Champions League



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philbrown

Believe it or not, there’s actually football news that isn’t about the Champions League semi-final matches. You may not care but it’s there and you can’t just sit there and ignore it. Ok, maybe you can.

Phil Brown once declared he would one day be the English national team manager. Before that happens he better hope he can keep Hull City in the Premiership. But things don’t seem to be going his way. First he’s told last season’s playoff hero Dean Windass to stay away from the club for the rest of the season. And now, his son’s been arrested for possession of cocaine. It looks to me like Phil might be hitting the slopes they way he gyrates on the touchline during matches.

Bye-Bye Jurgen Klinsmann. We hardly knew ya. But now is the time to talk about his replacement. And wouldn’t you know it, Guus Hiddink tops Bayern München’s list. I don’t think he would turn down Chelsea’s billions for Bayern’s millions, but isn’t he supposed to return to Russian anyway. The way teams are fawning over him, you think he lead Russia to victory in the last World Cup.

Recently named PFA Player of the Year Ryan Giggs is being touted for knighthood by a group of online supporters. And while the classy Welshman deserves consideration, he still might have one more shirtless goal celebration in him.

Too bad things aren’t going so smoothly for his future replacement Nani. It doesn’t seem as if the Portugueser will be at Old Trafford much longer.

Just because you haven’t heard it for a while: AC Milan wants to make David Beckham’s deal permanent when he returns next fall. Groundhog Day type stuff here kids.

Now how about that Champions League?

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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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Crazy Hair and Flair to Match



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carlosvalderrama

A Legend from Head to Toe


El Pibe (The Kid) has the most international caps in Columbia’s history with a total of 111. He’s been twice named South American Player of the Year (1987 and 1993). He’s also a member of the MLS All-Time Best XI. And in 2004, he was the only Colombian to be named one of FIFA’s 125 Greatest Living Players. Bet you didn’t know that. But really, who was watching him play. We were too busy looking at that hair. Watching my first World Cup in 1990, I didn’t know who was supposed to be good; I just knew that the guy with the blond afro looked like a wild animal on the pitch. And that was super cool to my pre-teen self. He was like a real life Animal from the Muppet Show. If you combine the hair, porno mustache and his playing accomplishments, it’s should be obvious why Carlos Valderrama is our inaugural inductee into the Natural Hat Trick Hair Hall of Fame.

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