Thursday, January 11, 2007

Soccer News 1/11/2007

Disabled soccer player trains for the Olympic tournament in rowing

The former Uruguayan international Dario Silva, who had his right leg amputated under the knee because of injuries sustained in a traffic accident desires to return to the world of sports. Not to soccer, obviously. He plans to make the Uruguayan rowing team for the Beijing Olympics next year.
"I have a coach who is preparing me for the return to sports. My future is rowing. I want to be a professional rower and take part in the Olympics", said the 33-year old forward whose soccer career was cruelly truncated on a street in Montevideo.


Milan wins Luigi Berlusconi

Milan beat Juventus 3-2 at home to collect the 16th Luigi Berlusconi Trophy. The Trofeo Berlusconi is usually staged in August, but last year's edition was postponed because of the referee-rigging scandal in which both teams were involved. The match gave the opportunity to the Italian fans to relish a "classic" that otherwise would not have been seen this season due to the fact that Juventus was relegated to the Serie B.
Milan's goals came from Pippo Inzaghi, Clarence Seedorf and Willy Aubemeyang, Nedved and Del Piero replying for the visitors.


Arsenal fatal for Liverpool twice

Arsenal finished off Liverpool's domestic cup chances in a space of a few days. Wenger's squad first threw the Reds out of the FA Cup by winning 3-1 at Anfield with two goals by Tomas Rosicky and one by Thierry Henry. A couple of days later, at the same stage, the Gunners hit Liverpool with twice as many goals in the League Cup. The hero of the resounding win was Julio Baptista, The Beast, scoring four goals. Could this be a repeat of the 1992/93 season, which saw Arsenal win both domestic cups?


A footballer for a pipeline

What's the price of a soccer player in Romania? There have been reports on payment in kind for transfers, but the new proposal of Minerul's boss Cornel Rasmerita beats them all.
"I'll sell my goalkeeper Cristian Belgradeanu to Jiul if their owner finances the construction of the pipeline to my town of Lupeni", said Rasmerita, who is incidentally Lupeni's mayor.

Jiul's boss, on the other hand, appears to be involved in civil engineering and gas industries, so the match between the two club owners seems to be made in heaven. The pipeline would cost an approximate 150,000 USD, in funds or in players.


Spanish joke: "Zidane true FIFA's player of the year"

What most other people do on April 1st, most Spaniards (not those in Catalunya, for instance) do on December 28th: play practical jokes. On that day, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Spanish media have fun with the readers by printing a story that sounds true with a difference that it is not. Last time around, Madrid's Marca daily "revealed" to the world that FIFA had made a mistake in the counting of the votes for the FIFA Player of the Year contest and that the real winner was not Fabio Cannavaro, but Zinedine Zidane. Marca even included a few words from Luiz Felipe Scolari whose votes had supposedly been miscounted. "I gave maximum votes to Zidane, not to Henry", allegedly said Scolari, who was afterwards furious with the paper's putting the words in his mouth.
Many papers reported the news from Spain without checking. Even Cannavaro's agent came forward asking for the trophy to be shared between his client and Zidane, rather than be taken away from the Italian. And every year Marca or other Spanish papers will get away with it since nobody will ever learn that December 28th is the Fools' day in most of Spain.


Sevilla rewarded as the team of the year

The International Federation for Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) has presented Sevilla president José María del Nido with the annual award for the best team in 2006, and the trophy was handed to the Spaniard by the legendary Czechoslovak Josef Masopust, Golden Ball winner in 1962.
"It's a great honour to come on top of a table ahead of teams like Barcelona, Chelsea or Roma", said Del Nido, whose team last year won the UEFA Cup and the European Supercup.
Most people would like to know what exactly are the criteria that made Sevilla the winners of IFFHS's prize ahead of the Spanish and European champions Barcelona, or the South-American and world champions Internacional of Porto Alegre.

A consolation for Barcelona is IFFHS's annual award for the best coach to Barcelona's Frank Rijkaard, although a reversal of awards would have been more logical: Sevilla's Juande Ramos should have been declared the coach of the year, for having lead an inferior squad to unprecedented heights, and Barcelona the best team for having won the most prized club trophy, while playing the most attractive soccer.


Miroslav Djukic new Partizan coach

The hero of Barcelona's 1993/94 championship winning season, the Serb Miroslav Djukic, has been named Partizan Belgrade's coach replacing Miodrag Jesic. Sub-21 national team coach, Djukic steps in for Jesic in a hopeless situation for the Gravediggers since their 14 point deficit behind Red Star seems unassailable in the spring part of the Serbian season.

Djukic incidentally never played for Barcelona, but was the man who missed a last-minute, last –matchday penalty for Deportivo against Valencia, that would have clinched the title for the La Coruña team. Since Bebeto refused to take the penalty, Djukic took over the duty and had his penalty saved by González. The Serb had a respectable career for both Deportivo and Valencia themselves, but will always be remembered for that unlucky strike that allowed Barcelona to win yet another title..


Lyon first French team to float on the Stock Exchange

Olympique de Lyon will become the first team to float on the Stock Exchange as they presented their project to the Financial Market Authority (AMF) on January 10th. The five-time champions have taken advantage of the new law authorizing the French clubs to be listed on the Stock Exchange, passed on December 30th.

Lyon already tried to float in 2003, but without success, since French legislation did not allow the clubs to do so. In 2005 the European Commission started proceedings against France to force it to amend its position.

Lyon's chairman, Jean-Michel Aulas, expects to have his club listed by mid-February and earn some 100 million euros from the operation, the funds to be earmarked for the construction of a new 60,000 capacity stadium by 2010.


Schweinsteiger: "To score a goal is better than sex"

Bayern's international midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has been voted the most attractive German man in 2006 by the teenage readers of Bravo Girl. Still, he says the sex-symbol title means little to him.

"Naturally, both sex and scoring goals produce a great feeling, but I prefer scoring goals. Soccer is my life and I'd do anything for it. On the other hand, I wouldn't do anything for sex." says Schweini, to the delight of Bayern's and Germany's fans. They also prefer their players to score on the pitch.



Who's to leave Real Madrid?

Coach Fabio Capello and soccer director Predrag Mijatovic are supposed to have compiled a list of players that are no longer wanted in Real Madrid, according to the Marca daily newspaper. Some are to go by the end of the transfer window on January 31, others will stay just until the end of the season, while still other have been given a stern warning of their precarious position.

Adiós now

Ronaldo: He's fat, leads the Brazilian "clan" and does not please Capello.
Míchel Salgado: He's slow and a bad influence in the dressing room. Will be replaced by Cicinho.
Antonio Cassano: An ideal scapegoat. The past board brought him, this one will get rid of him.

Adiós in June

Iván Helguera: Slower than ever. Used in defensive midfield or central defence for lack of better solutions.
Roberto Carlos: At the end of the line. Bad influence on Robinho and Marcelo showing them the charms of Madrid nightlife.
David Beckham: Top-model will pose elsewhere.
Emerson: Capello admitted his error in signing him.
José Reyes: Has a few more months to show why he was signed from Arsenal.

Yellow cards

Fabio Cannavaro: A pale shadow of the World Cup hero.
Robinho: Too much of a partygoer.
Raúl: The right method and the right timing are being sought to bid him goodbye.

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