Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Soccer News 1/17/2007


Soccer news.
1/17/07

Beckham, The Best Hope Yet For Soccer In The USA

A string of extraordinary players have attempted to make soccer big in the USA. Among them the King (Pele), the Kaiser (Beckenbauer) and the Prophet (Johan Cruyff), but it is David Beckham that may turn out the be the most telling signing a US team has ever made and crucial for the development of soccer in the USA. Many international stars have attempted to help the game take root in the USA but its popularity has always remained largely limited to the Hispanic or Italian communities.
Beckham is a different deal. He is not only the greatest soccer-pop star in history, but he is also an Anglosaxon. Here's a wild guess: WASPs are going to go crazy for the former England captain and soccer will finally become a mainstream sport in the country of baseball and American football.

Previous Big Moves to the USA

Player Team
George Best (N. Ireland) Los Angeles Aztecs Pele (Brazil) NY Cosmos Franz Beckenbauer (Germany) NY Cosmos Giorgio Chinaglia (Italy) NY Cosmos Johan Neeskens (Holland) NY Cosmos Johan Cruyff (Holland) Washington Diplomats Gerd Müller (Germany) Fort Lauderdale Strikers Carlos Valderrama (Colombia) Tampa Bay MutinyMo Johnston (Scotland) Kansas City Wizards Roberto Donadoni (Italy) NY Metrostars Lotthar Matthäus (Germany) NY Metrostars Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) Chicago Fire

Sebastian Deisler Calls It A Day

The German international Sebastian Deisler has announced the end of his career at 27, dejected because of the multiple injuries that have prevented him from meeting the expectations either at Bayern or in the national team. Deisler has undergone five knee surgeries and has also been hospitalized twice for severe bouts of depression."It hasn't been a sudden decision but something that has matured over time", said Deisler at a press conference in Munich. Deisler has recovered well from his last injury and returned to the pitch last autumn, but claims he has "lost faith in his knee"."I do not play soccer with joy any more, and I cannot do things half-heartedly. That would not help anybody."Bayern's general manager, Uli Höness, deplored Deisler's decision, calling it "inexplicable". In a nice gesture, the club has said it would freeze the player's contract so that Deisler could return when or if he felt ready.

Terry's Contract Boosted To Keep The Squad Quiet

Marcello Lippi decided to take a year off after winning the World Cup in July, but will announce his future plans in April. Jose Mourinho's probable departure at the end of the season has opened the door to the speculations that Lippi may be the next Chelsea coach. Other candidates reportedly are Juande Ramos of Sevilla and Didier Deschamps of Juventus.
In the meantime, Chelsea's captain John Terry has had his annual salary raised to 14 million euros until 2012, probably to persuade him to quell any unrest that may flare up because of Mourinho's farewell. It is thought that Didier Drogba, Claude Makelele, Michael Essien and Frank Lampard may consider leaving alongside Mourinho, so Terry's influence over his mates may prove essential in keeping the squad together.

Mauricio Macri Wants To Lead Argentina

Boca Juniors' chairman Mauricio Macri leads the most successful South-American team, but his ambitions exceed the soccer field by far."I plan to run for President of Argentina. I am working very hard to reach that goal", said the soccer mogul, who is also a member of the Propuesta Republicana (Republican Proposal) political party.
However, Macri may be forced to fight for the presidency without a former significant ally and friend. Diego Armando Maradona has taken objection at the fact that Macri presented Boca shirts to George W. Bush's daughters Barbara and Jenna during their visit last month to Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires. A staunch left wing supporter, Maradona deeply despises Bush and has said he had distanced himself from his former boss at Boca.

The Worst Of The Worst Who are Serie A Antiheroes?

Currently the most popular column in the Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport is "Ci torni in mente" (May we remember him), dedicated to the worst foreign imports to have played in the Italian Serie A over the past 25 years.
Featuring prominently among the couple of dozen selected is the former Rangers' hero Mark Hateley, for whom goals did not come so easy at AC Milan in the mid-eighties. Anfield's eighties' idol Ian Rush enjoys a similar status with Juventus fans thanks to his less-than-famous 1987/88 season at Stadio Communale.Another mega-celebrity included is 1991 Golden Boot winner Darko Pancev, who had scored goals aplenty for Yugoslavia, Red Star and Vardar Skopje, but not at Inter Milan.
Let's have a look at the selected antiheroes from Italian clubs:
Inter: Darko Pancev (Macedonia), Vampeta (Brazil) Milan: Mark Hateley (Scotland), Winston Bogarde (Holland), Bruno N'Gotty (France) Juventus: Alexandar Zavarov (Ukraine), Ian Rush (Wales), Zoran Mirkoviæ (Serbia) Lazio: Pedro Troglio and Gustavo Dezotti (Argentina), Amarildo Sousa (Brazil) Roma: Renato Gaucho (Brazil), Omari Tetradze (Georgia) Genoa: Kazuyoshi Miura (Japan) Como: Claudio Borghi (Argentina)

Madjer - "It Was Shameless Robbery"

Hans-Peter Briegel's confession to the Emirates newspaper Al Ittihad that the game between West Germany and Austria (1-0) at the 1982 World Cup had been arranged so that both teams could progress at Algeria's expense made Rabah Madjer green with rage yet again. "Briegel said what we have known all along", the former Algeria and Porto great told Spanish daily AS. "What's going to happen now? Nothing, because Algeria has no weight in world soccer. We were robbed then and we will never have another chance at reaching the second round of a World Cup", said the author of the famous back-heeled goal against Bayern in the 1987 European Cup finals.
On that day in Gijón, for both West Germany and Austria to go through, the Germans had to win by one or two goals. Any other score would have eliminated one of them. Germany went 1-0 ahead in the 10th minute, after which there was very little play on both sides. Madjer blames the Austrians more, because of supposedly having surrendered in advance. "It is scandalous how Schachner, Krankl, Pezzey and others played, but it seems to me that they had orders from their FA. Afterwards I met Krankl on several occasions and he appologized for having played badly, but he never admitted to having thrown the game."
One of the famous Austrians from that period, Walter Schachner, partially confirmed Briegel's words."I don't know whether there was an agreement, but in the second half the coaching tandem Latzke and Schmid was angry at me because I worked hard to score. (...) During the game, whenever I would come accross Briegel, he would always aks me, 'why are you running so much, take it easy'. Later, when I saw the game on video, it looked as though my mates failed to feed me the ball on some occasions when I was in a good position", Schachner told Diario AS.
On the other hand, German internationals Uli Stielike and Paul Breitner commented that Briegel must have had too much to drink if he had really said that Germany's win had been arranged.

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