Sunday, September 30, 2007

World Soccer News 29/09/2007

World Soccer News 29/09/2007.
Title over sex, booze and holidays

Numerous English soccer fans would be willing to renounce to sex, alcohol and holidays if that was to guarantee success of their favourite teams.
The poll conducted by Virgin Money from a sample of 2500 fans showed that sex and alcohol would be the first victims the fans would be ready to sacrifice for the sake of their teams' results. Next in line people would dispense with are time with family and summer holidays.
The most willing to renounce pleasure for success are Newcastle United followers provided that would give their team a Premiership title. Such an attitude is likely a result of a 38-year wait since the Magpies' last trophy, the Intercity Fairs' Cup won in 1969.
The Toon Army are followed by Birmingham City, Sunderland, Wigan and Manchester United fans. Arsenal fans are ninth and Liverpool followers are not in the top ten.
On the other end of the table are Bolton fans, who are the least willing to give up on anything for their team to win. Possibly because of the awareness that no sacrifice would suffice.

A year in prison over a rough foul

The regional court in the northern Argentinian province of Salti sentenced an amateur soccer player to a year in jail over a very rough foul which almost permanently blinded a rival player.
The aggressive or reckless Marcelo Cil (37) was also sentenced to pay 7000 USD in damages to the injured player whom he smashed in the head with his forearm, inflicting him with severe injuries.
The provincial soccer association concurred with the assessment of the gravity of the injury and suspended Cil for five years.
The convict claims the foul was unintentional and that he was sent off just once in 15 years and "not even over foul play but because of time wasting."

Don't shoot to hard at Casillas

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas has insured his arms for 7.5 million euros in exchange for endorsing the Groupama insurance company.
According to the agreement between Casillas and Groupama, the insurance policy will run until the end of the current season and covers all injuries sustained under any circumstances, including outside the soccer field.
Groupama representatives joked during the contract signing ceremony in Madrid, asking all the players of Primera División to "refrain from shooting hard towards Iker's goal," while the 27-year-old responded that even if he injured his knee, he would report an injury to his arms.

Uli Höness warns Lukas Podolski

Bayern Munich GM, Uli Höness, said his international forward Lukas Podolski had to change his way of thinking if he had the ambition of making a career in the Bavarian team.
"I read his interview in which he said he had nothing to prove to anybody. And I have to say he is much mistaken. On the contrary, he has plenty to prove because he has not achieved anything," said the former World Cup winner to "Süddeutsche Zeitung".
Podolski, one of the leading young strikers in Germany, joined Bayern from Köln after last year's World Cup in Germany where he starred alongside Miroslav Klose.
The Polish-born player regularly features for Germany (40 caps, 23 goals) but is having a hard time winning a place in Bayern's starting eleven – partly due to a nagging knee injury.
New guys Klose and Luca Toni have scored nine goals in the first six League matches, keeping Podolski far from Ottmar Hitzfeld's line-up.
"If he does not change his attitude radically, he will not succeed here. In the next six to eight months it will be clear if he has succeeded or not," added Höness, describing Podolski's left foot as "his only weapon."
The youngster responded by saying he would prove his worth if he could finally get seven or eight games in a row.

Golden Ball becomes a global affair

Milan's Kaká is reportedly fancied to win this year's France Football's Golden Ball, but as of this season this prize will also be available to his fellow countrymen who play outside Europe.
Until this year, the magnificent offensive midfielder would have been eligible as a member of an European club, but now the club affiliation is no longer a criterion.
The French magazine that has been awarding the prize since 1956 has announced that the Golden Ball will now be a recognition for the world's best player and the jury has been expanded from 53 to 96 members from all over the globe.
This is the second major change in the rules that govern the eligibility for the Golden Ball. The first was introduced in 1995 extending the right to participate to non-European footballers playing in Europe. The new rule seemed tailor made for the Liberian George Weah, who came out on top that year.
Last year's winner was Italy's Fabio Cannavaro thanks to a grand display at the World Cup.

Mário Zagallo finally retires

The most successful personality in World Cup history, the legendary Mário Zagallo, has announced his retirement at 76.
"I will not coach again at club or international level. Sincerely, I have not been watching soccer much lately," said the former great player, head coach and assistant coach of the Brazilian soccer team.
His last job was technical coordinator of Brazil's World Cup team in Germany.
"If they had asked me to continue, I probably would have kept on working," said "Lobo" (Wolf) Zagallo.
The revered veteran won two world titles as a player together with Pelé, Vavá and Garrincha (1958 and 1962), one as the coach (1970) and one as assistant coach (1994).
"It will be hard for anybody to emulate these achievements. I was lucky to have become manager soon after retiring as a player," concluded the popular Brazilian.

Laporta withdraws support for the Prime Minister

Barcelona waited for a long time for a Spanish Prime Minister who was also a Barca fan. He finally came in 2004 in the person of José Luis Zapatero.
Therefore it was no surprise that the club's chairman Joan Laporta dedicated to him among other people the Champions' League won in 2006 against Arsenal.
Now Laporta claims he is sorry for the gesture, since Zapatero has failed to fulfill his expectations regarding the rights of the Catalans.
"Then I believed he was a champion for Spain as a multi-ethnic country, whereas now I realize he has not moved far as far as Catalonia's national rights are concerned. (...) Spain needs us only for the money," said the controversial Barcelona chairman, not hiding his political preferences for the future.
"I hope Catalonia one days appears in a World Cup as an independent country."
Following this episode, many people all over Spain are accusing Laporta of abusing his presidential position in Barcelona in order to enhance his stature with a view to a possible future involvement in politics.

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