Saturday, October 6, 2007

Weekly Football News Roundup October 7 2007

World News for week of October 7th


ManU's mighty artillery for 0,9 goals per game

Do the names of Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha, Carlos Tévez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nani, Anderson...tell you anything? These are the players with offensive duties in Manchester Utd. Still, with all that artillery United scored a mere 11 goals in their first 12 competitive games. It's fewer than one per game.

Luckily for the Red Devils, their defence conceded just six goals in the same period thus keeping United near or on top in the Premiership and the Champions' League.
Since August 5th, ManU achieved six 1-0 wins, which did not exactly amuse Sir Alex Ferguson.
Tottenham, Sunderland, Everton and Birmingham fell with that score in the domestic League, while Sporting and Roma were beaten in Europe.
Finally, the floodgates opened against Wigan, which took no less than four goals – the amount that accounted for United's 12 points in ther previous four games.


Barcelona's Biblical plague

Barcelona has been struck with a Biblical plague: in the space of five days, during the games against Levante and Stuttgart, no fewer than five players went out of action due to injuries. Three of them, Gianluca Zambrotta, Yaya Touré and Rafael Márquez, will be sidelined for a month while Carles Puyol and Gabriel Milito may be ready for this Sunday's match against Atlético Madrid.
This is not all as far the injuries are concerned. Samuel Eto'o ruptured his right thigh muscle during the Trofeo Gamper match with Inter, which cost him a surgery and a two months' break.
Edmilson has dragged and injury ever since the last stage of the past season and is not yet ready, while Ronaldinho also spent some time away from the field owing to a calf muscle strain.
It looks like last season's bad luck or poor preparation are being repeated. Between last November and January Barca had to make do without give essential players, including Eto'o and Messi.


Good spirits protect Corinthians?

The popular Brazilian team Corinthians of Sao Paulo agreed to a help from a santeria priest hoping to avoid the drop. The priest (or witchdoctor, for some) Nilson already performed the first ritual of exorcism by using the techiques of the santeria cult. This is an Afroamerican system of beliefs merging the mystical elements from African tribal religions with the adoration of catholic saints.
"The problems begin from the outer walls of the club's offices and spread inward. We are going to purify this space with the help of good ghosts and fill it with the spiritual peace. I am confident that Corinthians will step onto the right path," said the exorcist.

Sceptical goalkeeper Felipe is not so sure that the exorcism will have effect.
"If such activities were helpful, then Bahia and Vitória (from Salvador, the capital of santeria) would not play in the second and third divisions respectively. Only we, the players, can help the club."
The rituals are supposed to end on October 12th, six games before the end of the Championship.


Vagner and Dudú against Putin over foreigners

One of the leading coloured players in the Russian top division, the Brasilian Vagner Love, is angry at the country's president Vladimir Putin because of his despective statements regarding his race.
"Looking at our teams, one cannot immediately make out if they are Russian or African," said Putin at a meeting of the Russian Sports Council, calling to the team owners to promote the domestic players.
"With all the foreign imports, we're not getting players for our national teams. Instead of investing in Russian boys, they spend millions on foreigners," added the stern president.

"It's up to the clubs to decide about signing foreingers, not up to him," claims the Brazilian international.
"It would be a shame should the clubs give up on foreigners because of Putin's statements".
His teammate and fellow countryman Dudú Cearense concurs.
"The foreigners increased the Russian team's value on the international scene. Thanks primarily to the Brazilians CSKA won the 2005 UEFA Cup as the first Russian club in history."
CSKA have six Brazilians, including the sensational 20-year old Jo, scorer of 23 goals in 41 League appearances.


Video ridiculing Atlético fans banned

The chairwoman of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, imposed a ban on a video calling for the presevation of the environment and ordered the authors to be fired.
The video's basic message of promoting the use of the subway instead of personal motor vehicles is not the controversial part. Still, the choice of characters in the short movie angered thousands.
The video shows a Real Madrid fan walking towards a metro station and, as opposed to him, an Atlético supporter driving a car, smoking and talking over a cellphone.
Mrs. Aguirre, incidentally Atlético's coach Javier's namesake, also apologized to the followers of the Madrid club if they felt offended.
Atlético's fans carry an unfair reputation of not being overly educated and elegant, one of the prototypes being the famous movie character of the shameless, foul-mouthed detective Torrente from the movie series of the same name.


Brazil top the 50 best soccer kits list

The Times has compiled a list of 50 most beautiful football kits, basically paying hommage to the old, simple designs not contaminated with heaps of advertisements and fashion details. As the authors say, "football kits were once simple, strong statements, with nothing but a club crest as adornment. As you can see at any big match, plenty of fans who choose to proclaim their loyalties by wearing a replica shirt prefer the reissued classics to the modern design nightmares."

The first prize went to Brazil's yellow, green, blue and white combination from the 1970 World Cup, but it is hard to tell whether the compilers of the list were more fascinated by the kit or the displays by Pelé, Jairzinho, Gerson, Rivelino and the rest. Real Madrid's all white and Liverpool's all red have certainly been more widely imitated. Not so the Dutch orange shirts with slim black stripes, inimitable and legendary.

Times' top five reads as following:

1. Brazil 1970
2. Real Madrid 1960s
3. Italy 1970
4. Holland 1974-78
5. Liverpool 1960s


Real presented the official plane

Real Madrid finally have their own plane. "La Saeta" (Arrow) is an aircraft type M-83 with 139 leather-covered seats with 92 cm distance between them, 19 cm more than the distance in "usual" planes. Nothing must strain the precious players' legs, certainly no the lack of comfort in the wealthy club's own vehicle.

"We hope to have the last flight this season on May 21st from Moscow with the Champions' League trophy in our baggage," announced Real's president, Ramón Calderón.
"La Saeta" is an hommage to Alfredo Di Stéfano, Real's current honorific vicepresident and the greatest legend in the club's history. The Argentinian used to be called "La Saeta rubia", The Blond Arrow.

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