Sunday, February 24, 2008

World Soccer News February 24 2008

World Soccer News February 24 2008.
World Soccer News For week of 2/24

Martin Taylor shocks Arsenal and Croatia

Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva saw his great season cut short as he was cynically mowed down by Birmingham's Martin Taylor on Saturday. The Brazilian's left fibula snapped under Taylor's irresponsible tackle and doctors say that the Gunner, operated on the same evening, will be out of action for between five and eight months.

Arsenal's coach Arsene Wenger fumed over Taylor's dreadful tackle, pleading for a lifelong suspension.
"This guy should never play again. It is horrendous and you cannot tell me he tried to play the ball first. It is unacceptable," said the Frenchmen, who hours later toned down his fury towards the Birmingham player.

In Croatia, the news immediately grabbed all the headlines. Eduardo's former teammates at Dinamo were so shocked by their pal's injury that they lost the league game to Varteks (1-2), their first home defeat in 23 months.

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic was close to tears as he lamented over Eduardo's misfortune.
"He is like a son to me. We grew together, he as a player, me as a coach. Why did it have to happen to our best guy? To the Devil with the European Championship, what I care about now is his health. I hope he recovers as soon as possible," said the former Everton and West Ham defender.

And Martin Taylor? For the Croatian fans he will forever remain a byword for brutality in soccer.

Cruyff and Van Basten to return to Ajax

While still a player, Johan Cruyff oversaw Marco van Basten's debut for Ajax in 1982. Later he coached the talented centre forward at the time when Ajax won the Dutch Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup. Two of the greatest European footballers of all time will reunite again in the following season, Cruyff as director and Van Basten as coach.
This has been announced by the current Ajax board of directors, who plan to retire at the end of the current season to make way for somebody who can hopefully turn the club's fortunes around and make it great in Europe again. Van Basten will coach the Netherlands until the end of the European Championships, while Cruyff will abandon his unofficial role of advisor to Barcelona's president Joan Laporta.

Alternative weapon: brief history of spitting

Atlético Madrid's Sergio Agüero has been banned for two games by UEFA for spitting at Bolton's Matthew Taylor in their first leg UEFA Cup game. Agüero at 20 has already joined an illustrious group of soccer giants who also salivated on their rivals or the nearby grass in the past two decades.
Since the television cameras started to cover more attentively all the events on the pitch, the first notable spitting was performed by Real Madrid's Juanito in the direction of Uli Stielike of Xamax. The German had apparently incurred Juanito's grudge while they both played for Real. Stielike would have the last laugh though with a tremendous tackle on his Spanish foe later on in the game.
The author of the most famous incident of this type was Frank Rijkaard at the 1990 World Cup, spitting several times at Rudi Völler. The latter had previously insulted him, possibly even racially. They were both sent off.
Other famous spitters include Lazio's Serb Sinisa Mihajlovic, who soaked and stepped on Adrian Mutu of Chelsea in 2003, earning himself an eight-match European cup ban.
A year later, Francesco Totti got sent off and suspended at the 2004 European Championship for spitting at Dane Christian Poulsen.

Spectacular homage to Hans Krankl in Vienna

Austria is preparing a charming event to honour Hans Krankl, the nation's most prolific goalscorer since the Second World War. During the Euros, the streets of Vienna will be decorated with hundreds of plastic life size figures of the legendary Hansi.
The organizer of the show, Peter Jöbstl, says that is the way Vienna will welcome numerous tourists who may like to pose by the figure of the cult soccer hero.
After the Championship, the figures will be sold at an auction and during the event they will be fixed onto a 250kg pedestal to discourage the fans from taking them home.
The European Golden Boot winner in 1978, Krankl played at Rapid, Barcelona and Salzburg. Austria will always remember him for the winning goal against West Germany at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.

Not a joke: lottery to help Brazilian clups repay debts

The Brazilian government has presented a public lottery whose primary goal will be helping Brazil's football clubs to repay their huge tax debts.
The lottery, called timemania (team-mania) should raise 300 million dollars in the first 12 months alone. The winners will share 137 million dollars, while the rest will go to the clubs for the specific purpose of paying their debts to the Public Treasury.
All in all, the clubs will have five years to pay off the debts which amount to 450 million dollars.
Incidentally, the players will be required to write the name of their favourite club on the coupon and the club that gets mentioned the most times in any one round will get 2% of the revenue. All other professional clubs will get just 1% apiece. Since the most popular Brazilian clubs are Flamengo, Corinthians and Sao Paulo, the biggest share will probably end up in their bank accounts.

Embarassment for the tabloids: Guti's "boyfriend" was his sister

Knowing that Real Madrid's Guti is married to tv-presenter Arancha de Benito, the Spanish public must have been shocked by a series of photos showing the blond midfielder in a suspect position with another man, as it seemed at the moment.
Spanish weekly Cuore spotted Guti in a restaurant and shot his "passionate" farewell kiss with a "man". The subsequent story titled "Tender Mr. Guti" effectively shed some doubts as to Guti's sexual preferences.
A day later, the serious daily El País uncovered the true identity of Guti's "boyfriend": the other person on the photos was Guti's short-haired sister!
"What happened in the restaurant was a family dinner during which the members of Guti's family congratulated the girl on her second pregnancy," confirmed the player's manager Zoran Vekic.

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