World soccer news for week of March 5
Five games for Cassano for the latest "cassanata"
Cassanata. This is the newly-coined Italian word that signifies "a type of bad, infantile behaviour typical of Antonio Cassano". He is a supremely talented 25-year old forward currently playing for Sampdoria on loan from Real Madrid. And he performed a new cassanata on Sunday against Torino. First he scored a wonderful goal saving a point for Sampdoria, earning himself a yellow card for antics like shirt stripping. Then, with two minutes to go, he committed a minor foul against Natali, for which the referee Pierpaoli unjustly sent him off. Not one to take an injustice lightly, Cassano burst into insults and threats, taking off his shirt (again) and throwing it against Pierpaoli. The disciplinary committee sanctioned him with a five-match ban and a 15,000 euro fine. More importantly, this could be the end of Cassano's hopes to be called up for the European Championship, because of the fears he would be too much of a liability.
A gun-wielding Romanian fan threatens a player
A 30-year old soccer fan from Buzau, Romania, entered Politechnica Iasi dressing room after the game against the local Gloria team had ended in a 1-1 draw.
"A guy in a leather jacket came in brandishing a gun and threatened our player Cristea," said the visitors' coach Ionut Popa.
It was even worse outside, on the pitch.
"I had never witnessed anything like it. All players joined in fighting, even the reserves. Our masseur was attacked and I had stones, lighters and bottles thrown at me. I think I might quit soccer," added Popa.
The armed fan, a Gloria fan, was identified thanks to the video cameras and was swiftly fined and banned for life from approaching the stadium in Buzau, said the local police spokesman Ciprian Ene.
Next week Gloria will be in for some more controversy because they play away at leaders Cluj. Steaua chairman Gigi Becali has promised each Gloria player 5000 euros if they can snatch a point or three off Cluj, who are eight points ahead of the Bucharest team.
Uche's goal "silliest" in Spain, Neville's own goal tops world competition
Getafe's goal which condemned Real Madrid to a 0-1 defeat last week was voted the silliest in Spanish soccer history in a poll organized by Marca daily.
The readers gave 40% of the vote to the goal by Uche, who took advantage of Real players' celebration of a goal which had been disallowed. While the home players were hugging near the touchline, unaware that the linesman's flag had gone up, Getafe staged a fast break culminated by the Nigerian.
Incidentally, the second most-voted goal was also conceded by Real Madrid. Back in 2001, Valladolid's Colombian Harold Lozano whistled and froze Real's defense, who must have believed that the whistle had come from the referee. Then Lozano passed the ball to Fernando, who easily scored past the petrified keeper.
In international competition, the most votes went to Gary Neville who scored an own goal in the Croatia vs England game (2-0), beating the goalkeeper Paul Robinson with the help of a divot, which changed the trajectory of the ball.
Arrest warrant issued for Serb FA president
Serb police have issued an arrest warrant for FA president Zvezdan Terzic, over suspicion of embezzling 1.1 million Deutchmarks from the transfer of Vanja Grubac to Hamburger SV of Germany.
The suspected crime took place in 1998 while Terzic was OFK Beograd's director.
"It has been determined that Terzic misappropriated 1.1 million DEM relative to the transfer of a soccer player," announced the police spokesman, according to Tanjug agency.
Terzic, who is allegedly in the United States, immediately reacted in an interview to Belgrade Sport daily, denying any wrongdoing. Even the player in question stepped up in Terzic's defence claiming that, as far as he knew, the official did not take any money in the deal.
This year Serb soccer came under an offensive from the legal authorities, who detained several high-profile officials, including the current FA director Dragan Dzajic, one of the biggest soccer legends in the whole of the Balkan peninsula. The accusations are always the same: misappropriation of funds from soccer transfers and tax evasion.
Boca's people decided: Riquelme more important than Maradona
Midfielder Juan Román Riquelme has been voted the biggest idol in the history of Boca Juniors in a survey conducted on the club's web page.
Out of 65,200 voting supporters, 33.7% gave their vote to Riquelme, while the former crowd favourite Maradona collected 26.42%. Third place went to Guillermo Barros Schelotto of Columbus Crew with 21.36%, while Manchester United's Carlos Tévez won just 4.5% votes, behind Martín Palermo in fifth place.
The popular choice should not be too surprising since Riquelme did much more for Boca than Maradona in his two relatively brief spells.
"I'm happy Boca's people loves me, but this club is over 100 years old and there are far more idols than those mentioned in the poll. Some of them are not among us any more. The fans must have remembered more easily those who are still here," said Riquelme with commendable modesty.
The international midfielder helped Boca win three Argentinian championships, three Libertadores Cups and an Intercontinental Cup.
Symbolically, he was the player who substituted Maradona during his farewell game in 1997 and in 2002 he transferred from Boca to Barcelona, just like El Diego 21 years earlier. In Europe, he was best remembered for missing a penalty in the 2006 Champions League semifinals for Villarreal against Arsenal.
Fraud uncovered: Franco's propaganda doctored famous Marcelino's goal
The Spanish national team won the European Championship in 1964 beating the Soviet Union 2-1 with goals from Pereda and Marcelino.
Up until now, the average Spaniard believed that it was Real Madrid's Amaro Amancio who provided the cross for the decisive Marcelino goal. That was, in fact, what the tv footage showed.
However, Spanish national tv has now revealed the swindle: dictator Franco's news and propaganda agency had edited the footage to hide the real maker of the cross: Barcelona's Jesús Pereda!
It seemed to the generalísimo's assistants that it would be inappropriate for no Real Madrid players to have participated in the decisive plays so they decided that it was Amancio rather than Pereda who passed the ball to Marcelino. At least they did not change the scorers themselves.
Copyright Ozren Podnar & Soccerphile
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