Monday, November 5, 2007

World Soccer News Iker Casillas

World Soccer News for the week of November 6th
Casillas considers Golden Ball “manipulated”

Real Madrid's keeper Iker Casillas does not believe that the European Golden Ball, awarded by France Football magazine, is a real reflection of a player's qualities.
"I have teammates who deserved to win it, but have never received it. For instance, Raul. On the other hand, it was awarded to some who does't deserve it. All of this seem to me a bit manipulated," said Casillas.
"Such awards are not objective and there are too many details which suggest that the players are not treated fairly. Personally, it would not mean much to me", said the international goalkeeper.
This year the award will be declared on December 2nd.

New case of corruption shakes Paraguayan soccer

The third corruption scandal in two weeks has pushed into turmoil the soccer scene in Paraguay, one of the leading South American nations in the sport.
Gregor Aguayo, Tacuary's defender, reported to the police an individual's attempt to bribe him on the eve of a game with relegation-threatened Guarani.
Police then arrested Marcelino Mendoza handing a 1000 dollars bribe in local currency to the player, after filming the scene.
"He told me he was giving me the money because Guarani was in need of points," said Aguayo to the police. The same intermediary was denounced by Tacuary's goalkeeper Victor Centurión, who was purportedly offered 1800 dollars.
Mendoza claims he worked independently, but there is evidence to suggest someone from the club was behind his actions.

British minister attacks "obscene" soccer salaries

Gerry Sutcliffe, the British Sports Minister, angrily criticized what he sees as an obscene rise of wages in the Premier League.
"Good luck to John Terry, but I think it is obscene to be on £150,000 a week. I understand that a footballer’s career is limited in time, but people in the street cannot understand salaries like that. Chelsea are £250 million in the red and they may be able to cope with that, but it's not the real world – £250 million in the red is not sustainable," said Sutcliffe.
However, Chelsea kindly pointed out that they were "only" £80 million in the red and that Terry's weekly wage amounted to no more than £130,000.
The Premier League is the soccer competition that has experienced the greatest growth over the last couple of years, particularly due to an enormous interest for tv rights and merchandise in Asia.

Bernd Schuster accused ref of nationalism

After his team lost at Sevilla by 2-0, Real Madrid's coach Bernd Schuster suggested that the referee Alvarez Izquierdo was to blame for the defeat, indicating that his Catalan nationality could have something to do with his refereeing.
"Where does the referee come from? He is Catalonian. One need not say anything else", said the German, while Madrid daily Marca gave ref a rating of two on a scale from one to ten.
Catalonia is, of course, where Real's archrivals Barcelona come from.
The Catalonian referees' organization immediately protested and called for sanctions against Schuster.
Izquierdo failed to award two penalties in Real's favour but also forgave Diarra a red card for elbowing an opponent.

Drogba's life on film

A biographical movie on Ivorian superstar Didier Drogba premierred in Paris this Monday depicting the player's life in his wartorn homeland, moving to France at the age of five and a hard-fought rise through professional soccer from the fifth-level Levalloise.
The film, directed by Cedric Derguson, also speaks about Drogba's attempts to reconcile the warring sides in the Ivory Coast, both of which idolize him.
Among the characters featured in the film are Drogba's former coach at Chelsea, José Mourinho, who occupies a prominent place.
"If I go to war and I could choose one person to go with me, I would choose Didier, because I know I would be with a fantastic man," said Mourinho of the player he brought from Marseille in 2004.

Dinamo Zagreb's amazing record: 34 wins in 35 games!

Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb have registered an amazing achievement: since Branko Ivankovic took over as coach exactly one year ago, the team from the Croatian capital have won 34 of their 35 league matches, having lost just once, to Varteks in Varazdin by 3-4 (incidentally, to a goal in added time).
During the past 12 months Dinamo have scored exactly 100 goals in the league, having conceded just 24.
In the current season, last season's double winners have registered 14 wins in 15 games, which is the best-ever start to the championship season. The second best score also belongs to Dinamo: 13 wins in 15 matches achieved in the 1996/97 season.

Confusion in Brazil: who are the first five-time champions?

The Brazilian soccer association (CBF) is preparing to award new League champions Sao Paulo a honorary trophy for the first team to have won the Brasileirao competition on five occasions. However, Flamengo of Rio have called on Sao Paulo to refuse the trophy, claiming that they had won their fifth title back in 1992.
The confusion arose from Flamengo's controversial 1987 title, which the CBF does not recognize as that season's championship was organized by a group of the 13 biggest clubs attempting to secede from the CBF.
Among the players starring for Flamengo was Zico, who has been furious at the CBF's posture ever since.
"The claim that Sao Paulo is the first club with five titles is a sheer comedy. We won that 1987 title fair and square. As far as I can remember, Sao Paulo took part in that championship as well," said the legendary ex-international, today Fenerbahce's coach.
"We cannot accept Flamengo's proposal since we rule ourselves exclusively by the CBF's decisions," replied Sao Paulo's director, Mauro Aurélio Cunha.
It is no doubt ironic that Sao Paulo now fail to recognize the outcome of that championship since it was them who were the founders of the runaway "Club 13" that organized the controversial competition. Incidentally, the CBF recognizes Sport Recife as the 1987 champs.

Seven Boavista's players on auction!

The Portuguese tax authorities have put seven Boavista's players on public auction in order to collect the club's tax debt. In spite of opposition from the players' union, the interested parties will be able to purchase seven players, each estimated by experts at 140 – 580,000 euros plus VAT. They are Marquinho, Hugo Monteiro, Nuno Pinto, Ricardo Silva, Essame, Gilberto and Mario Silva.
The tax collectors have invited potential buyers to mail their bids in a sealed envelope by December 10th, when the highest bidders will be announced. A player, naturally, may refuse a transfer, but since Boavista's account is blocked they cannot expect to be paid by their current club in the near future.

Copyright Ozren Podnar / Soccerphile

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