February 2011

The Archives

  • 02.28.11
    Happy birthday to the safest of safe hands. Mavericks, Superstars | Comments Off
    The small town of Mariano del Friuli in the north-east of Italy near the Slovenian border is the birthplace of one of the finest goalkeepers to ever grace the game - Mr. Dino Zoff who celebrates his 69th birthday today. With the Italian national team in Spain '82, he became the oldest player ever to win the tournament at the age of 40. He was also the squad's captain and was the only goalkeeper to lift the famous trophy with the captain's armband on - until Iker Casillas achieved the same prestigious feat in South Africa last summer. Having never played ...
  • 02.25.11
    Ones to watch #5: Neymar Ones to watch | Comments Off
    Pelé is adored by the fans of Brazilian side Santos. The three-time World Cup winner spent 18 years at the club. Fans of Santástico must have chosen their words wisely when they call their number 11, Neymar,  "the new Pelé". With the 19 year-old earning praise from the media, fans, scouts and fellow professionals, it's probably no wonder why most major European clubs have been taking notice. Santos have put a €30 million price tag on his head. That amount wouldn't frighten the likes of Manchester United, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Juventus away from spending that kind of cash ...
  • 02.22.11
    Champions League Round of 16 preview (part 2) Champions League | Comments Off
    Another week, another set of Champions League games. Last week we witnessed some surprises such as Arsenal beating Barcelona and Spurs beating Milan on their own turf (much to Rino Gattuso's displeasure). Chelsea are the guests in the Parken Stadium where they face FC Copenhagen.  Ståle Solbakken's men are considered the outsiders and will need to get back into the groove as their last competitve match (due to the scheduling of the Danish league) was back in early December and are the lowest ranked team left in the competiton. One thing Carlo Ancelotti must be aware of is that the Danes ...
  • 02.21.11
    Football's greatest rivalries: Boca Juniors v River Plate Football's greatest rivalries | Comments Off
    Hello one and all and welcome to a new feature to the blog which, as the title will tell you, will focus on the greatest rivalries in world football. Today we'll have a look at Argentina's big one - Boca Juniors vs. River Plate. The game, known locally as 'el superclásico', was described by Diego Maradona as "unequalled". This is quite the statement coming from a man who played for some great clubs with huge rivalries in their respective leagues. He has a strong argument however as on matchday in either clubs' stadia, all that can be seen amongst the hugely ...
  • 02.14.11
    Champions League Round of 16 preview (part 1) Champions League | Comments Off
    Here we are, the first Champions League fixtures of 2011. Quite a few nice ties in place over the two days this week. Let's have a look at them. AC Milan play host to Tottenham Hotspur. It will be Spurs' return to the San Siro since their tie against Inter - a game in which the world's media paid attention to one Gareth Bale for his power, pace and hat-trick that night. However, Harry Redknapp will know only too well that the Serie A leaders will be no pushovers especially with the in-form Zlatan Ibrahmovic and Robinho. Felix Magath's Schalke 04 travel ...
  • 02.14.11
    So long, O Fenômeno. Mavericks, Superstars | Comments Off
    "We can't afford not to". These were the words that the late Sir Bobby Robson told the Barcelona board in 1996 when he was told the club couldn't afford to sign a young Brazilian player from PSV Eindhoven called Ronaldo. He was right. The young player known as "o fenômeno" would become one of the greatest strikers of all time. Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima started his career with Cruzeiro before moving on to PSV at the suggestion of fellow Brazilian Romario. At the Dutch club he scored a frightening 42 goals in 45 games. That was only to be the ...
  • 02.10.11
    My 10 second match Bloopers | Comments Off
    When former Millwall and England under-17 goalkeeeper Preston Edwards took the the pitch for Ebbsfleet United as they took on Farnborough in a home tie in the Conference South last week, he probably didn't expect his afternoon to turn out how it did. Edwards was sent off after just 10 seconds. Have a look at his contribution to the game here in it's entirety. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Vt61k9P1PEA" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] To make matters worse Ebbsfleet lost 0-3 that afternoon. Oh dear.
  • 02.10.11
    The Nations Cup and the empty seats Republic of Ireland | Comments Off
    I was at the Aviva Stadium twice this week. On Tuesday I went to see Republic of Ireland take on Wales and on Wednesday was Scotland's turn as they faced Northern Irland as all four teams kicked off the first ever Nations Cup. You may have noticed one thing during Ireland's game in their home stadium - the thousands upon thousands of empty seats. The fact that only 19,783 people bothered turning up must be of some concern to the FAI. There was no atmosphere inside or outside the stadium. This wasn't the case with Wednesday's clash. Despite the rain both ...
  • 02.07.11
    Ones to watch #4 : Sotiris Ninis Ones to watch | Comments Off
    When a new top-class player from Argentina comes on the scene, the media usually spit out the label "the new Maradona". Same story in France with "the new Zidane" tag. And if the British media had their way, every Brazilian would be pronounced "the new Gareth Bale". What about an Albanian-born Greek player? Meet the first Sotiris Ninis. The 20-year old attacking-midfielder is an extremely gifted lad with absolutely buckets of potential. He made the Greek national team in Otto Rehhagel's squad for last summer's World Cup appearing twice. If rumours are to be believed then Inter Milan, Roma and Manchester ...
  • 02.02.11
    Big money, big move….big flop. Bloopers, Superstars | Comments Off
    With the big news this week of Andy Carroll moving to Liverpool (or his price-tag to be more accurate), he really does have it all to do. It's truly hit-or-miss and only time will tell. If it goes somewhat pear-shaped it could be viewed as the biggest flop in world football. I hope for his sake it won't be and it would be great to see him excel at Anfield. But let's look at some big name signings that did flop: When Juan Sebastian Veron joined Manchester United in July 2001 for £28.1 million from Lazio, he came with a big ...