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Football / Lara to play alongside Zidane...
« on: April 23, 2010, 02:28:08 AM »
WORLD Cup head-butter ZINEDINE ZIDANE is this year's star signing for Soccer Aid.

It will be amazing to see him in action again - but let's hope Zizou can keep it clean for his big comeback.

He retired from football after his infamous sending off for butting Italy's MARCO MATERAZZI in the 2006 final.

But the France legend is strapping on his boots again for ITV's annual live charity match.

And organiser ROBBIE WILLIAMS said: "I can't believe he's playing. I'm over the moon. I won't know whether to shake his hand or lick his face."

Zidane, who starred for Juventus and Real Madrid, will play in the Rest Of The World team at Old Trafford on June 6 against an England side of celebs and former footie stars.

The last time Zizou emerged from the Man U tunnel was in 2003 when Real Madrid knocked ALEX FERGUSON's boys out of the Champions League in a thrilling quarter-final. Instead of Galacticos like LUIS FIGO and Brazil's RONALDO, this time he'll be alongside WESTLIFE, actor DAMIAN LEWIS, cricket's BRIAN LARA and ex-Celtic ace HENRIK LARSSON.


It should be a cracking event, coming just a week before the World Cup kicks off. Soccer Aid, which Robbie started in 2006, raises money for UNICEF.

We haven't heard much from Zidane since that infamous butt.

Nowadays The Monk is an adviser to Real Madrid's President FLORENTINO PEREZ and turns out for the club's veterans side.

Only last month Zidane said he "would rather die" than apologise for butting Materazzi.

He maintains the Italian kept insulting his mother, who was ill in hospital. He said: "If I ask him forgiveness, I lack respect for myself and for all those I hold dear with all my heart.

"I apologise to football, to the fans, to the team. But to him I cannot. Never, never. It would be to dishonour me. I'd rather die."

There's one thing that would definitely ensure top ratings for Soccer Aid - and that's signing up Materazzi too.

But that would turn it into a boxing match rather than a footie match.

I would want to see this just to see Zidane play again . . will always be one of my favourites. . .

Football / Forget Rooney, magical Messi is the world's best
« on: March 17, 2010, 06:49:57 PM »
just came across this article...

The famously insular world of English football has been quick to crown Wayne Rooney as the best player in the world in recent weeks - unsurprisingly perhaps in a World Cup year - but in Barcelona on Wednesday night, Lionel Messi demonstrated exactly why those claims ring hollow with a masterful performance in a 4-0 rout of Stuttgart.

Speculation that Rooney is football's leading light is far from outrageous. It is not, for example, a manifestation of the unjustified national arrogance that was exposed so horribly when Hungary humbled an overconfident England side with a 6-3 victory at Wembley in 1953, shattering illusions of grandeur. But it should be recognised that Messi is on another level - a once-in-a-lifetime talent. There is no excuse for a superiority complex on the part of Rooney or England.

Tormenting the visitors from the Bundesliga with his superior technique and utter genius, Messi was a force of nature. His run and finish for the opening goal was stunning - a mazy dribble followed by a thunderous drive from the edge of the box.

Nine minutes later it was his glorious pass that released Yaya Toure, who squared for Pedro to turn home the second. Messi then made it three in the second half with a quick spin and finish.

Nominally employed in an unorthodox central role in behind Thierry Henry, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year was given licence to roam the Camp Nou turf and he did not disappoint, exuding threat on either flank or through the middle. But while his masterclass would represent the very peak of excellence for many a professional footballer, for Messi it was not even his best performance in the past week.

On Sunday, he took his league tally to 22 goals in 23 games with a delightful hat-trick against Valencia in a 3-0 win for Barcelona. After Barca's statement of intent on Wednesday night, he now boasts 29 in 32 games in all competitions. And while Rooney compares favourably in this regard - with 32 in 36 games - there is no disputing that in Messi, Barcelona have the world's finest player at present.

Sir Alex Ferguson's protege is in the form of his life though, there is no question about that. Deadly in the box, he has married a collection of predatory strikes with a catalogue of headed efforts. But they are not goals that cause jaws to drop in amazement and fans to forward on YouTube links with childish enthusiasm.

Messi, with his precocious dribbling skills, expert finishing, raw pace and brilliant football brain, scores such goals on a ridiculously regular basis. Moments that engage the imagination are his stock in trade, and he produced another on Wednesday night with that thrilling first goal.

Perhaps Messi is the 21st-century Diego Maradona to Rooney's Pele - a magician to rival a hungry and deadly accumulator of goals. A banner inside Old Trafford oft declares the Manchester United man to be the white incarnation of the Brazilian great while Messi has done so much more than a succession of Argentinean starlets to justify comparisons with a man who remains a deity in his home country.

But prior to kick-off, Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes just about got it right, saying of Messi: "He's the best in the world. What he contributes with his talent makes him stand out. He could become the best player in history."

Wednesday night's display has only reinforced such a view. Rooney, for all his talent and prolific form, is not in this league.

Football / soccernet press pass
« on: March 12, 2010, 04:30:22 AM »
anybody does take in tommy smith and shaka hislop arguin on espn soccernet presspass. .  just me. . but i find it funny to hear them talk cuz of de two accents. . . is like a leprechaun talkin to a trini . .. and arguin bout football .. . .sometimes dey does talk sense though . .

Football / Chelsea youths involved in bust up
« on: August 23, 2009, 04:30:59 AM »
Blues face FA probe over 'friendly' punch-up

By NEIL ASHTON, 22/08/2009

CHELSEA are at the centre of an FA probe after a training ground friendly turned into a mass brawl.

The practice game, arranged at short notice by Chelsea on Wednesday, was abandoned after just 35 minutes amid amazing scenes. Players, coaches and officials from Chelsea's reserve team and United Arab Emirates side Al Alhi traded blows for five minutes.

Chelsea players were assaulted with karate kicks, knee-high tackles and had their hair pulled out and their eyes gouged.

Defender Jack Cork, who has since gone on loan to Coventry and sported a black eye in his new side's 1-0 defeat to Swansea, was put in a headlock and repeatedly hit.

The referee, who will not be named by the FA, has written to Soho Square with the full, astonishing details of the battle.

Incredibly the drama was played out in front of scores of children who were taking part in a Football in the Community scheme at Chelsea's Cobham training ground.

The scenes, which were recorded by the club's in-house TV station ChelseaTV and are now locked in a safe, were so brutal some kids fled in tears.

A stunned eye witness revealed: "There were people being chased all over the pitch, eyes were being gouged, hair was being pulled out and one of the Al Hilal players shoved his fingers up the nose of Gael Kakuta. Every player was involved but Chelsea didn't start it."

The Chelsea team included youngsters being groomed for the first team, such as Rhys Taylor, Jeffrey Bruma, Carl Magnay, Kakuta and Cork.

But trouble flared after half-an-hour when Chelsea left-back Ben Gordon was taken out by a two-footed tackle above the knee.

Although the game continued the ref was forced to abandon it when both teams began trading punches just before half-time.

Cork was put in a headlock and beaten while Jeffrey Bruma had two Al Hilal players on his back and karate kicked by another.

Chelsea's opponents were not even allowed back into the changing rooms and were put straight on to the team bus in their kit.

The FA confirmed last night that the incident had taken place.

A Soho Square source said: "The FA supplied the ref. We have received his report and are considering the appropriate action. Chelsea didn't start it."

A Chelsea spokesman said: "There was an unfortunate incident."

Football / coventry vs sunderland...
« on: August 06, 2006, 06:32:17 AM »
yes peoples. . de gam now startin .. . . birchall (playin on de right) and stern startin . . .. for people with ppstream you can watch the game here. . .


blesss. . . ..

Football / a story of underdogs....ah like how beenie talk dey...
« on: May 23, 2006, 05:22:59 AM »
Who will be this year's sleeper team?

From Roger Milla and Cameroon's "Indomitable Lions" in 1990 to South Korea's Red Devils four years ago, upsets abound at the World Cup. At least one sleeper almost always emerges.

In a sport where the margin of victory can be as little as a blown call, a shot off the goalpost or an own goal, some of the less-heralded countries might wind up this year's surprise and knock off one of the game's powerhouses.

"Anything can happen in football, so if we're among the 32 best teams in the world, at some point we will get the opportunity to reach the quarter-finals or the semifinals or the final," Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba said. "Or we will be eliminated in the first round because the level of the competition is really high and the teams that reach this far are the best."

The Ivorians, one of four African teams making their debut at the World Cup, have a tough draw with Argentina and the Netherlands in their first-round group. They also have the talent to pull off a shocker or two.

Along with Drogba, who stars at Chelsea, the team also will have European-league veterans Bonaventure Kalou, Kolo Toure, Aruna Dindane and Didier Zokora.

Ivory Coast is not alone as a potential sleeper.

Guus Hiddink, who coached South Korea to a stunning run to the semifinals in 2002, is at the helm of an Australian squad making only its second World Cup appearance. Led by a contingent of English-based players, the Socceroos are hoping to advance from a group that features Brazil, Croatia and Japan.

"I know that the team is not settling down and just participating. This team is so eager to get a surprise to get into the second round," Hiddink said.

Other teams that should not be overlooked: Ukraine, led by AC Milan's star striker Andriy Shevchenko and Paraguay with Bayern Munich striker Roque Santa Cruz.

Ukraine, coached by former Soviet star Oleh Blokhin, lost only once in qualifying for its first World Cup. Ukraine needs Shevchenko, considered one of the best goal scorers in the world, to be fully recovered from a knee injury to make a long run in the tournament.

While the final is usually dominated by a few traditional powerhouses - Germany, Brazil, Italy, Argentina and the Netherlands have accounted for all-but-one appearance in the title game since 1970 - it's often what happens before the last match that is so memorable.

And that's what gives hope to some of the tournament's biggest underdogs.

"Every weekend all over the world, smaller, so-called weaker teams beat stronger teams," said Trinidad and Tobago coach Leo Beenhakker. "If Northern Ireland beat England, why can't Trinidad. We have the right to the same ambition on the field as any other team."

Consider these teams in the past five World Cups:

2002: South Korea hadn't won a single match in five World Cup appearances before co-hosting the tournament with Japan four years ago. Decked out in their fluorescent red jerseys and supported by their singing fans, the South Koreans shocked European powerhouses Portugal, Italy and Spain on the way to a fourth-place finish, the best result ever for an Asian team. The South Koreans weren't alone. Senegal rode a tournament-opening win against defending champion France all the way to the quarter-finals in its first World Cup appearance. The United States also posted its best showing since 1930, beating Portugal in its first match and making to the quarter-finals before falling to Germany.

1998: There were few shockers in this tournament, with host France, four-time champion Brazil and two-time finalist the Netherlands making the semifinals. Past champions Argentina, Italy and Germany also made it to the quarters. The one outsider was Croatia, playing in its first World Cup after the breakup of Yugoslavia. Led by Davor Suker's two goals, Croatia beat Germany 3-0 in the quarter-finals before falling to eventual champion France in the semis.

1994: Brazil was joined by seven European teams in the quarter-finals, but there were still a few surprises. Bulgaria, winless in 16 previous World Cup matches, made it to the semifinals behind the great play of Hristo Stoitchkov, who scored the game-tying goal in a 2-1 quarter-final win against defending champion Germany. Sweden also made it to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Brazil. Even the host United States and Saudi Arabia provided surprises by making it to the second round.

1990: Cameroon, led by the 38-year-old Milla, provided a breakthrough performance for African countries, beginning with a 1-0 win against defending champion Argentina. Milla became the oldest player to score in the World Cup at the time and had four goals in all. He scored twice in extra time against Colombia to send Cameroon to the quarter-finals, where it lost 3-2 to England. Ireland also made a surprising run without winning a game. The Irish tied all three first-round matches and advanced on penalty kicks in the second round before falling to Italy in the quarter-finals.

1986: Belgium finished third in its group, beating out only winless Iraq, but made it all the way to the semifinals as the tournament switched to a knockout format in the second round. The Belgians got goals in extra time from Stephane Demol and Nico Claesen to beat the Soviet Union 4-3 in the second round, then surprised Spain and advanced to the semifinals on penalty kicks. Belgium fell to eventual champion Argentina. Morocco also became the first African nation to qualify for the second round


Football / Referees get warnings too yes....
« on: May 23, 2006, 05:14:53 AM »
Referee: Officials under pressure

LONDON (AP) - Players going to the World Cup know that, if they make a big blunder in their first game, they probably won't play another.

According to World Cup-bound Graham Poll, the same applies to the referees.

"If you make a big mistake in your first game, it will be your last game, and that's something that has been made very clear to us," said Poll, one of 22 referees headed for the June 9-July 22 championship in Germany.

"The message is very, very clear. You have got to allow people to make decisions and do their very best. But there is a very, very high standard expected."

Poll, England's only referee at the World Cup, also took part in the 2002 event in South Korea and Japan.

"What I do, money can't buy," he told BBC Radio Five. "It's something that's a massive challenge. It's a huge challenge to try to control 22 top-class athletes playing football with a whistle and two cards as your friends.

"It's a huge, huge challenge. Maybe you don't always get the recognition you think you deserve. But you know yourself when you have done a good job and you know when you have made a mistake."


Football / Ljungberg advised to rest...
« on: May 23, 2006, 04:59:56 AM »
Ljungberg advised to rest
By Chris Cummings | Tuesday 23rd May

According to the national team doctor, Swedish superstar Freddie Ljungberg would be better off skipping the World Cup group stage in order to fully recover from a troublesome foot injury.

The Arsenal midfielder has been carrying the problem for some time but was a driving force behind the team's UEFA Champions League run.

"He would need to rest for four weeks to completely recover," Dr Anders Valerntin told Swedish television station SVT.

"Even then [at the finals] he may not be without symptoms."

The pacy winger is one of Sweden's most important players. He will be expected to play a big part in their push for the latter stages of the competition, even if that means playing through the pain.

The Arsenal ace is a definite absentee for Sweden's friendly game on Thursday against Finland, and Ljungberg is also likely to miss the final warm-up game against Chile on June 2.

Ljungberg's presence was greatly missed at the 2002 World Cup as he played in only two of his side's four matches, as Sweden only reached the second round.

Sweden have been drawn alongside England in a group that also contains Paraguay and Trinidad & Tobago.


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