Austria beat Malta 5-1 in a pre Euro warm up friendly.For those who still think that the Austrian team shouldn't play - there's a signature campaign going on over here....Signing on the dotted line means the following
"It means you care about attractive football.
It means you appreciate a blind pass that actually reaches its destination.
It means you thoroughly enjoy amazing dribbling skills.
It means you jump for joy when a free kick is expertly bent into the far corner of the goal.
In short: it means you love this great sport for the sheer beauty of it."
And so on and so forth.The creators of the website believe that the Austrian team will never get warmed up enough to deliver that kind of football.
May 2008 Archives
Austria beat Malta 5-1 in a pre Euro warm up friendly.For those who still think that the Austrian team shouldn't play - there's a signature campaign going on over here....Signing on the dotted line means the following
Roberto Mancini seems to be going for legal action against Inter Milan.Not for being being sacked after taking Inter to three Serie A titles but for allegations which have "gravely damaged (his) honour and reputation."
The Republic of Ireland beat Colombia by a single goal.Robbie Keane wearing his 81st cap scored early on and Ireland then grimly held on to the lead.The combination of dogged defence (and the luck of the Irish..!) gave Giovanni Trapattoni his first win as manager of the team
The new "Europass" match ball of Bayer material is supposed to combine outstanding flight characteristics with greater power transmission and control.
The ball has 14 panels in the shapes of tongues and propellers and only 24 junction points when assembled.There is a change in the exterior structure - called PSC-Texture. Nubs resembling goose bumps on the surface layer give the ball more power and swerve. The larger surface of attack and contact surface allow the players to control the ball more precisely in all types of weather. "PSC" stand for Power-Swerve-Control, which means optimized power transmission, more spin and greater precision - which makes it sound like something that should be part of a new car engine.And what do the goalkeepers say ?
For now Lehmann and Buffon remain skeptical and unimpressed.
At SoccerBlog.com, we fancy ourselves as soccernerds. Now there's a way to measure that nerdiness.
Are you a soccer nerd? Take the quiz >>
Every year, the United States Refugee Program welcomes refugees into this country so that they can escape the harsh realities of the war-torn countries that they have fled. They are expected to transition into our country regardless of language barriers, cultural differences and harsh economic realities.
The Fugees Family started three years ago as a soccer team for refugee boys in the Clarkston area. Volunteer coach, Luma Mufleh, quickly realized that the needs of this particular team were going to be unique. Mentoring and after-school help were implemented the second year. Recognizing that as one single volunteer she couldn't begin to address the complex needs of the players and their families, in fall 2006, Luma helped found the Fugees Family.
Get involved >>
Iraq's World Cup qualifier with Australia will go on as scheduled with Blatter and Co lifting the ban on Iraq before the deadline ran out.Blatter announced this at the opening ceremony of the FIFA Congress.Sunday's match would proceed as scheduled.
The match in Brisbane had been danger after FIFA suspended Iraq because the government had issued a decree last week dissolving the Iraqi National Olympic Committee (NOC) and all national sport federations.However things seem to have been sorted out for now and as Sherlock Holmes said as he was heading off to play some footie ....the game is afoot..........!
John Terry may get some measure of comfort from this goal he scored for England in their 2 - 0 friendly victory over USA .The other goal came from Steven Gerrard(video) The US team did not really put their hearts into things and the game has been variously described by the pundits as being a pointless,leaden footed excercise in futility.The fans at Wembley kept themselves entertained by doing the mexican wave and the more or less same old english team pottered around doing the more or less same old things.Maybe Capello learned something new about his players??
Mohun Bagan did not trouble the Bayern Munich defence too much and the other end of the Bayern team put 3 goals past the Bagan defence.Kahn's final game ended with the score reading 3 goals to zero.Kahn spent most of the game prowling his goalmouth like an ageing lion that had nothing much to do.There was a bit of unpleasantness between Bayern's Breno and Mohun Bagan sub Branco Cardoso which resulted in both players getting red cards.(Video here).Oliver "Genghis" Kahn walked away into the sunset around 52 minutes into the game when he was substituted.
FIFA's altitude limit for international matches of 2,750m (9,022 ft) has been breached.
"Let us re-open the discussion," said Sepp Blatter as he climbed down,back tracked and sidestepped all at the same time."The FIFA Medical Committee have recommended that teams must acclimatise properly if they play at high altitude," he said.
"The committee wants to examine this, and other extreme playing conditions such as heat, pollution or humidity."
Maybe he will be able to do some similar manouvering as the May 29 deadline on Iraq comes closer and closer.Hope he has an exit strategy anyway.
The winning goal by Andreas "Andi" Herzog for Austria in 1997 is one of their best football memories because it took the Austrian national team past Sweden in the 1998 World Cup. Forty-eight frames from the original television footage of Herzog’s goal have been run together using a technology called lenticular printing and the result is a postage stamp [ costing - 5.45 Euros (£4.34)]in which you can see Herzog score the goal if you slowly change the angle at which the stamp is viewed.The goal is on the youtube video below.You don't have to change the angle of your monitor or anything..!
Oliver Kahn is in the city to play his farewell game.Here's an unusual news report on king Kahn being in the same hotel as Indian IPL cricket team - Kolkata Knight Riders belonging to bollywood king - Shah Rukh Khan.Shakespeare would have liked this "what's in a name ?"dilemma.Depending on where you put the 'h' it's cricket or soccer.Khan stands for cricket and Kahn stands for soccer.However the average citizen of the soccer crazy city does not have to have to be torn apart by divided loyalties anymore.Their cricket team has unfortunately crashed out of the competition - leaving them with only King Kahn to applaud and encourage.
It sounds even better in yards.( 64 m = 70 Yards). It was from beyond the half line anyway.Good goal.Better than another famous goal he scored for Man U in 1996 because that was from a mere 50 yards.(video).He's is just getting better and better.If he keeps this up they will have to increase the length of the field to keep the ball in play - or he will be scoring from the stands.
Roma retained the Italian Cup with a 2-1 victory over Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico which would have kind of made up a bit for their defeat in the Serie A title race.It was the fourth straight year Roma and Inter have met in the final and the second title that Roma are taking in a row but this goal from Vitor Pele for Inter was the best statistic of the game.Even the other Pele would have been impressed - an outstanding 30-yard volley into the top corner that left Roma's goalkeeper Doni wondering what happened.Take a look.
Let's start a rumor.
Now that Avram Grant's been shown the door by Peter Kenyon cuz he couldn't fill Mourinho's shoes, who do you think could or should?
My answer: Mourinho!
Unfortunately, that ain't happenin. Mourinho is going to Inter. And he hopes to take Lampard, Essien, and Drogba with him...
Is Abramovich a fool? No, just another boss with an ego the size of Siberia. So hang in there, Chelsea. You could be getting Hiddink or Rijkaard.
John Terry will take some getting over his missed penalty at the Champion's League Final but at least this did not happen to him.
..a series of 9 more such bloomers and slip ups here..
The dreadful Drogba's extra-time act of stupidity - the slap on Nemanja Vidic that ushered John Terry into the firing line - may be turn out to be the point of no return for him.
My wife says "Hillary gets a red card!" Here's her guest post>>
I've always hated the misogyny in this song, but now nothing could be more apropos as Hillary's Swan Song:
"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it."
And previously in March:
TIME: Can you envision a point at which--if the race stays this close--Democratic Party elders would step in and say, "This is now hurting the party and whoever will be the nominee in the fall"?
CLINTON: No, I really can't. I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.
Posted by Cathy Sarkar
A documentary on the life of Diego Maradona by a two time Palme d'or winner.Maradona kicked a football around at the premiere at Cannes.The film evidentally has political overtones and undertones.The infamous hand of god goal gets a new interpretation. An excerpt from a review says.." The explicit inference of the film is that Maradona's famous leap to beat Peter Shilton is in some way justifiable, because it's a metaphorical blow against the greedy West."Wow..! That's a new one.Rest of that review here..
Michael Kriess is the son of former Austrian international Werner and one of the coordinators of a campaign which has attracted 10,000 signatures.The campaign urges the host team to withdraw from the tournament to save fans from going into depression due to their team (on current form)inevitably losing all their games.For the time being what they have got apart from the 10,000 signatures is a court fine of 1,500 euros ($2,364) for damage to the country's reputation and standing.
Can You Hear Me? by Enrique Iglesias is the official song of UEFA EURO 2008
"Like a superstar" by Shaggy was supposed to have been the official song but it seems to have fallen short of superstardom.....
Hleb has not endeared himself to many Arsenal fans after being discovered that the he has been secretly hawking himself to other clubs. Be that as it may, and do feel free to throw all the derogatory stuff possible at him, but it is an inescapable fact that he is one of the players that redefined Arsenal's midfield as a tower of strength and possession. His twinkling toes might not have yielded many goals but as long as Helb was on the field there was the potential for others to score. But his role on the field was doomed to be an anomaly. He would never replace Bergkamp as the definitive slot striker. And he did not have the speed to play wide. Nor did he have the holding capabilities of Gilberto.
Wenger never defined the position Hleb actually played. This would not be problematic in itself, as his elusiveness could have proven dividends. However, unlike Fabregas who firmly established himself as the locus of the attack, Walcott's grooming as a winger, and Flamini's industry which saw him naturally usurping Gilberto, Hleb's ghost in the machine approach never caught on. Flamini's departure is a real loss and he will be hard to replace. Hleb if he should go, leaves a void in those enviable possession stats. However what he accomplished at Arsenal remains something of an enigma.
Manchester United over Chelsea on penalties:
The best part of the game - Ronaldo's header to start the scoring in the first half:
Sir Alex is happy...
Personally I felt the game was rather lame. A few flashes of fun, for sure - but uninspiring is a good word to describe this "classic" that wasn't.
John Terry takes the penalty as his feet give out on the slick Luzhniki Stadium turf. The ball flies wide of the left upright. The Man U faithful who had turned blue with a world record in bottled up breath after the Cristiano Ronaldo miss some centuries ago, breathe a collective sigh of relief that could be heard around the world. As it turned out the better team lost but the team that wanted it more, won. We could certainly say that of Ryan Giggs whose age has not dimmed his competitive ardour. Bobby Charlton well past his bed time was at hand to see his protege and present all time leader slot the ball past Petr Cech. Seconds later, Anelka misses his chance. Man U win.
There can be no crueler game than soccer. Its not theory as much as axiom.
I followed the 2004 ALCS game between the Red Sox and the Yankees as George Steinbrenner's boys crested 3-0 in the series. Cruel as it was, the demise was gradual as the Sox exerted their will and the Yankees crumbled under the pressure of finding that elusive last win. The Sox's stirring comeback was taken by John Kerry as a harbinger for the presidential elections. But as it turned out, Dubya had the "mandate."
The Pats were overwhelming favourites in Super Bowl 2008 against the Giants till Eli Manning's throw threaded into traffic found an off kilter David Tyree whose wondrous grab sealed their win. Bill Belichik's sour face was a visage for the ages.
But these deflating moments in other sports are far fewer compared to the number of times that soccer has proved to break hearts.
Time and time again, soccer shootouts prove that there is very little correlation between the way the game is played in regulation time. Chelsea was head and shoulders, the better team. And when Ronaldo missed his penalty, it appeared to be a fitting culmination of how the game was played. We would have applauded the outcome.
Soccer is fickle. Fickleness is another form of cruelty. Ronaldo spread eagled on the field prone, relieved after Anelka's miss, as eons earlier he was consecrated to eternal damnation for his miss. Before that Terry's team mates high five him as his timely header glanced off a sureshot Man U goal moments before the end of extra time. After the game ends, Grant could barely console the weeping Terry. One moment we are up; the next, down. And the cycle goes on.
I am back. I have missed my passion as my dissertation kept me away but I will be back to dissect soccer in its every shape and form this summer. Arsenal, keep your chin up!!
Chelsea had United on its heels and were unlucky not to score in the second half. Ferdinand is having a terrible game. His flying tackle of Cole in the area should have been a penalty.
Where's Rooney? Or Ronaldo, for that matter?
The game is up for grabs. Let's see who'll step up?
Ronaldo - you can't be the best player in the world if you don't take over.
Giggs passes Bobby Charlton's record in a United uniform - well done!
Well, Man U should be up 3-0.
Instead, we have them tied at 1-1.
Ronaldo and Rooney looked great on a field-long combination, but blow the chance at goal. Tevez also misses a sitter. Ouch.
Lampard's junk-yard goal at the end keeps Chelsea in the game. Ugly, but effective.
Are these missed opportunities going to come back and haunt Sir Alex in the second half?
The Beeb is liveblogging this rather well >>
pick channel "soccer2"
The Guardian's David Conn blogs about Michel Platini's criticism of the business model behind the English Premier League:
"he has gone out of his way to criticise the English Premier League, scorning its "ultralibérale" (free-market) commercial approach, the takeovers of its clubs by rich individuals and the preponderance of foreign players which, he argues, has drained our football of home-grown depth and led to the national team's absence from the forthcoming European Championship."
Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, has another take. He claims "that the Premier League's great popularity, commercial power and, now, success on the field are a vindication of his and his club bosses' ideology of openness, to foreign players and club takeovers, a triumph for their opposition to regulation, whether by Uefa or any other body."
But Platini has a point. Is debt the best way to build success? It may be the American (and now Russian) way, but it does result in keeping gate prices high and in effect locks fans out of the beautiful game.
I think Platini's right.
Read Conn's post here >>
Lubos Michel was the referee who judged that Luis Garcia's effort had crossed the line in the second leg of Chelsea's European semi-final against Liverpool in 2005.Mourinho expressing his displeasure then had called it "a goal from the moon" .Well the same ref will be in charge of proceedings between Man U and Chelsea as they face off and the Blues have lost both games Lubos Michels has previously refereed by a single goal.Superstitious ???
Kaka will not get a chance to live the Olympic dream as AC Milan have refused to allow him to play in the Beijing games.Reason : " Kaka is already part of Brazil's national side. The club does not think it is right for Kaka to also be involved in official matches for Brazil's Olympic team."
However every one of the 16 teams in Beijing have national team players on their rosters, even the U.S. The rules permit it. The tournament is for players under 23, but each team is allowed three "overage" players.So it seems like a dubious kind of explanation.There's a better reason here...
Pablo Osvaldo helped Fiorentina to seal their place in the Champions League with this overhead kick against Torino.AC Milan's 4-1 victory over Udinese was in vain as they were denied the fourth and final Champions League spot by Fiorentina's win at Torino.
Meanwhile Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two second-half goals against Parma (video) and Inter Milan thus retained the Italian title - winning it for the 16th time and also the third time in a row this time.Parma were relegated at the end of the proceedings after 18 years in Serie A.
You can check out the top ten goals,the top ten controversies ( Portugual go potty,Basile the Rat, The Dentist's chair etc),The ten greatest games and Euro's ten toughest tough guys ever.
The top ten goals by the way were by......
MARCO VAN BASTEN (Holland v USSR, Euro 88 final)
PAUL GASCOIGNE (England v Scotland, Euro 96 first-round group match)
DAVOR SUKER (Croatia v Denmark, Euro 96 first-round group match)
KAREL POBORSKY (Czech Republic v Portugal, Euro 96 quarter-final)
MICHEL PLATINI (France v Portugal, Euro 84 semi-final)
TOMAS BROLIN (Sweden v England, Euro 92 first round group match)
ALAN SHEARER (England v Holland, Euro 96 first round group match)
FRANK DE BOER (Holland v France, Euro 2000 first round group match)
ALLY McCOIST (Scotland v Switzerland, Euro 96 first round group match)
RONNIE WHELAN (Republic of Ireland v USSR, Euro 88 first round group match)
San Lorenzo goalkeeper's Agustin Orion decided to do some ball-juggling instead of just clearing the ball.The result was an embarrassing bloomer which allowed the opposition (LDU) to score and draw the game in the first leg of their Libertadores Cup quarter-final on Thursday.
51 year old Tommy Burns lost his battle against cancer. Burns spent 15 years as a player at Parkhead, making 352 appearances for the Hoops between 1975 and 1989, scoring 52 goals.
He managed the club for three seasons between 1994 and 1997, winning the 1995 Scottish FA Cup.
Burns played eight times for Scotland between 1981 and 1988.Gordon Strachan leads tributes to Burns..
ESPN2, ESPN, ESPN Classic and ABC will combine to present all 31 matches live and it will be the first EURO to be broadcast live in the United States.Videos below of an ESPN ad campaign to give US viewers a taste of what is to come .
The Iranian Football Federation plans to reduce the number of teams in its top flight from 18 to 16—and then maybe even 14.....and FIFA is apparently saying that the EPL should do the same too.Report here..
Umaru Rahman, alias Gallon Pan - a former Sierra Leone international footballer has composed a song to celebrate Manchester United winning the English Premier League.
"Come join us in our dance to celebrate Manchester United's victory," he sings.You can hear the song.There's an audio file somewhere in the middle of this page over here...
Sven-Goran Eriksson is expected to be relieved of his responsibilities with immediate effect after Middlesbrough inflicted an 8 goal thrashing on Manchester City yesterday.
Ronaldo earlier scored his .er..41st..? [I've lost count] and then Ryan Giggs came up with this beauty to make sure Man U crossed the finishing line first.
At Stamford Bridge Chelsea stumbled at the last hurdle.Shevchenko scored a messy looking goal (video) but Bolton equalised (video) and Chelsea's game and season and titles hopes ended with the score reading 1 -1.
The Premier League counts down to a most dramatic finale.It is only the fourth time in the Premier League's history that the title has gone down to the last game of the season.Fergie seems to be using a bit of psychological warfare by asking what kind of performance Bolton would be able to put up against Chelsea after going "out all week celebrating".
Grant the "Unlikely One" on the other hand is dourly predicting that this time Stamford Bridge will prevail over Old Trafford.
Former team captain Pep Guardiola is Barca's new manager.“We the players feel very guilty about everything that has happened, we think we could have done much more to stop things from coming to this" says Xavi .And the video shows the goals from the straw that broke the camel's back.Real Madrid giving Barcelona a 4 -1 drubbing.
Goalias is a robot goalkeeper invented by the Stuttgart University automation institute (IAS).Lehmann and Kahn now have some serious competition.
Players from first-division side VfB Stuttgart, including Germany team player Mario Gomez, tried last week to outwit Goalias, shooting indoors at a full-size goal mouth from 11 metres out. Scientists have since fine-tuned Goalias and it can hold every second kick from Mario Gomez.
The robot uses three video cameras to calculate the ball's trajectory and move a plastic keeper figure on a rail left or right to block it, all within 400 milliseconds.
Goalias' weak point: it could still be fooled by some hard curving shots with plenty of spin.More on that story here...
Croatia football coach Slaven Bilic's fan song for the Euro 2008 championship with his rock band.The song is called "Fiery madness"
Beckham was voted Major League Soccer's player of the week after he took his team back after being two goals down to earn a 2-2 tie with Real Salt Lake on Saturday.The first goal was really quite good and the second was a reminder that he still has a few free kicks left in him.
More than 40,000 English fans are expected to converge on Moscow's Olympic Stadium for the Champions League final on 21 May.Here's a bit of the history of that stadium that many will be unaware of.An excerpt from an article titled "Moscow's secret tragedy - hundreds of fans crushed to death"...
"On the evening of 20 October 1982 Spartak were playing Dutch club Haarlem for a place in the last 16 of the Uefa Cup. They would win the match on the way to a 5-1 aggregate victory, but it was also the night on which the greatest disaster in the history of Russian football took place. Officially, 66 fans lost their lives, crushed to death, but several subsequent investigations and eyewitnesses put the death toll closer to 350."
The entire story can be read here....
This hare and the turtle race is a fight to the finish.With just one game each left Chelsea have nothing to lose and Manchester United have everything to throw away.If the matter is to be decided by goal difference then Man U have to defeat Wigan at the JJB stadium whereas Chelsea have a comfortable home game against the Bolton Wanderers.The historians are telling us that the last time the two main contenders were level on points was in 1968 – when Manchester City edged out Manchester United for the title.And this time around in 2008 Manchester United have the goal difference but Chelsea have the momentum.And in a race you know - momentum is everything.If you are the betting kind it's a tough call to know which horse to back in this hare turtle race....!
The video shows Chelsea's two goals against Newcastle yesterday.
Real Madrid faced a hostile 18,000 crowd waving Basque flags.They were down to 10 men.Fabio Cannavaro was sent off early in the second half and Real were down one goal.Arjen Robben equalised Gonzalo.Higuain waited for the last 60 seconds before scoring the winner.10- man Madrid beat Osasuna 2-1 at the hostile Reyno de Navarro stadium in Pamplona and the Primera Liga title was clinched in sensational fashion.Highlights below..
This is supposed to be part of a Nike Ad.Cesc Fabregas dresses up in a silver fireproof spacesuit and then the whole thing literally goes to the blazes.He juggles with a football which is on fire and he himself catches fire and I can't imagine Nike telling anyone to "Just do it" at the end of it all.
Video - if you are interested - can be viewed here...
Manchester United beat West Ham 4-1.Two of those came from Cristiano Ronaldo - taking his tally to 40 this season.West Ham's only goal came off a great scissor kick from Dean Ashton Report...
That's the bus that will be carrying the team from Greece.
Fans were invited to choose from three inspiring messages to be painted on each of the 16 brightly-coloured coaches carrying the teams to and from games at the final tournament in Austria and Switzerland. The selected slogans are the ones below.You can get a look at what the other 15 buses will look like if you click here...
You can also read the slogan in the original language at the same site and check if anything has been lost in translation.
Austria -We can only win together
Croatia - Together with the fans to the top of Europe
Czech Republic- Let's go, let's win, let's fulfil our nation's dream
France - Live together, celebrate together
Germany - Germany – one team – one purpose
Greece - One team, one dream
Netherlands - One team, one spirit, together we are Orange
Italy - The sky is always bluer
Poland - because only sport and good fun matter
Portugal - This coach is powered by the will to win
Romania - Romania, we are proud of you and we love you
Russia - Russian hands are all for one, Russia is proud of her sons
Spain - Whatever happens, SPAIN FOREVER
Sweden - Sweden team = top marks
Switzerland - Final destination: Vienna
Turkey - Can this bus contain the passion of Turkey ?
The unheralded dark horses Zenit St Petersburg routed Bayern Munich by a stunning 4 goals to 0 to go through to their first ever UEFA cup final.Last season’s Russian league champions can now attempt another feat -to become the second Russian side to win the cup since CSKA Moscow defeated Sporting Lisbon back in 2005.
Gerrard took the ball off Avram Grant on the sidelines at the Chelsea - Liverpool game yesterday - without bothering to say 'please' or 'thank you' -and knocked him down while doing it.Not very polite.Maybe its because Avram was saying things like this.. earlier.
However the victory went to Avram,made more special for him by the fact that it was Holocaust Remembrance day.It was an emotional day for Steven Lampard too.It was his first match back since the death of his mother Pat on Thursday and he scored the all important penalty that put Chelsea ahead.Drogba's two goals put the matter beyond all doubt.