Van Persie scored two.Report..
August 2008 Archives
Van Persie scored two.Report..
Zenit St. Petersburg won the UEFA Super Cup for the first time beating Manchester United 2-1 with goals by Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny.Paul Scholes got caught red handed - trying to palm the ball into the net for an equaliser - and got sent off for his efforts.
Zenit are Russia’s first true super-club, backed by the fortune of Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world, with a 62,000 arena under construction that will be home to a squad that could one day be as expensively assembled as that of Chelsea or United.More on the possible dawn of a new russian era here..
It is Rafael Benitez’s fourth season in charge at Liverpool.He should have got things right by now.Liverpool are still doing things the hard way.Dirk Kuyt scoring a late late winner with the rest of the team playing in the wrong gear. Here's a note on Rafa's tinkering and what its doing to the club...
McClaren's " let me become a respectable football manager again" dream had taken one step forward and then two steps back when FC Twente lost by two goals to Arsenal in the first leg.The dream took another 4 steps back yesterday as Arsenal completed a 4 goal demolition of his team.
Valencia's David Silva scored first but a nine-man Real Madrid rallied to beat Valencia 4-2 and lift the Spanish Supercup 6-5 on aggregate on Sunday.
Ruud van Nistelrooy, Sergio Ramos, Ruben De La Red and Gonzalo Higuain scored for Madrid, Rafael van der Vaart found himself on the sidelines in the 39th minute and Ruud van Nistelrooy joined him there in the 73rd.
A stunning free-kick from Deco was what it took to see Chelsea barely edge past Wigan by the skin of their collective teeth..
Two Olympic golds in a row for Argentina.Hungary was the last team to do that - winning consecutive golds in 1964 and 1968.
20-year old Angel Di Maria - known as "The Little Angel" - came up with a heavenly chip that sailed over the goalie and into the net.It was to be the only goal of the final.
A motley collection of ageing not so indomitable three lions didn't roar too loudly.Milan Baros (off Ashley Cole) put the Czech Republic ahead.Wes Brown equalised by putting his head to a Beckham corner .Jankulovski put the Czechs in front again with a great free-kick. Joe Cole managed a scappy equaliser in the 90th minute.(video)
His future as coach of Brazil has a big question mark hanging over it after the mauling from Argentina.All those who had said he shouldn't have taken on the Olympic job seeing that Alfio Basile had decided not to coach the Argentine Olympic team are saying things like " We knew this would happen"
Maradona is adding fuel to the flames and salt to the wounds by saying he had never seen Brazil play like that - (meaning it as an insult and not a compliment).Dunga has two World Cup qualifiers in early September -- an away game to Chile and a home game against Bolivia.Why can't he recreate the team that beat Argentina 3- 0 last year when they won the Copa America?That's Dunga's Dilemma....
Sergio Aguero scored two and Juan Roman Riquelme added a third from the spot after Aguero had been felled.Brazil then managed to end the game in total despair by having Lucas and Neves sent off and ending the game with 9 men - 3 goals down.
4 - 1 is a pretty crushing margin to win a game by after starting off by being a goal down.Formiga, Marta and two goals by Cristiane cancelled out the goal by Birgit Prinz for the German women's team.
In a kind of mirror image game the USA women's team also scored 4 goals (over Japan) to reach the finals.The video of that games has not hit the stands yet.
USA also came from a goal down to win with a double from Angela Hucles, and goals from Lori Chalupny and Heather O'Reilly after Shinobu Ohno had put Japan ahead in the 16th minute.The mirror image thing was spoilt a bit by the fact that the japanese team scored another goal.
What is the football (soccer) equivalent of Michael Phelps historic 8 medal haul?He has joined the pantheon of sporting legends all right but who in the history of football has done something similar?I wish I could hazard a guess but my knowledge of the history of football just about extends to the fact that I have a vague memory that the last post I posted on this blog was about Fernando Torres scoring a goal for Liverpool.So maybe some pundit will ponder on this query and come up with a satisfactory answer.In the meantime here's a post in the Telegraph that is raising a good few hackles.
They are calling it a "fortuitous win" ..but the goal is a great one anyway.
Moussa Dembele scored two of Belgium's three goals after it was reduced to 10 men, giving his country a 3-2 victory over Italy on Saturday .The match was marred by controversial refereeing and a lacklustre performance from the Azzuris.The video is not so great.....
Belgium's winning goal....
Samir Nasri scores the inaugual goal for himself and for the PL season 2008 - 2009.
Manchester City face a tough task to qualify for the UEFA Cup after a shock loss to FC Midtjyllandat.Danny Olsen goal scored the only goal of the game.Man City will have a tough time now........."Mark Hughes may still be getting used to life at his new club but he will understand now why Sir Alex Ferguson likes to refer to the City of Manchester Stadium as the "Temple of Doom". Even for a club of City's occasionally wretched standards this was a shocking performance and another test of loyalty for their long-suffering fans. There were shouts of "rubbish" from the largely deserted stands and, for their new manager, that represents just about the worst start he could have imagined." - from the Guardian.
Before there was David Beckham in the US, there was Cobi Jones, the real deal. He was a lethal combination of talent, charisma, and oomph.
And before MLS decided to anoint Beckham as the saviour of the sport in this country, Jones was already doing more to bring soccer to everyone. A MLS pioneer when the league first started, his entire 11 year career was spent with the LA Galaxy. His blistering pace and eye catching assists are part of MLS folklore along with his undeniable durability.
The big Superclasico against Chivas USA will be the perfect match to win for Cobi Jones to get the Galaxy back on track.
Jones first priority is to stop Galaxy from bleeding goals. It has become an embarrasment of riches for other clubs, who have scored at will even as the Galaxy have themselves kept scoring goals. The Galaxy have lost 7 straight and conceded 40 goals in 19 games.
The Clasico should provide the perfect motivation for the Galaxy players to rouse themselves from their funk. A few points in their favor. Chivas is thin in the attacking department with Sacha Kjlestan and Ante Razov who between the two have scored 9 goals not available for this match. Brad Guzan's brilliant saves which have kept games close has moved to Aston Villa.
But obviously, Jones does recognize there is a certain dysfunctionality about the Galaxy.
"If they don't have passion for this game, they'll never have passion," said Jones. "For me, (the Clasico) was always a battle and a rivalry. I think you'll see that on Thursday and see the guys going out to fight. If you don't have that, you're not going to win any game."
For Jones it is not just managing the talent on the team, he has to find a way to provide the motivation and passion sapped out of the present team.
Today's showdown with Chivas USA at 8PM PT on ESPN2/ Deportes.
Arsenal came back in the second half with Gallas and Adebayor's goal. They were missing Cesc and it showed in most part of the game. Denilson and Aaron Ramsey started and their game picked up in the second half. But it was the veterans who pulled out the win. RVP's swerving free kick which Gallas was able to put his body on and steer the ball into goal and a Theo Walcott (yes, he can be considered a veteran in this Arsenal team) pass to Adebayour to slot the ball home.
An absolutely convincing 4 -1 victory over Tajikistan which included a hat trick from Sunil Chhetri and one from Bhaichung Bhutia.Dawn of a new era surely.Great work Bob Houghton .This can't be yet another flash in the pan.All the chaps who don't like cricket have another team to cheer at last. All the details here .
Looking back at the difficulties with set pieces that the Nigerians had, one has to ask where was the US team's wing play.
With Brian McBride and Jozy Altidore, the aerial advantage should have clearly been exploited with crosses from the flanks. Indeed, the good chances came through the air. Instead there was a lot of pushing up the middle which the Nigerians were able to stop. If Freddy Adu had been there this would have been an effective option. But in his absence, Steve Nowak should have utilized his big men more effectively.
Michael Orozco's elbow to Solomon Okoronkwo's chest as the two grappled was picked up by the German referee who gave Orozco marching orders. The US were reduced to ten men in the 4th minute.
It was an ill advised foul which happened right in front of the referee and he was forced into taking the more harsh option. The Olympic soccer tournament is after all a more genteel subset of the World Cup.
Orozco's departure left the left flank open leaving the Nigerian attack free to roam. Robbie Rogers rejiggered role saw him doing defensive duty with little success.
“The whole lineup changes, the whole mentality just goes in the trash,” United States Coach Peter Nowak said after the game. “I think maybe the referee rushed the decision to show Michael the red card.”
The pacy Super Eagles penetrated with ease through the defensive gaps with Victor Obinna and Solomon Okoronkwo letting loose a couple of times. The US played reactive defense but Guzan held firm. In the 39th minute, it changed as Ogbuke Obasi, in the move of the match slalomed past Michael Parkhurst and Marvel Wynne towards the endline, dragged the ball back and neatly centered the ball for Promise Isaac to tap the ball in for an easy goal. Another chance just before halftime saw Danny Szetela clearing goal line.
The second half saw the Nigerians getting a bit careless with the ball and giving it up cheaply on occasion leading Marcelo Balboa to exhort repeatedly that the Nigerians would implode. It did not happen but that did not stop Balboa till the Nigerians scored again later in the period.
In fact, they kept passing back and forth in a studied attempt to draw out the US who probably had a half ear glued to the Netherlands vs Japan game. Benny Feilhaber came in for Jozy Altidore who was ineffective and almost gave Nigerian an own goal when Victor Obinna's shot carromed off his leg with Guzan making an incredible save, reaching back to stop the ball. In between Feilhaber and the Brian McBride had a couple of headers that Ambruse Vanzekin managed to save. The Nigerians did look a bit disorganized when it came to dealing with set pieces.
However it was the Nigerians who went ahead as Victor Obinna latched onto another Obasi pass into the box, created some space as Michael Parkhurst lost his footing, turned and shot the ball past Guzan in the 79th minute. More bad news came as Netherlands had gone one up against Japan through a Gerald Sibon penalty kick. So the slim chance that they could advance even with a loss against the Nigerians had evaporated.
The introduction of Dax McCarthy and Charlie Davies made the US more multi-dimensional. In the 87th minute, Maurice Edu was tripped up by Vanzekin in the box and the referee had no hesitation awarding a penalty kick and yellow carding the Nigerian goalkeeper. Sacha Kjlestan converted it coolly. In the last five minutes, Benny Feilhaber's header clanged off the cross bar as everyone held their collective breath and Charlie Davies swerving shot was stopped by a diving Vanzekin. At the other end, Robbie Rogers came close to scoring an own goal under pressure but it too struck the crossbar.
Unfortunately, the US did not have a Gerald Sibon moment of its own that would have sent it to the quarterfinals.
Isaac Promise and Obinna Nsofor gave Nigeria a 2 - 0 lead over a 10 man USA (Michael Orozco was sent off for elbowing Hertha Berlin's Solomon Okoronkwo in the second minute) Kljestan pulled one back for the US when he scored off a penalty.
Nigeria vs USA (1-0 Promise) Olympic Football - The most amazing videos are a click away
Man Utd is on the verge of landing the Bulgarian. They have eyed him for a over a year. He was their first choice after the end of the 2007 season with his stellar first year at Spurs. They had to settle for Carlos Tevez.
Berbatov was ready to move to a club that guaranteed CL action. With Spurs it is a hypothetical. The sum that Sir Alex had to fork out is in the region of £28m. Nice tidy sum of money that could be used to get Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko to North London.
The negotiations have soured the relationship between the clubs as Daniel Levy accused Man Utd for “systematically been working to prise [Berbatov from Tottenham] outside of Premier League rules of conduct” . So there might be some extra mustard when these two clubs meet. Berbatov's arrival means that Louis Saha can be safely off loaded and Manucho Gonzalves problems getting a work visa might not matter anymore.
A big day in US soccer as the men's national team take on the Nigerians, the 1996 Olympic winners. A win or a draw should see them through the quarterfinals. They had a golden opportunity to seal the deal against the Netherlands but were undone by a 93rd minute equalizer by Gerald Sibon.
The US will have to do this without the services of Freddy Adu and Michael Bradley who picked up their second yellow cards against the Netherlands. These are big losses.
Adu's pace and dribbling skills were responsible for breaking down the Dutch defence on a couple of occasions, one which led to Kjlestan's goal.
In their place Benny Feilhaber and Jozy Altidore. The good news is that Sacha Kljestan, Maurice Edu, Marvell Wynne, Stuart Holden and Jozy Altidore are having a great tournament. A win over Nigeria will provide a great confidence booster to this group of talented players, as good as the US have had in years.
The US has to watch out for the strike duo of Victor Anichebe (Everton) and Victor Obinna (Chievo) who put away Japan.
Their playmaker is captain Promise Isaac. The Nigerians will be missing two of their regular defenders, Onyekachi Apam and Olubayo Adefemi. But they are athletic and pacy and will go on the offense because they need to win in order to advance. Maurice Edu and Marvell Wynne will have to be vigilant and soak up the attacks.
Jozy Altidore with his physical presence and aerial abillity will be the perfect player to exploit mistakes a Nigerian team that over commits to the attack might make. Peter Novak should also start Benny Feilhaber whose attacking instincts and passing ability can be counted on providing the counter offense.
Wenger has made signing a central midfielder to complement Cesc Fabregas a priority. With Flamini's departure, the team has a huge void to fill. His successful partnership with Fabregas in midfield was the salient feature of Arsenal's matchplay.
There have been numerous links to Gareth Barry and Xabi Alonso, both who in my mind lack the speed and industry of a Flamini.
Alonso is known as a playmaker who might not like being overshadowed by the much younger Fabregas. He also has a reputation of being soft on tackles. Barry is not known for his short passing skills which is Arsenal's strength. These were Flamini's strengths. Plus, Benitez seems to have made getting Barry to Anfield a central part in securing their first Premiership title.
Enter Gokhan Inler, the Udinese and Swiss international who had an eye catching Euro 2008. He was also voted as Serie A's best new foreign player in the first half of the 2007-2008 season.His performance attracted Juventus and Newcastle but he appears to have set his heart on playing at the Emirates. He is touted as versatile and can play both halves of the midfield. Wenger has shown a great deal of interest in him. Udinese is asking £8m for him.
A video clip of Inler scoring for Udinese >>
This was not too long ago.
"Alexi Lalas believes David Beckham's legacy can be greater than Pele's for football in the United States."
Exciting times lay ahead. The crowds would come. The MLS could begin to write its epitaph as a retirement league. The LA Galaxy would be on level terms with the European super clubs. All on the strength of a single player, the most recognized athlete in the world.
It is over. Lalas the man responsible for bringing David Beckham to the MLS has been fired. Ruud Gullit has gone too. Despite Beckham's first full season which has been very productive, the Galaxy are now in danger of missing their third consecutive playoffs.
In a sign of mounting frustration, Tim Leiwecke, chief executive of AEG, the company that manages the LA Galaxy had harsh words.
"Unfortunately, you can't fire 22 players," he said, a comment reflective of AEG's considerable unhappiness with the Galaxy and the way it is underperforming. Leiweke had only recently described the team as "dysfunctional," a description he repeated Monday.
"I think they're all responsible," Leiweke said of the players. "What I told them this morning was, 'Now no one has any excuses.' I eliminated all excuses.
Lest you think Leiweke was not sold out on the hype, here he was unfiltered on the Beckham transfer.
"David Beckham will have a greater impact on soccer in America than any athlete has ever had on a sport globally.
"David is truly the only individual that can build the 'bridge' between soccer in America and the rest of the world."
There is another way of looking at Leiwecke's moves. It is a total turnaround against the easy panacea that Beckham's arrival would provide the sport in the US. In the end the equation is more simple. Winning is what matters. If Tim Leiwecke had two good defenders who could prevent goals he would prefer them over some glorious abstraction of 'building a bridge' or a 'legacy.' The LA Galaxy have lost eight straight matches with a defense that is leaking goals, 40 to be exact in 19 matches. If they keep losing the crowds will disappear and playing for the Galaxy might become synonymous with futile. What a climbdown from the lofty expectations a year ago.
Last season, the Galaxy fired Frank Yallop, a perfectly good coach, caught in the balance between the distractions of managing a superstar and his relationship with lesser lights with the inflated expectations that he brought to the team and to the league. Now Lalas and Gullit are gone, a visceral reminder with all its star power at its disposal, it still takes a team to win.
Brandi Chastain: “We have to remember. New Zealand is a small island in the middle of the ocean, so they don’t get a lot of games.”
If only the Ferns moved to a bigger country, everything would be alright. If only Barack Obama as per Cokie Roberts had vacationed at Myrtle Beach instead of an exotic place like Hawaii, he would be considered American. It really is the silly season.
The US won against New Zealand, 4-0 to top their group and avoid a quarterfinal confrontation with defending champions Brazil. They play Canada, a matchup that they should look forward to. In the other group match, Japan humiliated Norway, 5-1
Now if we could only get Chastain to stop making an ass of herself it would be perfect.
Ruud Gullit stepped down as coach of Los Angeles Galaxy after they found themselves in the fourth place in the MLS Western Conference despite Beckham.
Alexi Lalas, the man responsible for luring David Beckham to the Major League Soccer (MLS) club became one of the heads that rolled in the sweeping changes that Timothy J. Leiweke, head of Galaxy's owners AEG is carrying out in the hope of improving things.
Ryan Babel put the Netherlands 1-0 up in the 15th minute.USA drew went ahead with two goals in the second half. (Sasha Kljestan and Jozy Alatidore).Sibon scored the equaliser three minutes into stoppage time. Alas...
Ronaldinho scored twice as Brazil did a samba steamroll over New Zealand.
Argentina beat Australia 1 - 0
Emmanuel Adebayor was the comeback king - scoring twice in the second half as Arsenal came from two goals down to beat hosts Ajax 3-2 in the pre-season Amsterdam Tournament on Friday night.Arsenal's frailty in defence however remains unresolved.
I just saw Hope Solo and Lisa Chalupny, in a tentative moment, make the first big mistake as both were unable to thwart Leni Larsen Kaurin's header in the opening minutes.
A few minutes later, veteran Kate Markgraf could only look on as her under pressure backpass found a hustling Melissa Wiik latch onto the astray pass and lash the ball past a hapless Solo into the right hand corner of the net. Two down in the first five minutes. Could the US Women's team mount a stirring comeback against Norway? After all Norway has proven to be the team to beat after their sudden death victory over the US in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The US has claimed a number of victories since then but this is a US team minus its most potent offensive weapon, Abby Wambach.
It was not to be as the Norwegians sturdy as wood shut the US team down. NBC's crack reporting team was left chastened and questioning on camera. The US hopes to rebound against Japan.
Sir Alex Ferguson on November 7, 2007 arguing for quotas on foreign players.
“For the good of the game in England, it would be good to see more home-based players at the top clubs,” Ferguson said. “There would be opposition from clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal, but I think if you asked a neutral, they would rather see more home-based players.”
Sir Alex Ferguson on August 7, 2008 advocating no limits on foreign player participation.
Significantly, Ferguson disagrees with those who claim the number of foreign imports flooding the domestic game is weakening the England team and cutting its chances of international success.
"It is nonsense to say that England does not have players capable of competing on the international stage," he said. "The hysteria surrounding England's non-qualification for Euro 2008 does not create the right atmosphere for good decision-making."
Yep, when you were behind Arsenal last year, it was alright to complain about the number of foreign players, self servingly couch it in patriotic terms. Now that your top player, a foreigner, after scoring 70 goals in two seasons while leading the club to two Premiership titles, threatens to leave; it becomes dangerous to talk about quotas.
He is worried that the gloom over England's recent stumbles could prompt what he sees as a potentially disastrous decision to meddle with the extremely lucrative, and globally admired, Premier League formula.
"It's vital that the game takes a step back and concentrates on making the right choices," said Ferguson. "We have the strongest and the most entertaining League in the world; we should celebrate that, not denigrate it."
This man should have been a politician. And I am surprised that the Guardian reports this bilge without remarking on his volte face.
Lionel Messi scored for his country in their opening Olympic men's football match in a narrow 2-1 win over the Ivory Coast on Thursday.Scoring for your country has to beat scoring for your club.Messi also helped setting up the second goal.He was adamant about wanting to be part of the Olympics and Barcelona,despite winning an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport giving the club the right to stop him playing,lifted their ban at the 11th hour.Good for them and good for the game.
First the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on Wednesday that clubs were not obliged to release players for the event.
Argentina's Olympic Team coach Sergio Batista defied the court order and said ....
"The player is here and will remain with the team. He will start Thursday's game (against Ivory Coast in Shanghai) from the beginning and I'm sure he can be with us for the rest of the competition."
Darrron's goal in a recent friendly between Alex Ferguson and his son Darren Ferguson's teams
Some of the players who will be on Olympic duty.
* Arsenal: Alexandre Song (Cameroon)
* Aston Villa: Brad Guzan (USA)
* Blackburn: Ryan Nelsen (New Zealand)
* Chelsea: Saloman Kalou (Ivory Coast)
* Everton: Victor Anichebe (Nigeria)
* Fulham: Adrian Leijer (Australia)
* Liverpool: Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Ryan Babel (Holland)
* Manchester City: Jo (Brazil)
* Manchester United: Anderson (Brazil)
* Portsmouth: Franck Songo’o (Cameroon)
* West Brom: Gianni Zuiverloon (Holland)
FIFA is having yet another meeting to review all that has already been reviewed so that the London 2012 games may be spared of a similar club vs country messi - ness.
The Youtube video below shows a Blatter lookalike singing the song that fits in very well with the abovementioned meeting.
You have to imagine Blatter singing
..."A man's got a heart hasn't he,jokin apart hasn't he?
And though I'd be the first one to say that I wasn't a saint,
I'm finding it hard to be really as black as they paint.
I'm reviewing the situation
Can a fellow be a villain all his life?
All the trials and tribulations!
Better settle down and get myself a wife.
And a wife would cook and sew for me,
And come for me, and go for me,
The fingers, she will wag at me.
The money whe will take me.
A misery, she'll make from me....I think I'd better think it out again....! .."etc
In political parlance he is a flip flopper. The fans at the Emirates let him have it when he showed up to play Juve. The only thing that can get Ade back in favour would be to keep a low profile and repeat a 30 goal scoring season. In the end if that leads to meaningful silverware, then all can and will be forgiven.
Here is Arseblog's considerably more forceful take on Adebayor >>
Everton opened itself up further to sale speculation contingent on government approval of its new 50,000 seat stadium. There appears to be plenty of bickering in Everton's top brass over the future of the club but it appears that they will be open to a takeover. In consideration for a takeover, Indian steel magnate, Lakshmi Mittal, the 4th richest person in the world and a 20% shareholder of QPR. Mittal has also been linked with takeovers of Wigan and Birmingham City. Mittal lives in a palatial home in the exclusive Kensington area of London.
Here is Forbes profile of Mittal. He is the chief shareholder of ArcelorMittal, the largest steelmaker in the world. His personal worth of $51b overshadows that of Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich by a considerable margin. His company just supplied 580 tonnes for the construction of the World Trade Center memorial in New York Cityl. One thing is for sure, Everton will not have to worry about paying for the steel used to build its new stadium if he becomes the owner. Everton will also have no difficulties affording Kaka or Leo Messi if they become available.
The only thing holding back Mittal is probably QPR's avowed goal of reaching the Premiership in a couple of years and then challenging for a Champions spot. This could potentially create a conflict of interest in terms of player transfers. If QPR were to reach the Premiership, as per FA rules, Mittal would have to give up the ownership of one of the clubs.
It was the third place play-off of the Russian Railways Cup.Anelka hit four out of the 5 goals and the other one came from a Lampard free kick.It helped that AC Milan were missing key players such as Kaka, Pato, Inzaghi and Borriello.They went into half time 3 goals down and stayed down.Is this enough to make Kaka change his mind and move to Chelsea?There's a chap writing on ESPN that thinks so.
"I have never said that Ronaldo is a slave," he told reporters on Wednesday during a visit to Vietnam...........................!
Okay let's see.What will he deny next.
He will deny denying this.
It appears that the sky over Beijing has cleared up to some extent and there is some optimism that the Olympics will take place relatively pollution free. But athletes are not exactly rushing into China as yet.
The Australian Olympic Committee has decided not to force its athletes to compete if they are concerned about the pollution causing long term harm to their health. Athletes at risk are cyclists, endurance runners, and soccer players. Here is a more dire prediction.
Well, my take is the Olympics are for guts and glory. I still remember the heroics of Derek Redmond in the 1992 Olympics, tearing his hamstrings in the 400m, crumpling to the track in agony.
On the track, Redmond realizes his dream of an Olympic medal is gone. Tears run down his face. "All I could think was, 'I'm out of the Olympics -- again,'" he would say.
As the medical crew arrives with a stretcher, Redmond tells them, "No, there's no way I'm getting on that stretcher. I'm going to finish my race."
Then, in a moment that will live forever in the minds of millions, Redmond lifts himself to his feet, ever so slowly, and starts hobbling down the track. The other runners have finished the race, with Steve Lewis of the U.S. winning the contest in 44.50. Suddenly, everyone realizes that Redmond isn't dropping out of the race by hobbling off to the side of the track. No, he is actually continuing on one leg. He's going to attempt to hobble his way to the finish line. All by himself. All in the name of pride and heart.
Slowly, the crowd, in total disbelief, rises and begins to roar. The roar gets louder and louder. Through the searing pain, Redmond hears the cheers, but "I wasn't doing it for the crowd," he would later say. "I was doing it for me. Whether people thought I was an idiot or a hero, I wanted to finish the race. I'm the one who has to live with it."
I remember Redmond's father running onto the track and holding his son as he painfully limped along to the finish line. There was not a dry eye left in that stadium or in the millions on TV watching this extraordinary act of courage unfold. It was one of the purest moments in sporting history, one that brought home with stunning clarity, in an all too rare moment, what the Olympics stood for.
Some countries have more ideal conditions than others. None are perfect. China is trying to reduce its pollution in time for the Olympics and there is a chance that seeing more blue skies and its health benefits might have a sobering effect on its government, introducing environmental safeguards even as it continues its blistering pace of industrialization. I know Brazil and Argentina whine about the high altitude being detrimental to their players health every time they play Bolivia at La Paz. FIFA obligingly tried banning high altitude matches to make sure that none of their players suffered a breathless moment. But no player has suffered any adverse health even as both countries have gone onto win 7 World Cups.
So for those doubters, suck it up and remember Derek Redmond.
Bentley, an Arsenal product did not leave on the happiest of terms as he could not break into Arsenal's first team. He appears to have carried a grudge and joining Spurs seems to have loosened his lips.
On October 29th, Spurs visit the Emirates and as per Bentley he is relishing the encounter. "I just want to stick it up the Arsenal."
Well those are fighting words and I am sure Gunner fans will be waiting to give him a 21 gun salute. Bring it on, Bentley!
Deja vu ? Andriy Shevchenko did a John Terry in the Railways Cup game against Lokomotiv Moscow.This was the third consecutive shoot-out that Chelsea have lost.More Chelsea trauma for Shevchenko.Scolari ( smiling bravely) said he did not blame any player.The chuckling you can hear in the background is probably Mourinho.The two goals that came in the run of play here...
The headline might have misled you into thinking that this post was about a large spherical object made of porcelain - visible from the moon.No it's not.It's about this football which apparently is going to be the official football of the Beijing Olympics.If so it is going to be kicked around by Messi and others shortly.There is also a rumour circulating that the symbols you can see on the ball are either the Nike logo or the Adidas logo - in chinese - or both logos one on top of each other.
And while we are talking about the great ball of china take a look at this video.I'm not sure if it's in China - but that football certainly comes under the great ball category too....!
( Probably visible from the moon as well..!)