Archive for September 2nd, 2008

Italy Shirt Gets “FIFA World Champions” Tag

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Ladies & gentlemen, the “We just won the World Cup” logo is born. For the first time in football history, a national side will be able to display a logo (a world cup on a white background, with the words “FIFA World Champions”) on their shirts to reflect they are the current title holders. And Italy will be the first nation to proudly wear it.

It has never happened before and this shows how much FIFA cares about Italy“, said FIGC president Giancarlo Abete. Yeah, not exactly the impression *I* had… you know, after that whole Blatter-disappearance act at the WC 2006 ceremony? Guess it’s all water under the bridge now…

The champions deserve special recognition” said Blatter. “The Italian side are the first ones to have it; the logo will be on their blue shirts at least until 2010. The players who have that logo on their shirts will have extra motivation.”

The Italian squad and the coaching staff were also present at the ceremony. In a moment of pure brilliance, Fabio Cannavaro decided to right the wrongs of that July 9, 2006 night: “The experience in Germany changed all our lives. We believed in a dream and made it come true: winning a magical cup. However, we also have another opportunity now, the chance to silence everyone: this is why I invite president Blatter to hand over the cup to me. He can do that now.

After which Blatter (who on the night of the Berlin final had left his place to UEFA president Lennart Johansson), stood up embarassed, walked towards Cannavaro and handed the World Cup over to the Italian captain: “It’s never too late to do well“, he said later.

Genius Fabio… genius.

Ricardo Quaresma: On Inter Milan, On the Trivela, On Becoming a Better Player

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

€24.6m (plus bonuses) and the transfer of Vítor Hugo Gomes Paços (Pelé) to Porto: that’s how much bringing Ricardo Quaresma to Inter cost Massimo Moratti. In other words: the most expensive Serie A transfer of the year (so far), but based purely on skills the lad seems to be worth every penny.

I am glad to be here, I have the feeling I’ve just joined a great club, so I feel a big degree of responsibility on me” said Quaresma during his presentation. “I feel physically great, psychologically I’m even better because the long transfer negotiations with Porto are finally over“. Indeed, it took many trips to Portugal by Marco Branca for the Nerazzurri to finally snatch the Portuguese winger, but as of now, José Mourinho should be fairly satisfied with his recruiting campaign (all the players he asked for came to Milano, with the only notable exception of Frank Lampard).


Quaresma needs no introduction: his skills & technique have been showcased on the international scene long enough, and everyone should be aware by now this guy’s a good player. A very good player. The comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo aren’t a surprise either, given how similar the two players are (it’s no coincidence that C.Ronaldo, Quaresma, Nani, and Joao Moutinho all come from the same generation of players grown by the Sporting Lisbon youth system).

However, Serie A fans might not be fully familiar with Quaresma’s “home special”, the spectacular outside-foot shooting/passing technique the Portuguese winger perfected over the years. A technique otherwise known as Trivela.

Now, I know what some of you might be saying. “Big deal. Shooting with the outside that’s no invention”. Indeed it isn’t. But tagging Quaresma’s trivela as a simple “outside-foot” shot would be overly simplistic. I think in this case, it’s better to let images speak for themselves:

Note that this type of trick is obviously reminiscent of Roberto Carlos, but while the Brazilian left-back used this type of shot primarily to take free-kicks, Quaresma does it on-the-run and applies it to passes, crosses and shots as well.

He wasn’t the first one to do so either, although he certainly perfected the technique. Serbian midfielder Ljubinko Drulović (who played at Porto from years 1993 to 2001) often used the Trivela to give assists. Also, a big legend from the mythical 1970 Brazil team, Roberto Rivelino, was nicknamed três dedos (“three fingers” in Portuguese), to indicate the 3 outside fingers of his foot he used to kick the ball. And in addition to Roberto Carlos, Branco was another one of those long-range Brazilian specialist to kick the ball with the outside…

If you are interested in receiving tips & pointers on how to perfect the trick (from Quaresma himself), he’s got a video up on the Training Ground.

One thing’s for sure though: with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s elasticos, Quaresma’s trivelas, and Mancini’s step-overs (not to mention Jose Mourinho’s openly-attacking 4-3-3 formation), Inter Milan’s games should be fairly entertaining this year. :mrgreen: