Archive for January, 2008

Top 20 Ugliest Soccer Players

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Top 20 Ugliest Soccer Players

Wayne Rooney has just been elected the ugliest player in the world, at least according to 33% of the 2,500 women polled by www.thepeoplesclub.com. “Shrek” (as the Man Utd striker is affectionately, or not-so-affectionately rather, nicknamed) is however judged to be the perfect mate for girlfriend (and soon-to-be wife) Coleen McLoughlin, the latter indeed not being typical smokin’ hot WAG material (à la Abbey Clancy or Danielle Lloyd), even though her business skills are largely superior to her much sexier colleagues.

Wayne RooneyBut going back to our “Ugly Top 20″ ranking, Wayne Rooney is indeed topping the list and beating footy champions of the caliber of Ronaldinho and Carlos Tevez. While the soccer skills of the top trio certainly aren’t being questioned, the feminine population that was sampled might have very different things to say about their looks. I guess the “cartoonish face and bunny smile” of the Barcelona playmaker, and the rough facial expression of the Man Utd striker (nicknamed “Apache”) aren’t appreciated at their just value?

Carlos Tevez (left) with America Ferrera, the actress playing the American version of “Ugly Betty”Completing the list, we find Liverpool striker Peter Crouch at nº4 (the boyfriend of aforementioned sex-bomb Abigail Clancy, the couple earning the nickname of “Beauty and the Beast” by the English tabloids) and AC Milan’s Ronaldo at nº5 (whose constant changes of hairstyle and castor-like teeth don’t make him much of a fan-favorite).

The survey shows that money can’t buy you looks” said Carl Christensen, spokesperson of the ThePeoplesclub website, in an interview to the Daily Star. “But money sure does help an ordinary guy get a good-looking girl. You have to look no further than Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy” Christensen concluded. Manchester UnitedIn fact, that theory is so close to the truth that 1/5 of the surveyed women said they are “totally ready to go out with any of these ‘uglies’“, given their pro soccer player status (and the cushy bank account that comes with it).

One final statistic: by looking at the 20 names that make up this ranking, we find ONE player from the Serie A (AC Milan’s Ronaldo), TWO from the Spanish Liga (Ronaldinho and Van Nistelrooy), and SEVEN players from Manchester United (thus officially making the Red Devils the “ugliest team in the world”). Then again, this survey was conducted in Britain so it’s normal to see a lot of local players featured here.

Here’s the final Top 20. What do you think? Did we forget anyone?
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Rank
Name
Club
Wayne Rooney
1
Wayne Rooney
Manchester Utd
Ronaldinho
2
Ronaldinho
Barcelona
Carlos Tevez
3
Carlos Tevez
Manchester Utd
Peter Crouch
4
Peter Crouch
Liverpool
Ronaldo
5
Ronaldo
Milan
Luke Chadwick
6
Luke Chadwick
Manchester Utd
Robbie Fowler
7
Robbie Fowler
Cardiff
Darren Fletcher
8
Darren Fletcher
Manchester Utd
Rio Ferdinand
9
Rio Ferdinand
Manchester Utd
Ruud Van Nistelrooy
10
Ruud V.Nistelrooy
Real Madrid
Dirk Kuyt
11
Dirk Kuyt
Liverpool
Joleon Lescott
12
Joleon Lescott
Everton
Gary Neville
13
Gary Neville
Manchester Utd
Robbie Savage
14
Robbie Savage
Derby County
Iván Campo
15
Iván Campo
Bolton
Robert Earnshaw
16
Robert Earnshaw
Derby County
Phil Neville
17
Phil Neville
Everton
Philippe Senderos
18
Phil. Senderos
Arsenal
Paddy Kenny
19
Paddy Kenny
Sheffield Utd
Edwin Van der Sar
20
Edwin V.der Sar
Manchester Utd

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The Most Famous Cow in Soccer is Spanish

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

La Caca de la Vaca, The Most Famous Cow in Soccer is Spanish

No, we’re not talking about WAGs here, let’s get things straight right away. :)

What is the latest invention of the world of soccer for making money? In the Iberian peninsula, the game is called “Caca de la vaca“. For those familiar just a bit with the Spanish language, you’ve already got the picture of what we’re talking about, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think something about luck is involved. You know, the stepping-into-with-your-left-foot kind of thing. Okay, a few more clues: the idea is the initiative of the president of a Spanish amateur club, the club’s name is Amoeiro, and Amoeiro is indebted for large sums of money.

Still no clue? Here I’ll give you the answer: it’s a lottery designed to bring money into the club’s finances. But how? And why on earth is cow manure involved?

Rubia, the famous cow of Amoeiro CFHere’s how it works. Club president José Angel Cid, divided the Amoeiro home stadium in 6,000 square pieces, each measuring 1 m2 in size. Each piece of grass is on sale on the official website of the lottery (cacadelavaca.es) for the bargain price of €10.00. If you’re an Amoeiro supporter, you should be ready to spend this much and more to help out your club. Then, the end of next month (on February 24 to be exact), will see the entrance of Rubia. Who’s Rubia might you ask? Rubia, is quite simply the cow aspiring to become the most famous bovine of the beautiful game.

At noon on February 24, Rubia will be accompanied out of the fence where she’s currently living (close by the Penafita stadium, home of Amoeiro), and be brought onto the field of play. After which, she will be let loose on the grass, free to do what cows normally do. You know… eating grass, ruminating, and… well… the obvious after a good digestion. That’s where the lottery comes into play. You see, for every square piece which Rubia “fertilizes”, a lucky person will win a nice little prize. Well little not so much, because prizes range from a two-person dinner to restaurant “A adega do Emilio” in Ourense, to stuff like a scooter, a big screen TV, a trip for two to the Canary islands, to the grand prize of a Seat Leon Sportline 1.9 TDI.

In other words 6 prizes in total for 6 lucky winners, just to confirm the idea that “la caca” brings good fortune, even if you’re not stepping into it with your left foot. Those who are interested in taking a chance hurry up, all the little squares have almost sold out. :)

Italian Players Around the World (21/01)

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Continuing my weekly article inspired by Gazzetta dello Sport, here are the performances of all Italian soccer players operating in foreign European leagues.

The Villareal players celebrate during their match vs. Valencia (Rossi featured with his head down, nº22 jersey)

Based on Gazzetta’s info, there are currently 23 Italians playing in first divisions abroad, and 15 of them stepped on the field this week-end.

The table below includes the team the player belongs to, their opponents for the week, the number of minutes they played, their contribution (goal, assist), and the final score of the game.
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ENGLAND
Player Team Opp.
mins.
Contrib.
Score
Rolando Bianchi Man City West Ham
90
/
1-1
Carlo Cudicini Chelsea @Birmingham
(bench)
/
1-0
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SCOTLAND
Massimo Donati Celtic Kilmarnock
90
/
1-0
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GERMANY
Luca Toni Bayern M. NEXT ROUND
IN
FEBR.
/
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SPAIN
Fabio Cannavaro Real Madrid @Atl. Madrid
90
/
2-0
Giuseppe Rossi Villareal Valencia
73
1 assist
3-0
Christian Abbiati Atl. Madrid Real Madrid
90
/
0-2
Gianluca Zambrotta Barcelona Racing
90
/
2-0
Enzo Maresca Sevilla @Getafe
46
/
2-3
Morgan De Sanctis Sevilla @Getafe
90
/
2-3
Emiliano Moretti Valencia @Villareal
90
/
0-3
Stefano Sorrentino Recreativo @Betis
90
/
1-1
Damiano Tommasi Levante Mallorca
(susp.)
/
2-2
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FRANCE
Fabio Grosso Lyon @Lens
90
/
0-3
Flavio Roma Monaco @Metz
90
/
1-4
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HOLLAND
Graziano Pellè AZ Alkmaar @Heerenveen
90
/
0-4
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BELGIUM
Roberto Mirri Mons Club Brugge
90
/
0-1
Alessandro Pistone Mons Club Brugge
79
/
0-1
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SWITZERLAND
Stefano Razzetti St. Gallen SEASON OVER
/
/
/
Andrea Guatelli FC Zürich SEASON OVER
/
/
/
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POLAND
Stefano Napoleoni Widzew Łódź NEXT ROUND
IN
FEBR.
/
Joseph Oshadogan Widzew Łódź NEXT ROUND
IN
FEBR.
/
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RUSSIA
Ivan Pelizzoli Lok. Moscow SEASON OVER
/
/
/

Heroes of the week

This week no goalscorers, but one assistman. Once again (would you have guessed?) from Spain.

Giuseppe Rossi continues to shine after his return from injury. After the goal vs. Deportivo last week, the young New Jersey native was the author of another good performance vs. Valencia this week, and provided the assist for Nihat’s 3-0 goal in the second half (as well as a few other key passes throughout the match). Valencia’s Emiliano Moretti couldn’t do much to prevent the final 3-goal difference Villareal victory.

A small note about Levante’s Italians, since that seems to make the headlines week after week this month. Indeed, a veritable exodus is taking place from the Spanish club (comprehensibly so, since they are dead last in La Liga rankings): after Marco Storari and Bruno Cirillo, striker Christian Riganò also left the club (on loan however) and returned to Italy to Serie A club Siena.

Serie A Matchday 19 – Week-end Review + GOALS of the Week

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Week-End Reviews

Here are the results and summaries for matchday 19. Full Video Highlights here.

Italy.TheOffside.com week 19 review

Italy.TheOffside.com

Italian Calcio Blog week 19 review

Italian Calcio Blog

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GOALS of the WEEK

Another batch of great goals, straight from the Serie A oven… :mrgreen:

This week, the goal-of-the-week award goes to Reggina’s captain, Francesco Cozza. Check out what he did for his team’s second goal vs. Cagliari. Absolute stunner.

Francesco Cozza celebrates with Maurizio Lanzaro after Reggina’s 2-0 goal

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Results Summary

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Serie A – day 19
Genoa – Atalanta
2 - 1
Fiorentina – Torino
2 - 1
Juventus – Sampdoria
0 - 0
Livorno – Empoli
1 - 0
Napoli – Lazio
2 - 2
Palermo – Siena
2 - 3
Reggina – Cagliari
2 - 0
Roma – Catania
2 – 0
Udinese – Milan
0 - 1
Inter – Parma
3 - 2

Juventus: ‘Nother Draw, ‘Nother Bench for Tiago vs. Sampdoria (Serie A Matchday 19)

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Juventus: ‘Nother Draw, ‘Nother Bench for Tiago vs. Sampdoria (Serie A Matchday 19)

Serie AOMG How did he miss that? (…) Goal! No… post! It crossed the line! (…) OMG Another woodwork (…) Yawn yawn yawn“.

In a nutshell, the last paragraph would be a good summary for Sunday’s match at the Stadio Olimpico of Turin. Juventus’s efforts, over the 90 minutes, were insufficient to overcome a tenacious Sampdoria team, but in all honesty bad luck had a big say in this game. Especially in the 1st half, during which three super-chances for the Bianconeri miraculously (for Sampdoria) failed to cross the goal line for a well-deserved goal. In 2nd half, a lot of sweating but not a lot of producing.

If you want to add your drop of controversy in the mix, here’s something for you: Tiago was once again kept on the bench for the entire 90 minutes (nothing new there), but get this, Juve captain Alessandro Del Piero (who up until then had been one of the best players in the match) was substituted at half-time due to tactical choice!! To quote KwSport’s live text-commentator Diego Costa: “Someone urgently needs to submit Claudio Ranieri to a breathalyzer test“.

Serie A Matchday 19 - Juventus 0-0 Sampdoria

From minute 1, this match started off with Juve in control of the ball, and the Bianconeri’s dominance just kept increasing from then on. Not exactly something you would have bet a fortune on, especially due to the Ranieri-style experiments at work here today: Zdenek Grygera center-back in place of injured Giorgio Chiellini, and Hasan Salihamidzic in a most unusual center midfield role. That last tactical choice being the obvious (and nth) kick in the ass for Almirón and Tiago, the great (and costly) summer transfer hopes, sitting side by side on the Juve bench.

The offensive activity of the Bianconeri, especially on the left wing (with Cristian Molinaro continuously pushing up, and Pavel Nedved seemingly back to his Ballon d’Or award form), was in ebullition. It all started in minute 12, when Del Piero set off a Juve counter by sending Nedved through on the left, and the Czech midfielder hypnotized his marker to send the ball across for Marco Marchionni. Astoninglishly however, the Juve winger ballooned an open-net chance that would have put his team ahead. Bad stuff. Wait it gets worse.

A few minutes later, a good Molinaro cross was deftly touched by David Trezeguet in a sort-of-backheel shot-fashion, but the ball ended narrowly wide with Luca Castellazzi rooted to the spot. The real hair-pulling moment however, for any Juve supporter watching this, was to be in minute 37: a double save right on the Samdporia goal-line, first by Hugo Campagnaro then by Pietro Accardi on two point-blank range touches of Trezeguet. On that second one, doubts remain on whether the ball crossed the line or not, even though it looked more outside than inside the goal in all honesty (and that’s a Juve supporter saying this).

Wait, it isn’t over yet. Just the following minute, a cross-shot by Marchionni turned into an assist for Trezeguet (in an onside position) who executed an acrobatic scissor-kick, only to find his effort denied by the crossbar. What a #&$#& rotten luck for Juventus, but the score was still tied 0-0 at the half.

Sampdoria in all of this? Absent, or almost. Christian Maggio did hit the post following a corner-kick, but other than that there was not much evidence of the Blucerchiati’s presence on the field today. You know, other than the fact they were valiantly defending the incessant Juve siege on Castellazzi’s goal. The absence of the creative verve of Vincenzo Montella and Antonio Cassano was all too evident, something that Claudio Bellucci and Emiliano Bonazzoli couldn’t compensate for (today at least).

Fortunately for Walter Mazzarri’s team, Ranieri had the “brilliant” idea of substituting Del Piero at the break (Gazzetta suggested it might have been in anticipation of the Coppa Italia Quarter-finals, scheduled for Wednesday this week against Inter, but Ranieri failed to mention it in his post-game interviews to Raisport), which gave Sampdoria some time to breathe in the 2nd. Indeed, Del Piero’s replacement (Vincenzo Iaquinta) might have played with true fighting-spirit, but he just didn’t have the playmaking quality of the Bianconeri captain, and Juventus considerably dropped in rhythm in the final 45 minutes. There was very little worth mentioning in the match commentary after the break, except two almost-penalty interventions in the Sampdoria box, first on Marchionni then on Trezeguet (ref waved play on). Some playing time was given to Palladino and Almirón (not Tiago) in the final quarter, but they could do little to change the scoreless situation, and soon enough (or late rather, considering the match was such a drag by then) the final whistle of the referee echoed at the Olimpico. 0-0 the final score.

On a consolation note for the Bianconeri, the first part of the Serie A season has been very positive when you look at the rankings. Sunday’s result was the 10th consecutive match without a loss, and considering the limited technical baggage of Juve (at least compared to teams like Inter, Milan, and Roma), seeing the team at 3rd spot is an excellent performance. As for Sampdoria, they are in a moment of form after 2 consecutive victories and an useful pointed obtained in Turin. Considering they were playing without Montella and Cassano, that’s something to be quite happy about. Gennaro Delvecchio (pictured below) surely won’t be contradicting me…

Gennaro Delvecchio triumphantly raises his hands at the end of the match, Sampdoria have tied Juve at the Olimpico

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Juventus F.C.
JUVENTUS-SAMPDORIA
0-0
[Match Highlights]
 U.C. Sampdoria
GOALSCORERS: /
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Birindelli (83’ Almirón), Legrottaglie, Grygera, Molinaro – Marchionni (74’ Palladino), Salihamidzic, C.Zanetti, Nedved – Trezeguet, Del Piero (46’ Iaquinta). (bench: Vanstrattan, Boumsong, Tiago, Castiglia). Coach: Ranieri.
SAMPDORIA (3-5-2): Castellazzi – Campagnaro, Gastaldello, Accardi – Maggio, Sammarco (22′ G.Delvecchio), Palombo, Franceschini, Pieri – Bellucci, Bonazzoli (80’ Volpi). (bench: Mirante, Sala, Lucchini, Zenoni). Coach: Mazzarri.

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