Global Sports Forum: Champions League Edition, Part 2

May 25, 2009

“Welcome back to the Champions League edition of the forum. The final between Manchester United and Barcelona will be played Wednesday night in Rome. With me to analyze it are some of the finest soccer writers in Europe. We have Ian Hawkey of The Sunday Times, who has a particularly intriguing perspective on this game as a British media journalist who has long been based in Barcelona. We have Santiago Segurola of Marca, the leading sports daily in Spain. We have Erik Bielderman of L’Equipe Magazine in France, and Peter Berlin, the longtime sports editor of the International Herald Tribune.” (NYT – 2), (NYT – 1)

Caracas upset Libertadores order

May 25, 2009

“The winners of Europe’s strongest two leagues square up in the Champions League on Wednesday with the continental title at stake – and the traditional powers in South America are also coming through strongly. Between them, clubs from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have claimed the Copa Libertadores title in all but seven of the first 49 editions. This year, the 50th, the historic big three can boast seven of the eight quarter-finalists, six of them former champions.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

David Beckham and our dream team of 40+ footballing stars (Mirror)
“The LA Galaxy and England star, currently on loan at Milan, seems very keen to reach the milestone, and if he does he’ll join an exclusive club of players to have played in their fourth decade. Below we’ve come up with a ‘dream team’ of international stars to have played football at club or international level beyond their 40th birthday.”

Marcello Lippi (WorldSoccer)
“Of course, I didn’t want to lose that game but, in the end, given the way the result came about, you can draw a number of conclusions. First, I’m not sure how things would have worked out if our opening goal [by Fabio Grosso], which was a good goal, had been allowed to stand. It would have been a big blast of confidence for some of our younger players.”

Time warp: The Transvaal Professional (Football365)
“In 1962, when the Transvaal Professional Soccer League (TPSL) formed with eleven founder members, the country’s black African footballers finally had the opportunity to play the beautiful game at ‘professional level.'” History: The 1947 tour Down Under

South African games face crucial test (BBC)
“South Africa’s sporting and business infrastructure is facing a ‘crucial 30 days’ which will help determine the success of next year’s football World Cup, which is being held in an African country for the first time.”

An Italian Whirlwind Of Emotion (The Offside)
“The weekend began with the best of intentions as Paolo Maldini headed for his San Siro swansong. But when teams are relegated – or pushed to the very brink of relegation – things tend to go downhill very quickly.”