Latest transfer speculation

June 4, 2009

“The 2008-9 season ended with a bang, with the wonderful display of attacking football from Barcelona in the Champions League final in Rome. But before having had time to catch your breath, the transfer rumours are coming come thick and fast, with almost every professional player being linked with a move. With a few big deals having already been made, here are a few of the ones to watch over the summer.” (World Soccer)

Into Thin Air in South America (NYT)
“In 1973, Mario Kempes was a little known, 19-year-old Argentine striker who was still about five years away from leading his country to the 1978 World Cup championship. But as part of Argentina’s team involved in South American qualifying matches for the 1974 tournament in West Germany, Kempes and some of his teammates own a notable footnote — they were part of what the Argentine news media dubbed the ghost team.”

World Cup Debate: Proud Africa And Our Surrogate Teams (Goal)
“Finally the World Cup has reached Africa, and pride has filled the entire continent. In less than 400 days, on June 11th 2010 at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South-Africa, the nineteenth World Cup and the first on African soil will kick-off. It is about time!”

Italian season ends with an exodus to leave the future unclear (The Sport Blog)
“In the space of one afternoon, Serie A lost three of its most iconic players and one of its most successful managers. The retirements of Paolo Maldini, Luis Figo and Pavel Nedved had all been announced well in advance, while Carlo Ancelotti’s departure from Milan came as no surprise, but that didn’t make their goodbyes any less emotional.”

Top 100 football moments of 2008/09: 25-1 (Telegraph)
“Sir Alex Ferguson loses it, Rafael Benitez loses it and Didier Drogba loses it in the fourth and final instalment of our 100 greatest moments of the football season.”

Why the World Cup in South Africa already looks like a missed opportunity (Mirror)
“It seems hard to justify spending billions of rand on football stadiums when millions are homeless and living in tin shacks. South Africa is a country of great contrast and will undoubtedly host a colourful and exciting World Cup next summer. But for those of us who like to think we have a social conscience, it will be hard to see a country besieged by so much poverty mortgaging itself to the hilt to lay on a tournament for such a cash-rich sport.”

Pro Vercelli: Offseason Factbook

June 4, 2009

“I decided to keep Ibrahimovic. When it came down to it, his character was just too fascinating to lose. I’ve never seen a player who was so expansively self-defeating or one so capable of turning every moment of triumph into a bellow of despair. It’s as if the better he gets, the more he has to betray himself: he’s playing for his favorite club, yet desperately wants a transfer; he’s playing for his favorite manager, yet spends all his time complaining; he’s a born leader, but never had a worse season than when he was asked to be captain.” (The Run of Play)

Costa Rica 3-1 U.S.: Ticos rampant at home

June 4, 2009

“When the U.S. soccer team plays in Costa Rica, the Americans resemble the doormat they used to be rather than the regional power they’ve become. Alvaro Saborio scored 79 seconds in, the second-fastest goal against the United States in a World Cup qualifier, and Costa Rica coasted to a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.” (ESPN)
World Cup Qualifying: Costa Rica 3, U.S. 1 (NYT)
Costa Rica 3, USA 1: The Day After (Soccer By Ives)
Saborio, Costa Rica get off to fast start, top U.S. in Cup qualifier (SI)
Costa Rica – United States (3-1) WC-2010 Qual, Highlights 04.06.09 (Mighty Football)