What’s in a Name? – Real Sociedad and Borussia Dortmund

December 11, 2009


“Age in soccer is a funny thing. On the one hand, we’re endlessly bombarded with praise for the latest teen sensation and seemingly every other issue of World Soccer or Four-Four-Two magazine includes a special on ’25 rising stars’. On the other hand, football clubs take great pride in their years of origin – the older the better. A great many teams feature their foundation year in their logo and a large percentage of fans can tell you the year their favorite team was founded. I doubt that more than a tiny percentage of baseball or basketball fans could do the same.” (Pitch Invasion)


Brazilian football’s race problem

December 11, 2009

“The remarkable thing about Flamengo’s Brazilian national championship success last weekend is not the 17-year wait nor the indian summer enjoyed by 37-year-old Serbian midfielder Dejan Petkovic. The real surprise is that, in Jorge Luís Andrade, the club has a black coach. SporTV pundit Telmo Zanini called it a “landmark” and stated: ‘Hopefully this will become a symbolic day for Brazilian football and help to open doors for black coaches’.” (WSC)


And the winner is…

December 11, 2009

“It’s five years since WSC last handed out any awards to worthy websites. And even then, we didn’t actually hand anything out. These are virtual awards that reflect the cyber-realistic nature of the internet and so will be better appreciated by the keyboard-bound phalanx of dedicated writers who would never desert their terminals just to attend some fancy web awards dinner at the Savoy. Besides, they were fully booked until next Christmas.” (WSC)


Who Knows Where The FIFA Bodies Are Buried?

December 11, 2009

“It’s not what you know. It’s not even who you know. It’s what you know about who you know. Jerome Valcke was the embarrassing guy in the specs who got turned all nerdish by the sight of Hollywood actress Charlize Theron at the World Cup draw. The draw was a success simply by not being an unwatchable embarrassment, except for Valcke. The event did, however, go all Eurovision Song Contest on us, although I don’t remember Katie Boyle looking that good (one for the teenagers, there). At Eurovision, the male and female co-presenters would present a chemistry-free comedy double act in what would, usually have been their second and third languages. That much fun. And Valcke, if not Theron, was a dark reminder of those days.” (twohundredpercent)


World Cup Team History: Algeria

December 11, 2009


“As part of our World Cup 2010 build up, we’re getting a little more familiar with each of the 32 teams that qualified for South Africa by looking back at their World Cup history. First up, it’s the Desert Foxes of Algeria. South Africa 2010 will be Algeria’s third World Cup. The team has qualified twice before, in 1982 and 1986. On one of those occasions, they were very possibly robbed. Read on to find out what happened.” (World Cup Blog)


World Cup 2010 stadiums: where England will be playing in Group C

December 11, 2009

“England will play at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, Green Point Stadium in Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth after being draw in Group C at the World Cup 2010 draw in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday evening.” (Telegraph)


Barcelona reclaims its No. 1 spot

December 11, 2009

“You missed us. And we appreciate it. We skipped out last time for MLS Cup duty which, of course, left a big hole in all our club-ranking hearts. But seriously, how are we supposed to focus this week? Admit it: We’ve all got World Cup fever. Six months is just far too long to wait. Even looking down this week’s rundown, we’re finding it hard to look at each club objectively. All we see is Barcelona and Real Madrid, each with five Spanish national-teamers, Manchester United with five England players and Chelsea, the grand-daddy of them all so far, with as many as 20 players who likely will play in South Africa next summer — eight of them in the Group of Death alone!” (SI)