Key players at the 2010 World Cup

December 19, 2009

Rafik Saifi
“Saifi’s 18 goals put him sixth on Algeria’s all-time goalscoring list and he registered crucial goals in both games against Zambia during qualifying. He joined Qatari side Al-Khor Sports Club in August, but has spent most of his career in the French and Belgian leagues.” (Guardian)

The Value Of Shareholder Democracy

December 19, 2009

“When Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston extolled the virtues of shareholder democracy over supporter-led democratic ownership at his club’s recent annual general meeting, he could never have imagined how utterly his arguments would be undermined by other events during the meeting. Not even the latest shenanigans (for that is what they are) at Watford could provide such a compelling manifestation of the flaws of such a system, although even as I type they are trying very hard.” (twohundredpercent)

In Football, the Rich Get Richer

December 19, 2009

“The UEFA Champions League draw in Nyon, Switzerland, today could throw up some tantalizing storylines: just don’t expect a surprise ending. The prospect of David Beckham returning to Old Trafford with AC Milan, or Carlo Ancelotti heading back to the San Siro with new employers Chelsea will lend intrigue to the knockout-round match-ups, but whatever the outcome of the draw, look for England’s dominance of the tournament to continue.” (WSJ)

Viva Video XXVI

December 19, 2009

“Right, time to take it upon myself to cheer up Derby County fans because the second coming of Clough was supposed to point to more promising things than being 17th in the second tier and below the likes of, well, us. It might be something of a cliché but there is genuine potential for a club like County. They appear to have happened on upon one of the more down to earth of club owners and of course continue to attract significant crowds to Pride Park regardless of league form. And then of course, there is the precendent of history.” (Viva Rovers)

Estudiantes La Plata 1 – 2 Barcelona

December 19, 2009

“Lionel Messi struck an extra-time winner as Barcelona fought back from the brink against Estudiantes to win the Club World Cup and complete an incredible year with a sixth piece of silverware. Barca’s hopes of adding a maiden Club World Cup crown to their Primera Division, Champions League, Copa del Rey and European and Spanish Super Cup titles looked to have been crushed as Argentinians Estudiantes led heading into the final minutes thanks to Mauro Boselli’s 37th-minute header in Abu Dhabi.” (ESPN)

FC Barcelona Defeats Estudiantes 1-2 – Video
“SFS has taken this impressive photo from Spanish sports daily ‘Marca’ to celebrate with all FC BARCELONA fans around the World a historic 1-2 victory over Argentine team ESTUDIANTES DE LA PLATA to take the FIFA WORLD CLUBS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE 2009.” (Spanish Football Sports)

Portsmouth 2 – 0 Liverpool

December 19, 2009

“Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez suffered a disastrous trip to Portsmouth after Javier Mascherano was dismissed during a miserable defeat at Fratton Park. Pompey’s victory, with the goals coming from Nadir Belhadj and Frederic Piquionne, will ignite hope of survival in the Premier League. However, Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the top four are uncertain – they missed a chance to record back-to-back league wins for the first time since September.” (ESPN)

Portsmouth glimpse hope as win over Liverpool piles pressure on Benítez
“Just when Rafael Benítez most needed a break from scrutiny, his team hit rock-bottom away to the club bottom of the league. Benítez’s prediction last week that his side would finish in the top four come the end of this season is looking ever more out of touch with reality. The body language of the team lacked optimism as Liverpool’s big-name stars reluctantly dragged themselves about the icy pitch for much of the game, thrashing about in frustration when things did not go their way.” (Guardian)

Benitez joins opposition over ‘unfair’ scheduling
“Rafael Benitez became the latest manager to voice displeasure at fixture scheduling yesterday, complaining that Liverpool should not be facing Avram Grant’s Portsmouth away in a lunchtime kick-off in the depths of winter having played on Wednesday night.” (Independent)