World Cup Moments: David Beckham’s Red Card vs Argentina in 1998

“Because today is David Beckham’s much talked about return to Old Trafford, it seems the perfect time to relive one of the key moments in Beckham’s career. At World Cup 1998 the man not yet known as Goldenballs was just 23 years old and competing with Darren Anderton to play right wing back for England. After scoring a trademark free kick vs Colombia in the group stage, Beckham was given the start for the Second Round knockout game vs Argentina. But then it all went a bit wrong.” (World Cup Blog)


The World Cup Of National Anthems (Part One)

“For many people, major sports tournaments are the only occasion that national anthems are heard. These peculiar tunes have become a genre of their own, transcending the mere hymns that many of them were in first place, and they range from the gloriously uplifting to mournful dirges. The selection of words has, in many countries, brought about national debate that has been all-encompassing. In the case of Spain, it was decided that it would probably be for the best just to not bother having any for the sake of national unity.” (twohundredpercent)

Tactics: Michael Owen – they think it’s all over, it already was

“The news that Michael Owen will miss the rest of the season with a damaged hamstring prompted strange paroxysms of grief from those pundits who felt the injury had crushed the 30-year-old’s dreams of playing at a fourth World Cup with England this summer. In reality, his hopes have been dashed for some time.” (Football Further)

In no rush to exit, Donovan savors confidence-boosting run at Everton

 “It was, I have to say, one of the cooler goose-bump moments I have witnessed in a long time. As Landon Donovan took what was probably a goodbye lap after Everton’s 5-1 win over Hull City on Sunday, the home fans at Goodison Park stood and cheered the 28-year-old American who came here a European washout and stands ready to depart, just 10 weeks later, as a beloved figure in this soccer-mad town.” (SI)

James Lawton: Barcelona’s model democracy is a paradise still beyond United’s reach

Aerial view of the park along the Besòs river
“Sooner or later some of the less temperate critics of the Red Knights – who propose, among other things, to move Manchester United from under a mountain of debt – may have to get a bit more specific. At this formative stage of a game plan that is inevitably, to some considerable degree, speculative, an emotional reaction, one way or the other, is surely more valid than the barrage of knee-jerk cynicism that the Nobel Prize-winning novelist John Steinbeck once categorised as ‘slothful self-regard’.” (Independent)

Who Has Been Bugging England, Then?

“To anyone that has been following the modus operandi of the British gutter press for the last few years or so, the news that the England hotel at The Grove Hotel at Chandler’s Cross, near Watford in Hertfordshire was bugged prior to their friendly match against Egypt will come as little surprise. In 2007, the News of the World’s royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed after they were caught – and admitted – tapping the telephones of members of the royal staff. A cross-party parliamentary committee investigating it accused the staff of News International of ‘collective amnesia’ over the matter and stated that it was ‘inconceivable’ that no-one other than those imprisoned knew of what was going on and accused the management of the newpaper of “deliberate obfuscation” over the matter.” (twohundredpercent)

Real Madrid’s date with destiny

“When Real Madrid went to Hampden Park for the 2002 Champions League final they thought that winning the trophy was their destiny. The club was in its centenary year and Florentino Perez had assembled a team of Galácticos to win the competition that is so entwined with their history. With half-time approaching and the scores level Roberto Carlos floated a high cross to Zinedine Zidane on the edge of the penalty area. Turning on to his weaker left foot, Zidane volleyed the ball into the top corner of Bayer Leverkusen’s goal.” (WSC)