Wednesday, November 30, 2005

European leagues

How are current champions doing?

Kako stoje trenutni prvaci europskih zemalja

Hajduk zamrznut na -22, Sparti prijeti ispadanje

Od prvaka svih važnijih europskih liga, najslabije se drže Hajduk i praška Sparta, dok Lyon, Chelsea i CSKA Sofija sigurno koračaju prema obrani naslova.

Hajduk je najslabiji prvak po kriteriju zaostatka za vodećim, a sa zaostatkom od 22 boda vjerojatno konkurira za svjetski rekord u bodovnom nazadovanju jednog prvaka u sezoni nakon osvajanja naslova.
No, lošije od Hajduka stoji praška Sparta. Mada je zaostatak češkog prvaka za vodećim Slovanom 15 bodova, Sparti je ugrožen prvoligaški status, jer je od zone ispadanja dijele samo četiri boda! Uz hrvatskog i češkog prvaka, jedino su još Rangersi otpisani u trci za obranu naslova, a u teškom je položaju i Benfica, koja u Portugalu vuče manjak od osam bodova za Portom i Nacionalom. Svi su ostali prvaci još u igri, uključujući i bečki Rapid.

U ovoj smo tablici poredali klubove na temelju prednosti ispred drugoplasirane momčadi, odnosno zaostatka za vodećim.
Trenutni je plasman kluba označen u prvoj zagradi, pored kratice koja iznačava državu,
a bodovni odnos prema prvom pratitelju, odnosno vodećoj momčadi, naveden je u drugoj zagradi, pored ukupnog broja bodova).
Na prvom je mjestu Olympique iz Lyona, koji zauzima 1. mjesto, ima ukupno 40 bodova i prednost od 11 bodova nad drugoplasiranim.

Barcelona u Španjolskoj i Wisla u Poljskoj također su prvi, ali prvo mjesto dijele, pa nemaju ni prednosti ni zaostatka.


(tablica)

Klub Bodovi
(zemlja i plasman) (razlika +, 0 ili -)

1. Lyon (FRA, 1.) 40 (+11)
2. Chelsea (ENG, 1.) 37 (+10)
3. CSKA Sofija (BUG, 1.) 37 (+7)
4. Bayern (NJE, 1.) 40 (+6)
5. Fenerbahce (TUR, 1.) 38 (+6)
6. Juventus (ITA, 1.) 36 (+6)
7. Basel (ŠVI, 1.) 36 (+6)
8. Steaua (RUM, 1.) 30 (+1)
9. Olympiakos (GRČ, 1.) 27 (+1)
10. Wisla (POLJ, 1.) 29 (0)
11. Barcelona (ŠPA, 1.) 28 (0)
12. Debrecen (MAĐ, 3.) 29 (-2)
13. Šahtar (UKR, 2.) 42 (-3)
14. Artmedia (SLO, 3.) 37 (-3)
15. Partizan (SCG, 2.) 31 (-3)
16. Club Brugge (BEL, 3.) 28 (-3)
17. Zrinjski (BIH, 3.) 29 (-5)
18. Rapid (AUS, 3.) 31 (-6)
19. Benfica (POR, 6.) 19 (-8)
20. Rangers (ŠKO, 4.) 23 (-15)
21. Sparta (ČEŠ, 12.) 16 (-15)*
22. Hajduk (HRV, 7.) 22 (-22)


*samo 4 boda iznad zone ispadanja

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Kazu Arrives Down Under

Not content with having former J-League player and coach Pierre Littbarski at the helm when they travel to the Club World Championships, the Oceania champions, Sydney FC, have added the respected figurehead of Kazuyoshi Miura to its squad ahead of December's showpiece event.

Kazu Arrives Down Under.


The temporary recruitment of 'Kazu' on-loan from Littbarski's former employers Yokohama is a masterstroke. As one of Japan's most endeared players, the appearance of the striker - a legend in his homeland after a distinguished 91-cap international career in which he scored 56 times - virtually guarantees local support for the Australians. It is believed that even though Miura has only signed an eight-game guest contract with Sydney, merchandising sales alone will recoup much of the club's outlay.

Kazu arrived down under on November 8 to the kind of fanfare Sydneysiders are getting used to seeing for mere 'soccer' players. Accompanied by a 40-strong Japanese media contingent assigned to track the star's every move during his two-month spell, he outlined his reasons for joining the A-League after initially knocking back the chance of a permanent contract earlier in the season.

“One of the reasons (I have come to Sydney) is my respect for Litty,” Kazu said through an interpreter after touching down in the harbour city. “I have great respect for him and it is also good when a coach likes you when you transfer somewhere.”

Litty is, of, course, Littbarski, the Japanese speaking German coach with whom Kazu locked horns numerous times in the J-League during the 1990s. Littbarski was pivotal in encouraging the 38-year-old to his 14th club after a long career spread across four different continents.

From his playing days in Brazil and Italy (when, on joining Genoa in 1994, he became the first Japanese export to ply his trade in Europe) Kazu speaks Portuguese and Italian but not English. In many senses, a short-term stint in Australia at this point in his career is a gamble but you suspect the draw of being coached by Littbarski plus the forthcoming Club World Championships games in his homeland was too great to reject.

For second-placed Sydney FC, in addition to signing one of Japan's greatest ever players, the acquisition carries obvious off-field rewards. Australia remains part of Oceania for just a month before it jumps ship to the AFC, the world's fastest growing football market. The marketing potential of clubs like Sydney is exponential. With the extension of the Asian Champions League in 2007, the A-League will be awarded a minimum of two qualifying berths guaranteeing continent-wide exposure.

“I can’t talk about on the field because that is Pierre’s domain but the advantages off field for Kazu are more long term,” Sydney FC CEO Tim Parker explained when Kazu arrived. “There are short term gains to be made over the next month and then at the Club World Championships but from a brand perspective this is important to our long term objectives.

“Asia is the future of Australian Football, in fact world football and you can tell by the significant interest this has made in Asia and Japan in particular that we (Australia) are now moving into a very exciting new period in the game.

“We also acknowledge that there is a significant Asian and Japanese community in Sydney and we feel we want to engage with them as well. What better way to do that than bring one of the most endeared Japanese players to Sydney to play football.”

After making a subdued debut as a second-half substitute against Queensland Roar, Miura completes his A-League stint this weekend against Melbourne Victory. Supporters will remember his spell for two well-taken goals against table-toppers Adelaide United as well as plenty of trademark stepovers.

If, on December 12, the little Japanese star can help his new club past CONCACAF champions Deportivo Saprissa from Costa Rica in the first stage of the CWC, they will face UEFA champs Liverpool in Yokohama three days later. Kazu might have only left Japan's second-largest city earlier this month but what a dream homecoming that would be.

Hyundai A-League Round 14 Summary

Adelaide United (29 points) have extended their lead at the top of the league thanks to Brazilian Fernando Rech's last gasp winner against Sydney FC (24 points). Newcastle Jets (24 points) are third on goal difference with Perth Glory (21 points) completing the top four. Melbourne Victory and the Central Coast Mariners hang in there in joint-fifth while Queensland are slipping behind and the New Zealand Knights are adrift at the bottom.

Hiddink & The Socceroos

Sunday, November 27, 2005

J League Results November 27 2005

J.League Results

With one match remaining in Japan's J.League Cerezo Osaka are on the verge of pipping their cross-town rivals, Gamba, for the title. The top five teams are all in with a chance of taking the title going into the final matches. Tokyo Verdy, the J.League's first winners and early 90s powerhouse, are relegated to J2.

Sat November 27

J.1

Urawa Reds 1 Jubilo Iwate 0
FC Tokyo 1 Kawasaki Frontale 1
Kashiwa Reysol 5 Tokyo Verdy 1
Shimizu S-Pulse 2 Kashima Antlers 2
Gamba Osaka 1 JEF United 2
Yokohama F Marinos 1 Cerezo Osaka 1
Oita Trinita 2 Ardija Omiya 1

J1 Leading Standings

Cerezo P33 Pts 58
Gamba P33 Pts 57
Reds P33 Pts 56
Antlers P33 Pts 56
JEF P33 Pts 56

J.2

Vegalta Sendai 0 Kyoto Purple Sanga 1
Mito Hollyhock 0 Montedio Yamagata 1
Thespa Kusatsu 1 Yokohama FC 3
Bellmare Shonan 1 Vortis Tokushima 2
Ventforet Kofu 0 Avispa Fukuoka 5
Sagan Tosu 0 Consadole Sapporo 2

J2 Leading Standings

Purple Sanga P43 Pts 97*
Avispa P43 Pts 77*
Vegalta P43 Pts 67
Ventforet P43 Pts 66
Montedio P43 Pts 61
Consadole P43 Pts 60

*Kyoto Purple Sanga and Avispa Fukuoka are promoted to J1.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

European Leagues Who's the best away team?

European Leagues Who's the best away team?
Who's the best away team?

HNL: Naslovi se osvajaju u gostima

Dinamo drugi najbolji gost u Europi!

Sedmom pobjedom u gostima i ukupno 13. u 16 kola Dinamo je zadržao 11 bodova prednosti ispred drugoplasirane Rijeke. Sa sedam pobjeda (od čega šest uzastopnih) u osam gostovanja, Kužeova je momčad u vrhu Europe po broju gostujućih pobjeda. Ispred nje zasad je samo kijevski imenjak, koji je dobio svih osam utakmica izvan svog stadiona, a Dinamo dijeli drugo i treće mjesto s također ukrajinskim Šahtarom.
Kao domaćini, pred Modrima su pali Cibalia (0:4), Inter (0:6), Slaven (0:2), Zagreb (0:4), Međimurje (1:5), Rijeka (0:1) i Varteks (2:5), a jedini je pošteđen ostao Osijek (1:0.)

Prošlu je sezonu maksimirska momčad završila sa skromne tri pobjede na strani, čime je izjednačila svoj najlošiji gostujući učinak, onaj iz 1992. Najviše je gostujućih pobjeda Dinamo imao 1996/97 (13) te 2002/03 (12), dok je Hajduk najbolji učinak zabilježio 2003/04 (11).

Nevjerojatno, međutim, zvuči podatak da je Dinamo na matematičkoj sredini tekućeg prvenstva postigao ukupno onoliko pobjeda koliko i u cijelom prošlom prvenstvu - 13. Da bi paradoks bio još veći, od skromnih 13 prošlogodišnjih pobjeda, Dinamo je tri ostvario u Ligi za ostanak, dakle među slabijim suparnicima. Modri su, recimo i to, sada samo za tri pobjede "kraći" u odnosu na Hajdukov ukupan učinak od 16 pobjeda u cijeloj sezoni 2004/05.


Pobjede u gostima
Dosad je deset puta prvenstvo osvojio klub s najviše pobjeda u gostima, dok 1994., 1995., 1999. i 2002. uspjeh na strani nije donio i naslov prvaka.

U ovom pregledu donosimo broj pobjeda u odnosu na broj odigranih utakmica u gostima te konačni plasman momčadi s najviše pobjeda na tuđim terenima.

Sezona Klub Pobjede Plasman
u gostima

1991/92 Hajduk 8/11 (1.)
1992/93 Dinamo 9/15 (1.)
1993/94 Zagreb 10/17 (2.)
1994/95 Dinamo 7/15 (2.)
1995/96 Dinamo 6/16 (1.)
1996/97 Dinamo 13/15 (1.)
1997/98 Dinamo 8/15 (1.)
1998/99 Rijeka 10/16 (2.)
1999/00 Dinamo 10/16 (1.)
2000/01 Hajduk 8/16 (1.)
2001/02 Hajduk 10/15 (2.)
2002/03 Dinamo 12/16 (1.)
2003/04 Hajduk 11/15 (1.)
2004/05 Hajduk 6/16 (1.)
2005/06 Dinamo 7/8 (1.)


Najbolji europski "gosti"

Tablica donosi broj pobjeda i broj odigranih utakmica u gostima.

1. Dinamo Kijev 8/8
2-3. Dinamo Zagreb 7/8
Šahtar 7/8
4. Hearts 6/7
5-6. Lyon 6/8
Celtic 6/8
7. Žilina 6/9
8-11. Juventus 5/6
Charlton 5/6
Fenerbahce 5/6
Partizan 5/6
12-18. Bayern 5/7
Manchester Utd. 5/7
Feyenoord 5/7
Fehervar 5/7
C. Zvezda 5/7
Galatasaray 5/7
Gaziantepspor 5/7
19. Rijeka 5/8
20. Artmedia 5/9

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World Soccer News

Friday, November 25, 2005

Fifa World Rankings Nov 2005

Fifa World Rankings November 2005

1 Brazil
2 Czech Republic
3 Netherlands
4 Argentina
5 France
6 Spain
7 Mexico
8 USA
9 England
10 Portugal

Source: FIFA.com

Thursday, November 24, 2005

European Leagues Review

European Leagues Review.
Who's the best away team?

HNL: Naslovi se osvajaju u gostima

Dinamo drugi najbolji gost u Europi!

Sedmom pobjedom u gostima i ukupno 13. u 16 kola Dinamo je zadržao 11 bodova prednosti ispred drugoplasirane Rijeke. Sa sedam pobjeda (od čega šest uzastopnih) u osam gostovanja, Kužeova je momčad u vrhu Europe po broju gostujućih pobjeda. Ispred nje zasad je samo kijevski imenjak, koji je dobio svih osam utakmica izvan svog stadiona, a Dinamo dijeli drugo i treće mjesto s također ukrajinskim Šahtarom.
Kao domaćini, pred Modrima su pali Cibalia (0:4), Inter (0:6), Slaven (0:2), Zagreb (0:4), Međimurje (1:5), Rijeka (0:1) i Varteks (2:5), a jedini je pošteđen ostao Osijek (1:0.)

Prošlu je sezonu maksimirska momčad završila sa skromne tri pobjede na strani, čime je izjednačila svoj najlošiji gostujući učinak, onaj iz 1992. Najviše je gostujućih pobjeda Dinamo imao 1996/97 (13) te 2002/03 (12), dok je Hajduk najbolji učinak zabilježio 2003/04 (11).

Nevjerojatno, međutim, zvuči podatak da je Dinamo na matematičkoj sredini tekućeg prvenstva postigao ukupno onoliko pobjeda koliko i u cijelom prošlom prvenstvu - 13. Da bi paradoks bio još veći, od skromnih 13 prošlogodišnjih pobjeda, Dinamo je tri ostvario u Ligi za ostanak, dakle među slabijim suparnicima. Modri su, recimo i to, sada samo za tri pobjede "kraći" u odnosu na Hajdukov ukupan učinak od 16 pobjeda u cijeloj sezoni 2004/05.


Pobjede u gostima
Dosad je deset puta prvenstvo osvojio klub s najviše pobjeda u gostima, dok 1994., 1995., 1999. i 2002. uspjeh na strani nije donio i naslov prvaka.

U ovom pregledu donosimo broj pobjeda u odnosu na broj odigranih utakmica u gostima te konačni plasman momčadi s najviše pobjeda na tuđim terenima.

Sezona Klub Pobjede Plasman
u gostima

1991/92 Hajduk 8/11 (1.)
1992/93 Dinamo 9/15 (1.)
1993/94 Zagreb 10/17 (2.)
1994/95 Dinamo 7/15 (2.)
1995/96 Dinamo 6/16 (1.)
1996/97 Dinamo 13/15 (1.)
1997/98 Dinamo 8/15 (1.)
1998/99 Rijeka 10/16 (2.)
1999/00 Dinamo 10/16 (1.)
2000/01 Hajduk 8/16 (1.)
2001/02 Hajduk 10/15 (2.)
2002/03 Dinamo 12/16 (1.)
2003/04 Hajduk 11/15 (1.)
2004/05 Hajduk 6/16 (1.)
2005/06 Dinamo 7/8 (1.)


Najbolji europski "gosti"

Tablica donosi broj pobjeda i broj odigranih utakmica u gostima.

1. Dinamo Kijev 8/8
2-3. Dinamo Zagreb 7/8
Šahtar 7/8
4. Hearts 6/7
5-6. Lyon 6/8
Celtic 6/8
7. Žilina 6/9
8-11. Juventus 5/6
Charlton 5/6
Fenerbahce 5/6
Partizan 5/6
12-18. Bayern 5/7
Manchester Utd. 5/7
Feyenoord 5/7
Fehervar 5/7
C. Zvezda 5/7
Galatasaray 5/7
Gaziantepspor 5/7
19. Rijeka 5/8
20. Artmedia 5/9

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World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

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Fifa World Rankings November 2005

Fifa World Rankings Nov 2005

Fifa World Rankings November 2005

1 Brazil
2 Czech Republic
3 Netherlands
4 Argentina
5 France
6 Spain
7 Mexico
8 USA
9 England
10 Portugal

Source: FIFA.com

Science is Goalden.

The definition of happiness is spending time with the one you love; for me, that’s the television. Having accidentally flicked on to a science channel, I was intrigued by the following question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”

Armed with just Wayne Rooney, an egg, a 20 year old brunette from Manchester and a nightclub kitchen, I conducted an experiment that could easily land me a Nobel Prize.

Given only six minutes and 22 seconds in the controlled environment, Rooney completely ignored the opportunity to enjoy a nice boiled egg; instead, the game bird received his full attention.

Is Wayne Rooney a metaphor for life itself? I’ll let you be the judge. Are Man Utd a good bet to beat West Ham at 8/13? Undoubtedly. Sir Alex has neutered, sorry nurtured young Rooney along wonderfully; the big lad is available at 20/1 to score another three times.

Rio Ferdinand will play against his brother in a competitive match for the first time, there’s a 62% chance of Rio ending up with the bragging-rights; that’s almost two Ferds.

Alan Pardew suggested that Anton Ferdinand should change his hairstyle to differentiate himself from his brother. I’d like to suggest the Kevin Keegan style from the 70’s, as my Grandma used to say after senility kicked in, ‘The surly Ferd matches the perm’. You can back either brother to score at 11/2, both brothers finding the net is a 150/1 shot.

Arsenal meet Blackburn for the first time since last seasons FA Cup semi-final, where Robin Van Persie and Andy Todd’s elbow were so close, they’re now exchanging Christmas presents. Blackburn attempted to kick Arsenal off the pitch that day, another tasty encounter could be on the cards. You can back a player to be sent off at 3/1.

Thierry Henry is in a rich vein of form at Highbury, the majestic Frenchman has netted 15 goals in his last 10 games. He’s 12/1 to net a hat-trick against Blackburn, and that’s not the worst punt in the World; Portsmouth to beat Chelsea is.

Chelsea’s mini blip was over before it really began; Pompey haven’t won at home this season and Chelsea have never lost a league match outside Manchester under Mourinho. Chelsea are a great bet to hack up, it’s as easy as 1/3.

You can question the goal scoring ability of Liverpool’s Peter Crouch, but he’s undeniably a true gentleman. Even football commentators address him as Mr. Crouch; although they often use his pseudonyms, Mr. Penalty and Mr. Nother-Sitter. Liverpool have won their last three league matches, scoring 10 goals without reply. The ‘Pool are 6/4 to beat Man City; meet the weekend nap.

The West Ham v Man U match provides the inspiration for the weekend specials.

“Over Keane” – Alan Smith and Darren Fletcher both to score 20/1
“Beni, ill” – Yossi Benayoun to be booked 3/1
“Hammer House of Horror” – Rooney and Van Nistelrooy both to score 9/2
“Woody Alan” – Marlon Harewood and Alan Smith both to score 12/1
“Paul a fast one” – Scholes to score in the first half 9/1
“A vintage Sheri” – Teddy Sheringham to score two or more goals 12/1

Quote of the week:

“Pressure? Pressure is being a parent and having no money to feed your children. There is no pressure in football.”

Jose Mourinho should save that one for Alex McLeish and Alain Perrin.

Stat, you’re a liberty:

West Ham have only scored a 1st half goal in one game this season.

Stat’s not so surprising

The team who have committed the most fouls in the Premiership is…….Blackburn.

Acc of the week:

Aston Villa
Liverpool
Chelsea
Middlesbrough
Man Utd

The five-fold will pay over 20/1 when successful.

Weekend Betting:

Arsenal v Blackburn Saturday 26th November 15.00

Arsenal 1/4
Draw 7/2
Blackburn 10/1

Get on: Arsenal

Arsenal have won every match they’ve played at Highbury this season and they’ve won their last five matches against Blackburn without conceding a goal. ‘Nailed on’ springs to mind.
Match Special:
Blackburn to have a player sent off 6/1

Aston Villa v Charlton Saturday 26th November 15.00

Aston Villa 11/8
Draw 11/5
Charlton 13/8

Get on: Aston Villa

Villa’s win at the Stadium of Light could well kick-start their season, Phillips and Baros are warm; home win.
Match Special:
Phillips and Baros both to score 7/1

Man City v Liverpool Saturday 26th November 15.00

Man City 6/4
Draw 11/5
Liverpool 6/4

Get on: Liverpool

Liverpool head to Manchester full of confidence, they’ve finally found their scoring touch and they’re incredibly tight at the back. 6/4? Yes please.
Match Special:
Cisse to score the only goal of the game 33/1

Sunderland v Birmingham Saturday 26th November 15.00

Sunderland 6/4
Draw 11/5
Birmingham 6/4

Get on: Birmingham

The Mackems have conceded three or more goals in their last six matches; with a defence that leaky, even the goal-shy Blues should take advantage. Sunderland have never scored against Birmingham in the Premiership; away win.
Match Special:
Emile Heskey to score at any time 11/8

Wigan v Tottenham Saturday 26th November 15.00

Wigan 7/4
Draw 9/4
Tottenham 5/4

Get on: Wigan

Wigan should score, only Chelsea have kept a clean sheet against the Latics this season. Defoe was dropped like a hot potato last week, Spurs may draw a blank.
Match Special:
Wigan to win 1-0 7/1

Portsmouth v Chelsea Saturday 26th November 17.15 Live on Premiership Plus

Portsmouth 13/2
Draw 10/3
Chelsea 1/3

Get on: Chelsea

Chelsea have thrashed Pompey recently, winning by two or more goals in their last four meetings. Portsmouth need a miracle.
Match Special:
Chelsea to win 2-0 11/2

Everton v Newcastle Sunday 27th November 13.30 Live on Sky

Everton 6/4
Draw 11/5
Newcastle 6/4

Get on: Draw

This one should be tight. Everton have scored against Newcastle in their last 11 meetings; with Owen and Shearer back, the Geordies should also find the back of the net. 11 of Everton’s last 12 league matches have produced 2 goals or less. 1-1 it is then.
Match Special:
Match to finish 1-1 11/2

Fulham v Bolton Sunday 27th November 14.00

Fulham 6/4
Draw 11/5
Bolton 6/4

Get on: Fulham

Every tine Bolton have travelled to the Cottage in the Premiership, they’ve took a beating. Malbranque and Diop are looking sharp; home win.
Match Special:
Malbranque to score at any time 11/4


Middlesbrough v West Brom Sunday 27th November 15.00

Middlesbrough 8/11
Draw 9/4
West Brom 10/3

Get on: Middlesbrough

West Brom have only scored one league goal away from home this season. Historically, they’ve not won in Middlesbrough since 1952 and they’ve conceded 16 goals on their last six trips. A shoeing awaits.
Match Special:
Middlesbrough to win by two or more goals 7/4


West Ham v Man Utd Sunday 27th November 16.00 Live on Sky

West Ham 4/1
Draw 12/5
Man Utd 8/13

Get on: Man Utd

Man U have scored goals for fun against West Ham in recent seasons, 35 goals in 11 games. United are the top goal scorers away from home in the Premiership; away win.
Match Special:
Rooney to score two or more goals 9/2

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

This is the World Club Championship

World Club Championship.
This is the World Club Championship

Football’s global club competition, the FIFA World Club Championship, has not enjoyed an easy time in seeking to become the world’s most prestigious club tournament. It was Real Madrid president Jamie Bernard who first proposed the idea for the event during the 1950s. This was unsurprising, as the Spaniards had won the European title on five consecutive occasions from its inception, and doubtless wanted to propel their status still further, turning continental domination into catholic supremacy. Indeed the inter-continental competition that began soon after was erected under the preface that the winners could unequivocally claim to be the best side in the world.

In reality however, the competition has had difficulty in developing and maintaining such lofty status. The enhancement of this lagging reputation has been impeded in no small part by the Europeans, who have in the past viewed the competition more as a practical inconvenience than a yardstick for prestige. During the 1970s football’s home continent decided against even sending a representative team. Then in 1978, when Liverpool decided against participating, the competition was cancelled. A wise course of action to take, one based on a logical thought process you might say: 'If the Scousers aren't coming what’s the point', I can only assume must have been the official explanation.

Now forget all this modern hype about most English fans despising Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal. When I was growing up in South Liverpool during the 1980s it was Nottingham Forest who were considered the enemy. And when the Toyota Cup was introduced following the demise and ultimate cancellation of the World Club Championship, it was Clough’s side who were the cheeky enough to put themselves in the reckoning for the event. One league title, that’s the sum total of their domestic achievements – one. And although their European record is more impressive - they are the only team to have won the European Cup more times than their own domestic league - the Nottinghamshire minnows still got the chance to conquer the world. As painful as it is to admit, it was Forest, having defeated the cream of Europe, who went on to face opposition from further field in the opening edition of the newly erected Toyota Cup. Needless to say, they failed, falling at the hands of Uruguay's Nacional. Cue smug grin and enforced replay of the 5-0 drubbing of Forest at Anfield one memorable April evening in 1988.

The current format no longer involves a one-off contest between the Kings of South America and Europe, as was previously the case. And rightly so, for surely a true world club tournament requires representatives from the whole world. So this year’s event will incorporate a clash of the continental kings, involving Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica, Australia's Sydney FC, Sao Paulo from Brazil, Al Ahly of Egypt, Al Ittihad from Saudi Arabia, and of course Liverpool of Liverpool. The six teams will come together for a week-long event in December; a competition that FIFA are hoping will prove a huge success and subsequently see its profile propelled on the world football stage. Of course, if you want to increase the popularity of something it’s always wise to remarket it and then maybe give it a memorable name. FIFA have clearly adopted this ethos, with the competition currently known as the ‘World Club Championship Toyota Cup’. Mmm, catchy.

Irrespective of its lengthy title, its inconsistent past and somewhat clouded current status however, the event will certainly prove a success in 2005. Why? Simply because it will boast some of the finest footballing talent on the planet. Millions will surely flock to television screens to see the likes of Traore, Josemi and Crouch in action - sporting icons and good looking lads to boot. It’s a marketers dream.

In terms of competition structure, the champions of Asia, Oceania, Africa and North America will play first, which is only fair I suppose. Liverpool and Sao Paulo will have to wait until the semi-final stage before meeting the respective winners of the opening two encounters. So then, prepare yourself for an intercontinental feast of club football, where the kings of each of the globe’s six sub-sections will commence battle in Toyota, Tokyo and Yokohama for the title of ‘the greatest team in the world’,. …as soon as I can get my doctor to sign my sick note to get me out of work for a week, I’ll be on a plane to the Far East to watch the show unfold.

Tokyo, Yokohama, Toyota, Japan

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

K. League 2nd Stage Playoff Results

K. League 2nd Stage Playoff Results

Championship playoff semifinals

Busan I'Park 0 Incheon United 2
Seongnam Ilhwa 1 Ulsan 2

Incheon United will play Ulsan in the 2-leg playoff finals November 27 & December 4.

Korean Football News & Analysis

Australian A-League Results

Adelaide United 1 New Zealand Knights 0
Queensland Roar 0 Newcastle Jets 1

Leading Positions

Adelaide United P13 Pts 26
Sydney FC P13 Pts 24
Perth Glory P13 Pts 21
Newcastle Jets P13 Pts 21

Australian Football News & Analysis

Japan Blog

Monday, November 21, 2005

Welcome To Our World

Welcome To Our World.
The Socceroos will participate at next year's World Cup finals for the first time in eight attempts. And what's more they thoroughly deserve to. Marc Fox reports.

Football Federation Australia will be feeling rightly proud of themselves this week after witnessing Australia's greatest international triumph since Jimmy Mackay volleyed home a spectacular winner to ensure the Socceroos' progression to Germany 1974. 32 years on, the similarities between the current crop of internationals and Mackay's are eerie.

Back in '73, Australia drew the home-and-away playoff series against South Korea before squeezing home in the deciding third fixture in neutral Hong Kong. The latest group to attempt what coach Guus Hiddink described as "making the impossible possible" four short months ago advanced in similar circumstances. Scores level on aggregate after 180, then 210 minutes, before penalties decided the outcome. The destination for its second-ever finals appearance: Germany.

Despite entering next year's showpiece tournament as the second lowest rankest nation after Angola, with Hiddink at the helm today's Australia will have the conviction to improve on the solitary point its predecessors managed in '74. Back then, the Socceroos were mocked on their arrival in Europe having been cruelly drawn alongside East and West Germany as well as Chile in Group 1. How times change. If, as expected, the side is handed the unenviable label of bottom seeds when the World Cup draw is made on December 9, plenty will be keen to avoid the competitive Antipodeans.

For football officials in Australia, qualifying for Germany 2006 is the icing on an already delicious cake. After decades of disillusionment, what a way to bid farewell to its love-hate relationship with the Oceania confederation. To all intents and purposes, the Socceroos are now Asian. They leave the derisory half-place FIFA deems Oceania deserves to nestle in with the AFC and its four-and-a-half World Cup berths. After watching Australia outclass Uruguay over two legs while Bahrain stumbled to little Trinidad and Tobago, heaven knows what fellow AFC nations are thinking.

Australia dismissed Uruguay's claims of a divine right to be in the World Cup with a gutsy - and tactically astute - second leg display in Sydney's throbbing Telstra Stadium. Having negotiated a nervy opening - when an away goal would surely have ended the tie as a contest - Hiddink's side pressed and harried their weary opponents. Harry Kewell's introduction after a half-hour only served to increase the tempo. It was Kewell's sliced attempt following neat build-up play involving fellow Premier League stars Mark Viduka and Tim Cahill which lead to the opener. Parma's Marco Bresciano pounced on the misdirected shot to slam home his seventh international goal past Uruguayan 'keeper Fabian Carini.

The fact that neither Cahill nor Bresciano started in Montevideo highlights Australia's strength in depth. That is not to say Hiddink opted to bolster his defence for the away leg. The Dutch coach sprang a surprise by including Kewell from the start despite managing only a handful of appearances for Liverpool since his groin surgery in the summer. The A-League's Archie Thompson was also handed a start alongside Viduka upfront.

Again it is testament to the Socceroos' progress under the leadership of Hiddink that he was dissatisfied by a narrow 1-0 reverse. Despite Uruguay's scoring potential through Richard Morales, Marcelo Zayaleta and Alvaro Recoba, the hosts were restricted to a series of half-chances by Australia. Their goal came from Dario Rodriguez eight minutes before the break. Scott Chipperfield barged Carlos Diogo in full view of the assistant referee and Rodriguez headed home Recoba's whipped free-kick.

After Bresciano's aggregate leveller in the second leg, only one side showed the desire to win the game in regulation time. How no further goals were scored in the ensuing 85 minutes nobody could say but the lottery of a penalty shootout was called on to separate the sides. Mark Schwarzer saved from Rodriguez and Zayaleta with Viduka's miss for the Socceroos sandwiched between. Needing just one more conversion - following Kewell, Lucas Neill and Tony Vidmar's successes - John Aloisi completed the job. They say fortune favours the brave and for the first time in a generation of doomed attempts, lady luck shone on the Socceroos. They deserved every bit of it.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

European Leagues: Hajduk's negative record

Negativan rekord Splićana



Hajduku nikad manje pobjeda u HNL
!



Hajduk je u prvih 15 kola tekuće sezone oborio svoj negativni rekord u pogledu broja ostvarenih pobjeda. Puni je plijen uzeo u samo pet navrata, od čega dvaput u prva dva kola. Vrijedi podsjetiti na tih pet "podviga":

Hajduk-Osijek 6:0 (1. kolo), Hajduk-Zagreb 3:1 (2. kolo), Hajduk-Međimurje 1:0 (4. kolo), Hajduk-Varteks 3:0 (10. kolo) i Zagreb-Hajduk 1:2 (13. kolo). Od 4. kola, dakle, bijeli bilježe dvije pobjede u 11 nastupa.



Koliko slabo ide Hajduku pokazuje da je čak i prošlogodišnji Dinamo u prvih 15 kola zabilježio šest pobjeda, jednu više od ovogodišnjih bijelih.



Dinamo je pak izjednačio drugi najbolji rezultat u 1. HNL s 12 pobjeda, dok je jedinstvenom ostala bilanca od 13 pobjeda iz Barićeve 1996/97, uzorom nogometnog savršenstva što se tiče hrvatskog klupskog nogometa. Vrijedi napomenuti koga ove godine modri nisu pobijedili: Osijeka u 2. kolu (0:1), Hajduka u 7. kolu (0:0) i Intera u 15. kolu (0:0).



Dinamo je udvostručio svoju bilancu pobjeda u usporedbi s prošlom sezonom (12:6), ali ima samo teoretskih izgleda nadmašiti vlastiti i hrvatski rekord od 26 pobjeda u jednom prvenstvu.



Samo je dvaput u povijesti ona momčad koja je u prvih 15 kola imala manje pobjeda na koncu završila ispred svog rivala. S obzirom na 17 bodova koji danas razdvajaju Dinamo i Hajduk, nije teško zaključiti da se ove godine neće dogoditi treći takav slučaj.





Broj pobjeda u prvih 15 kola



Sezona Hajduk Dinamo



1991/92 11* 8

1992/93 9 10*

1993/94 10* 8

1994/95 8* 9

1995/96 8 10*

1996/97 11 13*

1997/98 10 11*

1998/99 8 11*

1999/00 10 11*

2000/01 8* 9

2001/02 10 9

2002/03 11 11*

2003/04 12* 11

2004/05 8* 6

2005/06 5 12 ?



Opaska:

* uz broj označava konačno bolje plasiranu momčad







Friday, November 18, 2005

The Talk of the Toon

A few years ago, you couldn’t turn the television on without hearing Bob Hoskins say, “It’s good to talk”, Jose Mourinho may not be a chubby Cockney, but he shares Bob’s love of the spoken word.

Jose has recently engaged in verbal sparring with Arsene Wenger; daily ‘tit for tat’ remarks were exchanged, with Wenger playing the role of the ‘Tat’.

Mourinho then turned his attention to Sir Alex, offering this gem, “If I lost three games on the trot, I’d expect to be sacked.” As Chelsea have now lost two consecutive games, there’s every chance that Roman Abramovich may have one hand on the P45.

Chelsea are leaking goals, Drogba is suspended and Crespo is out of favour while he works on his singing career. Newcastle have won their last four matches; back the Toon Army to win or draw at 2/1.

If you look up ‘value’ in the dictionary, you’ll find it just before Wigan. The Latics are sitting 2nd in the league, they’re on top of the recent form table and they’ve won their last five matches in all competitions without conceding a goal.

Arsenal may be breathtaking on their day, but it’s not been their day away from home all season. Wigan are available at 10/3 to collect all three points; merry Christmas.

I was shocked to hear of the Old Trafford bugging controversy. Carlos Queiroz was allegedly heard to say, “Rooney, get on the left wing, 4-5-1, 4-5-1”. That rumour is probably untrue, this is a fact; Wayne Rooney ran the show for England against Argentina, he’ll be a decent player when he fills out. United are the real deal, get on at 4/6.

David O’Leary has been the master of the excuse this term, “The boys gave me everything out there” has been used. The obligatory, “The ref cost us the game” has also had an airing, the Villa are one defeat away from the return of, “You can’t expect too much from them, they’re just babies.” Sunderland can gain revenge for the Villa nicking their three best players, back the Mackems at 11/8.

Birmingham City are very much like the wife, they’ve done nothing at home for six months. City’s inability to perform in front of their own fans stems from a lack of firepower up front. Forssell hasn’t scored a league goal all season and Heskey hasn’t put the onion in the bag since August. As every experienced chef knows, you can’t make an omelette, with two puddings.

There’s always a few specials floating about on the weekend, Super Soccer have the following:

“R.S.V.P.” - Rooney, Shearer and Van Persie all to score 20/1
“M.C. Hammer” – Michael Carrick to score two or more goals 33/1
“Waiting for the S.P.” – Stilian Petrov to score the last goal 15/2
“H.P. Soars” – Henrik Pedersen to score with a header 20/1
“P.C. gone mad” – Peter Crouch to score at any time 11/10
“J.D. and Coker” – Jermain Defoe and Reo-Coker both to score 16/1

Quote of the week:

“How did Everton get on?”

Wayne Rooney’s first words after the win against Chelsea, captured on the Old Trafford bug.

Stat, you’re a liberty:

Arsenal have lost every match they’ve played after an International break this season.

Acc of the week:

Man Utd
Liverpool
Sunderland
Everton
Bolton

The five-fold pays a juicy 35/1

Weekend Betting:

Wigan v Arsenal Saturday 19th November 12.45 Live on Sky

Wigan 10/3
Draw 9/4
Arsenal 8/11

Get on: Wigan

Wigan are on a roll, Arsenal are poor on their travels. It all points to the Latics.
Match Special:
Wigan to win 1-0 9/1

Charlton v Man Utd Saturday 19th November 15.00

Charlton 7/2
Draw 12/5
Man Utd 4/6

Get on: Man Utd

Man U have beaten Charlton in their last four meetings by two goals or more. The Addicks have lost their last two matches, easy pickings fur United.
Match Special:
Wayne Rooney to score two or more goals 11/2

Chelsea v Newcastle Saturday 19th November 15.00

Chelsea 1/3
Draw 10/3
Newcastle 13/2

Get on: Draw

Chelsea have conceded goals in their last five matches; the Geordies are on fire.
Match Special:
Emre to score at any time 5/1

Liverpool v Portsmouth Saturday 19th November 15.00

Liverpool 2/5
Draw 11/4
Portsmouth 13/2

Get on: Liverpool

Liverpool have won their last three matches ‘to nil’. It’s been 54 years since Pompey won at Anfield; a real no-brainer.
Match Special:
Luis Garcia to score at any time 6/4

Man City v Blackburn Saturday 19th November 15.00

Man City 5/6
Draw 9/4
Blackburn 11/4

Get on: Draw

The last three meetings between City and Rovers have ended in a draw, both teams are in great nick, another tight match awaits.
Match Special:
Match to finish 2-2 14/1

Sunderland v Aston Villa Saturday 19th November 15.00

Sunderland 11/8
Draw 2/1
Aston Villa 7/4

Get on: Sunderland

Sunderland and Villa have met 10 times in the Premiership, the away team has never won. Aston Villa have conceded the most goals away from home in the league this season, it all points to a home win.
Match Special:
Sunderland to score three or more goals 5/1

West Brom v Everton Saturday 19th November 17.15 Live on Premiership Plus

West Brom 11/8
Draw 2/1
Everton 7/4

Get on: Everton

West Brom have lost their last three matches without scoring. Everton have won their last two matches 1-0. It’s all too easy.
Match Special:
Everton to win 1-0 7/1

Tottenham v West Ham Sunday 20th November 13.00

Tottenham 8/11
Draw 9/4
West Ham 10/3

Get on: Draw

West Ham were forced to sell Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick to Spurs when they were relegated; the Hammers got their own back though, they also sold them Freddie Kanoute. It’s three without a win for Spurs, make that four.
Match Special:
Benayoun to score at any time 7/2

Middlesbrough v Fulham Sunday 20th November 16.00 Live on Sky

Middlesbrough 8/11
Draw 9/4
Fulham 10/3

Get on: Draw

The stats say that Boro can’t get motivated for the visit of lesser teams, their only wins at home have came against Arsenal and Man Utd. Fulham haven’t won on the road this season; goalless draw.
Match Special:
No Goalscorer in the match 8/1

Birmingham v Bolton Monday 21st November 20.00 Live on Sky

Birmingham 8/5
Draw 11/5
Bolton 7/5

Get on: Bolton

Bolton have won their last four matches 1-0. I’ve spotted a pattern.
Match Special:
Bolton to win 1-0 6/1

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Australia - "the second Croatia"

Australia - the second Croatia.
Fútbol internacional - Mundial

Australia avanza con ocho croatas


Croacia festeja la clasificación de su "segunda" selección

Croacia "B" también ha progresado al Mundial de Alemania. Naturalmente, hablamos de Australia, una selección repleta de jugadores de origen croata.

No sólo los australianos estaban pendientes del desenlace de la dramática repesca ante Uruguay en Sydney, finalizada con la victoria australiana por penalties, sino también muchos croatas.

El motivo está claro: hasta ocho (o siete y media, para estar precisos) futbolistas de Guus Hiddink son emigrantes de esta república de la antigua Yugoslavia.

Son, concretamente, Zeljko Kalac (Milan), Ante Covic (Hammarby), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven), Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun), Toni Popovic (Crystal Palace), Josip Skoko (Wigan), Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough) i Marco Bresciano (Parma), cuya madre es croata.

Contrario a lo que muchos opinan, a esta lista no pertenece Tony Vidmar, al ser de etnia eslovena y es que nueve croatas ya serían demasiados.

Se espera la presencia de todos los ocho en el primer Mundial en que los "canguros" intervengan, curiosamente, después de la pasada vez en que tal evento se celebrase en Alemania.

Ellos son el motivo porque muchísimos aficionados en Croacia no se perdieron el choque entre Australia y Uruguay, tirándose de los pelos cuando "su" Mark Viduka fallase el penalty en la cuarta serie.

Las relaciones entre Croacia y su diáspora son muy estrechas porque muchos croatas se desplazaron al extranjero durante la existencia de Yugoslavia, al haber sido perseguidos políticamente por su etnia.

Es que la cuestión de sangre es muy importante para los croatas y de hecho cualquiera persona que puede comprobar que tiene raíces croatas tiene el derecho a la ciudadanía. Un poco como los judíos, en fin y al cabo.

Algunos australo-croatas, de hecho, han optado por jugar con la camiseta ajedrezada, en lugar de la amarilla. Son el lateral izquierdo Anthony Seric y el portero Joseph Didulica, si bien por el momento son suplentes en la selección que dirige Zlatko Kranjcar.

Ahora, los seguidores croatas tendrán dos opciones para hacerlo bien en el próximo Mundial, al estar sus esperanzas depositadas en la propia Croacia y - Australia.

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Australia: The rise of the "second Croatia"

Fútbol internacional - Mundial

Australia avanza con ocho croatas

Croacia festeja la clasificación de su "segunda" selección

Zagreb, 17 nov (EFE).-

Croacia "B" también ha progresado al Mundial de Alemania. Naturalmente, hablamos de Australia, una selección repleta de jugadores de origen croata.

No sólo los australianos estaban pendientes del desenlace de la dramática repesca ante Uruguay en Sydney, finalizada con la victoria australiana por penalties, sino también muchos croatas.

El motivo está claro: hasta ocho (o siete y media, para estar precisos) futbolistas de Guus Hiddink son emigrantes de esta república de la antigua Yugoslavia.

Son, concretamente, Zeljko Kalac (Milan), Ante Covic (Hammarby), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven), Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun), Toni Popovic (Crystal Palace), Josip Skoko (Wigan), Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough) i Marco Bresciano (Parma), cuya madre es croata.

Contrario a lo que muchos opinan, a esta lista no pertenece Tony Vidmar, al ser de etnia eslovena y es que nueve croatas ya serían demasiados.

Se espera la presencia de todos los ocho en el primer Mundial en que los "canguros" intervengan, curiosamente, después de la pasada vez en que tal evento se celebrase en Alemania.

Ellos son el motivo porque muchísimos aficionados en Croacia no se perdieron el choque entre Australia y Uruguay, tirándose de los pelos cuando "su" Mark Viduka fallase el penalty en la cuarta serie.

Las relaciones entre Croacia y su diáspora son muy estrechas porque muchos croatas se desplazaron al extranjero durante la existencia de Yugoslavia, al haber sido perseguidos políticamente por su etnia.


Es que la cuestión de sangre es muy importante para los croatas y de hecho cualquiera persona que puede comprobar que tiene raíces croatas tiene el derecho a la ciudadanía. Un poco como los judíos, en fin y al cabo.

Algunos australo-croatas, de hecho, han optado por jugar con la camiseta ajedrezada, en lugar de la amarilla. Son el lateral izquierdo Anthony Seric y el portero Joseph Didulica, si bien por el momento son suplentes en la selección que dirige Zlatko Kranjcar.

Ahora, los seguidores croatas tendrán dos opciones para hacerlo bien en el próximo Mundial, al estar sus esperanzas depositadas en la propia Croacia y - Australia.

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World Cup Playoff Results

World Cup Play-Offs 16 Nov 2005

Europe

Slovakia 1 Spain 1 (Spain qualifies 6-2 on aggregate)
Czech Republic 1 Norway 0 (The Czech Republic qualifies 2-0 on aggregate -The Czechs are on their way to Germany)
Turkey 4 Switzerland 2 (Switzerland qualifies on away goals; aggregate 4-4)

Concacaf/Asia

Bahrain 0 Trinidad & Tobago 1 (T & T qualify for the first time 2-1 on aggregate)

South America/Oceania

Australia 1 Uruguay 0 (Australia wins 4-2 on penalties; aggregate 1-1)

Qualified teams: Germany (hosts), Angola, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, France, Ghana, Holland, Italy, Iran, Ivory Coast, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, USA .

EUROPE
Germany (hosts)
Croatia
Czech Republic
England
France
Holland
Italy
Poland
Portugal
Serbia and Montenegro
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine

South America

Argentina
Brazil
Ecuador
Paraguay

Asia

Iran
Japan
Saudi Arabia
South Korea

CONCACAF (North and Central America and The Caribbean)

Costa Rica
Mexico
Trinidad and Tobago
USA

Africa

Angola
Ghana
Ivory Coast
Togo
Tunisia

Oceania

Australia

World Cup Germany 2006 Luxury Travel Packages - www.worldcuptrips.de

Hotels in Germany - Accommodation Online
Hotels in Germany – Bookings - hotels throughout Germany.
Hotels in Germany - Hotel.de - hotels throughout Germany
Hostels in Germany - Hostelworld - cheap accommodation throughout Germany
Hotels in Germany– HotelsGermany - hotels in all locations.
Hotels in Germany– Precision Reservations - hotels in all locations.
Hotels in Germany– Expedia UK - city breaks, holidays, car rental.
Hotels
in Germany– Expedia USA
- US Travel specialists.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hiddink & The Socceroos

Hiddink & The Socceroos.
Australia Praying for "A Little Miracle"

Guus Hiddink must be a glutton for punishment. Having taken two nations to the World Cup semi-finals already and now in charge of Dutch Champions PSV, the club he won the European Cup with in 1988, you would think he might not want another job.

But when Football Federation Australia called time on Frank Farina’s six-year reign at the end of June, a call went out to the man who set Seoul and the rest of South Korea on fire in 2002.

Although he had little more than four months’ preparation before their do-or-die World Cup play-off against the fifth-placed South American side, and about as many chances to watch his men play in that time period, Hiddink was happy to oblige.

Australia are the big fish in the small Oceania pond whose dreams of World Cup glory rest realistically on only two matches every four years. No other country in the FIFA world must undergo so many meaningless games in between

“Those games are not really serious,” Hiddink confirmed. They win all those games and then all of a sudden they have to play a powerhouse from South America. Now they are in Asia it is better for their development.”

Soccerphile was one of only three media outlets who made the effort to engage perhaps the world’s greatest coach at Australia’s recent training session in London, where he explained just why he took on this new challenge:

“I had two other options but I did two World Cups in France or Korea,” Hiddink told us, “and they were nice experiences for me so when the Australian Federation asked me if I could help them out for the qualification I said yes.” One of those options we must assume was from South Korea again, where the Dutchman achieved near God-like status three years ago.

When Wales tried to take Brian Clough on part-time all those years ago his club put their foot down and said no, though Clough disagreed and Hiddink too thinks it is possible to manage a club and a country at the same time:

“Being a club manager I am at the club all the time except on the FIFA dates when all the international players are abroad so we can manage it rather well.”

When asked by Soccerphile to compare his phenomenal experience coaching South Korea, whom he took unexpectedly to the World Cup semi-final, with that of Australia, he replied,

“None of these guys has the experience of a World Cup but the Australians are ahead at this stage because they are mainly playing in England or Western Europe which gives them an advantage, but on the other hand in Korea I could work with the players as a club coach and be there full time. I had them more or less for sixteen months and that was necessary as they were rather innocent in the world of international football. I could work with them every day. With this group their starting level is higher. The only problem is injuries and the strategic problem – how to be even more clever against very clever South American teams.”

The South American foe to conquer is Uruguay again and the Aussies’ three-game losing streak at this Summer’s Confederations Cup, where they conceded ten goals, will not have frightened their opponents, a fact acknowledged by Middlesboro goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, when he spoke to Soccerphile after their 2-0 defeat to Tunisia:

“I think so yes. The South American teams will look at us in this tournament and think we have got weaknesses and we definitely have got weaknesses at the back we will have to work upon.”

Hiddink also assured us that they have done their homework on their opponents:

“We have our scouts over there and we have a lot of DVDs but also we know a lot of the players from Europe. We are well prepared.”

Uruguay, the first winners of the World Cup, might have held champions Brazil twice in the qualifiers and beaten Argentina, but were also on the end of some hammerings, losing away 5-0 to Colombia and 4-1 to Paraguay, and at home 3-1 to Peru and 3-0 to Venezuela.

They will sorely miss their and last season’s Primera top scorer Diego Forlan of Villareal, but still have Inter’s enigmatic attacking midfielder Alvaro Recoba available as well as the psychological bonus of the two men who knocked Australia out last time: Malaga's Richard Morales and Portsmouth's Dario Silva.

On paper Australia should lose. Uruguay are from South America after all. But there remain real causes for optimism, not least the natural advantage conferred on the unfancied team.

“In one way we will probably go into the games again as underdog,” Schwarzer went on, “and that means they will probably underestimate us as they usually do.”

Last time around Australia won 1-0 in Melbourne before crashing 3-0 in Montevideo in the return but this time they play at the Estadio Centenario first before the second leg at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney. Hiddink’s opposite number Jorge Fossati will therefore surely be looking to the Celeste to rack up the goals in the first leg and not concede any away goals to Australia.

When asked by Soccerphile if the order of games was a bonus, Hiddink however was less sure:

“There might be a little advantage playing away first and then home second as there are just three days in between the first and second,” he said, “Maybe a slight advantage but nothing more than that.”

Given his vast experience you have no reason to doubt him.

“We are under no illusions about the task ahead of us. As fifth placed finisher in South America, Uruguay is a powerhouse in world football. I know the Uruguayan team is strong and they have players in the big leagues in Europe so they are very smart.”

But then Australia does too and can call on a host of players with experience in the Premiership such as Brett Emerton, Stan Laziridis and Tim Cahill, in Spain’s Primera (John Aloisi) and in Italy’s Serie A (Mark Bresciano & Vince Grella).

Nevertheless, when Hiddink took over he found a rigid 4-4-2 system that was not working and a general lack of tactical nous throughout the squad:

“When I started a few months ago I found that there was no balance,” he admits. “Everyone was so committed they were over excited but now everyone in his position knows exactly what to do. That does not mean the execution is 100% but we have made good progress. The Australian players are very committed,” he told reporters, “and you can see they are eager to learn but in a tactical way, in the rhythm of the game, in the pace and the toughness of the game they are lacking. There must be a balance between the commitment and the strategic and tactical way to play.”

Listening to Hiddink is illuminating after so many English managers’ Henry V-style oratory, as you are in the presence of a great footballing brain that speaks from the mind and not just the heart. When he tells you, “We hope to learn as soon as possible,” you believe it is not through blind optimism but fact-based reality.

“What I always try to do is get control of the opponent and see whether they play with one striker or two strikers. In all cases I want my teams to be in control and you have to be flexible in defense. We have done a lot of strategic and tactical work.”

Hiddink speaks plainly and is not ashamed to reveal well in advance of the event that he may rest certain players from the first leg and change the team’s shape in the second:

“I have to look to see if it is convenient to bring all the players and what I am always practicing is that we do not stick to one system but be flexible. It might be in the first game but maybe in the second game that we have to change our system.”

Teamwork got Korea to within 90 minutes of a World Cup Final in 2002 and that must be Australia’s main weapon this time too as in terms of individuals, few really stand out. Arguably their two most talented players, Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell, are not replicating the stellar form in the Premiership they have displayed in previous seasons whilst striker Mark Viduka is not the man he was at Leeds United when Real Madrid were chasing him.

That said, they have some speedy and skilful attacking options in the underrated Basel winger Scott Chipperfield, the only player selected from Australia’s A-League, Archie Thompson, and their most recent find Jason Culina, who has joined up with Hiddink at PSV and sounds right up his street:

“He is what I call a multi-functional player,” says Hiddink. “He can play in several spots in the attack or midfield. When you are a running player like him you must cover the left or the right wings.”

This may be the last hurrah for a number of the Socceroos and Hiddink thinks that extra fillip may just give them a motivational edge:

“For a lot of the boys it is their last time; they are around 28 or 30 so it may be a little advantage to play at home in the second leg .With the past of Australian football and the fact they have never reached the World Cup in thirty two years now they must be confident in their own strengths.”

The past has hung over Australian football like a millstone in recent years, five play off failures since the mid 1980s an inherited curse that needs lifting.

“We can compete with them and beat them. We just have to work hard,” Hiddink’s predecessor Frank Farina told Soccerphile in June about their then unknown South American opponents.

Hiddink is blunter in his assessment, a typically Dutch trait that in football is refreshing:

“I think it is a 60/40 to get there yes or no, 40 for Australia that is. But we have to take the challenge.”

The next few days will write either a glorious event in Australian football history or another sad chapter of failure. At least they have football’s number one miracle worker on board:

“They asked me if I could achieve almost the impossible. Yes it will be difficult for the Australian team but you never know how we can make the little miracle happen. They have played each other once and that was a bad result for the Australians. But I think this team is so eager for a little miracle to come true.”

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

World Cup Play-Offs

World Cup Play-Offs 12 Nov 2005

Europe

Spain 5 Slovakia 1
Norway 0 Czech Republic 1
Switzerland 2 Turkey 0

Concacaf/Asia

Trinidad & Tobago 1 Bahrain 1

South America/Oceania

Uruguay 1 Australia 0

J.League Results 12 Nov 2005

Tokyo Verdy 0 Cerezo Osaka 1
Albirex Niigata 2 Kashiwa Reysol 2
Kashima Antlers 1 FC Tokyo 1
Omiya Ardija 3 Nagoya Grampus Eight 2
JEF United 2 Jubilo Iwate 2
Kawasaki Frontale 3 Vissel Kobe 1
Shimizu S-Pulse 0 Yokohama F Marinos 1
Gamba Osaka 2 Urawa Reds 1
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 0 Oita Trinita 4

Leading Positions

Gamba P30 Pts 57
Antlers P30 Pts 54
Cerezo P30 Pts 51
Urawa P30 Pts 50
JEF P30 Pts 50

Australian A-League

Perth Glory 3 New Zealand Knights 0
Melbourne Victory 0 Newcastle United Jets 0

Leading Positions

Sydney FC P11 Pts 20
Perth Glory P12 Pts 20
Adelaide Utd P11 Pts 20
Newcastle United P12 Pts 18

World Cup Germany 2006 Luxury Travel Packages - www.worldcuptrips.de

Hotels in Germany - Accommodation Online
Hotels in Germany – Bookings - hotels throughout Germany.
Hotels in Germany - Hotel.de - hotels throughout Germany
Hostels in Germany - Hostelworld - cheap accommodation throughout Germany
Hotels in Germany– HotelsGermany - hotels in all locations.
Hotels in Germany– Precision Reservations - hotels in all locations.
Hotels in Germany– Expedia UK - city breaks, holidays, car rental.
Hotels
in Germany– Expedia USA
- US Travel specialists.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

South Korean K. League

South Korean K. League.
South Korean K. League Results

Wed Nov 9

Bucheon 1 Daejeon 1
Chonbuk 2 Ulsan 3
Daegu 2 Busan I'Park 2
FC Seoul 2 Chunnam 3
Incheon United 1 Sangmu 2
Seongnam 2 Pohang 2

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Italian Soccer League

Italian Soccer League
Luca Toni

Batistuta ima nasljednika!

Luca Toni više se ne zaustavlja. U Italiji nazivaju ga Kraljem Midom, jer svaka lopta koju dodirne postaje zlato. Za Firentince, on je novi Batistuta, dok je za Tonija Firenca odskočna daska za Njemačku 2006. Marcello Lippi ga prati i trlja ruke.


Bilo da se radi o nesposobnosti obrambenih igrača ili o valu odličnih ofanzivaca, apeninski navijači zadnjih godina gledaju mnogo efikasniji nogomet nego ranije, a najviše medijskih naslova rezervirano je za domaće napadače. I nijedan od njih ne dobiva više pažnje nego Luca Toni, udarna igla Fiorentine.

Toni je rođen u Frignanu kraj Modene 26. svibnja 1977. i upravo proživljava svoje zlatno doba. Luca je tjelesno vrlo moćan, obdaren istančanim smislom za gol te vrlo dobrom kontrolom lopte za igrača visokog 194 cm. Pretprošle je godine s 31 golom katapultirao Palermo u Prvu ligu, a zatim se potvrdio u Prvoj ligi s 20 golova, pomogavši Palermu na putu do prvog, povijesnog nastupa u Kupu UEFA.

U Italiji nazivaju ga Kraljem Midom, jer svaka lopta koju dodirne postaje zlato. Za Firentince, on je novi Batistuta, dok je za Tonija Firenca odskočna daska za Njemačku 2006. Izbornik Marcello Lippi ga prati i trlja ruke.

Došljak iz Palerma u novu se sredinu uklopio u tren oka i odigrao prvu četvrtinu sezone kao u snovima. Zapravo, jedini koji je imao takav start sezone u Fiorentini bio je Tonijev junak iz djetinjstva, Gabriel Batistuta, u kampanji 1994/95!

Zabija svakih 80 minuta!

Početkom studenog, Toni stoji sam na čelu ljestvice najboljih strijelaca s 12 golova u 10 kola, od čega samo jedan iz jedanaesterca. Uz to, u talijanskom je kupu ubacio šest golova u pet utakmica. Protiv opjevanih je talijanskih obrana uspješan bio 18 puta u 15 utakmica i nitko se ne usudi računati kakve će mu biti brojke koncem sezone nastavi li istim ritmom - ako je tako nešto uopće biološki moguće.

Pritom je Fiorentina na fantastičnom trećem mjestu, tri boda iza Milana i pet iza Juventusa, a diči se i pozicijom najefikasnije momčadi s 22 gola.
- "Sanjamo o Europi", veli trener Cesare Prandelli, nekadašnji "Juventin", no plodna i na trenutke spektakularna igra Ljubičica navodi navijače da sanjaju i o onom nemogućem, zabranjenom, neizrecivom: naslovu prvaka! Rubrika primljenih golova također prikazuje za Italiju neuobičajeno visoku brojku devet, no Luca Toni zasad nadoknađuje propusnost obrane.

No, samo osam godina ranije, nakon niza slabijih predstava s trećeligaškom Fiorenzuolom, priznao je tadašnjoj djevojci da mu malo nedostaje da se ostavi nogometa i prijeđe na neki običniji posao. U to je vrijeme imao nezgodnu reputaciju osrednje efikasnog igrača sporih nogu i neokretnog tijela. No, selidba u također trećeligaški Lodigiani iz Rima donijela mu je napredak u vidu 15 golova u 31 susretu te promociju u drugoligaški Treviso.

To je bio prijelomni trenutak u kojemu je svijet izgubio agenta za osiguranja, dostavljača ili informatičara, a u zamjenu dobio nogometaša. Luca se Trevisu odužio za povjerenje s novih 15 golova, što mu je omogućilo još jedan korak prema vrhu, ovaj puta u prvoligašku Vicenzu. Njegovih devet pogodaka nije bilo dovoljno za spas momčadi od ispadanja, ali su skauti uočili da se ovaj vrlo dobro snalazi i među najžešćim obranama.

- "Luca Toni očito nema samo 194 centimetra i dobar odraz, već i dobru kontrolu nad loptom, koju sjajno udara i s nekoć manje dragom, lijevom nogom." - ocijenio je Corriere dello Sport.

U jesen se 2001. preselio Robertu Baggiju u Bresciju, također u Serie A, gdje je polučio 13 pogodaka u 28 nastupa i zavrijedio pohvale starog renesansnog majstora (Baggija) za nogometnu vještinu. U usporedbi s Baggiom nije teško ispasti nespretnim, no dobri se Toni nije osramotio. Umjesto toga, ozlijedio je koljeno te je 2002/03 spao na 16 nastupa i dva gola, no Palermo je već računao na njega za pokušaj proboja u Serie A.

"Kad smo nabavili Tonija, znali smo da je to igrač koji će nas podići na viši nivo. On je velik napadač. Sve može uraditi dobro, ne samo zabijati golove. U stanju je nositi cijeli napad na svojim leđima." - guštao je Palermov trener, Francesco Guidolin.

- "Čuvanje lopte uvijek je bila jedna od mojih jakih strana. Sada sam tehnički napredovao, ali još je važnije od toga što cijela momčad radi za mene. Usporedbe s Batistutom? Gabriel je bio velikan, mislim da je čak nepravedno što me uspoređuju s njime."

Toni je ujedno i igrač koji izaziva najviše prekršaja, ali ne ostaje dužan obranama te i sam čini brojne prekršaje u napadu.


Transfer je bio pun pogodak za obje strane. Računajući službene i prijateljske utakmice, Toni je u ružičasto-crnom dresu, jednom od onih koji se poput majica Hrvatske ili Boaviste ne zaboravljaju, bio strijelac 78 puta u 23 mjeseca.

Izdajnik Palerma

Dirnuti igračevom brzom prilagodbom južnjačkom stilu života i strašću koju je iskazivao u igri, uz lijepo izrecitiranu izjavu "ne zanimaju me ponude većih klubova", Palermovi su navijači prigrlili momka sa sjevera. Kad ih je njihov idol iznevjerio, pisma puna mržnje krenula su u smjeru lokalnih i državnih časopisa, a zajednička svima bila je riječ "tradittore", izdajnik.

Strastvena ljubav koju su prema njemu osjećali južnjaci rasplinula se kad je u srpnju prekršio riječ da će na otoku ostati do kraja karijere. No, Toni je pristao uključiti se u projekt obnove Fiorentine, koji predvode novi vlasnici Ljubičica, braća Della Valle. Što ljubitelji Palerma misle o svom dojučerašnjem ljubimcu pokazali su prije mjesec dana, prilikom utakmice u kojoj je Italija izborila mjesto u Njemačkoj. Preko 20.000 Sicilijanaca zviždali su Toniju svaki puta kad bi dotakao loptu, a osobito kad je promašio dobru priliku par minuta prije kraja.

Predsjednik Palerma Maurizio Zamparini dolio je ulje na vatru, optuživši ga za pohlepu. - "Važniji mu je bio novčanik od vjernosti dresu". - rekao je capo.

- "Zamparinijeve su riječi nevjerojatne. Ja sam u Palermu propustio samo par utakmica i to zbog kazne, zabio sam 51 gol u prvenstvu i zajedno s drugima uveo sam klub u Kup UEFA. U zadnja dva mjeseca govorio je o meni više nego u dvije godine. Za mene su dvije godine u Palermu bile prekrasne, a njegovi napadi možda mu služe da opravda moj odlazak."

Talijani su poznati po lirskoj upotrebi ruku, a Toni nije iznimka. Kad postigne pogodak za Fiorentinu ili za repku, vrti desnom šakom pored glave, kao da želi reći: "Mama, javljam ti da sam opet zabio."

Ljubitelj "telefona"

Tu je gestu publika u Minsku vidjela tri puta, kad je Luca Toni hat-trickom potopio Bjelorusiju i praktično osigurao Italiji nastup na Mundialu. Stvari su izgledale manje blistavo kad su domaći poveli u 4. minuti, ali je Toni brzo vratio Italiju na pravi put. Prvo je u 6. minuti prsima ukrotio Camoranesijevo dodavanje prije no što je poslao loptu duboko u mrežu. Osam minuta kasnije, glavom je na pravo mjesto skrenuo centaršut Fabija Grossa, a "tricu" je zaokružio opet glavom, bacivši se na loptu koja se netom odbila od vratara Žaunova.

- "Bila je to čarobna, nezaboravna večer. Za postizanje tri gola uvijek je potrebno i nešto sreće, a igranje pored sjajnih igrača sve mi je olakšalo. Francesco Totti je bio odličan, upošljavao me je u pravim trenucima,. Camoranesi i Grosso dijelili su mi izvrsne asistencije, a Gilardino je stalo odvlačio obranu od mene."


Osobna karta
Datum rođenja: 26. svibnja 1977.
Mjesto rođenja: Pavullo nel Frignano
Visina i težina: 194 cm, 88 kg
Pozicija: srednji napadač
Klub: Fiorentina
Broj dresa: 30
Trajanje ugovora: 30. 6. 2009.

International: 13/5

Klupska karijera
1994/95 Modena 9 3
1995/96 Modena 25 5
1996/97 Empoli 3 1
1997/98 Fiorenzuola 25 2
1998/99 Lodigiani 31 15
1999/00 Treviso 35 15
2000/01 Vicenza 31 9
2001/02 Brescia 28 13
2002/03 Brescia 16 2
2003/04 Palermo 45 31
2004/05 Palermo 35 20
2005/06 Fiorentina 11 13

Reprezentacija:
2004- Italija 13 5

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Luca Toni Profile

Luca Toni Profile
Italian Soccer League
Luca Toni

Batistuta ima nasljednika!

Luca Toni više se ne zaustavlja. U Italiji nazivaju ga Kraljem Midom, jer svaka lopta koju dodirne postaje zlato. Za Firentince, on je novi Batistuta, dok je za Tonija Firenca odskočna daska za Njemačku 2006. Marcello Lippi ga prati i trlja ruke.

Bilo da se radi o nesposobnosti obrambenih igrača ili o valu odličnih ofanzivaca, apeninski navijači zadnjih godina gledaju mnogo efikasniji nogomet nego ranije, a najviše medijskih naslova rezervirano je za domaće napadače. I nijedan od njih ne dobiva više pažnje nego Luca Toni, udarna igla Fiorentine.

Toni je rođen u Frignanu kraj Modene 26. svibnja 1977. i upravo proživljava svoje zlatno doba. Luca je tjelesno vrlo moćan, obdaren istančanim smislom za gol te vrlo dobrom kontrolom lopte za igrača visokog 194 cm. Pretprošle je godine s 31 golom katapultirao Palermo u Prvu ligu, a zatim se potvrdio u Prvoj ligi s 20 golova, pomogavši Palermu na putu do prvog, povijesnog nastupa u Kupu UEFA.

U Italiji nazivaju ga Kraljem Midom, jer svaka lopta koju dodirne postaje zlato. Za Firentince, on je novi Batistuta, dok je za Tonija Firenca odskočna daska za Njemačku 2006. Izbornik Marcello Lippi ga prati i trlja ruke.

Došljak iz Palerma u novu se sredinu uklopio u tren oka i odigrao prvu četvrtinu sezone kao u snovima. Zapravo, jedini koji je imao takav start sezone u Fiorentini bio je Tonijev junak iz djetinjstva, Gabriel Batistuta, u kampanji 1994/95!

Zabija svakih 80 minuta!

Početkom studenog, Toni stoji sam na čelu ljestvice najboljih strijelaca s 12 golova u 10 kola, od čega samo jedan iz jedanaesterca. Uz to, u talijanskom je kupu ubacio šest golova u pet utakmica. Protiv opjevanih je talijanskih obrana uspješan bio 18 puta u 15 utakmica i nitko se ne usudi računati kakve će mu biti brojke koncem sezone nastavi li istim ritmom - ako je tako nešto uopće biološki moguće.

Pritom je Fiorentina na fantastičnom trećem mjestu, tri boda iza Milana i pet iza Juventusa, a diči se i pozicijom najefikasnije momčadi s 22 gola.
- "Sanjamo o Europi", veli trener Cesare Prandelli, nekadašnji "Juventin", no plodna i na trenutke spektakularna igra Ljubičica navodi navijače da sanjaju i o onom nemogućem, zabranjenom, neizrecivom: naslovu prvaka! Rubrika primljenih golova također prikazuje za Italiju neuobičajeno visoku brojku devet, no Luca Toni zasad nadoknađuje propusnost obrane.

No, samo osam godina ranije, nakon niza slabijih predstava s trećeligaškom Fiorenzuolom, priznao je tadašnjoj djevojci da mu malo nedostaje da se ostavi nogometa i prijeđe na neki običniji posao. U to je vrijeme imao nezgodnu reputaciju osrednje efikasnog igrača sporih nogu i neokretnog tijela. No, selidba u također trećeligaški Lodigiani iz Rima donijela mu je napredak u vidu 15 golova u 31 susretu te promociju u drugoligaški Treviso.

To je bio prijelomni trenutak u kojemu je svijet izgubio agenta za osiguranja, dostavljača ili informatičara, a u zamjenu dobio nogometaša. Luca se Trevisu odužio za povjerenje s novih 15 golova, što mu je omogućilo još jedan korak prema vrhu, ovaj puta u prvoligašku Vicenzu. Njegovih devet pogodaka nije bilo dovoljno za spas momčadi od ispadanja, ali su skauti uočili da se ovaj vrlo dobro snalazi i među najžešćim obranama.

- "Luca Toni očito nema samo 194 centimetra i dobar odraz, već i dobru kontrolu nad loptom, koju sjajno udara i s nekoć manje dragom, lijevom nogom." - ocijenio je Corriere dello Sport.

U jesen se 2001. preselio Robertu Baggiju u Bresciju, također u Serie A, gdje je polučio 13 pogodaka u 28 nastupa i zavrijedio pohvale starog renesansnog majstora (Baggija) za nogometnu vještinu. U usporedbi s Baggiom nije teško ispasti nespretnim, no dobri se Toni nije osramotio. Umjesto toga, ozlijedio je koljeno te je 2002/03 spao na 16 nastupa i dva gola, no Palermo je već računao na njega za pokušaj proboja u Serie A.

"Kad smo nabavili Tonija, znali smo da je to igrač koji će nas podići na viši nivo. On je velik napadač. Sve može uraditi dobro, ne samo zabijati golove. U stanju je nositi cijeli napad na svojim leđima." - guštao je Palermov trener, Francesco Guidolin.

- "Čuvanje lopte uvijek je bila jedna od mojih jakih strana. Sada sam tehnički napredovao, ali još je važnije od toga što cijela momčad radi za mene. Usporedbe s Batistutom? Gabriel je bio velikan, mislim da je čak nepravedno što me uspoređuju s njime."

Toni je ujedno i igrač koji izaziva najviše prekršaja, ali ne ostaje dužan obranama te i sam čini brojne prekršaje u napadu.


Transfer je bio pun pogodak za obje strane. Računajući službene i prijateljske utakmice, Toni je u ružičasto-crnom dresu, jednom od onih koji se poput majica Hrvatske ili Boaviste ne zaboravljaju, bio strijelac 78 puta u 23 mjeseca.

Izdajnik Palerma

Dirnuti igračevom brzom prilagodbom južnjačkom stilu života i strašću koju je iskazivao u igri, uz lijepo izrecitiranu izjavu "ne zanimaju me ponude većih klubova", Palermovi su navijači prigrlili momka sa sjevera. Kad ih je njihov idol iznevjerio, pisma puna mržnje krenula su u smjeru lokalnih i državnih časopisa, a zajednička svima bila je riječ "tradittore", izdajnik.

Strastvena ljubav koju su prema njemu osjećali južnjaci rasplinula se kad je u srpnju prekršio riječ da će na otoku ostati do kraja karijere. No, Toni je pristao uključiti se u projekt obnove Fiorentine, koji predvode novi vlasnici Ljubičica, braća Della Valle. Što ljubitelji Palerma misle o svom dojučerašnjem ljubimcu pokazali su prije mjesec dana, prilikom utakmice u kojoj je Italija izborila mjesto u Njemačkoj. Preko 20.000 Sicilijanaca zviždali su Toniju svaki puta kad bi dotakao loptu, a osobito kad je promašio dobru priliku par minuta prije kraja.

Predsjednik Palerma Maurizio Zamparini dolio je ulje na vatru, optuživši ga za pohlepu. - "Važniji mu je bio novčanik od vjernosti dresu". - rekao je capo.

- "Zamparinijeve su riječi nevjerojatne. Ja sam u Palermu propustio samo par utakmica i to zbog kazne, zabio sam 51 gol u prvenstvu i zajedno s drugima uveo sam klub u Kup UEFA. U zadnja dva mjeseca govorio je o meni više nego u dvije godine. Za mene su dvije godine u Palermu bile prekrasne, a njegovi napadi možda mu služe da opravda moj odlazak."

Talijani su poznati po lirskoj upotrebi ruku, a Toni nije iznimka. Kad postigne pogodak za Fiorentinu ili za repku, vrti desnom šakom pored glave, kao da želi reći: "Mama, javljam ti da sam opet zabio."

Ljubitelj "telefona"

Tu je gestu publika u Minsku vidjela tri puta, kad je Luca Toni hat-trickom potopio Bjelorusiju i praktično osigurao Italiji nastup na Mundialu. Stvari su izgledale manje blistavo kad su domaći poveli u 4. minuti, ali je Toni brzo vratio Italiju na pravi put. Prvo je u 6. minuti prsima ukrotio Camoranesijevo dodavanje prije no što je poslao loptu duboko u mrežu. Osam minuta kasnije, glavom je na pravo mjesto skrenuo centaršut Fabija Grossa, a "tricu" je zaokružio opet glavom, bacivši se na loptu koja se netom odbila od vratara Žaunova.

- "Bila je to čarobna, nezaboravna večer. Za postizanje tri gola uvijek je potrebno i nešto sreće, a igranje pored sjajnih igrača sve mi je olakšalo. Francesco Totti je bio odličan, upošljavao me je u pravim trenucima,. Camoranesi i Grosso dijelili su mi izvrsne asistencije, a Gilardino je stalo odvlačio obranu od mene."


Osobna karta
Datum rođenja: 26. svibnja 1977.
Mjesto rođenja: Pavullo nel Frignano
Visina i težina: 194 cm, 88 kg
Pozicija: srednji napadač
Klub: Fiorentina
Broj dresa: 30
Trajanje ugovora: 30. 6. 2009.

International: 13/5

Klupska karijera
1994/95 Modena 9 3
1995/96 Modena 25 5
1996/97 Empoli 3 1
1997/98 Fiorenzuola 25 2
1998/99 Lodigiani 31 15
1999/00 Treviso 35 15
2000/01 Vicenza 31 9
2001/02 Brescia 28 13
2002/03 Brescia 16 2
2003/04 Palermo 45 31
2004/05 Palermo 35 20
2005/06 Fiorentina 11 13

Reprezentacija:
2004- Italija 13 5

Copyright Soccerphile/Zri Sport

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Soccer Books & DVDs

Becks, Rugs and Rock and Roll

We’ve all heard the expression, ‘It could be a war out there’, when Argentina play England at football; it’s not a cliché, it’s a valid prediction.

Tension between the two countries began to surface in 1982, when an argument broke out over the Wolves and Ipswich defender, Mel Venus.

The hostility increased at the World Cup of 1998, where in a moment of madness, David Beckham made a decision that upset the whole of England; he agreed to marry Victoria Adams.

Also in ’98, Beckham was sent off for kicking Diego Simeone, but fate allowed Beckham to partially redeem himself four years later, as his penalty effectively sent the Argies home from the 2002 World Cup.

David Beckham and his wife normally shy away from the spotlight, but he’s always at the centre of attention when England face Argentina; you can back Beckham to score the only goal of the game at 55/1.

In a somewhat surprising move, Sven has recalled David ‘Calamity’ James and Peter Crouch to the squad for the Argentina match; hopefully he’ll play James up front and Crouch in goal.

Admittedly, I’m not a football manager, I’m a gambling guru; but if I had to pick an England team, I wouldn’t touch Crouch with a barge-pole, in fact, I’d rather play the barge-pole. For all you believers, Crouch is a 9/1 shot to score the last goal.

One of my South American contacts has advised me to back Placente to score the first goal for the Argies at 50/1, but I’ve found that somewhat hard to swallow. I’ll be on the draw at 15/8.

The Americans are marching towards Scotland, and somewhat surprisingly, it’s not related to North Sea oil. According to FIFA, the Yanks are the 7th strongest team in the World, which is absolutely ridiculous; it’s the biggest joke in International football since Robbie Savage. Don’t fall for FIFA’s rug-pulling, Scotland are terrific value at 7/5.

France v Germany is an interesting match. Both countries dislike America; I wish they could both win. With Thierry Henry firing on all cylinders, France are the call at 5/6.

The following specials are all available at Super Soccer.

“Oil be back” – The USA to win from behind 11/1
“Argy bargy” – Argentina to have a player sent off 8/1
“Turk up like a kipper” – Hakan Sukur to score with a header 8/1
“The Italian Job” – Italy to score three or more goals 7/1
“Rocking Robin” – Van Persie to score two or more goals 9/1
“A Swiss Roll” – Switzerland to score three or more goals 11/2
“Lord of the Fries” – Thierry Henry to score a hat-trick 16/1
“Throw the towel in” – Germany to have a player sent off 11/1

Quote of the week:

“He is very special, and I would like to have him in the World Cup squad.”

Sven Goran Eriksson should have spent more money on English lessons, Peter Crouch is the subject.

Stat, you’re a liberty:

Wayne ‘Rucker’ Rooney may be considered the best thing since canned lager, but his contribution to World Cup qualification was minimal. Rooney hasn’t scored a competitive goal for England since Euro 2004.

Acc of the week:

Scotland
Holland
France
Spain
Uruguay

The five-fold pays a juicy 18/1.

Weekend Betting:

Scotland v USA International Friendly Saturday 12th November 16.00 Live on Sky

Scotland 7/5
Draw 11/5
USA 6/4

Get on: Scotland

Here’s a sentence you rarely see, Scotland are value to win a football match.
Match Special:
Scotland to keep a clean sheet 6/4

Argentina v England International Friendly Saturday 12th November 16.45 Live on BBC

Argentina 7/5
Draw 15/8
England 7/4

Get on: Draw

This is why bookmakers all drive Ferraris. Any result is possible, except the one that I back. I’m losing my money on the draw.
Match Special:
Lampard to score a penalty 7/1

Holland v Italy International Friendly Saturday 12th November 19.45 Live on Bravo

Holland 6/5
Draw 2/1
Italy 2/1

Get on: Holland

The future’s bright, the future’s orange. 6/5 for the Dutch is a corking investment.
Match Special:
Van Nistelrooy and Van Persie both to score 8/1

France v Germany International Friendly Saturday 12th November 20.00 Live on Eurosport

France 5/6
Draw 9/4
Germany 13/5

Get on: France

The French have quality throughout their team. The Germans have Michael Ballack.
Match Special:
Henry and Trezeguet both to score 5/1

Norway v Czech Rep World Cup Qualifying play-off 1st Leg Saturday 12th November 18.30

Norway 2/1
Draw 2/1
Czech Rep 5/4

Get on: Czech Rep

The Czech’s were unlucky to draw Holland in their qualifying group. Will the Czech Republic lose? Nor way.
Match Special:
Milan Baros to score at any time 6/4

Switzerland v Turkey World Cup Qualifying play-off 1st Leg Saturday 12th November 19.45 Live on Setanta

Switzerland 6/4
Draw 15/8
Turkey 7/4

Get on: Switzerland

The Swiss will get the result they need at home, but the 2nd leg in Turkey will be no picnic.
Match Special:
Frei to score with a header 7/1

Spain v Slovakia World Cup Qualifying play-off 1st Leg Saturday 12th November 21.00

Spain 1/4
Draw 7/2
Slovakia 10/1

Get on: Spain

The Spanish were rubbing their hands after the draw, they can afford to take a little siesta and still win the match.
Match Special:
Raul to score two or more goals 7/2

Uruguay v Australia World Cup Qualifying play-off 1st Leg Saturday 12th November 23.00

Uruguay 4/7
Draw 9/4
Australia 5/1

Get on: Uruguay
The Uruguayan coach will play videos of neighbours in the dressing room pre-match to get the players nicely wound up. Uruguay beat Argentina at home, and drew with Brazil home and away; the Aussies are if for a mullering.
Match Special:
Uruguay to score in both halves 6/4

Betting at Soccerphile

Monday, November 7, 2005

Korea Update

As excitement was mounting off the pitch in the K-League as the regular season approaches the finish line, the players in action on Sunday afternoon did their best not too set any pulses racing as just two goals were scored in six fixtures in the penultimate round.

One of them was from an 87th minute penalty kick, coolly converted by Dzenan Radondic, Incheon United’s Serbian striker. The strike that flew past Kim Young-kwang in the Chunnam Dragons’ goal earned United a place in the end of season championship play-offs.

Barely 18 months after the West Coast club played their first ever professional fixture in South Korea, manager Jang Woe-ryong can start planning for the Championship play-off games that kick-off on November 20 – a fantastic achievement for everybody concerned with the club.

The only other team guaranteed a place in the four-team play-offs are Busan I’Park. The first-stage winners have lost nine and drawn two of the second stage, form, it is safe to say, isn’t ideal preparation for the upcoming knockout games as Busan boss Ian Porterfield said. “It’s been a nightmare and we are just waiting for the second phase to end and then we can focus on the play-offs.”

On Sunday, the south coast team were on the receiving end of the day’s only other goal. Koh Ki-koo shot home in the 57th minute as Bucheon SK returned north with all three points. Bucheon need a win in the last game at home to Daejeon Citizen on Wednesday night to guarantee a place in the final four. Such an opportunity has been unthinkable in the club’s recent history, most of which has been spent looking up at the likes of Seongnam, Suwon and Ulsan.

Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma only need a point from their home game with Pohang Steelers on the same evening. The league’s form team made the tricky trip to Ulsan on the back of a five-match winning streak but had the misfortune of star striker Mota being shown the red card for the use of an elbow. The incident happened on the half-hour and well behind the play but fortunately for Hyun Yong-min of Ulsan, the referee saw it all. The Brazilian hotshot was eventually persuaded to leave the field upon which he promptly burst into tears in the arms of a member of the coaching staff.

The ten-men of Seongnam hung on for the draw and should make the play-offs either by winning the second-stage or by virtue of collecting enough overall points. Pohang travel to the home of the six-time champions of Wednesday and need a win to have a chance of extending their season for the second successive year and the same can be said for Ulsan who travel to struggling Chonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Korean FA Cup.

Busan I’Park are the holders but not for much longer as the struggling team became the only L-League outfit to fall at the first hurdle after being dumped out of the 2005 competition by K2 outfit Ulsan Mipo Dockyard.

In the second round, Incheon United and Bucheon SK perhaps had more than one eye on the K-League. Incheon were dumped out by Goyang Kookmin Bank and Bucheon faced a similar fate, losing 4-2 to Incheon Rail.

Those two K2 teams will meet in the quarter-finals thus ensuring a K2 team in the last four. Such a result would be interesting as the tournament grants the winners a place in the AFC Champions League and it would be interesting to see what the AFC’s reaction to Incheon Rail or Goyang KB participating in the continental competition would be.

With such a prize on offer, defending K-League champions Suwon Samsung Bluewings have declared their desire to win the cup. Cha Bum-keun has been under increasing pressure from the club’s passionate but demanding fans as the Asian Club Champions of 2001 and 2002 have languished near the bottom of the table all season.

Suwon overcame some stubborn Seongnam resistance to book a quarter-final tie at Chonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Quarter-finals (to be played December 10)Chunbuk Motors v Suwon BluewingsGoyang Kookmin Bank v Incheon Rail Daejeon Citizen or Ulsan Mipo v Pohang Steelers Daegu FC v Chunnam Dragons

Park Ji-sung

The poor midfielder must be wondering what he has let himself in for as United lurch from crisis to crisis. After a nervy opening, Korean fans have been relieved to see the “New Engine” start to perform better in the famous red shirt.

Performances at Fulham and Sunderland were encouraging as was the fact that the 24 year-old was the captain of the Premier League giants for eight minutes in the team’s home goalless draw with Lille in the UEFA Champions League.

Now the South Korean press has decided that it is Park’s job to take the role of Tom Hanks and “Save Coach Ferguson”.

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