Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

August 10, 2004

Homecoming tinged with regret for Butt, the unwanted soldier

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 8:27 am

The News Review:

* The exquisite agony of being Greek
* Faria drags Salman into Sven sleaze fest
* Olympics a proving ground for young stars
* Homecoming tinged with regret for Butt, the unwanted soldier
* Blatter looks at reforms
* SI.com – Soccer – World Soccer’s Hamilton: Sven-gate much ado…
* Blue is the colour
* ESPN.com – OLY/SUMMER04/SOCCER – Wambach helps lead US soccer’s…
* FIFA restrictions means soccer can’t hog limelight
* ESPNsoccernet – Global – Blatter Fergie blast
* Chelsea expect big prizes under Mourinho
* Finally ready to raise the roof
* German Soccer | 08.09.2004 The Future Beckons for Klinsmann’s…
* The captain nears the crossroads
* Sleuth job for Hughes with Rooney on the prowl
* Lampard earns upgrade from bit-player to key role
* Porto draft in Fernandez as coach
* Beckham gets back to basics in trying times
* UEFA Champions League – News & Features – News specific

The exquisite agony of being Greek
Independent Online – Aug 8, 2004
Greece has always battled to live up to the glories of its ancient past. Being the cradle of western civilisation, democracy, maths and physics is a tough act to follow. Winning Euro 2004 may not rank with ancient triumphs but for 10 million Greeks in their homeland and another seven million dotted around the world, it was a chance, briefly, to quell their collective paranoia. This year’s Eurovision song contest was a classic example of that. Greek pop star Sakis Rouvas landed third place but endless theories abounded on why he lost to Ukraine’s Ruslana. Who on the national voting juries for the annual pop kitsch contest was plotting against Greece?

“That was a typical Greek reaction,” said Panoutsos. “We can convince ourselves there is a conspiracy.

Faria drags Salman into Sven sleaze fest
Calcutta Telegraph – Aug 9, 2004
Any notion that Faria is a coy Asian woman can be discarded. Instead, she could well emerge as the new face of the self-confident and assertive British Asian woman who is not ashamed of her own sexuality. There are not too many footballing bits of gossip. ?Eriksson had made his telling pass at Faria in a mood of depression ? inviting her to Sweden in a phone call to her London home after the Euro 2004 disaster,? readers learn. Faria confirms: ?Sven phoned me every day during Euro 2004 and was devastated after England were knocked out. He talked about football a lot to me. He said Wayne Rooney was going to be a huge star and was very sympathetic to David Beckham over the Rebecca Loos affair… There are not too many footballing bits of gossip. ?Eriksson had made his telling pass at Faria in a mood of depression ? inviting her to Sweden in a phone call to her London home after the Euro 2004 disaster,? readers learn. Faria confirms: ?Sven phoned me every day during Euro 2004 and was devastated after England were knocked out. He talked about football a lot to me. He said Wayne Rooney was going to be a huge star and was very sympathetic to David Beckham over the Rebecca Loos affair.

Olympics a proving ground for young stars
SI.com – Aug 9, 2004
Portugal is easily the class of Group D. It will be joined by Costa Rica, Morocco and Iraq, which should provide little resistance. However, after its stunning loss on home soil to Greece in the final of Euro 2004, Portugal will not take any supposed underdog for granted. Italy qualified by winning the European under-21 championships in June and will be led by AC Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo. The 25-year-old Pirlo will be joined by Parma’s Alberto Gilardino, who was second in Serie A with 23 goals last season. Defender Matteo Ferrari, also of Parma, as well as AS Roma goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli give the Azzurrini a fantastic chance to hear their national anthem in Athens on August 28. The Italians will not be able to cruise into the quarterfinals as they face some stiff competition in Group B – this tournament’s "group of death" – specifically from Paraguay, which raised eyebrows all over the soccer world by eliminating mighty Brazil in the qualifiers.

Homecoming tinged with regret for Butt, the unwanted soldier
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 10, 2004
Against Wales tomorrow, Butt looks set to start his first game at Old Trafford since he played against Charlton Athletic on April 20. It was a sad fading of a career in the last five games he played at United – he was a substitute in only three – and he made only six minutes of the FA Cup final. By the time he got back from Euro 2004, where injury had ruled him out, there was just a locker to clear out and a lot of goodbyes to say. “The hardest thing was leaving home, that’s the background to a transfer, any of the lads will tell you,” Butt said. “It’s pretty difficult. But I am settled now. I have been made very welcome up there… What Butt must find most strange is that Phil Neville, who usurped him in the United midfield last season, is now out of favour. Darren Fletcher, Kleberson and Eric Djemba-Djemba do not seem like flavour of the month either. Even John O’Shea has played there of late. “I don’t feel any bitterness at all. If somebody had said to me at 16 you are going to have 10 years at United and you are going to win all that I did I would have snatched their hand off,” Butt said. “It’s not for me [to judge the present United midfield], it’s close to my heart and will always be there.

Blatter looks at reforms
BBC News – Aug 8, 2004
Blatter blamed the poor performances of the top nations at Euro 2004 on crowded domestic calendars and threatened that Fifa could take action. He said: “I have said before that 20 clubs is too many, 18 is the limit, there are too many games at club level. “So we must absolutely reduce that figure and we will impose a limit via Fifa statutes. ”

Blatter added: “I enjoyed Euro 2004 but I was also a little saddened and forced to reflect. “Like at the 2002 World Cup many stars were physically and mentally exhausted and left an after-taste of nonchalence and lassitude… ”

Blatter added: “I enjoyed Euro 2004 but I was also a little saddened and forced to reflect. “Like at the 2002 World Cup many stars were physically and mentally exhausted and left an after-taste of nonchalence and lassitude. “Zinedine Zidane seemed to be hiding against the Greeks and was not looking for the ball. “If, on the other hand, the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year had been at the top of his game he would have run after the ball in decisive moments. ”

Although Blatter repeated his desire to reduce the number of domestic club games, the Fifa president hinted that re-working the international calendar may provide a solution. Blatter said: “In reality, it is not a question of fixing a ceiling of clubs but of dates. “Cases are different from one country to another whether there are one or two domestic cups, two-legged matches or not.

SI.com – Soccer – World Soccer’s Hamilton: Sven-gate much ado…
SI.com – Aug 8, 2004
Yet the FA’s financial situation will be no different then than it is now. Eriksson is no fool, and he will cling to the terms of his contract, as he has every right to. Ah, say Eriksson’s detractors, but England did not perform to expectations at Euro 2004. Eriksson failed to deliver success in Portugal at a tournament that was, for the umpteenth time, England’s best chance of international success since 1966. Hold on a minute; let’s consider the facts. England have only ever won one major tournament. That was 38 years ago — on home soil — with the aid of a dubious decision by a Russian official.

Blue is the colour
go.com – Aug 9, 2004
Althought they will return to United by the end of the month, both will need to rest before being ready for Premiership football. United also have injury problems to worry about, not to mention the absence of Rio Ferdinand until the middle of next month. The loss of Ruud van Nistelrooy for the opening month will hit them hard and the loss of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the whole of the campaign is a huge blow. United’s pre-season campaign has been disappointing, with performances in America nothing to write home about. And in Sunday’s Community Shield they looked some way behind Arsenal in their preparation. Supporters are rightly worried about the defence and at times they were at sixes and sevens in Cardiff… C PalaceRicardo Carvalho was arguably the best central defender at Euro 2004 while Arjen Robben also starred with Holland and will provide extra strength on the flanks, either on the left or right. Mateja Kezman appears to be an absolute bargain at ?5million and Petr Cech will finally give Carlo Cudicini some competition for the goalkeeper’s jersey. Although there are doubts about Didier Drogba’s pedigree at the highest level, he has looked outstanding in his early appearances in the blue of Chelsea. It all points to a very strong challenge from the Stamford Bridge outfit, and the troubles which their main challengers face just give them the edge in the race for the Premiership crown. Liverpool can be expected to finish fourth again, and they may well close the gap to the top three from the 15 points of last term.

ESPN.com – OLY/SUMMER04/SOCCER – Wambach helps lead US soccer’s…
ESPN – Aug 10, 2004
“We’re very excited to see what we’ve got. ”Four men’s games also will be played Wednesday. Greece, the Euro 2004 champion, as well as Argentina and Mexico are among the eight men’s soccer teams in action (four games, 1:30 p. Four more men’s games will be played Thursday. — The Associated PressA few minutes later, she was at the other end of the crossing pass drill, receiving the ball from Mia Hamm and volleying it intothe net with devastating power… — The Associated PressA few minutes later, she was at the other end of the crossing pass drill, receiving the ball from Mia Hamm and volleying it intothe net with devastating power. “Those two are lethal up there,” said goalkeeper Briana Scurry, who was helpless to stop most of Wambach’s shots. “They’re, if not the best tandem in the tournament, one of the best. It’s a synchronicity they have. ”The drill was the highlight of Monday’s practice for the U. women’s soccer team, offering a snapshot of the player who is themost formidable scoring threat in the Olympic tournament.

FIFA restrictions means soccer can’t hog limelight
Hindu – Aug 10, 2004
But it is buried low in the list of all-time Olympic performances. “It was the greatest moment of my career,” said Kanu, who also played for Ajax Amsterdam and Inter Milan. “Not many of the stars I play against can say that they have won an Olympic gold medal. ” The rules of the competition make sure of that. FIFA restrictions

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, doesn’t want the Olympic soccer competition, which starts Wednesday — two days ahead of the rest of the program — to rival its World Cup in any way and insists that teams are restricted to players age 23 or under. The only concession is that the 16 finalists can choose three who are over that threshold, so that some of the stars of the game have made it to Greece. They include Manchester United’s 19-year-old winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who is on Portugal’s squad, Valencia’s Roberto Ayala and Barcelona’s Javier Saviola, Andrea Pirlo of Italy’s AC Milan and Japan’s Shinji Ono, who plays in the Netherlands for Feyenoord… And that’s another argument FIFA puts forward in its opposition to having all the stars at the Olympics. “There are too many games and especially at club level,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe. “I enjoyed Euro 2004 but I was also a little saddened and forced to reflect. Like at the 2002 World Cup many stars were physically and mentally exhausted. “Zinedine Zidane seemed to be hiding against the Greeks and was not looking for the ball,” Blatter said. “If, on the other hand, the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year had been at the top of his game he would have run after the ball in decisive moments. ”

Sellout games

The Greek triumph in Portugal will make sure that the soccer matches will have some sellout games.

ESPNsoccernet – Global – Blatter Fergie blast
go.com – Aug 9, 2004
Both players are now in Greece, preparing for the tournament which begins onWednesday, and Ferguson’s warnings received a stern rebuke from Blatter. The president of football’s world governing body even advised the ManchesterUnited boss his team might benefit from a change of managerial policy onreleasing players for international duty. ‘To tell players like Heinze and Ronaldo to not go to the Olympics becausethey could lose their job when they come back is definitely not in the spirit ofsolidarity,’ said Blatter. The spirit of solidarity means you should say: `Go – andtry to come back with a good experience. Try to come back without any injuries. ‘Pay attention to yourself but bring back the experience of the Olympics,bring back the spirit into my team… ‘Players are now getting international experience through the Olympic Games. Ninety four of the players entered here have been through FIFA youthcompetitions, this means the structure of football, starting with under-17s tothe World Cup, has been accepted and produces good football. ‘After a summer spent at Euro 2004, the Copa America and the Asia Cup, Blatteris in Athens for the Olympic tournament which kicks off on Wednesday. One man not watching the tournament unfold with by Ivan Slavkov, president ofboth Bulgarian Olympic and football associations, who was provisionallysuspended from the International Olympic Committee on Saturday followingallegations of corruption made by the BBC’s Panorama programme. Blatter confirmed FIFA have no plans to suspend him until the IOC’s fullinvestigation has run its course. ‘Ivan Slavkov remains president of the Bulgarian FA. The principle appliesthat he is innocent until proven guilty,’ he said.

Chelsea expect big prizes under Mourinho
Independent Online – Aug 9, 2004
The Portuguese coach, who replaced sacked Italian Claudio Ranieri in June, has put his reputation on the line by accepting billionaire owner Roman Abramovich’s challenge of bringing trophies to Stamford Bridge. But Mourinho, who took Porto to Uefa Cup and Champions League victory in successive seasons, is nothing if not supremely confident. “In Portugal, if you win you are a god, if you lose you are sacked,” he said last month. “I want to win and bring fans the success they have waited for so long… Gone are ageing captain Marcel Desailly and his fellow Frenchman Emmanuel Petit as well as Dutchmen Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Mario Melchiot. Argentines Hernan Crespo and Juan Sebastian Veron, who never settled at Chelsea, have returned to Italy on loan and 24-year-old England defender John Terry is now captain. Mourinho has also brought a Portuguese flavour to the side, raiding his former club Porto for 26-year-old central defender Ricardo Carvalho, who played so impressively during Euro 2004, as well as Paulo Ferreira, 25, at right back. Developing midfielder Tiago Mendes, 23, was also snapped up from Benfica. Up front 25-year-old Serbian Mateja Kezman and Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba have joined established striker Eidur Gudjohnsen and Romania’s Adrian Mutu, who nearly left for a season-long loan at Juventus. After pre-season games in America, winning 4-2 against Celtic and 3-0 against Roma before losing 3-2 to AC Milan, Mourinho said confidence was high among the strikers as all except the injured Mutu scored at least two goals. A 3-0 home win in their final pre-season friendly against Real Zaragoza in a tribute match for former crowd favourite Gianfranco Zola bodes well for the new campaign.

Finally ready to raise the roof
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 8, 2004
Like Zorba The Greek, the tune that is played nightly in the tourist-thronged tavernas below the Acropolis, the tempo increased from a stately plod to a full-blown gallop as construction workers toiled through the night. The Greeks are fond of saying how leaving things until the last minute is just part of the national psyche – even when it comes to holding out to win the final of Euro 2004. But, despite assurances the Games would be ready in time, it has been a sprint finish that has tested the IOC’s nerve and brought international ridicule to Greece’s door. Only now, as the cranes and cement-mixers retreat and attention shifts towards Friday’s opening ceremony, can the Greeks finally look forward to the Games with any confidence. References to the Olympian gods and Greek mythology are likely to come thick and fast over the 16 days of action that will follow, though the transformation of a city famous for its pollution and congestion as much as its ancient history has been a Herculean effort after such an inauspicious start. A few corners have had to be cut, as the swimmers will soon be able to testify when they battle it out in soaring temperatures in the roofless Olympic pool, though elsewhere competitors will be able to enjoy some of the best facilities in the world… Athletes and spectators will pass through a gleaming, modern airport from where they will be whisked into town via a new high-speed toll road or an even newer suburban railway, which opened for business only a few weeks ago. Once in the city, more newly completed metro and tram lines will offer air-conditioned alternatives to the traditional traffic jams. The improvements have not come cheaply. The original projected budget for the Games of £3 billion has risen to £4. 5 billion and the Greek government concede it could go even higher. Part of the reason is the cost incurred by construction delays, though the massive scaling-up of anti-terrorism measures in the wake of the Madrid bombings has not helped. An astonishing 70,000 police and military personnel will stand guard over the Games as part of the biggest single security operation in history.

German Soccer | 08.09.2004 The Future Beckons for Klinsmann’s…
Deutsche Welle – Aug 9, 2004
“I want the players to be more active, to move the ball forward quickly and to always do what’s best for the team. I also want them to believe in themselves because football is very much a mental thing. ”

First home game will be crucial

Klinsmann will be facing a home crowd for the first time in his short reign since he took over the running of the national team from Rudi Völler after the Euro 2004 debacle. The former Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Monaco striker is hoping to get the support of a skeptical audience in Berlin’s renovated Olympic Stadium where the friendly match is being played.

The captain nears the crossroads
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 10, 2004
No one can indefinitely maintain such high levels of energy and desire. Something has to give. Whether it was down to fatigue, match fitness as claimed or a simple lack of confidence, Beckham clearly did not reach anywhere near those previous levels during Euro 2004 and beyond. That is not to say that his legs have gone completely, rather to point out that in the coming few years he will be forced to rely more on his passing and technique, which will, in turn, change him significantly as a player. It is for Sven-Goran Eriksson to decide, with Shaun Wright-Phillips offering an alternative, whether that new version fits the bill. A more immediate challenge is making sure today that Ryan Giggs, an old mate from United, does not get too much room up the left flank for Wales. Eriksson’s three-man midfield makes that a dangerous possibility if Beckham, in his haste to dictate the play inside, does not keep an eye out when Gary Neville needs help.

Sleuth job for Hughes with Rooney on the prowl
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 10, 2004
If Wales give the stocky, deep-lying forward an inch, let alone a yard, he can create havoc. That is why Hughes will assign a shadow, probably Mark Pembridge, to stalk England’s latest feted son. If not full man-marking, the strategy will be designed to squeeze the space around Rooney. Hughes will have noted the Manchester United player’s slightly subdued display… Rooney is unlikely to accept such restraint of trade twice in a week. Frustrated by the metatarsal injury that prematurely ended his shooting-star progress across the Euro 2004 firmament, Rooney will be bursting with desire to resume his upward England trajectory. With Defoe and Owen dragging Danny Gabbidon and Andy Melville into the channels, the heart of Wales defence could open up invitingly for Rooney. Paul Jones’s sojourn on the Wolves bench is unlikely to have prepared him properly for 90 minutes combating Rooney.

Lampard earns upgrade from bit-player to key role
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 10, 2004
It’s moments like these that explain why Eriksson likes Lampard so much. The talent for adaptation has served Lampard well since he broke into the side properly in a friendly against Serbia and Montenegro in June last year and he has worked at holding on to his place ever since. Lampard’s influence has grown: he edged Paul Scholes out to the left during Euro 2004 and has supplanted David Beckham as the team’s goal-scoring midfielder. Today could be one of the last times that Lampard is treated like the spare chair of England’s midfield. “I’m used to that role and I will try to get in the box as well… “I’m used to that role and I will try to get in the box as well. “We [England] get criticised for not being attacking enough but our strikers are very exciting, especially with their youthfulness, their ability and their pace. With those players in the squad it is very exciting and they’ve got goals. “”I think in a game as big as this it’s not so much about systems as the passion and work-rate and actual performance. You can talk about 4-4-2, three up front and diamonds, whatever, but in a game like this, which will start at a hundred miles-an-hour, everyone has to be at their very best from kick-off and hopefully we will go on to win the game. “That does not sound like a man overburdened by the changing themes of England’s midfield, but then Lampard has already seen off two of the most implacable forces in English football.

Porto draft in Fernandez as coach
CNN International – Aug 9, 2004
"I joined the club mainly because of my friendship with (board member) Luciano D’Onofrio. "Conceicao, who has 56 caps, left Serie A side Lazio in January and returned to Porto, where he had previously played from 1996 to 1998. He had knee surgery in May and was not selected for the Portugal squad for Euro 2004. "I have not come here on a holiday. Of course, I’m going to need a bit of time because I haven’t done any pre-season preparation," Conceicao said. "I’m going to give everything I can so the team have a great season.

Beckham gets back to basics in trying times
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 9, 2004
It’s out there waiting. The question is how fast Beckham’s body takes him there. At Euro 2004, he seemed to be well on the way. What little natural pace he was born with seemed to have deserted him in Spain. His scurrying runs looked laboured, as if his spirit was trying to escape a slowing body. The legs seemed bandier, and his attempted manipulation of referees much craftier. All manner of explanations were paraded: too much weight-lifting was one… Going back to basics last night, Beckham began on the wide right of midfield, as if aiming to prove to his critics that anything Shaun Wright-Phillips might be able to do, a £25 million Real Madrid player could do just as well, or better. But soon he was charging around, trying to force his way into the narrative of the match. To his credit, Beckham has not given up on the idea that he can still run a whole game on his own – the way he did against Finland and Greece three seasons ago. His problem is that energy also requires accuracy and thought to make it truly useful. His poor form for England of late has been the truth that dare not speak its name: not when Sven-Goran Eriksson is around, at any rate. Maybe sometimes we are too intolerant of his special status in the team. Most managers like to have a lieutenant working for them on the pitch.

UEFA Champions League – News & Features – News specific
uefa.comUEFA.com – Aug 9, 2004
Dinamo duo outDinamo themselves have two players suspended – goalkeeper Cristian Munteanu, who was sent off for handball against Slovakian title-holders MŠK Žilina in the second qualifying round, and Ionut Badea who will miss both legs. Nedved still recoveringJuventus FC defender Jonathan Zebina will also be banned for both matches against Sweden’s Djurgårdens IF. Another absentee for the Italian side is midfield player Pavel Nedved, who has still not recovered from a knee injury sustained in the Czech Republic’s UEFA EURO 2004™ semi-final. A similar problem sidelines winger Mauro Camoranesi for this week’s game, while Paolo Montero and Igor Tudor are rated doubtful. Azzurri absentSerie A’s other third-round entrants, FC Internazionale, will face FC Basel without forward Christian Vieri and defender Fabio Cannavaro, who both started pre-season training late due to knocks sustained at EURO 2004™. Striker Obafemi Martins has a knee injury which rules him out of both legs, while Adriano’s participation is uncertain after he flew back to Brazil due to the death of his father. Other suspensionsElsewhere, suspensions mean that RC Deportivo La Coruña defender Nourredine Naybet and Liverpool FC midfield player Igor Bišcan will be unavailable for this week’s action against Shelbourne FC and Grazer AK respectively.

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