Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 3, 2005

Weavers of footballing dreams set Paris abuzz

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 6:32 am

The News Review:

* WORLD CUP 2006: Serbs and Swedes unruffled, Spain get a fright
* Man Utd’s Ronaldo will not face rape charge
* WORLD CUP 2006: Italy and England come out on top
* Weavers of footballing dreams set Paris abuzz
* Smith’s return trip to Leeds ruled out
* Rooney not getting carried away
* UEFA: Deco drops by
* English World Cup football thugs may face British courts
* Magazine
* WORLD CUP 2006: Eagle of the Azores hopes to rule roost in Germany
* Battling United still in hunt
* Greek FA backs radical overhaul
* Rooney’s World vision
* Happy to be blue

WORLD CUP 2006: Serbs and Swedes unruffled, Spain get a fright – Nov 26, 2005
Group 8, on the other hand, had a more logical outcome with Croatia securing top spot ahead of Sweden, whose impressive campaign earned them direct entry to the finals as one of the best second-placed teams. Spain stumble again
For the second qualifying tournament in a row, Spain were given a real fright. After having to face the ordeal of a play-off against Norway before securing their berth for UEFA EURO 2004, the Spanish were put through the wringer again. While their play-off against Slovakia proved comfortable in the end (thanks to a 5-1 first-leg win in Madrid), Luis Aragones’s men certainly did not expect to have to qualify through the back door. Nor, for that matter, did the Spanish Football Federation which had scheduled a round of league matches for when the play-offs were due to take place. Spain can blame Serbia and Montenegro for this hasty change to the fixture list. Unbeaten throughout the entire Group 7 campaign, llija Petkovic’s men owed their success primarily to their implacable defence… Otherwise it seemed an open group with Croatia, Bulgaria and possibly even Hungary ? with Lothar Matthaus now at the helm ? in contention for a qualifying berth. However, two teams quickly asserted their dominanc – and not necessarily in the expected order. Their reputation may have been tarnished somewhat by a disappointing showing at EURO 2004 but under new coach Zlatko Kranjcar, the Croatians were revitalised. A 3-0 win at home to Hungary followed by a 1-0 victory in Sweden provided the perfect start for Kranjcar as he looked to lead the Balkan team to their third FIFA World Cup in a row. Unbeaten throughout, Croatia crowned their superb qualifying competition by securing a 1-0 home victory over Sweden in the group ‘final’ on 8 October. This defeat was Sweden’s only reverse on their travels and ultimately cost them top spot in the group.

Man Utd’s Ronaldo will not face rape charge – Nov 25, 2005
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has said the allegationinvolving the United player was the ‘product of imagination andfantasy’. Ronaldo, 20, has been a big hit at United since signing fromSporting Lisbon in August 2003, when he was saddled with thetask of replacing England captain David Beckham at Old Trafford. He helped hosts Portugal reach the final of Euro 2004,scoring in the semi-final victory over the Netherlands, and wasone of Portugal’s most consistent performers throughout theirsuccessful bid to reach the 2006 World Cup. Earlier this month, the winger agreed a two-year contractextension with United that will keep him at Old Trafford until2010. Your views on this story?.

WORLD CUP 2006: Italy and England come out on top – Nov 25, 2005
Italy went a goal down within a minute of their bid to reach Germany 2006 as John Carew put Norway ahead in Palermo, but Daniele de Rossi quickly restored parity and Luca Toni hit a late winner to hand the Azzurri a 2-1 victory. Italian coach Marcello Lippi – who replaced Giovanni Trapattoni post-UEFA EURO 2004 – did not have the easiest of times at the outset and after winning 1-0 in Moldova, Italy slumped to defeat by the same scoreline in Slovenia courtesy of Bostjan Cesar’s late goal. Four days later, Belarus gave Lippi’s men a scare in Parma as they pushed their hosts all the way before eventually capitulating 4-3. Belarus had recently beaten Moldova 4-0, but following that they gained just one more victory and their threat to the favourites vanished. Instead it was Norway who emerged as Italy’s main rivals from the chasing pack and, after his early goal against Italy, striker Carew repeated the trick to set up home and away wins over Slovenia. Norway went on a six-match unbeaten run ? including a 0-0 home draw with Italy ? until Kenny Miller’s double strike gave Scotland a 2-1 victory in Oslo in September.

Weavers of footballing dreams set Paris abuzz – Nov 30, 2005
Some of them, stretching 50 metres, hang from the Stade de France, where Europe’s maestros hope to contest the Champions League final come May. The salute to skill is well-timed. When the expertly-drilled foot-soldiers of Greece ambushed Euro 2004, coaches across the Continent nodded sagely and said that was the way ahead, all power to the collective, to 4-5-1, set-plays, nicked goals, narrow wins and damn the purists. Greece seized the trophy, but not the imagination. Those of us who lamented Greece’s triumph over individual talents like Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo take comfort from the plethora of adept ball-users in the voting for European Footballer of the Year. Along with Ronaldinho, two dynamic Englishmen, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, complete the top three. Such stadium-fillers as Henry, Andrei Shevchenko, Adriano, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kaka and Samuel Eto’o also spice the top ten… Along with Ronaldinho, two dynamic Englishmen, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, complete the top three. Such stadium-fillers as Henry, Andrei Shevchenko, Adriano, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kaka and Samuel Eto’o also spice the top ten. Not for the first time, an expressionist movement was being hailed in Paris. Sitting in the front row, as the Brazilian received his prize, were such legends as Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, Alfredo di Stefano, Zinedine Zidane and Eusebio. In a moving tribute, these luminaries quietly mourned the passing of Best, the 1968 European Footballer of the Year, whose career at Manchester United has been debated at length in the press here.

Smith’s return trip to Leeds ruled out – Dec 3, 2005
David Share, the committee chairman, said: “If we want to put the game on we have to do it with the co-operation of the police and we have been in discussions with regard to match-day security. “Alan Smith would love to play but it would not be prudent so soon after him moving from Leeds. Smith is very disappointed and I would imagine the vast majority of Leeds supporters are disappointed too. “We are only dealing with a small minority, but it is the decision that has been taken. ” Chairman of the Leeds supporters’ club Ray Fell said: “I regret that decisions like this have to be taken but I can understand why. ”Kovac eyeing up move to JuventusCroatia defender Robert Kovac is unwilling to take a 30 per cent pay cut to stay at Bayern Munich, paving the way for a Bosman transfer to Juventus at the end of the season… “At this stage I think I am number 101 choice,” said Ricksen who travels with Rangers to Dundee today. “I can only do my best. ”Ricksen once claimed Rangers manager Alex McLeish’s decision to play him in midfield instead of right-back cost him a Euro 2004 place. But that is now his preferred position.

Rooney not getting carried away – Nov 26, 2005
‘I think after the Northern Ireland game the squad stuck together. We took alot of criticism from everyone, and I think we’ve proved ourselves since. ‘It will be Rooney’s first World Cup but after his Euro 2004 exploits, where hescored four goals, the striker will be a marked man in Germany. His first World Cup memories centre on the 1998 finals, where a rookie MichaelOwen arrived in France as England’s secret weapon. Rooney was just four when Sir Bobby Robson’s team reached the 1990semi-finals, and although he watched some of the 1994 tournament, it was morethe following World Cup he paid close attention to. ‘It was Michael’s first World Cup when he got in the team, and he did well. He was a young lad, 18 I think.

UEFA: Deco drops by – Nov 26, 2005
With the club it is more a professional thing. If you are happy there, it is even better. If not, it is life? with Portugal it is more a pleasure thing. You play because you really want it, because you like it and feel well. xiejun0713: Hi,Deco! What do you think about George Best?
Deco: I saw images, but I have never seen him playing a full match. I know he was one of the biggest and the world of football is sad today. masterberry: the best goal that you have ever scored is?
Deco: I scored some nice goals when I played for Porto… I played since I was 9 until I was 16 and I had to stop to go on with my football career. It helps me a lot for speed and dribbling. Moderator: The day after playing in the EURO 2004? final, he signed a four-year deal at Barcelona, going on to enjoy a debut season. He missed just three league games and contributed six goals on the way to the league title before signing a two-year contract extension that takes him to June 2010. Paulo: Do you think that Portugal have a chance to win the world cup? And who are you favourites for the tournament?
Deco: The big favourite is Brazil, without a doubt. If you consider history and tradition, you can?t say Portugal in one of the contenders. But if you take football in consideration, the way we are playing, I think we have a chance.

English World Cup football thugs may face British courts – Nov 26, 2005
The move would require a change in the law, and has been criticised by civil rights campaigners. Currently, British courts have jurisdiction over crimes committed abroad only in the most serious of cases, such as genocide and murder. There are fears that, by including public order offences, the door could be opened to the admission of evidence from states using methods not tolerated by courts here. The Home Office, however, is understood to believe that a change is needed because many countries merely deport the hooligans they arrest. The result leaves British courts unable to take any action apart from imposing a ban on their attending future matches under the Football Spectators Act. The Government wants to prevent embarrassing incidents such as that involving the Kent fireman, Garry Mann. The 48-year-old escaped a banning order in Britain despite being convicted by a Portuguese court of inciting a riot during Euro 2004… The result leaves British courts unable to take any action apart from imposing a ban on their attending future matches under the Football Spectators Act. The Government wants to prevent embarrassing incidents such as that involving the Kent fireman, Garry Mann. The 48-year-old escaped a banning order in Britain despite being convicted by a Portuguese court of inciting a riot during Euro 2004. But Mann escaped serving any prison time in Britain and, earlier this year, his lawyers successfully defeated an attempt to bar him from matches on the grounds that his trial had been unfair. Yesterday, Stephen Jakobi, of the campaigning group Fair Trials Abroad, branded the proposal “ridiculous”, saying it was designed merely to make ministers appear tough on hooliganism.

Magazine – Nov 25, 2005
Sarajevo’s Koševo Stadion has been rebuilt and staged the goalless draw with Serbia and Montenegro at the start of the recent qualifying campaign. A 1-0 defeat against Serbia and Montenegro meant disappointment this time, but could not diminish the achievements of the past decade. “My players and I are really sorry not to have qualified, but we made significant progress, finishing third in a group with Spain, Serbia and Montenegro and Belgium,” Slišković said. “We achieved another goal, getting younger players into our team.

WORLD CUP 2006: Eagle of the Azores hopes to rule roost in Germany – Nov 28, 2005
news – WORLD CUP 2006: Eagle of the Azores hopes to rule roost in Germany. A native of the Azores archipelago ? whose emblem is an eagle – the predatory striker celebrates his numerous goals by stretching out his arms and soaring over the scene of his exploits. A native of the Azores archipelago ? whose emblem is an eagle – the predatory striker celebrates his numerous goals by stretching out his arms and soaring over the scene of his exploits… This is a striker who talks, harries and rallies his team-mates, constantly looking to lead by example. He calls on seemingly endless resources to press the opposition high up the field and embark on energy-sapping forays into defensive holes as soon as his colleagues recover possession of the ball. But first and foremost he is a winner – someone who is desperate to eradicate the memory of a disappointing UEFA EURO 2004 where he failed to register a single goal. For Germany 2006, he has made his intentions quite clear. “We must reach the quarter-finals at the very least. We are determined to prove that we’re one of the eight best teams in the world. However, before we start thinking about that, we need to concentrate on the first match, as that will be the key to whether we have a good or bad tournament.

Battling United still in hunt – Dec 1, 2005
All draws are equal but some are more equal than others. They will fancy their chances in the second leg, although Chelsea will have Arjen Robben back from suspension. Chelsea lacked their usual penetration. United’s goalkeeper, Tim Howard, was rarely troubled by Jose Mourinho’s hosts, whose attacking set-pieces were disappointing by the usual high standard of Frank Lampard, John Terry and company. Lampard went close with a shot but most of Chelsea’s exciting moments were conjured up by Joe Cole, who departed to a warm ovation and was deservedly man of the match… Rooney, back from suspension, was slowly finding his stride, soon lifting over a corner that the unmarked Saha headed wide. It was a bad waste of a prime situation, and a surprising opportunity given Chelsea’s usual organization at set-pieces. Rooney was far from the devastating mover of Euro 2004 but he still created problems for the best defence in the land. Seizing on a hurried Terry clearance, Rooney shot wide, then fired into the top tier of the Matthew Harding Stand before ending the half with a flash of magic. When Darren Fletcher crossed from the right, Rooney’s reactions were pin-sharp, the striker twisting his neck to meet the ball with a powerful header. It appeared to be arrowing inexorably for the back of Carlo Cudicini’s net, much to the delight of the vocal United contingent behind the goal. Somehow, the athletic Cudicini managed to throw himself across and claw the ball away.

Greek FA backs radical overhaul – Nov 29, 2005
‘The Greek FA has expressed its support for this proposal,’a senior FA source told Reuters after a four-hour board meetingon Tuesday. ‘The FA chairman will visit the sports minister tomorrowwith the club presidents to discuss this plan. ‘Greek soccer is again in turmoil this season, with lowattendances and crowd trouble persisting despite the surpriseEuro 2004 triumph in Portugal. Champions Olympiakos played their five first home gamesbehind closed doors as a punishment for fan trouble last season. Last weekend, AEK Athens supporters wreaked havoc in a matchwith lowly Levadiakos in the town of Livadia, attacking policeand causing a 20-minute delay in play during the first half. XANTHI PLANThe new plan, submitted last month by northern side Xanthi,features bonuses for clubs staying in the first division, forpromoted teams and for good referees. It also sets quality standards for stadiums and allows clubsto negotiate TV rights individually or jointly… The plan includes handing over control of the league to paidmanagers instead of a board of club presidents (EPAE), who oftencut meetings short due to bitter disputes and even fist fights. World soccer’s governing body FIFA will be watchingdevelopments with interest after criticising the Greekgovernment for interfering with the running of the FA. But the creation of a Super League is not directly linked toFIFA’s concerns about Greek soccer. Sports Minister George Orfanos, who will have the final say,openly supports the plan although others believe it is doomed tofail. ‘This plan is not feasable especially with teams that arefinancially troubled. It makes big teams even stronger and morepowerful and smaller teams much weaker,’ EPAE deputy chairmanVictor Mitropoulos, one of the most vocal critics, told Reutersrecently. Your views on this story?.

Rooney’s World vision
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Nov 27, 2005
“We’ve got three more friendlies, we’ve got to try to do well and work on the team and then hopefully at the World Cup we can get the results we need. ” The squad was pilloried after defeat by Northern Ireland on September 7, but since then Sven-Göran Eriksson’s side have shown a marked improvement. The World Cup qualifying wins over Austria and Poland at Old Trafford were solid, if not spectacular, but the dramatic win against Argentina in Geneva showed England can compete with the best. Rooney feels the embarrassment in Belfast was a turning point. “We knew it was going to be a battle against Northern Ireland, and we came out of it beaten,” he said. “Fortunately we had two games to put it right. We were all delighted to finish top of the group… He hopes to have the same impact as his current England teammate Michael Owen did in 1998, the first global tournament he paid serious attention to. “He did brilliantly and has carried on since,” said Rooney, who has formed an established strike partnership with the Newcastle United forward. “I think Michael likes to play on the shoulder and I like to drop off and I think that works well. “I think we’ve started to link up well now.

Happy to be blue
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Nov 27, 2005
Used on article pages to rotate the images of a story. The first time Andy van der Meyde made British headlines, though, was when he collapsed during a live television interview prior to the second leg of Holland’s Euro 2004 playoff versus Scotland. The episode was potentially worrying — Van der Meyde’s blackout was found to be down to low blood pressure and he required medical treatment after striking his head as he fell on a loudspeaker — yet it is typical that he now plays it for laughs. “I hadn’t eaten enough salt and I can’t stand the heat. They had a big lamp over my head and the interviewer kept talking and talking. I hoped he’d notice I was starting to look dizzy but he kept going, so I went down.

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