November 8, 2009 |
Having spent a few days watching four-legged creatures running around ovals -- think Breeders' Cup -- it's time to return to two-legged ones running around in circles. In other words, from horse-racing back to soccer, where brush fires of controversy have flared in all sorts of improbable places. What follows, then, is a brief tour-de-farce, a look at some of the outrageous and ill-advised things being said and done here, there and, seemingly, everywhere. Just to tie the two sports together -- racing and soccer, that is -- we begin with Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the subject of a lovely bit of blog writing in England's Guardian while at the same time being at the center of a continuing tug-of-war between Portugal and Real Madrid over his ankle injury and availability for the upcoming World Cup playoff series.
June 12, 2009 |
The hair-gel industry in northwest England suffered a catastrophic blow Thursday in a world-record sports transaction after which the soccer marvel Cristiano Ronaldo seemed Spain-bound. When Manchester United, the colossal English club, reaped $131 million for the negotiation rights for Ronaldo from Real Madrid, the colossal Spanish club, immediate sympathy had to veer toward those in Greater Manchester who make, distribute and sell refined goo.
June 29, 2010 |
He is a fraud, an impostor, a sheep in wolf's clothing. We are talking about the player who wore the No. 7 shirt for Portugal on Tuesday night. The man who is the most expensive soccer player ever. We are talking about Cristiano Ronaldo. We are talking about why the Portuguese are not going to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, whereas the Spanish are. We are talking about why a man who earns tens of millions of dollars to run around a field and kick a ball couldn't be bothered to do either in the most important game his country has played in years.
April 28, 2012 |
It was like Michael Jordan missing a game-winning free throw or LeBron James bouncing a dunk off the rim. It was Justin Verlander losing a World Series game on a wild pitch or Eli Manning blowing the Super Bowl with an interception in the end zone. It's rare that the biggest and best players in any sport fail to deliver in the clutch — that, after all, is how they got to the be the biggest and best. But it happened on successive days in last week's UEFA Champions League semifinals, with both Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo missing penalty kicks that conceivably could have sent their teams to the final.
October 19, 2010 |
Jose Mourinho, never at a loss for words no matter which club he is coaching or what country he is in, had a few of them for one of his former players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, earlier this week. "A side that contains a player like Ibrahimovic is a special one," Mourinho said. "Every player who has played for me is always in my heart, and Ibra was a fundamental part of my team. " That was last season, however, when Ibrahimovic helped Mourinho's Inter Milan win the European Champions League.
June 28, 2009 |
Florentino Perez has turned what already promised to be an interesting summer in the transfer market into a chaotic free-for-all as the world's leading clubs squabble among themselves over the delicacies left behind on the table. By forking over $131 million for Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo and $94 million for Brazilian playmaker Kaka, Perez, the president of Real Madrid, has skewed everything. Suddenly, deals that looked likely to be made are on hold.
May 27, 2009 |
Not to overstate or anything, but one of the most glamorous sports matches in the history of the world will transpire today just down the continent in Rome. There, in the 72,000-seat Stadio Olimpico, they'll somehow take one soccer pitch and shoehorn onto it both Manchester United and Barcelona, two of the most glittering soccer clubs in any era, for a match of almost blinding star shine.
April 10, 2010
World Cup 2010: PORTUGAL FIFA ranking: 4 Overall World Cup record: 11-7-1 Coach: Carlos Queiroz Best performance: Third place, 1966 Overview: A semifinalist four years ago, Portugal comes into this summer's tournament as one of the favorites. And it will be tested in the first round since it is matched with Brazil and the Ivory Coast in group play. The key for Portugal, however, will be how Coach Carlos Queiroz deals with the loss of Jose Bosingwa and the possible absence of Pepe to knee injuries.
January 18, 2014 |
UCLA defensive coordinator Lou Spanos has been hired as the linebackers coach for the Tennessee Titans, the NFL team announced Saturday. Spanos spent the last two seasons at UCLA, where his solid defenses were led by aggressive linebackers such as Anthony Barr and Jordan Zumwalt. The Bruins had 14 sacks in 2011. They had 47 in 2012, Spano's first season, and 32 sacks last season. Before coming to UCLA, Spanos spent 17 seasons as an NFL assistant. UCLA Coach Jim Mora said he would not hire a new defensive coordinator until after college football signing day on Feb. 5. ALSO: Kobe Bryant creates stir when he visits college class Cristiano Ronaldo agrees to buy cars for training staff Dennis Rodman enters alcohol rehab facility, according to agent
March 22, 2012 |
David Beckham was soccer's second-best-paid player last year, making $41.5 million in combined salary and endorsements, according to the prestigious magazine France Football, which compiles an annual list of international soccer's top earners. Only Barcelona's incomparable Lionel Messi, at $43.5 million, made more than Beckham in 2011. Messi is a three-time winner of the FIFA Balon d'Or as the sport's best player. Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo ($38.5 million) and Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto'o ($30.7 million)