Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
The deft chip on the run with which Fernando Torres beat Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann to seal Spain’s 1-0 victory in the final of Euro 2008 gave the success-starved Iberian nation their first major trophy in 44 years.
The best was yet to come of course, Andres Iniesta’s dramatic stoppage-time winner in Johannesburg last year securing a first World Cup triumph.
Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar commissioned an artist to capture those two landmark goals and three others and the five paintings were presented at a gala ceremony on Thursday at the RFEF’s training facility outside Madrid, with Torres, Iniesta and their team mates present.
The first day of the fourth month means April fools day, so we would really love to hear from you if there are any dubious stories doing the rounds.
As the weekend approaches we can all start getting excited about domestic football again and the increase in stories and transfer speculation.
So Fabio Capello’s masterstroke in revitalising Wayne Rooney and turning England from World Cup no-hopers to instant Euro 2012 favourites was….to tell the Manchester United striker to hang back a bit.
That sage advice, if most of the English press is to be believed, transformed England’s formation from a prehistoric 4-4-2 to the liquid 4-5-1 that all the modern young bucks were using in South Africa.
A glance at the stats shows Miroslav Klose has one more chance to equal or better the all-time record for World Cup goals when Germany play the third-place game against Uruguay but the truth is he has a strong claim to be joint top-scorer already.
According to FIFA, the record holder, out on his own, is the Brazilian striker Ronaldo, with 15 goals.
2010 is almost over – the 2010 Soccer World Cup, that is. In South Africa, we simply referred to the greatest sporting event to hit our shores as 2010. For years since it was first announced that South Africa would organise the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the country has been collectively, and sometimes not, looking forward to the day when the world would see what the rainbow nation is about.
The task ahead was difficult because South Africa had to build from scratch and also improve existing structures. The threat of the “Plan B” was often bandied about at will when it seemed as though we were not living up to our promises.
When Uruguay’s Luis Suarez handled the ball in the final seconds of extra-time in the World Cup quarter-final against Ghana, the ball was heading across the line for a dramatic winning goal.
The officials did well to spot the offence in a crowded area at the end of what must have been a tiring encounter to be in charge of. But did the punishment of a penalty and a red card for Suarez really fit the crime?
England coach Fabio Capello would do well to take a transcript copy of Germany coach Joachim Loew’s post-match press conference – because in it he would find all the simple reasons why his side were trounced 4-1 and sent packing from the World Cup on Sunday.
In it, Loew rather clinically explained to the international press sat before him that his side were instructed to target John Terry, pull him out of position and pretty much walk into the huge gaps created in England’s snail-paced central rearguard.
If you thought Italy were awful at this World Cup it could get even worse in future tournaments.
The slow, unimaginative holders were embarrassed 3-2 by Slovakia on Thursday to crash out in the group stage and retiring captain Fabio Cannavaro reckons the country is just not producing top players anymore.