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World Soccer views and news

Robben teaches Germans to love long johns

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Germans used to laugh at soccer players who wore long johns in the winter, belittling anyone who opted not to play in shorts as a light-weight. Germans even have a derogatory name for the thermal underwear: Liebestoeter  (passion killers).  SOCCER-GERMANY/

That was before Arjen Robben scored two goals and led Bayern Munich to three straight wins in his woolly grey long johns. They may make him look like a 19th century grampa getting ready to get into a cold bed. But they’re “hot pants” as far as Bayern are concerned.

And no one’s laughing anymore.  In fact all of Germany is talking about the unstoppable Dutchman who has made a fashion statement in the baggy underwear.

“I know they don’t look very good — even my wife tells me that they don’t look very good,” Robben was quoted telling Bild newspaper the other day after scoring a goal and setting up another in Bayern’s 3-0 win over Mainz last Saturday. “But they feel really good when I’ve got them on. They keep my muscles warm. The long johns belong to the club. At home I never wear anything like that.”

UEFA to call time on loss-making clubs

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MALTA/Half Europe’s leading professional clubs are losing money, according to UEFA, and the forthcoming Financial Fair Play initiative will be a concerted attempt to tackle the problem.

The new financial framework will mean that from the 2013-14 season, clubs must break even or face the threat of exclusion from European club competition.

Does Angola attack really endanger the World Cup or just Africa’s image?

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The bloody attack on Togo’s team bus in Angola is a huge tragedy for African football and like it or not, has cast a shadow over the World Cup in South Africa in five months time — the biggest sports event ever staged on the continent.

It is highly debatable whether the attack, which killed two members of the Togolese delegation as they arrived for the African Nations Cup and forced the squad’s evacuation on Sunday, really increases the risk to teams and spectators in South Africa.

from Photographers' Blog:

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…?

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Snow. Looks good on those Christmas cards, doesn’t it? Fun for small children. Even nice for penguins in the zoo. But photographers covering soccer? Brrrrrrrrrr. Not really.

Let’s get one thing straight. We Brits go on about the weather like a stuck record, but when it comes to it, we can’t cope with it. That’s why we live in Britain.

from FaithWorld:

Amid the prayers, some haj pilgrims talk football

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mecca-mosqueThe haj is supposed to be a spiritual highlight in a Muslim's life, but everyday issues can sometimes intrude. In between prayers and visits to various sites, pilgrims often discuss all kinds of current issues. Among Algerians and Egyptians on the haj here this year, the buzz is about the public row sparked by a soccer game to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. Algeria won that match 1-0. (Photo: Haj pilgrims at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, 24 Nov 2009/Caren Firouz)

The football rivalry has caused considerable bad blood between the two countries. Egypt has recalled its ambassador from Algiers after the play-off, accusing Algerian fans of post-match thuggery at the game's venue in Khartoum. Egypt had earlier complained when Algerian fans trashed the Algiers headquarters of Egypt-based Orascom Telecom's Djezzy mobile subsidiary. Before that, Algeria was irked after Egyptian fans pelted the Algerian team's bus with stones and some fans were hurt in scuffles on game-day in the first round of the qualifier in Cairo.

Why our predictions panel rates a less than perfect 10

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People can be divided into 10 types: those who understand binary and those who don’t.

I mention this only because a look down our scores for this week would reveal a great many ones and zeroes, and very few fives.

from DealZone:

Own goal?

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Standard Chartered bucks the trend of banks making a dash from sports sponsorship deals and will pay $130 million to put its name on Liverpool Football Club's shirts for four years from next summer. It is one of the most lucrative deals in soccer history.But AIG, Citi, RBS and Northern Rock offer a stark reminder that big sports deals can be high-profile signals of waste. AIG sponsored Manchester United and RBS and ING pumped millions into Formula One, and Northern Rock was better known to millions as the sponsor of Newcastle F.C. than as a mortgage bank -- until its collapse.Citi raised anger after sticking with a controversial $400 million deal with baseball team the New York Mets. All those banks needed taxpayer rescue funds.Critics say big sports deals can reflect poor corporate governance and misguided priorities. Advisory firm Advisor Perspectives this year said a study of 69 U.S. sports "naming rights" deals showed the performance of the companies buying the rights trailed the S&P 500 index by almost 5 percent over the course of the deal.But it could be a good fit for StanChart, which gets 80 percent of its profits in Asia. Liverpool is a big, iconic name in Asia and English Premier League games are screened into millions of homes each week. The prize for the bank is not the domestic or European fields where Liverpool has enjoyed regular success, but the potential customers in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and across the region.At least there can be few complaints the bank's board is following its heart. Former chairman and CEO Mervyn Davies was a staunch Spurs supporter, current CEO Peter Sands is an avid Arsenal fan and Finance Director Richard Meddings may have struggled to find a global reach with a deal with his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers.

from The Great Debate UK:

What’s a goal (or five) worth?

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simon_chadwick-Professor Simon Chadwick, Director, Centre for the International Business of Sport, Coventry, UK. The opinions expressed are his own. -

There is a famous song, composed in the run-up to UEFA Euro 96, in which the Lightening Seeds, Frank Skinner and David Baddiel refer to England’s 30 years of hurt (the period at the time since England won its one and only World Cup).

Back to the real world: league predictions

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Now we’ve got that pesky international interlude behind us (it’ll all end in tears, you know it will) we can get back to the serious business of predicting the scores in the Premier League.

Remember how it works: We, at Reuters Soccer Blog, publish our individual predictions for the weekend Premier League matches here on a Friday. You, laughing snidely at our pathetic efforts, send in yours in the comments section below the post.

Predicting the score… you make us look good!

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Are you a flip-flopper? A U-turner? A volte-facer? Are you the Brett Favre of football fans? If so, you’re in good company, though it’s not doing you much good in our predictions league.

Liverpool lost at Spurs and suddenly there were doubts about the strength of the squad, derision at the decision to sell Xabi Alonso and a general feeling the Reds were in decline. They then beat Stoke 4-0 and it was “madness to write them off“. Last night, they lost again, 3-1 at home to Aston Villa, and Sky Sports News have been asking if their title challenge is over… And it’s still only August 25! Phew!

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