Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Five defining moments from a decade of sport


As the decade draws to a close, we pick five sporting moments which have defined the last 10 years.

1. Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic flame at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, a Games set in a country which embraces the outdoor life and punches well above its weight in most sports.

Aboriginal Freeman, who had suffered racial prejudice as a child, symbolised the optimism of a new start in a new century for a bustling immigrant nation. She went on to surmount suffocating pressure by winning the 400 metres gold, Australia’s only track gold.

2. A tattered U.S. flag, rescued from the rubble of the World Trade Centre which had been destroyed in the attacks on the United States in the previous year, was carried into the stadium during the opening ceremony for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

World Cup will survive without Messi and Ronaldo

"Ronaldo and Messi could miss the World Cup!" screamed the headlines after Portugal drew 1-1 in Denmark and Argentina were humiliated 3-1 at home to Brazil.

It sounds awful, doesn't it? How will we ever manage without Cristiano and Leo, two of the poster boys for the elite, Masters of the Universe level of footballer we've come to know and love?

Where Bolt stands in my personal greatest hits


Having been privileged to be sitting a few metres from the finishing line as Usain Bolt shattered his own 100 and 200m world records in Berlin – and having also witnessed his double in Beijing, I got to wondering where those performances ranked in my personal bag of live events.

So, here is my list of contenders, followed by my podium. I’ve included only events I have attended in a professional capacity as a sports reporter as memories of some others I’ve enjoyed as a “punter” might be clouded by beer.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Now it’s official — Kaka signs for Real Madrid

They took their time getting there but Kaka is now officially a Real Madrid player.

The Spanish club and AC Milan issued statements at 0030 local time with the player due to hold a news conference in Brazil, where he is on international duty.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

The Real Madrid Presidential Candidacy ‘Promisometer’

The campaign to be the next president of Real Madrid Football Club has finally kicked into gear with the claim from the little known Eduardo Garcia that, if elected on June 14, he will bring with him the Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.

Promising big-name signings has long been an easy way for candidates to drum up support for the presidency at Real and Barcelona, the two member-owned Spanish clubs, but ever since Florentino Perez came from nowhere to take the 2000 election what was once an entertaining sideshow has become the key battleground.

Quiet day for April Fools


I’ve been scouting around for some sporting April Fools but I’ve not spotted many good ones.

Maybe some websites and blogs have held off on the jokes given the state of the world economy is no laughing matter.