Frank Lampard said he never doubted Chelsea would win the penalty shootout against Bayern Munich in Saturday’s enthralling 2012 Champions League final, although they trailed in the spot kicks after Juan Mata’s early miss, while the hero of their astonishing victory Didier Drogba firmly believes it was Chelsea’s destiny to cover themselves in glory.
And rightly so one might add, having suffered an exact reverse four years ago on a rainy night in Moscow, which ended in agony for Chelsea after they were ahead in the penalty shootout against Manchester United only to see the elusive trophy snatched away by their Premier League rivals after John Terry’s barely believable miss.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbian football champions Partizan Belgrade have named the club’s former coach Vladimir Vermezovic as successor to Avram Grant who will step down at the end of the season despite winning the league title.
Vermezovic, a former Partizan defender who steered the club to the 2005 national title as coach, will take over next week after the champions play relegated Metalac Gornji Milanovac in Sunday’s season finale.
BELGRADE, May 18 (Reuters) – Serbian soccer champions
Partizan Belgrade have named the club’s former coach Vladimir
Vermezovic as successor to Avram Grant who will step down at the
end of the season despite winning the league title.
Vermezovic, a former Partizan defender who steered the club
to the 2005 national title as coach, will take over next week
after the champions play relegated Metalac Gornji Milanovac in
Sunday’s season finale.
BELGRADE, May 17 (Reuters) – Partizan coach Avram Grant will
step down at the end of the season despite winning the league
title with the Serbian club, the former Chelsea manager said on
Grant, who steered Chelsea to the 2008 Champions League
final before losing to Manchester United on penalties, declined
to specify the reasons for his decision.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Olympiakos Piraeus point guard Acie Law was heading into basketball obscurity halfway through the season but ended up winning Europe’s premier club competition with the Greek side.
The American, who played fringe roles for a myriad of NBA teams before joining Serbian champions Partizan Belgrade last July, shrugged off an ankle injury to help Olympiakos to a 62-61 win over CSKA Moscow in Sunday’s rip-roaring Euroleague final.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Europe’s premier club basketball competition can continue to thrive without luring NBA players across the Atlantic, Euroleague director Jordi Bertomeu said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the weekend’s Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul, Bertomeu pointed out that all teams taking part in the season-ending showpiece event had completed their rosters before the July-December NBA lockout.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A fiercely competitive and highly entertaining Euroleague season is headed for a fitting finale next weekend when Europe’s top four basketball teams lock horns for the title in Istanbul’s imposing Sinan Erdem Arena.
The continent’s premier club competition, featuring 24 teams, has produced a plethora of rip-roaring contests en route to the Final Four featuring holders Panathinaikos Athens, CSKA Moscow, Barcelona and Olympiakos Piraues.
BELGRADE, May 5 (Reuters) – Former European Cup winners Red
Star Belgrade beat champions and city rivals Partizan 1-0 after
substitute Cadu Mendes lit up a tepid derby with a superb
stoppage-time winner on Saturday.
The Brazilian forward unleashed a scorching shot from 20
metres into the bottom right corner to give Red Star their first
away league win over Partizan since 2007, but one which came
with only local pride and bragging rights at stake.
BELGRADE, May 3 (Reuters) – The Serbian FA (FSS) has called
Fiorentina’s sacked coach Delio Rossi a “disgrace to all
football professionals” for punching his own player Adem Ljajic
in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Novara.
“There is no excuse for Rossi’s reaction and it represents a
complete disgrace to everyone making a living from football,”
the FSS said on its website (www.fss.rs) on Thursday.
May 2 (Reuters) – Slaven Bilic has suffered many trials and
tribulations as Croatia coach, having gone close to reaching the
Euro 2008 semi-finals before a bumpy ride in the Euro 2012
qualifiers ended happily in the playoffs.
His roller-coaster experiences, however, can only have
intensified his resolve to steer the squad he has trained since
2006 into the knockout stages of this summer’s tournament.