Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Firstly, the owner of Chelsea Mr. Roman Abramovich. I do not know anything of his background - just that he is a Russia oil billionaire, with whatever that entails. What I do know however, is that Mr. Abramovich is a football fanatic of first class. I firmly believe that any football fanatic who had as much money as Mr. Abramovich, would spend them on buying a football team. Certainly I would... - and I would also spend millions and millions on getting the best coaches and players. In the end, I would be sitting on the stands, looking at my team win every week. What a dream!
Secondly, Manchester United fans. I have long admired them, as my experience with them is that you can have a few friendly pints of beer and talk about football with them, even when they are playing my team (something that seems utterly impossible for Arsenal fans to do). Recently, in spite of their futile efforts, they have resisted the takeover of their beloved club by American millionaire Mr. Malcolm Glazer. He is certainly not a football fanatic like Mr. Abramovich. While I am not completely aware of the football implications of this takeover, my instinctive scepticism of big business taking over the dominion of common man, makes me support the Manchester United fans who will suffer the pain of increased ticket prices, as well as a team that will become part of a global business empire. Money rules almost everything, but certainly not the hearts of football fans. Manchester United fans have become a living proof of this.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
These days seem to be abounding with encounters between these two nations. On the day before the Confederations Cup final, Brazil and Argentina will also face each other in the semifinal of the FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. Thus, these teams are showing that while their senior players are among the best in the world, the youngsters are ready to continue their dominance.
The other semifinal in the Youth World Championship is between Nigeria and Morocco. Nigeria defeated hosts the Netherlands, while Morocco upset the Italians for their spots in the semifinals. This also shows the great talent coming from Africa these days. No matter who we will see in the final, it promises to be a great South American-African Youth clash!
Monday, June 20, 2005
Sunday, June 19, 2005
The game was also a farewell to two of FC Copenhagen's most popular players, the South African Sibusiso Zuma and Todi Johnson from the Faroe Islands. However, the game was also a farewell to a much more interesting football character: linesman Mr. Jens Larsen.
Mr. Larsen has for many years entertained and frustrated countless Danish football fans with his awkward interpretation of the off side rule. Mr. Larsen became renowned in the 2002 World Cup, where he kept waving for nonexistent off-sides against a frustrated Italian side. On Danish TV, the commentators could not understand how a linesman from such a "great" league as the Danish one, could commit such mistakes.
The off-side rule is bound to become more predictable next season in Danish football.
Ghana is now leading Group 2 in the African World Cup qualifiers. They have two games left, against Congo and Cape Verde. I do hope to be celebrating with the rest of Ghana very soon!
Thursday, June 16, 2005
While I hope that other teams will start showing what they are able to do, Brazil is so far the only one worth wasting my vacation on!
I started it all during the Euro 2004 in Portugal. My first comment was on Denmark's disappointing 0-0 with Italy.
On that same day, after I had made my posting, I watched the later champions of Greece tie 1-1 with Denmark, and Portugal defeat Russia 2-0.
I really love blogging. I will continue doing it, and I hope whoever reads these humble words will as well. I'll buy you a beer! Cheers!
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
The World Youth Championship (U-20) is presently being played in the Netherlands. This kind of tournament always gives a good insight to some of the football stars of the future. This year seems no exception, and we are both seeing some of the old teams performing well as well as witnessing some surprises:
- In Group A the hosts Netherlands are looking a strong contender for the title, having won their first two matches.
- In Group B China is showing that the future of Chinese football is coming with storm, having won their first two matches against Turkey and Ukraine, and only having Panama left to play.
- In Group C Spain is trashing all, with a score of 10-1 after two only matches.
- Group D is very exciting, with three very strong teams. Germany is ahead with 4 points, equal to the USA, having played excellently with their 16-year old Eric Adu, who is already playing his second World Cup. Argentina is just behind on the 3rd spot.
- Colombia is leading Group E, having won their first two matches. More surprising is that Italy is last, having lost their last match to Syria, who is trailing Colombia on 2nd spot.
- Brazil leads Group F, although closely followed by Korea and Switzerland.
The tournament will surely have some more exciting matches!
Monday, June 13, 2005
The FIFA Confederations Cup 2005 is starting this Wednesday June 15th. The tournament does not carry the prestige of other tournaments, but still is a good opportunity to see some of the world's best national teams in a competitive context in a year when there are few other international tournaments.
The tournament started in
This year's Confederations Cup is taking place in
Argentina, Australia, Germany, Tunisia
Brazil, Greece, Japan, Mexico
The Greek European champions are making their first appearance.
In any case, for some good football next week, the Confederations cup is a good bet.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
I am back in Denmark, and as I had hoped, in perfect timing to celebrate Brøndby taking "the double". Last night Brøndby were playing at home to Herfølge. With a victory, they would secure the Danish league title, three rounds before the season ended. Michael Laudrup's team left no doubt: Herfølge was dispatched with 7-0.
This was certainly the most amazing way to win the 10th title since 1985 (the last one was in 2002), as well as the double. This is the first coach- championship for Michael Laudrup. He is true to his football style of attacking football, and has made marvels with the Brøndby youngsters. I just hope they will be able to keep him in the team at least one more season.
Skål for Brøndby!
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Ghanaians were understandably extremely angry, but the referee from Lesotho accepted the goal. And Gambia are U-17 champions of Africa. What do the rules say about these things!?
These are not exactly the things African football should be known about. At the same time, it is sad that Gambia, an otherwise very talented young team, have won the title in such a disgraceful way. I hope they are ashamed.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Firstly, I must join the choir of praise for the Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan. What a match! I guess I am not the only one that could never have imagined that AC Milan would throw away a 3-0 lead in a final. At the same time, Liverpool showed the same spirit and perseverance with which they defeated Olympiakos earlier in the season. Liverpool showed again, that football is about showing team spirit, fighting, and not about what players are on your team. They are true Champions.
An anecdote: I watched the game in a hotel room in the town of Wa, in the Upper West region of Ghana. After being thrilled for two hours, as the penalty kicks were about to begin, lights went out... I almost destroyed the room! I only got to know the result through the phone...
In the UEFA Cup there was also a surprising winner, as CSKA Moscow were the first Russian team to win a European title. This happened with their surprising 3-1 victory in Lisbon, against Sporting Lisbon.
Many of the leagues in Europe have ended. In Spain, the enthralling Barcelona team finally won the championship, their first since 1999. Real Madrid's stars went into the second season in a row without a single title. Personally, I was sad that Valencia did terrible, not even qualifying for the UEFA cup. A terrible season, which showed how wrongly it was to let Champion coach Rafa Benitez leave for Liverpool, and change him for the negative Mr. Ranieri.
Bayern Munich and Juventus have won the leagues in Germany and Italy respectively, while Olympique Lyon continues to awe in the French league. This fall, they will all be strong contenders for the Champions League title.
In England Chelsea won the league for the first time since 1955. The investments of number one football-fanatic Mr. Abramovich have finally started to pay off. At the same time, Arsenal and Manchester United were left to fight for the leftovers in the FA Cup final. I found it a very disappointing match, with only Manchester really trying to play football, while Arsenal undeservedly winning after penalty kicks. The most annoying about this, was that I was surrounded by annoying Arsenal fans as I watched it.
There is now coming a period of almost 2 months with very little football. Hard times...