Sunday, December 25, 2005

Top 10 coolest football people pf 2005

I have before made a top 10 of coolest football personalities of the year. This category is about people, or groups of people, whom I have found have brought positive attention upon themselves in the World of football:
  • 10) Gambia fans: I have to include these on the list due to the stupid stunt the made during the U-17 World Cup in Peru in September: they pretended to have engine problems in a plane, in order to catch a match with their national team. It was stupid, but worthy of a high degree of football fanaticism.
  • 9) Liverpool fans: They were great, and deserved the victory they were given this year with their Champions League triumph.
  • 8) Real Madrid fans: A lot of people will be smiling, knowing my antipathy towards Real Madrid. However, I feel the fans of this team deserve to be on the list due to the display of fairness they showed when Real Madrid lost 3-0 to Barcelona at home in November. The fans simply clapped of Barcelona, in admiration of the amazing football display they had been witness to. Not many fans in the world would do that.
  • 7) Roman Abramovich: The billionaire owner of Chelsea belongs here, because he is a huge football fan. He has done what I would do if I was a billionaire: buy a team, get some great players, the best coach, and try to win everything!
  • 6) Diego Maradona: I have long admired Maradona. He is the main reason I started watching football as I was a child in Argentina. Therefore, I was always sad to see how he was going down the drain. But this year it seems Mr. Maradonahas gotten his act together: he hosts a popular TV show and seems fit. This is probably the greatest battle he will ever win!
  • 5) Rafa Benitez: The Liverpool coach had made Valencia UEFA and domestic champions in 2004. That was apparently not enough for Valencia's leadership to make him stay. But Mr. Benitez took the offer from Liverpool, and in 2005 they have been one of the best teams of the year, notably with their Champions League triumph in Istambul.
  • 4) Jose Mourinho: Mr. Mourinho is arrogant indeed. But he is has a reason to be: he is an amazing coach. At the same time, by his sheer personality, he is taking all the burden off his players, and carrying it all himself. In a world of football, where stars shine shortly, this is very risky, and you have to be a strong personality to do it.
  • 3) Adrian Mutu: The former Chelsea striker almost ruined his career because of cocaine. I have no doubt he has had to fight his way back to the pitch, but he is indeed back on a strong Juventus side.
  • 2) Manchester Fans: My experience with Manchester United fans is very positive, and I have always admired them. This year, they faced the takeover of their team by the media-magnate Mr. Malcolm Glazer. They rightly fear that Mr. Glazer will turn the clud into a money machine, in place of the symbol of the city it is. Although in the end, Mr. Glazer has managed to take over the club, the fans feeble attempts at hindering the takeover were an admirable feat of the fans against the money. At least somebody is trying to show that football belongs to the fans, although this might be a dream long gone...
  • 1) Rene Temmink: Racism in football continues to be a disgrace. All over the pitches of Europe, racism thrives, as a rotten sympton of sick societies. Although UEFA has made feeble attempts at solving the problem, it just seems to grow. Therefore, it was admirable when a Dutch referee, Mr. Temmink stepped in and stopped a match because of the racist chants by the fans. It is seldom a referee shows such character, and Mr. Temmink is a friend of football, and a decent human being. There seem to be too few of both around in the world these days...
This is my list. I was close to being very arrogant and nominating myself. As usual, I have identified everything with football this year: I ditched a cocktail with a Danish Minister for a football game, and I remember my fight with malaria because of a football game. Although I think people consider me a decent guy, I have concluded that football for me has moved beyond passion, and become an addiction...

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