Monday, December 24, 2007

100 football things

Since this is, I believe, my posting number 300 on this football-blog of mine, and well, because it is Christmas, I have decided to celebrate it with 100 random football things I come up with:

  1. Maradona is the best footballer ever. He is the reason I started to watch and love football. There never was and never will be anyone like him.
  2. Maradona´s best goal was the one with the hand against England in 1986. The second goal in the match is the second best goal ever.
  3. The first football match I attended was between Ikast FS and AGF, in the Danish first division, in 1986. AGF won 0-1.
  4. I have no count on the number of games I went to in Ikast and Silkeborg for a couple of years.
  5. Ikast FS doesn´t exist any more as a top team; it was merged with nearby Herning to create the team with the most unpronounceable name ever, FC Midtjylland.
  6. When studying nearby in Birkerød, I went to many games in Lyngby.
  7. Lyngby was later relegated to one of the lowest leagues because of financial trouble.
  8. I once fractured a bone in the foot playing football.
  9. Brazil-France, in the quarterfinal of the 1986 world championship is the game I mostly remember as the best I have ever seen.
  10. Two of my happiest football moments were: (1) 1986 when Argentina became world champion and (2) 1992 when Denmark became European Champion.
  11. In 1992, I was returning from the US, when I was told Denmark was in the semifinal of the European Championships. I thought they were kidding me.
  12. I have cried because of football: Argentina-Cameroon 1990, Denmark-Spain 1986 and 1993, Valencia-Bayern Munich 2001...
  13. Bayern Munich fans are probably the ones I have felt most sorry for when seeing them cry at their Champions league defeat to Manchester United in 1999.
  14. Eduardo Galeano´s "Fútbol a Sol y Sombra" is my favourite football book.
  15. I think it is unforgiveable that they made an American version of Nick Hornby´s "Fever Pitch", where it was baseball instead of football.
  16. It is called football and not soccer.
  17. I had an out-of-body experience in 1998, at Parken in Copenhagen, when Alan Ravn scored a winner for Brøndby IF against Bayern Munich in the first round of the Champions League.
  18. I fell in love with Valencia CF when studying there a semester in 2000.
  19. I once attended a friendly match in Accra, Ghana, between Ghana and Nigeria, where they forgot to play the national anthems at the start of the match, and therefore had to play them in halftime.
  20. I don't think hooliganism is acceptable, but I more than understand the passion.
  21. In the US, I once attended an indoor football (soccer...) match, and it must have been one of the most boring things I have ever seen.
  22. I don´t like the Italian catenaccio style. It annoys me.
  23. I love Italy and its people, except in football.
  24. There is nothing like a friendly football taunt among friends. Careful with the grey areas though! Only real football fans know when to stop!
  25. I am definetly not Bilardista, but Menotista.
  26. What annoys me even more are Norwegian football commentators.
  27. I know much more about football than most people.
  28. I don't like Real Madrid, but as a fan, I have deep respect for their victories and amazing players.
  29. Danish FC Copenhagen is the most overrated team in the world (overrated by themselves!)
  30. Brøndby fans are the best Danish fans, but Lyngby's are the coolest.
  31. Lyngby stadium is not a real stadium, but they serve the best sausages in Scandinavia.
  32. When I was a kid, I was selected to shoot penalties against Danish goallie Mogens Krogh, but I didn´t hear they called me in the speakers, because I was eating a sausage.
  33. The highest I ever shouted in jubilation for a goal was probably in the 1990 World Cup, when Colombia equalized to 1-1 against Germany.
  34. I watched the match between Ghana and the Czech Republic of the 2006 world cup on a beautiful beach in Ghana. Afterwards was a party.
  35. In 2006 I was the only person in Ghana who had doubts about Ghana being able to defeat Brazil in the World Cup. Turns out I was right yet again.
  36. I have won numerous beers on football bets.
  37. On Politiken's (a major Danish newspaper) sofa-liga in Denmark, I once got fifth prize in Denmark.
  38. In a bar called Champs, in Accra, Ghana, I won all prizes two days in a row, at a (Star) beer promotion contest on football trivia.
  39. At a quiz evening in the same bar, I also singlehandedly answered all football questions correctly.
  40. I am stunningly brilliant at geography, mostly because of football.
  41. The most valuable football item I have is an autograph of the legend Michael Laudrup.
  42. At a match between Denmark and Hungary in 1994 I saw Ferenc Puskas among the spectators. I tried in vain to get an autograph.
  43. I never saw Puskas play, but I think every football fanatic has heard the legends of the 1954 Hungarian team and Puskas' subsequent career in Real Madrid.
  44. The Spanish football daily Marca is the one I read the most.
  45. I like drinking beers while watching a good Champions League match in a nice bar, something I have done in Brussels, Valencia, Copenhagen, Accra, Arusha, Johannesburg, Maputo...
  46. The best beer to drink during football is a pint of Stella Artois.
  47. I think David Beckham is a great footballer, but I truly dislike all the super-star hype around him.
  48. Michael Owen is a great footballer.
  49. Last year I went to see Barcelona defeat Zaragoza 3-1 in the Camp Nou in Barcelona.
  50. I once travelled all the way to Kumasi in local buses, to see a semifinal in the African Cup winners cup between Asante Kotoko and some Congolese team.
  51. My favourite French footballer is Zinedine Zidane, in a tuff contest with Michel Platini.
  52. I hope one day to be at a World Cup final.
  53. I also hope to be at a Champions League final. I have already been to quite a few Champions League matches, in Copenhagen and Valencia.
  54. I have great football karma on the countries I live in: they usually do well.
  55. Football has always broken down barriers every where I have been in the world. It is not for anything that it is a language of the world.
  56. In 1994 I was in Colombia when Andrés Escobar was murdered.
  57. Ukraine-Switzerland in the 2006 World Cup is probably one of the single most boring match I have ever managed to watch.
  58. As a young lad playing ball, I was once red-carded for telling the referee he was a piss-referee. All the kids considered me the coolest kid on the team.
  59. Piss referees.
  60. The best goal celebration I ever saw was Marco Tardelli in the world cup final of 1982.
  61. A goal I particularly remember was Eder, from Brasil, against the USSR in 1982: A brilliant shot from outside.
  62. The USSR had a brilliant team in 1986, but in the World Cup lost to Belgium in the last-16, in a very awkward match, where the referee favoured the team full of Anderlecht players.
  63. When doing a stage at the European Commission in Brussels in 2001, I played on an excellent team called "The Empty Chairs". We didn´t win the tournament, but won many fans for our charm and beer-consumption.
  64. In 1988 I played on a team from Bording IF, which won SDS Cup in Sunds.
  65. The best team we ever played against was AGF who were Jutland champions. We lost...
  66. In Lyngby I once attended a match between Brøndby and Lyngby in which Lyngby, because of an odd mathematical invention in the Danish league, had to lose in order to qualify for a tournament the following year. Lyngby unsurprisingly lost 5-2, and every fan was happy.
  67. Michael Laudrup played for Lyngbys old-boys team.
  68. In 1991 I was living in the US when Barcelona won the European Cup final against Sampdoria 1-0 on a goal by Ronald Koeman. I listened to the match in a short-wave radio.
  69. Ronald Koeman is currently coaching Valencia CF and I hope he does well.
  70. I miss el Piojo Lopez. I went to his last game in Valencia, against Zaragoza, in 2000.
  71. The first time I saw a real womens match, was in the US. My high school at Centerville, Ohio, had a very good girls team, and they were very good-looking.
  72. First full womens match I saw on TV was the 1999 World Cup final.
  73. I think womens football is great, but it (still) does lack the intensity of passion of the men.
  74. Marta's goal against the USA in the semifinal of the 2007 Women's World Cup was amazing.
  75. The best football song ever made is Mano Negra´s Santa Maradona!
  76. I once worked for Viasat sport watching football games and getting paid for it. They could have paid me beer.
  77. My all-time best team from World Cups includes Puskas, Pelé, Maradona, Beckenbauer, Cruyff... It is almost unrealistic, but I thought there was something immoral in not including Zico.
  78. I was a big fan of Lothar Matthäus.
  79. I do not believe I will live to see an African team win a world cup.
  80. In 1991 I went to a friendly match between the Olympic teams of Poland and Spain. The following year, these two teams had made it to the Olympic final in Barcelona.
  81. Olympic football is generally boring.
  82. The best football nowadays is undoubtfully what we see in the UEFA Champions League.
  83. I am a big fan of the World Cup, but the last two have been hugely disappointing at the level of football quality.
  84. I don´t think the World Cup in South Africa will have a very high level.
  85. Last football match I went to was a friendly match between Nipita and Mazua in the Mozambican backlands.
  86. Mozambique will never ever be world champion.
  87. When Valencia CF won the UEFA Cup in 2004 I was absolutely unbeatable for half a year.
  88. Many referees have upset me in my life. The referee that has most upset me was the one between Italy and Argentina, in the semifinal of the 1990 World Cup.
  89. I was once at a kids tournament in Ghana, where each European Embassy sponsored a local school. Germany won.
  90. When I was a kid, it seemed that Germany always won.
  91. Claudio Canniggia is an idol of mine, mostly because of the winning goal he scored against Brazil in the last-16 of the 1990 World Cup. It was a totally undeserved victory, but as every fan of a team knows, that doesn't matter when you support them.
  92. It annoys me when people say, "I always support the team that wins...". Then you know they are not football fans.
  93. My favourite player at the moment is Lionel Messi. He can get far; I hope he will.
  94. Luis Aragonés is a twit.
  95. Nowadays I manage to talk less of football under circumstances that are not calling for it. Some people don´t even know that there is a passionate football heart beating behind my serious and sexy outside.
  96. In Mexico in 1986 I met some guy from the Canadian football association. He gave me a pin for Canada, who ended up losing all their three matches at the 1986 World Cup.
  97. I don´t think God watches football nor listens to football prayers.
  98. The best goalkeeper I have ever seen was Peter Schmeichel. He was all for Denmark and for the Brøndby team I followed in the early nineties.
  99. In 1989 I went to watch the Danish Cup final between Brøndby IF and Ikast FS. Brøndby won 6-3, and the Brøndby team was almost a copy of the team that in 1992 won the European Championship: Peter Schmeichel, Lars Olsen, Kim Vilfort, John Jensen, Brian Laudrup...
  100. I think Brøndby Stadium should officially be renamed to Vilfort Park.
Merry Christmas to everyone!

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