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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ahn may still feature at World Cup

South Korea striker Ahn Jung-Hwan may make an appearance at next summer’s World Cup after all, as coach Huh Jung-Moo kept open the option of including the veteran.

In an interview with Ilgan Sports, Huh speaks about both Ahn and another 2002 World Cup player, Lee Chun-Soo.

“Ahn Jung-Hwan and Lee Chun-Soo will not be ignored,” Huh said.

“They have much experience between them. The players are special assets to Korean football. They’re players who can adjust and do their share of work even if they are called upon later.

“They are still on the reserve list.”

Ahn, who currently plays at Dalian Shide in China, ganed most of his fame for scoring a golden goal against Italy at the 2002 World Cup. Lee, also a key part of that South Korean team, currently plays his club football at Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.


Kaka Joga Bonito


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

World Cup dream behind Beckham´s Milan stay

LONDON (AFP) – David Beckham has revealed his dream of playing for England in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was the motivation behind his desire to stay with AC Milan.After weeks of negotiations, Beckham has extended his loan with Milan from Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy until the end of the Italian season in an attempt to prove to England coach Fabio Capello that he can still perform at the highest level.The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star is desperate to have one last crack at winning the World Cup in next year’s finals, but he had been reduced to a bit-part role for England since his move to America.His switch to the San Siro has kept Beckham in Capello’s thoughts and he made a record-equalling 108th England appearance in last month’s friendly against Spain.

Beckham, 33, will return to California to see out the rest of the MLS season after finishing Milan’s campaign. He is set to return to Italy for the 2009-10 season, providing him with a platform to impress Capello, and he believes staying with Milan will help his England ambitions."There’s a few reasons for staying with Milan. One is I’m playing with one of the biggest clubs in the world and with some of the best players in the world. I’m passionate about that," Beckham told the BBC."Obviously the one everyone talks about is it gives me a chance to play in the 2010 World Cup. I personally have to do everything I can to be involved in that."Everyone knows how passionate I am about playing for my country and if this gives me a better chance of being involved in that squad that’s great."

Negotiations for Beckham to stay were slowed after Milan baulked at the size of transfer fee demanded by Galaxy, thought to be around 12 million euros.Beckham hinted that reports he paid three million dollars to make up the difference between the fee Galaxy wanted and the price Milan were prepared to pay were on the mark.

"I’ve done really well in my career and played for so many great clubs. I’ve been able to help myself stay in Milan, if I can put it that way. That is the big thing for me," he said.

"It’s never been about money for me. It’s been about football and my passion for the game. Hopefully this has shown it.

"Everybody knew how much I wanted this to happen and how much I wanted to stay and play my football in Milan. Obviously the Galaxy have been great and Milan have been great.

"I want to stay in Milan to help the club qualify for the Champions League.

"It also gives me a chance to go back to LA and finish the season. It is something I am very committed to. Then after that we will see."

Beckham insisted his move to California has not been a mistake.

"People have always asked me if I’ve regretted my decision. Throughout my career I’ve never wanted regrets and I’ve always said no," he said.

"At the time I felt it was the right thing to do. I’ve had two great years with the Galaxy. We might not have been successful on the field but statistics show the game has grown.

"If we continue to have the success we’ve had with attendances and the interest in the game, that will be positive and a sign that the game is moving forward."


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ballack England one of the favourites

Germany captain Michael Ballack considers England to be “one of the favourites” to win next summer’s World Cup in South Africa.

The Chelsea midfielder believes Fabio Capello could lead England to a first major title since 1966, and admits his own nation is lagging a bit behind.

“They have a great team and many players with exceptional individual class,” he told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

“With Fabio Capello, they now have a manager who has brought stability. That is important and the team feels that.

“They have got to be able to win games even when they are not playing at the highest level and that is what Italian managers are good at, particularly Capello.

“England are oozing self-confidence and I can sense that here. They are one of the favourites.”

Other favourites, according to Ballack, are Brazil, Italy and France – but not necessarily Germany.

“At a World Cup, everything has got to work, and then even more – you need luck,” he added.

“There are certainly teams who are better than us at the moment.”

That may well include his club Chelsea, who he feels have a better chance of winning the Champions League this season than Germany do of triumphing in South Africa.

“Of course that (the Champions League) is the title that one wants to win, especially when you have a squad like ours,” he said.

“But if you also have a chance to win the league, then that is once again a big aim.

“At a certain stage of the season, you reach the point where the strain is very high and then you have to decide which competition you want to focus on in particular.

“We have such a good squad and class that we can compete in both competitions.”

And Ballack believes that even if it were not to work out for the Blues this season, he would still have more chances to succeed, even though his contract expires in the summer.

“We will sit down together and talk soon,” he added. “But I am not under any pressure.

“Both parties know what they have in each other.”


Tiger Woods-Sex Addict or Just A Jerk?

Unless you live in a cave you have heard the stories and speculation about Tiger Woods’ extramarital dalliances. Whenever a rich and powerful man is caught with his pants down it makes me wonder. Are these men really Sex Addicts (as many claim) or are they just self-centered idiots who take advantage of their power and position?

Thanks to Dr. Carnes and others who have studied Sexual Addiction we have a better understanding of this disease. But, not everyone who has multiple affairs, visits prostitutes and massage parlors or sneaks out of the closet every now and then is a Sex Addict. Some of them are just jerks.

It will be interesting to see if Tiger owns up to what he has done, admits that he was a total and complete jerk and throws himself upon the mercy of his wife and the public. Or, if he hides behind what may be perceived as a shield of Sex Addiction. We may never know for sure if Tiger or any of the other recent celebrities involved in sex scandals are really Sex Addicts or just pompous jerks but it is important that we know the difference in our own relationships.

So, how do you know if your spouse or partner is a Sex Addict or just a jerk? I think the line is pretty thin, and let’s face it, Sex Addicts are complete jackasses at times. But Sex Addicts have certain common traits that make them unique. Most have suffered some sort of abuse during their childhood that arrests their emotional development. Sex Addicts are driven by compulsion, they try to stop what they are doing but cannot and they use sex as a medication rather than for pleasure.

On the other hand, there are other people–the total jerks, who just feel entitled to their pleasures. They seek them out and take what they can, not caring who or how many they hurt. They know what they are doing and when caught will cry crocodile tears over being caught rather than feeling true remorse. They may enter a recovery program and feign rehabilitation, but these guys (and gals) have no intention of stopping their sordid behaviors. You can find a few of these guys in every SA 12 step group–they’ve been coming to meetings for years, sometimes decades, but still continue to act out.

I think the Tiger Woods scandal shows us two important points. One–you just never know who has a dirty little secret life, no matter how squeaky clean they may look, and two–there are a lot of Sex Addicts and jerks in this world. We can never be too cautious about whom we trust.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Brilliant Deco sends Chelsea to Premier League summit

WIGAN, England (AFP) – A goal of pure quality from Deco sent Chelsea to the top of the Premier League, although Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side made heavy weather of overcoming a determined Wigan side 1-0 at the JJB Stadium on Sunday.The Brazilian-born Portuguese international, a summer signing from Barcelona, made it two goals in two games for his new club with a sublime finish from an early free-kick.But Wigan refused to surrender and it required a string of fine saves from Czech Republic keeper Petr Cech before Chelsea could celebrate a win which leaves them five points above reigning champions Manchester United, who are away at Portsmouth on Monday.England manager Fabio Capello was present to cast his eye over John Terry, the newly-installed England captain, and Frank Lampard but neither really sparkled. Indeed, Terry was booked in front of his international boss as Chelsea laboured to victory.Unlike the four-goal drubbing of Portsmouth seven days earlier, this was a hard-earned three points for Scolari’s team.Wigan, already denied the services of Austrian defender Paul Scharner to injury, were dealt a severe blow before the match had started when keeper Chris Kirkland was injured in the pre-match warm-up.That paved the way for second-choice stopper Mike Pollitt to make his first Premier League start since conceding two goals against Arsenal nine months ago.

Yet the 36-year-old’s first touch was to fish the ball from the back of his net after Deco’s magnificently executed set-piece on four minutes.It was conceded by Lee Cattermole, making his home debut for Wigan following a move from Middlesbrough in the summer, who handled just outside his own area and Deco did the rest.Having spent four years watching Ronaldinho hammer home free-kicks for fun for Barcelona, finally Deco is first-choice and he is clearly determined to make up for lost time. Pollitt’s positioning was not great but that should not take the gloss off what was a fabulous goal.But, as Chelsea discovered to their cost four months ago, Wigan are not short of character or spirit.Back in April, Emile Heskey snatched an unlikely stoppage time equaliser at Stamford Bridge to all but end Chelsea’s title aspirations.This time Wigan failed to find the Chelsea net, but it certainly was not for want of trying.Within two minutes of falling behind, Cech was forced into the first of three excellent first-half saves after Honduras international Wilson Palacios cut inside from the left before testing the keeper.The high-tempo start continued in the eighth minute when Amr Zaki, Wigan’s new Egyptian striker, found himself with a great scoring chance only to be thwarted by Cech’s body.Then a fine one-touch move resulted in the dangerous Zaki having another effort parried away by the busy Chelsea keeper.Wigan, who narrowly avoided relegation last season, continued to plug away in the second half without success.They are without a point after two games yet manager Steve Bruce will not be too concerned as long as his players take the positives of this game into the rest of the season.Scolari, on the other hand, will hope to see a bit more quality from his expensively-assembled squad in next week’s London derby with Tottenham.While pleased to see Chelsea sitting at the top of the table so early into his reign, the former Portugal coach knows now that the hard work is only just beginning if his first season at Stamford Bridge is to end in success.



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