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Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Brilliance of the Special One - Jose Mourinho

It is certainly a tough choice if one were to decide who to attribute Chelsea's win over Barca to. Most wld be tempted to opt for Drogba for his instinctive stunner strike. Or even Terry who once again displyed why he was chosen as captain of England with his immense passion and leadership. Or maybe 3rd choice keeper Hilario who had a few gd saves to his name. Similarly, Boulahroudz and Essien put up credible performances for Chelsea last night.

Nonethelss, one man stood out among them, and he is often at the wrong end of recognition. That man is none other than the Special One - Jose Mourinho. So often has Mourinho been at the bulk of criticism by plaundits around the world. Most neutrals simply loathe him to the core for his scathing commments and unsporting gestures. But to the Chelsea players, he is the reason behind all their success.

True enough, Mourinho often incur the wrath of others with his often sacarstic remarks. However, I believe it all stems from his immense passion for his team and players. Most of the time, he was trying to defend his players and to spur them on. And once again, he has displayed this secret knack of motivation and leadership.

At a time when everyone expected Chelsea to fumble after the loss of their top two keepers, he managed to rally his team to stand firm and carve out a victory over the might Catalans. Mourinho actually brought his players to visit Cech at the hospital and he has showed that he genuinely cares for Cech. Also, he travelled all the way to support Shevchenko in the Ukraine's qualifers against Scotland.

All these actions definitely contribute to the undying spirit displayed by the Chelsea players. Once again, they were united throughout the match and embraced to celebrate the victory at the end of the game. It is evident that they were determined to win it for the injured Cech. And it all boils down to Mourinho being able to rally them to bounce back from the unfortunate tragedy.

Hence, I urge everyone to recognise this remarkable aspect of Mourinho and not to be overly critical of him. He is certainly the only manager to be worthy of the tag - the Special One.

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Chelsea wins Barcelona 1-0: What a Goal By Drogba!

After seeing that wonderful strike by Drogba moments after the restart, I knew Chelsea was definitely going on to win. The strike was reminiscent of his equally stunning half volley against Liverpool. Chelsea then went on to win 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. This time round, it was another case of deja vu as Chelsea hung on to thump European Champions Barcelona and put Cthemselves in total control at the top of Grp A. Lets us take a look at the stunning strike by Drogba 1st against Barca.





And let us look back at his previous strike against Pool..





Verdict: Both are equally stunning.. Both are swivel & shoot stunners.. And both are trademarks of a world class strike. Thus, the world behold as a new star striker is to be born.

Certainly, Drogba can be considered to be the most in form striker in the world right now. His ability to create something out of nothing is certainly not to be overlooked. Ashley's cross was harmless, but it was Drogba's instinct which provided the killer. And not to forget his unbelievable work rate, tireless running and sheer determination. If Chelsea were to revert back to their 4-5-1 system, my guess is it wld be Shevchenko who will be left out. The only negative pt to bring back for the match for the Blues wld be the continuing dip of form for Shevchenko. Still, I'm sure the class in him remains and it is only a matter of time b4 he finds it back.

Until then, let us be dazzled by Drogba and wait for Shevchenko to return and form the most lethal strike partnership in the world.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Video: Results of Champions League Matches Oct 17th

Man United 3 - 0 FC Copenhagen



CSKA Moscow 1 - 0 Arsenal



Celtic 3 - 0 Benfica


Steaua Bucharest 1 - 4 Real Madrid


Anderlecht 0 - 1 AC Milan


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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

ESPNsoccernet - Europe - Five England stars nominated for Ballon d'or


ESPNsoccernet - Europe - Five England stars nominated for Ballon d'or: "Five England players have been nominated for the prestigious European Footballer of the Year award.

John Terry, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole have all been shortlisted for the Ballon d'or, which is currently held by Barcelona and Brazil playmaker Ronaldinho.

The nominations were announced in the magazine France Football and the name of the winner, decided by a panel of European journalists, will be unveiled on November 27.

Of the 50 nominations, 17 are players from Premiership clubs, more than any other league.

Champions Chelsea lead the pack, with Terry, Lampard, Cole, Michael Ballack, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Claude Makelele and Andriy Shevchenko all shortlisted.

Cesc Fabregas, William Gallas, Jens Lehmann and Thierry Henry represent last year's Champions League runners-up Arsenal, while Cristiano Ronaldo joins Rooney as Manchester United's only other nominee.

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has also been shortlisted.

Nominations: Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Tim Cahill (Everton), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Gregory Coupet (Lyon), Cristiano Cris (Lyon), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Deco (Barcelona), Mahamadou Diarra (Real Madrid), Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Michael Essien (Chelsea), Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), William Gallas (Arsenal), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Ludovic Giuly (Barcelona), Fabio Grosso (Inter Milan), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Juninho (Lyon), Kaka (AC Milan), Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen), Philipp Lahm (Bayer Munich), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Jens Lehmann (Arsenal), Claude Makelele (Chelsea), Florent Malouda (Lyon), Edison Mendez (PSV Eindhoven), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Franck Ribery (Marseille), Ronaldinho (Barcelona), Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal), Arjen Robben (Chelsea), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Lilian Thuram (Barcelona), Tiago (Lyon), Luca Toni (Fiorentina), Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan), David Villa (Valencia), Gianluca Zambrotta (Barcelona), Zinedine Zidane (Retired)."

2005 BALLON D'OR RESULTS
Ronaldinho ha sido coronado en ParĂ­s como el mejor jugador del mundo.
1. Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona)
2. Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
3. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
4. Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
5. Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan)

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ESPNsoccernet - UEFA Champions League - CSKA Moscow v Arsenal Preview

ESPNsoccernet - UEFA Champions League - CSKA Moscow v Arsenal Preview: "Gael Clichy intends to show Arsene Wenger he has got what it takes to succeed Ashley Cole as Arsenal's first-choice left-back.

The 21-year-old recently stepped up his recovery from a long-term foot problem and was introduced for the final nine minutes of Saturday's 3-0 Barclays Premiership victory over Watford at the Emirates Stadium.

Clichy will travel with the rest of the squad to Russia ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow.

The French defender made only 11 appearances last season in what was another campaign hampered by injury.

With Cole now departed to Chelsea, both youngster Justin Hoyte and the versatile William Gallas have both also filled in on the left side of defence.

However, Clichy believes that when fully fit, he can offer the Gunners boss specialist cover - although the 21-year-old accepts he cannot walk straight back into the side.

Clichy hopes his injury nightmare is now behind him, having several setbacks since suffering a stress fracture in his foot while on international duty with France Under-21s during November 2005.

The addition of Gallas, 29, to the Arsenal squad as part of the deal which took Cole to Stamford Bridge on deadline day has added a wealth of experience to a relatively young back four - yet one which helped take Arsenal to the Champions League final last season.

Manager Arsene Wenger included Brazil Under 19 captain Denilson in the squad for the first time ahead of the clash with CSKA Moscow.

``He is a good all round player and has good technique,'' Wenger told reporters at Luton Airport before departing for Russia.

Denilson, 18, joined the Gunners on transfer deadline day from Sao Paulo and has so far played only one reserve game for his new club, against Portsmouth.

Wenger was already without injured trio Freddie Ljungberg (calf), Emmanuel Eboue (knee) and Julio Baptista (hamstring), but fit-again full-back Gael Clichy retains his place in the squad.

Philippe Senderos (shoulder) will also stay behind to continue working on his match fitness, while Lauren (knee) and Abou Diaby (ankle) are all still some way from a return.



My Views:
Arsenal will enter this match in a confident mood after a comfortable win over the weekend. However, a trip to Russia proves to be a tricky tie. Without the expereince of injured Ljunberg, and also the exciting Eboue, Arsenal will find it tough against CSKA Moscow.

My humble Prediction: Arsenal to carve out a hard fought 1-0 win with a typical Henry goal.
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Champions League Matches Preview & Predictions - Oct 17th

Woo.. Its time for champions league again! After missing champions league action for 3 weeks straight, i bet most fans must be dying to see all the best teams in Europe battle it out for the coveted european champions trophy again! The 1st match day is indeed filled with the big teams as Real Madrid, Manchester United, AC Milan and
Arsenal will be up against relatively weaker counterparts. Despite so, anyone wld tell u that these supposedly weaker teams are most capable of springing surprises and knocking out the bigger names. So lets take a peek at what we have up for the 1st day of European action and some of my own predictions...

Tuesday, October 17th 2006

Group E

Dynamo Kiev vs Lyon

Dynamo Kiev have let in a total of 9 goals in just two games in the competition so far. Their defence has been at the bulk of the criticism and it doesn't look like its going to change overnight for this game. Lyon on the other hand tops the group with 6 maximum pts including an impressive win over Real Madrid. Therefore, everything points to a comfortable win in Lyon's favour. However, backed by a strong crowd support and eagerness to salvage some pride, I expect Kiev to be fully charged up for this game. Hence, I forsee a tight match for this one.

My humble Prediction: Dynamo Kiev to lose 1-2.


Steaua Bucharest vs Real Madrid

Madrid has been experiencing a rough patch recently. After slumping to their first league loss this season over the weekend, they now find themselves 6 pts of the title race in the Primera Liga. Similarly in the Champions League, they are now 2nd in place behind Lyon. Despite losing their 1st match to Lyon, they managed to get back into their winning streak by thumping Dynamo Kiev 5-1. And with their key players rested during against Getafe, you can expect a rejuvenated Madrid side, hungry for success. Hence,

My humble Prediction: Real Madrid to win 2-1,
with Raul having a hand in both goals.

Group F


Celtic vs Benfica

This is most likely to be a very tight match. With Copenhagen facing Man U, both teams will be eager to gain something out of this so as to secure 2nd place.

My humble Prediction: A 1-1 draw...

Manchester United vs FC Copenhagen

To be previewed in a separate post.

Group G

CSKA Moscow vs Arsenal

To be previewed in a separate post.

Porto vs Hamburg

My Humble Prediction: Porto to edge out Hamburg 2-1


Group H

Lille vs AEK Athens


My humble Prediction: Lille to win 2-1

Anderlecht vs AC Milan

The six-times European champions arrive in Belgium on the back of four consecutive draws - including the Lille game - a sequence which has caused the club to slip 10 points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan. Their strikers have not scored since Filippo Inzaghi hit the target in the 3-0 win over AEK Athens in their Champions League opener more than a month ago. Hence, i most certainly wld not fancy an easy win for Milan here.

My humble Prediction: A 0-0 draw...

Alright, there u have it.. Be sure to come back for the review of today's matches and see all the goals, spills, action and gossip!
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ESPNsoccernet - UEFA Champions League - Man Utd v FC Copenhagen Preview

ESPNsoccernet - UEFA Champions League - Man Utd v FC Copenhagen Preview: Ryan Giggs insists no one at Manchester United has been getting worked up about Wayne Rooney's dip in form.

Although it is now nine games since Rooney last found the net, the young striker's display against Wigan on Saturday contained everything but a goal.

The 20-year-old's energy ensured Wigan did not inflict too much damage during a poor first half for the Red Devils.

Then, after Giggs' interval introduction released him to occupy a more central position, Rooney provided the assists which helped Louis Saha and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer secure a 3-1 win for the Barclays Premiership table-toppers.

``Players go through spells like that, it doesn't matter who you are,'' said Giggs.

``The thing about Wayne is that he is working hard and that is the key if you are not playing unbelievably every week.

``You work hard to get out of such troughs but he has never shown things were bothering him.

``Against Wigan he was brilliant. He could have scored four or five times. When things are going for you, some of the shots he had go in.

``But the goals will come and the lads are confident he will continue to produce performances like the one on Saturday.''

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gary Neville both look set to be involved in the Champions League encounter with FC Copenhagen after returning to training on Monday.

The duo missed Saturday's win at Wigan, Ronaldo with an ankle injury and skipper Neville after picking up a calf injury during England's defeat in Croatia last week.

However, they were both able to train with their United team-mates at Carrington this morning, and providing they suffer no reaction, should start at Old Trafford as United look to maintain their 100% start in Group F.

Neville would almost certainly replace Wes Brown at right-back, while Ronaldo's return may come at the expense of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who netted his fifth goal of the season at the JJB Stadium this weekend.

The only major doubt for United is Gabriel Heinze, who is still struggling with a hamstring strain.


My humble Prediction: A comfortable 2-0 win for Man U with Solskjaer scoring one and Rooney breaking his barren spell.
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Monday, October 16, 2006

Soccer Video: Ronaldinho Being Crowned FIFA Player Of the Year 2005

Last Year's FIFA Player of The Year Awards Ceremony which Ronaldinho won.. Though I personally felt that Frank Lampard deserved to win.. I must say its really a honour just for him to be up there with Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto.. Missed the awards show last year? Dun worry.. Cos its here!



2006 FIFA World PLayer Of The Year Nominees:


Adriano (Inter Milan, Brazil) Michael Ballack (Chelsea, Germany), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, Italy), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid, Italy), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Portugal), Petr Cech (Chelsea, Czech Republic), Deco (Barcelona, Portugal), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Chelsea, Ghana), Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona, Cameroon), Luis Figo (Inter Milan, Portugal), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan, Italy), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, England), Thierry Henry (Arsenal, France), Kaka (AC Milan, Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen, Germany), Philippe Lahm (Bayern Munich, Germany), Frank Lampard (Chelsea, England), Jens Lehmann (Arsenal, Germany), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan, Italy), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan, Italy), Franck Ribery (Marseille, France), Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal, Argentina), Ronaldinho (Barcelona, Brazil), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, England), Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal, Czech Republic), Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea, Ukraine), Lilian Thuram (Barcelona, France), Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan, France), Zinedine Zidane (retired, France)

So who's it gonna be this year? Your guess is as good as mine. Though I have a hunch its gonna be a close fight btw Ronaldinho (once again) or mebbe Cannaavaro.Steven Gerrard also has a chance i guess.. Till then.. We can only wait and see until 18th Dec when the results will be announced at Zurich Opera House in Switzerland. So exciting!

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Soccer Video: Premiership Goals October 14th - 15th 2006

Missed all the Premiership action last weekend? Dun worry.. Cos its me to the rescue! Catch all the greatest goals in this video!



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Tribute to One of the World's Greatest Soccer Player - Ronaldinho's Video!

Hey ppl! Check out this great video showcasing one of the greatest soccer player of all time - Ronaldinho!
Enjoy his breathtaking moves and imagine yourself moving like him! Oh well... no harm dreaming abt it right... As u know reality is often a result of dreams.. So the more u dream abt it.. the higher chance it might come true! Lol! Alright enuff said.. Enjoy!



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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Terry & Mourinho: A True Mark of Leaders



To be frank.. I was amazed by the horrendous tackle on Petr Cech by Reading's Stephen Hunt. As a professional, he shld have considered the consequences of his actions. I believe there was enough time for him to react accordingly. The fact is, he continued his pursuit of the ball even after Cech had gotten the ball! As a result, Hunt's knee whacked straight into Cech's head and what an impact it created!

I mean.. any challenge tt can render someone unconscious for 5 mins is really quite a challenge! Not to mention FRACTURE a skull. And as Mourinho aptly likened the challenge to the one on Pedro Mendes by Ben Thatcher, one can only hope for more justice to be done!

Certainly, more action has to be done to stamp down on such barbaric acts! How wld Hunt feel if the same challenge was imposed on him? As fellow professionals, he really ought to reflect on his actions. Not surprisingly, Hunt's reply in response to Mourinho's criticism was 'I was 100% intent on winning the ball.' But then again, which player wld admit that he was intent on knockin the daylights out of his opponent - other den Keano of cos.. Oh well.. I certainly hope tt no player can be so pyscho as to share the same intentions.. Its jus that sometimes players tend to get too focused on winning the ball tt they fail to exercise professionalism.

To Hunt, he had nth to lose.. By gg hard on Cech, he had that slim chance of winning the ball and getting the ball into the back of the net. However, his actions have potentially endangered e life of Cech. Therefore, he really shldnt have been so reckless.

Enough of complaining abt Hunt. Honestly speaking, what really struck me, besides the unfortunate injuries to Cech and Cudicini, was Chelsea's unity. Once again, they displayed the true essence of champions - sheer determination and unity. I believe anyone who saw how the champions fought on till the end wld have been impressed.

Most importantly, I think that match really bore witness to two truly inspirational leaders in the Beautiful Game - Captain John Terry and the Special One Mourinho.

Despite facing such a huge unprecedented crisis of losing both their keepers, Terry and Co. hung on to the end. Just look at how Terry immediately donned the keeper's suit and listened intently to Mourinho's instructions after the unfortunate incident. His leadership was further exemplified by how he rallied his team mates before the restart. The most heartwarming scene was when he hugged the fans who had invaded the pitch after the final whistle. That really showed how much the win meant for the skipper and the Blues.

As for Mourinho, he remained focused right till the end and refused to get involved with the scuffle near the end of the match. No doubt, his comments may sometimes be malice. But it only shows his hunger and passion for the game, a true spirit of a professional and a leader.

Therefore, I believe after that unfortunate incident, even though Chelsea will be weakened at the goal-line, their unity can only get stronger. And my salute goes out to the two leaders instrumental to Chelsea's success - Terry & Mourinho!

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Welcome to the Ultimate Soccer Blog

Greetings to all the Soccer Fans out there!

Welcome to the Ultimate Soccer Blog! My name's Calvin. What you can expect here are up to date soccer news, information, videos and resources. So if you're a hardcore soccer fan, someone who wants to know more abt soccer or simply someone who's bored and looking for something to read, this is the right place to you!

Meanwhile, hang out around my blog and read the latest news and my very own views.. watch a few videos.. click on a few links.. bookmark it.. and check back regularly for all ur soccer action!

And don't forget to leave a comment and turn this blog into a lively soccer chat!

Calvin

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sitemap

Soccer Video: Premiership Goals October 14th - 15th 2006
Tribute to One of the World's Greatest Soccer Player - Ronaldinho's Video!
Terry & Mourinho: A True Mark of Leaders
Welcome to the Ultimate Soccer Blog
Soccer Video: Ronaldinho Being Crowned FIFA Player Of the Year 2005

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