ISSUE 30, 16 MAY 2014
Fédération Internationale de Football Association – Since 1904
Handshake for Peace BLATTER FOOTBALL’S BIG CHANCE
2014 WORLD CUP CARBON OFFSETTING FOR MATCH GOERS
WOMEN’S FOOTBALL TYRESO REACH FOR THE STARS W W W.FIFA.COM/ THEWEEKLY
North and Central America 35 members www.concacaf.com
A sign of peace Neymar and Gerard Piqué are prominent supporters of “Handshake for Peace”, the joint FIFA and Nobel Peace Center initiative. Their personal life stories could hardly be more of a contrast, but they share the same mission: to change the world through football.
Tyreso reach for the stars Sweden boasts more professional women players than any other country. Football is the most popular women’s sporting discipline and practically rates as a national treasure. International success is just one game away, as Tyreso FF contest the Women’s Champions League final on 22 May.
H istory: FIFA in Zurich World football’s governing body has been based in Switzerland’s biggest city for a little over 80 years. The FIFA Weekly retells the story from the first offices in Paris to the state-of-theart headquarters in Zurich.
G ünter Netzer “Which was the best World Cup?” Our columnist Gunter Netzer tackles the question posed by a reader from England and reveals which tournament left the biggest impression on him.
South America 10 members www.conmebol.com
Sepp Blatter The FIFA President highlights the big chance offered by the Handshake for Peace.
World Cup environmental initiative FIFA has launched a programme to offset carbon emissions.
Handshake for Peace Barcelona stars Gerard Piqué (left) and Neymar shook hands at a FIFA photo shoot in the Catalan capital. Christian Grund / 13 Photo
World Cup 2014: Groups A-C
TO A GREATER GOAL™ 2
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THIS WEEK IN THE WORLD OF FOOTBALL
Europe 54 members www.uefa.com
Africa 54 members www.cafonline.com
Asia 46 members www.the-afc.com
Oceania 11 members www.oceaniafootball.com
Turning Point Shkelzen Gashi opted to drop down a division to further his career – and is now the top scorer in the Swiss league.
Masterful Maccabi Tel Aviv Israel’s most successful club retained their title thanks to three important individuals: Eran Zahavi, Paulo Sousa and Jordi Cruyff.
World Cup 2014: Groups D-H
Getty Images (2), Afp (1), Corbis (1)
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©2014 THE COCA-COLA COMPANY. COCA-COLA® AND THE CONTOUR BOTTLE ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF THE COCA-COLA COMPANY.
Children share a game and a laugh in Johannesburg, South Africa.
n the olden days a handshake indicated to the person you were greeting that you were unarmed. Nowadays that only applies in a figurative sense, but the simple handshake has lost none of its power to establish a connection between individuals. The Handshake for Peace is now a mandatory component of the match protocol at all FIFA tournaments. The Nobel Peace Center in Oslo and FIFA have thus summed up the power of football to promote friendship, respect and peace via a simple gesture. Spanish World Cup winner Gerard Piqué and Neymar of Brazil met in Barcelona to exchange a Handshake for Peace. They grew up in dramatically differing social circumstances, and without football their paths would almost certainly never have crossed. Sarah Steiner examines the pair’s contrasting stories, and traces the development of the Handshake for Peace.
icket holders for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil now have the opportunity to offset the CO2 emissions generated by their travel to the venues free of charge. FIFA will offset 100% of the emissions caused by its own operations and will also do the same for ticket holders. In our Countdown feature Alois Hug looks at the sustainable World Cup.
wedish club Tyreso FF face VfL Wolfsburg from Germany in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final on 22 May in Lisbon. However, Tyreso are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Andrea Grunenfelder takes a closer look at the women’s game in Sweden. Å Perikles Monioudis
ven in areas of conflict such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria, the kick-off to a game of football can also help initiate political negotiations, points out FIFA President Blatter in
his weekly column. “Football can build bridges and bring people together like almost no other sport,” he notes, urging the footballing family “under no circumstances” to miss this chance in Brazil.
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HANDSHAKE FOR PEACE
A SIGN OF PEACE
A simple handshake is universally understood as a sign of peace. The footballing community is leading the way in promoting this fundamental gesture. The initiativeâ€™s high-profile supporters include Neymar and Gerard PiquĂŠ, two global stars whose backgrounds could hardly be more different.
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HANDSHAKE FOR PEACE
Sarah Steiner (text) and Christian Grund (pictures)
port has the power to inspire and unite people.” This statement from Nelson Mandela is familiar all over the world. The idea that football can change the world and make it a better place can sound lofty and even glib, but countless examples show the game doing exactly that (see page 12). To achieve big things you need big names. Headline-grabbing events and an international stage are preconditions for global recognition. As the world’s governing body, FIFA is in a position to meet this requirement by recruiting players as ambassadors, organising politically significant meetings and facilitating dialogue. The “Handshake for Peace” is an example of this kind of project. A simple handshake forms the core of the initiative: two human beings offering each other their hands as a universal symbol for peace and friendship. The project initiated by the Nobel Peace Center in Norway is a component of FIFA’s mission to build a better future through football, headlined by the slogan “It starts with you and me.” In the build-up to the World Cup in Brazil it has started with Neymar and Piqué, with the Barcelona stars joining forces to back the project. The players, whose backgrounds could hardly be more different, exchanged a handshake to send out a signal and stand together for peace. One was born into humble surroundings and grew up with the ball at his feet on Brazilian beaches while the other comes from a middle-class family and is a carefully nurtured product of the famous La Masia academy. Without football their paths would surely never have crossed. But talent and determination has brought them together and they are now jointly campaigning for the good cause. “Football has taught me you can achieve anything in life if you really want it. It can set things in motion so it’s our duty to use our popularity for a good cause,” Neymar declared. The new Pele Born to a mechanic and a home help in Mogi das Cruzes, 40 km to the east of Sao Paulo, football played a defining role in Neymar’s life from the start. As a kid he played on precipitous coastal streets. Playing downhill is more difficult, Neymar reckons, because of the abrupt stops required after a full-on sprint, and that has become one of his trademark 8
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moves today. At the age of 11 he joined the FC Santos youth academy, Meninos da Vila, and was later identified as one of the greatest potential talents in the world game. Pele felt “he could be better than me,” and TIME magazine dubbed him “The next Pele.” He scored 156 goals in 256 games in his time with Santos. A deep commitment to Santos runs in the family. Neymar’s grandfather Ilzemar was a passionate fan of the club, and his father was even good enough to appear for the youth section. He became a professional and featured for a number of clubs but was forced to end his career prematurely due to injury. He wanted his son Neymar junior to do even better, and the child has fulfilled and wildly exceeded his dreams and expectations. Neymar senior is now his son’s manager and close confidant. “My father is so much more than just my father,” the Barça forward said. “He’s my best friend, he’s my life.” The 22-year-old did not get where he is today simply through talent. Neymar is possessed of almost unbelievable ambition, a character trait not universally regarded in a positive light. But his vocabulary does not include the word “lose.” He played incessantly as a child, in the stands at the stadiums where his father was playing, on the beach, in the streets and even indoors at home. He spent his childhood with his parents and sister in a single room with one mattress for all four family members.
“I regard this job as a calling and I believe we have a duty to fight for peace and justice wherever we can.” Gerard Piqué
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A friendship for life It was impossible to imagine Neymar without the ball. “I dribbled around the room and gave a commentary on my play. I even awarded fouls. If I ran into the sofa I’d complain to the referee,” Neymar smiled. And because he had a ball at his feet everywhere and at all times he was almost inevitably spotted and singled out. At a veterans’ tournament where his father was playing in late 1998, Neymar junior charged up and down the steps in one of the grandstands, catching the eye of a man on the lookout for talent. “He obviously possessed such incredible dexterity, agility and co-ordination,” recalls Betinho, who was looking for new players for a futsal team. Here was the kind of unique talent only born once in a thousand million, the coach is supposed to have said. The two struck up an increasingly strong friendship which continues to this day. Betinho was present when Neymar joined Santos and was among the multitude in 2013 when the player was officially unveiled by Barcelona. Neymar first came to Europe in 2006, completing a 14-day trial with Real Madrid and utterly convincing the coaching staff of his ability. But he ultimately decided to go back home. “It was basically perfect, but I was 9
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still very young. I missed my family and the Brazilian climate,” the striker said. Santos also assisted the decision-making process with the offer of a million Reais (€375,000) if the young man would stay. The years rolled by and the offers rolled in. Chelsea came calling in 2010, but Pele himself phoned Neymar and begged him to stay. A full seven years passed after his first trip to Europe before the lure of the East became irresistible and he joined Barcelona in 2013. It was a tough challenge. At Barcelona he would be obliged to share his superstar billing with a glittering cast headed by Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and their ilk. But Neymar humbly accepted his role as apprentice and has demonstrably come on as a player. He has had to acclimatise to a new and entirely unfamiliar tactical approach. A newcomer in a hierarchy that had developed over many years, he was aided and abetted by fellow Brazilian Dani Alves. “He’s my best friend,” Neymar said. However, arriving in Europe remains the most indelibly etched impression. “Just imagine a simple lad from Brazil suddenly being asked to run out in front of a capacity crowd – and that was only the unveiling.” The player broke down and cried at the press conference afterwards. Dreaming of the World Cup Neymar is now preparing to fulfil his next big dream; winning the World Cup. A Seleçao means everything to him, for reasons of personal and national pride and innate passion. He is, as always, confident: “My greatest dream is the final!” That is not at all unrealistic in the light of Brazil’s impressive march to the Confederations Cup title in 2013, the last time Neymar and Piqué crossed paths as opponents. Their memories of the match could not be more of a contrast: the Spain defender was dismissed for a foul on his Barca team-mate. The pair have since become good friends, but when Neymar pulls on the canary yellow shirt he can be merciless. “I’ll celebrate the World Cup title with Brazil in 2014, God willing. I’m determined to play my part in making our fans happy!” Neymar can be summed up as a combination of Ginga, the uniquely Brazilian approach to life, and great footballing intelligence. In short the Neymar approach is simply this: “I play because I love football!” “Our duty as players” There was no trace of rivalry when the pair came together for our shoot in Barcelona. Laughter was in the air, and the stars were positive and upbeat as they prepared for the “Handshake for Peace.” Piqué is acutely aware of his responsibility as a public figure. “We’re very privileged as players. We have the enormous 10
good fortune to earn money from our favourite hobby. I regard this job as a calling and I believe we have a duty to fight for peace and justice wherever we can.” The handshake project is one such opportunity. In 2013 there were 414 known conflicts around the world, 45 of them deemed violent, and 20 classified as wars. Football cannot resolve these conflicts, but the sport can provide common ground. It offers a platform to initiate dialogue. A universal language, it can stimulate communication, and trigger the first steps towards rapprochement. Children suffer the most in war, a matter of special concern to Piqué. “It makes me unbelievably sad knowing there are kids forced to grow up without food, a roof over their heads and a sense of security. We need to focus on solutions to help in any way we can.” An authentic Culé The circumstances of Gerard Piqué’s childhood were the polar opposite of that. He was born into a middle-class family, his father a businessman T H E F I FA W E E K LY
and his mother a doctor specialised in cerebral and spinal injuries. He is a native of Barcelona and still holds the club membership number he was assigned at his birth. He is an authentic Culé whose grandfather was a club vice-president. He lived in a blaugrana-tinged world from a very young age. “I sang the Barca anthem every evening before going to bed,” Piqué revealed. He started attending every home match from the age of five. Naturally enough, his all-consuming dream was to pull on the famous Catalan shirt himself. The journey began in earnest when he joined the world-famous La Masia youth section as a ten-year-old and found himself part of a golden generation. “It was an unbelievable team. The merest glance at each other and we knew what we were thinking and feeling, and where the ball had to go.” The team featured Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas and provided an exceptional environment to learn the game of football. But it also taught lessons for life. “They really pushed us right to the limit and not just as players,” Piqué
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“Football has taught me you can achieve anything in life.” Neymar
“Handshake for Peace” The “Handshake for Peace” is a joint initiative by the Nobel Peace Center and FIFA. The goal of the project is to combine the global reach and power of football in a simple gesture, the Handshake for Peace, as a symbol of friendship, respect and peace in society. The campaign was launched on 10 December 2013 at the Club World Cup in Morocco. Effective immediately, the “Handshake for Peace” will be a component of the match protocol at all FIFA tournaments. FIFA is contributing to the Nobel Peace Center’s budget in support of its activities. http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/video/video=2243471/
observed. Missed homework or failed exams could lead to expulsion. Furthermore, Barca place enormous store by a player’s morals, ethics and attitude. “It didn’t matter how good you were. If you didn’t observe the general rules regarding respect, teamwork and humility, you had no future at the club.” However, Piqué’s first tentative steps into the pro game were not as a Barcelona player. At the age of 17 he joined Manchester United, “to grow as a player but also as a person,” he now says. And under Sir Alex Ferguson’s watchful gaze Piqué grew, although he never achieved regular status at Old Trafford and was usually a spectator when the first team played. With topclass duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic firmly established in his favourite position, he was under contract for four years, and spent one season on loan to Real Zaragoza. But the experience in England taught him how to cope with tough times. He has no regrets about his spell with United: “I went there as a boy and came back as a man,” he said. T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Glittering trophy collection His boyhood dream was fulfilled when he resigned for Barca in 2008. He has been one of the first names on the team sheet for both Barcelona and Spain ever since, a commanding on-field presence marshalling a defence with deft precision. He has picked up at least one winner’s medal in each of his six seasons with the Catalans so far and has celebrated triumphs in the Spanish championship, Copa del Rey, Super Cup, Club World Cup and Champions League, plus European Championship and World Cup glory with his national team. All this success is the product of prodigious hard work. “It’s about the things you forego and your own strength. People tend to see only titles and trophies, but all the work leading up to them remains hidden,” he reflected. Echoing Neymar, Piqué cites his family as the foundation for his success. “My parents always supported me, in bad times as well as good. They’ve always given me everything I ever needed,” the 27-year-old remarked. Piqué has won almost everything there is to win as a player, but his hunger for success remains undiminished. He has set his sights appropriately high for the 2014 World Cup. “When I’m old I want to look back on plenty of great moments, and the World Cup final obviously belongs to that,” he said. The centre-back is a serial collector of keepsakes and mementos, not only in the form of trophies and awards. He owns a section of the goal netting from the 2010 final for example. And after the Brazilian summer in 2014 he would be only too pleased to add a souvenir of Rio to the items in his personal trophy cabinet. Neymar, of course, is determined to prevent any such thing. It started with a photo But all that is still to come. On this particular day the stars tackled a different task, taking a moment to give something back and build on their popularity as players, as well as to acknowledge a far bigger and more fundamental cause, the fight for peace. At this point in the story we return to Mandela, because it was he who provided the spark. In a meeting with Norwegian journalist, sports administrator and CEO of the South African league Kjetil Siem, he spoke of the significance of football and the Nobel Peace Center in the history of South Africa and the collapse of the Apartheid regime. That meeting spawned the Nelson Mandela Challenge, an annual football match intended to illustrate and underline the vital importance of sport and peace. The contest took place for the first time in 2009 between South Africa and Norway. A photograph taken at the end of the match set the entire Handshake for Peace initiative in motion. It was a spur of the moment snapshot, neither planned nor staged. 11
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FIFA’s quiet diplomacy
It depicts a handshake between South Africa’s Aaron Mokoena and Norway’s Morten Gamst Pedersen. “You may have fought it out during the game, but after the match it’s all forgotten. You shake hands and you’re friends again. I remember Aaron and I offering each other our hands. You can see we’re both laughing. It was a magnificent moment,” the Norwegian said. Neither player can possibly have imagined that this very moment would set off a chain of events leading to such a major project. Kjetil Siem set about bringing together the things he felt logically belonged together: a simple handshake, football, the Nobel tradition and Nelson Mandela’s long and arduous journey towards peace. The Handshake for Peace was born. It became an integral element of every Norwegian league match and duly fell under the auspices of the Nobel Peace Center. In 2013 FIFA announced the handshake would become part of the formalities at all future tournaments, starting with the Club World
Political involvement is unavoidable.
IFA is the custodian of football. As such, it organises World Cups, acts as the guardian of the Laws and promotes the game around the globe. In 2013 FIFA invested US$ 183 million directly in development projects, largely in countries ranking among the world’s poorest and in many cases the worst affected by conflict. FIFA’s humanitarian commitment often leads to unintended political involvement. What is to be done if players in a given country suffer discrimination as a result of their gender, religious affiliation or skin colour? What are we to do if they are caught up in civil war or state-sponsored conflict? This was the case in Cyprus. Since Turkey annexed the northern part of Cyprus by military force in 1974, the island has de facto been divided into a northern, Turkish Republic (recognised under international law only by Turkey) and a southern, Greek republic. Football on the Mediterranean island was split along identical lines. But in 2013 the two football associations sat down with FIFA representatives and negotiated an agreement to reunify the game. “After six years we’ve succeeded in bringing together the opposing sides. They’ll play football together in the future,” FIFA President Blatter summarised afterwards, visibly pleased with the progress made. “Football cannot replace politics, but it can bring 12
“As role models you all bear a great responsibility.” Sepp Blatter in his letter to national team captains
Cup in Marocco. The project is a seamless fit with the world governing body’s efforts to promote peace through football via initiatives in a number of areas including Cyprus, Palestine and Israel.
It starts with you and me The Handshake for Peace will be a fixed part of the tournament in Brazil this summer. In April FIFA President Sepp Blatter wrote to all the national team captains and participating associations, announcing the initiative and requesting their help. “You are role models with a significant responsibility to millions of fans and children throughout the world,” Blatter noted. The concept created by the world governing body includes a variety of promotional activities as part of the programme supporting the greatest football tournament of them all. There could hardly be a better stage, as the World Cup is expected to attract a global TV audience in the billions. FIFA is committed to meeting its social T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Historic first The first Handshake for Peace between Aaron Mokoena and Morten Gamst Pedersen.
people back together after protracted conflicts and this is exactly what we want to do,” he stated. To this end a specially commissioned Task Force is working towards similar outcomes in other areas torn by conflict. For example in January 2014 Kosovo, which had declared independence but was not recognised as such by all UN members, received permission from FIFA to play international friendly matches against other FIFA national teams. The inaugural international against Haiti took place in Mitrovica in early March. FIFA’s diplomatic efforts required special tact and sensitivity in the drive to secure a rapprochement between the Israeli and Palestinian football associations. In the light of persistent tensions between the sides it was an exceptional achievement last September when the associations declared their readiness, under the auspices of a FIFA Task Force, to establish new regulations governing travel for football players and officials. Agreement was reached on the fundamental parameters. So in this light the Handshake for Peace is more than a mere symbolic gesture. It is emblematic of decades of hard work and effort quietly put in by FIFA. Å
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In a good cause Neymar (left) and Piqué are both stars on the field of play, and look good off it as well in our shoot in Barcelona.
“A Journey of Hope” The Handshake for Peace Producer: Stewart Binns, Executive producer: Lars Sternmarker, Documentary, 52 minutes, England, May 2014
This 52 minute documentary traces the story of the “Handshake for Peace” in full. The origins of the project are explained using five pivotal moments drawn from history.The journey starts with the ancient Greeks, who regarded the handshake as a sign of reconciliation, and proceeds via African slaves in America through to the remarkable story of Nelson Mandela. The branch of the plot arising from the origins of the Nobel Peace Prize and FIFA joins the main theme on the day of the inaugural “Nelson Mandela Challenge” in 2009, when Trond Tandberg took the seminal photograph of the first “Handshake for Peace” between South African Aaron Mokoena and Norwegian Morten Gamst Pedersen. Exactly a century ago,
with the First World War raging and peace seemingly eclipsed by fear and hopelessness, German and English troops came together on Christmas Eve 1914 for a game of football. The task facing football today is to continue sending out a message of hope. Featuring interviews with key personalities including Nobel Institute director Geir Lundestad, Nobel Peace Center director Bente Erichsen, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, South African politician Tokyo Sexwale and Nelson Mandela’s grandchild Mandla Mandela, English filmmaker Stewart Binns comprehensively illustrates the history of the “Handshake for Peace.”
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and community responsibilities and sending a message of peace around the world. The vision is founded on a handshake between the captains in the centre circle, a simple but effective gesture performed in front of thousands in the stands and transmitted around the world on TV screens. Neymar and Piqué provide us with a high-profile example but the thinking behind the handshake is even more fundamental: It starts with you and me! Å
TALK ING POIN T S
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Will someone please win this league? Jordi Punti es novelista y autor de numerosos artículos futbolísticos en la prensa española.
When it comes to the Olympics, there are some who prefer watching the marathon, and others the 100 metres. It is all a question of taste. In the former it is the ability of the athletes to keep pushing themselves to the limit kilometre after kilometre that astounds us. In the latter, it is the explosion of superhuman speed in less than ten seconds that takes the breath away. The ultimate spectacle would be a combination of the two, a marathon that comes down to the final 100 metres, with exhausted athletes straining every tired sinew in a bid to reach the line first. It is that very scenario that will be played out in La Liga this coming Saturday, when, thanks to the whims of the fixture list, Barcelona and
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Atletico Madrid will slug it out for the title at the Camp Nou. Following 37 matchdays and hundreds of games over the course of a season in which the lead has changed hands several times, the destiny of the title has come down to a single match. When asked if they would rather see their teams win the league or the Champions League, Spanish fans usually give a stock answer and opt for the league, the ultimate reward for consistency. This season, however, the three title contenders – Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid – have found consistency elusive, suffering occasional slumps in form and confidence. The pundits have been dubbing this a season of transition in Spain, with the two-horse races of the last nine seasons, in which either Barcelona or Real Madrid have claimed the title, giving way to a slightly more open competition, one that has gone to the very last day at both the top and bottom of the table, where two relegations slots have still to be filled. The question is, though, are we ready for such a dramatic denouement to the championship? Is it necessarily a good thing to have so much riding on what is, to all intents and purposes, an unofficial play-off?
While such occasions generate a combination of expectation and nervous anxiety for the fans, there is no doubting the appeal of a title decider. A number of national leagues, among them the Colombian, Mexican and Australian championships, have been tapping into the excitement created by the play-off system for some time now, though the feeling in Spain is that such all-or-nothing games hinge too much on the intervention of fate: an untimely injury, a refereeing mistake or a star player suffering an off day. In the build-up to the game both sides have been giving the impression that this is a one-off match that has little to do with the league, a reflection perhaps of the unique nature of the occasion. Barcelona have accepted this unexpected last-minute gift as a joker card, an extra life in a video game, a late invitation to atone for their underwhelming season. Atleti, meanwhile, who only need a draw to make the league theirs, have proved adept at winner-takes-all matches this season. Any team that can take Chelsea apart in a Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge is also capable of going to the Camp Nou and upsetting a side that seems to have been perched on the psychiatrist’s couch for the last few weeks now.
Hungry for more Atletico Madrid supporters, seen here at their team’s 1-1 draw with Malaga, hope to witness Champions League glory. 14
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Pep Guardiola, who formed part of that Barcelona side, often reminds his players that Champions League ties are decided by tiny details. League championships are a different beast, however, with titles invariably being won thanks to consistency and the happy marriage of countless little details. That this particular title race should come down to one final tragicomic act appears to be a twist of destiny decreed by the footballing gods, who, having seemingly grown tired of the inability of Atletico and Barcelona to settle the issue before now, have commanded them to wage a fight to the death. Å
Marcos Pin / API
Since it was first contested in 1928, the Spanish championship has only ever seen the league leadership change hands seven times on the final day of the season. Three of those occasions came between 1992 and 1994, during Johan Cruyff’s spell as Barcelona coach, when Los Culés won three league crowns in a row thanks to last-day slip-ups by their title rivals. As brilliant as Cruyff’s Dream Team were, people still remember Miroslav Djukic’s fateful last-minute penalty miss for Deportivo La Coruna in 1994 and the shock defeats Real Madrid suffered in Tenerife the two previous seasons, with Barça the beneficiaries on all three occasions. As those finales showed, sometimes an entire league campaign can boil down to a single day.
More than Soccernomics?
Top of the pile Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany hoists the Premier League trophy high.
David Winner is a London-based author and journalist. His books on football include ’Brilliant Orange’ and ’Dennis Bergkamp: Stillness and Speed’.
In the end, the most surprising twist to the most exciting English season in years was its predictability. Thanks to the end of Manchester United’s 20 year dominance, the race for the Premier League title was unusually open. Without their retired genius manager Sir Alex Ferguson, United, champions for 12 of the previous 20 years, finished seventh. In his absence, leadership of the Premier League swapped hands a record 25 times during the season. Arsenal were early frontrunners but fell away after star players Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil were injured. The Gunners’ title-winning aspirations were wrecked by heavy defeats away to their closest rivals, the most humiliating coming in veteran manager Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match in charge – a 6-0 drubbing by Chelsea in March. By then the Blues, under their Portuguese maestro Jose Mourinho, seemed the most likely champions. Without their great, departed striker Didier Drogba, however, they sometimes struggled to score. Surprise defeats away to Crystal Palace and at home to Sunderland helped sink the side from Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, unexpected new candidates had emerged. Like some fairytale giant, Liverpool, the team of the seventies and eighties, awakened from long slumber. Ninety-six fans of the club had died at Hillsborough in 1989, their loved ones’ grief later compounded by
years of official lies and cover-ups. Now, coinciding with the emotional 25th anniversary of the tragedy in April, Liverpool, guided by their exceptional young coach, Brendan Rodgers, and driven by a mixture of pride and a still-burning sense of injustice, hurtled up the table. With striker Luis Suarez to the fore, the Reds played their best attacking football in a generation. Yet, on the brink of winning their first title since 1990, they faltered, their decisive defeat at home to Chelsea turning on a slip by captain Steven Gerrard. In the end, predictably, it was Manchester City who glided powerfully to the title, beating West Ham on the final match day on Sunday. Predictably? In their book ’Soccernomics’
The best players are paid most, so, on average, teams with the highest wage bills tend to finish top. The consequences of relative financial muscle off the field were visible on it: no competitor matched the power, balance and depth of City’s expensively-assembled squad. Liverpool’s defenders erred. Chelsea’s strikers missed chances. Arsenal’s multiple fragilities were exposed. But Manchester City had the likes of Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany – and top-quality cover for every position. City have the best paid squad in any sport anywhere in the world. The only surprise about their victory was that anyone was surprised. Å
Liverpool’s defenders erred. Chelsea’s strikers missed chances. Arsenal’s m ultiple fragilities were exposed.
Stefan Szymanski, professor of economics at the University of Michigan, and journalist Simon Kuper show how league position can be foretold with 90 per cent accuracy. Szymanski analysed the finances of English league clubs over more than 30 years and discovered that final league position depended to a very large degree on wages.
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The majority of Ecuador’s key players ply their trade abroad in Mexico, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands and the Persian Gulf. Their biggest star, Antonio Valencia, is on the books at Manchester United. Nonetheless, head coach Reinaldo Ruedo relies heavily on players from the domestic Serie A. On Sunday, six members of the World Cup squad took part in the biggest game of the Ecuadorian league season – the Clasico del Astillero CS between Emelec and Barcelona SC, two fierce rivals from the port city of Guayaquil.
Man of the match Angel Mena celebrates after putting Emelec 2-0 up.
The match was an all-or-nothing affair for Barcelona, a club founded by Catalonian immigrants in 1925. They had made a poor start to the season and despite climbing into mid-table in recent weeks, their performances over the course of the first half of the campaign have failed to meet the fans’ high expectations.
Ecuador unaffected by domestic rivalries Sven Goldmann is a football expert at Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin.
Will Ecuador win the World Cup? The common consensus across the globe and in Ecuador itself is that they won’t. Qualifying for the finals in Brazil is one thing, but the Tricolor, as they are known by fans on account of their blue, yellow and red jerseys, will always be regarded as underdogs by supporters. It is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that fans from Quito to Guayaquil weren’t best pleased at seeing 16
the domestic championship grind to a halt after just 17 matches last weekend. The next round of fixtures is due to take place on 13 July – the day of the World Cup final at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium. The fans’ attitude towards the national team is all the more remarkable considering Ecuador have given an excellent account of themselves in recent games, beating Uruguay 1-0 in the Eliminatores and coming from 3-0 down to defeat Australia 4-3 in London, before holding Argentina to a goalless draw in East Rutherford. Throw in the fact that their World Cup group – which pits the Tricolor against France, Honduras and Switzerland – is hardly among the strongest in the tournament, and it becomes clear that it would be dangerous to underestimate Ecuador this summer. T H E F I FA W E E K LY
The defeat leaves Barcelona twelve points behind leaders Emerec and the season has now effectively run its course for the fifthplaced side, even before they return to action against ninth-placed El Nacional on the day of the World Cup final at the Maracana. Å
Marcos Pin / APi
Ecuador: Serie A
Barcelona had lost their previous encounter with Emerec and it wasn’t to be their day on this occasion either. In front of 20,000 spectators at the Estadio George Capwell, the league leaders from the historic dockland took control of proceedings right from the off, but there was an element of luck about their opening goal through Denis Stracqualursi, who diverted the ball into the net with his arm after Barcelona and Ecuador keeper Maximo Banguera had let a harmless cross slip out of his grasp. Barcelona lacked creativity after that, while Emerec continued to pose a threat on the counter-attack and scored the decisive second goal in the closing stages when the outstanding Angel Mena slotted past Banguera, who this time could do nothing to keep it out.
I s r a e l : L i g a t h a ’A l
The movers and shakers at Maccabi Tel Aviv Benny Epstein writes about Israeli football.
After Maccabi Tel Aviv defended their crown and wrapped up a 20th league championship with four rounds of matches still to play, the Israeli record titleholders were understandably in celebratory mood. There can be no question, however, that the three principal authors of the success were Eran Zahavi, Paulo Sousa and Jordi Cruyff.
The former, an attacking midfielder who caresses the ball in possession and who is equally able to create chances as finish them, underlined his importance to the team with a brace in the decisive 2–1 victory over Hapoel Beer Scheva. Zahavi may have only made 23 appearances in an 18-month spell at Palermo, but the Israeli international nevertheless returned from the Serie A with greater attacking menace and was deservedly voted as player of the season.
Coach Sousa masterminded Tel Aviv’s triumph thanks to his tactical expertise and superb man management. Despite the side’s progress into the knockout rounds of the Europa League, the Portuguese strategist succeeded in constantly maintaining the squad’s focus on the domestic championship. That was no easy feat, as just four days after a 4–2 group stage victory over Eintracht Frankfurt the team faced a tricky tie against relegation-threatened Maccabi Petah Tikva. It remains to be seen whether Sousa, who won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund in 1997, will still be at the Bloomfield Stadium next season, with the coach so far reluctant to commit. That brings us to the driving force behind the scenes, sporting director Cruyff. When the Dutchman was appointed in spring 2012 his arrival was conspicuous for its lack of fanfare, with the 40-year-old dismissed as just another big name, or even worse: the son of a big name. However, that initial reticence was misplaced and Cruyff’s shrewd signings have helped the club to two league titles and a cup
triumph. Now he has his sights set on taking Tel Aviv to the Champions League proper. The last major star to grace the Israeli league was Lothar Matthaus, who was supposed to pen a footballing fairytale in leading Maccabi Netanya to glory as coach. The reality was rather different though, as Netanya finished in fourth in Matthaus’ first and only season at the club in 2009 and they were relegated to the second division three years later. The ’Diamonds’ underwent a radical makeover and bounced straight back up to the top flight after a stunning 2013/14 season, which even included a run to the cup final. Around 12,000 fans – approximately 7,000 more than Tel Aviv’s normal attendance – witnessed their heroes take Hapoel Kiryat Shmona into extra time before eventually succumbing to defeat. Netanya can take a morsel of comfort in the fact that next season they will have the chance to qualify for European competition via their final standing in the top-flight table, rather than relying on a cup run. Å
There were three principal authors behind Maccabi Tel Aviv’s success: Eran Zahavi, Paulo Sousa and Jordi Cruyff.
Champions Maccabi Tel Aviv celebrate winning their 20th league title. T H E F I FA W E E K LY
A FIFA World Cup in Brazil is just like Visa: everyone is welcome.
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C O U N T D O W N T O B R A Z I L 2 0 14 : 2 7 D A Y S T O G O
Sustainable World Cup The footprint left by the World Cup will extend beyond the footballing sphere. FIFA is strongly committed to protecting the environment and has launched a programme to compensate for CO2 emissions.
Eye on the climate FIFA’s eco-protection plan includes Manaus.
Dida Sampaio / Keystone
o reduce the environmental impact of the World Cup and raise awareness on carbon emissions, FIFA launched a programme encouraging successful ticket applicants to offset the emissions resulting from their travel to the tournament for free, no matter where in the world they are travelling from. All ticket holders with a valid FIFA.com Club account and a successful ticket request reference ID are invited to sign up on via FIFA.com’s carbon offsetting page and enter a prize draw to win two tickets for the FIFA World Cup final while FIFA will cover the cost to offset their emissions. “FIFA takes its environmental responsibility very seriously. As part of our strategy with the non-profit carbon management programme BP Target Neutral, we will offset 100 per cent of our own operational emissions and through the campaign, we are encouraging fans to neutralise the carbon emissions resulting from their travel to Brazil. At the same time we use the World Cup as an opportunity to engage with
millions of people and raise awareness of the environmental impact of our journeys and the ways to mitigate it, ” says Federico Addiechi, Head of FIFA Corporate Social Responsibility. “A win-win for all” The World Cup is the largest individual sporting competition in the world. Staging a tournament of this scale inevitably has an impact on the environment. Offsetting is one way of limiting this impact. It aims to balance the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere in one place by removing, or preventing them, in another – resulting in a zero net effect. “It just makes sense”, says Cafu, the world’s only player to have appeared in three World Cup finals. “Supporting your team and supporting low carbon development in Brazil at the same time is a win-win for all. I am offsetting my travels related to the World Cup and encouraging everyone to do the same. It’s really easy to do and only takes a minute”. FIFA will offset the emissions from a portfolio of Brazilian best-in-class low carbon projects selected for the World Cup by BP Target Neutral. Each project is selected through a T H E F I FA W E E K LY
rigorous tender process and adhering to the standards set by the International Carbon Reduction and Offsetting Alliance (ICROA) with final selection made by an independent panel of environmental NGOs. The list of the exact offsetting projects selected, all of which result in social and economic benefits to local Brazilian communities, will be announced in June. Å
For more information on FIFA’s Sustainability Strategy for the World Cup please visit: www.fifa.com /csr20? 19
Place: Beit Lahia, Gaza Str ip D a t e : 4 M a y 2 0 1 4 Time: 6.27 am
Mahmud Hams / Afp
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T HE DEBAT E
Gorbachev, etiquette and The Beatles Handshake in zero-gravity Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov (l.) and his American colleague Thomas Stafford shake hands in outer space.
Sojuz spaceships next to each other in space and shook hands. Given that it is the one universal gesture that transcends political and cultural boundaries, it is hardly surprising that “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was The Beatles’ first global number one hit in 1963. Nevertheless, not all handshakes are the same, as ‘Knigge’, an online forum offering advice on behavioural and social interaction, explains: “When it comes to shaking hands it is important to keep the hand relaxed and at a 90 degree angle to the body and upper arm. You should not extend your arm too early as you approach someone, nor should you extend it too little so as to force the other person to come into unusually close proximity to you. A correctly executed handshake should maintain the normal distance between two people, which is approximately one metre. This can vary in different countries so you are advised to research local customs, especially prior to business trips. When you shake hands you should briefly squeeze the hand of the other person and look them in the eyes. Pay attention to the strength of your grip: it should be neither too firm nor too limp. Saying a few words in greeting is also appropriate.”
n western society the act of shaking hands stirs up a wealth of positive connotations, regardless of whether it is used as a greeting, to seal a deal or as a sign of peace. If performed with a firm grip and steady eye contact, it is received as a sign of self-confidence and respect. Major events in world history have been accompanied by the powerfully symbolic and media-friendly gesture, which has often been interpreted as a sign of new beginnings or the forging of a closer relationship. For instance, at 22
the 1945 Potsdam Conference at the end of the Second World War, the representatives of the victorious Allied powers – English Prime Minister Winston Churchill, American President Harry Truman and the Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin – all shook hands at Cecilienhof Palace. In 1988 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan did likewise at the Kremlin. Thirteen years earlier two other representatives of the Cold War-era superpowers also shook hands, after American astronaut Thomas Stafford and his Soviet colleague Alexei Leonov ‘parked’ their respective Apollo and T H E F I FA W E E K LY
The weekly debate. Any thing you want to get off your chest? Which topics do you want to discuss? Send your suggestions to: email@example.com
Historical moments the world over are marked by the shaking of hands, whether it be in politics, culture or sport. But is there more to the gesture than mere symbolism?
Such levels of intricacy may be out of place on a football pitch but it is no coincidence that the ‘Jiveshake’ – an Afro-American style of shaking hands – was chosen to be used during the ‘Handshake for Peace’. “It will mean that people look each other straight in the eye and that they will come closer than they would with a normal handshake,” said FIFA President Sepp Blatter. If the ‘Handshake for Peace’ takes off among the 265 million currently active players across the world then it could truly become an influential global symbol, with a power that extends far beyond the mere physicality of the act itself. Å
T HE DEBAT E
The FIFA Weekly asked on fifa.com: Is a handshake more than just a symbolic act?
Yes. It is more than a symbolic act. It congratulates the opposing team whether they won, or lost. It is also a sign of respect, which is important in sport. It’s also done in rugby, a handshake at the end. A handshake is not just a shake, it has a message, which is Well Done.
My father taught me a firm handshake and eye contact is what separates men from boys. I live to that creed every day. In football it is used as an act of responsibility and respect to which I agree. jreileyc (USA)
ukfootie (Great Britain)
It should bemore than that. It shows how willing we are to be in touch with the others, to send best wishes to them whatever the situation. In a football match, handshakes between opponents mean sending a good luck to fellow footballers. They may wear the different jersey, play in a different team, but they are under the same roof, ones who do profession as a footballer. tioborowski (Indonesia)
Yes it is. Some shake hands when they meet, when they go, when you get to know them. Yes, a handshake is more than just a symbolic act. Zmajevac25 (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Handshake is a symbol of respect and class, whether in the beginning or at the end of a match. Take the example in 2010 when French coach Domenech refused to shake the hand of South African coach Perreira when France was eliminated at 2010 World Cup. Mark Lawrenson said it best that “Win 7-0, lose 0-7, whatever, you shake the opposition’s hand. You just do it!” Never are there truer words in soccer than that statement.
“It’s a promise to take care of each other.” The handshake as a symbolic act is generally thought to have developed from war – as a gesture to demonstrate neither side is carrying a hidden weapon and each comes in peace. As standard part of the event build up, I believe the handshake to be more than just a symbolic act as it expresses a willingness for equality and balance and connotes an implicit promise to take care of each other, to be sporting, to behave by the rules, to respect fellow players/referees/opponents and fans. ADJVFUN (Greece)
No. I think it’s just formality ... Like the national anthems are.
Football’s big chance
I am from Bosnia Herzegovina. Handshake in my tradition and religion means: Handshaking can forgive sins.
Mudu 12 (India)
et’s celebrate humanity through football,” said the unforgettable Nelson Mandela. His words are more topical than ever. Football can build bridges and bring people together like almost no other sport. Even in areas of conflict such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria, the kick-off to a game of football can also help initiate diplomatic and political negotiations. Football gives people hope even in the most difficult of circumstances. At the World Cup in Brazil, we want to spread this message even more forcefully around the world with our “Handshake for Peace” campaign in association with the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. Naturally the campaign is a symbolic act: a handshake is always a symbol. But it can be an important sign and the start of sustainable developments. The decisive factor is how much energy is invested in the peace process afterwards. We have devised a special moment of drama to symbolise this mission: a dove of peace will be released at the World Cup opening ceremony, prior to the meeting between Brazil and Croatia in Sao Paulo on 12 June. It is a matter of the utmost personal importance to me that we maintain the intensity and pace of our efforts in this respect. The power of our sport ultimately extends way beyond the confines of the pitch and the duration of a match. Thanks to the appeal and popularity of our sport we have a huge chance to bring people together and impart respect and mutual understanding. We must under no circumstances miss this chance in Brazil.
“Win 7-0, lose 0-7. You just do it!” Best wishes, Sepp Blatter T H E F I FA W E E K LY
game onor game over
all in or nothing
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WOMEN’S FOO T BALL
Johanna Lundberg / bildbyran / freshfocus
Tyreso FF face Wolfsburg in the Women’s Champions League final in Lisbon on 22 May. A victory for Marta & Co. would see the most coveted trophy in women's club football return to Sweden for a third time - a fair reflection of the pioneering role of women in Swedish society. T H E F I FA W E E K LY
WOMEN’S FOO T BALL
t is certainly no coincidence that Pippi Longstocking, the fictional character created by Astrid Lindgren, hails from Sweden. The young girl with superhuman strength is almost symbolic of the status enjoyed by women in the region. In fact, the Scandinavians have always been quicker than their European neighbours to address the issue of gender equality, with Swedish women first granted the right to vote and to stand for election as early as 1921 – a full 50 years before their Swiss counterparts for example. The Nobel Peace Prize winner Alva Myrdal came up with the concept of childcare facilities in Sweden in the 1930s, a step which helped the country in its attempts to establish equal rights. Norway became the first country in the world to introduce a gender quota for supervisory boards, with all public enterprises obliged to fill at least 40% of the seats on their supervisory board with women since 2006. For Pia Sundhage, the coach of the Sweden women’s national team, the social status enjoyed by females in Scandinavia has been pivotal for the development of the women’s game. “We in northern Europe have always been very forward-thinking in this regard, hence our quick footballing progress,” said the two-time Olympic gold medallist and the 2012 Women’s Football Coach of the Year. Nevertheless, playing the sport was not about ensuring women’s rights for the young Sundhage. “The fight for gender equality and the development of women’s football have progressed hand in hand. But this wasn’t an issue for me back then. Nowadays, I think we should’ve used football more to achieve this objective.” An important milestone Initially, though, even the female footballers of northern Europe fell victim to sexual discrimination, with the magazine “Nordisk Idrottslif” publishing the following sharply-worded statement in reaction to competitive football being organised by a few strong-minded women back in 1918. “There are no words strong enough to condemn women’s football. Women have the right to put on a pair of sports shorts and kick a ball around from time to time, but not to claim that this is connected to football even in the slightest. A number of competitive women’s sports are played in the modern era. However, the most despicable of those is undoubtedly women’s football.” Despite the contempt shown by journalists, the match organised by “Stockholm Kvinnliga Idrottsklub” (Women’s Sports Club of Stock26
holm) is regarded as a milestone in the global development of the women’s game. Unfortunately, decades would pass before the public attitude in Sweden shifted somewhat. Women’s football was labelled as “anything but feminine” and was often said to pose the danger of serious physical injuries due to females not being designed to cope with the strains of the game. Pia Sundhage describes such thinking as “sheer ignorance” and a “theory simply plucked out of thin air”. The long-awaited shift in attitudes finally came in 1973, a year in which the country reached the milestone of 10,000 licensed players and more than 30,000 active players in total. It also marked the organisation of the first women’s league in Sweden and the country’s first international match, which was played against Finland on 25 August that year. A rival to the men’s game? Taking into account the number of professional players, football is the second biggest women’s sport in modern-day Sweden. In fact, the densely populated northern European country has more professional female players than any other country. Its clubs work on long-term initiatives with companies which are prepared to invest the necessary financial support into the game - a win-win situation in view of the largescale media interest in the sport. Women’s football is one of the most talked-about sports in Sweden and has almost become a national treasure. Jonny Hjelm, a history professor with a specialism in this field, proposed an almost euphoric theory in the “Svenska Dagbladet” when he outlined his belief that it would not be long before women’s football enjoyed the same status as the men’s game in Sweden. He believes it has taken between 40 and 50 years for men’s football to be regarded as a sporting and cultural phenomenon, and that it would take a similar length of time for women’s football too. According to his theory, if we take 1973, the year in which a women’s league was set up in Sweden for the first time, as a starting point, we are approaching the period when women’s football is set to achieve that aim. It remains to be seen if and when Hjelm’s prediction comes true. One thing is for sure though; it will to be some time before a Swedish men’s team reaches the UEFA Champions League final. Å
Tyreso Fotbollforening Year founded 1971 Stadium Bollmoravallen Capacity Approximately 2,700 Coach Tony Gustavsson (women) Andreas Vanberg (men) League Damallsvenskan (women) Division 3 Sodra Svealand (men) Homepage www.tyresoff.se
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WOMEN’S FOO T BALL
Popular Tyreso FF from just outside Stockholm have made a name for themselves in the women’s game (team in yellow).
Johanna Lundberg / bildbyran / freshfocus
Tyreso FF – at a crossroads Tyreso is situated approximately 40 minutes from the centre of Stockholm and is surrounded by beautiful landscapes which include lakes, forests and the nearby sea. In addition to numerous sports clubs, the 44,000 inhabitants also have access to football pitches, ice rinks, indoor swimming pools and other sport and leisure facilities. Tyreso FF, originally founded in 1971, have really made a name for themselves in the women’s game. Although the men’s team have only spent two seasons in the country’s second-highest division, the women’s team celebrated their first championship victory two years ago. Last season the club finished
the campaign in second place behind LdB FC Malmo, who changed their name to FC Rosengard in December 2013. The club’s most famous player is the 28-year-old Brazilian Marta Vieira da Silva, the five-time FIFA Women’s World Footballer of the Year. However, the signing of the playmaker (and other big names) seems to have placed Tyreso under great financial strain, with threats of bankruptcy and licence withdrawal casting a dark shadow over the club. Tyreso's failure to present its financial statements for 2013 by the deadline date of 16 March has led the Swedish Football Federation to provisionally refuse to
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grant the club a licence. If the verdict stands, last season’s runners-up will be relegated to the third tier next season. In the meantime, though, the club remains firmly focused on the Champions League final – and the hope of economic survival. Tyreso FF reached the Lisbon final on 22 May by progressing through the knockout stages as follows: Paris St-Germain (round of 32: 2-1), Fortuna Hjorring from Denmark (round of 16: 6-1), Neulengbach from Austria (quarter-final: 8-1) and Birmingham City (semi-final: 3-0).
EVERY GASP EVERY SCREAM EVERY ROAR EVERY DIVE EVERY BALL E V E RY PAS S EVERY CHANCE EVERY STRIKE E V E R Y B E AU T I F U L D E TA I L SHALL BE SEEN SHALL BE HEARD S H A L L B E FE LT
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F I F A T O P 11
The fastest World Cup goals
Delicate Wash Thomas Renggli
ash, dry, iron. The Iranian national football team is duty-bound to exercise sustainability at the upcoming World Cup finals in Brazil. For reasons of financial prudence, the national federation is not willing to make new kits available to the players for each game, meaning that the tournament’s first losers have already been established. They are Nigeria, Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose charges will leave the pitch empty-handed when they each face Team Melli. “Our guys have to be thrifty when it comes to the jerseys,” says the budget-conscious chief of the Iranian federation Ali Kafaschian, a man on whom the team can rely when it comes to finding the laundry room. The national side’s attire has been a cause of irritation in Iran for months now. Substitute goalkeeper Ali-Resa Haghighi, who stands 6’3 tall in his socks, made the mistake of programming a washing machine incorrectly, only to discover that his extra large training kit had shrunk to the size of a medium. Kafaschian took a pragmatic approach in dealing with that laundry-themed own goal, issuing Haghighi with the following helpful reminder: “They don’t always need to use hot water when they wash their kits.” In its own odd way, Iran’s tactic of non-compliance with normal procedure is leading to a break with tradition. The first exchange of football shirts took place on 14 May 1931, when the French asked their beaten English opposition for a memento after an unexpected victory in a friendly. The symbolic gesture then became institutionalised at the World Cup finals in 1970 by two of the greatest footballing nations, as Brazil star Pele offered his shirt to England captain Bobby Moore. The West Ham United legend and 1966 World Cup winner returned
the favour, his jersey eventually going on to roughly fetch USD$65,000 at an auction some years later. Such an amount might just be enough to change the minds of Iran’s football federation. Shirts worn by Argentine superstar Lionel Messi go for a similar figure these days, to the point that even professional footballers are increasingly joining the ranks of the souvenir hunters. In a Champions League game against Barcelona two years ago, Bayer Leverkusen players allegedly quarrelled at the interval over who would receive Messi’s shirt. “At half-time, Manuel Friedrich pinched it from me,” lamented Michel Kadlec to journalists at the final whistle. Similarly unscrupulous activity should not be ruled out on the pitches of Brazil this summer either, because irrespective of any Iranian frugality, every player is permitted to partake in the swapping of shirts, begging the question as to whose will be the most desirable. Will it be Cristiano Ronaldo’s, Messi’s, Neymar’s, Andrea Pirlo’s or Mesut Ozil’s perhaps? In each case, it will pay to have a plan of action prepared beforehand, since the competition comes from within a team’s own ranks. Only then can you begin to think about reaching the laundry room and encountering the biggest problems. Whoever washes the jersey of the 169 cm-tall Messi at too high a temperature will have very little left of it indeed. Å
Hakan Sukur, Turkey Scored after: 11 seconds Date: 29 June 2002 Match: Korea Republic 2-3 Turkey
Vaclav Masek, Czechoslovakia Scored after: 16 seconds Date: 7 June 1962 Match: Mexico 3-1 Czechoslovakia
Ernst Lehner, Germany Scored after: 25 seconds Date: 7 June 1934 Match: Germany 3-2 Austria
Bryan Robson, England Scored after: 28 seconds Date: 16 June 1982 Match: England 3-1 France
Bernard Lacombe, France Scored after: 31 seconds Date: 2 June 1978 Match: Italy 2-1 France
Emile Veinante, France Scored after: 35 seconds Date: 5 June 1938 Match: France 3-1 Belgium
A rne Nyberg, Sweden Scored after: 35 seconds Date: 16 June 1938 Match: Hungary 5-1 Sweden
Florian Albert, Hungary Scored after: 50 seconds Date: 3 June 1962 Match: Hungary 6-1 Bulgaria
Pak Seung-Zin, Korea DPR Scored after: 59 seconds Date: 23 July 1966 Match: Portugal 5-3 Korea DPR
11 The weekly column by our staff writers T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Adalbert Desu, Romania Scored after: 50 seconds Date: 14 July 1930 Match: Romania 3-1 Peru
Celso Ayala, Paraguay Scored after: 53 seconds Date: 24 June 1998 Match: Paraguay 3-1 Nigeria
Source: FIFA (FIFA World Cup, Superlatives, Statistical Kit 5, 4.8.2010) 29
From Paris to Zurich On 21 May 2014, FIFA celebrates its 110th anniversary. World football's governing body began life in Paris and ended up in Zurich, where it has been based for over 80 years. Sarah Steiner and Yvonne Lemmer
any a city would be more than happy to call itself home to world football’s governing body. FIFA and Zurich go back a long way – to 1932 in fact, when the global institution first moved to the Swiss capital. Over the intervening 82 years, FIFA has created a considerable number of jobs. Today, more than 400 workers from all over the world are on the payroll in Zurich and it is not only the employment figures that are looking rosy. FIFA has boosted the local economy in several sectors. Meetings, conferences and major international events, such as the Ballon d’Or Gala at the Congress Hall, attract thousands of visitors to Switzerland every year. The world’s best footballers from the men’s and women’s game, as well as officials, business partners and members of press all boost the tourism and the catering industry. Even the publishing, construction and retail sectors, together with many other service providers profit from FIFA as subcontractors in all kinds of projects, large and small alike. FIFA also invests heavily in grassroots sport. In 2012, world football’s governing body donated US$ 22.5 million to the Department of School and Sport in Zurich for the upgrading of pitches and the promotion of girl’s and women’s football in the city of Zurich. US $17 million in taxes As the home of FIFA, Zurich can unashamedly call itself football’s capital city. A study published by Rütter + Partner in 2013 (see box) on the economic impact of sporting organisations in Switzerland showed that the three largest Swiss sports associations – FIFA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UEFA – contribute US$ 1.12 billion to the GVA. FIFA’s financial statement for 2013 also reported taxes of US$17 million. How it all began FIFA was founded in Paris in 1904, so how did the governing body end up in Zurich? As part of a planned reorganisation, the executive committee proposed at the 20th FIFA Congress in Berlin in 1931 that a permanent home should 30
be found. Until then, FIFA’s offices had been stationed wherever the Secretary General was residing – in Amsterdam, for instance, when Carl Anton Wilhelm Hirschman held office from 1906 to 1931. The Executive Committee’s motion was passed and at the next Congress twelve months later, delegates voted on the location of the new headquarters. Fourteen votes were cast in favour of Zurich, compared with only eleven for Paris. The neutrality and central geographical location of Switzerland were key factors in the outcome of the vote. That same year, FIFA President Jules Rimet and Vice President Giovanni Mauro travelled to Zurich to have a look at potential premises. The duo decided on Bahnhofstrasse 77, the most central location of all. “It was eventually agreed that two rooms would be rented in a modern office building where the association has its headquarters today,” stated a progress report from 1932. An investment of CHF 7094.77 got the new FIFA base in Zurich up and running. This included the cost of furnishing the office, transport and customs duty for the few items of furniture and documents brought over from the previous base in Amsterdam, travel expenses for the new FIFA Secretary General Ivo Schricker, costs associated with his relocation, and expenses for electrical installations in the new office in Zurich.. There was another new development as FIFA moved into its first headquarters: the Secretary General was to be remunerated for the first time. While Hirschmann had worked for FIFA on an honorary basis, Schricker, who remained in the post for 20 years, was the first Secretary General to receive an official salary. Workplace and tourist attraction Although Zurich was to remain the home of FIFA, the governing body would continue to move up in the city as it moved up in the world. From 1954, FIFA’s office was located at the Villa Derwald on Hitzigweg 11. The mid-1970s saw the organisation build more modern premises on the same plot of land, which it eventually moved into in 1979. While construction work was ongoing, FIFA operated from an office on Aurorastrasse. Growing numbers of staff made the purchase of a second building necessary – Hotel Sonnenberg, which opened for business T H E F I FA W E E K LY
in 2000. Finally, May 2006 saw staff move into the new headquarters on FIFA-Strasse 20 on the Zurichberg. “The home of FIFA is your home – come on in,” President Joseph S. Blatter told the representatives of FIFA’s member associations during his welcome address. The 134-metre long, 41-metre wide and 12-metre high building designed by Swiss architect Tilla Theus is not just a workplace for FIFA staff, but also a popular attraction for many tourists who make the trip to Zurich. Å
FIFA in numbers The “Study on the economic importance of international sport organisations in Switzerland” was commissioned by FIFA and launched by the Rütter + Partner research institute in 2012. The study takes into account both the direct and indirect economic impact of the organisations. For more information on the study, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/lqxpls9
2006 Home of FIFA
2000 Hotel Sonnenberg
circa 1975 Aurorastrasse
Hitziweg 11 (Villa Derwald refurbished)
1932 Bahnhofstrasse 77
FIFA founded in Paris
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Reforma Sports Club, Mexico City
Have some of that: Physio Norman Medhurst (right) administers a cooling shower to England midfield pivot Ray Wilkins during training on the “England Football Summer Tour” on 30 May 1985.
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Bob Thomas / Getty Images
Allianz Arena, Munich
2014 Baptism of beer: A celebratory shower personally administered by the boss could be regarded as a compliment of sorts. Fresh from collecting his third German championship winnerâ€™s medal on 10 May 2014, Toni Kroos (right) receives a soaking from Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola.
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FIFA WORLD R ANKING Rank Team
Change in ranking Points
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Spain Germany Portugal Brazil Colombia Uruguay Argentina Switzerland Italy Greece
0 0 0 2 -1 -1 -1 0 0 0
1460 1340 1245 1210 1186 1181 1178 1161 1115 1082
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 25 25 28 29 30 30 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 42 44 45 46 47 47 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 55 55 58 59 59 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77
England Belgium Chile USA Netherlands France Ukraine Russia Mexico Croatia Côte d’Ivoire Scotland Denmark Egypt Bosnia-Herzegovina Sweden Algeria Ecuador Slovenia Serbia Honduras Romania Armenia Costa Rica Panama Czech Republic Iran Ghana Turkey Austria Venezuela Peru Cape Verde Islands Nigeria Hungary Slovakia Japan Wales Tunisia Cameroon Guinea Finland Uzbekistan Montenegro Korea Republic Norway Paraguay Iceland Mali Australia Burkina Faso Libya Senegal Jordan South Africa Republic of Ireland United Arab Emirates Bolivia El Salvador Albania Sierra Leone Poland Bulgaria Trinidad and Tobago Saudi Arabia Morocco Haiti
0 0 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2
1043 1039 1037 1015 967 935 913 903 877 871 830 825 819 798 795 795 795 794 787 759 759 756 750 748 739 731 715 713 711 673 666 665 665 631 623 616 613 613 597 583 580 578 577 555 551 551 551 546 545 545 528 522 511 510 507 504 499 497 488 486 484 479 460 457 455 454 452
Ranking 12 / 2013
01 / 2014
02 / 2014
03 / 2014
04 / 2014
05 / 2014
1 -41 -83 -125 -167 -209
78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 106 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 114 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 122 124 125 126 126 128 128 130 131 131 133 134 134 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144
Israel Zambia FYR Macedonia Jamaica Oman Belarus Northern Ireland Azerbaijan Uganda Gabon Congo DR Togo Cuba Botswana Congo Estonia Angola Qatar China PR Benin Zimbabwe Moldova Iraq Ethiopia Niger Georgia Lithuania Bahrain Kenya Central African Republic Kuwait Latvia Canada New Zealand Luxembourg Equatorial Guinea Mozambique Lebanon Vietnam Sudan Kazakhstan Liberia Namibia Tajikistan Malawi Tanzania Guatemala Burundi Dominican Republic St Vincent and the Grenadines Malta Afghanistan Cyprus Suriname Rwanda St Lucia Gambia Syria Grenada Korea DPR New Caledonia Mauritania Philippines Lesotho Antigua and Barbuda Thailand Belize
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
0 -5 0 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 12 -1 0 0 0 0 9 -1 -6 -2 -2 -2 8 -3 -3 -2 0 -2 13 3 -3 -3 -3 -1
450 448 443 420 418 404 400 398 395 386 380 374 371 369 367 366 347 338 333 332 327 325 321 319 315 303 293 289 284 284 283 273 272 271 266 261 251 251 242 241 235 234 233 229 227 227 223 215 212 212 204 204 201 197 197 191 190 190 188 175 174 165 161 159 158 156 152
145 146 147 147 149 150 151 152 153 153 155 156 157 158 159 159 161 162 163 164 165 165 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 173 173 176 177 178 179 180 180 182 183 184 184 186 187 188 189 190 191 191 191 194 195 195 197 197 199 200 201 202 202 204 205 206 207 207 207
Malaysia Kyrgyzstan Singapore India Puerto Rico Liechtenstein Guyana Indonesia Maldives St Kitts and Nevis Aruba Turkmenistan Tahiti Hong Kong Pakistan Nepal Barbados Bangladesh Dominica Faroe Islands Chad Palestine São Tomé e Príncipe Nicaragua Bermuda Chinese Taipei Guam Solomon Islands Sri Lanka Laos Myanmar Seychelles Curaçao Swaziland Yemen Mauritius Vanuatu Fiji Samoa Comoros Guinea-Bissau Bahamas Mongolia Montserrat Madagascar Cambodia Brunei Darussalam Timor-Leste Tonga US Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Papua New Guinea British Virgin Islands American Samoa Andorra Eritrea South Sudan Somalia Macau Djibouti Cook Islands Anguilla Bhutan San Marino Turks and Caicos Islands
-3 1 -2 -2 -2 -1 -1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 -3 0 4 -1 -1 -1 -1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 -4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
149 148 144 144 143 139 137 135 124 124 122 119 116 111 102 102 101 98 93 91 88 88 86 84 83 78 77 75 73 73 73 66 65 64 63 55 55 47 45 43 43 40 35 33 32 28 26 26 26 23 21 21 18 18 16 11 10 8 8 6 5 3 0 0 0
NET ZER KNOWS!
THE OBJEC T
Which was the best World Cup ever? Question from Sara Blaine, Birmingham
here's no such thing as a best World Cup. And there aren't any bad ones either. Every World Cup has its own unique appeal and storylines. We remember the passion just as much as the great goals and sublime skills. If I hear football fans talking about the 1994 World Cup in the USA, the main topic of conversation is never the thrilling quarter-final between Brazil and Holland. It's Roberto Baggio's missed penalty and his tears in the Final. It's not easy to remain objective when you're dealing with partisan passion and emotions. French fans will probably tell you the 1998 World Cup stands out ahead of the rest. And maybe it does, given the triumph of the golden generation headed by Laurent Blanc and Zinedine Zidane. But what about the 1970 tournament with the incomparable Pele? And where would you rank the 1986 World Cup with the FIFA Goal of the Century scored by Diego Maradona? All opinions are subjective. As you might guess, my favourite World Cup is the 2006 tournament in Germany. Of 36
course, I also like to remember 1974 and 1990 when Germany won. But the World Cup eight years ago made a huge impression on me because it also had a defining social impact. The Germans, who are more often than not thought of as unapproachable, opened their arms to the world. A lot of things went right in 2006: the great weather, the wonderful stadiums and the peaceful atmosphere on the streets. The World Cup in Brazil kicks off in 25 days and you can feel the mounting excitement. There will be some great stories in 2014, that much is for certain. Anticipation is sheer pleasure. All of which must mean, Ms Blaine, that the next World Cup is always the best. Å
What have you always wanted to know about football? Ask Gunter Netzer: firstname.lastname@example.org T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Best foot forward: Our columnist Gunter Netzer in July 1971.
Drinks coasters have gone out of fashion, or are at least no longer considered a must in refined households. One reason could be that coasters are no longer exclusively manufactured from glass or exotic woods, but from cheap plastic or cork, and may therefore have lost their decorative function in the trusty homestead and restaurant. An essential component of the interior decor scheme reduced to the status of disposable item: who could possibly have seen that coming? Pub landlords in Britain perhaps, where the bar counters are draped in drip-catching terry towels supplied by brewery sales promotion units. So what is the use of coasters bearing colourful images of football players? Every time you take a sip from your glass you ineluctably replace it on the coaster and thereby on the player, who disappears from view, separated only from the bottom of the glass by a thin film of water or beer, or wine as it may be. So what is he doing there in the first place? And who on earth derives amusement from the cute colourful picture only to wilfully cover it up again straight away? Don’t worry! The colourfully painted little player reflected in the beer glass – definitely a beer glass – is in actual fact located on the buttons of the drinker’s jacket. The FIFA collection includes a set of six of these buttons (date unknown). Not to be mistaken for coasters. Å
“One step back, two steps forward” Shkelzen Gashi, 25, became one of the hottest prospects in Swiss football after a stellar season in the second division with FC Aarau.
Emanuel Per Freudiger / Die Nordwestschweiz
he season in Switzerland is drawing to a close and unless something dramatic happens, I’ll finish the season as the Super League’s leading goalscorer – the first Grasshopper player to do so since Uruguayan Richard Nunez in 2003. I’m really proud. Theoretically, my season could’ve been extended by representing Switzerland at the World Cup in Brazil, but in 2013 I chose to play for Albania instead. It’s completely pointless asking me whether I regret it. You have to stand by your decisions. Perhaps my choice will be called into question once again if Kosovo eventually receives official recognition by FIFA. I can say now, though, that nothing will change because I’m extremely proud to represent Albania. At the first friendly match in Tirana the whole stadium was chanting my name. That’s when I realised that the people here really count on me. The Albania national team coach Gianni De Biasi says I’ve now become a real Swiss. I think he’s referring to my manners and my openness. In sporting terms, I’d describe myself as a combination of the two cultures: my technique and intuition probably come from my genes; my attitude and ambition are products of my Swiss homeland. I’m proud to possess this cultural mix. And I truly hope that Switzerland win the World Cup in Brazil. I came through the ranks at FC Zurich, where I really benefitted from Lucien Favre’s guidance – I regard him as one of the best coaches around. However, my development came to a standstill at one point: I was never really given a chance at the very top level and never felt like I had the trust of the club’s sporting leadership. Maybe I relied a little too much on talent alone, although I don’t think you could ever really class me as a problem player. I never had serious issues. Football is just like a “normal” job in the sense that if you began your career somewhere, then you’re always regarded as the apprentice. This was why I left the club in 2008 and it was the right choice, even though my subsequent career could hardly be described as straightforward. After a successful
Name Shkelzen Gashi Date of birth, place of birth 15 July 1988, Zurich Position Midfielder Clubs 1998 – 2009 FC Zurich 1999/2000 Grasshopper Club (loan) 2008 FC Schaffhausen (loan) 2008/2009 Bellinzona (loan) 2010/2011 Neuchatel Xamax 2011/2012 FC Aarau 2012 – present Grasshopper Club National team Switzerland U-21 (5 appearances, 2 goals) Albania (3 appearances)
loan spell at Bellinzona, I decided to switch to Neuchatel in 2010 as it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to me at the time. I felt that the move could serve as an ideal springboard to a big foreign club, though in hindsight it didn’t quite work out that way. I was offered little in the way of playing time. Three different coaches in the space of a year and increasing financial problems didn’t exactly improve the situation either. I realised that something had to change. It was at this point that I received an offer from FC Aarau in the Swiss second division. It wasn’t an easy decision. Those who dream of a career abroad don’t want to play in the second tier. But I knew the move could also have a liberating effect for me. My brother, to whom I often turn for advice, said to me: “It’s not going to be easy, but if you’re convinced, then go for it.” I completed the switch to Aarau, taking a pay-cut in the process. I quickly realised that I had to assert myself, and prove myself all over again. I realised that talent alone isn’t enough to be successful. The situation served to spur me on: I trained more, worked T H E F I FA W E E K LY
more consistently on my fitness and spent more time lifting weights in the gym. The transfer to Aarau was a real turning point in my career: a case of one step back, but two steps forward. I scored 24 goals and notched up 17 assists in 44 games, which was enough for Grasshopper Club to come calling with an offer. In my first season with the club we won the domestic Cup and finished the Super League as runners-up. In my second, under coach Michael Skibbe, we’re challenging again. By the way, my beard is not a sign I’m maturing with age. I’m just seeking inspiration from the players of ZSC Lions, the ice hockey club now on the verge of the title. I’m a huge fan of the team and am aware that we at GC also want to become champions. So I hoped a play-off beard could work for football too. Å As told to Thomas Renggli
In Turning Point, personalities reflect on a decisive moment in their lives. 37
Tomorrow brings us all closer To new people, new ideas and new states of mind. Hereâ€™s to reaching all the places weâ€™ve never been. Fly Emirates to 6 continents.
The FIFA Weekly Published weekly by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
FIFA QUIZ CUP
Three stars, four VIPs and five points – solve our quiz and win tickets to the 2014 World Cup final!
Publisher: FIFA, FIFA-Strasse 20, PO box, CH-8044 Zurich Tel. +41-(0)43-222 7777 Fax +41-(0)43-222 7878 President: Joseph S. Blatter Secretary General: Jérôme Valcke Director of Communications and Public Affairs: Walter De Gregorio
With players like these, Brazil will surely win the 2014 World Cup! Only one of these four internationals is not a member of the current squad – which one?
This is the iconic ball from 1970, but which was the first World Cup where the official matchball was no longer made of pentagons and hexagons?
Chief Editor: Perikles Monioudis Staff Writers: Thomas Renggli (Author), Alan Schweingruber, Sarah Steiner
Art Direction: Catharina Clajus Picture Editor: Peggy Knotz
Production: Hans-Peter Frei Layout: Richie Krönert (Lead), Marianne Bolliger-Crittin, Susanne Egli, Mirijam Ziegler
Proof Reader: Nena Morf, Kristina Rotach
This letter written in this way on a shirt is almost certainly unique. It belongs to...
Contributors: Sérgio Xavier Filho, Luigi Garlando, Sven Goldmann, Hanspeter Kuenzler, Jordi Punti, David Winner, Roland Zorn
Contributors to this Issue: Benny Epstein, Andrea Grünenfelder, Alois Hug, Yvonne Lemmer, Markus Nowak, Alissa Rosskopf Editorial Assistant: Honey Thaljieh Project Management: Bernd Fisa, Christian Schaub Translation: Sportstranslations Limited www.sportstranslations.com Printer: Zofinger Tagblatt AG www.ztonline.ch
Any views expressed in The FIFA Weekly do not necessarily reflect those of FIFA.
Whose home country will contest the 2014 World Cup with three stars on their shirts?
The answer to last week’s Quiz Cup was PEPE (detailed answers on www.fifa.com/theweekly).
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Inspiration and implementation: cus
Please email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org by 21 May 2014. Correct submissions for all quizzes published since the Ballon d’Or 2013 will go into a draw on 11 June 2014 to win two tickets to the FIFA World Cup Final on 13 July 2014. Before submitting answers, all participants must read and accept the competition terms and conditions and the rules, which can be found at http://en.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/the-fifa-weekly/rules.pdf T H E F I FA W E E K LY
A S K T H E W E E K LY
T HIS WEEK’S POLL
Who will win the final of the Women’s Champions League?
Has a team from outside the top flight ever won the FA Cup? John McDermott, Bedford
Tyreso FF or VfL Wolfsburg? Email your answers to: email@example.com
L A S T W E E K’S P O L L R E S U LT S What’s your dream Final at the 2014 World Cup?
857 Inter Milan appearances,
a club record, was the
tally reached by Javier Zanetti (pictured) in his farewell
32% 24% 14%
Brazil – Argentina Brazil – Germany Brazil – Uruguay
Brazil – Spain 18%
30 102 WEEK IN NUMBERS
Costa Rican league titles was the landmark reached
goals were scored by Manchester City (pictured
by Saprissa (pictured Daniel
Yaya Touré) en route to the English title – their
Colindres) on Saturday,
best tally in 56 years. City had not been able to
enabling them to set a new national and continen-
614 of those appearances in Serie A and will retire
break through the century-mark since 1957/58,
tal record. The San Jose outfit are, after all, the
just short of Paolo Maldini’s league record of 647.
and they were joined in doing so this season by
first team in Central America to rack up 30 cham-
Zanetti’s presence also seemed to inspire Inter,
Liverpool, who scored 101. Indeed, this was the
pionships, having reached the milestone ahead of
who ended a four-match winless streak by
first English top flight season to include two
Costa Rican rivals Alajuelense, Guatemala’s
beating Lazio 4-1.
teams with 100 or more goals since 1960/61.
Municipal (both 29) and Olimpia of Honduras (28).
match at the San Siro last Saturday. The 40-yearold, who has been with Inter since 1995, has made
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Getty Images (4) / Afp (1)
The English knockout cup is renowned for giant-killing and shock upsets. The last lower league team to win it were Sunderland in 1973 with a 1-0 victory over Leeds United in the final. A year ago Wigan Athletic became the first club to win the cup but drop out of the top flight in the same season. Tottenham Hotspur can claim to be the only winners of the competition from outside the professional echelons, as they were still in the Southern League in 1901. The prestigious trophy even went “abroad” in 1927 when Welsh club Cardiff City defeated Arsenal 1-0 in the final. (thr)