ISSUE 5, 22 NOVEMBER 2013
Fédération Internationale de Football Association – Since 1904
Stellar line-up for 2014 World Cup in Brazil
SEPP BLATTER: PRIVATE AUDIENCE WITH THE POPE
GUY ROUX: FRENCH THINKER
FRANCESCO TOTTI: SET FOR ITALY COMEBACK? W W W.FIFA.COM/ THEWEEKLY
The miracle of Cairo Political turmoil in Egypt has badly affected the game there. The national league has been suspended, and the nation’s marquee club Al-Ahly are prohibited from playing at their home ground. Despite it all, Al-Ahly stunningly triumphed in the African Champions League.
Boom time in Russia’s Premjer-Liga Long overshadowed by the top leagues in the west, the Russian Premjer-Liga has emerged as an attractive proposition in its own right. The petrodollar-fuelled clubs are starting to make an impact in Europe and interest in the league is growing fast, even from as far away as Brazil.
Interview: Francesco Totti At the age of 37, Francesco Totti has been rolling back the years in an outstanding start to the season for AS Roma, and can not have escaped the notice of Italy coach Cesare Prandelli. Totti expects the Italians to have a “magnificent” World Cup.
Weekly Top 11 We rank the most unlikely comebacks and astonishing turnarounds in footballing history, from Munich to Zurich.
South America 10 members 5.5 World Cup places www.conmebol.com
Guy Roux, longest-serving coach He coached AJ Auxerre for 44 years, twice turning down offers to manage France. When he speaks, people listen. Guy Roux explains the recipe for enduring success.
North and Central America 35 members 3.5 World Cup places www.concacaf.com
Ronaldo and the festival of world champions On Thursday, Uruguay became the last nation to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil. The 32-strong line-up for the finals reads like a who’s who of footballing history, with all eight previous winners aiming for the trophy in Brazil. The outstanding individual right now represents a nation still looking for its first international triumph. Can Cristiano Ronaldo fire Portugal to glory?
epp Blatter on visiting the Pope S Football can break down ethnic and religious barriers, in part because the game refuses to be used as a platform for ideologues. In his weekly column, FIFA President Sepp Blatter discusses his attitude to religion and his private audience with Pope Francis.
T he historic humbling of England Sixty years ago, a new era dawned on a foggy afternoon at Wembley when the Magnificent Magyars demolished England 6-3, the motherland of football’s first defeat on home soil to a team from outside the British Isles.
Lionel Messi Among the favourites with Argentina
Chile Colombia Uruguay
B orn again in a phone box By his own admission, Oceania Footballer of the Century Wynton Rufer was a party animal. But his life changed for ever after a chance meeting in the Swiss mountains.
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THIS WEEK IN THE WORLD OF FOOTBALL
Europe 53 members 13 World Cup places www.uefa.com
Africa 54 members 5 World Cup places www.cafonline.com
Guy Roux Our meeeting with a French legend
Asia 46 members 4.5 World Cup places www.the-afc.com
Ferenc Puskas Remembering the Mighty Magyars of 1953
Oceania 11 members 0.5 World Cup places www.oceaniafootball.com
Kim Jin Su The Korea Republic player is also deeply committed to his religion.
ISSUE 5, 22 NOVEMBER 2013
Fédération Internationale de Football Association – Since 1904
Stellar line-up for 2014 World Cup in Brazil
SEPP BLATTER: PRIVATE AUDIENCE WITH THE POPE
GUY ROUX: FRENCH THINKER
FRANCESCO TOTTI: SET FOR ITALY COMEBACK? W W W.FIFA.COM/ THEWEEKLY
Up for the World Cup Cristiano Ronaldo scored four times against Sweden to earn Portugal a place at the World Cup. The star is now out to claim maiden international honours with his country.
Francesco Totti Interview Cristiano Ronaldo King of Portugal
Cover: Michael Campanella/EQ Images Inhalt: AFP/Getty Images
Wynton Rufer How my life changed in 1986
no teams qualified
Switzerland Bosnia-Herzegovina Germany Spain Por tugal France Greece Croatia
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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 one and only
All dressed up and somewhere to go: Cristiano Ronaldo has checked in for the World Cup.
e polarises opinion like no other player. Opposing fans boo and whistle every time he touches the ball, because modesty is not one of his greatest virtues: “People are jealous of me because I look good, I’m rich and I’m a terrific footballer,” he says. Looks are a matter of taste and opinion, but it’s impossible to deny the latter two claims. With a current market value of €94 million and a base annual salary at Real Madrid of €17 million, Cristiano Ronaldo is the most expensive player in world football. And he’s good. Very, very good. In the wake of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying play-off, even Zlatan Ibrahimovic acknowledged as much. The Swede, himself hardly a model of self-effacing humility, openly applauded Ronaldo out on the pitch at the Friedens Arena in Solna, a reaction seemingly prompted by a mix of bewilderment, admiration and powerlessness.
Ronaldo went out and did exactly what he does with extraordinary consistency for Real Madrid week after week, a fact almost lost in the shadow of his self-glorification and poor public image: he scored goal after goal and effectively settled the tie single-handedly. His tally in the play-off double-header against Sweden meant the 28-year-old striker struck all four goals in the matches that really counted towards Portugal qualifying. His goal in the first leg was a marvellous diving header and his superb shooting ability settled the second meeting.
argues against a Lusitanian fairytale in what was once a Portuguese colony. This team was beaten to top spot in their qualifying group by Russia, only squeezed through the play-offs against Sweden by the skin of their teeth, and are utterly dependent on one individual. That is possibly not the greatest hand of cards when you consider a tournament as a whole. Not that it should bother Ronaldo. By some means or other he’ll turn the World Cup into the Cristiano Ronaldo show. Because for now, no-one comes close to his footballing class. Å
The feeling conveyed by the match as broadcast on Portuguese TV was that the Swedes were not in fact up against the Portugal team, but their sole opponent was Ronaldo. At any rate, the commentators sounded like those movement sensors people install to deter break-ins. Whenever Ronaldo came remotely near the ball, the alarms went off. Thanks to Ronaldo, Portugal can now dream of a coup in Brazil. However, harsh reality T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Portugalâ€™s Cristiano Ronaldo (left) scores the first of his three goals against Sweden in the play-off second leg in Stockholm. 6
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Global showdown: the line-up for the World Cup in Brazil is complete and includes all eight previous winners of the trophy. The prospect is mouth-watering.
Joel Marklund/Bildbyran/fresh focus
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Thomas Renggli and Perikles Monioudis
he delirious Paris crowd celebrated as if France had just won the World Cup and the Olympic Games at the same time. The Marseillaise was all you could hear, the Tricolore all you could see. Defender Patrick Evra seized his chance and planted a sloppy kiss on boss Didier Deschamps’ cheek. “This is the magic of football,” 1998 World Cup winner Deschamps later intoned into the microphone. Former star Andreas Moller, a 1990 world champion and EURO 1996 winner, piped up from Germany. “A team that qualifies for the World Cup at the last minute with a performance so full of desire takes huge momentum into the finals. It’s an important success in terms of team building,” he declared admiringly.
Roll up for the Ronaldo show That holds true for all the European teams forced to take detours through the play-offs. Greece, Croatia and Portugal beat Romania, Iceland and Sweden respectively, as the higher-ranked team prevailed in all four of the playoffs. Portugal’s achievement is the one likeliest to stick in the memory longest, and that is basically down to one man: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s brilliant but controversial goal machine. In the mouthwatering head-to-head with Swedish counterpart Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as previewed in last week’s The FIFA Weekly, Ronaldo struck all four of his side’s goals and raised a nation’s hopes that the tune associated with Portugal next July will not be the mournful strains of their trademark Fado. The result confirms Portugal as play-off specialists, as they have qualified for a finals tournament via the last-gasp eliminators for the third time in a row. 8
Q U A L I F I E D : France. World champions in 1998. Picture: Karim Benzema (l) and Mamadou Sakho.
Surveying the field two weeks prior to the group stage draw in the picturesque Brazilian resort of Costa do Sauipe, the play-off winners are by no means the strongest of the European contenders. That group is headed by Germany, who dropped only two points in qualifying and comfortably outscored all the other European teams with 36 goals. Apart from the Germans, the other teams to emerge undefeated from qualifying were World Cup holders Spain, former world champions Italy and England, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, who fielded the top scorer in qualifying, Robin van Persie. La Roja were close to flawless in defence with a record of just three goals against in eight games. Much credit is also due to the Bel-
gians, the featured team of The FIFA Weekly Issue 2, for masterfully topping a tricky group including Croatia and Serbia. Switzerland won seven and drew three of their ten fixtures. Consistently good results have taken Belgium up to fifth and Switzerland to seventh in the FIFA World Ranking, meaning they claim prized places as seeds in pot one for the group stage draw at the expense of such established nations as the Netherlands, Italy and England. Bosnia-Herzegovina, the emerging power Bosnia-Herzegovina are new arrivals at the top table in the European game. Two of the players coached by Safet Susic, Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic, finished in the top four of the qualifying goal scorers’ chart. The rise of some
“A team that qualifies for the World Cup at the last minute with a performance like that takes huge momentum into the finals.” Andreas Moller
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France’s success has added yet more gloss to the 20th World Cup: all eight former world champions will be going for the trophy in Brazil next July. But for all the French euphoria in a moment of great national relief we should not forget one thing: the 3-0 victory over Ukraine was not a performance promising silverware. It was only an initial step in damage limitation after what was in general a disappointing qualifying campaign and in particular a lifeless and limp display in the 2-0 defeat in the first leg in Kiev. To reach the finals was to fulfil an obligation for France, no more and no less. Les Bleus remain far off the standards and expectations they have set for themselves.
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Q U A L I F I E D : Italy. World champions in 1934,
Q U A L I F I E D : Spain. World champions in 2010.
Q U A L I F I E D : Germany. World champions in
1938, 1982 and 2006. Picture: Pablo Daniel Osvaldo.
Picture: Sergio Ramos.
1954, 1974 and 1990. Picture: Mesut Ozil.
nations in qualifying inevitably meant the decline of others: no northern European team has made it to Brazil. And with the exception of Russia, the nations of the former Eastern bloc are conspicuous by their absence. Arguably the steepest fallers are the Czech Republic, who finished a disappointing third in their qualifying group behind Italy and Denmark.
Striker Falcao of Monaco currently boasts a market value of €60 million. Both for club and country he latches onto assists provided by upand-coming midfielder James Rodriguez, aged 22 and worth €32 million. Porto striker Jackson Martinez would command a €30 million transfer fee, and the 27-year-old has recently been linked with Chelsea and Arsenal.
in their boots. The fact they had to make their way to Brazil 2014 via a play-off against minnows Jordan was humbling for their supporters, even if the experience is not a new one. The Uruguayans were forced to beat Costa Rica in the play-offs before booking a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, yet once there the Celeste marched all the way to the semi-finals.
Uruguay via the play-offs, again Europe was not the only place where qualifying concluded without major upset. The teams generally expected to do well in the other continents and confederations duly booked their tickets to the finals, with just a few notable exceptions such as South Africa.
The biggest surprise in CONMEBOL qualifying was provided by two-time World Cup winners Uruguay, currently ranked sixth in the world. As we reported in Issue 3 of The FIFA Weekly, the Uruguayans were forced to go through the play-offs. In normal circumstances, the very presence of prolific strikers Luis Suarez of Liverpool, Paris St Germain’s Edinson Cavani and veteran Diego Forlan as a potent super sub would make opponents quake
It was also a case of the usual suspects in CONCACAF as Mexico, USA, Costa Rica and Honduras claimed the spots on offer, although Mexican pride was bruised when they were obliged to navigate their way past New Zealand in a play-off. USA, under coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who was interviewed in the FIFA Weekly Issue 3, played an assured qualifying campaign and are now looking to go further than the group stage in Brazil.
Alongside hosts Brazil and two-time World Cup winners Argentina, the CONMEBOL contingent includes Chile, Ecuador and Columbia. Chile lie 12th in the FIFA ranking and were present at South Africa 2010. Brazil 2014 will be their ninth shot at the world crown. Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal and Barcelona wide man Alexis Sanchez are key figures in the team coached by Argentine national Jorge Sampaoli, and they pushed the World Cup hosts hard in last Wednesday’s friendly before falling to a 2-1 defeat. Ecuador are 22nd in the ranking and going to the finals for the third time. Their most recent appearance was at Germany 2006. Winger Antonio Valencia of Manchester United, Dynamo Moscow midfielder Christian Noboa and Locomotive Moscow’s much-travelled sniper Felipe Caicedo spearhead the squad supervised by coach Reinaldo Rueda, himself a Colombian. Speaking of the Colombians, the team ranked fourth in the world were last at the global face-off in France in 1998 and will make their fifth finals appearance next summer.
Q U A L I F I E D : England. World champions in 1966. Picture: Wayne Rooney.
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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
Feel the Beauty
THE NEW 4K LED TV
“SONY” and “make.believe” are trademarks of Sony Corporation.
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“We have to survive the group stage.” US coach Jurgen Klinsmann
Q U A L I F I E D : Brazil. World champions in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Picture: Neymar.
Getty Images, Reuters
Q U A L I F I E D : Uruguay. World champions in 1930 and 1950. Picture: Luis Suarez.
Q U A L I F I E D : Argentina. World champions in 1978 and 1986. Picture: Lionel Messi.
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No surprises in Asia Nor were there any real surprises in Asia. It will be intriguing to see how Japan, 44th in the world ranking and going to the finals for the fifth time, and Korea Republic, 56th in the world and looking ahead to their ninth World Cup, fare in Brazil. The current Japan team is brimming with quality and basically comprises European-based professionals. Keisuke Honda of Locomotive Moscow and Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa pull the midfield strings, with 27-year-old Mainz striker Shinji Okazaki putting the ball in the net eight times in qualifying to finish top of the AFC scoring chart. Australia and Iran head to their fourth finals as the 57th and 49th best teams in the world, rounding out the Asian contingent. Iran pulled off the remarkable feat of winning their group with a total of eight goals in as many matches. The successful nations from Africa were Algeria, world number 32 and set for their fourth World Cup; Cameroon, 59th with six previous appearances; Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, 23rd and 17th in the world and both heading to the finals for the third time; and Nigeria, set for their fifth trip to the World Cup as the 33rd best team. Ghana scored 18 goals in six matches and came up against a strong Egypt side in the play-offs, but ultimately leapt the final hurdle with some ease. Cameroon will set a new African record when they launch their seventh assault on the trophy. Shall the last be first? But what does all this mean for July 2014 in Brazil? Will the likes of Germany carry the momentum from impressive qualifying campaigns into the tournament itself? Or to adopt the well-known saying, will those who were last to qualify, the likes of France, Portugal, Uruguay and Mexico, end up first once the action starts? What of Belgium, Europe’s current Wunderkinder? And how about Japan, arguably the powerhouse of Asian football these days? A fascinating and compelling World Cup awaits! Å 11
TALK ING POIN T S
T H E
Egyptian Premier League
The m i racle of Ca iro Mark Gleeson is a South African journalist and football commentator and lives in Cape Town.
Egypt has been in a whole or partial state of emergency for many months. Social dislocation and violent clashes are an almost daily occurrence. The people are disorientated, bewildered and scared. But in the midst of the turmoil Cairo’s Al-Ahly rise like a beacon of relief and pleasurable distraction.
I N S I D E
drop of an ideological battle playing out amid the political strife in North Africa’s most populous country. In early 2012, a stadium riot in Port Said led to 74 spectator deaths, most of them Ahly fans. The league was suspended in Egypt and crowds banned from most matches, with only a restricted number occasionally allowed in to watch. Yet without any regular match practice, Al-Ahly went on to win the top club trophy on the continent. In February this year, the league in Egypt restarted, still heavily restricted and with clubs struggling as income began to dry up in the absence of significant gate takings.
The club have long been regarded the best on the continent, formally declared in 1999 as the ‘African Club of the Century’ and in the first 10 years of the 2000s making every effort to retain that status.
Al-Ahly made it through the preliminary round of the Champions League as expected but in early July, when the government of Mohamed Morsi was removed by the military, the league was halted again, just as it was reaching the final play-off stages.
But winning a second successive African Champions League title earlier this month – their fifth in the last eight years – is nothing short of a miraculous feat for a club currently facing problems extending way beyond the mere business of football. The Egyptian league has been suspended and their home ground cannot be used for non-domestic fixtures. The drama is set against the back-
In the face of the cumulative problems, and despite their pedigree, few gave Al-Ahly any chance of retaining the Champions League. As if the odds were not already heavily enough stacked against them, they were refused permission to play in either Cairo or the second city of Alexandria and effectively banished to the anonymity of the Red Sea tourist resort of El Gouna, where the small
stadium holds just a couple of thousand spectators. The military did not want large crowds gathering, fearful of more street violence or political demonstrations.
“Al-Ahly have long been rated the best club in Africa.” To make matters worse for Al-Ahly, El Gouna’s stadium does not possess the required floodlights to host Champions League matches, which are all televised and screened across Africa, and therefore had to kick off in daylight hours, sometimes in searing temperatures well over 30 degrees. Two of their matches fell during the Moslem holy month of Ramadan, which meant their pious players went without food and water while the sun was up but still played under the most testing conditions.
Al-Ahly fans gear up for the second leg of the final against South African side Orlando Pirates. 12
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Khaled Desouki/AFP Photo
Despite it all Al-Ahly won their group and advanced to the semi-finals, where they beat Cameroon’s CotonSport on penalties to progress to the final. In that two-legged showdown, they beat Orlando Pirates of South Africa 3-1 on aggregate. In the event, they were allowed to host the second leg of the final in Cairo, where the match was played in the smaller Arab Contractors Stadium. A delirious crowd of 30,000 fanatical fans urged them home to the most remarkable against-all-odds success. Å
Russian Premier League
Hu l k ’s Z e n it Sven Goldmann is a football
“The Premjer-Liga is highly regarded in Hulk’s home country Brazil.”
expert at Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin.
For much of the European footballing establishment, the continent’s eastern border still barely registers on the radar. Yet times are slowly changing and for Russian internationals such as Yuri Zhirkov and Alexander Kokorin, both of whom play for Dynamo Moscow, and Zenit St. Petersburg’s Andrey Arshavin, their homeland has long since been an attractive alternative to the traditional powerhouses in England, Spain and Italy, including in financial terms. Russian clubs pay well and on time, which increases their appeal to international stars such as Brazil’s Hulk and Belgium’s Axel Witsel, who both likewise lace their boots in St. Petersburg. Two years ago Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov managed to convince none other than Samuel Eto’o to join Anzhi Makhachkala in the southern province of Dagestan. While the Makhachkala experiment has now come to an end, with Eto’o moving to Chelsea over the summer, the interest in the country’s Premier League has not abated. Zenit are top of the standings heading into the second half of the domestic season, closely followed by the Moscow clubs Lokomotiv, Spartak, ZSKA and Dynamo. The table is unlikely to change after the next matchday this weekend, with Zenit’s home fixture against FK Rostov merely serving as a warm-up for Tuesday’s Champions League meeting with Atletico Madrid, who have won all four of their games so far and have already qualified for the knockout stages. Zenit spurned the opportunity to edge closer to the next round themselves at home to FC Porto two weeks ago, on an evening to forget for Givanildo Vieira de Souza, better known as Hulk. The Brazilian acquired the nickname during a spell in Japan, where the nation’s comic book loving fans gave him the moniker due to his physical resemblance to The Incredible Hulk. It was not until the attacker moved to Porto that he truly became a global star and although he did find the net against his former employers a fortnight ago, he should have scored at least
one more. As it was, the forward failed to beat his compatriot Helton from the penalty spot and the game ended 1-1. Over the summer Hulk won the Confederations Cup with Brazil and was being chased by both Chelsea and Monaco before he opted for St. Petersburg, who paid €55 million to secure his signature. It was another statement of Russian clubs’ intent to rub shoulders with Europe’s established elite. In Hulk’s homeland the Russian league is already considered a desirable destination. Ever since Vagner Love became a full international while at ZSKA, Brazilians have followed Russian football keenly. And when Hulk moved to St. Petersburg in the summer, he did so safe in the knowledge that his place in A Seleção would not be jeopardised as a result – and that in a World Cup year. Å
Primera División Argentina
A r ge nt i n a's n ic k n a m e g a m e JordÍ Punti is a novelist and the author of many football features in the Spanish media.
Dedicated followers of Argentinian football pride themselves on their knowledge of the nicknames that the country’s players, coaches, teams and even stadiums receive. While the news that El Demonio has scored for La Academia de Mostaza might seem bewildering to the outsider, the insider has no problem deciphering the information: the demon in question is the striker Gabriel Hauche, the academy is Racing Club de Avellaneda, and Mostaza or “Mustard” is their coach Reinaldo Merlo. The nickname game is one in which fans, commentators and reporters have created a parallel world, one in which trickery, mockery T H E F I FA W E E K LY
and slyness prevail on the pitch and in the stands, values that the coach and football philosopher Angel Cappa has described as the essence of Argentinian and perhaps South American football as a whole. Though some of these decades-old nicknames have lost their original meaning, their survival is an indication of the tradition that underpins the Argentinian game. That heritage comes to the fore in the rivalry between Los Leprosos and Los Canallas of Rosario, one of the biggest in Argentinian football and a fixture that may well have proved decisive in the ongoing Torneo Inicial title race. The story of the nicknames attached to the city’s two clubs, Newell’s Old Boys and Club Atletico Rosario Central, dates back to the start of the 20th century, when they were both invited by the Hospital Carrasco to play a charity match in support of leprosy sufferers, an invitation accepted by Newell’s but declined by Rosario Central. The two sets of fans have traded insults ever since, with Newell’s supporters calling their cross-town foes canallas or “swine”, and Central followers responding with cries of leprosos or “lepers”. Last month saw the first top-flight Rosario clásico in three years. Though 2013 Torneo Final champions Newell’s went into the game as league leaders and clear favourites against a side that has only just won promotion back to the first division, the match proved to be a typically unpredictable local derby. Central ran out 2-1 winners, their goals scored by Alejandro Donatti, aka El Flaco (The Thin One) and Hernan Encina, El Sapito (The Little Frog). The defeat has proved a damaging one for Newell’s. Having started the season in hugely impressive fashion, they have since dropped down to second after registering three lacklustre draws and a potentially title-wrecking defeat away to Tigre this week. There is an obvious explanation for Newell’s recent travails. With the departure of Gerardo Tata Martino to Barcelona, the team is experiencing a transitional phase under his replacement Alfredo Berti, who is known in 13
Only eight countries have ever lifted the FIFA World Cup Trophy.
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Argentinian footballing circles as El Pelado, (The Bald One). Anxious to maintain the spirit of Martino’s so-called “golden age”, Berti has commendably stuck to the same style of play as his immediate predecessor, one he has been well schooled in, having worked as an assistant to Marcelo Bielsa during his spell in charge of Chile. Putting the accent on possession-based football and attacking down the flanks, Berti has followed a time-honoured formula in building his side, perming hungry young players with three veterans with bags of European experience: Maxi Rodriguez, Gabriel Heinze and David Trezeguet. The French striker is enjoying a second wind in Argentina, though he was guilty of a penalty miss against Tigre that could yet prove decisive.
Only a couple of hundred fans attended the match at Pune’s Balewadi Stadium. By contrast, the now-defunct Pune Warriors cricket team played their home games at the new 55,000-capacity Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. Cricket is the number one sport in India, but football can attract substantial interest, as demonstrated when Bayern Munich played in front of almost 120,000 fans in Kolkata in 2008. But if the beautiful game is yet to gain a true foothold on the Indian subcontinent, it is not for lack of trying. Various attempts have been made at setting up a professional league, including one a few years ago that was to involve players
Promoters IMG-Reliance recently postponed the latest initiative to form a league until September 2014 amid rumours they were taken aback by all the logistical preparation involved. Reality is yet to match the hype: Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish, for example, claims he was asked to coach one of the teams, but was subsequently never contacted. The AIFF, meanwhile, is unhappy with IMG-R for leaving the association and the I-League clubs in limbo, while Star TV Network, which purchased the rights to broadcast the competition for the next ten years and has a 30 per cent stake in the Indian Super League, will feel particularly
With only three rounds of games to go in the Torneo Inicial, Newell’s find themselves a point behind new leaders San Lorenzo, who go by the nickname of El Ciclón and whose coach Juan Antonio Pizzi has kept them on a steady course. “The title race is a real heart-stopper. There’s so much tension and stress,” said Pizzi after his side’s latest win. Seemingly directed at Newell’s, those words appear to have found their target, though the Lepers are still in the title frame, as are Lanus, Arsenal and Boca Juniors for that matter. Å
R ic her t ha n Rooney Perikles Monioudis is an editor at The FIFA Weekly.
Had he managed to find the net on matchday 9, Rooney could have lifted his team to second place in the league table. It was not to be for the division’s second-highest scorer, however, as his team went down to a narrow 1-0 defeat. No, we’re not referring to the English Premier League here, nor indeed Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, but rather Bengaluru FC's encounter at Pune FC, and 24-year-old Sean Rooney. The Australian striker moved to the 13-team predominantly semi-professional Indian I-League in India from Blacktown City FC in New South Wales and has been busy making a name for himself.
Sean Rooney: Busy making a name for himself in India.
and coaches from Europe and South America. The Premier League India, as it was set to be named, was to be played in conjunction with the All-India Football Federation’s (AIFF) I-League from the spring of 2012 and feature stars such as Fabio Cannavaro, Hernan Crespo, Robert Pires, Robbie Fowler and Jay-Jay Okocha. Five of the franchises were to be sold by Celebrity Management Group (CMG), with only the biggest names sufficing to compete with cricket in the TV market. As it turned out, the league never materialised. T H E F I FA W E E K LY
let down. There remains a glimmer of hope, however, that Indian football will finally take off in September 2014. Until then, captain of India’s national cricket team Mahendra Singh Dhoni will remain the highest paid Indian sportsman on Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 highest-paid athletes. It may be some time before an Indian footballer overtakes Wayne Rooney on that list. Å
Name: Francesco Totti Date and place of birth: 27 September 1976, Rome AS Roma: 1989 - Present Honours: World Cup 2006 Serie A title 2000/01 Top scorer Serie A 2007 Awards:
Italian Footballer of the Year in 1998 and 2004
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“Winning the Scudetto was my most emotional triumph” Just when the majority of supporters seemed to have written Francesco Totti off, he came back to prove them wrong. Now aged 37, the Roma attacking midfielder has been in such dazzling form so far this season that Italian fans are wondering whether national team coach Cesare Prandelli can afford not to include him in his squad.
Francesco Totti, what is the secret to your seemingly eternal youth? Francesco Totti: Passion. I still enjoy playing football as much as I did when I was younger.
At 37, where do you find your motivation to deal with the huge physical and mental strain of being a footballer, playing against opponents almost half your age? I feel fit and healthy. I can still play at a high level, keep up with the younger players and help determine the course of the game. When the moment comes that the pace is too intense for me, I’ll be the first to admit it.
You are a one-club man. Did you ever think about leaving Roma? I’m very proud of my career and the fact that I’ve only ever played in the colours of the club I love and admire. Of course there were times when I could have left, but today I’m very happy that I stayed at Roma.
What would it have taken for you to join Juventus or AC Milan? For one thing, Roma would have had to have been prepared to sell me It would also have hinged on whether or not I wanted to leave. Neither was ever the case though.
You won the Scudetto with Roma and the World Cup with Italy. Which title meant more to you? I’ve said in the past that winning the championship with Roma was the most emotional triumph. I’m from Rome and am a Romanista - a Roma fan. I know exactly what winning the Scudetto means to the fans. That said, winning the World Cup was just as good.
Speaking of the national team, you announced your decision to retire from international duty
after winning the 2006 World Cup, but still made a comeback. Another spectacular comeback could be on the cards in the future. Did you ever think about playing at a World Cup aged 37? My comeback is a big talking point in Italy at the moment. I’m not sure if it will happen. Decisions will be made when the time comes.
could imagine becoming an official in some capacity. But it’s still too early to be talking about that though.
You will stay at Roma though… I’ll be with Roma forever. AS Roma is my life. Interview: Giovanni Marti
How far can Italy go in Brazil next year? I’m expecting it to be a fantastic World Cup. Italy have a good team and Cesare Prandelli is an excellent coach. I think it’ll be a fruitful World Cup for Italy.
Which opponent should Italy fear the most? Without doubt the hosts Brazil, and also the teams that are always dangerous, so Spain, Argentina and Germany.
Before then the Serie A title still needs to be decided. What has made Roma so strong this season? Things have gone well so far but we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. We’ve got a great team and believe in our strengths. We also really want to play well, but above all we’ve got a very good coach who brings the best out of us.
How much would you be willing to bet on Roma winning the title? I don’t bet. We just need to work hard to finish as high up as possible.
Will you still be playing this time next year? Or will you bow out after the World Cup in Brazil? That’s a long way away, but one thing is certain: if I’m healthy then I’ll continue to play.
What plans do you have for your retirement? Would you like to become a coach? I don’t see myself becoming a coach but I T H E F I FA W E E K LY
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Where Samurai meets Samba A staggering 1.5 million people in Brazil have Japanese roots. Come the World Cup opening ceremony on 12 June 2014, they will be as passionately involved as any local, because the nations are linked by a very special relationship. Bruno Sassi and Alan Schweingruber
hat’s the first thing you imagine when you cast your mind forward to the euphoric World Cup mood in the streets of Brazil next summer? Dancing locals, surely. Four weeks of Samba, if you will. The mental picture might have room for a couple of German or English tourists, passing the time before their team’s next match. But the image is incomplete. It’s extremely easy to forget just how many foreign cultures have taken permanent root in the host nation, none more so than Japan. More than 1.5 million people in Brazil boast Japanese roots, making the community Japan’s largest overseas. The Liberdade district in Sao Paulo is well known as the place where many of the signs are in Japanese and the festivals aren’t exactly typically Brazilian. Coach Alberto Zaccheroni, whose Japan team were the first to qualify for the World Cup, readily acknowledges that fact: “It’s undoubtedly an additional motivating factor for our lads, but it also means we have responsibilities. It’s a little bit like being at home.”
couple of generations down the track and the immigrants were so well integrated that some of the Japanese community were more Brazilian than the Brazilians. Nor was football immune to the trend. Watching and learning Take the great Ronaldinho signature trick, a deceptive change of direction where he flips the ball to one side with the outside of the boot and feints to follow in the same direction, but then rolls his foot over the ball and drags it back to the other side, completely wrong-footing his marker. The move is known as the “Elastico”, and where did he pick it up? From Roberto Rivellino perhaps? Certainly, but Rivellino was not the inventor. The patent belongs to Sergio Echigo, a so-called Nisei, the son of Japanese immigrants who played for Corinthians in the 1960s. “He was
in for a trial. He trapped the ball out on the wing and set off on a dribble. He forced Eduardo, one of our defenders, almost over the touchline,” Rivellino recalled many years later. “I stared at him in shock: ‘Hey, Japanese guy, what’s that you just did?’ And he showed me.” Zico’s admiration for Japan When Japanese club Kashima Antlers appointed Brazilian great Zico as an ambassador in 1991, the cold reasoning behind the move was the high profile of football in Brazil. But it soon became another case of both sides adapting so well to each other that the partnership blossomed into something more serious. Nowadays the Brazilian is honoured in Kashima with two statues and a small museum. That is certainly due to his subsequent promotion and inculcation of virtues basically more readily associated with Japan than Brazil, namely iron discipline and organisation. Zico, who would go on to become Japan coach from 2002 to 2006, was bowled over: “I only became coach because of the people, because they were so grateful to me. I simply couldn’t turn it down. Away from the field of play, I also became immersed in Japanese daily life and culture, and I felt really at home in their country.” Å
The great exodus of 1908 The 165 Japanese families who boarded the ship Kasato Maru in April 1908 had no idea what to expect when they arrived in Brazil 50 days later, except for one thing: they were being taken to work. And they were merely the advance guard. Almost 180,000 Japanese nationals disembarked at the port of Santos near Sao Paulo from then until 1940. The background to Japanese migration to Brazil is relatively straightforward: a nation urgently seeking willing and able workers took in folk who wanted to leave home for a variety of reasons, be it the dislocation of war or a demographic crisis. It is a story featuring the welcoming hospitality and flexibility of the Brazilians on the one hand and the prodigious discipline and work ethic of the Japanese on the other. It proved a perfect, balanced equation. The evident symbiosis between the two cultures germinated and grew, and soon spilled over into other areas. A
Sao Paulo: A Japanese community festival in the streets of Liberdade. T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Full house. The 1923 FA Cup final between West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers is a massive draw for the fans. The official attendance for the inaugural match to be staged at the recently-completed Wembley stadium is 126,047 but estimates place the actual number somewhere between 150,000 and 300,000. One thing is for sure: Bolton won 2-0 in front of a packed crowd.
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Topical Press/Getty Images
Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev
2013 Jam-packed. Hats are no longer in fashion to the same extent 90 years later but the interest in football remains the same. Ukrainian fans besiege the ticket offices at Kievâ€™s Olympic stadium ahead of the play-off first leg against France. In the end, 67,732 spectators witnessed the hosts record a 2-0 victory on 15 November. But had the match taken place 45 years earlier, there would have been even more tickets available. Back in 1968, following an expansion, the venue was able to hold 100,000 fans and even housed a ski jumping hill, among other things.
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
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W E E K LY T O P 11
Te r r i f ic tu r na rou nd s
Bayern Munich 1-2 Manchester United 26 May 1999: With just seconds remaining, Bayern led the Champions League final 1-0. But United equalised in the 91st minute and went on to score the winning goal.
Referees as air: invisible, yet vital Thomas Renggli
ack when football was still emerging as a game, it was initially played without rules. Inevitably though, the increasing numbers of fouls prompted those being fouled to create a rulebook. Football was comparatively slow off the mark in this regard. The first set of boxing regulations were established in 1743, but football did not follow suit until 105 years later when the guidelines were set out at Cambridge University. Team captains were charged with implementing the laws of the game, but they were soon overwhelmed by the workload and handed the task over to an impartial figure, known as a referee. While the tool of their trade, a whistle, allows them to make themselves heard, referees have never had an easy time imposing themselves. In terms of popularity, they are viewed on a par with bad-tempered janitors and overbearing bouncers. If a referee is ever in the spotlight, it is usually not good news. Just ask Switzerland’s Gottfried Dienst, Ecuador’s Byron Moreno or Uruguay’s Jorge Larrionda. The former officiated the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley, where he awarded the most famous shot to hit the crossbar as a goal, while Moreno was catapulted to prominence in Italy after he sent off Francesco Totti at the 2002 World Cup. Larrionda, meanwhile, unwittingly ushered in goal-line technology eight years later after denying Frank Lampard an equaliser in the World Cup round of sixteen tie between Germany and England. It is not difficult to become a referee, but it is extremely tough to be one. It is only on very rare occasions that fans waiting at a stadium ask for a referee’s autograph. Over the years, some referees have developed a defence
mechanism to help them cope – by siding with the home team. While purporting to be neutral, in the interests of self-preservation they favour the hosts. Many referees used to be footballers themselves but failed to make the grade, opting to swap their boots for a whistle. Even on school playgrounds across the globe natural selection takes its course when it comes to picking teams, with the odd one out often roped in as referee. Nowadays there are scores of synonyms for the man in the middle, most of them pejorative. Unfortunately a referee’s protection association does not exist and even in the first constitutional formulation of the human rights act in 1776, referees were omitted entirely. Even according to the rulebook, referees are frequently overlooked: if one is struck by the ball and changes its direction, play is to continue as if nothing had happened. By that measure, referees are considered equivalent to the air around them, which only serves to highlight their importance. It is, after all, impossible to live without air. Å
AC Milan 5-6 Liverpool ap. 25 May 2005: The Italians led 3-0, but Liverpool drew level in the space of six second-half minutes and went on to win the Champions League trophy in the shootout.
Angola 4-4 Mali 10 January 2010: One of the greatest comebacks in African footballing history. Angola were four goals up, but Mali launched their incredible fightback with just 11 minutes to play.
Bayer Uerdingen 7-3 Dynamo Dresden 19 March 1986: The European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final return has gone down in history as the Miracle of the Grotenburg Stadium, with Uerdingen scoring six in just 28 minutes.
Werder Bremen 5-3 Anderlecht 8 December 1993: Another amazing comeback: Anderlecht were 3-0 up with 66 minutes played, but coach Otto Rehhagel switched his midfield around and saw the gamble pay off when his men scored five goals.
Olympique Marseille 5-4 Montpellier 22 August 1998: OM contrived to go four goals down against the underdogs with just 34 minutes gone, but the favourites only needed only a half-hour to put things right.
Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Malaga 9 April 2013: In the Champions League quarter-final return the German champions were 2-1 down going into stoppage time. But Dortmund scored twice within 69 seconds to turn the result on its head.
Charlton Athletic 7-6 Huddersfield Town 21 December 1957: Huddersfield were leading 5-1. But Charlton striker Johnny Summers emerged as the hero of the turnaround with five goals and two assists.
Portugal U-17 5-5 Cameroon U-17 20 August 2003: One of the truly amazing comebacks. Cameroon were 5-0 down with only 25 minutes left, but mounted a spectacular rescue operation.
West Germany 8-7 France ap. 8 July 1982: The French took a 3-1 lead in extra-time of the World Cup semi-final in Seville. But defiant West Germany still went on to win.
The weekly column by our staff writers T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Grasshopper Club 6-5 FC Zurich aet. 3 March 2004: The Swiss Cup semi-finals. FCZ were 5-2 up with seven minutes left, but Grasshopper Club won it in extra-time. 23
A place of tranquillity: Guy Roux owns a small country home with a lake just outside Auxerre. This is where the 75-year-old former coach spends the summer.
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
French thinker Guy Roux embodies all the qualities of an old-fashioned football expert. For a staggering 44 years, he was in charge at Auxerre, where his word is gospel. We met him over lunch in Burgundy.
Alan Schweingruber (Text) and Francois Wavre (Photos) in Auxerre
hen the legendary Guy Roux invites you out to lunch in his home city, any feelings of gloom about the dull weather are quickly dispelled, while complicated travel plans suddenly become nothing more than a minor inconvenience. As our train progressed deeper into the French countryside, our excitement levels grew. All was quiet when we arrived at Auxerre train station. Two dogs were prowling around, children were playing and an old lady was sitting on a bench reading a newspaper. Slightly further in the distance a man was standing next to a Citroen, apparently waiting for someone. His hands were folded behind his back and he wore a thick, dark-blue suit with a tie and a jumper. As we approached, he began to smile. “Welcome to Auxerre,” said Guy Roux. “Get in, let’s go and eat. I hope you’re hungry.” An Auxerre institution As Roux leisurely steered his vehicle through the city, he occasionally waved at passers-by and recounted how Auxerre was bombed during the war. Roux knows all the old churches, schools, ancient bridges and squares of the city, which has a population of just 45,000. Indeed, such is his interest in history, we could have been forgiven for forgetting who was sitting next to us in the driver’s seat. Here was the great Guy Roux, features now deeply lined, the most old-fashioned coaching legend France has ever produced and the man who was in charge at AJ Auxerre for a staggering 44 years. Here was the strategist who took over the club when they were languishing in the depths of the amateur leagues in 1961 and led them into the UEFA Champions League. Under Roux, Auxerre won one league title, four French Cups and one UEFA Intertoto Cup. The unfancied underdogs from Burgundy even suc-
ceeded in ruffling a few feathers in Europe’s premier club competition. AJ Auxerre became synonymous with Guy Roux and vice versa. In some respects, that holds true to this day. It can be difficult not to confuse the football club with the city itself. It’s as if Roux’s spirit lingers over Auxerre, a little like the chief executive of a company who, after 50 years, has decided to pass on the responsibilities of running the corporation to his son, but still drops by from time to time to see how things are going. People stare at him and greet him with respect. When a wide-eyed young lady asked if she had robbed him of the one remaining parking space outside our restaurant, Roux merely laughed: “It’s not as if I bought that parking space.”
Roux had a close relationship with the stadium’s staff too, and with the groundsman in particular who, on his boss’s orders, would let the grass grow longer in certain areas of the pitch if Auxerre happened to be facing a particularly strong team in the coming days. For example, if the grass was a little longer on the right at one end and on the left at the other, the opposition wouldn’t be able to profit from the speed of their right winger in both halves of a match. As far as his own players were concerned, Roux was meticulous. He knew about their parents, their hobbies, eating habits, sleeping patterns, friends, love lives; not many facets of their personal lives remained hidden from their coach. Roux pulled all the strings and never missed an opportunity, provided he wasn’t asleep, to get the most out of any given
“A coach must love a player, irrespective of his strengths and weaknesses. He should spend time with him in order to fully understand him.” Guy Roux
Total control During his coaching career, Roux was renowned for being something of a control freak. He was aware which parts of the stadium were in need of renovation. He even pumped the balls up before training. He monitored the youth team, and if the first team needed a suitable hotel ahead of a European fixture, he would travel abroad himself to find one, preferably with solid, sound-proof windows. T H E F I FA W E E K LY
situation. He once managed to get hold of a military aircraft to transport one of his players’ babies who required urgent medical attention to hospital in Paris. Thanks to Roux’s help, that particular emergency had a happy ending. “Rendez-vous”, Roux’s favourite restaurant in Auxerre, is unlikely to win any innovation awards for interior design any time soon, but the smell that greeted us as we entered promised 25
He knows football like the back of his hand: Guy Roux at his favourite restaurant in Auxerre, “Rendez-vous”.
excellent cuisine. We took our seats as Roux went around the room greeting various people. AJ Auxerre’s current coach, Bernard Casoni, was sitting at one of the tables. The scene was reminiscent of a chief surgeon meeting a budding medical student. “A good coach,” remarked Roux before making himself comfortable at our table. What constitutes a good coach? This is a man who twice turned down the offer of managing the French national team, a leader who was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour by Jacques Chirac and then an Officer of the Legion of Honour by Nicolas Sarkozy. So what, according to Roux, constitutes a good coach and who else, apart from Bernard Casoni, would he describe as one? After ordering a rare steak with potatoes and a glass of Irancy Mazelots, Roux closed his menu and said: “There are three boxes every coach must tick. First of all, a coach must love his players. He must love a player irrespective of his strengths and weaknesses, his country of origin and his religious orientation. He must love him and spend time with him in order to fully understand him. Some players need attention in order to realise their full potential: Jupp Heynckes, for example, did a magnificent job with Franck Ribery at Bayern Munich. He’s not a complex character, but you have to work sensibly with him.”
Name Guy Roux Date and place of birth 18 October 1938 in Colmar Family Married (separated for many years), one son
Beloved country home The exceptional quality of the wine prompted Roux to launch into a brief monologue about the region’s vine growers, before returning to the original topic of conversation. “The second point is important: He must be competent. The coach must be completely competent in all social, tactical and even in logistical aspects of the club. He doesn’t necessarily have to have been a good player himself. I’m thinking of Jurgen Klopp, Ottmar Hitzfeld and 26
AJ Auxerre Coach 1961 - 2005 Honours Champions 1996. Cup winners 1994, 1996, 2003 and 2005. Intertoto Cup 1997. Awards French Coach of the Year: 1986, 1988, 1996.
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
“Spain could do it again, as long as it doesn’t get too hot.” Guy Roux
even myself here. We were only average players. Players don’t like the idea of their coach having had a better career than them. Thirdly, a coach must have the energy to put in a lot of work, 355 days a year, at least. He can’t afford to go on long holidays and assume that everything will continue as normal upon his return. He must keep in touch with his players, remain informed, keep driving the club on and think about what has already happened and what is yet to happen.” It wasn’t long before the waitress brought the food. There was a lot going on at “Rendez-vous”, where locals often meet for lunch or drop in for a pastis. When the tourists flock to Auxerre during the summer, Roux prefers not to stay in the city, choosing instead to head “to the forest”, as he put it. Roux owns a small forest house with 50,000 square metres of land and its own lake. It was here where he was able to gain some respite from the more nerve-wracking periods of his time as coach and recover from his heart attack and triple-bypass operation in 2001. Nowadays, Roux enjoys fishing, going for long walks and spending time with his three grandchildren at the swimming pool. He is incredibly fond of his country home. France’s ultimate football expert Astonishingly, Roux’s mobile phone didn’t ring once during our lunch. The 75-year-old works for the French TV channel Canal plus and the radio station Europe 1, whose presenters often call with little prior warning when they want to hear his opinion on a particularly controversial topic. Even in the eighth year of his retirement, he remains highly sought-after. One of the wisest sayings in French football is: “Never make a decision without consulting Guy Roux first.” “I like to give advice, even if young players often go and do exactly the opposite,” he said with a smile as he pushed his empty plate aside.
13th consecutive World Cup finals The Alsace-born tactician makes time for other people. Once, while Roux and his team were staying in the Swiss canton of Valais, he met a farmer at an old-fashioned pub. Roux began talking with the man and discovered, by chance, that there was a defender at FC Sion who was the type of player that would suit AJ Auxerre down to the ground. The defender in question, Stephane Grichting, signed a fouryear contract with the Burgundy club just four weeks later. Roux hasn’t lost his desire and passion for the game. He watches between six and eight matches a month, two of which he at-
tends in person. Next year’s World Cup will be Roux’s 13th in succession; he has attended every finals for their entire duration since 1966. “It’ll be exciting in Brazil,” he said. “Spain could do it again, as long as it doesn’t get too hot; their team is one of the oldest in the competition.” After listening to this final analysis, we reluctantly checked the time. Roux ordered another espresso, saying “I’ll gladly take you to the station”. We would have gladly stayed a lot longer. Å
“Magnificent team spirit” Guy Roux on the France national team: “I’m very happy we’ve qualified for the World Cup. Just as I feared, the play-offs were a nerve-shredding affair. We succeeded in turning it around after losing 2-0 away to Ukraine thanks to the magnificent team spirit shown by the players at Stade de France. I’m also delighted for coach Didier Deschamps. I rate his work very highly. We shouldn’t start talking about who we’d like to play when it comes to the World Cup group stage draw on 6 December. In the build-up to the play-off draw I do recall France thinking we’d be pleased if it was Ukraine.“ T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Guy Roux on Bayern Munich: “A club with very broad foundations and solid internal structures. The solidarity between the former Bayern players at the club and in management positions is impressive. Bayern will play a leading role in Europe for a long time yet. Guy Roux on Arsene Wenger: “He’s the best coach in the world in my opinion. What Wenger has done in 17 years at Arsenal is an incomparable achievement. It's not just his obvious footballing expertise. His hallmarks are sustained success and a vision.” Å
T HE DEBAT E
Football’s powers of integration
Prayer of thanks: Players in the Syrian national team bow in the direction of Mecca after a victory.
Thomas Renggli Nowhere is football’s capacity to build bridges, both in terms of politics and religion, more evident than in Bosnia-Herzegovina. After the south-eastern European country, with a population of 3.8 million, qualified for a World Cup for the first time in its history, the achievement was celebrated with whole-hearted abandon. The reasons for such an outpouring go deeper than fans’ hopes for mere sporting success at the tournament: instead, they have their hearts set on it helping the nation overcome its political and ethnic conflicts. The national team’s on-field togetherness and attacking menace, which can be put down in large part to strikers Vedad Ibisevic and 28
Edin Dzeko, helped them storm through qualification. Their success reflects the increasing unity of the population itself, which is made up of diverse religious and ethnic communities that still bear the scars of the turmoil of war in the 1990s. A 43 per cent majority of Bosnian-Herzegovinians are Islamic, with Serbian Orthodox Christians the largest minority at 31 per cent, and Roman Catholics making up 17 per cent of the country’s inhabitants. While many Muslims followed the national side after its formation in 1992, citizens with Serbian and Croatian roots were initially reticent and for a long time matches were not televised in Serbian areas. However, success brought about a change in attitudes, making the national team a key factor in the country’s improving integration. Football’s powers of transformation have been demonstrated elsewhere too, for example in Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, where players with vastly different ethnic and religious backgrounds strive for the same aims. The laws of the game give clear guidelines as to what is permitted on the field of play. Players who reveal a t-shirt with a religious or political T H E F I FA W E E K LY
message after scoring a goal will be issued with a warning in accordance with the rules laid down by the International Football Association Board in 2002. FIFA stresses that the sport will not be misused as a stage for religious or political statements. Conversely, players who point skywards in their goal celebrations, who cross themselves when entering the pitch or who refer to divine intervention during an interview face no sanctions at all. That may be because God’s help is invoked so often every time a game is played that he stays out of things anyway, lest he be constantly required to work overtime. Å
The weekly debate. Any thing you want to get off your chest? Which topics do you want to discuss? Send your suggestions to: feedback-TheWeekly@fifa.org.
By refusing to be an ideological pulpit, football helps breaks drown ethnic and religious barriers.
T HE DEBAT E
“I think it’s wrong that players who don’t hold back during goal celebrations are punished with a yellow card. It’s a common problem and the rules have to be changed, otherwise people will end up being sent off for crossing themselves one too many times.”
joined Rangers in summer that year, the city went crazy. Today it’s normal for players of different religions and backgrounds to play for both clubs. They’re not loved, but they’re tolerated.” David Stirling, Glasgow (Scotland)
Ovideo Ban, Timisoara (Romania)
“There are similarities between football and religion. One day people decide to follow one particular team or belief, they go on pilgrimages to stadiums or churches, sing songs that have been passed down through generations, feel a sense of belonging to a community and believe in miracles. Unfortunately there are also extremists in football, like those who wage religious wars.” Benjamin Striegan, Viechtach (Germany)
“I heard the news of Pope John Paul II’s death during a match between Lech Poznan and Pogon Szczecin. Fans held aloft lighters in the shape of a cross and everyone, both fans and players, had tears in their eyes. It was one of the most emotional moments I’ve ever experienced in football. I believe football and religion go hand in hand, especially here in Poland.”
“Religion is a private matter.”
Tomasz Krawczyk, Poznan (Poland)
“FIFA’s ban is wrong. I believe players should be able to show a t-shirt under their team shirt during goal celebrations, even if it bears a religious message. After all, religion is very important to that player and it was pivotal in helping them become a professional. The key word is tolerance. You have to just accept everyone the way they are. Surely FIFA don’t want players to just unemotionally return to their own half after scoring a goal, as if nothing had happened.” Julia Prusko, Wallisellen (Switzerland)
“Religion has shaped our city for a long time. Rangers are a Protestant club and Celtic are Catholics. It used to be unthinkable to mix the two denominations. Up until 1989 Rangers would only sign Protestant players. When Maurice ‘Mo’ Johnston, who used to play for Celtic and is a Catholic,
“Football brings people together and goes beyond religion. In 2008 we created FC Religions in Switzerland in order to promote interreligious understanding. People with different spiritual backgrounds play together here: imams, rabbis, vicars and priests. All players wear the number seven because it’s a holy number in many religions, but the biggest thing we have in common is our love of the game.” Simon Hofstetter, Zurich (Switzerland)
“Players’ demonstrations of their beliefs annoy me. Religion is a private matter and has no place on a football pitch. Whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Hindu, players are paid to play and not to proclaim their personal opinions. After all, political statements aren’t allowed in the stadiums, which is good and should stay that way.” Giannis Kasapis, Kos (Greece)
“The key word is tolerance.”
Visiting the Pope
eligion is a complex topic. It can be used in positive or negative ways. The same goes for football. Marx said that religion is the opium of the people, thereby taking the negative approach. He could equally well have said religion connects people, transcending social barriers. But that wouldn’t have suited his political agenda. Camus said: “All that I know most surely about morality and obligations I owe to football.” He took a positive approach. You could turn the words around in his mouth and claim the exact opposite. It’s no different with religion. History is shaped by wars purporting to be prosecuted in the name of God. At the end of the day it’s a question of your attitude in and towards life. Religion can bring peoples together, just like football can. But you have to want to see the good and strive for it. And you need the strength to withstand criticism. He who strives for good is often accused of evil. “It’s all just a con trick!” say the critics. Pope Francis impresses us with the way he breaks taboos, questions old patterns of thought and tears down walls. Far be it from me to make a bold comparison, but that is exactly what it is needed when it comes to football. Building bridges and making connections is needed and although those who don’t believe it will sneer, others will take hope from that approach. I’m looking forward to meeting Pope Francis in person this week. It will be a private audience that goes way beyond the private sphere. Å
Best wishes, Sepp Blatter T H E F I FA W E E K LY
FIFA WORLD R ANKING Rank Team
Change in ranking Points
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 8 10
Spain Germany Argentina Colombia Belgium Uruguay Switzerland Netherlands Italy England
0 1 -1 1 1 1 7 1 -4 7
1513 1311 1266 1178 1175 1164 1138 1136 1136 1080
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 44 46 47 47 49 49 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 61 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 71 73 74 75 76 77
Brazil Chile USA Portugal Greece Bosnia-Herzegovina Côte d'Ivoire Croatia Russia Ukraine France Ecuador Ghana Mexico Sweden Denmark Czech Republic Serbia Romania Slovenia Costa Rica Algeria Nigeria Honduras Scotland Panama Venezuela Armenia Peru Turkey Mali Cape Verde Islands Hungary Japan Wales Iceland Norway Tunisia Paraguay Iran Egypt Burkina Faso Austria Montenegro Uzbekistan Korea Republic Australia Albania Cameroon Republic of Ireland Libya South Africa Finland Senegal Slovakia Israel Zambia Guinea Poland Jordan United Arab Emirates Bolivia Sierra Leone Cuba Togo Bulgaria Morocco
-3 4 0 -3 -3 2 2 -8 -4 6 4 -2 1 -3 -3 -3 5 15 2 -1 2 -4 3 6 28 -1 -1 17 -5 9 -3 2 -13 -2 8 8 -8 -1 -8 -1 -1 -1 -6 -27 2 2 -4 -13 2 -1 9 7 -7 2 -5 3 4 8 -4 3 11 -9 -1 10 2 -12 -3
1078 1051 1040 1036 983 925 917 901 874 871 870 862 860 854 850 824 783 778 767 752 744 741 724 720 715 702 692 687 686 670 668 662 636 634 634 633 632 632 613 613 610 598 596 584 582 569 564 563 554 550 540 540 538 530 528 515 513 512 503 502 496 496 493 492 488 487 478
Ranking May 2013
1 -41 -83 -125 -167 -209 Top spot
78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 103 105 106 107 107 109 110 111 112 112 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 121 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 129 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 141 143 144
Dominican Republic New Zealand Haiti Trinidad and Tobago Jamaica Belarus Gabon Uganda FYR Macedonia Congo DR Azerbaijan El Salvador Northern Ireland Congo Oman Angola Benin Ethiopia Moldova China PR Botswana Estonia Georgia Saudi Arabia Zimbabwe Lithuania Iraq Qatar Liberia Korea DPR Central African Republic Kuwait Niger Canada Guatemala Antigua and Barbuda Guyana Mozambique Tajikistan Latvia Kenya Equatorial Guinea St Vincent and the Grenadines Lebanon Burundi Bahrain Malawi Turkmenistan New Caledonia Luxembourg Namibia Rwanda Tanzania Suriname Grenada Afghanistan Cyprus Kazakhstan Sudan Philippines St Lucia Gambia Malta Syria Lesotho Thailand Tahiti
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
9 -12 -2 4 -4 -3 -1 -4 -11 4 19 4 -4 1 4 -4 -4 -2 33 2 6 -11 -3 8 -1 9 2 3 8 6 -4 0 -8 -5 -12 -1 16 1 1 -2 0 -21 2 -1 3 -2 -2 0 -31 -1 -1 2 -2 4 -13 -1 0 -3 4 4 0 -3 2 2 6 -4 2
474 470 464 457 456 441 438 431 430 411 407 404 399 394 381 380 378 376 369 365 354 351 350 338 328 323 323 313 312 310 310 307 306 296 294 294 286 282 280 277 274 273 271 267 267 266 263 254 249 247 246 242 242 237 233 223 219 216 215 213 203 202 192 183 183 181 179
145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 162 162 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 171 173 173 175 176 177 178 178 180 181 182 183 183 185 186 186 188 189 190 191 192 193 193 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 202 204 204 206 207 207 207
Belize Palestine St Kitts and Nevis Hong Kong Myanmar Kyrgyzstan Vietnam Mauritania Nicaragua India Singapore Chad Maldives Liechtenstein Puerto Rico Malaysia Bermuda Indonesia São Tomé e Príncipe Bangladesh Nepal Sri Lanka Laos Pakistan Dominica Curaçao Solomon Islands Guam Barbados Aruba Faroe Islands Chinese Taipei Yemen Samoa Mauritius Madagascar Guinea-Bissau Vanuatu Swaziland Mongolia Fiji American Samoa Tonga Bahamas Montserrat Comoros US Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Brunei Darussalam Timor-Leste Eritrea Seychelles Papua New Guinea Cambodia British Virgin Islands Andorra Somalia Djibouti Cook Islands South Sudan Macau Anguilla Bhutan San Marino Turks and Caicos Islands
0 3 -10 0 13 -6 2 -2 0 1 4 2 -5 -2 1 1 -4 8 1 4 -2 2 5 2 -2 4 -2 4 -22 -8 7 -1 -4 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 3 2 2 2 2 3 4 3 -1 0 -11 -11 0 0 0 1 -2 0 0 1 1 1 -2 0 0 0 0
178 175 172 171 169 161 159 158 155 151 149 148 147 141 139 137 127 120 120 120 119 108 105 102 89 88 86 86 82 82 81 79 72 62 62 57 56 53 49 49 47 43 43 40 33 32 30 29 26 26 24 23 21 20 18 16 14 11 11 10 10 3 0 0 0
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Place: Dehdadi, Afghanistan Date: Tuesday 6 November 2012 Time: 4.15 pm
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Hungary’s glory and decline
Entering a new age: England captain Billy Wright (right) boldly leads the way.
Sixty years have passed since Ferenc Puskas taught the motherland of the game a momentous footballing lesson. On 25 November 1953, Hungary beat England 6-3 at Wembley. David Winner
trangely, the score and date have never really gone out of style and are still guaranteed to raise a smile in both countries. And the background has passed into legend. England had never lost to foreign opponents on home soil while Hungary’s cherry-shirted Aranycsapat (golden team) were the reigning Olympic champs, unbeaten in three years. Behind the scenes, Hungary’s coach Gusztav Sebes was under pressure. The Stalinists who ruled the country saw the team as a vehicle for promoting Communism and told him defeat was unacceptable. In the event, the game, billed as the “match of the century”, was as one-sided as one of those 34
colonial battles between spear-carrying locals and thin red Brits with Maxim guns. England, pickled and deluded by decades of haughty isolation, fielded a rigid W-M formation dating from the 1920s. The technically superior Hungarians played swift-passing football from the future – their style paved the way for the 4-2-4 of Pele’s Brazil, Dutch total football and the modern tiki-taka of Barcelona and Spain. On that foggy London afternoon, Hungary’s third goal defined the contest. An eight-pass move flowed the length of the field before Puskas bewildered England captain Billy Wright with a dragback before spinning and scoring. England were confused by Hungary’s sophisticated movement, position-switching T H E F I FA W E E K LY
and their use of what we would now call a “false nine” – deep-lying centre forward Nandor Hidegkuti, who ran the game and scored a hat-trick. After the return match in Budapest which Hungary won 7-1, England’s Syd Owen said that playing Hungary “was like playing people from outer space”. For Hungary the game known simply as “6-3” remains the greatest moment in their sporting history and is endlessly commemorated. The electrifying Ferenc Puskas The Aranycsapat, considered by some to have been the best team of all time, included such prodigious talents as Sandor Kocsis, Zoltan Czibor and Jozsef Bozsik. But Puskas, the captain and most electrifying goalscorer, was the star. He went on, in his later exile, to create a second remarkable career with Real Madrid and has, since his death in 2006, become the emblem of Hungary’s footballing golden age. Budapest tourist shops sell Puskas merchandise and replica shirts and, the city’s main stadium has been a
named after him – as is FIFA’s global Puskas Goal of the Year prize. And what of the game’s legacy? For the English there was, at first, mostly shock. As football writer Brian Glanville put it, the defeat was “the watershed, the moment of truth, the end of an illusion” that England was still the dominant nation in football. “Groundhog Day” We can also see more clearly than was realised at the time that the loss of sporting prestige chimed with Britain’s decline as a global power. Yet the English still felt good about their place in the world and reacted to footballing humiliation with affection and admiration for the Hungarians rather than bitterness. It was one of the first big games seen by a mass TV audience and crowds turned up at Victoria Station to wish the “Magical Magyars” well on the first leg of their journey home. The Hungarian example inspired some players and future coaches to take a much keener interest in tactics. Alf Ramsey, England’s right back at Wembley, later become manager and guided England to victory in the 1966 World Cup. Little was done, though, to address English technical shortcomings. Like a football version of the movie “Groundhog Day”, therefore, the English have often re-enacted the 1953 drama and been surprised to find themselves losing to the many foreign teams who are better at controlling and passing the ball.
couldn’t believe that it had been a proper match. They were absolutely convinced that there had been some sort of fix or deal.” B e h i n d t h e C a p e Ve r d e I s l a n d s Historian Arpad von Klimo argues that the regime blundered by seeing football as a tool for propaganda and belief that the game could be controlled. “People didn’t have anything to eat. But they had this glorious football team. And then the team lost and everything went completely mad. People say the rioting after the Final was the beginning of the 1956 revolution because for the first time people were not afraid of the secret police, the apparatus of repression.” Two years later, the anti-Soviet revolution followed and when that bid for freedom was crushed by Soviet tanks, 200,000 Hungarians fled into exile, including most of the top footballers. Hungarian football began its slow, inexorable decline. The country is currently ranked 43 in the world, just behind the Cape Verde Islands. Last month the team lost 1-8 to Holland in a World Cup qualifying match.
Savouring the success: Hungary captain Ferenc Puskas (front left).
Hungarians still derive immense pleasure from November 1953 but the subsequent decay has tinged the memory with sadness. Von Klimo: “You should know that Hungarians are one of the most depressed peoples in the world, but we also love our defeats. The 6-3 game makes it harder to bear where Hungary is now. We’re not like the Faroe Islands who were never very good. People look back and think ’we once had the greatest team and it is never coming back’. We’re very proud of that game, but it also hurts.” Å
United Archives, EFE, Allsport, Keystone
Meanwhile, Hungarians had deeper traumas to worry about. Nothing would ever top beating the English, but the team was having to perform in an increasingly unstable political context. And when in 1954 the golden team surprisingly lost the World Cup Final to West Germany the people of Budapest poured onto the streets in fury. Novelist Tibor Fischer, author of “Under The Frog”, a darkly comic novel about Hungarian sport under communism, explains: “1953 wasn’t just a football match. Hungary was almost a totalitarian state, the repressive Stalinist system was at its height and football was just about the only thing that offered you some sort of pleasure or hope. When that team lost the World Cup final (1954 in Berne against Germany), people in Budapest genuinely just
Wizard in white: Ferenc Puskas in Madrid (1959). T H E F I FA W E E K LY
THE SOUND OF FOOTBALL
THE OBJEC T
Perikles Monioudis When Dr. Leo Francis Hoye delved into The Football Association archives he emerged having discovered himself.
Singing songs of Pele
It was a familiar feeling. His father, the illustrator Reg Hoye, had used a 12-year-old Leo as his muse in designing World Cup Willie, a friendly lion complete with Union Jack shirt and unkempt black hair – the Beatles cut of the 1960s.
Brazilian fans were the first to transform the terraces into a kind of mini-carnival in the 1940s with their music, dancing and costumes. By the same token, the country’s musicians take football very seriously, with the beautiful game serving as an inspiration for many songs. No other footballer has inspired Brazil’s artists more than Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pele. The most popular song about the 36
great man is appropriately titled O Nome do Rei e Pele (The name of the king is Pele), performed by musical veteran Jorge Ben, who became known as Jorge Ben Jor after 1988. When he started out in the 1970s, Samba Nova was how Ben described his style of jazzy bossa nova mixed with rock, soul and funk, and O Nome do Rei e Pele is a fitting tribute to the footballing magician. Jackson do Pandeiro’s song entitled O Rei, Pele is very different to Jorge Ben Jor’s melody, but by no means less passionate. Do Pandeiro, who died in 1982, was a performer of Forro, a genre that combines the uplifting tones of an accordion with percussion instruments and is popular in the north-east of Brazil.
American singer-songwriting on the musical spectrum, while Arakatuba’s Pele is a percussion-based piece which features on the 2003 album Musica de Futebol. US-German pop sensation Peggy March’s Pele was the B-side to her 1972 single “The Beatles – John, Paul, George and Ringo”, a release that perfectly captured the mood of the age on vinyl. Not every song entitled Pele necessarily refers to the footballer, however: American artist Tori Amos’ album “Boys for Pele” is about the forbidding Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanoes, who just happens to go by the same name. Æ
World Cup Willie still intrigues Leo to this day. In a sense, the linguist from Centennial College of the University of Hong Kong is on a journey of self discovery in researching his father’s creation. Leo continues to explore the FA’s archives hoping to unearth more material on his alter ego that will consequently explain a little further his former life as Willie. “World Cup Willie: The Story of a Mascot, A Game, An Era” is the title of the paper that Leo is still working on, thank goodness. FIFA was also fortunate enough to acquire an original Willie mascot on eBay recently. It is one of a long line of similar relics on the shelf at the back there. Can you see it Leo? Å
Palavra Candata’s tribute to Pele lies somewhere between bossa nova and traditional T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Photo: Gian Paul Lozza, Illustration: Sion Ap Tomos
In Brazil, football, dance and music have always gone hand in hand. “Being a good dancer helped me as a footballer,” said former international Domingos da Guia, who during the 1930s and 1940s marshalled the Selecao defence with unrivalled style. “Samba taught me how to execute those quick dribbles with the little swing of the hips,” he explained.
Young Leo was posing for the global media with the mascot, created to help celebrate England hosting the 1966 World Cup. It was the first time a mascot had ever been used in conjunction with a World Cup, or any major sporting event for that matter. Willie was printed on mugs, towels, plates, hats and shirts, among other things, sparking a wave of enthusiasm for such keepsakes. Nowadays the business is known as merchandising, and sales of souvenirs and logos generate millions.
“I was born again in a phone box” Early in his career, 50-year-old New Zealand legend Wynton Rufer was a party animal. But a chance meeting with a Salvation Army officer in the Swiss mountains in 1986 changed his life forever.
n November 1986 my life was transformed from one minute to the next. It happened in a telephone conversation with my future wife Lisa.
Wynton Rufer Nationality New Zealand/ Switzerland Date of birth 29 December 1962 National team New Zealand
Lisa and I got to know each other by chance a year earlier. It was in a hotel in Wellington, and I basically should never have been there. My club FC Zurich forbade me from making the trip to a World Cup qualifier against Australia. But I was so passionate about the New Zealand national team, I accepted I was going to be fined 10,000 Swiss Francs and boarded the plane anyway. And there she was, Lisa, sitting at the hotel bar with her parents. She was only 18 and being hit on by half the New Zealand players in the bar. Not exactly an easy situation if you’re trying to establish contact with a particular person. When her father disappeared on a bathroom break, I followed him and engaged him in conversation. I was a model of modesty, even though I was one of the best-known players on the team at the time. This apparently made a big impression on him – or at least that’s what I know now. He introduced me to Lisa, we fell in love and we made plans to marry 14 months later on 7 December 1986.
Great stuff, you might think. I was 23, a professional footballer, earning enough money and about to marry the most wonderful woman in the world. And still I wasn’t happy. There was something missing in my life. It was knowing Jesus. But I put that right in November 1986 when I was in the mountains on Swiss military service. Our superior gave us the evening off and the whole brigade headed for the only restaurant in the village looking forward to a great evening. I had one thing on my mind and that
23 appearances Career record · 174 games, 59 goals for Werder Bremen · 1993 German Championship (with Werder Bremen) · Named “Oceania Footballer of the Century”
was getting something decent to eat and a glass of wine. But things took a very different turn. A Salvation Army officer was sitting at my table, and I soon fell into conversation with him. The man talked to me at length, telling me about the story of Jesus, the power of loving Jesus and the Bible. I was overwhelmed. Full of emotion I ran out of the restaurant to a phone box so I could call Lisa. I’d just got through to New Zealand, where the day had only just begun, when I was paralysed by a hysterical crying fit. I couldn’t say a word for three full minutes. It was an unbelievable moment. It was like being born again. At a stroke my life had changed. From that moment on I turned my back on the wild behaviour away from the field of play, for which I was quite notorious. I started avoiding clubs and completely gave up the occaT H E F I FA W E E K LY
sional joint. On that November evening I discovered what it is to love Jesus, and I was completely fulfilled. Naturally, I followed my new path in life with my wife Lisa. We still love each other today and have two grown-up sons. By the way, the Salvation Army officer and I have been close friends ever since our chance meeting in the Swiss mountains. Å As told to Alan Schweingruber
In Turning Point, personalities reflect on a decisive moment in their lives. 37
With Visa you are always welcome in the country of football.
© 2013 Visa. All Rights Reserved. © 2013 Getty Images.
The FIFA Weekly Published weekly by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
FIFA QUIZ CUP
This week’s quiz features famous stadiums, two German captains and a ’vegetable rescue’…
Internet: www.FIFA.com/TheWeekly Publisher: FIFA, FIFA-Strasse 20, PO box, CH-8044 Zurich, Tel. : +41-(0)43-222 7777 Fax : +41-(0)43-222 7878
I rescued the World Cup! And my name is?
President: Joseph S. Blatter Secretary General: Jérôme Valcke
Director of Communications & Public Affairs: Walter De Gregorio Chief editor: Thomas Renggli Art director: Markus Nowak 2
Staff writers: Perikles Monioudis (Deputy Editor), Alan Schweingruber, Sarah Steiner Contributors: Jordí Punti, Barcelona; David Winner, London; Hanspeter Kuenzler, London; Roland Zorn, Frankfurt/M.; Sven Goldmann, Berlin; Sergio Xavier Filho, Sao Paulo; Luigi Garlando, Milan Picture editor: Peggy Knotz
Which stadium hosted the men’s World Cup Final not once but twice?
Production: Hans-Peter Frei (head of section), Richie Kronert, Philipp Mahrer, Marianne Crittin, Mirijam Ziegler, Peter Utz, Olivier Honauer
E Stade de France
I Estadio Azteca
O Stadio Olimpico
In which year were there no seeded teams in the draw for the group stage at the World Cup finals? F 1998 N 1958
K 1978 T 1938
Proof reader: Nena Morf Contributors to this issue: Giovanni Marti, Honey Thaljieh, Dominik Petermann
The good old days? When was the first time two teams from Germany took part in World Cup qualifying?
Editorial assistant: Loraine Mcdouall Translation: Sportstranslations.com Project management: Bernd Fisa, Christian Schaub Printer: Zofinger Tagblatt AG www.ztonline.ch Contact: feedback-TheWeekly@fifa.org Reproduction of photos or articles in whole or in part is only permitted with prior editorial approval and if attributed “© The FIFA Weekly, 2013”. The editor and staff are not obliged to publish unsolicited manuscripts and photos. The FIFA logo is a registered trademark. Made and printed in Switzerland.
The answer to last week’s Quiz Cup was COLD (detailed answers on FIFA.com/theweekly). Inspiration and implementation: cus
Please send your answers to feedback-TheWeekly@fifa.org by 27 November 2013. Correct submissions for all quizzes received by 31 December 2013 will go into the draw to win two tickets to the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2013 on 13 January 2014. Before sending in your answers, all participants must read and accept the competition terms and conditions and the rules, which can be found at en.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/the-fifa-weekly/rules.pdf. T H E F I FA W E E K LY
T HIS WEEK’S POLL
Is a 32-team World Cup the right size, or should the tournament be expanded?
Answered by Thomas Renggli, chief editor: Both Greece and France can legitimately lay claim to the “copyright” on the Olympic Games. It was French educator Pierre de Coubertin who instigated the first Olympics of the modern era, the 1896 Games in Athens. The second edition of the modern Olympics took place in Paris four years later. The spirit of the Games inspired the names of a number of clubs, including Olympique Marseille and Olympique Lyon.
Send your thoughts to: feedback-TheWeekly@fifa.org
L A S T W E E K’S P O L L R E S U LT S:
34+22+20177 0 60 Who will win the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2013?
CRISTIANO RONALDO FRANCK RIBERY ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC LIONEL MESSI OTHERS
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of times Bosnia-Herzego-
Six decades have passed
vina have contested the
since England last beat
World Cup, but that will
Chile. The South Ameri-
change next summer due to
cans won last week’s
Swede will be absent from
the likes of prolific striker Edin
prestige clash at Wemb-
the World Cup. Perhaps he
Dzeko. In stark contrast, hosts
ley 2-0, ending a ten-
could join fellow size-12er
Brazil are the only nation to appear at
game unbeaten run for
Gunter Netzer as a commen-
all 19 editions of the tournament.
Roy Hodgson’s team.
LONG - AWAI T ED
A big zero is the number
THE NEW FOOTBALL MAGA ZINE
Bigfoot Zlatan Ibrahimovic wears size 12 boots, a
European size 47. The super
T H E F I FA W E E K LY
Keystone; Imago, Getty Images
Where does the “Olympic” in Olympique Marseille come from? Ulla Margareta Jansen, Vejbystrand (Sweden)