Thursday, July 25, 2013

Brazil’s Two-Time World Cup Winner Dies Of Pneumonia

Recognized as one of Brazil’s top defenders who helped the country clinch two (2) World Cup titles, Djalma Santos succumbed to pneumonia at age 84.

Jose Marin of the Brazilian Football Confederation, cannot help but expressed his grief over the death of the renowned player. He described Santos’ demise as a big blow to Brazilian football knowing that the country has lost one of its top icons.

Marin also added that Santos shall not be only remembered on his creative plays on the pitch, but also because of his “discipline and loyalty.”

Santos debuted in the football world in 1948 where he played as one of Portuguesa’s defenders. However, it was in 1958 when he reached the summit of his career, after helping Brazil clinch its first World Cup trophy while playing alongside with Pele and Garrincha.

In the 1958 tournament, Santos only entered the field during the finals. Yet, despite of his short appearance, his contributions were nonetheless, too indispensable to ignore.

Thus, for the second time, he was included in the competition’s All-Star team. Four (4) years before Brazil grabbed the prestigious silverware, Santos was already chosen to be one of the celebrated team members. And in 1962, as expected, he was once again, back in World Cup’s dream team. His third inclusion made him and another football legend, Franz Beckenbauer the only players to have been included in FIFA’s All-Star team in three (3) tournaments.

Overall, Santos had 98 caps and scored three (3) goals. He was also named in Pele’s 2004 list of greatest living footballers.  

Photo Credit: Globo Esporte

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

FIFA Ends Cameroon Suspension

FIFA lifted Cameroon’s indefinite suspension on Monday and allowed the squad to continue their bid in next year’s World Cup tournament. 

After suspending the activities  of Cameroon’s Football Federation (Fecafoot) due to political interference, the Indomitable Lions can now travel and face Libya for the final play-off round of the qualifiers this September. Aside from that, Fecafoot can now resume to its previously interrupted activities and concerns.

The decision to lift the ban materialized after a normalization committee has been established to monitor Fecafoot’s ongoing projects. Former Minister of Education, Sports, Joseph Owona was tasked to oversee the committee’s activities.

Cameroon’s suspension came about when John Begheni Nedi sought police assistance after proclaiming himself as the newly appointed Fecafoot leader. Prior to that, the already detained, Iya Mohamed already won the election. But the election appeals committee voided such result.

In accordance with FIFA’s regulation, the presence of the police force extending a helping hand is considered as interference from outside parties. The decision was released several minutes after FIFA announced that Cameroon’s 2-0 defeat against Togo was turned into a 3-0 win. Togo was said to field an ineligible player on the pitch.

Fortunately, for Cameroon, the next FIFA announcement it received brought good news to the squad.

The Indomitable Lions is one of the top African World Cup contenders. The squad has appeared in the said tournament for six times. In 1990, it was the first African team to enter the quarter-finals. Apart from its World Cup appearance, it is also a dominant force in the African Cup of Nations, where it won four (4) trophies. 

Photo Credit: Nexdim Empire

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ineligible Player Leads To Equatorial Guinea’s 2014 World Cup Exit

Cape Verde’s 2014 World Cup bid continues as FIFA sanctioned Equatorial Guinea for fielding an ineligible player twice.

A sudden turn of events did not only put the Blue Sharks back in the pitch, but also the chance to overcome Africa’s Group B leader, Tunisia. This is after FIFA penalized Equatorial Guinea with two (2) 3-0 win in Cape Verde’s favor.

The decision came about when Emilio Nsue, failed to meet the eligibility criteria and still, played for the Nzalang Nacional during the qualifying rounds. The first incident occurred last March 24 when Equatorial Guinea clinched a 4-3 away victory. The last one took place when Cape Verde scored a 2-1 triumph at home.

The presence of players based outside Equatorial Guinea (mostly in Spain) is nothing new to Nzalang Nacional. They are considered in the squad via the virtue of naturalization or through their parents. Issues such as the one confronted by Nsue often arise since there have been questions on whether the player has actually stayed in the country for five (5) years.

Mallorca striker Emilio Nsue deemed ineligible to play for Equatorial Guinea

As for Nsue’s case, no explanations have been released why the Spanish-born player, who appeared in age-restricted competitions, is ineligible to play for Equatorial Guinea. FIFA’s recent decision includes the country in the so-called 3-0 losers list or countries, which dropped out of the World Cup due to ineligibility concerns. Joining them are Ethiopia, Gabon, Burikina Faso, Togo and Sudan.

Meanwhile, Lucio Antunes’ camp, trailing behind by only two (2) points shall head to Tunisia in September for the final play-off round.

Photo Credit: Zimbio

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Argentina's Strong World Cup Bid

During its two (2) consecutive World Cup appearances, La Albiceleste seemed stuck in the quarter-final. It bowed down to Germany in 2006 and South Africa ousted them in 2010. 

However, after a series of changes and improvements, the squad’s supporters have all the reasons to believe that Argentina will soon bring home the elusive World Cup trophy.

One of Argentina’s thresholds of strength is the four-time Ballon d’Or awardee, Lionel Messi. The football superstar has shown tremendous improvements in the international scene—enjoying the same scoring rhythm when he is wearing that Barcelona jersey. In this upcoming World Cup, Messi is undeniably, a great force to reckon with.

Brazil’s proximity to Argentina is also advantageous for La Albiceleste. This means less travel time and more opportunities to gather their strength long before they perform in the pitch.

Likewise, Alejandro Sabella did wonders to Argentina. The squad’s head honcho has developed a formula that carefully balances the team’s defence and offense. During the qualifiers, only five (5) goals have made it through the squad’s goalkeepers. As for the scoring side, Sabella did an outstanding job in bringing the best of Messi.

Lastly, though the Selecaos have been a consistent heavy World Cup favorites, a 2012 friendly against La Albiceleste resulted in a disappointing result. While others claim that  it has no bearing, still, the mere fact that they beat Brazil, delivered a preview of what they can do in 2014.

The World Cup tournament is still, a long way to go. Yet, as for Sabella and his men, such is a great opportunity to strengthen the team.  

Source: World Cup Result
Photo Credit: FutbolRed

Monday, July 15, 2013

France conquers Uruguay to win FIFA U-20 World Cup

What was initially thought as a Thauvin-centered match came out a little inaccurate after France won over Uruguay in the hands of team captain Paul Pogba (voted best player by FIFA) and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola who successfully saved La Celeste’s first two penalties―from Emiliano Velazquez and Giorgian De Arrascaeta―before Dimitri Foulquier converted the fourth for France, giving the Les Bleuets an overwhelming lead in the FIFA U-20 Final on July 13.

Les Bleuets, FIFA U-20 Final winners | Image source:

The rhythm of victory cascaded for the French, amidst a jubilant crowd of supporters waving their favorite team’s flag. Blissful Pogba lifted his side’s trophy and chanted a resounding “this is the World Cup, the World Cup, the World Cup” to boast of a new landmark for his beloved team.

On one hand, France is the sixth European squad to champion the tournament (Spain was the last one to hold the prestige in 1999). On the other hand, Uruguay had to painfully embrace its second defeat in a final after losing to Argentina in 1997.

Pogba led the midfield while strikers Yaya Sanogo, Florian Thauvin, and Jean-Christophe Bahebeck scored nine goals to baptize the French brand as the second-highest scoring team of the tournament with 15 goals in seven matches―one goal short of Ghana, which subdued Iraq, 3-0, earlier to finish in the third spot.

The European side conceded only two goals in the knockout round and kept a clean sheet in the final in spite of Samuel Umtiti―who was sent off for a second booking against Ghana―having been removed from the powerhouse roster.

France earned the U-20 World Cup after posting a draw with Uruguay, 0-0, but later sealed penalty shootout in extra time, 4-1.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More