Monthly Archives: June 2012

Masahiro Higuchi: The Ups & The Downs

Image: Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images.

If you’ve experienced the muscle shredding horror of climbing, you cannot help but feel annoyed at the ease with which Masahiro Higuchi appears to be scaling the wall during Day 4 of competition at the 3rd Asian Beach Games in China.

If you too have felt your blood banging in your head and the tendons in your fingers stretch to new and probably permanent limits as they cling for dear life to an unreasonably small, very unforgiving piece of dried Play-Doh, please follow the jump for confirmation that the world is occasionally sympathetic to your travails.

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England Fans: Showing Their Class, If Not Their Fashion Sense

Image: AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov.

England fans turned out for a friendly fixture vs. Ukraine last week wearing t-shirts supporting imprisoned former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

There’s no particular reason to publish this, other than it’s one in the eye for those who believe that English football fans represent the worst of the ill-informed, apathetic masses the country has to offer.

They don’t. Although I’m prepared to concede the point that wearing chain mail to play football is the behaviour of a lunatic.

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Mario Balotelli: An Exciting New Approach

Mario Balotelli embraces his mother Silvia after scoring two goals in Italy’s Euro 2012 semi-final vs. Germany. Image via facebook.

After the game, when I went to my mum I said ‘these goals are for you,

I waited for this moment for so long and I wanted to make my mum happy.

Rumours that Silvia has been approached by Manchester City for an assistant coach role alongside Roberto Mancini cannot be verified at this time.

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Cristiano Ronaldo: The Moment Of Truth

Image: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/GettyImages.

Having spent most of the season bristling at comparisons of his on-pitch prowess with that of Lionel Messi, Euro 2012 was Cristiano Ronaldo’s time to shine. It says something about the player that in a season where his 46 goals propelled Real Madrid to the La Liga title and he became the first player in the club’s history to score 40+ goals in two consecutive seasons that that he cares about such meaningless details, but still.

He does, and therefore, so do we.

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Wayne Rooney: Follicular Formation

Image: REUTERS/Nigel Roddis.

Solid at the back, lacking depth in the midfield and quite a lot of uncertainty upfront.

How unfortunate that Wayne Rooney’s new haircut actually mirrors England’s recent international performances.

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England vs. France: Sparks In The Dark

Images:  FRANCK FIFE/AFP/GettyImages, Lars Baron/Getty Images.

Given England’s past form in major tournaments , it would not have been unreasonable of fans to have seen Ray Clemence’s pre-match injury as a portent of doom. The goalkeeping coach snapped his achilles tendon before England’s opening Euro 2012 fixture vs. France, bringing the number of Roy Hodgson’s staff who have succumbed to injury before a ball is kicked in anger to five.

Fortunately, everyone else survived the journey from the pitch to the changing room and back, and ten minutes later, with media hype and optimism at a new and refreshing low, kicked off against a team who hadn’t tasted defeat in 21 international fixtures.

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Ronaldinho: A Changed Man

Slightly startled. Images: AP Photo/Eugenio Savio, REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker.

Displaying an adaptability to change that would make John Terry proud, Ronaldinho pulled on the jersey of Brazilian Serie A side Atletico Mineiro on Monday, less than a week after he played his last game for Flamengo. The playmaker turned playboy’s contract with Flamengo was wisely terminated by a judge after he sued the club for unpaid wages.

Ronaldinho’s contract with Atletico is for six months, which is presumably the amount of the time the local nightclubs can support his partying before collapsing beneath the strain and begging for mercy.

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Coming Soon…

We know. You can’t wait. But you’ll have to.