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Who ate all the pies

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June 1994 Carlos Valderrama, the man with the most iconic haircut in the history of football, is hunted down by John Harkes during Colombia’s first-round match against the USA at the 1994 World Cup, held at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena. The USA won 2-1. Photo Stephen Dunn/ALLSPORT

setanta%20claus%20des%20lynam.JPGFormer Match of the Day (and indeed Countdown) host Des Lynam has reinvented himself as a Santa Claus impersonator. Des will be ho-ho-hoing all the way to the bank for his portrayal of Setanta Claus – the pervy old man who brings people the pay-to-view TV they need for Christmas.

The modern footballer just can’t get up to the sneaky antics of their predecessors. As LA Galaxy midfielder Kevin Harmse has discovered following the match against FC Sydney, the TV cameras will see what you are up to even if it is away from the action. Harmse was spotted planting his foot on the arm of Sydney’s Brendon Santalab. He was well within the school playground code of conduct though, according to his coach Ruud Gullit. The Dutchman said: “The guy who kicked David Beckham, he triggered it. He did it not only once, but twice. David warned him and said it’s a friendly.”

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, aka Kaka, wants to spread the word of the Lord when he retires from football. ‘I would like that a lot,’ the Brazilian Jesus freak (I mean that in the nicest possible way) said in interview with the Italian edition of GQ. ‘It’s a difficult road – you have to […]

Juventus moved themselves up to second in Serie A with a 5-1 thumping of Palermo. The Old Lady was in unstoppable mood with David Trezeguet, Vicenzo Iaquinta, Alessandro Del Piero (two) and Marco Marchionni finding the net.

I love the way Jose hides behind his gate for the duration of his interview, not to mention the cheeky wink as he turns to go into his house. I’ve never seen the Special One acting so modestly and speaking so softly, almost as if without football in his life he’s a totally different person. […]

78133848.jpgChelesa win Group B with this mightily impressive away victory. Many experts thought there could be a shock on the cards in Norway, but that never looked like happening, as Avram Grant’s team cruised to a 4-0 win.
No.1 What was up with Rosenborg? Most of their players started as if they had been on the lash the night before. The league season is now over in Norway, so perhaps that had something to do with the fact that Rosenborg were so jaded and lacking in sharpness.

‘Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Gerrard and Mascheranooooooo!’ They definitely haven’t got the best midfield in the world (I’d argue that AC Milan – Kaka, Gattuso, Pirlo and Seedorf – win that one), but Liverpool fans never let the facts get in the way of a good chant. And this is a good chant. Shame that […]

So Liverpool are still alive in the Champions League. They have to go to Marseille and win in their final game of the group stage, but I think they’re capable of doing that. Here’s what I learnt from the match…

This joint advert from Uefa and the European Commission tells armchair football fans to get up and get physical. I bet Michel Platini would be really impressed if the viewing figures for the next round of Champions League games dropped dramatically because we were all out at Pilates class…

No.1 Fine performances from Gareth Barry, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Ashley Young and Scott Carson are a plus point for Villa – but that can be a double-edged sword for any Prem side not in the Big Four. Man Utd and co. will be looking more closely at Villa’s star performers (maybe not Arsenal, who don’t generally […]

When he is not busy breaking English hearts, Croatia manager Slaven Bilic is the frontman of metal band Rawbau. The band apparently pride themselves on their “healing & religious, easy listening, alternative” brand of music.

Blackburn Rovers 0-4 Aston Villa (Carew 29, Barry 53pen, Young 81, Harewood 89) These days, Blackburn just don’t ship four goals at home. They’re so tough to beat under Mark Hughes and yet Villa hammered them; Blackburn’s cause wasn’t helped when skipper Ryan Nelson was sent off, rather unfairly, for tugging Gabriel Agbonlahor’s shirt, but […]

First the NFL circus turns up and makes a right mess of the ‘hallowed Wembley turf’, now it’s the turn of petrolheads. As this photo shows, Wembley Stadium is currently being transformed into a racetrack for the Race of Champions, an annual event that is taking place this year on 16 December. Drivers from different […]

David Beckham of the LA Galaxy receives a traditional Hongi (Maori greeting) from local woman Ritihia Hailwood as he arrives at Wellington Airport on November 29, 2007. Photo Marty Melville/Getty Images

The Eredivisie’s top two teams both picked up 4-1 victories this week to maintain their positions at the top of the league. Ajax won at home to Vitesse thanks to goals from Luis Suarez, Gabri, Albert Luque and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s twelfth strike in as many games. PSV won by the same margin away at Excelsior with Otman Bakkal, Danny Koevermans, Danko Lazovic and Kenneth Perez on the scoresheet.

Sister Shiny site Scrumbag (try saying that after a bottle and a half of Calvados) posted recently on the topic of David Beckham and odd-shaped balls. Naturally, I clicked on it, only to find a semi-serious debate on whether Becks could have a career in rugby. This opinion is based on the recent PR stunt […]

horror%20hair%20veloso.JPGSporting Lisbon midfielder Miguel Veloso was one player especially hoping to catch Sir Alex Ferguson’s eye when he played against Manchester United last night, and he certainly picked a haircut to do just that. The 21-year-old holding player is reportedly a target for Fergie who wants to add him to the Old Trafford Portuguese contingent before next season.

I told you yesterday about Sydney FC’s 5-3 defeat of LA Galaxy Down Under, a defeat for the MLS team that was softened by the free-kick scored by David Beckham. Here is a video of that free-kick, and it’s a beauty. ‘It’s a bender! Its a classic! It’s a Beckham!’

May 2002 Now that Sven has got rid of muppets like Steve McClaren and Sammy Lee, watch him go! They were obviously holding him back. This photo shows Sven, then manager of England with glamorous assistants McClaren and Lee during the friendly international between England and Cameroon in Kobe, Japan.
Photo Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Cameroon wore this eye-catching sleeveless kit in the 2002 African Cup of Nations – it looked pretty cool, too, like a basketball top. Fifa, spoilsports that they are, immediately declared the kit illegal and black sleeves were added for Cameroon’s appearance in the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea. Now I’d rather play in a sleeveless top […]

Three seasons ago Senderos was hailed as one of the best young central defenders in Europe. Many Arsenal fans believed he would be their new Tony Adams, only with less hair and more brains (he speaks six languages, roughly six more than Big Tony).

Sevilla stormed to victory despite conceding an 11th-minute goal from Eduardo da Silva. It was Arsenal’s first defeat of the season, and in a match they didn’t have to win. I don’t think it heralds a dip in form for the Gooners, who had already qualified for the next stage of the Champions League. Seydou […]

Copa%20Classic%20Hair%20t-shirt.JPGPies’ love of Horror Hair is well-documented, so what better for Santa to bring us than this cool t-shirt dedicated to some of the beautiful game’s most infamous barnets.

Entertaining match, this, and although Rangers lost out to the German champions, they still have a very good shot at qualification – Barcelona’s 2-2 draw at Lyon means that Rangers need only a draw (a dangerous scenario, nonetheless) when the French club visits Ibrox next month to progress.