Most Argentinian footballers labelled the next Maradona have buckled under the pressure and ended up not meeting their potential. Not Lionel Messi. The Barcelona star seems to revel in copycatting his hero. After scoring a carbon copy of Diego’s incredible first goal against England at the 1986 World Cup earlier this season, Messi has now replicated the second goal of that game – the infamous Hand of God. He scored the controversial goal against Espanyol at the weekend.
Sheffield United midfielder/defender/goalkeeper Phil Jagielka is close to completing a Â£4 million switch to Everton. Confirmation from new manager Bryan Robson that Jagielka is set to leave the club comes days after sneaky Evertonians updated Jagielka’s Wikipedia page to make him a Toffee.
Police investing corruption in football have made an arrest. A 61-year-old man has been arrested in Manchester on suspicion of money laundering. The man – who is said not to be a football agent – was taken into custody on Wednesday by the economic crime unit of the City of London police.
1 Olympique Lyonnais, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Olympique Marseille, Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Leicester City (current). Whose rollercoaster career?
2 Which German football club does ginger tennis legend Boris Becker support?
3 Picture round. Name this Premiership star-in-the-makingâ€¦
Some good news for Liverpool after last week’s shocker – Xabi Alonso has signed a new deal with the club. The 25-year-old midfielder had been linked with a move back to his native Spain, has he has now committed to Liverpool until 2012.
Standing next to Franck Ribery instantly makes any man look like a demi-godlike cross between George Clooney, Brad Pitt and that beardy fellow from 300. And indeed, Luca Toni does look like the most handsome man in the world in this photo. He’s a good-looking fella anyway, but next to Ribery he looks obscenely dark and tall and handsome.
Well they can’t take all the credit because Fame Academy helped, but singer-songwriter Griffin’s tribute to Mark Viduka has been rendered useless by the big Aussie’s move to St James’s Park. Middlesbrough fan Griffin is unlikely to rewrite the words of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah yet again with Magpies-themed lyrics. The line And from our team you can’t take Mark Viduka is clearly even less true than all the ones about Boro playing exciting football!
When you play football as a kid aside from running around like a headless chicken, a few useful phrases usually help you to get by. The occasional ‘You’re kicking the other way’, ‘Play to the whistle’ or ‘If in doubt, kick it out’ bawled by the coach from the touchline can work wonders. Iceland – the country not the supermarket – must be wishing they had someone offering them the latter two pointers during their game on Wednesday night. Hilarity ensued after Iceland thought a penalty had been awarded against them.
Thanks to Pies reader Andrew Stewart for suggesting our latest Shit lookalike. As you can see, Brazil coach Dunga is in fact the spiky-haired twin of Portuguese actor Joaquim de Almeida. We would, of course, have got round to this lookalike eventually what with Pies being huge Portuguese cinema buffs!
The Guardian reports on a fascinating radio interview (with Key 103) with Sir Alex Ferguson, in which the Man Utd boss reveals a more sensitive side to his personality. Fergie talks about his love of cookery and his friendship with fellow Scot Gordon Ramsay: ‘I was into cooking a great deal and I could do most things. In terms of what you see nowadays I would be lost, but I can still do a good pasta or a Chineseâ€¦ He’s fine, Gordon [Ramsay]. The problem with being a perfectionist is that it must be terrible to think about dropping even a fraction. In football there is room for error in a 38-game programme but if he has one bad meal in 38 he could lose business and his reputation. I think that’s what keeps the real rough edge on Gordon.’
The drunken oaf who forced the match between Denmark and Sweden to be abandoned after attacking the referee is the latest football incident to be given the Java treatment by footy-loving computer geeks. The rules and explanation are in Danish, which adds to the fun. As far as I can tell, you are referee Herbert Fandel. You mission is to chuck as many red cards possible at your drunken assailant until Christian Poulsen kills you. Isn’t this what the beautiful game is really about?! Click here to play.
Juan Pablo Angel scored for the fourth straight game to help Red Bull New York to a 2-1 win at Toronto last night. NY’s win moves them above the KC Wizards at the top of the Eastern Conference. Watch the highlights belowâ€¦
According the Super Soaraway Current Bun, Chelsea’s new luminous yellow away shirt, leaked a few days before its official launch, was ‘chosen by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who likes Barcelonaâ€™s bright orange away jerseys’.
Steve McClaren must have slept well last night after a professional performance by his England team in Estonia. Joe Cole and Peter Crouch scored fine goals and then little Mickey Owen ensured the win with a clever finishâ€¦
The Euro 2008 qualifier between Finland and Belgium was held up for six minutes… by an owl. The eagle owl swooped into the stadium 19 minutes into the match, landing on the pitch and goals. Premiership referee Mike Riley stopped the game until the owl retreated to a safety barrier behind the goal to keep a beady eye on proceedings.