The first Finn to play in the Premier League? Jari Litmanen. Nope. Sami Hyppi. Nein. It was in fact journeyman Mixu Paatelainen. The striker played for 10 clubs before his retirement in 2005, but it was at Dundee, Aberdeen, Hibs and Bolton that he really made himself at home. With a name like his, Paatelainen was always likely to be decent Cult Hero material. Indeed, he has the unusual honour of being framed for a prank phone call in Bolton-born Peter Kay’s sitcom Phoenix Nights.
A few of Portugal’s U-20 squad react, how can I put this, like spoilt kids, in the dying minutes of their 1-0 loss to tournament favourites Chile in the U-20 World Cup, currently taking place in Canada (Czech Republic will play the winners of Chile vs Argentina in the final, by the way).
Here’s a handy tip for all young players: it’s generally a very bad idea to snatch the red card out of the ref’s hand as he’s trying to send off your team-mate – unless you want said ref to grab it straight back and shove it in your face too.
[Spotted on Left Back]
Arjen Robben has reportedly agreed personal terms over a move to Real Madrid, according to the BBC. Chelsea have not yet agreed a fee with the Spanish giants, but the Dutch winger is set to fly to Madrid on Friday.
This excellent documentary, first shown on Bravo I think, covers Paul Gascoigne’s time at Lazio in the mid-Nineties. The great James Richardson (he really should be Match of the Day’s anchor) narrates.
This is part one of five clips. To watch the remaining four parts, click the link belowâ€¦
South Korean fans of Manchester United (Cristiano Ronaldo to be specific) cheer up during the team’s training session at SangAm World Cup Stadium on July 19, 2007 in Seoul, South Korea. Manchester United will play against South Korea’s Seoul FC on July 20.
[Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]
Check out these two adorable metrosexuals, just posin’ down for the paparazzi before a Chelsea party in Los Angeles. You wouldn’t have caught Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris in flip-flops (Mr JT) or a thong sandal (Lamps).
Some good news and some bad news for Chelsea fans. First, the bad news: Chelsea skipper John Terry reportedly broke a toe in the 1-0 win over Suwon Bluewings in LA on Wednesday. JT played on until half-time when he was taken off in a pre-planned substitution. It has been claimed he was given a painkilling injection and could return to face LA Galaxy on Saturday, but it remains to be seen whether or not the injury will prevent Terry from starting the Premiership season.
“Mmm, cardboard boxes for goal posts, isn’t it?” as the Fast Show’s Ron Manager might say. The build-up to the 2007 Homeless World Cup is in full swing ahead of the tournament getting under way next week. The competition will see homeless people from 48 countries travel to Copenhagen to take part in the annual street football event. The aim is to raise the profile of homelessness and poverty around the world, and help players to turn their lives around.
Ah, the Latin American mullet – a Pies favourite. Some of the finest exponents include Luis Gonzalez and Marco Etcheverry. Keeping this classic Horror Hair look alive is FC Dallas midfielder Juan Carlos Toja. The 22-year-old Colombian claims his barnet is in homage to Doors singer Jim Morrison. We don’t see it ourselves, but if it makes him happy…
Ipswich prankster Gavin Williams has landed himself with a Â£3,000 bill after he trashed a team-mate’s car. The Welsh midfielder spray-painted Ian Miller’s Audi TT. The club has ordered Williams to pay for the damage to Miller’s car. And as if he wasn’t in enough trouble, Williams signed his name as Pele on a first-team shirt that was to be given away to charity.
David Beckham watched new side LA Galaxy suffer a 3-0 home defeat to Mexican side Tigres. The Sun claims the Galaxy looked like a Sunday morning pub team. The paper also scoffed at an attendance of just 2,000 and that the hardcore supporters of the LA Riot Squad we have heard so much about numbered 14.
As you might imagine, since the raids on Newcastle, Rangers and Portsmouth the forums and blogs have been buzzing with jokes at their expense. Here is just a small selection. Feel free to add your own as a comment. 1 Anti-corruption police have raided Newcastle United. Apparently the Magpies have no defence.
Wo-oah, I’m an alien, I’m an illegal alien, I’m an Englishman in New York. Or so sang Sting. Well, Pies has compiled a list of Englishmen, Scotsmen and Welshmen who have been sighted in various locations around the USA. Here are the Brits who made their mark on the MLS before David Beckham had arrived.
From today’s super soaraway Daily Star: Charley, Big Brother dumbass and cousin to Kieran Richardson, performed an X-rated private lapdance for Reading striker Leroy Lita. I couldn’t imagine a classier couple – they deserve each other, much like Preston and Chantelle deserved each other.
Name: Landon ‘Landycakes’ Donovan Age: 25 Position: Playmaker (and team captain)/All-American hunk What’s his story? After Becks, square-jawed Lando is easily the Galaxy’s best-paid player, on a reported $900,000 a year. He joined the Galaxy in 2005, from San Jose Earthquakes, where he was on loan from Bayer Leverkusen. Donovan is the USA’s highest-profile player, although he had a low-key World Cup in Germany.
Put yourself in the shoes of Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez (just don’t complain if you’re not the same shoe size). You’re desperate to break the Chelsea/Man Utd Premiership axis of evil, so you’ve spent big in the summer. You’ve got rid of Luis Garcia and Craig Bellamy and now have the following forwards to choose from for the new season:
The “Chelsea FC Girls” welcome fans to the World Series of Football match between Chelsea and Suwon Bluewings outside the LA Galaxy’s Home Depot Center on July 17, 2007. Chelsea defeated the Korean side 1-0, thanks to a Didier Drogba goal, which you can watch after the click… [Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images]
Stoke City’s mascot hippos scored a one-two in the annual mascots race at Haydock Park. Pottermus and his other half, Pottermiss, came first and second in the English Football Furlong. Some of the guys in lighter outfits ought to be ashamed of themselves, but nonetheless just look at those hippos go! Stoke fans, console yourselves that this is all you will be winning this season!
Michael Owen scored his first Newcastle goal since 2005 in Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge. Joey Barton also made his debut to rave reviews as the Magpies came from behind to see off Hartlepool. Of Barton, Allardyce said: “He was very good – but that’s him just taking it easy, really. He can be anything he wants to be as a footballer. He can be the very best if he wants to be.”
German side MSV Duisburg have signed some fat Brazilian dud(e) called Ailton (seriously, he’s a little chunky, don’t you think?). It also seems they have signed a team of psychedelic zebras – at least, that’s the only logical explanation I could find for this photo.