Friday, November 19, 2010

Nero Fiddles While Ronaldo Burns

photo by beggsvia PhotoRee

Just arrived back at the home office after a quick jaunt to Rome -- the farlieonfootie corporate jet sure comes in handy these days..... I spent the better part of last evening engaged in an engrossing discussion with a top european football correspondent, in a shameless attempt to convince him to jump ship and join our global footie empire.  We sat out late, eating and drinking under the stars -- has anyone else noticed that Jupiter is visible to the naked eye right now? -- and talking Serie A and La Liga until the wee, small hours of the morning. Time will tell if our man was convinced by the lavish pay package and extensive corporate benefits, as well as the opportunity to profit from our strong corporate brand and global reach, but you -- like me -- will just have to wait and see, fingers crossed. 

More later, and now onto the good stuff:

What?  That Release Was Supposed to Go Out Tomorrow?  The cat is out of the bag on Anders Lindegaard, the 6 foot 4 inch Danish shot blocker who appears to be Manchester United's newest signing. Although the deal isn't official yet, someone forgot to tell the Public Relations staff at Aalesund FK, Lindegaard's current club in Norway, who posted this web page yesterday announcing the deal by mistake. Apparently, the terms between the clubs have already been worked out, with the Reds shelling out €3.5 million to bring on the Dane, and now only the details of Lindegaard's personal contract need to be ironed out, and a physical needs to be passed, before the move will take effect. 

Although it doesn't appear that the 26 yeard old will be the presumptive #1 when VDS retires, the signing would seem to indicate that Tomasz Kuszczack is on his way out of Manchester.  Word continues to be mixed on whether the ultimate replacement for the big Dutchman will be the 20 year-old David de Gea, or the oft-injured but world class Gigi Buffon.  Here's hoping it's the Spaniard; I really like that guy.

Stop Italian Racism Now.  Mario Balotelli was booed by his own fans Wednesday night as Italy played Austria in a friendly (I'm quite certain Balotelli was thinking "With friends like that, who needs enemies?").  A crowd of approximately one hundred right wing Italian extremists taunted Balotelli during the match, as well as held a banner which contained the inspiring message "No to a multiethnic national team."  

Balotelli -- who was born in Italy of Ghanaian descent -- responded to the jeers after the game with the following statement:
"I was very disappointed yesterday, and I didn't want to say anything. The only sure thing is that I alone can't do anything. Everyone needs to do something against racism.
We couldn't agree more, so we'll do our small part: Stop Racism Now.  There's no place for it in football, or in the real world, either.  Period.  Full stop.

He's Baaack.  Wayne Rooney could return this weekend against Wigan Athletic, according to multiple published reports, including this one from The Guardian's Daniel Taylor (who would appear to be a nice guy, and impressively, actually responds to tweets @DTGuardian).  Who knows if Rooney will actually play, but he did have an impressive week of training at Camp Nike in Oregon, according to Sir Alex.  

Rooney also came back appreciably lighter: half a stone.  Being the ugly American, I have no idea what that equates to in pounds -- although I do know that Rooney's bank account was fattened up by about a £1 million of them since he signed the new contract last month, despite the fact that he's yet to even step on the pitch since that time.

Finally, I'll Leave You With This Piece of Brilliance.  Did you manage to catch this candidate for goal of the year by @Cristiano on Wednesday?  Too bad it was disallowed. Ronaldo made Casillas look like an absolute amateur, and that's not something you can say (or even write) very often.  As it is, after watching the replay multiple times, I have two questions:

1) What in the world was Luis Nani thinking?  It's a good thing he apologized, because there was absolutely no need for him to touch the ball -- it was already in the net by the time Nani put his head to it.  I'd be furious, too, if I was Ronaldo, which I'm not.

And that brings up question 2) When are we getting goal line technology?  Because that ball was well over the line when Nani headed it.   Well over the line, much like many of our prior columns.  Here it is once again, for your viewing pleasure:

This is farlieonfootie for November 20. 

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