Sportz8ne - Revista de Esportes by Fraja8


Meninas tchau !..........esse Guia...... e meu !

Shakara Ledard

Shakara Ledard

Shakara Ledard

Shakara Ledard



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Po ....Fra....vc falou que ia me levar nos Mascarados........venha nego !

Chandra North

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Rei...........................To voltando de Boipeba.........te espero no Porto !

Noemie Lenoir

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Fra.......to te esperando aqui em SSA.......vc nao vem ?

Josie Maran

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photo

 Poll Results
Question: Who will win the women's Aussie Open final?
31835 votes since Jan 27 2005
Lindsay Davenport 40% 12656 votes
Serena Williams 60% 19179 votes

photo



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 photophoto
Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, right, presents a ticket of her donation to Russian Ambassador to Australia, Leonid P. Moiseev, left, in front of a Porche Cayenne during a ceremony in Melboune , Friday, Jan. 28, 2005. Sharapova has made a significant donation to the victims of last September's Beslan school siege in her homeland. Wimbledon champion Sharapova on Friday donated the value of a Porsche car, her prize for winning the WTA Tour Championships in November, to those affected by the hostage crisis, in which more than 330 people, half of them children, died. She auctioned off the vehicle, raising US$56,300 (euro43,200).


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Ronaldo manda recado que não aceita a reserva no Real

Real Madrid Intenta Mirar El Lado Positivo De Eliminación Copera

Substituído no último jogo do Real Madrid nos minutos finais, Ronaldo foi flagrado por uma câmera de televisão instalada no corredor dos vestiários do Santiago Bernabéu atirando seu agasalho, numa atitude visível de contrariedade com a decisão do técnico Vanderlei Luxemburgo.

Nesta quinta-feira, o brasileiro abordou o tema em entrevista coletiva após o treino do Real Madrid. No contato com os jornalistas espanhóis, Ronaldo, de forma direta ou através de brincadeiras, mandou o seu recado: não aceita a reserva."Vanderlei faz o que acha melhor para a equipe. Não acho que me use como exemplo. Não estou chateado. Aceito o que o treinador disser e não peço explicações. Aqui não há intocáveis, mas sempre que ele tira alguém, esse alguém sou eu", declarou.

Ronaldo Da La Bienvenida A Los Delanteros Que Puedan Llegar

Em seguida, o artilheiro do Real Madrid no Campeonato Espanhol fez questão de deixar claro que não está tomando uma posição de rebeldia contra o comando de sua equipe, apesar do descontentamento."Não conheço nenhum jogador que fique feliz quando sai de campo. Eu fico irritado e chateado. Sempre quero jogar para ajudar a equipe. Mas isso foi no corredor. Se tinha uma câmera ali, foi azar, mas não fiz nenhum gesto dentro de campo por respeito a meus companheiros e ao público", continuou o atacante.

Mais tarde na mesma entrevista coletiva, indagado sobre a possibilidade de chegada de reforços de seus compatriotas Adriano e Robinho, Ronaldo tomou um caminho mais sutil para repetir seu recado."Adriano e Robinho? Que venham, mas ninguém tira o meu lugar", afirmou Ronaldo, entre risos.

El delantero brasileño del Inter de Milán, Adriano

O atacante ainda comentou sobre uma possível chegada de Adriano, atualmente na Inter de Milão: "Se um jogador quer deixar uma equipe, que vá. Se há um clube grande interessado e ele está decidido, é impossível pará-lo"."Não falei com Adriano, mas acho que ele disse ontem que estava farto de toda esta repercussão e que quer estar tranqüilo. Não sei o que acontece, primeiro é preciso perguntar ao Real Madrid se há interesse", declarou.

O atacante disse que não se importa com o frio que venha a fazer no domingo em Numancia, pois a única coisa que quer é vencer. "O campo pode estar congelado e se tivermos que jogar assim será complicado. É preciso vencer a partida. Lembro de jogos disputados com neve. Na Alemanha já joguei em um campo congelado".

Portada - Ronaldo viaja a Brasil de urgencia por un problema de salud de un familiar muy cercano

Outro assunto tratado na entrevista coletiva foi a eliminatória das oitavas-de-final da Liga dos Campeões, que disputarão contra o Juventus no próximo mês de fevereiro: "Temos uma pedra no sapato da última semifinal. Espero que possamos mudar a história desta vez e que seja uma grande partida. É como uma final e chegaremos preparados. O treinador está fazendo um grande trabalho e estamos melhorando taticamente", afirmou.



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Técnico do Valência aponta "99% de chances" de Edu não vir agora

El técnico del Valencia, Claudio Ranieri, y jugadores del banquillo valencianista, cariacontecidos durante el Osasuna-Valencia del domingo

Valência (Espanha), 28 jan (EFE).- O italiano Claudio Ranieri,treinador e diretor-geral do Valência, assegurou nesta quarta-feiraque há "99% de chances" de o meia brasileiro Edu não vir para o clube agora.

As dificuldades surgiram devido às complicações financeiras aprsentadas pelo Arsenal, dono de seu passe, que solicitou mais dinheiro que o previsto por sua transferência.

"Há 99% de chances de Edu não vir agora. Não posso confirmar, mas será uma contratação para a próxima temporada", reconheceu Ranieri, que afirmou que o Arsenal pediu muito dinheiro e que seu clube não está disposto a satisfazer as exigências dos ingleses.

Arsenal midfielder Edu celebrates after scoring a goal in the Champions League match against Celta Vigo

O técnico disse que tem "um grande elenco" e que Edu é "um grande campeão" que ficará livre no mês de junho, época em que poderá
contratá-lo sem problemas, já que o brasileiro terá encerrado seu compromisso com os ingleses.



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Jérémy Menez (left) celebrates his hat-trick with Jaouad Zairi

Having scored a seven-minute hat-trick in a 4-0 win against FC Girondins de Bordeaux to help UEFA Cup contenders FC Sochaux-Montbéliard end a two-and-a-half month spell without a domestic home win, it is easy to see why 17-year-old striker Jérémy Menez is regarded as a phenomenon in France.

Goalscoring flurry
Supporters at the Bonal stadium were presented with a goalscoring flurry on Saturday as Menez became the youngest player to score a Ligue 1 hat-trick, beating Bordeaux's former French international goalkeeper Ulrich Ramé with a left-foot shot, a right-foot shot and a glorious chip.

At 17, Menez is regarded as a France star of the future

French records
It was not the young man from the Paris suburbs' first record. He became the youngest player to sign a professional contract with a French club when he signed a three-year deal with Sochaux at the age of 16 years, ten months and 15 days. It may not be his last record either if he can fulfil his promise.

United interest
Last season, word of Menez's skills had reached as far as England, as Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson invited the teenager over to Old Trafford and even came to meet his parents in France in an attempt to lure him to the north of England.

Sochaux delight
However, to Sochaux's delight, Menez decided to stick with the club who first spotted his talents. "When I learnt Alex Ferguson was interested in me, it was great," he said. "I visited their stadium and the training ground, but in the end I preferred to stay at the academy who first put faith in me."

Typical teenager
Aside from having abandoned his studies to be an accountant and having left the safety of the Sochaux academy to rent a flat with his older brother, Menez seems a typical teenager - slightly taller than average, maybe, but typically fond of his PlayStation.

Extraordinary skills
"He's a shy boy who prefers to laugh at others' jokes than his," said coach Philippe Bergeroo who won the UEFA European Under-17 Championship last May for France with Menez in his side. "But once on the pitch he has just one thing in mind - score, score and score again."

Natural shyness
Certainly, his natural shyness got the better of him after the Bordeaux game. "I'm not exactly a striker," he said after scoring his hat-trick. "I was a bit lucky." His coach Guy Lacombe was clearly jealous: "Three goals in a game at 17," he sighed. "I had to wait until I was 28 to score once."

'Team player'
However, Lacombe - who nurtured the talents of Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira and Johan Micoud at AS Cannes - was in no doubt of Menez's class, saying: "Menez is a good thing for Sochaux and French football." Bergeroo added: "Another positive point is that he is a team player and can defend too."

Gentle approach
Sensibly, Lacombe has been easing Menez into league and European football cautiously, which might explain why he had scored just one goal before Saturday, in a 3-1 win at AS Monaco FC on 19 November.

Auspicious signs
Nonetheless, his goalscoring feats will not have been lost on the French public who, having watched the national team lose their World and European crowns in recent years, hope that Menez's generation - including Olympique de Marseille playmaker Samir Nasri and Olympique Lyonnais striker Hatem Ben Arfa - may yet emulate the golden boys of 1998 and 2000.

No worries
"France need not worry about the future," said Bergeroo. Olympiacos CFP, Sochaux's next UEFA Cup opponents, may feel differently.



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Eriksson gives hope to Powell

Having coached England to the quarter-finals of both the 2002 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2004™, Sven-Göran Eriksson is well-placed to pass on advice to his England women's team counterpart Hope Powell as she prepares her side to take on Europe's finest on home soil in this summer's UEFA European Women's Championship.

The winners will receive a new trophy

Illustrious lineup
Eriksson was part of an illustrious lineup who attended the draw for the eight-team final tournament at the same City of Manchester stadium where England defeated Iceland 6-1 on 5 June 2004 prior to their trip to Portugal. A year to the day later, Powell will hope for a similar outcome when the hosts get their WOMEN'S EURO 2005 campaign under way against Finland ahead of matches against Denmark and second-favourites Sweden.

Blackburn final
Two teams will advance from the pool, with the winners meeting the runners-up from Group B - featuring Germany, Norway, France and Italy - and vice-versa, with the semi-finals to be played in Preston and Warrington. Ewood Park, Blackburn has the honour of staging the final on Sunday 19 June and whether England progress remains to be seen.

England drew three Scandinavian teams

Preparation the key
One thing is certain according to Eriksson, however: that preparation for Powell and co is the key to a successful tournament. uefa.com spoke to the Swede about the tournament and the legacy it will leave.

uefa.com: There is a strong Scandinavian flavour to England's group. What did you make of the draw?

I spoke with England manager Hope Powell about the draw and she was rather happy
Sven-Göran Eriksson

Sven-Göran Eriksson: First of all congratulations to the Nordic countries, four of them qualifying is incredible. Women's football has been strong in Sweden and Norway particularly for a number of years so it's not really a surprise that they're involved. I spoke with England manager Hope Powell about the draw and she was rather happy so I hope that they go through. You don't know today, maybe Germany are the favourites, but all the teams are of a similar standard. The English men's team haven't beaten Sweden for something like 30 years so we have to see if the women can do it. Who knows?

uefa.com: How important do you think that the staging of this competition will be for the future of women's football in England?

Eriksson: Very important. At the moment there are 1.2 million female players in this country but I'm sure after the tournament that this figure will rise a lot because EURO will create a huge interest in women's football, especially in this part of the country where football is extremely important.

uefa.com: England's first game is at the City of Manchester stadium which has been a lucky ground for you. What are your experiences of this venue?

Eriksson: It's a fantastic stadium which can hold around 50,000 supporters. It's also very modern and beautiful for football.

uefa.com: You have been involved in a EURO and World Cup as coach of England's men's team. What advice can you give to your counterpart Hope Powell?

Eriksson: I think he most important thing is preparation, that you have fit players who are not tired. I have always said that and the experience I have is that that's vital.

uefa.com: Imagine the scenario that England are playing Sweden in the final. What would the perfect result be for you?

Eriksson: I would say 1-1 but as it's a final someone has to win. I'd have to say I don't know!



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Driving for perfection

By Mark Bennett

Hockenheim is Germany's most famous motor racing circuit

Drivers at the Hockenheim race track in southern Germany are habitually used to showing their skills in front of 120,000 spectators for major Grand Prix races, but from 12 to 14 January this year, there was no place for Formula One drivers on the famous circuit.

Designated drivers
Instead, 17 bus drivers, who are responsible for transporting the most important and expensive football players in Germany, gathered at the track willing to enhance their skills behind the wheel. The drivers included the official national team driver as well as the designated drivers from 16 Bundesliga clubs.

Franz Beckenbauer can feel safe on the Bayern team bus

Specialist coaches
With players' health a top priority for every club, drivers including those from FC Bayern München, Werder Bremen, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Schalke 04, VfL Bochum 1848, DSC Arminia Bielefeld, Hamburger SV, SC Freiburg, Hannover 96 and 1. FSV Mainz 05 underwent training with a specialist team from DaimlerChrysler.

Theoretical knowledge
Drivers first sat a theory test, where their knowledge of braking distances, turning circles and speed limits were tested. They were then given instruction on issues like nutrition and fitness before finally getting the chance to showcase their skills on the famous Hockenheim circuit.

Slalom course
First, the 17 drivers had to negotiate a slalom course with their buses, with every bollard they hit being greeted with groans from their fellow drivers and helpful advice from the likes of Bernd Mayländer, the official Formula One safety car driver.

Slippery surface
With the slalom course mastered the coach drivers were then put through another interesting test. The track was drenched in water and the drivers were asked to accelerate to full speed before hitting the brakes as hard as they could when they reached the slippery surface.

Partridge problems
"We put our vehicles into situations that normally don't happen on the road. But then again I have learnt to expect the unexpected since my windscreen was cracked by a partridge on the way to a game in Bochum a few years ago," said Schalke driver Friedhelm Dzeyk.

Everyday skills
The participants were also allowed to perfect everyday skills like parking, mastering bad roads or manoeuvring the bus in and out of tight gaps. Basic skills perhaps, but with no other form of official training for official coach drivers, welcome training even for the most experienced.

Valuable experience
"I have been a bus driver for 35 years now and have been responsible for Werder Bremen for eight years," said Horst Kück, who takes Thomas Schaaf's side to their games in the Bundesliga. "It was my second safety training session and even I can still learn things."

Bundesliga colleagues
The Hockenheim trip proved to be a big hit with the drivers who relished the opportunity to meet their Bundesliga colleagues for the first time, to swap stories and share their experiences. Meanwhile, club officials were assured as all 17 drivers were given a certificate for passing their skills tests.

Unusual skills
The situations that they learned to deal with on their trip to Germany's top motor racing circuit may not be ones that the drivers will be experiencing every day as they ferry players from city to city, but with the huge value of their passengers, it is better to be safe than sorry.



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A clean sheet is only ever 20 per cent down to the keeper - the rest is about how well the team defends as a unit - Petr Cech

By Dan Brennan

The Czech came to England via Sparta and Rennes

It has been a shock to some that, having seemingly been assembled with such haste in the summer, José Mourinho's Chelsea FC have seized the advantage in the Premiership with such cool ferocity. Regular goalscorers at one end, their dreams of English and European glory have been buoyed by a steadfast defence and a brilliant young goalkeeper in Petr Cech.

'So far, so good'
Signed from French side Stade Rennais FC in the summer, the Czech international has been an instant hit at Stamford Bridge. "So far, so good," he told uefa.com. "When I moved from Rennes, I was afraid some people might think I was just coming in as third-choice keeper."

The fact that I didn't concede a goal on my debut was crucial for my confidence
Petr Cech

English problems
He added: "English fans don't tend to follow what goes on in other leagues, so they weren't really interested in my record at [AC] Sparta [Praha] or Rennes. It was all about what they saw for themselves. That meant there was a lot of pressure at the start, especially given that my first game was against Manchester United [FC]. The fact that I didn't concede a goal on my debut was crucial for my confidence."

Clean sheets
Clean sheets are nothing new to Cech - after all he managed to go 928 minutes without conceding a league goal at his first club, Sparta - but he insists that, regardless of his personal statistics, team results remain paramount. He said: "I'd always take a 5-3 win over a 0-0 draw. When I broke into the team at Sparta, my only concern was to get through the first minutes without conceding. And anyway, a clean sheet is only ever 20 per cent down to the keeper. The rest is about how well the team defends as a unit."

The goalkeeper shone with the Czech Republic at UEFA EURO 2004™

Defensive record
In Chelsea's case, the defensive unit has been impeccable this season, conceding eight goals in 24 Premiership games and just three in Europe. Moreover, as Cech was keen to point out, it is not as if Mourinho has been holding men back to shore up the Chelsea rearguard.

'It's bizarre'
"The lineup in defence rotates quite a lot and most of our defenders like to get forward," said Cech. "But then the whole team come back to help out in defence. But I still think it's bizarre that we've got such an impressive record in defence. You would expect us to be winning 5-3 more often."

Potential world-beater
That has not been the case so far, and much of that is down to the huge 23-year-old goalkeeper, who has the potential to become the best No1 in the world according to his team-mate Arjen Robben. Cech is shocked at that assertion. "Did he say that?" he said modestly "I take it as a compliment.

Room for improvement
"There are still so many things that I have to work on though," he added. "The Chelsea defence is helping me a lot. Actually, the fact that they are so good helps me learn to remain focused throughout the entire 90 minutes. I need to be on my toes waiting for a shot to come through the defence at any time."

'I'm learning'
If he can bring his English to the same level as his goalkeeping, the future looks bright. He said: "My English is not as good as my French but I’m learning. I've bought a CD with English lessons and I'm practising on my computer." He added: "You can always get what you want across by shouting." The English attitude to foreign languages seems to be rubbing off on Cech already.



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Lazio and Madrid appeals rejected

UEFA's appeals body has rejected Italian club S.S. Lazio's appeal against an order that they must play their next European home game behind closed doors due to the racist behaviour of supporters at the Stadio Olimpico in a UEFA Cup tie in November. Lazio have now received a €32,300 fine in addition.

Appeals decision
The appeals body, in its meeting today, also rejected an appeal by Real Madrid CF against a €9,700 fine following the racist behaviour of some fans at a UEFA Champions League match in Madrid in November.

Behind closed doors
Lazio were ordered to play their next game behind closed doors by UEFA's control and disciplinary committee in December after it considered evidence of racist abuse and crowd disturbances during the UEFA Cup tie against FK Partizan on 25 November.

Incidents
These incidents included missiles being thrown on to the pitch and flares being set off, and the stabbing of a Partizan supporter outside the stadium before the game. Lazio, who drew the match 2-2, completed the UEFA Cup group stage with three points from four games, which led to their elimination from the competition.

Madrid fine
Meanwhile, Madrid were originally fined in December by the control and disciplinary body after UEFA had launched an inquiry into various incidents which took place at their Champions League Group B match against Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the Santiago Bernabéu on 23 November. Some Madrid fans were said to have directed racist chants at Leverkusen's black players and made Nazi salutes.



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United looking for cup cheer

The FA Cup resumes in England this weekend with a number of intriguing fourth-round ties.

Stiff test
After the disappointment of their defeat by Chelsea FC in the League Cup semi-final on Wednesday, Manchester United FC return to action against Middlesbrough FC - a side managed by Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant at Old Trafford, Steve McClaren. The holders needed a replay to overcome non-league Exeter City FC in the last round and should face equally stiff opposition against Boro who have won two and drawn one of their last four league encounters at United.

Hoddle faces Arsenal
Champions Arsenal are pitted against four-times winners Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, whose new manager Glenn Hoddle, played under Arsène Wenger at AS Monaco FC in the 1980s. Hoddle, of course, is better known at Highbury as a former player and manager of north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur FC and, as such, can expect a frosty reception.

Bellamy missing
Fresh from reaching the League Cup final, Chelsea will hope to maintain their unbeaten home record against Birmingham City FC, for whom Mario Melchiot is expected to face the club he left in the summer. Newcastle United FC, meanwhile, go into their tie against Coventry City FC without striker Craig Bellamy who has not been selected to face his old club after Newcastle manager Graeme Souness declared he would no longer pick the Welsh international after a public row between the two.

South-coast derby
Arguably the tie with the most spice will be the Saturday lunchtime showdown between south-coast neighbours Southampton FC and Portsmouth FC - not least because Saints manager Harry Redknapp only moved from Portsmouth a matter of weeks ago.

Jol's return
In the final all-Premiership tie, West Bromwich Albion FC will attempt to continue their recent improved form when they meet eight-times winners Tottenham Hotspur FC at The Hawthorns. Spurs manager Martin Jol will be returning for the first time to the club he played for in the 80s.

Oldham eye repeat
Elsewhere, Oldham Athletic FC will attempt to repeat their slaying of Manchester City FC against another Lancashire club, Bolton Wanderers FC, while Everton FC face promotion-chasing Sunderland AFC at Goodison Park. Other Premiership clubs facing lower-league opposition are Fulham FC at Derby County FC, Blackburn Rovers FC at home against Colchester United FC and Charlton Athletic FC against Yeovil Town FC.



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Schalke ready to take pole position

With leaders FC Bayern München not in action until Sunday, FC Schalke 04 will go top of the Bundesliga if they avoid defeat against 1. FC Kaiserslautern on Saturday.

Point needed
Before Bayern travel to fifth-placed Hertha BSC Berlin, the other team on 37 points, Schalke, make the trip to Kaiserslautern. However, Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick wants his players to concentrate on their own performance rather than worry about the wider implications of the result. "We can't influence other teams' results, only our own. We need to play the way we did in the second half against Werder Bremen [a 2-1 victory] last weekend to get a good result in Kaiserslautern."

Stuttgart seek slip-up
To complicate matters, VfB Stuttgart could leapfrog both Bayern and Schalke - if Rangnick's team lose and Stuttgart beat visiting 1. FC Nürnberg by at least two goals, Matthias Sammer's men will take pole position on goal difference. However, the Stuttgart coach is taking nothing for granted, saying: "The match against Nürnberg will be a test of character for my players. The media is talking about our chances of topping the Bundesliga because we have two consecutive home games and that can lead to players becoming careless. I hope that mine understand that we have to take it one game at a time."

Hungry Wolfsburg
In Saturday's other fixtures, fourth-placed VfL Wolfsburg will look to bounce back from last weekend's defeat by BV Borussia Dortmund when they go to bottom side SC Freiburg, while UEFA Champions League contenders Bayer 04 Leverkusen will want to close the gap on the leading teams with a home win against VfL Bochum 1848. Hamburger SV entertain 1. FSV Mainz 05, Dortmund host a new-look VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach – who have signed six players in the transfer window - and Hannover 96 journey to DSC Arminia Bielefeld.

Bayern Berlin-bound
The 19th round of matches will be completed on Sunday when Bayern take on Hertha, with the Kovac brothers coming face to face. Niko, the elder, is a regular in Hertha's midfield, while defender Robert recently reclaimed his place at Bayern, who recover Michael Ballack after suspension although Sebastian Deisler is absent with flu. Champions Bremen welcome strugglers FC Hansa Rostock the same day.



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Juventus out to avoid repeat

Top meets bottom in Serie A on Sunday as leaders Juventus FC travel to Bergamo to take on Atalanta BC.

Cup upset
After 20 games the Bianconeri have 47 points, five more than their closest challengers, AC Milan, while Atalanta have just eleven. Still, the Bianconeri have good reason not to underestimate opponents who eliminated them from the Coppa Italia earlier this month.

Thuram warning
"It won't be an easy game for us," said defender Lilian Thuram, who will be making his 100th league appearance for Juventus. "Atalanta know they can beat us because they've done it already in the Coppa Italia."

Midfield changes
Juventus will not be helped by the absence of three of their regular midfield players. Pavel Nedved is injured, Manuele Blasi suspended, and Emerson very doubtful after picking up a knock last weekend. Alessio Tacchinardi, Stephen Appiah and Ruben Olivera are ready to deputise.

Nesta suspended
Milan face an easier task, on paper at least, at home to a Bologna FC side missing six injured first-teamers. Alessandro Nesta is banned for the Rossoneri while Filippo Inzaghi is absent again after breaking a bone in his right hand during his first appearance in two months against Udinese Calcio in midweek.

Livorno defeat
Milan lost at AS Livorno Calcio last Sunday and coach Carlo Ancelotti warned: "Bologna have taken eleven points from their last five games. They are in good form but we cannot waste any more points after losing to Livorno."

Palermo possibility
Fourth-placed FC Internazionale Milano's unbeaten run now stands at 31 matches but US Città di Palermo meet Roberto Mancini's men at the Antonio Barbera stadium knowing victory would take them level with their opponents on 32 points. Inter are still without injured striker Adriano.

Eyes on Europe
UC Sampdoria and AS Roma are also eyeing European qualification. The Blucerchiati are just one point behind Inter and host AC Siena, while Roma are two points behind and take on FC Messina Peloro. Elsewhere on Sunday, US Lecce and S.S. Lazio make trips to Brescia Calcio and Reggina Calcio respectively, while Dino Zoff has his first Serie A outing as ACF Fiorentina coach at Cagliari Calcio.

Donadoni seeks hat-trick
On Saturday, finally, Roberto Donadoni will seek a third straight win since being appointed as Livorno coach when his side visit AC Chievo Verona, while third-placed Udinese travel to Parma FC.



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Monaco maintain title ambition

AS Monaco FC will try to pile further misery on visitors Paris Saint-Germain FC this Sunday as they aim to chase Olympique Lyonnais all the way in the Ligue 1 title race, while the leaders travel to SC Bastia tomorrow.

We'll fight for it all the way
Patrice Evra

Title objective
Monaco dropped into fourth place after their midweek match at RC Strasbourg was postponed, but despite the nine-point deficit, the UEFA Champions League contenders still hope to catch Lyon. "The title remains our objective. We'll fight for it all the way," said full-back Patrice Evra, whose team will be without the suspended Gaël Givet. Jaroslav Plašil and Maicon are also unlikely to start.

PSG slump
In contrast, PSG have been forced to revise their targets. Last season's runners-up are in tenth position and captain José Pierre-Fanfan thinks the European places may be beyond them. "We need to make sure we don't get relegated first," he said. With the club desperate for inspiration, new signing Sergei Semak could feature, despite coach Vahid Halilhodzic saying it would take him weeks to reach full fitness.

Le Guen relief
After recovering from their first seasonal defeat against LOSC Lille Métropole to beat Stade Rennais FC on Wednesday, Lyon face Bastia with coach Paul Le Guen confident his players are on song again. "The win was a relief because I really didn't know how they would react to losing," he said. Eric Abidal is back from injury for the champions, whose advantage over second-placed Lille stands at five points. Lowly Bastia, however, will take heart from a 0-0 draw in Lyon in September.

Makoun back
Lille, held at OGC Nice in midweek, cannot afford another slip as they visit struggling SM Caen, who have failed to score in five of their last six home games. Jean Makoun returns from suspension for the away side, however striker Matt Moussilou may not be fit. Should Lille stumble, AJ Auxerre will aim to make up the two-point gap with a fourth straight victory in their tie at FC Metz.

Gillot mission
In Saturday's other matches, Francis Gillot will seek his first points as RC Lens coach at home to Strasbourg, fifth-placed Olympique de Marseille make the trip to Toulouse FC, Rennes welcome FC Girondins de Bordeaux and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard play Nice. Bottom club FC Istres entertain FC Nantes Atlantique on Sunday, while the game between AS Saint-Etienne and AC Ajaccio has been postponed.



Escrito por fraja8 às 13h23
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Sevilla set sights on leaders

Sevilla FC have the opportunity to gain ground on Primera División leaders FC Barcelona when the two teams meet on Sunday while Real Madrid CF face a frosty reception at CD Numancia.

Puyol problem
Frank Rijkaard's side are seven points clear at the top, but Carles Puyol is fighting a stomach bug so Rafael Márquez and new signing Demetrio Albertini will come into consideration if the defender is not fit to play in Seville. Argentinian striker Maxi López could be given his first taste of Spanish football after completing his transfer from CA River Plate on Thursday.

Selection hopes
Centre-back Pablo Ruiz sprained a knee ligament in Copa del Rey action in midweek and is not available for fourth-placed Sevilla, while striker Antoñito hopes his recent form will enhance his prospects of starting the game. "We respect Barça but we are not frightened by them," he said. "They will know that we have a good chance of taking the three points and that's what we intend to do."

Icy temperatures
Second-placed Madrid travel to Soria, where the sub-zero conditions forced Numancia to postpone their Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg earlier this week. The Merengues do without two South American players, though not because of the cold. Ronaldo is out for personal reasons while Walter Samuel recovers from surgery on a broken nose. The home team have centre-back Juan Ochoa suspended.

Caneira casualty
Valencia CF, five points behind Madrid in third, welcome Athletic Club Bilbao to the Mestalla. There were more injury problems for coach Claudio Ranieri this week as defender Marco Caneira suffered a thigh strain to join Vicente Rodríguez, Francisco Rufete and David Navarro on the sidelines. For Athletic, an ankle injury leaves Ismael Urzaiz doubtful, and flamboyant midfielder Francisco Yeste serves a ban.

Hopefuls meet
Fifth-placed RCD Espanyol entertain the side one place and one point below them, Real Betis Balompié, while Villarreal CF will seek to continue their impressive start to 2005 at Real Sociedad de Fútbol, who have Nihat Kahveci suspended.

Pamplona test
One point also separates CA Osasuna and RC Deportivo La Coruña, who meet in Pamplona. Elsewhere, Club Atlético de Madrid host struggling Albacete Balompié, RCD Mallorca take on Getafe CF, Real Racing Club Santander play Levante UD and Málaga CF travel to Real Zaragoza.



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Robert ready for PSV role

Dutch Eredivisie leaders and UEFA Champions League contenders PSV Eindhoven have signed Brazilian striker Robert de Pinho de Souza.

Player of the Year
The 23-year-old, who is known as Robert, passed a medical on Friday morning and penned a three-and-a-half year contract, with an option for a further season. He joins for an undisclosed fee from Mexican side Club Atlas, where he was recently voted the Mexican top flight's Player of the Year.

Fourth Brazilian
Robert, who scored 17 goals in 23 games for Atlas this season, was born in Salvador and his arrival swells PSV's Brazilian contingent to four, joining Alex, Heurelho Gomes and Leandro. A youth international who played 12 times for his country's Under-20 side and appeared for the Olympic team on five occasions, he represented Coritiba FBC and AD São Caetano in addition to a brief spell with Russia's FC Spartak Moskva in 2003.



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An independent bookie who hedges his bets
By William Hall
Published: January 26 2005 02:00 | Last updated: January 26 2005 02:00

Not many successful entrepreneurs joined the family business when it was still illegal. But Fred Done, 61, chairman of Betfred, Britain's biggest independent bookmaker, can still remember when he was a runner for his father, collecting bets from Manchester's factories and pubs. One of the few overheads was a backhander to the police to look the other way.

Mr Done grew up on a tough Salford council estate. His father had been an ambulance driver at Metro-Vick, maker of the Lancaster bomber, during the second world war. It allowed him to tour Manchester's Trafford Park factories taking bets, and the clandestine business continued after the war.

"My Dad was a good bookmaker, but a bad businessman. He would win money and blow it," remembers Mr Done. Watching his father's business made him streetwise, and by the age of eight he was developing a flair for what bets to take and what to give away - vital skills for a small bookmaker.

Mr Done and his younger brother Peter opened their first betting shop in 1967, shortly after off-course bookmaking was legalised. For the next 30 years the business grew modestly. It was a rule never to buy a betting office more than 20 miles from home. "It was a weakness. I was too parochial," says Mr Done.

The big breakthrough came with the acquisition of eight betting shops in Newcastle upon Tyne. "We found we could manage them very easily. I thought if I can run Newcastle, why not Bournemouth and Plymouth? That is when we really got motoring," recalls Mr Done.

Over the past six years, the group's network of betting offices has risen to 450, and the plan is to have 800 by 2008.

Today, Mr Done and his brother, now 57, own Done Brothers (Cash Betting), one of the UK's top five bookmakers, which has recently been re-branded as Betfred. Over the past two years its revenues have more than doubled, to £559m, and pre-tax profits have jumped from £1m to £10.4m in the year to end-March 2004. It looks far less profitable than William Hill, its biggest quoted competitor, but family businesses are not under the same pressure as quoted companies to make their margins look good.

The brothers have also built up Peninsula Business Services, the UK's largest health and safety and employment law consultancy, with 14,000 customers. They set it up 20 years ago after losing a tribunal case over a dismissed employee. Last year, its revenues rose 15 per cent, to £36.6m: "If you watch what is coming out of Brussels in terms of new employment, health and safety laws, this has to be a growth business."

Peninsula spawned Irwell Insurance, a captive insurer covering Peninsula's customers. Its net profits trebled last year to £669,000. Sports Tours International, which operates tours for sports people, was rescued from bankruptcy, and the group has added on a finance company, and some £30m-worth of properties.

There are no obvious synergies between the various businesses but all are profitable and the brothers have always turned down any bid approach. "We are in it for the long term. We have never built businesses to sell," says Mr Done. Nevertheless, he turns 62 next month, and with homes in Knightsbridge and Dubai, and an estimated £90m family fortune, he could be forgiven for winding down ahead of retirement - like Lord Steinberg, 68, the founder of Liverpool's Stanley Leisure, whose chain of English betting shops is of roughly similar size.

In fact, Mr Done, a regular marathon runner, is stepping up expansion. Last month's opening of a betting shop in London's Leicester Square signalled his determination to shed his image as a Manchester bookmaker and compete directly with Ladbroke, William Hill and Coral - the UK's big three bookmakers - in the more prosperous South. Betfred.com, an internet betting and casino gaming operation, taking bets in 15 currencies and 15 languages, starts shortly.

Mr Done, who last year bet £1m of his own money that Manchester United would finish above Chelsea in this season's Premiership, is a throw-back to the old days when bookmakers were run by colourful characters such as William Hill, Joe Coral and Ladbroke's Cyril Stein. The last of these famously described licensed bookmaking as a business that had three windows taking money in, and only one paying out.

It is no longer as easy to make money from bookmaking, and Mr Stein, one of Mr Done's business heroes, has long since been forced out of the business. The bookmaking industry, which has undergone rapid changes in taxation, technology and gambling habits over the last few years, has been consolidating rapidly around ever-larger professionally managed groups.

While attention is focused on fast-growing newcomers, such as Betfair, the online betting exchange which by-passes traditional bookmakers, and Sportingbet, the world's largest online betting group with 1m customers in more than 100 countries, Betfred's traditional bookmaking operations have been growing quietly but steadily.

Indeed, the rapid expansion of its retail betting operation is at odds with the consensus that the industry's long-term growth lies in internet betting.

Andrew Lee of DKW Dresdner Kleinwort Benson believes the threat from betting exchanges and online gambling has been overstated: "They have not really cannibalised existing forms of gambling yet, nor will they do so in the immediate future." It is a phenomenon that is attracting new customers and providing additional revenue for incumbent betting shop operators. Mr Lee says Betfred's short-term growth strategy makes sense: "Scale is important in this industry. If you have fewer than 100-150 shops you will probably struggle to compete with the big boys."



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Although Betfred now ranks as one of the "big boys", it remains very much a family business. Mr Done controls the betting operations, his younger sister Audrey looks after internal security, and Peter runs Peninsula. The two brothers are sole directors of Lightcatch, parent of their various interests, with Fred owning two-thirds and Peter owning one-third.

While Mr Done no longer sets the odds for the bookmaking operations, he does not have a finance director since all financial information flows directly to him. "Nobody in this business signs a cheque other than me," he says. Profit figures and bank balances are reviewed daily.

Mr Done makes it sound simple. When buying a competitor, he is more interested in the position of the shops than its financial health. "If you have the right spot, give the right service and the right odds, the rest is yours," says Mr Done.

However, big changes are under way in traditional bookmaking. Horse racing used to account for 90 per cent of Betfred's business; now it is less than 50 per cent. Soccer is now much bigger than horse racing in international betting, and a third of some rivals' revenues are now generated by computer-driven races, casino games and poker matches - where Betfred is a late entrant.

"The online poker market did not exist until 2000 and now it is a $15bn market growing at 30 per cent a year," says Mr Done. He is investing heavily in this area and believes that in five years Betfred's internet business will be twice as big as its betting shop business.

But the number of e-gaming sites has jumped from 650 in 1999 to about 31,000. Building a profitable customer base in this area can be costly. For example, last October Sportingbet paid £169m to buy Paradise Poker, one of the four biggest internet poker sites.

"The traditional betting offices will struggle to repeat their recent double digit growth rates," says Mr Lee. "The real growth for the big players will be in their online operations and that is where companies like Ladbroke and William Hill are extremely well positioned."

This is a gamble Mr Done believes he can win. If he gets it badly wrong, Betfred could end up swallowed by a competitor such as Coral Eurobet, the UK's third biggest chain, which is under-represented in the north. But if he wins, there is always a chance that Mr Done could end up buying Coral from its private equity backers. It would be a fitting end to his career.TRACK RECORD SHOWS A WINNING STREAK

* First job: bookies runner.

* First betting shop: Salford, 1967, with £4,000 investment of which £2,000 was borrowed from a bank. Betfred now employs close to 3,000 people, has 450 outlets and turnover of over £600m a year.

* Biggest deal: £10m acquisition of Demmy, a chain of 37 betting shops, in 1998.

* Biggest personal bet: £1m against Victor Chandler, the offshore bookmaker, that Manchester United would finish above Chelsea in this season's premiership.

* Business heroes: in betting, Cyril Stein, architect of Ladbroke's early growth. But best is the late Sir James Goldsmith, businessman, gambler and corporate predator. "He was very rightwing, but he did some fantastic deals and did well for his friends. A loyal man who knew his business."

* Recipe for success in bookmaking: "Pick the right spot, give the rights odds and service, and the rest is yours."

* Competitive advantage: "People can come and see me and in 10 minutes walk out with a decision."

* Dislikes: corporate governance theory. "If you are honest and fair and treat people even-handedly you do not need corporate governance."



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Sob tensão, Corinthians espera fax para definir estréia de Tevez

Desmentindo que tenha anunciando a estréia dos contratados milionários do Corinthians para este sábado, dia 29 de janeiro, às 16h, no estádio do Morumbi, a parceira do clube, MSI (Media Sports Investiments), aguarda ansiosamente até as 19h desta sexta-feira os documentos que podem autorizar a escalação de Carlitos Tevez e Carlos Alberto no confronto contra o América de Rio Preto.

Folha Imagem  
Tevez participa de treino na espera pela liberação para estrear pelo Corinthians
Mesmo com o estádio do São Paulo Futebol Clube estar alugado desde, pelo menos, 14 de janeiro, a MSI tentou negar que havia prometido colocar em campo neste sábado todos seus cinco contratados. Mas os 10 mil ingressos vendidos antecipadamente até a noite de quinta-feira deixam clara a ansiedade do torcedor corintiano.

A tensão que envolve os dirigentes do MSI e do Corinthians se iniciou há quase dez dias, quando a liberação de visto de trabalho de um de seus argentinos, o zagueiro Sebá Dominguez, ficou travada, obrigando o atleta a voltar ao seu país para depois retornar ao Brasil.

Depois, a estréia no Campeonato Paulista com derrota para o Mogi Mirim levou o técnico Tite a adiantar a estréia do volante Marcelo Matos no jogo contra o Marília, quando a equipe acumulou sua segunda derrota na competição, o que forçou o comandante corintiano a 'queimar' outra estréia na última quarta-feira, quando colocou o zagueiro Marinho na segunda etapa do jogo contra o Atlético Sorocaba.

Para completar, os dois mais badalados reforços bancados pela MSI -Tevez custou US$ 22 milhões e Carlos Alberto, cerca de US$ 11 mi- tiveram suas estréias ameaçadas por atraso de emissão de fax das federações da Argentina e de Portugal, que se não chegarem até as 19h desta sexta irão adiar novamente a estréia dos jogadores, o que complica ainda mais a armação da equipe pelo técnico Tite.

Contando com a estréia de Carlos Alberto desde o jogo em Sorocaba, Tite teve de mudar seu esquema e montar uma linha com três volantes, o que não gostaria de repetir caso ocorra novamente um impedimento para a entrada dos jogadores.

"Estou preparando a equipe para uma situação e, se não der certo, temos alternativas. Se Carlos Alberto e Tevez não jogarem, faremos o trio ofensivo com Gil, Jô e Bobô. Mas vamos esperar a solução dos problemas para eles jogarem", disse Tite, que vem procurando minimizar a importância dos jogadores, para evitar ciúmes em seu elenco recheado de jogadores jovens que levaram o Corinthians da zona de rebaixamento até a quinta colocação no Campeonato Brasileiro de 2004.

"Posso dizer ao torcedor que trabalhamos pelo Corinthians independentemente do Carlos Alberto e do Tevez. Eu posso até ter um time definido na minha cabeça, mas será a produtividade dentro de campo que irá definir a equipe. Quem for para o campo e render, vai ficar. Futebol é assim".

O desconforto causado pela dúvida, porém, não preocupa só Tite e a diretoria da MSI, reunida durante a sexta-feira para resolver questões que incluem a possível liberação do CSKA Moscou para acertar a contratação de Vagner Love, até a possibilidade ou não de colocar Tevez e Carlos Alberto em campo.

O próprio Carlos Alberto fez declarações críticas contra a morosidade, que já procurou entrar em contato com o presidente da federação portuguesa para acelerar o processo. "Pedi para ligarem para ver o que está acontecendo. Temos que resolver logo isso", cobrou o meia-atacante.

Já Tevez tem uma preocupação complementar. Afastado dos treinos da última semana em razão de um infecção cutânea na perna esquerda, o argentino foi liberado, mas o diagnóstico da inflamação ainda causa dúvidas entre especialistas, que discutem se foi uma erisipela ou não que atingiu o jogador, que procura resumir a história de forma simplória.

"Foram formigas. Mas já estou bem", afirmou Tevez, barrado da última convocação da seleção argentina.


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The Questions With Eddy Curry, Bulls Center

Chicago Bulls C Eddy Curry

What was your welcome-to-the-NBA moment?

"My rookie season against Atlanta I got a rebound and went up and dunked on Chris Crawford. I remember I ran down the court screaming and thinking, I can be a presence here."

What was your most embarrassing moment?

"My shorts were too big, and when I would go up for a rebound, they'd fall down. I didn't really feel it because I was in the flow of the game. But I had to hear about it from the G.M. [John Paxson] and the newspapers and everything."

Your favorite off-day activity?

"Playing Texas Hold 'em. That's all I do now. I have the World Series of Poker computer game and everything. I play against the computer. I play with friends. I taught my girl. Everyone in my house has to know how to play."

If I were commissioner for a day, I would

... give everyone bonuses.

Last Week
Curry, who lives with his girlfriend, Patrice, and his Yorkshire terrier, Brooklyn, had 15 points in Chicago's 100-89 win in Detroit on Jan. 22.

This Week
The Bulls host the Celtics on Saturday. In last meeting, Curry had season-high 26 points.



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How Does It Feel? - Strange things happen at the bottom of a pile. The report from down under

Philadelphia Eagles FB Josh Parry is crushed by a pile of New York Giants.

"At Tampa Bay, I had the ball at the bottom of the pile. It was away from my body, and I was trying to pull it toward me. Two guys were pulling my arms apart. A guy was digging into my ribs. Another guy was digging into my ear. The only way you'll keep the ball in that situation is if you have a teammate helping you and you can get it into your body and cradle it. Anyway, I lost the ball. There were still four people on top of me, including that ear guy. I said, 'I don't have the freaking ball anymore, stop digging in my ear.'"

IKE REESE, Eagles Linebacker

"When we played the Patriots last year [Eagles running back] Brian Westbrook fumbled a punt, and we were all down there scrambling for it. [Patriots linebacker] Mike Vrabel had my testicles in his hand, and he was squeezing them. Where the football ends up depends on who has the strongest will or the strongest hands. Guys reach inside the face mask to gouge your eyes. But the biggest thing is the grabbing of the testicles. It is crazy."

MARCO RIVERA, Packers Guard

"I've had guys go for the privates, guys try to put their elbow in my neck, guys reaching inside my helmet. It's really violent down there, trying to get that ball. It's dangerous. In my third year at Penn State, there was a fumble in the end zone. I dived for it with my arms outstretched, and five guys landed on me. Blew out my shoulder. I had to have surgery. That was the closest I've come to scoring a touchdown."

CORNELL BROWN, Ravens Linebacker

"The worst part is when the fat guys pile on top of you. All the wind is gone out of you, and you're still trying to fight. It scares you. You feel like you can't breathe, and you want everyone to get off you. I don't want people doing me wrong in there."

DAN WILKINSON, Lions Defensive Tackle

"There is no such thing as honor in there. You're talking about a possible game-winning or -losing situation. The ball generally changes hands only once. You have trouble breathing in the pile, let alone having enough room for the ball to be moving around. There's usually one thief able to take it away from somebody, and that's the end of it."

BEN LEBER, Chargers Linebacker

"I don't know if people really want to know what goes on down there: Basically anything you can't get away with on the field, you can get away with under that pile. Nobody can see you. The go-to spots are the eyes and the family jewels. If anybody grabs your family jewels, you are going to let go. In the pile you hear some screams of pain, but you don't know where it is coming from -- unless it's you."

Doug Flutie

STEVE GLEASON, Saints Safety

"We were playing Tampa Bay last year, and I just about lost my manhood trying to recover a fumble on a punt. I was shocked. I had the ball in my hand, and someone was reaching from behind me -- between my legs. I recovered the fumble, but when I got in the shower after the game, I literally had claw marks all over my inner thighs."

BRENTSON BUCKNER, Panthers DT

"See where somebody bit me right there [points to a scar on his right wrist]. This was my second year, against Cleveland, when I was trying to scoop the ball out of a pile. I don't know who bit me, but after the game I had to get a little [tetanus] shot. That was cool, though. The worst for me is that I can get claustrophobic. You're under there, and it's like everything closes in. I get scared sometimes because your head is stuck in the dirt, and it's like you can't breathe."

JASON FERGUSON, Jets Nosetackle

"My rookie year, me and [then teammate] linebacker Pepper Johnson were on the bottom. I heard Pepper yelling, 'Get the ball!' and I remembered something he told me: 'You've always got to grab a finger in a pile.' Well, he grabbed somebody's finger in that pile, and sure enough he came out with the ball. Just like proving an old rule."

KEYDRICK VINCENT, Steelers Guard

"The defensive linemen grab at your nuts, people try to poke your eyes out. If you're on the bottom, close in and tuck, do the fetal position. It's real ugly down there. But no spitting. Think about it -- you might spit on yourself."



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Jevon Kearse, Eagles Defensive End

Jevon Kearse

ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE EAGLES AND THE TITANS HE PLAYED FOR IN SUPER BOWL XXXIV We have playmakers all over the field. Before the snap we'll say, 'Who's going to make the big play?' And guys are saying, 'I'm making it! I'm making it!'

ON PLAYING IN PHILADELPHIA, WHERE HE SIGNED AS A FREE AGENT LAST SUMMER Best time of my life. You hear about the fans being different, more aggressive. But we've been winning, so we get all the accolades. I was out in Philadelphia, and this little guy -- he was barely 5'4" and he looked like an attorney or something -- comes up and gets in my face and says, 'We're going to do it this year!' I said, 'That's right, we are!' Then he got even closer, and he's yelling, 'No. We are going to get it done this year!' I love it. So passionate.

ON HIS GROWTH AS A PLAYER SINCE WINNING DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IN '99 I understand more. At the end of that year and the next year I'd get frustrated when I was getting double- or triple-teamed and I didn't get as many sacks. I'd be down about it. Now I know that if extra guys are on me someone else is free to make a play. It's O.K. I realize I'm still having an impact.

ON HIS COLLECTION OF TOY BOATS, CARS AND PLANES It started in Tennessee. We'd go to the parking lot and let 'em go. Now I've got about 25 remote-controlled things. On my off day I get things cruisin'. My airboat can go 65 miles an hour. You've got to stand back and watch that thing move.

ON HIS BOYHOOD IN FORT MYERS, FLA. I grew up on the other side. My father wasn't around [he was killed before Jevon was born], and I grew up really, really fast. I was the second oldest, but I was the oldest, if you know what I mean. My big brother [J.J.] was out doing his thing in the streets, winding up in jail. I saw that kind of trouble, and I saw what it was doing to my mom [Lessie Mae Green]. She was working seven days a week, cleaning hotels, working in a restaurant. I told myself I was not going to make life harder for her. I was going to stay out of trouble.

ON HIS HEROES When I was playing Pop Warner or Little League, sometimes I'd go back to a friend's house on the weekend. I'd see the family all at home together, spending time doing this thing or that thing. Those families were my heroes. I wanted to be like them.

ON LIVING IN RURAL NEW JERSEY I never thought about living in a city. I wanted space. I've got five acres and a little pond stocked with bass and catfish. My happiest moments are driving around on my tractor, looking at things.

ON FISHING Been doing it all my life. It started with a cane pole when I was young. For me and my grandmas, catching a mullet with the cane poll was a source of food. What I like about fishing is, when you're hot, you're hot. And when you are not, you most definitely are not. You learn patience.

ON ADVICE TO PLAYERS FOR SUPER BOWL WEEK Take time for yourself. There's so much going on, you need to stop and think, I'm in the Super Bowl! Last time it all happened too fast. This year I'm going to take time to relax, to enjoy this.

A THREE-TIME PRO BOWLER , KEARSE, 28, LEADS THE EAGLES WITH 9 1/2 SACKS , TWO OF THEM IN THE PLAYOFFS



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Best Personal Websites

Dhani Jones, Eagles Linebacker

The son of a Navy commander (his father, Samuel) and an anesthesiologist (his mother, Nancy), Dhani Jones, linebacker for the Super Bowl-bound Eagles, was raised to appreciate the finer things: He has an abiding interest in poetry, painting and classical music. He was a guest conductor for the Philadelphia Pops in October, and his website, www.dhani55.com, covers much more than football. "I want to branch out so people can see who the rest of Dhani Jones is," he says. Jones works on his site, which averages 6,000 visitors a month, frequently. He keeps a diary ("There is something to be said about butterflies in your stomach before kickoff, but to have them fly all week, then you know it's a battle.") and answers questions from fans about art, books (his favorite is Man's Search for Meaning by concentration camp survivor Viktor E. Frankl) and fashion. (His site connects viewers to Jones's company, Five Star Ties, which sells handmade silk bow ties.) Jones, 26, a bachelor, also offers relationship advice to lovelorn fans. One, Allen Titinik of Philadelphia, recently wrote in, saying, "I had my heart broken bad by my ex ... any words of wisdom, big dog?" Replied Jones, "My advice would be to watch Casablanca."

BOOKMARKED

Here are some sites Jones often visits.

www.theadamsgallery.com (contemporary African-American artist Alonzo Adams's site) "I like to take a look at his work," Jones says.

www.wireimage.com "I check this to see all the cool people at the different parties I missed out on."

www.privateislandsonline.com "This site sells private islands. I want to buy my own island and call it La Casa de la Mariposa, House of the Butterfly."



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Nicollette Sheridan sheds light on Promo

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- On the same afternoon that the Philadelphia Eagles secured their Super Bowl spot without Terrell Owens, the woman who played opposite T.O. in the controversial "Monday Night Football" commercial spot, appeared on stage at the Universal Hilton Hotel with her castmates from ABC's "Desperate Housewives" to talk about the show's phenomenal success.

Anybody remember the score of the game?

The 'Desperate' stars fielded questions from television critics for nearly 30 minutes before someone was brave enough to ask Nicollette Sheridan about the uproar she caused by dropping her towel in front of Owens. Sheridan, clearly a little bored with the issue, tersely responded that she thought the whole thing was "absurd."

After the session, however, the 41-year-old actress, loosened up about the incident and a few other things with Page 3:

T.O.'s team is in the Super Bowl, so are you rooting for Philly?

Nicollette Sheridan: (Laughs) Oh, my T.O. ... I love him! Boy, what a stir we caused. Unintentionally though.

Are you pulling for the Eagles?

(Wistfully) I might.

Have you chatted with T.O. since taping that spot?

No, I haven't. It'll be amusing when we run into each other. We can have a laugh.

Whose idea was it to drop the towel?

Oh, here we go! I was given a script. I was given it the morning of the day that I left to go and shoot it. I didn't know whether or not I was really going to do this. ABC wanted me to go and Marc Cherry ("Desperate Housewives" creator/executive producer) handed me the script and off I flew. And we did this spoof, this skit. It was intended to amuse and entertain, not to offend.

Apparently, John Madden was supposed to be in the spot instead of T.O. Is that true?

I'd only heard T.O. It was really a last-minute thing that they asked me to do this. Obviously, I wasn't getting paid to do it. It was just, 'We need you to go and do this as a promo' and I said, 'Alright, it's been a long week, but I'll go.'

Terrell Owens
"Thank you, thank you! First off ... I'd like to thank me."
How was T.O. as an actor?

I thought he did an incredible job. He had cue cards and then after a few takes he started getting into the rhythm of it and the next thing you know, he was doing OK. If all else fails, he could be on some daytime soap opera.

How would you rate his sex appeal?

Woo! What kind of rating would you like?

Let's say 1-10.

Oh, well, you know, who can you really call a 10? I'll give him an 8.5.

So are you even mildly attracted to John Madden?

(Big laugh) I love athletes because I'm one myself! In fact, a group of us used to get together probably once every two weeks and play football. It was supposed to be flag football, but it turned into full tackle because they couldn't catch me!

What position did you play?

We were sort of all over the place.

Was it all women or a mixed group?

Oh, mixed. There were only a couple of women because you really had to be good to be in there. I made a lot of touchdowns.

Last time we chatted you told me you were really into horseback riding. Are there any other sports you're involved in?

Oh, yeah! Motorcycles. I like motocross. We go out in the desert. We went to Gobblin Valley in Utah. There were about 10 of us -- my fiancée and eight other guys. We ripped it up out there.

How long have you been riding?

Oh, I've been riding motorcycles since I was little.

Nicollette Sheridan
Even without her towel, Nicollette Sheridan drew stares at this month's American Music Awards.
What are you riding now?

I've had a Harley-Davidson since '91.

Anything else you're in to?

Skiing, it's great in Canada, and scuba diving and horses are still a big part of my life. I really have to get a ranch so I can have them at home because I don't like having to leave them.

What's your workout regimen? Are you into boxing?

You know I used to do kickboxing for many years before it became this very popular thing. For about a year I was doing it three to four times a week and I actually got really good at it.

So, you can kick some butt then.

When I saw "Million Dollar Baby" I was like, yeah!

So, you can kick some Hilary Swank butt.

Yeah!

So, let's put it out there. Pay-per-view?

(Big laugh) Hilary and I would have a good time in the ring. Throw down!

Gotta ask. Was there anything under that towel in the MNF spot?

I know that's so funny. Yes, I did have things under the towel. I had shorts on. I had Abercrombie shorts on and I had a contraption on my front covering my breasts.



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THE HOCKEY COMPANY PUSHES REEBOK TO 70% INCREASE IN Q4 PROFITS

Buoyed by a one-time income tax benefit of $12M, Reebok today reported a 69.8% increase in Q4 ’04 net income, which totaled $47.7M, up from $28.1M in Q4 ’03. Excluding the one-time benefit, income for the quarter was up roughly 25%. Sales for the quarter jumped 15.6%, from $843.6M to $975.1M, aided by almost $60M in sales for Reebok’s newest brand, The Hockey Company.

For the Reebok brand, sales increased 18% to $817M in Q4, while sales of the company’s other brands – Rockport, the Greg Norman Collection and Ralph Lauren Footwear – jumped 6%, from $149M to $158M.

Full-year profits rose 23% to $192.4M, compared to $157.3M in ’03. Net sales for ’04 totaled $3.8B, an 8.6% increase over $3.5B in sales in ’03. The Reebok brand contributed $3.2B to ’04 sales, a 10% climb from its ’03 sales total.

As of presstime, Reebok’s shares were up 6.4%, from $41.60 to $44.25



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MICHAEL PHELPS AND AMANDA BEARD STARRING IN NEW SPEEDO CAMPAIGN

Speedo today announced that it will launch a new ad campaign featuring U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Michael Phelps and Amanda Beard in the March issues of Shape and Self magazines. Speedo also will run ads in regional publications Gotham, Los Angeles, Ocean Drive (Miami), San Diego, L.A. Confidential, Aspen Peak and Chicago. The ads will promote Speedo’s Axcelerate activewear line (THE DAILY).



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Another kind of Oscar - Honoring the best of the best in sports flicks

League of Their Own
A League of Their Own features a couple of nominated performances.
Amazon.com

So the Oscar nominations are out (I know I said I was a bit underwhelmed by Sideways, but I still think Paul Giamatti got hosed), and they got me thinking -- everyone's always debating which is the best sports movie ever made. But no one ever breaks the films down by their performances. So I've decided to dole out sports flick Oscars -- not for the movies themselves (perhaps we can do that at a later date)-- but for the actors. The envelopes, please...

Best Supporting Actress

NOMINEES: Lindsay Crouse (Slap Shot), Piper Laurie (The Hustler), Madonna (A League of Their Own), Cathy Moriarity (Raging Bull), Tatum O'Neal (Bad News Bears).

Laurie or Moriarity would be the critics' fave. Madonna is a bit of a wild card. I really liked A League of Their Own and it seemed odd not to nominate one of the players from it -- but Tom Hanks made that film, work if you ask me. However, it merits a nod here, and of the teammates, Madonna was probably the most engaging. O'Neal's precociousness and charm are tough to deny. But I'm taking the dark horse: Crouse, who played Michael Ontkean's disgruntled wife with a hilarious perfection. The way she bounced between the states of young love (she underlines the randy scenes in a book for him before the Chiefs leave on a road trip) and disgust at being stuck in Charlestown was brilliant. She wasn't overused, but she did what a good supporting player does -- dominated her time on screen. My favorite scene: sitting on a park bench, drunk in the afternoon with Paul Newman. She points at a statue of a dog and asks, "What's the story on that dog." Newman: "That's the dog that saved Charlestown for the 1938 flood." Crouse: "Well f--- him."

Best Supporting Actor

NOMINEES: Ian Holm (Chariots of Fire), Ted Knight (Caddyshack), Michael Moriarity (Bang the Drum Slowly), Bill Murray (Caddyshack), Joe Pesci (Raging Bull).

Hands down the toughest category, because sports films are largely ensemble pieces, meaning there are a ton of supporting roles. And the bit players, the wacky teammates, are usually the strongest part of a sports film. For instance, I was tempted to nominate Brad Sullivan, who plays Mo, the foul-mouthed guy in Slap Shot. (When the Hansons are carted off to jail, Ontkean reminds them they have a phone call. One of the Hansons suggests calling a pizza parlor; Sullivan suggests they call a massage parlor.) There were some pretty entertaining guys in Major League. And how do you pick a Caddyshacker or two without taking them all? Getting the five nominees was hard enough (the guy with the biggest bone to pick, I think, is Dennis Hopper for his work in Hoosiers); picking the winner is brutal. Holm dominated every scene he was in, to the point of keeping the other actors in a great, great movie from getting their due. Moriarity was surprisingly effective as a pitcher -- you don't see that in him on Law & Order. Pesci was basically playing Pesci, which is always nice. Knight was great, and the "It's easy to grin when your ship comes in..." toast makes him tough to beat. But Murray beats him. The role of Carl Spackler was just too brilliant, and no one could pull it off like Murray. Think about it. You watch Murray in Rushmore or Lost in Translation and think, When did that guy learn how to act? Then go watch Caddyshack. He's doing the same thing -- killing with facial expressions and reactions -- only he's doing it with a goofy voice.

Best Actress

NOMINEES: Geena Davis (A League of Their Own), Jessica Lange (Everybody's All-American), Susan Sarandon (Bull Durham), Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby), Elizabeth Taylor (National Velvet).

Pretty much a no-brainer. As annoying as she seems in real life, Sarandon deserves big praise for her work in Bull Durham. She had to have chemistry with two leading men, but it had to be a different kind of chemistry with each. With Tim Robbins it was all sex, with Kevin Costner it was cerebral. Without her, the love triangle doesn't work, and without the love triangle the movie is dead.

Best Actor

NOMINEES: Kevin Costner (Bull Durham), Robert DeNiro (Raging Bull), Gene Hackman (Hoosiers), Paul Newman (The Hustler), Paul Newman (Slap Shot)

Not an easy pick. Forget all the rubbish Costner has dumped on film viewers in the last 15 years -- Bull Durham was great. But Sarandon had to work harder (see above) and without Robbins (who could have been nominated) you just wonder if it would have held up. So I don't think you can give it to Costner. For some reason I never fully bought Hackman as a coach of that era. Close, but something about him struck me as either anachronistic or not genuine -- I can't put my finger on it. The Hustler might be the best sports film ever, but not without Jackie Gleason and George C. Scott. Which means it comes down to Newman in Slap Shot and DeNiro. It's almost an apples and oranges situation. It seems like DeNiro should win in a rout -- he's playing a dark, complex fighter who actually existed, while Newman is playing a wise-cracking, fictitious hockey player-coach who wore terrible leather suits. But if you ask me which movie I enjoyed more, I'd say Slap Shot, and it's because of Newman. He was absolutely perfect for the role. He was at the film's center and was surrounded by an oddball, hilarious cast, but he never let the movie descend to the level of farce. Think about all the funny lines in that movie. Now think about how many Newman delivered -- a handful. He let the other guys in the scene get the big laughs while he gave it all a realistic edge, keeping the film grounded -- funny without being stupid. To me that's every bit as tough as playing Jake LaMotta. So Paul's your winner.

I'm running long, so instead of an Idiot of the Week and links to wacky sports stories, let me put a link to this. It's a collection of Johnny Carson's Carnac-isms. Carson was probably one of the three funniest men I've ever seen (along with Groucho Marx and Bob Newhart). He was just brilliant, but if he was before your time you'll probably never fully get him. You had to see the man perform -- he could sell a joke, he was great on his feet (no late-night host has ever come close to approaching Johnny's ability to chat), and he was at his best when he was bombing. Not all of that is apparent when you're reading a list of jokes. But if you, like me, loved watching him work, I guarantee you'll laugh out loud a time or two. Thanks for stopping by, and may the Shah of Iran seek refuge under your sister's hoop skirt.



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N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News
Newsday


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MORNING BRIEFS

Eli Lilly’s Cialis will return as a Super Bowl advertiser this year “despite complaints last year that the subject of erectile dysfunction is too risqué for the family-friendly television event” (N.Y. POST, 1/28).

Marlins President David Samson yesterday said that the team is “very close to finalizing a stadium deal with Miami-Dade County” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/28).

General Mills yesterday unveiled Spurs F Tim Duncan’s new Wheaties box during halftime of the Kings-Spurs game. Duncan’s only previous Wheaties appearance was as part of the ’03 Spurs NBA championship package (General Mills).

The German Olympic Committee has “decided to wait before deciding whether to nominate Munich as a candidate for the 2014 Winter Olympics – or possibly the 2016 Summer Games” (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 1/27).

Jacksonville police Wednesday arrested Albert Strickland in connection to a “chilling Super Bowl bomb threat found on the voice mail of City Council President Elaine Brown” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/28).

The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape “has allegedly reached a financial settlement with the owners of The Globe and other tabloids that printed her picture and stories about her hotel encounter with the NBA star” (AP, 1/28).

MLB interviewed nearly 200 people auditioning for a role in the league’s “I Live for This” campaign yesterday at Minute Maid Park (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/28).



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It was an unhappy Roger Federer during his Australian Open semifinal loss to Marat Safin.


Warriors F Mike Dunleavy frantically chases after a loose ball.


Iowa's Greg Brunner plays defense against Illinois F Roger Powell.



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Great American Smoke-Out: NASCAR Inks Nicorette As Sponsor

Nicorette Feels NASCAR Audience
Perfect For Product

GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Nicorette has signed a deal with NASCAR to become the sport’s first quit-smoking product. Nicorette will also be an associate sponsor of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 41 Target Dodge, driven by Casey Mears, for the ’05 season. The car will feature a special Nicorette paint scheme at the March 20 Nextel Cup Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. GSK’s Goody’s Headache Powder has been a NASCAR sponsor since ’77 (GSK) USA TODAY’s Bruce Horovitz reports that Nicorette’s NASCAR deal is for three years. The deals with NASCAR and Ganassi are “believed to exceed $3[M] annually.” Nicorette “might seem a most unlikely sponsor” given NASCAR’s history of tobacco sponsorship, including Winston’s former title sponsorship of the sport’s top series. Simmons Market Research found that NASCAR fans are 28% more likely to smoke than other adults, and smoke 18% more cigarettes than other adults. They are also “more likely to smoke” than fans of MLB, the NBA, NFL and NHL. GSK Consumer Healthcare Senior Manager of Promotional Activities Steve Kapur: “This is a great audience for us”



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Angels Team Up With AEG To Broaden Merchandise Distribution

The Angels have reached a five-year agreement with AEG Merchandising to serve as the exclusive merchandise retailer at Angel Stadium. The Angels’ retail presence will also be expanded throughout Southern California, with products available at AEG’s Team LA stores in Staples Center, The Home Depot Center and Universal City Walk, as well as on Teamlastore.com (Angels). In L.A., Bill Shaikin cites sources as saying the Team LA outlets are considered team stores, and therefore sales are not subject to MLB’s revenue-sharing rules. The Angels have changed their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but Angels VP/Communications Tim Mead said the team has “not authorized any Los Angeles merchandise. You just won’t see that.” Shaikin notes that under a similar deal with AEG, Dodgers merchandise appears at the CityWalk but not at Staples Center or The Home Depot Center (L.A. TIMES, 1/27).

NAME CALLING: MLB.com, which listed teams by city under its pull-down menu before the Angels changed their name, has now changed the menu to list team nicknames (THE DAILY).



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Sprint Inks Mobile Content Deal With TigerWoods.com

TAG, You’re It: Watchmaker
Debuts Tiger Woods Watch

Sprint has signed an exclusive two-year deal to offer TigerWoods.com mobile content to its Sprint PCS Vision customers. The content, which costs $2-6.49, includes Woods voice ringers; screen savers; and Club Tiger Mobile, a Java application that allows customers to access live stats and scores, breaking news, a tournament schedule, a photo gallery, trivia and golf tips. Sprint PCS Vision customers will also continue to have access to a mobile version of EA Sports’ “Tiger Woods 2005.” The agreement, brokered by IMG agent Mark Steinberg and IMG Interactive Business Manager Rob McNamara with Sprint VP/Wireless Data Services Jeff Hallock, does not grant Sprint the right to use Woods’ likeness. McNamara said the deal includes distribution rights in North America, and while some “gray area” may exist contractually, Woods would not pursue personal endorsement deals with Sprint competitors. By comparison, McNamara said TigerWoods.com has a “portal relationship” with Yahoo, adding, “You would not see Tiger endorsing AOL” (THE DAILY).

TIGER TIME: TAG Heuer has unveiled its Professional Golf Watch, co-designed by Woods. The watch features Woods’ logo on the dial and signature on the case back, and is designed for golfers to wear while playing. A limited supply of 4,000 will be available in April. A portion of sales will benefit Tiger Woods Foundation (TAG Heuer).



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Super Bowl Marketing News: Cadillac Responds To Brady Suit

Cadillac attorneys have been working on a settlement agreement with Patriots QB Tom Brady “for nearly a year over the unauthorized use” of Brady’s image in a print ad after his contract with the company expired, according to Fee & Raposa of the BOSTON HERALD. Brady has filed a $2M lawsuit against GM, but Cadillac Dir of Communications Jeff Kuhlman said, “Their demands are 20 times more than the amount paid to use his likeness for an entire season.” Kuhlman called the timing of Brady’s lawsuit “a bit shocking,” since Cadillac sponsors the Super Bowl and gives a car to the game’s MVP. Brady has won two of the last three Super Bowl MVP awards. Cadillac has no input on who wins the award, and Kuhlman added, “If Tom wins this year, he’ll have his choice of Cadillacs” (BOSTON HERALD, 1/27).

NFL Has Lofty Expectations
For Eagles Merchandise

NOT BIRD FEED: USA TODAY’s Larry Weisman reports that as of noon ET Wednesday, NFLShop.com had sold 13,000 Eagles NFC Championship hats and T-shirts, a “three-day record for that outlet.” NFL Senior VP/Consumer Products Mark Holtzman: “We expect the Eagles to be among the top selling conference champions of all time.” Eagles merchandise “already was among the leaguewide sales leaders this season.” Reebok’s sales figures through January 18 rank the replica jerseys of WR Terrell Owens’ No. 81 third, QB Donovan McNabb’s No. 5 fourth and DE Jevon Kearse’s No. 93 16th (USA TODAY, 1/27).

SOCKED AWAY? CNNMONEY.com’s Chris Isidore reported SportScanInfo data shows that sales of Patriots merchandise over the last four weeks is down 37% from the same period last year. Over that span, Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi’s No. 54 jersey is the team’s most-popular seller, ranking 20th overall in league-wide sales. Nine of the top ten jerseys are players from the other conference championship teams — the Steelers, Eagles and Falcons. Colts QB Peyton Manning’s No. 18 jersey is the only one ranked in the top ten from a non-conference championship team. SportScanInfo Dir of Marketing Neil Schwartz, on demand for Patriots merchandise: “It looks like they’ve become a little blasé.” The Patriots still rank third in the NFL for licensed merchandise sales, behind the Steelers and Eagles (CNNMONEY.com, 1/26).



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Ad Monitor: Ford Leads NFC Championship Game Advertisers

The following charts present the ads run during Fox’ broadcast of the NFC Championship Game, as well as the hour-long pregame show. The feed monitored was from Charlotte’s WCCB-Fox. The ads appear with their frequency and length (THE DAILY).

ADS RUN ON FALCONS-EAGLES PREGAME SHOW ON FOX
COMPANY/BRAND
ADS/LENGTH
COMPANY/BRAND
ADS/LENGTH
Ford
3 :30
McDonald’s
1 :30
Cingular
2 :30
NFL
1 :30
HP
2 :30
State Farm
1 :30
Nationwide
2 :30
TD Waterhouse
1 :30
Alltel
1 :30
Visa
1 :30
Dodge
1 :30
Web MD
1 :30
Frito-Lay
1 :30
YUM! Brands
1 :30
MasterCard
1 :30

NOTES: YUM Brands promoted its Pizza Hut restaurant. The NFL promoted NFL Network. Frito-Lay advertised its Lay’s Cheddar & Sour Cream chips.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY: State Farm and Ford sponsored Fox’ “NFL on Fox” pre-game show, and the following sponsored elements also ran during the telecast: “Cingular Fantasy Player of the Game”; “State Farm Covers the Field.”

PROMOS: The following promos for Fox shows aired, with their frequency listed parenthetically: “American Idol” (1), “Daytona 500” (1) and “Trading Spouses” (1).



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ADS RUN ON FOX' BROADCAST OF THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
COMPANY/BRAND
ADS/LENGTH
COMPANY/BRAND
ADS/LENGTH
Ford
6 :30
Nike
1 :60
Toyota
5 :30
Bayer
1 :45
Anheuser-Busch
4 :30
Alltel
1 :30
Jeep
4 :30
Audi
1 :30
Sprint
4 :30
Best Buy
1 :30
Coors Brewing
3 :30, 1 :15
Cadillac
1 :30
NFL
2 :30, 1 :10
Campbell's
1 :30
20th Century Fox
1 :30, 3 :15
Capital One
1 :30
Chrysler
3 :30
Cisco
1 :30
Dodge
3 :30
Columbia Pictures
1 :30
Dr Pepper
3 :30
Hardees
1 :30
McDonald’s
3 :30
Honda
1 :30


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Southwest
3 :30
HP
1 :30
State Farm
3 :30
MasterCard
1 :30
Subway
3 :30
PepsiCo
1 :30
Visa
3 :30
Progressive
1 :30
Chevrolet
2 :30
Saturn
1 :30
Cingular
2 :30
SBC
1 :30
Hummer
2 :30
Sony
1 :30
Miller Brewing
2 :30
Lions Gate
1 :15
Nationwide
2 :30
Universal
1 :15
Nissan
2 :30
Warner Bros.
1 :15
UPS
2 :30

NOTES: Anheuser-Busch promoted its Budweiser and Bud Light beers. Coors promoted Coors Light and Aspen Edge. Bayer promoted Levitra. PepsiCo advertised Wild Cherry Pepsi. Sony promoted its PlayStation 2 game console. The NFL promoted NFLShop.com and the NFL Playoffs.

BOX OFFICE: Warner Bros. promoted the theatrical release of “Constantine,” Lions Gate promoted “Alone in the Dark,” Columbia promoted “Hitch,” and 20th Century Fox promoted “Hide & Seek,” as well as the DVD release of “Alien vs. Predator.” Universal promoted the DVD release of “Friday Night Lights.”

BROUGHT TO YOU BY: The following sponsored elements were included in the broadcast: “Cingular Fantasy Player of the Game”; “Visa Halftime Report”; “UPS Leaderboard”; and “Subway Post Game.”

PROMOS: The following promos for Fox, FSN and FX programming aired, with their frequency listed parenthetically: “Super Bowl XXXIX” (12), “American Idol” (7), “24” (7), “Arrested Development” (5), “The Simpsons” (5), “Family Guy” (4), “Malcolm” (4), “Daytona 500” (3), “House” (3), “King of the Hill” (3), “Best Darn Super Bowl Road Show” (1), “The Shield” (1), “The Simple Life: Interns” (1) and “Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy” (1).



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Marketplace Round-Up

Serena Continues To Draw Reactions
For Clothing Choices

ESPN’s Dick Enberg, on Serena Williams’ Nike outfit she was wearing prior to her Australia Open semi-final match against Maria Sharapova last night: “Those of you that have been with us throughout the fortnight, she had kind of a bib look that had an attachment to more of a dress covering the shorts; and in frustration, she removed that part of her garb, and now she’s got that slimmed down look. She’s ready to go to work. No frills to get in the way” (ESPN2, 1/26).

AD IT UP: Eric Young of the S.F. BUSINESS TIMES reports the Warriors have begun “several auctions on Ebay that allow people to buy advertising time during games in the Oakland Arena.” Winning bidders will see their message displayed on four new digital displays. Bids begin at almost $100 for one minute of ad time during a game or $250 for pregame or half-time ads. The club will still sell major sponsorships, but team execs said that Ebay allows “small businesses or individuals to get their ads in front of Warriors fans.” Warriors President Robert Rowell: “It has the potential to be the springboard to a new way to sell advertising to the masses” (S.F. BUSINESS TIMES, 1/24 issue).

BEER GOGGLES: USA TODAY’s Steve Wieberg reports the NCAA Div. I BOD “quietly has begun a review of alcohol-related policies -– from advertising guidelines to the allowance of stadium and arena beer sales – at local, conference and national levels.” The deliberations “predate last week’s decision by a New Jersey jury” ordering Aramark to pay $105M in a drunken-driving case and the November 19 Pacers-Pistons brawl. Almost a third of the responding schools to an ’03 survey “allowed alcohol ads in stadium and arena signage” and more than a third “permitted it in game programs” (USA TODAY, 1/27).


NBA Names & Faces: Time Is On LeBron’s Side

LeBron Filling Jordan’s
Shoes As Face Of NBA?

TIME’s Sean Gregory profiles Cavaliers F LeBron James and writes, “Ever since [Michael] Jordan’s first retirement a dozen years ago, the NBA has searched from Chi-town to China for a star as dominant and marketable as His Airness. The contenders have bounced off magazine covers and TV commercials: Anfernee (Penny) Hardaway, Grant Hill, Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant.” James “is already far ahead of the pretenders. ... He has resurrected the moribund Cavaliers and, in a season marred by an ugly melee in neighboring Michigan, perhaps the NBA as well.” Bucks Coach Terry Porter: “You could argue that LeBron is kind of carrying the league right now” (TIME, 1/31 issue).

‘MAINE MAN: In a profile of Pacers F Jermaine O’Neal, SI’s S.L. Price notes Indianapolis-based Klipsch Audio, which signed O’Neal last summer to serve as a national spokesperson, “never made a sound about backing away from O’Neal” after the November 19 Pacers-Pistons brawl. Klipsch Audio Marketing Coordinator Tom Meyer-Klipsch: “Now that we’re out in Best Buy and mass-merchant retail, Jermaine’s face is the one we want out there” (SI, 1/31 issue).

GOT MELO? Nuggets F Carmelo Anthony appears in a Got Milk? ad in the January 27 issue of Rolling Stone. The ad shows Anthony, with a milk mustache, dunking a basketball, with the tag, “Big Man Off Campus” (THE DAILY).



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Nationals Lampooned? Clear Channel Backs Out On Flaghip Deal

The Nationals are “hurriedly renegotiating their once-imminent” flagship radio deal with Clear Channel’s WTEM-AM after the company “walked away from the deal last weekend,” according to Eric Fisher of the WASHINGTON TIMES. Sources said that the deal was never signed, as Clear Channel lawyers found “several key elements missing in the proposed revenue-sharing accord.” Nationals and Clear Channel execs were scheduled to meet this morning “in an attempt to resurrect the deal,” but the Nationals have also resumed negotiations with Infinity Broadcasting, with whom they held preliminary talks late last year. Fisher writes the departure of MLB relocation consultant Corey Busch is “complicating the issue.” Busch negotiated the framework of Clear Channel’s agreement but has joined a prospective Nationals ownership group

 

 


Help Me Help You: Spike TV To Air Agent-Based Reality Show

Cody To Star In Spike TV’s
Sports Agent Reality Show

In “Super Agent,” a reality show to air on Spike TV this summer, NFL draft prospect Shaun Cody, formerly DE with the Univ. of Southern California, will narrow nine agents down to one over eight episodes and “make the winner his agent,” according to Michael Hiestand of USA TODAY. Filming begins today in Mobile, Alabama, at the Senior Bowl. Exec Producer Rick DeOliviera said the show is “more like ‘The Bachelor’ than ‘The Apprentice.’ It’s all about relationships.” San Diego-based agent Jack Bechta, who reps 22 NFL players, and Josh Ripple, who has repped tennis players, helped create the show. Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez will host the Universal-produced show. DeOliviera said most of the contestants are agents, “although a couple don’t have players yet” (USA TODAY, 1/27). Development of the show was first reported by sister publication SportsBusiness Journal.

Media Notes

The Magic have inked a multiyear extension of their regional cable TV rights deal with Fox-owned Sun Sports. The new agreement, which begins with the ’05-06 season, calls for Sun Sports to telecast at least 42 regular-season games each year, as well as select playoff games and shoulder programming. Sun Sports began televising Magic games in the team's inaugural season of ’89-90 (Magic).

HD: The WALL STREET JOURNAL notes thousands of HDTV owners will not be able to watch the February 6 Super Bowl in HD because their cable or satellite company does not have a deal with Fox. EchoStar’s Dish Network does not have any HD deal with Fox. DirecTV, which like Fox is owned by News Corp., offers Fox’ HD programming only in the 25 TV markets where Fox owns stations. Comcast will carry the game in HD in 44 of its 62 markets that have the service available (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/27)....CABLE FAX DAILY cited a BuyingHDTV.com study as showing that ESPN HD and HBO HD are the “most-carried hi-def nets,” as both are in 100% of the top 25 U.S. DMAs (CABLE FAX DAILY, 1/26).

PEOPLE: ESPN beginning February 14 will air “Jim Rome is Burning” five days a week at 4:30pm ET (ESPN)....Sky Sports commentator Rodney Marsh was fired “for making a joke about the tsunami disaster.” Marsh on Monday said that Real Madrid MF David Beckham “turned down a transfer to English club Newcastle after hearing of the ‘Toon Army in Asia.’” Newcastle’s fans are called the “Toon Army,” which sounds like “tsunami” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/26).



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NHL Face-Off, Day 134: Does No News Indicate Movement?

Reps from the NHL and NHLPA met yesterday in Toronto, again without NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow. NHL Exec VP & CLO Bill Daly, Flames Owner & NHL BOG Chair Harley Hotchkiss and outside counsel Bob Batterman represented the league. NHLPA President & Canucks C Trevor Linden, NHLPA Senior Dir of Business Affairs Ted Saskin and outside counsel John McCambridge repped the union. The sides will reportedly meet again today or tomorrow in N.Y. (Mult., 1/27). In Toronto, Ken Campbell reports both sides were “secretive about the talks, saying only that they would meet again later this week” (TORONTO STAR, 1/27). In N.Y., Larry Brooks reports Devils CEO, President & GM Lou Lamoriello was a “surprise guest” after being “invited to participate by the league” (N.Y. POST, 1/27). Also in N.Y., Joe LaPointe notes Lamoriello’s inclusion “came with the union’s consent.” The NHLPA “viewed his presence as a positive step because Lamoriello is a veteran franchise operator” who has won three Stanley Cups with a moderate budget (N.Y. TIMES, 1/27). But in Ottawa, Bruce Garrioch writes Lamoriello was included “at the request of the players” (OTTAWA SUN, 1/27).

WHERE DO THINGS STAND NOW? Garrioch cites sources saying that there “was virtually no progress made during the bargaining session” (OTTAWA SUN, 1/27). In Toronto, Tim Wharnsby reports the meeting lasted 5-1/2 hours, but about half the time “was spent with the two groups separated, talking among themselves” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/27). The POST’s Brooks writes the meeting “included as much time caucusing as exchanging ideas and yielded far less progress than might have been expected, following a clandestine rendezvous the previous evening between” Daly and Saskin. Meanwhile, sources said that a there have been a “number of phone calls within the last three days from moderate [owners] to Bettman in which they urged the commissioner to make the best deal possible” in order to avoid canceling the season (N.Y. POST, 1/27).

PROGRESS? In N.Y., Sherry Ross cites sources who said that the sides “are inching toward an agreement, the basis of which would be a two-tiered system that would include a soft cap [at about $38-40M], and a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax up to but not exceeding a hard cap of approximately $50[M]” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/27). In New Jersey, Tom Gulitti notes there are rumors “circulating about a compromise plan that would include both a luxury tax and a hard cap and also one ‘franchise player’ exemption per team.” The “franchise player” would not be counted against the cap. The NHLPA’s 24% salary rollback would “also be part of the plan, as would lowering the age of unrestricted free agency (possibly from 31 to 29) and an alteration of the entry-level salary cap system” (Bergen RECORD, 1/27). In Ontario, Dave Waddell notes the league is “considering only splitting playoff revenues” as opposed to all revenues among 30 teams. Under that plan, small-market teams like the Flames and Oilers, who have made the playoffs recently, “would effectively be subsidizing a club such as the [Rangers], who have missed six straight playoffs” (WINDSOR STAR, 1/27).

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS: The NATIONAL POST’s Jeremy Sandler writes many NHL observers “see the dearth of information coming from the meetings as good news.” The Bonham Group Chair Dean Bonham: “The fact that we’re not hearing any news where they are, I think, is a very important and a very positive factor” (NATIONAL POST, 1/27). Agent Tom Laidlaw: “No news is a good sign today. Based on past history when they don’t talk after a session, they are continuing to negotiate” (USA TODAY, 1/27).

HOW ARE THE TEAMS HOLDING UP?: In Vancouver, Allan Woods reported that Oilers Chair Cal Nichols will recommend that the league "suspend the franchise if the lockout ends without a cap on player salaries." Nichols: "This isn't sabre-rattling. It's the truth. I have no desire to keep doing what I'm doing and I would recommend that we suspend the franchise and look at our options, or at moving it" (VANCOUVER SUN, 1/26). But Nichols added that his group “would first look to sell his club to local interests” if a new CBA does not include a salary cap (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/27). In Toronto, David Shoalts reports the league’s $300M lockout fund consists of “30 packets of $10[M] put up by each NHL club,” and a team “can only draw on its $10[M].” Daly said “only a handful of clubs have tapped into their fund at this point,” but he refused to identify those teams (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/27). In Toronto, Lance Hornby reports none of the Maple Leafs’ 6,300 season-ticket accounts, representing about 18,000 tickets, has been closed since the lockout began. Season-ticket holders have been “getting monthly refunds” from MLSE (TORONTO SUN, 1/27).

PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: Avalanche D & NHLPA VP Bob Boughner indicated that he is not “getting pressure ... to settle – at any cost.” Boughner: “Actually, it’s almost the opposite. I’m getting a lot of supportive calls from guys around the league” (DENVER POST, 1/27). Senators G Dominik Hasek said, “We are solidified as never before. We have been informed well about this situation and we were prepared for it. We were in daily touch. We get information and our people get opinions from the players. It’s the arrogance of the league which got us so unified” (VANCOUVER SUN, 1/27).



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Staying On The Cart Path? PGA Tour Facing New Lawsuit

Purtzer Part Of Champions Tour Group
Suing PGA Tour For Carts

Several Champions Tour players are planning to file a lawsuit against the PGA Tour seeking to “overturn the tour’s refusal to allow the use of carts in tournament rounds,” according to GOLFWEEK’s Jeff Babineau. The suit will likely “cite age discrimination among its grounds.” Champions Tour golfer Tom Purtzer, who said that “roughly ‘10 to 12 players’ are hindered” by the cart policy, and other players have consulted with attorney Leonard Decof, who repped Ping in the square grooves lawsuit against the PGA Tour. Purtzer: “He wants to sue the tour for a bunch of money, and we don’t want to do that. All we want is the ability to be able to use a cart.” Purtzer added that the carts are “basically a ‘pet peeve’” of Champions Tour President Rick George and PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. Purtzer: “They’ve had carts for 25 years, and all of a sudden it’s a problem. I just don’t understand it. It’s an issue that’s really divided the tour.” George: “It has to do with image. It has to do with the fan. We think it’s better for the fans and the viewers and provides a better look to our broadcasts, and it’s better for the condition of the golf course” (GOLFWEEK, 1/29 issue). GOLFWORLD’s Ron Sirak notes because the PGA Tour in May ’01 lost Casey Martin’s lawsuit seeking use of a cart for medical reasons, Champions Tour players can use carts if they qualify under the Americans With Disabilities Act (GOLFWORLD, 1/28 issue).

CART ATTACK: A GOLFWEEK editorial states the “use of carts in serious competition contradicts the argument that golf is an athletic endeavor. ... Under [George], the over-50 circuit has actively sought to portray itself not as an exhibition of golden oldies, but an arena for serious competition among mature golfers” (GOLFWEEK, 1/29 issue).



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League Notes

Bassmaster Tour Increases
Events And Purse Sizes

The Citgo Bassmaster Tour beginning with the ’06 season will expand from six to 11 events and move the Bassmaster Classic from the summer to late February or early March. Purse money for the event will increase from $700,000 to $1M, including a first-place prize of $500,000. The first-place winner at each of the three major tournaments will receive $250,000 (ESPN).

HAND OVER FIST: While the USTA was reported to have made an estimated $12M in ’04, that total increases to $26M when investment income is included. The USTA made nearly $27M in ’03, including investment income (TENNISWEEK.com, 1/26).

ROLLING SIX: BLOODHORSE’s Tom Precious reported NYRA on January 31 will turn off its signal to an additional six simulcast outlets, claiming it has “no assurances from the companies about their ownership and customer base.” NYRA President & CEO Charles Hayward said the organization’s new policy is, “Unless we know who you are, and that your business practices are legal and in the best interests of the sport of horseracing, we are not going to do business with you.” The sites include four overseas outlets, as well as Lakes Region Greyhound Park in New Hampshire and Coeur d’Alene Casino in Idaho. The decision comes amid a federal race fixing probe (BLOODHORSE.com, 1/26).


Were NFL Budget Cuts Behind Jim Steeg’s Departure?

Did NFL Budget Cuts Lead
To Steeg’s Resignation?

The NFL has “cut and slash[ed] its Super Bowl budget, which was one of the many reasons” why former Senior VP/Special Events Jim Steeg resigned last summer, according to the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. NFL COO Roger Goodell is “primarily responsible” for the cutbacks. A source said that the “penny-pinching has gotten so bad that the league is considering not handing out complimentary Super Bowl pins to the media” in Jacksonville (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/27).

CAP COACHES? SI/HBO’s Peter King noted the salaries of NFL coordinators and assistants are “exploding, just like free agency did for players in 1993. There are 19 assistant coaches in the NFL right now making more than $1[M], and even the [number of] guys who are near $1[M] is stunning.” HBO’s Cris Collinsworth: “No salary cap as of today, though, for those coaches and assistant coaches.” King: “But you think there might be one?” Collinsworth: “Every time money starts getting out of control, you know what the NFL does” (“Inside the NFL,” HBO, 1/26).



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Miami's Dwyane Wade drives along the baseline.


Tracy McGrady skies over Tony Battie for a lay in.



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Sale Of A’s To Wolff Nearly Complete, Awaiting MLB Approval

A-Okay: Lewis Wolff Moves Step
Closer To Acquring Team

MLB has approved legal documents for the sale of the A’s from co-Owners Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann to VP/Venue Development Lewis Wolff, which “leaves only two main hurdles” — approval by 75% of MLB owners and having the Network Associates Coliseum lease transferred to Wolff — according to Kroichick & Shea of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The team is expected to sell for at least $150M. While MLB owners are not scheduled to meet again until May, they “might formally consider the A’s sale before then.” Schott: “I would think it could get done before Opening Day and maybe even before spring training gets into full swing.” An MLB spokesperson said that owners could vote via conference call, but there is “no apparent urgency.” The spokesperson: “It’s more in our hands to go through all the documents, do all the background checks, everything related to the final closing” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/27). Schott, on formally completing the sale: “It’s down the road a way, but we’re still not there yet” (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 1/27).

 

 

 


McCombs Issues Statement Denying All Reports Of Vikings Sale

Taylor Taking Wait-And-See Approach
With Vikings Situation

Following multiple reports this week around the potential sale of the Vikings to Arizona entrepreneur Reggie Fowler, Vikings Owner Red McCombs yesterday released a statement saying, “None of the media reports concerning the potential sale of the Vikings are correct. I am continuing to work with our staff on preparing the Vikings for the 2005 season” (Vikings). But in Minneapolis, Kevin Seifert writes T’Wolves Owner Glen Taylor last night “issued his own declaration that in essence confirmed most of what has been reported this week.” Taylor: “It’s been reported that Reggie is working with him and I’m holding back. That’s what I’m doing.” Taylor also acknowledged that he met with McCombs in San Antonio last weekend, but the two “could not agree on a sale price” (STAR TRIBUNE, 1/27). More Taylor: “I have a group, we’re still interested. But we’re just going to wait. ... It isn’t that I need to have another team. If another group can put it together, I’m pleased to help them” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/27). Meanwhile, a source of ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said Fowler is “not even a factor. The feeling is, he’s trying to intimidate Glen Taylor, but Taylor doesn’t need to be intimidated – he’s done very little to make this happen” (ESPN.com, 1/26).



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adidas Posts Gain In Profit For FY ’04 Despite 30% Q4 Drop

adidas’ Q4 profit “fell 30[%], the first decline in more than a year,” as the company “stepped up U.S. and Asian investments to increase growth,” according to Gregory Ruben of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Q4 net income dropped 19% to $25M, compared to $35.2M in the year-ago window. Revenue for the quarter climbed 5.9% to $1.87B. Full-year profit grew 21% to $409.6M, while revenue increased 3% to $8.45B (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/27). REUTERS’ Ulf Laessing noted adidas had forecast a 20% jump in net profit on a currency-neutral sales growth of 5% in ’04. Shares of adidas have gained 23% in the past 12 months, “making it one of the top” performers on Germany’s DAX index . At presstime, shares of adidas were trading at US$149.84, down 2.2% from yesterday’s close of US$151.02 (THE DAILY).



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All That Glitters Is Gold: CONCACAF Selects Host Stadiums

CONCACAF has unveiled the stadium lineup for the ’05 Gold Cup. The event takes place July 6-24, with the championship held July 24 at Giants Stadium. Following is a complete list of venues (CONCACAF):

VENUE LOCATION
The Home Depot Center Carson, CA
Giants Stadium East Rutherford, NJ
Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA
Reliant Stadium Houston
L.A. Coliseum L.A.
Orange Bowl Miami
Qwest Field Seattle

THEY HAVE LIFT-OFF: In Houston, Glenn Davis writes the city’s selection “caps a remarkable 20 months of international soccer for Houston and Reliant Stadium,” which hosted several games involving national teams from the U.S. and Mexico as well as top pro clubs during that period (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/27). In Boston, Frank Dell’Apa notes that the event has “



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Giants And State Remain Miles Apart On Land Lease Agreement

Giants’ Stadium Talks With New
Jersey Hit Major Roadblocks

Plans for a new $700M Giants stadium has stalled with the team and New Jersey officials “deadlocked on several issues, including how much the team should pay in rent,” according to Matthew Futterman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The state delivered its first proposal in over a month, asking the Giants to pay over $6M per year to lease the land on which the stadium would be built. The team’s last formal offer was $1 annually. The state also indicated for the first time that it would give the Giants control of the management and operations of the stadium. Meanwhile, the Giants “remain concerned that increased traffic” from the planned $1.3B Xanadu retail and entertainment complex will worsen congestion on football Sundays, and therefore have not given their approval of the project. The NJSEA is counting on revenue from Xanadu to “pay off a substantial amount of debt on the existing stadium.” Giants Exec VP & COO John Mara: “I’m not sure we’re making progress. If anything we might be going backwards. I’m not sure where we go from here” .In New Jersey, John Brennan cites two sources as saying that Giants execs “also were angered by an attempt by [NJSEA Chair] Carl Goldberg to determine for the Giants where the team should build” the stadium within the Meadowlands Sports Complex (Bergen RECORD, 1/27).

 

 


Cubs Receive Blessing Of Alderman For Bleacher Expansion

Cubs Expanding Den After Alderman
Approves Bleacher Plans

The Cubs’ revised plan to build 1,790 new bleacher seats at Wrigley Field – “without the sidewalk support columns area residents consider unsafe – won the pivotal endorsement” of Alderman Tom Tunney “after the team threw in a few more neighborhood sweeteners,” according to Fran Spielman of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. The Cubs agreed to create a 7,000-10,000-square-foot neighborhood park and pay for a “new trolley service that would pick up fans at Michigan Avenue hotels and take them to Wrigley.” Tunney said that the team also “pledged to create a second remote parking lot if the need arises.” Spielman reports Tunney in return will “sign on to the bleacher expansion” and the team’s plan “to develop city-owned land next to the stadium into a parking garage, restaurant and Cubs hall of fame. All that remains is for City Hall and the Cubs to negotiate a final purchase price.” Tunney added that the cost of the neighborhood park “would be in addition to the $3.3[M] price tag – or whatever amount the two sides ultimately agree upon – for land.” Tunney: “I think we’ve come to a compromise that preserves the integrity of the view and the historic nature of the stadium”


Legislature Wants To Stop Huizenga From Receiving Tax Breaks

Double Dip: Florida Legislature Looking
Into Huizenga’s Tax Break

Florida state Senate President Tom Lee suggested that he would “like to stop Wayne Huizenga from receiving millions in tax breaks for refurbishing” Dolphins Stadium for the Marlins because the team is leaving the ballpark and “is seeking a $60[M] subsidy identical to what” Huizenga receives, according to Caputo & Klas of the MIAMI HERALD. Lee: “I really want to look into how that was done, in what context it was done and what promises were made. But there are allegations developing that (getting a new subsidy) would essentially represent a double-dip by the Marlins.” Huizenga through a spokesperson said that he will “fight in court if the Legislature tries to take” away his subsidy. Lee: “We’ve received phone calls from the Devil Rays and everybody who would like to get on that bandwagon if they could. And the well here in Florida is only so deep” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/27). Lee told Marlins President David Samson that he would make an “honest effort” to help the team stay in Florida, but added, “We’re not going to pay twice.” Lee: “We don’t need the liability of people standing up and saying, ‘We already paid once, how are we going to recover that money?’” (Sarah Talalay, SUN-SENTINEL, 1/27).

MONEYBALL: With the Marlins signing 1B Carlos Delgado to a four-year, $52M deal — the largest contract in team history –- state Sen. Alex Villalobos said, “Anytime you throw around that kind of money, it raises a question of why they don’t pay for the stadium themselves.” In Miami, Barry Jackson notes the Marlins claim to have lost over $20M with a $52M payroll in ’04. In September, Samson said that Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria’s appetite for “continuing to lose that amount of cash is dwindling.” But Jackson writes that since November, the Marlins “have added more than $90[M] in salary commitments for this season and beyond, in addition to agreeing to guarantee the last three years and $25.5[M] of [3B] Mike Lowell’s contract” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/27).

BOX OFFICE DRAW: MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported that after announcing the signing of Delgado on Tuesday, the Marlins yesterday “sold about $150,000 in various season-ticket packages, which is five times the amount for a normal day” (MLB.com, 1/26).



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Around The Rim: Sports Summit Program Announced

The full program for the June 7-12 Pacific Rim Sports Summit “offers up a mix of sport not often seen,” according to Ron Judd of the SEATTLE TIMES. The Summit will feature 900 athletes from the U.S., China, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Russia competing in nine sports at venues in and around Seattle. Competitions include archery, basketball, track cycling, diving, gymnastics, softball, synchronized swimming, track & field and indoor volleyball. USOC CEO Jim Scherr: “It’s an opportunity for us to allow the Olympic movement to be exposed to a wider audience between the Olympic Games.” Judd reports the nearly 450,000 tickets available will cost $12-95, the latter “for a choice seat at the opening ceremony.” Seattle Organizing Committee CEO Bob Walsh said that the budget for the event “is around $10[M], and most of the financing has been secured.” Judd notes because the Summit is “an international event, organizers expect federal help with security. Details of a planned television package with NBC have not been announced” (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/27).

CHANGE OF VENUE: In Seattle, Angelo Bruscas reports the June 7 Opening Ceremony will be held at Safeco Field because Husky Stadium was already booked for Univ. of Washington graduation ceremonies (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 1/27).



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Jump ? Dunk ?



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THE DAILY Goes One-On-One With Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie

Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie Raises
George Halas Trophy

In ‘94, Boston-born and -bred JEFFREY LURIE bought the Eagles from NORMAN BRAMAN for $185M. At the time, Lurie pledged to build a new stadium and state-of-the-art training facility. Since then, the Eagles have been to the NFL playoffs seven times, including their current streak of four NFC Championship game appearances. In ‘03, Lurie presided over the opening of Lincoln Financial Field and the NovaCare Complex. In its annual study, Forbes magazine said the value of the Eagles rose more than 30% (to $833M) after one season in Lincoln Financial Field. On the eve of the NFC championship game, Lurie spoke with SportsBusiness Journal New York bureau chief Jerry Kavanagh about life and business in the NFL.

Q: You said, “Football is such a fan sport, and it’s a great sport for TV, but what really makes it such a great sport are the fans. When you forget about the fans, you lose a big part of the sport.” As far as attracting the fans, JERRY COLANGELO said, “The days of just opening the doors and selling tickets are over.” What’s the Eagles’ best new fan initiative?

Lurie: To me, the whole design of Lincoln Financial Field is to create an intimate, close-to-the-action sort of impact view, the best sight lines in the league. Make sure the fans are as close and right on top of the action as possible and, at the same time, give them the best video replay boards in sports. With Lincoln Financial Field, we didn’t create an 80,000-90,000-seat stadium. We’re the fourth-largest market, and we could have done that. But we decided to keep it architecturally intimate - which we felt was 70,000 or under — and at the same time to bring down the huge new state-of-the-art digital video boards, to what actually is a very expensive point of real estate but it’s the best viewing angle for the fans, which is low in the end zones.

Q: Is it true Fenway Park was part of the design model to create a sense of intimacy in Lincoln Financial Field?

Lurie: The philosophy of Fenway Park, where I grew up, was clearly an important part of the design process. It wasn’t to copy Fenway; it was to take the intimacy and the intensity. What you learn from that fan experience is that if you give the fans great sight lines and closeness to the field, you’re going to have one heck of a stadium. Also, unpredictable lines, not linear, like our old stadium, the Vet, and some other new stadiums.

Q: You went from the movies (Chestnut Hill Productions, his film company) to the NFL. What are some ways to bring mainstream entertainment to sports?

Lurie: A realization that sports is a very visual experience. It’s an emotional experience combined with video and audio. In the stadium you’re combining all those elements. If you can maximize emotion, visual and audio experience and camaraderie, then you’re doing what the entertainment industry does with its blockbuster films or its great TV series.

Q: Looking ahead, what do you think a fan’s NFL experience will be like, say, five years from now?

Lurie: That’s always difficult to do, but I think with digital technology the opportunity to have fans interact with each other electronically before, during and after a game certainly will be revved up. You’re going to see people in the stadium but also watching games on cell phones, on portable integrated machines that are accessed to the Internet. You’re going to see a lot of distribution channels than have never been presented to the consumer before. [For example,] a person in Malaysia can walk down the streets of Kuala Lumpur and probably see exactly what the person sitting in Time Warner Center in New York is seeing. There is a chance to expose NFL football to people all over the world.

Q: When you bought the Eagles in ‘94, you said your goal was to make the team a first-class franchise. You said, “Part of that is connecting the fans ... part of it is building a first-class stadium and practice facility.” Would you say mission accomplished on your goals?

Lurie Feels Lincoln Financial Field Integral
Part Of Making Eagles First Class Organization

Lurie: Our No. 1 mission is to win Super Bowls. In terms of the infrastructure or what we can do as a sports franchise: yes. Having a state-of-the-art stadium and practice facility, no question we’ve achieved those goals and they’re a big part of our success. But I never want to lose sight of the goal we share with all of our fans, which is to win championships.

Q: Regarding the construction and financing of Lincoln Financial Field, you said, “Nothing could have been harder than the political process. We had to convince a lot of people that this kind of improvement would attract capital to the city.” How successful has the stadium been in attracting capital to Philadelphia?

Lurie: It’s always a difficult thing to measure, but the excitement level and the demand for people to utilize Lincoln Financial Field, whether as Eagles fans or for other events, is really off the charts. One can only assume that the more people who enjoy and are proud of this new venue can also enjoy all that Philadelphia, as a thriving city, has created, ... which are lots of restaurants and hotels and clubs and shops.



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Q: SAL GALATIOTO of Lehman Bros. called NFL franchises the Rolls-Royces of pro sports franchises. What can other pro sports franchises learn from the NFL?

Lurie: There are two things the NFL has managed to accomplish that are really outstanding. One, the game itself is presented in a fashion that is very attractive to not just being in the stadium, but also to television viewers. That creates a nationally popular sport involving franchises that all have a pretty equal opportunity to win. That’s No. 1. Going hand-in-hand with that popularity, though, is a partnership with the players that grants them free agency after a certain amount of time and the opportunity for players and franchises to grow the sport together. There’s a true partnership. The more we grow the sport, the more the popularity is grown, then you’re not haggling over a system; you’re just haggling over what shares of that pot should be established. The NFL has a system of a partnership with its players that works for all sides and it goes hand-in-hand with the popularity of the sport.

Q: You have a Ph.D. from Brandeis in social policy and established Eagles Youth Partnership in ‘96. Tell me about that.

Lurie: It’s really a charitable foundation of the Philadelphia Eagles that we’re very, very proud of. It’s a high priority for our organization. What we do is we have formed an eye mobile and a bookmobile. That’s one of the programs we have. It travels throughout the poorest areas of greater Philadelphia and examines children to see if they need glasses. We provide the glasses or we refer them for surgery or whatever is necessary. Because we found that with children, if you can’t read, you’re going to really be behind in school. If you don’t have access to books, even if you have good eyes, you’re going to fall behind.

Q: JEAN GIRAUDOUX wrote, “The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” What’s the secret to your success?

Lurie: I would say that it’s surrounding myself with good people and being myself at all times - no faking of sincerity whatsoever. I think that it’s important to be able to attract excellent people.

Q: What is your basic business philosophy?

Lurie: Try to be the best in every aspect of your business. Hire great people, guide them, but let them do their jobs.

Q: What is the best decision you’ve made?

Lurie: Buying the Eagles. [At the time,] I paid the most, I think, in the history of American sports, $185[M], and the rest is history.

Q: What was your biggest challenge?

Lurie: The biggest challenge is not a business challenge; it’s a personal challenge. When you are so emotionally tied up in your work — which I so enjoy, running the franchise, owning the team — [the challenge] is to combine your family desires with your business desires. I have little kids and want to maximize my time with them as well. So, it’s a constant opportunity and challenge to maximize both.

Q: Who was the most influential person in your professional career?

Lurie: RED AUERBACH. A lot of the philosophy of running the Eagles was influenced by growing up in Boston and watching Red’s decision-making and understanding of the functional value when he was building a team.

Q: Do you light up a big cigar after an Eagles’ victory?

Lurie: (laughing) I’m not a cigar smoker, so I didn’t learn that from Red.

Q: What is your favorite piece of music?

Lurie: “For What It’s Worth,” by Buffalo Springfield. My favorite group is The Doors.

Q: What are your favorite movies?

Lurie: “The Great Escape,” “Z” and “Sunshine.” My kids asked me my favorite recent movie, and I told them “School of Rock.”

Q: Who are your favorite actors?

Lurie: ROBERT DE NIRO and AL PACINO.

Q: Who are your favorite actresses?

Lurie: Too many to name.

Q: What are the last books you read?

Lurie: “Eleven Minutes” by PAULO COELHO and “Hegemony or Survival” by NOAM CHOMSKY.

Q: What are your favorite books?

Lurie: “The Mass Psychology of Fascism” by WILHELM REICH and “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by THOMAS KUHN.

Q: What are your favorite vacation spots?

Lurie: Anguilla and St. Barths.

Q: What athlete do you most enjoy watching?

Lurie: BOBBY ORR. I think he almost played a perfect game every time out.

Q: What is your favorite sporting event?

Lurie: The Super Bowl.

Q: What is a typical day off like?

Lurie: Playing with my kids, tennis, movies, golf and my iPod.

Q: What is your favorite TV show?

Lurie: “24.”



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Did agent show heirs enough money?

 

Ted Forstmann has bought the IMG agency, but the way the proceeds were split proved controversial.
The heirs of sports superagent Mark McCormack were not all that thrilled with their cut of a $750 million windfall that came with the sale of McCormack's International Management Group to Ted Forstmann.

McCormack's widow, former tennis star Betsy Nagelsen, got a very large piece of the pie compared with McCormack's three children by first wife Nancy, who hold high-powered jobs at the company. One report said she received nine times their total.

"Certainly there were differences of opinions, and different thoughts," Todd McCormack admitted to us last week.

Mark McCormack died in May 2003, leaving his heirs control of the firm, which he started as a sports agency in the early '60s with Arnold Palmer as his first client. IMG's roster now includes a host of A-list athletes like Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter and Serena and Venus Williams, as well as actresses Liv Tyler and Elizabeth Hurley and models Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks - not to mention Itzhak Perlman, the International Olympic Committee and Major League Baseball.

Forstmann, who doesn't use a computer and who once said, "for much of my life, if I couldn't [make] six or seven or eight times my money, [I] wouldn't do [the deal]," raised eyebrows by approaching Nagelsen about IMG within months of McCormack's death. "The ink wasn't even dry on the death certificate," says our source. But Forstmann had long been friends with McCormack, and discussed the deal before his death.

Still, a source tells us that after his friend's death, Forstmann, a playboy who once squired Princess Diana and Hurley, became smitten with more than just the company. However, reps for both Nagelsen and Forstmann deny the two are romantically involved.

In any case, it was their father's wish that his trust be divided in the manner it was, so the McCormack children will not contest the trustees' decisions, Todd McCormack told us.

Still, "I think it is accurate to say that not every family member agreed with every part of the decision," Michael Horvitz, the chairman of trustees of McCormack's estate, told us.



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Names In The News

Romanowski Being Sued
By Former Teammate

In S.F., Williams & Fainaru-Wada cite sources as saying that FBI agents yesterday raided the home of BALCO Founder VICTOR CONTE as part of a federal probe into how the S.F. Chronicle “had obtained federal grand jury testimony for stories about” the scandal (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/27)....In a separate piece, Fainaru-Wada & Williams note former Raiders LB BILL ROMANOWSKI has been sued for $3.8M by former teammate MARCUS WILLIAMS. Attorneys for Williams, who suffered a “career-ending brain injury” in an altercation with Romanowski in August ’03, have “pressed Romanowski, the Raiders and the [NFL] for information about” Romanowski’s possible use of steroids. Williams’ lawsuit and a possible trial next month “could provide new insights into the content and scope of steroid abuse in the NFL” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/27).

RUNNING A REVERSE: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley reports syndicated radio host RUSH LIMBAUGH has “changed his opinion” of Eagles QB DONOVAN MCNABB’s “ability as a quarterback and a field general.” Limbaugh said on the air, “There’s been a demonstrable change in McNabb’s performance, pure and simple. ... There’s no question McNabb has improved and I’m happy to see it” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/27).

HOME COOKING: In Ft. Lauderdale, Harvey Fialkov reports Heat C SHAQUILLE O’NEAL has “set his sights on” former LSU football coach NICK SABAN’s house in Baton Rouge. The asking price for the four-bedroom house, with a swimming pool and guest home, is $3.25M. O’Neal: “I’ve seen it a million times, and I’m going to get it. And I’m gonna get it for the same price he paid for it.” Fialkov notes Saban paid $1.72M for the house in July ’01. O’Neal also owns a $6.25M residence in Orlando and recently paid about $18M for the Star Island, Florida, mansion once owned by former Heat C RONY SEIKALY (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 1/27).

AFTER THE GAME: Former NFL head coach CHUCK KNOX has donated $1M to his alma mater, JUNIATA COLLEGE, to fund a professorship in the history department. Knox earned a B.A. in history from the school in ’54 (Juniata College)....HBO’s “Real Sports” Tuesday examined the emotional and physical difficulties many NFL players encounter after retiring from the league. HBO’s Bryant Gumbel said former NFLer KEN RUETTGERS “has started GamesOver.org, a Web site that catalogues why ex-players have so much trouble in retirement and tries to educate them about the risks.” Gumbel said, “The NFL is helping to bankroll his operation and has initiated programs of its own” (“Real Sports,” HBO, 1/25)....Former Redskins WR MICHAEL WESTBROOK will fight former Giants RB JARROD BUNCH next month in a PPV competition called “KING OF THE CAGE” (SI, 1/31 issue).



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NBA Coaches Salaries: Kings' Rick Adelman Leads The Pack

The following chart presents NBA coaches salaries for the ’04-05 season (GASTON GAZETTE, 1/24).

'04-05 NBA COACHES SALARIES
RK
COACH (NOTE) TEAM
SALARY
TERM (YRS.)
CONTRACT ENDS
AVG. SALARY
1
Rick Adelman (a) Kings
$13.75M
2
2004-05
$6.875M
2
Rudy Tomjanovich Lakers
$30M
5
2007-08
$6M
3
Jerry Sloan (b) Jazz
$11M
2
2005-06
$5.5M
4
Don Nelson (c) Mavericks
$15.3M
3
2005-06
$5.1M
5t
Larry Brown Pistons
$25M
5
2007-08
$5M
5t
Doc Rivers Celtics
$20M
4
2007-08
$5M



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5t
Flip Saunders T'Wolves
$25M
5
2005-06
$5M
5t
Jeff Van Gundy Rockets
$20M
4
2006-07
$5M
9t
Rick Carlisle Pacers
$16M
4
2006-07
$4M
9t
Mike Fratello (d) Grizzlies
$16M
4
2007-08
$4M
9t
Jim O'Brien (e) 76ers
$12M
3
2006-07
$4M
9t
Gregg Popovich (f) Spurs
$20M
5
2007-08
$4M


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9t
Paul Silas Cavaliers
$16M
4
2006-07
$4M
9t
Lenny Wilkens (g) Knicks
$12M
3
2006-07
$4M
15
Byron Scott (e) Hornets
$10M
3
2006-07
$3.33M
16t
Bernie Bickerstaff Bobcats
$12M
4
2006-07
$3M
16t
Mike Dunleavy Clippers
$12M
4
2006-07
$3M
16t
Eddie Jordan Wizards
$6M
2
2006-07
$3M
16t
Mike Montgomery Warriors
$12M
4
2007-08
$3M
16t
Stan Van Gundy Heat
$6M
2
2004-05
$3M
21
Nate McMillan Supersonics
$10.8M
4
2004-05
$2.7M


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22
Lawrence Frank Nets
$10M
4
2007-08
$2.5M
23t
Scott Skiles Bulls
$6M
3
2005-06
$2M
23t
Mike Woodson Hawks
$8M
4
2007-08
$2M
25
Mike D'Antoni Suns
$5.4M
3
2006-07
$1.8M
26
Sam Mitchell Raptors
$4.9M
3
2006-07
$1.63M
27t
Maurice Cheeks (h) Trailblazers
$3M
2
2005-06
$1.5M
27t
Terry Porter Bucks
$6M
4
2003-04
$1.5M
29t
Jeff Bzdelik (i) Nuggets
$3M
3
2004-05
$1M
29t
Johnny Davis Magic
$2
2
2004-05
$1M

NOTES: (a) Current contract is two-year extension for $13.75M signed before the ’03-04 season. (b) Current contract is two-year extension for $11M signed before the ’03-04 season. (c) Includes contract with team for consultant’s role through 2010-11. (d) In November ’04, Fratello replaced Hubie Brown, who retired with a three-year, $10M contract that would have ended in ’04-05. (e) Team has option for ’07-08 season. (f) Has two-year extension for $11M beginning ’06-07 season. (g) Resigned in January ’05, with Herb Williams taking over as interim coach. (h) Originally signed four-year, $6M deal before ’01-02 season, then signed two-year, $3M extension during ’03-04 season. (i) Fired in December ’04, with Michael Cooper taking over as interim coach. The Nuggets named George Karl head coach on January 27.



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The SI.com Book Club selection for January focuses on Michael Jordan's years with the Washington Wizards. When Nothing Else Matters, by Michael Leahy, takes a warts-and-all look at the legend and the end of his playing career.

The Michael Jordan one will find in Michael Leahy's When Nothing Else Matters is not the basketball god represented in bronze outside Chicago's United Center. That Jordan stands 11½ feet and weighs 2,000 pounds, and even those proportions hardly seem to capture the aura and magnetism MJ exhibited at his high-flying, championship-winning best with the Bulls.

The Jordan in Leahy's book, which follows the player's final two seasons with the Wizards, is no giant. Instead he's a deeply flawed man, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the diminishment of his once ethereal physical gifts while continuing to demand the superstar treatment he had always been afforded. Even so, on the doorstep of 40, there are still magical nights when the jump shot is falling over younger, faster men and the points pile up as they once did, the cash register ringing crazily all the while.

But as Jordan's game diminished, Leahy argues, so did Jordan the icon. It turned out he was just a basketball player -- perhaps the best ever, sure, but a mere jock just the same.

Off the court, Jordan didn't engage the public on important issues of the day as Muhammad Ali had done; he hawked sneakers and was too worried about upsetting potential customers to wade into controversy. Remember his famous explanation for not publicly supporting a black senatorial candidate in his native North Carolina, Harvey Gantt, who once ran against conservative Republican Jesse Helms? "Republicans buy shoes, too," Jordan noted.

The public and a worshipful sports media made Jordan into much more than an athlete, Leahy contends, but that turned out to be a ruse which said as much about our psychic need for heroes as Jordan's actual gifts. When Jordan's career ended in 2003, Wizards owner Abe Pollin shipped him out of the executive suite within weeks. The message was clear: Without a ball in his hands, No. 23 was nothing special.

When Nothing Else Matters can, for these reasons, be a depressing read. It will no doubt upset devout Jordanphiles. Even so, it has the distinct ring of truth.

The reporting that went into this book is impressive. Leahy, then a news-side writer at The Washington Post, was placed on the Jordan beat when the player started his comeback in 2001. Leahy's not a sportswriter, a distinction he makes very clear because he doesn't think highly of most sportswriters. In his judgment, they avoid reporting anything negative about stars in exchange for morsels of access.

Leahy makes a worthwhile point here, though he oversells it by claiming that this failing is limited to sports journalism, which in his opinion is "filled with athletes' buddies and mouthpieces." That would never happen, he claims, in political journalism. Evidently, Leahy has never watched Fox News Channel or read columnists such as Maureen Dowd.

Leahy has the zeal of an investigative reporter. That includes the reflexive need to bring down the rich and powerful, such as Jordan, his agent David Falk and Pollin. Leahy unearths an interesting nugget about Pollin -- that the owner has been unsuccessfully shopping his authorized biography to publishers for years -- but does the author need to tell us this embarrassing fact three times?

On balance, Leahy's doggedness in spending two years doing nothing but following one man around the nation serves the reader well. Yet Jordan remains a tough subject to crack and did not give Leahy access to his inner circle -- a situation Leahy cleverly dubs the "catch-23."

Yet the author got enough people to speak, mostly not for attribution, to recreate a number of memorable scenes. For example, there's the preseason practice before Jordan's first season with the Wizards when he lashes into 19-year-old Kwame Brown -- the high schooler that Jordan the executive had made the No. 1 overall draft pick -- repeatedly calling him a "f---ing faggot."

Just as telling are the smaller moments that add up to make Leahy's broader themes so convincing. After Wizards coach/Jordan lackey Doug Collins draws up a final play for a Jerry Stackhouse game-winning dunk at the buzzer, Jordan focuses as usual on his role. "Doug drew it up and it worked perfectly, in terms of me being the decoy and everybody focusing on me," he told the media. "[It] was easy to get an easy lay-up." Jordan believed that the team should revolve around him and typically it did, but not always to the Wizards' benefit.

By the time that Jordan's final retirement rolls around, his younger teammates don't even feel enough affection for the legend to chip in and buy a farewell gift. As Leahy puts it, Jordan "had teammates but very few intimates." This book, though, possesses a truly intimate feel -- warts and all

The 10 Spot



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Demetrio Albertini sonríe en su presentación en el Camp Nou

Albertini estreia contra el Sevilla

El Espanyol Intentará Sacar Ventaja De RiñAs Internas Del Depor

El nuevo jugador del Real Madrid, el danés Thomas Gravesen (arriba), es manteado



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La afición pide a Florentino Pérez que fiche a... Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho y Adriano. Éstos son los fichajes que haría la afición del Real Madrid, los cracks que comprarían con el dinero que hay en la caja del club. Éstos dos futbolistas y Robinho, porque los 169 millones de euros de los que dispone el Real Madrid dan para contratar al actual jugador del Barcelona, el del Inter de Milán y el del Santos.

Este es el resultado de la encuesta realizada ayer por Marca.com, en la que se registraron 156.595 votos de internautas y dejaron claro cuáles son sus preferencias. Después de que Emilio Butragueño, vicepresidente, desvelara el miércoles la cantidad de dinero de la que dispone el club en su caja, Marca lanzó en su edición de ayer la pregunta a los aficionados: Usted, ¿a quién ficharía? El objetivo era palpar y conocer qué jugador o jugadores prefiere la afición y cómo se gastarían esa cantidad de dinero. Los cracks elegidos son Ronaldinho y Adriano, aunque el jugador del Barcelona superó al del Inter, ya que en los mensajes enviados por teléfono móvil -más de 1.000- también fue el más votado con un 60%. Y lo mismo sucedió en las llamadas que se realizaron durante el día a Radio Marca. Algunos oyentes se expresaban de la siguiente manera: “Hay que fichar a Ronaldinho porque es un gran jugador y hay que fastidiar al Barça”.

Florentino Pérez ya tiene una encuesta de valor por la que guiarse para hacer real el sueño de los seguidores madridistas. El presidente analizará a partir de ahora qué ‘galáctico’ formará parte de la plantilla madridista.

El hecho de que haya ganado Ronaldinho es muy significativo. La afición del Real Madrid cree posible que el brasileño pueda abandonar el club azulgrana, si se produce la salida de Rosell.



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Zidane: "Soy el más viejo de este equipo, pero no estoy acabado"

Zidane:

Zinedine Zidane ha comparecido en rueda de prensa este viernes cuando todavía no está nada claro que el Real Madrid pueda jugar este domingo en Soria su partido de Liga ante el Numancia. El centrocampista francés repasó varios asuntos de la actualidad madridista y en el que se mostró contundente fue a la hora de contestar sobre el presunto final de ciclo de la plantilla blanca. "Todos somos profesionales y no tiene sentido decir que alguien está acabado con 32 años. Soy el más viejo de este equipo, pero no estoy acabado. Aún me queda un poco y me sigo divirtiendo igual. A lo mejor por mi rostro parezco más serio, pero siempre disfruto. Estoy convencido que 2005 será un buen año".

De hecho, Zidane aseguró que se encuentra mejor en los últimos encuentros. "A lo mejor estoy mejor ahora, me encuentro más a gusto. He tenido alguna dificultad en estos seis meses, pero ahora estoy mejor. Si seguimos trabajando todos como ahora, podemos bacer que el 2005 sea mejor que el 2004. Estamos todavía a tiempo".

Además, aseguró que el objetivo del equipo en los próximos partidos es dar caza al líder. "Tenemos que estar cerca del Barcelona, pero no estoy pendiente de ellos. Cuando juego en el campo no pienso en nada. Tampoco descarto al Valencia. Pueden llegar todavía, pero nuestro objetivo es estar lo más cerca posible del líder y que la ventaja no se vaya más lejos de los siete puntos".

Ronaldo, durante el Real Madrid-Mallorca del pasado domingo

El enfado de Ronaldo, la nieve y más entrenamiento
El jugador francés se refirió a la polémica con su compañero Ronaldo, quien se enfadó el pasado domingo al ser sustituido. "Cada vez que pasa se enfada y es mejor así. Lo malo sería que no sucediera nada. Pero cuando un entrenador hace un cambio busca lo mejor para el equipo. Owen poco a poco está cada vez mejor. Está jugando como sabe y se va acostumbrando al equipo".

Además, añadió que espera que el problema familiar que tiene se solucione cuanto antes. "Sé que se ha ido por un tema familiar, por su hermano. Esperemos que todo vaya bien".

En cuanto al partido de Soria, cuya disputa no está confirmada todavía por la nieve y el hielo que cubren el terreno de Los Pajaritos. "Si jugamos no habrá problemas. Es pronto para valorarlo, primero habrá que ir y ver cómo está. He jugado muchas veces en campos duros. Lo importante no es la hierba sino por debajo. Los árbitros lo valorarán y veremos si se juega. Esta semana ha habido mucho frío y viento. Hemos hecho un buen trabajo y estamos preparados para todo".

Por último, el francés destacó que con Luxemburgo se entrenan más que con el antiguo técnico, Mariano García Remón. "Cada entrenador es diferente. Estamos trabajando mucho y con buenos resultados, pero tenemos que seguir así. Trabajamos más que con García Remón".



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Ronaldo viaja de urgencia a Brasil por la enfermedad de un familiar

El delantero madridista Ronaldo se ha visto obligado a viajar a Brasil este viernes por la mañana tras recibir la llamada de su familia y requerir su presencia en su país por un problema grave de salud de un familiar muy cercano al futbolista. Por tanto, el brasileño será baja para el partido del domingo en Soria, si es que se llega a jugar, ya que su disputa está en el aire por las condiciones climatológicas que tienen helado desde hace varios días el césped de Los Pajaritos.

Ronaldo comunicó esta pasada madrugada la situación al club, al que solicitó el correspondiente permiso para viajar de forma inmediata hasta su país. El Real Madrid, como ha anunciado en su página web, informó al entrenador y a los responsables de la parcela deportiva y concedió lógicamente el permiso al jugador, que no volverá antes del lunes.

El futbolista ya no estuvo en el entrenamiento de esta mañana junto al resto de sus compañeros en la Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas, sesión que empezó a las doce del mediodía debido a que Vanderlei Luxemburgo, técnico del equipo blanco, lo retrasó una hora por el intenso frío que azota el país esta semana.



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Aussie Rules - Hewitt tops Roddick in Australian Open semis

Aussie Rules

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Lleyton Hewitt endured 31 aces to beat hard-serving Andy Roddick 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-1 Friday and advance to the Australian Open final.

Hewitt, who complained before the tournament about the courts being slow and has angered three opponents with his loud shouts to pump himself up, was at his aggressive, fist-pumping best against Roddick.

photo 

He fired up the crowd, but one fan was too vocal for Roddick's tastes -- he complained about a spectator shouting during his service motion in the seventh game of the third set.

Hewitt, who is trying to become the first Australian man to win here since Mark Edmondson in 1976, has won major titles from Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. On Sunday, he'll face Marat Safin in the Australian Open's first evening men's final. Safin ended top-ranked Roger Federer's 26-match winning streak in the other semifinal.

Safin won the 2000 championship at the U.S. Open and has lost two previous finals here at Melbourne Park.

Lleyton Hewitt

"Always said I'd do anything to have chance to play in the first night final here in history, and I've got my chance," Hewitt said. "Obviously, Marat's beaten the best player going around. He's playing extremely well. I'm going to have to raise my level yet again and see what happens."

The women's final pits top-ranked Lindsay Davenport against No. 7 Serena Williams on Saturday.

Roddick came out hot, jumping ahead at 2-0. He converted his fourth break-point opportunity when Hewitt hit long on a forehand from Roddick that was called good but TV replays indicated was just long.As he has done so often, Roddick relied on his blistering serve to get out of early trouble. He had six aces as he served at 5-3, using them to fend off four of Hewitt's five break points in the game, then finish off the set with another two.

photophoto

Roddick made it seven aces in a row with four in the next game. But Hewitt had only three unforced errors in the second set.

Hewitt still needed a tiebreaker to even the match. Hewitt had the only ace to pull ahead 6-3, and Roddick netted a backhand on the next point.After 23 aces in the first two sets, Roddick had only eight in the last two.

photo

"It's never routine, especially playing a guy like Andy," Hewitt said. "He's got so much firepower, and I had to weather the storm."

Roddick said the tiebreakers were the difference.

photo

"I'm usually pretty money in those," Roddick said. "Either one of those would have given me a distinct advantage."I'm mad. I felt I was in there with a shot. He put himself in position to win big points. I donated a little more than I would have wanted."

Roddick went ahead in the third set when Hewitt double-faulted at break point. But serving at 4-2, 30-30, Roddick -- clearly trying to put a little extra on his second serve -- double-faulted twice to return the favor. He had only six double-faults in the previous five matches, but had nine against Hewitt.



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Safin stuns Federer in five sets to reach Australian Open final

photo

MELBOURNE, Australia (Ticker) - Marat Safin proved Roger Federer is human after all.

In an encounter for the ages, Safin shook off a match point in the fourth set and blew six of his own before toppling the defending champion, 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 9-7, in 4 hours, 27 minutes Thursday night to claim a berth in the Australian Open final.

The fourth seed from Russia, Safin snapped Federer's incredible 26-match winning streak, which dated to a second-round loss in the Athens Olympics. Safin also avenged a straight-set loss to Federer in last year's Australian Open final and ended the Swiss' 24-match winning streak against top-10 players dating to October 2003.

photo

"After these kinds of matches, you need some time for yourself to be able to sit down (and relax) because ... there's so much adrenaline inside of you," Safin said.

In the fourth-set tiebreaker, Federer - who won three Grand Slams last year - was up 5-2 with two mini-breaks before losing three straight points, the first two on his serve. At 5-5, Federer hit a dropshot winner but smacked a between-the-legs shot into the net at 6-5 before losing the next two points to give Safin the set.

photo

"It's really unfortunate," Federer said. "I thought I played, under the circumstances, really well. Yeah, a point here and there changed the match. So that was a pity. But at least I gave it a fight."

In the fifth set, Safin saved two break points at 1-1, then broke Federer in the sixth game when the world No. 1 double-faulted at 30-40. Serving at 5-3, Safin blew two match points and Federer converted his third break point of the game when the Russian hit a backhand well wide.

The very next game, Federer grabbed a quick 30-0 lead before giving up three straight points. On match point, Safin had a chance to rip a forehand past Federer at the net but just pushed it back, and the world No. 1 hit a volley winner before taking the next two points for 5-5.

photo

"I surprised myself by coming back because I had all these problems and he has a great serve and a great game," Federer said.

Safin saved a break point at 6-6 but blew two match points the next game. In the 16th game, Federer saved a sixth match point at 15-40, but on the next point, Safin hit a great backhand up the line that Federer barely got back before slipping, and the Russian poked a forehand into the open court to end the match.

photo

"To come back and still fight to win, it's a little bit difficult because psychologically you're a little bit ... upset," Safin said. "You already had your chances. Normally, ... if you don't take your chances, another person will take it. "For some reason I found the power ... to fight and try to wait for my opportunities, and eventually they came, even though it took me like four match points. Five, six - it's enough match points."

The duo hugged at the net and received a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd at Rod Laver Arena.

photo

"I live my whole life with pressure, so this is nothing different," said Federer, who had won six of the first seven meetings with Safin. "I thought it was a match like every other match. You know, (Safin's) one of the best players in the world. ... In the past we had some good matches. "I was just ... hoping to win it, you know, like every other match."



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Serena-Sharapova rivalry developing

photo

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- It's not quite Martina vs. Chrissy, say, or even Serena vs. Venus.

But the developing rivalry between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova has the potential to turn into an enduring one. Especially if they keep meeting in big matches.

photo

And both players look forward to the next one."She's one of the best competitors out there," Sharapova said Thursday after her 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 loss to Williams in the Australian Open semifinals. "She's been in those situations when she was down in the third set, and out of nowhere she knows how to turn it around. That comes from experience; that comes from her fighting spirit."

photophoto

Williams, 23, saved three match points and twice broke Sharapova when the 17-year-old Russian served for the match.Williams, who has six career singles Grand Slam titles to Sharapova's one, won their first meeting, at Miami in 2004. But she lost to Sharapova twice later in the season: the Wimbledon final and the season-ending tour championships final."I definitely think she has a fighting spirit," Williams said, "and I think that's gotten her to where she is today."

She also feels that Sharapova, who moved to Florida from Russia when she was 7, considers her a role model.

photo

"She's probably looked at me as a reference growing up, which is exciting," Williams said. "I never thought I'd play someone that probably looked up to me."But the mutual admiration society ended there Thursday. When asked what Williams had showed her during the match, Sharapova replied "nothing."

And Williams reminded everyone that, although she credited Sharapova with having a fighting spirit, the American considers herself the "top fighter out there."Williams also saved match points against Kim Clijsters in the 2003 Australian Open semifinals."Those are always the best wins, when you're down match point, because you realize that you can't give up," she said.

photo

Sharapova didn't give up, either. She just couldn't quite pull out the win."I gave it all I had. I played from my heart," Sharapova said. "I didn't take my chances when I could. And that's what this game is all about. The match could have gone any way, and she took her chances and she played well when she needed to. That's the difference."



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Maxi: Como una moto

Pasó los 'tests' médicos con nota y sorprendió por una condición física excepcional

Rijkaard está pendiente de su presentación para decidir si se lo lleva a Sevilla.Maxi López evidenció una condición física y potencia excepcionales en las pruebas médicas, superadas ayer con nota, y salvo imprevistos será presentado hoy a mediodía como nuevo jugador azulgrana, con la incógnita de si se desplazará con el equipo a Sevilla aunque sea para hacer piña.

El que será junto a Iniesta el más joven integrante de la plantilla del primer equipo (ambos tienen 20 años, contra 17 de Messi, que sin embargo no posee contrato profesional) sorprendió sobre todo en las pruebas realizadas en el Centre de Medicina Esportiva FC Barcelona. Los encargados de evaluar su estado y peritar su fuerza y resistencia repetían que “está como una moto, como un toro”.

Maxi no sólo refrendó su condición de 'tanque', sino que asimismo quedó comprobado que al igual que en el caso de Henrik Larsson, cuya vacante ocupará, el equilibrio entre masa muscular y grasa “es perfecto”, como subrayó el doctor Jordi Ardèvol, jefe de los Servicios Médicos del FC Barcelona, supervisor de los 'tests'. A primera hora de la mañana Maximiliano Gastón López se sometió a exámenes complementarias en el Hospital de Barcelona y después completó el programa en el club con una exploración básica (aspirometría, ecocardiología, etc.).

“Ha superado todas las pruebas sin problemas, y en la de esfuerzo sus resultados han sido extraordinarios. Maxi tiene una potencia fuera de lo común”, recalcó Ardèvol, para quien “médicamente Maxi está en condiciones de jugar, aunque la decisión corresponde a Rijkaard. Ahora sólo llevabaquince días de pretemporada (con River), y su resistencia irá a más”. Jordi Ardèvol asimismo recalcó que “el futbolista está virgen en el tema de las lesiones; no ha sufrida ninguna lesión, ni tendinosa, ósea, de ligamentos o muscular”.

El segundo refuerzo invernal tras Demetrio Albertini llega, pues, en plena forma, aunque está prácticamente descartado que debute mañana en Sevilla. Para empezar no habrá entrenado una sola vez con el grupo y aparte su tránsfer está pendiente de envío. Hasta que River y FC Barcelona no sellen y oficialicen hoy su fichaje por lo que resta de temporada y cuatro más no se cursará dicho documento ni tampoco Maxi será blaugrana a todos los efectos.

Por eso ayer por la tarde se ejercitó a puerta cerrada; pidió poder entrenar con tal de no perder comba y recibió autorización para hacerlo en las instalaciones azulgrana, aunque su comparecencia debe catalogarse de 'oficiosa'.

Con todo, el acuerdo por su traspaso “está aprobado por River y Barça, y únicamente falta rubricarlo”, como subrayó el representante del jugador, Darío Bombini, agregando que “si River hubiera tenido alguna duda, no habrían autorizado a Maxi a desplazarse”.

La 'cumbre' prevista para esta mañana entre Joan Laporta y dos emisarios de River, el vicepresidente primero Julio A. Macchi, y el asesor jurídico Eduardo Galeano, servirá para cerrar las negociaciones, por ahora intercontinentales, por mediación de intermediarios y vía fax. Txiki Begiristain, que el martes había señalado que “solamente falta pulir el tema de los pagos inmediatos y de la financiación”, matizó ayer en RAC 1 que “sólo queda la firma”, coincidiendo así con Bombini, quien insistió en que “no hay problemas de pago ni de avales”.

A la espera de que hoy culmine su sueño y pueda fotografiarse con una camiseta azulgrana con –según todos los indicios– el '11' a la espalda Maxi ayer tuvo una primera toma de contacto con Frank Rijkaard. El técnico decidirá hoy mismo si el fornido delantero se sumará a la expedición a Sevilla de inmediato, si lo hace mañana o si se queda en Barcelona realizando un programa de entrenamientos especial



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Laporta: "Maxi es un jugador maduro y con proyección"


Txiki Begiristain, secretario técnico del club, aseguró que "tiene un futuro espectacular y esperamos que se adapte rápido".Joan Laporta, presidente azulgrana, aseguró que "con Maxi, el Barça ha fichado a un futbolista maduro y con proyección". Por la contratación del Tanque, como adelantó la semana pasada MDol, el Barcelona pagará a River Plate 5.7 millones de euros, más el 15% de esa cantidad para el jugador y el 2% para la AFA. Algo más de 6 millones de euros en total.

El Barça abonará estas cantidades en cuatro plazos, el primero de 2 millones, este año y la cláusula de rescisión del contrato del delantero argentino es de 40 millones de euros.

Maxi López:

En el acto multitudinario de la presentación del jugador estuvo presente también la madre del futbolista (María), debido a que Maxi, al no ser aún mayor de edad en Argentina (condición que se alcanza a los 21 años), no estar emancipado y ser huérfano de padre, necesitaba la firma de su madre en el contrato profesional con el Barcelona.

El vicepresidente primero de River, Julio Macchi, también estuvo presente en el acto, presidido por Joan Laporta y en el que llamó poderosamente la atención la ausencia de Sandro Rosell, vicepresidente del área deportiva del FC Barcelona.

Barcelona Contrata A Argentino LóPez De River Plate

El secretario técnico blaugrana, Txiki Begiristain, afirmó que "me provoca alegría presentar a un nuevo refuerzo para el club tras la llegada también de Albertini". "Teníamos cuatro opciones para fichar delanteros centro y nos hemos quedado con este perfil, que cualquier plantilla grande tendría que tener en su equipo. Es alto, fuerte y tiene gol. Con nosotros tiene que crecer. Es un joven con un futuro espectacular y esperamos de él una adaptación rápida", añadió.



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RING MASTER

January 26, 2005 -- HERE'S your first look at "The Contender," NBC's new multi- million-dollar baby.

The boxing reality show, co-created and starring Sylvester Stallone, begins March 9 — pitting 16 professional boxers against each other and culminating in a live, $1 million prizefight slated for May. "We put every penny back into the production," co-executive producer Mark Burnett told The Post yesterday. "This was really a labor of love."

NBC is paying slightly more than $2 million per episode for the show to producers Stallone, reality guru Burnett ("Survivor") and Dreamworks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg — making "The Contender" the most expensive first-year reality show ever made. Burnett says over $1 million was spent on casting alone. "Boxing was once the greatest sport on the planet," he says. "It was the one sport that transcended every country, but today if you were to ask [a stranger] who the heavyweight champion of the world is, no one would know."

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"The Contender" hopes to change all that, taking a narrative approach. For starters, the fighters' journey to the title bout is told through the perspective of their families — much the same way that Stallone says he wrote "Rocky" to be told through the eyes of Adrian, the wife of the famously scrappy fighter.

In the show's first episode, Stallone and boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard play hosts while the boxers are split into two teams — East Coast vs. West Coast — and move into a luxurious house to live together (their families live nearby in a slew of less-cushy houses rented by the producers). The teams go head-to-head in a relay race up a mountain near the Hollywood sign while dragging heavy logs on a 100-degree day. The winners get to pick who among them will fight someone of their choice from the losing team. The resulting brawl has a surprising twist — and is one of the best-filmed boxing scenes since Stallone made a "Rocky" movie.

"The Contender" was originally slated to debut earlier — but Katzenberg and Burnett say they wanted to take their time with the project.

Fox rushed a similar project onto the air last year, and "The Next Great Champ," hosted by Oscar De La Hoya, quickly flopped. "Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest filmmakers ever," says Katzenberg of his Dreamworks production partner, alluding to Fox's show. "If he had been asked to make 'Indiana Jones' in seven days, it would have come out terribly."

With that in mind, "The Contender" production team has spent the last few weeks watching Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated film, "Million Dollar Baby," top the box office. They've also watched as Ken Burns' documentary about turn-of-the-century boxing champ Jack Johnson, "Unforgivable Blackness," has drawn raves. Now they hope the time might be right for "The Contender" to land its own body blow.



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BUZZER BEATERS

Sporting News this week features Super Bowl QBs Donovan McNabb and Tom Brady, with the header “Super Bowl Preview: Who Will Win and Why.”

Sports Illustrated this week features Eagles LB Jeremiah Trotter, with the header “Party On.”

Sporting News
Sports Illustrated

Vikings Owner Red McCombs today released the following statement: “None of the media reports concerning the potential sale of the Vikings are correct. I am continuing to work with our staff on preparing the Vikings for the 2005 season” (Vikings).

While the USTA was reported to have made nearly $12M in ’04, the estimated total has jumped to $26M with the addition of investment income. The USTA made $27M in ’03, including investment income (TENNISWEEK.com, 1/26).

TAG Heuer today unveiled its Professional Golf Watch, co-designed by company endorser Tiger Woods. The Tiger Woods logo appears on the dial. A limited supply of 4,000 will be available in April. A portion of the sales will be contributed to the Tiger Woods Foundation (TAG Heuer).

CONCACAF today announced that the Orange Bowl, Qwest Field, Gillette Stadium, Home Depot Center, L.A. Memorial Coliseum and Reliant Stadium will host matches in the July 6-24 Gold Cup.  The semifinals and finals will be played at Giants Stadium (CONCACAF).

Cottman Transmission today unveiled its latest ad campaign, via Holton Teitelman & Gury, Philadelphia, featuring “Fox NFL Sunday” analyst and FitzBradshaw Racing co-Owner Terry Bradshaw. Two TV spots were filmed by NFL Films. In December, Cottman inked a sponsorship deal for FitzBradshaw’s Busch Series team (THE DAILY).

Peter Jacobsen Productions has “had preliminary talks with a potential title sponsor and the LPGA and PGA Tours about a new event in Sarasota” (FLORIDA TODAY, 1/26).

General Mills has shifted its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award to its Chex brand. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won the last two awards (General Mills).



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MR. POTATO HEAD SPORTS SPUDS MAKING THEIR DEBUT IN DETROIT

Promotional Partners Worldwide’s (PPW) Mr. Potato Head Sports Spuds will be distributed to the first 5,000 fans in attendance for tonight’s Nuggets-Pistons game at The Palace of Auburn Hills. As the presenting sponsor of the team and giveaway, Rock Financial’s logo will appear on the plastic spud. The giveaway is the first in a series of Mr. Potato Head giveaways by PPW. Other teams that will be utilizing the giveaway include the Phillies and four ECHL teams (THE DAILY).



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NBA gambles on poker deal

Shaquille O'Neal

All Pro Deal To Produce
NBA-Branded Poker Accessories

All Pro Deal will produce NBA-licensed playing cards, featuring caricatures of NBA players, and a poker chip set with the NBA logo, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. The cards and chips will sell for $10 and $129, respectively. While sales of chips alone last year grossed over $500M, Rovell wrote it is “not clear whether the NBA will be able to make a dent in the marketplace.” Meanwhile, Edward Looney, Exec Dir of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said, “The sports leagues used to be the people that would fight like crazy to keep gambling as far away from their sport as they could. We don’t see many of them anymore. And if they want to do things like this, they can no longer say that they don’t want people to gamble on their action.” But NBA Dir of PR Matt Bourne said, “We’re responding to the market trends and how people are spending their leisure time” (ESPN.com, 1/24).

ANTE UP: In this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton notes the NBA-licensed poker products were displayed at last week’s Super Show in Orlando. Also, the World Poker Tour had a booth, and show officials “were impressed enough that they are planning a dedicated poker section” for ’06

Shaquille O'NealYao Ming

 



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Ronaldo grava mensagem de apelo a sequestradores no Iraque

Ronaldo y Peter Luccin, en un lance del derbi madrileño

O atacante Ronaldo gravou na quarta-feira uma mensagem de apelo aos sequestradores do brasileiro João José de Vasconcellos Jr., retido no Iraque na semana passada no Iraque por um grupo militante.

"O que eu peço é que haja pelo menos um contato e que possa iniciar essa negociação para que libertem o brasileiro, o João Vasconcellos", disse o jogador do Real Madrid em mensagem divulgada pelo Jornal Nacional, da Rede Globo."Espero que essa mensagem chegue ao coração dessas pessoas que o sequestraram e que tenham um pouquinho de piedade, que liberem o nosso brasileiro, que ele possa voltar e curtir seus familiares e amigos."

O irmão da vítima, Luiz Henrique de Vasconcellos, afirmou que a mensagem será divulgada a partir de quinta-feira nas redes de televisão árabes."Meu irmão sempre falou que toda vez que vinha ao Brasil tinha que levar uma coleção de camisas do Ronaldinho...Esperamos que este sensível apoio ajude a demonstrar mais uma vez os laços de amizade entre os povos brasileiro e iraquiano", declarou ele no Rio de Janeiro.

Segundo Vasconcellos, a família chegou a Ronaldo através de amigos em comum, além de contar com a contribuição do presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva."Gostaríamos de agradecer ao presidente Lula, que além do acompanhamento pontual do caso, não tem hesitado em contribuir pessoalmente para a solução".A assessoria de imprensa da Presidência da República negou que Lula tenha pedido a qualquer esportista para gravar um apelo.

Ronaldinho desvincula su continuidad de la de Rosell

O irmão mais novo do engenheiro disse que a família Vasconcellos está tentando convencer Ronaldinho Gaúcho e Pelé para que façam também um apelo."Como os sequestradores são jovens, eles conhecem os jogadores brasileiros e isso pode ajudar", disse.

De acordo com Vasconcellos, Ronaldinho ainda não deu resposta e Pelé estaria inclinado a deixar o assunto com a chancelaria brasileira.



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Chegada da Odepa acaba com problemas em preparação do Pan 2007

 A comissão de inspeção da Organização Desportiva Pan-Americana (Odepa), visita as instalações do Estadio Mário Filho, o Maracanã, na zona norte do Rio de Janeiro, que será o local das finais do futebol, da chegada da maratona e das Cerimônias de Abertura e Encerramento dos Jogos Pan-Americanos de 2007.

A chegada dos inspetores da Organização Desportiva Pan-Americana (Odepa) ao Rio de Janeiro, para vistoriar o andamento das obras para os Jogos Pan-Americanos de 2007, teve efeito quase milagroso, fazendo com que todos os problemas que cercavam os preparativos simplesmente desaparecessem.

Após muitas discussões sobre liberação de recursos e depois de o prefeito do Rio, Cesar Maia, afirmar que a cidade não tinha o dinheiro necessário para concluir as obras, nesta semana todas as partes se mostraram unidas e afirmaram não ter com o que se preocupar.

A primeira garantia de que está tudo em ordem veio do ministro dos Esportes, Agnelo Queiroz. "Eles (Odepa) estão impressionados. Está tudo dentro do cronograma para realizar seguramente uma excelente edição dos Jogos Pan-Americanos. Um marco histórico para o esporte brasileiro", disse o ministro."Se no futuro algum parceiro tiver alguma dificuldade, o problema será avaliado e buscaremos uma solução. Os Jogos Pan-Americanos são um compromisso internacional assumido pelo presidente Lula", garantiu o ministro.

A Comissão de Coordenação da Odepa elogiou os locais visitados no primeiro dia de inspeção. Os dirigentes estiveram no Riocentro (local de disputa de oito modalidades, Centros de Imprensa e de Televisão), na Vila Pan-Americana, no Estádio João Havelange e passaram ainda pelo Morro do Outeiro, local onde será realizada a prova de mountain bike.

"Até agora está tudo indo muito bem, no caminho certo para realizar uns grandes Jogos Pan-Americanos. Pudemos observar a organização e a união do Governo Federal com as outras autoridades. O cronograma está sendo seguido, dentro do previsto", disse o presidente da Comissão, Julio Maglione.

A visita da Comissão da Odepa prossegue nesta quarta-feira na Vila Militar de Deodoro, Estádio de Remo da Lagoa, Marina da Glória e Complexo Esportivo do Maracanã.Quem também expôs uma situação de normalidade financeira foi a Caixa Econômica Federal, responsável pela liberação dos fundos para a construção da Vila.

José Domingos Vargas, superintendente institucional do banco, afirmou: "Não há nenhum tipo de atraso até o momento. Não há motivos para nos preocuparmos com ela [a Vila]".Pela prefeitura, foi o presidente da Riourbe, Jorge Fortes, quem disse estar tudo em ordem. "As obras estão rigorosamente dentro dos prazos, com isso a Prefeitura está honrando com todos os compromissos assumidos pelo prefeito Cesar Maia".



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Tevez é a ausência na Argentina. Crespo e Riquelme de volta.

Carlos Tevez of Argentina scores the first goal during in the men's football gold medal match between Argentina and Paraguay at the Olympic Stadium in the Sports Complex in Athens on 28/08/2004 © GETTY IMAGES/Michael Steele

Buenos Aires (Argentina) - O técnico José Pekerman surpreendeu na convocação da seleção Argentina para o amistoso contra a Alemanha, no próximo dia 9 de fevereiro, em Dusseldorf. Para a surpresa dos hermanos, Carlitos Tevez, novo ídolo da Fiel, foi ignorado pelo técnico, que não quer prejudicar a recuperação do atacante (com uma infecção na perna).

Villarreal continúa en ascenso

Outra surpresa, agradável para os argentinos, são as voltas de Crespo e Riquelme. O atacante voltou a ser chamado depois de recuperar a forma no Milan, enquanto o meia, revelação do Boca Juniors, foi lembrado por estar realizando um grande Campeonato Espanhol a serviço do Villarreal. Além deles, quem também voltou a ser chamado por Pekerman foi o meia Pablo Aimar, recuperado de uma contusão que o afastou dos últimos 14 jogos da Argentina. A curiosidade da lista foi a convocação de apenas um goleiro: Leonardo Franco, que atua no Atletico de Madrid, da Espanha.

Milan, Crespo non pensa al Chelsea:

Confira a lista dos 20 jogadores, todos atuando na Europa

Goleiro: Leonardo Franco (Atletico de Madrid/ESP).

Zagueiros: Gabriel Milito (Real Zaragoza/ESP), Gonzalo Rodriguez (Villarreal/ESP), Diego Placente (Bayer Leverkusen/ALE), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter de Milão/ITA), Fabricio Coloccini (AC Milan/ITA), Leandro Cufre (AS Roma/ITA), Gabriel Heinze (Manchester United/ING).

Meias: Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal/ESP), Lucas Bernardi (Monaco/FRA), Pablo Aimar (Valencia/ESP), Aldo Duscher (Deportivo La Coruña/ESP), Lionel Scaloni (Deportivo La Coruña/ESP), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Espanyol/ESP), Leonardo Ponzio (Real Zaragoza/ESP), Javier Zanetti (Inter de Milão/ITA) e Esteban Cambiasso (Inter de Milão/ITA).

Atacantes: Luciano Galletti (Real Zaragoza/ESP), Javier Saviola (Monaco/FRA) e Hernan Crespo (AC Milan/ITA).



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Maxi López aterriza en Barcelona

El delantero argentino Maxi López ya se encuentra en la Ciudad Condal, a la espera de que el Barcelona y River Plate firmen el acuerdo que le convierta en nuevo jugador azulgrana.

Maxi aterrizó con retraso en el aeropuerto de El Prat, donde fue recibido por un buen número de informadores y por responsables del club barcelonista. El joven ariete argentino comentó que está "entusiasmado" y que espera que su fichaje "se formalice con la mayor brevedad posible". "Estoy muy feliz por formar parte de este proyecto tan lindo", añadió.

Maxi, de 20 años, ha llegado a un acuerdo con el Barça para lo que resta de temporada y cuatro campañas más y está pendiente de que el River Plate y el Barcelona, que han acordado su traspaso por unos seis millones de euros, pacten también las condiciones de pago.

El todavía jugador de River Plate aseguró también que llega al Barça "con humildad, espíritu y mucho sacrificio". Su llegada a Barcelona se produjo con una hora y media de retraso en un vuelo procedente de Madrid, donde había hecho escala desde Buenos Aires.Maxi López pasará este jueves el reconocimiento médico (a primera hora en el Hospital de Barcelona y a las 12:30 en el Centro de Medicina Deportiva FC Barcelona) y el viernes, si se supera las pruebas y se cierra el fichaje, sería presentado como nuevo jugador del Barça.



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Ministério Público de Berlim investiga juiz suspeito de manipulação

Nesta quarta-feira, a Federação Alemã de  Futebol entrou com queixa-crime na Promotoria de  Berlim contra Robert Hoyzer, suspeito de manipulação de resultados de partidas de futebol e de ter apostado altas somas de dinheiro nos jogos por ele apitados.  Espera-se que as investigações levem a outras pessoas envolvidas no escândalo que também teriam feito vultuosas apostas nas partidas arbitradas por Hoyzer. 

http://www.bundesliga.com.br/



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Four months for Lewis - Ravens RB receives sentence for setting up drug deal

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ATLANTA (AP) -- Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis was sentenced to four months in jail Wednesday for using a cell phone to try to set up a drug deal about 41/2 years ago.

The sentence issued in federal court was what Lewis expected under an agreement reached with prosecutors in October.Lewis, who tried to set up the deal a few months after he was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft, also will spend two months in a halfway house and perform 500 hours of community service following his prison term.

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Prosecutors agreed to drop more serious drug conspiracy and attempted cocaine possession charges."I'm truly sorry for what I did," Lewis said to U.S. District Judge Orinda Evans.

Explaining the short sentence, the judge said the government didn't have a strong case and noted the only witness against Lewis was an informant with a lengthy criminal record.

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Evans said she was also giving Lewis "credit for stepping up to the bar" and admitting his guilt.Lewis will have a few days before beginning his sentence so a cast can be removed from his right ankle, the judge said. Lewis recently had foot surgery.Lewis was suspended for two games by the NFL after his guilty plea; the Ravens finished the season 9-7 and missed the playoffs.Lewis, a former star at Tennessee, could have faced at least 10 years in prison if convicted of the conspiracy charge, but likely would have received a shorter sentence under federal guidelines. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to a shoplifting charge in suburban Atlanta, but officials agreed to wipe his record clean if he complied with his probation.

In the drug case, Lewis was accused of helping broker a cocaine deal for childhood friend Angelo Jackson during conversations with a government informant in Atlanta.On June 23, 2000 -- Lewis had been drafted by the Ravens on April 15 -- the FBI said an informant contacted Lewis on his cell phone to discuss selling cocaine to Lewis and Jackson. The FBI said Lewis and Jackson later met the informant at an Atlanta restaurant. Both conversations were taped.Jackson and the informant met several times more over the next several weeks, but Lewis was not part of any of those conversations, court papers say. No drugs ever exchanged hands.

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Lewis signed a six-year, $35.3 million contract with the Ravens in July of that year. Three years later, he was chosen NFL offensive player of the year after rushing for 2,066 yards, the second highest total ever for a single season. Lewis wasn't indicted on the federal drug charges until February 2004; Prosecutors say they waited to protect an ongoing investigation.

Jackson has pleaded guilty to attempting to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. He was expected to receive five years in prison at his sentencing later Wednesday.



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Philly's Mr. Unsung

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Burning Questions - Unsung heroes, coaching edge and battle of the boots

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1. Who's the unsung hero of the Eagles defense?

It's not often that a player can join the starting lineup halfway through the season and still make the Pro Bowl, but that's the kind of impact that Philadelphia middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter has made in the past two-plus months. In his second go-round with the Eagles, Trotter began the year playing on special teams. He'll end it in Hawaii, making his third trip to the league's all-star game.

In the first half of 2004, the Eagles' Achilles' heel on defense was stopping the rush. In their first eight games, they allowed 130.6 yards per game, and an average carry of 4.7 yards. Philly's nadir came at Pittsburgh, when the Eagles were gouged for 252 rushing yards. Then came Trotter.

Inserted into the middle linebacker slot, with Mark Simoneau being shifted to the weakside position, Trotter cemented the Philly run defense much like he did when he made consecutive Pro Bowl trips for the Birds in 2000 and 2001. In the first six games with Trotter in the middle (Philadelphia closed the season with losses in two meaningless games), the Eagles' rush defense dwindling to 83.5 yards per game and a 3.5 average per run.

In the playoffs, Trotter's reemergence continued. He led the Eagles with 15 tackles, including a team-best two for loss. Against Minnesota in the divisional round, No. 54 picked off Daunte Culpepper once, returning the interception 35 yards. He also added seven tackles and a half a sack. In last week's NFC title game win over Atlanta, Trotter was at it again, with eight solo tackles, helping limit the league's best running game to just 99 yards on 26 carries. The Eagles did a superb job containing elusive Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, holding him to 26 yards on four scrambles.

In the Super Bowl, Trotter's challenge will be slowing down New England's Corey Dillon-led running game, which has rumbled for 336 yards on 71 carries (4.7 average) in playoff wins over Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.

2. How much is Bill Belichick's edge in Super Bowl experience over Andy Reid worth?

Historically speaking it means a lot, but Super Bowl head-coaching experience is far from an air-tight indicator of who will win this year's game. Consider the following: In the 18 previous games that have featured one head coach with previous Super Bowl experience, and one first-timer (both Belichick and Reid won Super Bowls as assistants with the Giants and Packers, respectively), the Super Bowl veteran is 11-7 against the Super Bowl rookie.

The veterans have won the last two times this particular scenario has fallen in place: Last year, when Belichick's Patriots beat Carolina's John Fox, and in the 1999 season's Super Bowl, when St. Louis and Dick Vermeil nipped Tennessee and Jeff Fisher. In between those two games, the other three Super Bowls all featured a pair of first-time head coaches -- Jon Gruden vs. Bill Callahan in 2002, Belichick vs. Mike Martz in 2001, and Brian Billick vs. Jim Fassel in 2000.

But Reid can take heart in two fairly recent examples of a first-time Super Bowl head coach getting the measure of the more experienced man: In 1997, Mike Shanahan's Broncos upset Mike Holmgren's Packers, and in 1996, Holmgren led Green Bay to a win over New England -- led by two-time Super Bowl winner, Bill Parcells. So it can happen.

Super Bowl coaching experience once provided a greater edge than it does today. In the first seven Super Bowls, a first-timer never beat a veteran, with Green Bay's Vince Lombardi bested Oakland's Jon Rauch in II, Kansas City's Hank Stram triumphing over Minnesota's Bud Grant in IV and Miami's Don Shula won in his third Super Bowl, against Washington's George Allen. It was not until Super Bowl IX, 30 years ago, that a first-timer handled a veteran. In that game, Pittsburgh's Chuck Noll won out against Grant, who with that loss dropped to 0-3 in the big game.

3. What will be Super Bowl XXXIX's deepest position?

p1_vinatieri.jpg

If you said quarterback, you're wrong. No offense to Donovan McNabb and Tom Brady, but they don't dominate at their position to the degree that kickers David Akers and Adam Vinatieri do. These guys put the foot in the foot-ball game. They're the best in the biz, from A to V.

This much we know: It's the best matchup of kickers in Super Bowl history. Both rank in the top five among the league's career field-goal percentage leaders: The Eagles' Akers is second, with a gaudy 83.2 success rate (139 of 167), and the Patriots' Vinatieri is fifth, at 82.1 (243 of 296).

In last week's NFC title game against Atlanta, Akers became the third kicker in NFL history to make at least one field goal in 10 consecutive playoff games, joining Toni Fritsch and Vinatieri. Pretty impressive, huh? Or least it was until the AFC championship game got started in Pittsburgh, where Vinatieri became just the second kicker (joining Frisch) to make a field goal in 11 straight postseason games.

Vinatieri led the NFL this year with 141 points. Akers led the NFC with 122 points. Vinatieri will be the AFC kicker at the Pro Bowl. Akers will be the NFC's representative in Hawaii. Vinatieri was 31 of 33 in the regular season, posting a career-best field goal percentage of 93.9, setting a franchise record and leading the league in that department. Akers was 27 of 32 this season (84.4), leading the NFC in field goals made.

And clutch? Both kickers have the ice water in their veins that come with working in cold-weather, outdoor environments. Vinatieri has 17 career game-winning field goals, including his two famous Super Bowl-clinching kicks for New England. His 23 career postseason field goals trail only NFL all-time scoring leader Gary Anderson, who has 32.

Akers set a league and club record this season, drilling 17 kicks of 40 yards or longer, and he has been the NFL's most reliable kicker since the start of the 2002 season, and its leading scorer since 2000 (524 points).

If Super Bowl XXXIX comes down to the foot of either Akers or Vinatieri, the Eagles and Patriots both will be relying on the best there is.



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h47
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Milan edge out Udinese

Two goals from Italian international midfield player Massimo Ambrosini helped AC Milan earn a narrow 3-2 advantage against Udinese Calcio in the first leg of their Coppa Italia quarter-final.

Di Michele double
These two teams had already met at the San Siro ten days ago when Milan emerged 3-1 winners in Serie A, and Carlo Ancelotti's side looked to be on course for another success in the 17th minute when Ambrosini rose to head in a Serginho cross. However, the visitors drew level four minutes later through David Di Michele, and the same player struck again eight minutes before half-time to turn the match in Udinese's favour.

Free-kick winner
Seven minutes past the hour, however, Milan drew level with a similar strike to their opening goal, Ambrosini again converting Serginho's cross to make the score 2-2. Milan were able to welcome back striker Filippo Inzaghi, a 70th-minute substitute for his first appearance since 20 October, and snatched victory with six minutes remaining as Serginho curled in a splendid free-kick from 20 metres.

Slender lead
AS Roma earned a narrow success in tonight's other quarter-final first leg, Daniele De Rossi's solitary strike proving sufficient for a 1-0 success at the Stadio Olimpico and inflict defeat on Dino Zoff in his first match in charge of ACF Fiorentina. Zoff replaced Sergio Buso after Roma won Sunday's Serie A game between the two sides 2-1 in Florence.

Headed winner
The only goal of tonight's encounter arrived five minutes before half-time, Gaetano D'Agostino's pinpoint free-kick picking out De Rossi, who beat Cristiano Lupatelli in the Fiorentina goal with a firm header. The visitors came close to equalising in the second-half, but Fabrizio Miccoli's drive was saved superbly by Carlo Zotti.



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Clinical Chelsea clinch final place

An 85th-minute free-kick from Damien Duff gave Chelsea FC a 2-1 victory at Manchester United FC at Old Trafford tonight and a place in the English League Cup final.

Lampard strikes
After a goalless first leg at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago, José Mourinho's Premiership leaders moved in front in the 29th minute tonight. English international midfield player Frank Lampard gave Chelsea the lead with an angled drive into the corner of the net, rounding off a fine move involving Arjen Robben and Didier Drogba.

Sublime finish
The home side stepped up the pressure in the second half and drew level seven minutes past the hour, Ryan Giggs getting in behind the Chelsea defence and producing a sublime finish to flick a long ball over goalkeeper Petr Cech from ten metres.

Long-range free-kick
However, the visitors clinched their place in the final five minutes from time as Duff's free-kick from near the touchline evaded the entire United defence and all the Chelsea attackers before ending up in the net. At Cardiff's Millennium stadium on 27 February, Chelsea will face Liverpool FC, who defeated Watford FC 2-0 on aggregate in the other semi-final.



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Navas strikes late for Sevilla

A late Jesús Navas goal helped Sevilla FC to a narrow 2-1 win against CA Osasuna in tonight's Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg.

Determined start
Both sides looked determined from the outset with the game played at a frenetic pace. A misjudged pass back resulted in the first goal of the night, Antoñito Ramiro racing on to the loose ball to shoot low and hard past Osasuna goalkeeper Ricardo Sanzol and give Sevilla the lead in the 22nd minute.

Navas winner
Osasuna drew level from the penalty spot 15 minutes later after Aitor Ocio was penalised for a foul on Savo Milosevic. John Aloisi confidently converted the kick, sending Antonio Notario the wrong way. After a handful of missed chances at both ends, teenage midfield player Navas struck the winner eleven minutes from time, converting Julio Baptista's lay-off.

Match postponed
Tonight's scheduled match between CD Numancia and Club Atlético de Madrid was postponed due to a frozen pitch, and will now be played on 2 February. On Thursday night, third division UDA Gramenet play host to Real Betis Balompié.



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Tottenham take Mido on loan

Tottenham Hotspur FC have reached an agreement with AS Roma for Egyptian striker Mido, who will join the English Premiership side on an 18-month loan deal.

Tottenham statement
"The club is delighted to announce that it has agreed terms with Roma and Mido for the highly-rated striker to join us on an 18-month loan, subject to the completion of formalities over the next couple of days," the London side announced on its website.

Limited opportunities
The 21-year-old joined the Italian side last summer, signing from Olympique de Marseille in a €6m transfer. However Mido, who has also played for AFC Ajax and RC Celta de Vigo among others, has struggled to settle in Rome, appearing in just eight Serie A games, all as a substitute, and four UEFA Champions League games, also as a replacement.

Promising talent
Tottenham are also closing in on SC Excelsior's Dutch Under-21 international striker Mounir El Hamdaoui, who recently pledged his allegiance to Morocco's national side. "The club has agreed terms for the striker to us on a three-and-a-half year contract, also subject to the completion of formalities," read a Tottenham statement.



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Prevenção faz Parreira chamar Luis Fabiano e Ricardo Oliveira para amistoso

Lesões de alguns dos principais jogadores da seleção brasileira fizeram Carlos Alberto Parreira, técnico da equipe, se antecipar e inflar com mais dois nomes o já recheado grupo de 22 jogadores convocados no dia 19 para o amistoso contra Hong Kong, dia 9 de fevereiro, que renderá à Ambev, parceira comercial da CBF (Confederação Brasileira de Futebol), a quantia de US$ 1 milhão.

Nesta quarta-feira, o treinador listou os atacantes Luis Fabiano, do Porto, de Portugal, e Ricardo Oliveira, do Bétis, da Espanha, para o jogo no país asiático.

OS CONVOCADOS*
Luis Fabiano
Porto (POR)
24 anos
Altura: 1,83m
Peso: 84kg
Jogos: 9
Gols: 3
Ricardo Oliveira
Bétis (ESP)
24 anos
Altura:1,83m
Peso:81kg
Jogos:17
Gols:11
Parreira chamou a dupla para se precaver de possíveis cortes no ataque, principalmente de Adriano, da Internazionale, que se recupera de lesão muscular. O jogador desfalcou sua equipe na última rodada do Campeonato Italiano.

Outro que chegou a preocupar, mas atuou na rodada do último final de semana, foi Ronaldinho Gaúcho. O meia-atacante foi poupado do treino do Barcelona na sexta-feira, mas entrou em campo no sábado e foi um dos destaques do time na vitória por 3 a 0 contra o Racing Santander.

Prazo
Parreira não poderia aguardar o parecer sobre a situação de Adriano devido à legislação da Fifa (Federação Internacional de Futebol Association), que determina em até 15 dias antes da partida o anúncio da convocação de atletas que atuam fora do país.

Tal regulamento, inclusive, privou a seleção de levar à China dois de seus titulares - Kaká e Dida, ambos do Milan, da Itália. E permitiu ao Lyon, da França, fazer uma ameaça - não confirmada, segundo a assessoria de imprensa da CBF - de não liberar Juninho Pernambucano.

A entidade máxima do futebol mundial ordena aos clubes europeus que liberem seus atletas apenas para amistosos disputados naquele continente. Se o local do jogo estiver fora da Europa, caso do amistoso do dia 9, a liberação se torna facultativa.

Reuters  
Ricardo Oliveira (esq) e Luis Fabiano comemoram gol do Brasil na Copa América de 2004
Dentro dessa política, o Milan e o Bayern de Munique, da Alemanha, decidiram não liberar em agosto do ano passado seus atletas para "Jogo da Paz", no qual a seleção enfrentou o Haiti em Porto Príncipe, capital do país centro-americano.

Na ocasião, a cúpula da CBF entendeu que Dida, Kaká e Cafu, todos do Milan, e Lúcio e Zé Roberto, do Bayern de Munique, poderiam ter insistido mais na liberação. Como "castigo", tais jogadores foram excluídos do jogo contra a Bolívia, em setembro de 2004, pelas eliminatórias para a Copa do Mundo.

Data especial
O amistoso contra Hong Kong será realizado numa data muito importante para os dois países e revela diferenças culturais entre os povos.

Enquanto em Hong Kong o 9 de fevereiro simboliza o primeiro dia do "ano novo", além da comemoração do aniversário de 90 anos da federação local, a AFHK (Associação de Futebol de Hong Kong), para os brasileiros a partida cairá justamente na Quarta-Feira de Cinzas, às 7h da manhã (horário de Brasília).

A partida contra Hong Kong será a primeira do Brasil em 2005. A estréia oficial acontece apenas o dia 27 de março, pelas eliminatórias para a Copa do Mundo de 2006, contra o Peru, ainda sem local definido pela CBF.

No momento, o time comandado por Parreira está na segunda colocação na luta por uma das quatro vagas diretas do continente para a Copa. O Brasil tem 20 pontos, dois a menos que a líder Argentina.

Na última rodada, a seleção brasileira perdeu sua invencibilidade na competição, ao ser derrotada por 1 a 0 pelo Equador, dia 17 de novembro, no estádio Olímpico de Atahualpa, em Quito.

Veja a lista dos convocados para o amistoso:

Goleiros
Julio Cesar (sem clube)
Gomes (PSV Eindhoven-HOL)

Zagueiros
Juan (Bayer Leverkusen-ALE)
Roque Júnior (Bayer Leverkusen-ALE)
Lúcio (Bayern de Munique-ALE)
Luisão (Benfica-POR)

Laterais
Cafu (Milan-ITA)
Belletti (Barcelona-ESP)
Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid-ESP)
Gilberto (Hertha Berlin-ALE)

Meio-campo
Renato (Sevilla-ESP)
Emerson (Juventus-ITA)
Juninho Pernambucano (Lyon-FRA)
Zé Roberto (Bayern de Munique-ALE)
Elano (Santos)
Júlio Baptista (Sevilla-ESP)
Alex (Fenerbahçe-TUR)
Diego (Porto-POR)

Atacantes
Ronaldinho Gaúcho (Barcelona-ESP)
Robinho (Santos)
Ronaldo (Real Madrid-ESP)
Adriano (Internazionale-ITA)
Luis Fabiano (Porto-POR)
Ricardo Oliveira (Bétis-ESP)


Escrito por fraja8 às 16h42
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Campeonato Paulista 2005 - Classificação
TIME PG J V E D GP GC SG
1 Santos 6 2 2 0 0 7 2 5
2 São Paulo 6 2 2 0 0 8 5 3
3 Palmeiras 6 2 2 0 0 7 4 3
4 Mogi Mirim 6 2 2 0 0 4 2 2
5 União São João 4 2 1 1 0 5 4 1
6 Guarani 4 2 1 1 0 3 2 1
7 Paulista-SP 3 2 1 0 1 4 3 1
8 Santo André 3 2 1 0 1 3 2 1
9 Ituano 3 2 1 0 1 6 6 0
10 União Barbarense 3 2 1 0 1 4 4 0
11 Marília 3 2 1 0 1 3 3 0
12 Rio Branco-SP 3 2 1 0 1 4 5 -1
13 São Caetano 3 2 1 0 1 2 4 -2
14 Portuguesa Santista 2 2 0 2 0 2 2 0
15 Atlético Sorocaba 1 2 0 1 1 3 4 -1
16 Inter de Limeira 1 2 0 1 1 5 7 -2
17 América-SP 0 2 0 0 2 4 6 -2
18 Corinthians 0 2 0 0 2 1 3 -2
Ponte Preta 0 2 0 0 2 1 3 -2
20 Portuguesa 0 2 0 0 2 2 7 -5
PG - pontos ganhos; J - jogos; V - vitórias; E - empates; D - derrotas;
GP - gols pró; GC - gols contra; SG - saldo de gols


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Sports Action and Moves !

Lleyton Hewitt gets pumped up during his Australian Open quarterfinal match.


The Suns' Jim Jackson gets position on Knicks F Trevor Ariza and grabs a rebound.


Lakers F Lamar Odom fights off a couple of Sonics defenders.


Texas G Kenny Taylor passes the ball inside.


The sand goes flying as Kurt Barnes tries to work his way out of a bunker.


Jacqui Cooper practices for the Chevrolet Freestyle International.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h38
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Not Againnnnn !



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Scarlett to SpongeBob: Better watch those hands!

What's in the latest 10 Spot?
SpongeBob's leading lady ... Moss gets yes from God, no from doctor ... Busted bikinis at Duke ... Pennington's bad arm, Brady's flu ... No NHL. Canadians drinking less. Correlation? ... and more.
Peter Worrell
Police say Peter Worrell claimed to be Swedish. Mamma Mia!
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

1. A day after Terrell Owens said that God was healing his leg, T.O.'s doctor said he would not give the Eagles wide receiver clearance to play in the Super Bowl. God declined comment since He was still stewing about the Academy's snub of The Passion of The Christ.

2. The NFL will introduce a line of league-licensed SpongeBob SquarePants Super Bowl apparel next week. Eager to dispel recent rumors, SpongeBob will make appearances in Jacksonville with his new Playboy-centerfold girlfriend, SpongeBarb NoPants.

3. Jet quarterback Chad Pennington played the final six games with a torn rotator cuff on his throwing arm. The injury might have explained a few shaky performances by Pennington down the stretch. In other Jets news, kicker Doug Brien revealed he pulled his hamstring when he was 16.

4. Florida police say that Avalanche forward Peter Worrell identified himself as his former teammate, Swedish defenseman Andreas Lilja, when Worrell was pulled over for a traffic violation last month. Worrell's ruse was uncovered when he couldn't name the members of ABBA.

5. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady revealed in this week's SI that he was laid up with a flu-related fever of 103 degrees the night before leading New England to victory in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. Always a master of preparation, Peyton Manning has begun hoarding vials of flu virus for next year's playoffs.

6. Sports figures love to take shots at the media, but few are as entertaining as two protests lodged this week. First, former Canucks GM Brian Burke took issue with an item by New York Post hockey writer Larry Brooks that quoted two sources saying Burke would become the Blackhawks director of hockey operations when (if?) the lockout ends. Burke responded that he hadn't talked with anyone about a Blackhawks job, adding that "Brooks should visit his physician and get his prescription renewed." Meanwhile, media-savvy Mavericks owner Mark Cuban used his blog to assault ESPN.com hoops writer Chad Ford, starting with the headline, "There is a new idiot on the sports scene." Does that mean the rest of us idiots need to move over one spot?

7. Dick Vitale has reached a contract extension with ESPN that will have him calling NCAA basketball games through the 2011-12 season, by which time Vitale himself is projected to be a diaper dandy.

8. It seems the Cameron Crazies can get a little wild away from the stands as well. Durham police busted a party Saturday night in the basement of a Duke fraternity house in which women in bikinis were wrestling in a tub of baby oil in an homage to Old School. Fortunately, no octogenarians passed away during the party. But several women were sent home in subfreezing temperatures wearing only their scanty swimsuits, though at least they didn't have to walk all the way back to New Jersey.

9. Only about 1.1 million of the 3.7 million tickets for soccer's 2006 World Cup will be available for purchase by the general public. The rest have been reserved for top hooligans worldwide.

10. NHL lockout update: As the lockout hits Day 133, it's not just players, owners and fans feeling the pain. A study has found that sales at beer, wine and liquor stores in Canada have dropped 4.2 percent since the lockout began. The silver lining is that fans evidently haven't taken to the bottle to drown their sorrows.

The 10 Spot



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Após 10 anos, Grand Slam tem 4 favoritos na semi

Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland

Classificado por especialistas como Grand Slam das surpresas, o Aberto da Austrália não poderia ter desfecho mais previsível em 2005. Ao contrário de temporadas anteriores, em que "zebras" emergiam mesmo em rodadas finais, classificaram-se para a semi deste ano os quatro principais favoritos ao título: o suíço Roger Federer, o norte-americano Andy Roddick, o australiano Lleyton Hewitt e o russo Marat Safin.

Andy Roddick serves to Nikolay Davydenko

Os primeiros cabeças-de-chave não avançavam à penúltima rodada de um Grand Slam desde Wimbledon em 1995. Naquela ocasião, disputaram a semifinal os norte-americanos Andre Agassi e Pete Sampras, o alemão Boris Becker e o croata Goran Ivanisevic, que ocupavam nesta ordem a lista de pré-classificados.

Becker derrotou Agassi por 2/6, 7/6 (7/1), 6/4 e 7/6 (7/1) e fez a final contra Sampras, que na rodada anterior eliminou Ivanisevic por 7/6 (9/7), 4/6, 6/3, 4/6 e 6/3. O norte-americano acabou com o título, ao vencer a decisão por 3 sets a 1, parciais de 6/7 (5/7), 6/2, 6/4 e 6/2. Aquele foi o terceiro dos sete títulos adquiridos por Sampras no All England Club.

Lleyton Hewitt celebrates breaking the serve of David Nalbandian

No torneio deste ano, passaram à semifinal quatro tenistas que estão ou estiveram no topo do ranking. Federer é o cabeça-de-chave 1 e decide vaga na final contra Safin, o quarto entre os pré-classificados. Já Roddick, que é segundo favorito, briga com Hewitt, o terceiro melhor ranqueado na chave principal.

Russia's Marat Safin disputes a line call during his match against Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty



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'Bon vivant', Xuxa pega leve pelo Pan do Rio e estuda nadar até 2012

No esporte internacional, as duas categorias de atletas mais recorrentes são os "certinhos", que vivem para suas modalidades obstinadamente atrás de resultados e, muitas vezes, viram garotos-propaganda de mão-cheia, e os chamados "bad boys", geralmente talentosos, mas que têm vocação inata para a confusão.

Arquivo  
Xuxa prioriza o Pan do Rio e acena nadar até 2012, caso se mantenha competitivo
Em número muito menor existem os atletas "bon vivant", expressão francesa que designa pessoas que sabem como viver bem. São esportistas que desfrutam das boas coisas que a competição internacional pode oferecer e conseguem resultados expressivos, mesmo sem grande devoção aos treinos.

Para esta definição, talvez não exista melhor exemplo dentro do esporte brasileiro que Fernando Scherer, o Xuxa. Grande nome da natação nacional recente, Scherer sempre carregou consigo a fama de dividir o tempo entre as águas e as baladas. E, ao contrário dos "bad boys" afeitos à noite, manteve uma imagem de "bom genro" e com precioso apelo comercial.

Aos 30 anos, idade em que a maioria é vista nas piscinas como vovôs, Xuxa não tem qualquer esboço de aposentadoria para o futuro. Ainda como principal nome nacional de sua prova, os 50 m livre, o nadador catarinense não vê qualquer motivo para deixar a natação.

"Enquanto estiver nadando bem, com competitividade e nadando de igual para igual com a molecada, vou continuar nas piscinas", afirmou Scherer, acenando com trajetória distinta do amigo Gustavo Borges, que deixou as águas com 32 anos no final do ano passado.

"Até 2008 com certeza eu vou. Para 2012, vou adotar um planejamento ano a ano. Vamos ver se dá", completou, confirmando que pensa nos Jogos de Pequim e até na Olimpíada seguinte, quando estaria com 38 anos.

Xuxa não tem nenhum plano profissional traçado para quando deixar a carreira. O nadador manifesta apenas o desejo de continuar envolvido em trabalhos sociais como os que participa hoje em dia. "Pode ser um projeto de vida", disse.

Após as férias de cinco meses à qual se deu direito logo ao término dos Jogos Olímpicos de Atenas, em agosto do último ano, Xuxa retomou os treinamentos em fevereiro já pensando no seu principal objetivo na carreira na atualidade, os Jogos Pan-Americanos.

Arquivo  
Xuxa na balada: fama fora das piscinas
Dentro de seu planejamento para os Jogos do Rio de Janeiro, em 2007, o nadador afirmou que pretende "pegar leve" neste ano."Depois dessas férias que tirei, vou voltar a treinar forte. Mas, em termos de competições, vou pegar leve este ano. Vou nadar só as etapas da Copa do Mundo (piscina curta) e o Mundial no final do ano", contou o catarinense.

"Meu principal objetivo é o Pan. Se me perguntar o que é mais importante, uma medalha olímpica ou medalha no Pan, com certeza te digo que é a deste Pan do Rio, por tudo o que representa para o esporte brasileiro", completou Xuxa, sete vezes ouro nos Jogos continentais e vencedor da prova dos 50 m rasos nas últimas três edições.

No ano de preparação para o Pan do Rio, consta na agenda uma participação em uma competição de bobsleigh (trenó de neve), em Saint Morritz, na Suíça. No evento, Xuxa participará da equipe das estrelas internacionais Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe e Alexander Popov.

"Não conheço Phelps. Quero conversar com o moleque, ver qual é a dele. É o grande nome da natação do momento. Com os outros me dou bem. Teve um tempo que eu e o Popov demos umas 'bicadas' um no outro, por causa da rivalidade. Mas hoje é tranqüilo", afirmou.

O catarinense olha para a jovem geração que desponta na natação brasileira com muita esperança. "O Thiago Pereira e a Joanna Maranhão são nomes que terão chances de medalha olímpica. A Rebeca Gusmão e a Flávia Delaroli também podem evoluir bastante", comentou Xuxa, que revela já ter atuado como conselheiro na última Olimpíada.

"Conversei muito com o Thiago em Atenas. Dei muitos conselhos para ele, mas não adianta nada. O cara que está na primeira Olimpíada nem ouve. É muito nervosismo. Foi assim comigo", afirmou o nadador, que participou dos Jogos de Atlanta (bronze nos 50 m livres), Sydney (bronze no revezamento 4x100 m livres) e Atenas.


Escrito por fraja8 às 16h19
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Clubs grateful for African ability

By Paul Saffer

Former Marseille man Abedi Pelé is a legend in Ghana

When Algerian forward Rabah Madjer scored for FC Porto 78 minutes into their 1987 European Champion Clubs' Cup final victory against FC Bayern München, he was striking a blow not just for the Portuguese side but for a continent.

New landmark
Until that day no player representing an African nation had taken to the field in Europe's leading club final, but the veteran of the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups was the first of what proved a distinguished line of footballers to make such a mark.

Rabah Madjer scored for Porto in the 1987 European Cup final

Fontaine fame
Of course, two other forwards born in Africa had already made a huge impact on the European game. Just Fontaine, a Moroccan, is most famous for scoring a record 13 goals for France in the 1958 FIFA World Cup, but he was also part of the Stade de Reims Champagne team that reached the 1959 European Cup final, losing 2-0 to Real Madrid CF.

Eusébio excellence
Three years later, a 20-year-old from Mozambique went one better. Eusébio had been brought to Europe 12 months before by SL Benfica, from under the noses of arch-rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal. In the 1962 final, with the score against Madrid level at 3-3, he struck twice in five minutes to write his name into legend - which would only grow when he became 1965 European Footballer of the Year and top scorer at the 1966 World Cup for Portugal.

Desailly success
Even in the modern era, several African-born players went on to represent European countries and clubs with huge success. Ghanaian-born Marcel Desailly, inspiration for Olympique de Marseille and AC Milan in the 1993 and 1994 UEFA Champions League finals respectively, then for France at the 1998 World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000™, is perhaps the most famous - though the only goal in Marseille's triumph was scored by Ivory Coast-born Basile Boli.

Established competitors
Recently, with African nations now established competitors on the world stage, players have also flown the flag of their native lands while starring for European sides. Abedi Pelé, the Ghanaian who was so vital to Marseille's Champions League win, is a national hero, a status only enhanced by his European exploits.

Further honours
In 1995, Nigerians Finidi George and Nwankwo Kanu were crucial to Ajax defeating Milan in the Champions League final. A player peaking at that same time, George Weah, may only have played in one continental showpiece - the 1992 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, lost by AS Monaco FC - but the Liberian will never be forgotten. In 1995, the year of his move from Paris Saint-Germain FC to Milan, he became the first and so far only African to be voted FIFA World Player of the Year, also winning the European award.

Scouting networks
While the cream of Africa's youth talent will be in action in the UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup, increasingly players from that continent are linked to Europe from an early age. Most top clubs have scouting networks in Africa, Ajax's successful project in Cape Town being a particular example with Benni McCarthy and Steven Pienaar discovered there.

Ivory trade
French clubs have also kept an eye on the continent that brought them Fontaine and Weah. Remarkably, all the Senegal players in the side that beat the holders at the 2002 World Cup were based in Ligue 1. More recently, KSK Beveren reached the 2004 Belgian Cup final and entered the following season's UEFA Cup with a team composed almost entirely of players from Ivory Coast, emerging from club director Jean-Marc Guillou's training academy in Abidjan.



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T.O. 's desire: Not what the doctor ordered

photo

The orthopedic surgeon who examined Terrell Owens' surgically repaired right ankle yesterday told the Eagles' star wide receiver that he should not play in Super Bowl XXXIX.

But according to the doctor, Owens said he would play anyway. "I'm not releasing him medically," Mark Myerson said. "He's not medically fit to play. However, he has done extremely well in his recovery and his rehab, and he feels he'll be able to play. That is going to be a team decision that they'll have to decide themselves."

Owens did not return phone calls last night. Team president Joe Banner said the Eagles had no comment about the doctor's recommendation. The Baltimore-based surgeon said he informed Owens of the risks involved in playing with two surgical screws in his ankle, but that did not discourage the wide receiver, either.

"He feels he can play and he's going to accelerate his rehab," Myerson said. "He understands the risks. They've been discussed extensively. At this point in time, he wants to take those risks and play." Asked what risks were involved, Myerson declined to comment. "Those, I'm not going to discuss right now," he said. "The risks in playing are between myself and my patient."

A team source said the Eagles and Owens will have to make a joint decision about whether he should play against the New England Patriots in the Feb. 6 Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. Myerson inserted the two screws into Owens' ankle Dec. 22 after the receiver had suffered a severe ankle sprain and leg fracture three days earlier against Dallas. Myerson said he understood why his patient would ignore his recommendation.

photophoto

"I can understand perfectly," Myerson said. "For that reason, it's a dilemma for him and for me. I have to do what's right for the patient, regardless of the circumstances that are taking place right now. He is caught up in the excitement and the heat of the moment. Everybody wants him to be able to play, but in the long run, it's not going to benefit him."

If Owens wants to play, he still has much to prove to coach Andy Reid, trainer Rick Burkholder, and team physicians Peter DeLuca and Paul Marchetto. Reid said Monday that Owens' rehabilitation had not advanced beyond the receiver's running in the pool at the Eagles' NovaCare Complex. Myerson confirmed that. "He's been running in the pool and doing rehab with the therapist," Myerson said. "He is vastly improved, but he has not healed sufficiently enough that I can give him a full release. There's no instability of the ankle, but he does not have full healing."

Owens, who attended the 76ers' game Monday night against Miami, predicted he would be on the field against the Patriots and said he has had spiritual help in his rehab. "What a lot of people don't realize is, I have been doing a lot of rehab on my own, healing on my own," Owens said. "Spiritually, God is healing me, and I am way ahead of what a lot of people expected me to be - even the doctor. He is even shocked at what he has seen the times I have gone back there to do my post-op. "Spiritually I have been healed and I believe I will be out on the field," for the Super Bowl, "regardless of what anybody else says. They can't deny the Man above."

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The doctor's recommendation definitely puts the Eagles in a tough spot. Reid was asked Monday whether he'd allow Owens to play if he wanted to play. "I have to listen to the doctor and Rick," Reid said. "Inevitably, he has to be able to physically play. Somewhere in the next few days, he's going to try to run on it and jog on it and see what he can do. We'll progress from there. He's been working in the pool and running in the pool; it's just a matter of him getting out and trying it on land without the water."

Quarterback Donovan McNabb said Monday that he felt the Eagles could win the Super Bowl with or without Owens. "I think he will be back," McNabb said. "But, if he can't be back, we have to continue this ship home."

The Eagles have put up points without Owens in their two playoff games. They scored 27 in each of their victories over the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons. During their 14 regular-season games with Owens this season, they averaged 26.4 points per game



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Machado makes way at Guimarães

Manuel Machado has stepped down as coach of Vitória SC after the 3-1 defeat by Vitória FC in the sixth round of the Portuguese Cup, although he will remain at the club for the immediate future.

'Accumulation of events'
"It is an accumulation of events that I've had to deal with as well as possible," said Machado in a post-match press conference on Wednesday. "We have reached our limit due to everything that has been going on, culminating in today's second half. I have asked to be suspended from my duties. This was my last match [with Guimarães] but I will not resign."

'No surprise'
"It was not a surprise to me," said Guimarães chairman Vítor Magahães. "After a defeat like this, we tend to act without thinking. But we still have a project and we will discuss the matter in Guimaraes."

César Peixoto steps in
Meanwhile, Magahães also revealed that FC Porto winger César Peixoto will join the club on loan for the remainder of the season, saying: "Yes, I can confirm it. We have reached an agreement with Porto, who will loan us the player until the end of the season."



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MLB - Delgado takes Marlins' $52 million offer

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MIAMI (AP) -- Those fans in the distant right-field bleachers at the Florida Marlins' ballpark may finally catch some souvenirs from the home team, courtesy of Carlos Delgado.

Florida added much-needed left-handed power to the lineup Tuesday when the free-agent slugger agreed to a $52 million, four-year contract. The deal, which includes an option year making it potentially worth $64 million over five seasons, is contingent on Delgado passing a physical Wednesday, the Marlins said.

``I feel Florida offers me a real opportunity to win a championship, which is what I'm looking for at this stage of my career,'' Delgado told a Puerto Rican newspaper, El Vocero. ``This is a very talented team, very aggresive at the plate. They have a good combination of speed and power.'' The Marlin's spacious park has long been considered especially tough on left-handed hitters. Their top lefty power hitter last season, Hee Seop Choi, hit eight home runs at home before being traded in July.

Florida figures Delgado should do better. ``We studied every one of his home runs he hit last year,'' owner Jeffrey Loria said. ``Every one would have been out at our place, with the exception of one.''

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Delgado, 32, hit 32 homers with 99 RBIs in 2004. He also drew attention for protesting the U.S.-Iraq war by refusing to stand when ``God Bless America'' was played at ballparks across the majors. He hit at least 30 homers each of the past eight seasons in Toronto. ``He's got numbers that are quite spectacular,'' Loria said. ``It's always 30 to 40-something home runs, always 100-plus RBIs, and it's a presence and a kind of person we like to have on this ballclub.''

With the agreement, the Marlins become perhaps the team to beat in the NL East. They won the World Series in 1997 and 2003, but are still seeking their first division title. They also want to win support for a new ballpark. ``We're about trying to be a very competitive ballclub, and the stadium will take care of itself in due time,'' Loria said. ``But Carlos certainly is not going to hurt that effort.''

To land the most formidable left-handed power hitter in the Marlins' 12-year history, it took their richest per-season deal. Florida outbid the New York Mets, Texas and Baltimore.

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The Mets also made a $52 million, four-year offer, of which $2 million was the buyout of a fifth-year option. Delgado's side calculated that in present-day value, New York's offer was worth $30,000 more than Florida's. ``From day one, we have told everyone that Carlos would make his choice based on where he felt he had the best chance to win a World Series,'' wrote his agent, David Sloane, in an e-mail. ``I'm proud to say that is exactly why he made the choice he made.''



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Which company's Super Bowl ads are you most looking forward to seeing?


77.97%
Anheuser-Busch

1.69%
Cadillac

11.86%
Emerald Nuts

1.69%
FedEx

6.78%
Pepsi/Frito-Lay

Total Votes: 59890



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Give It A Breast: A-B Nixes Janet Spoof’s Super Bowl Run

Anheuser-Busch Not Airing
“Wardrobe Malfunction” Spot

Anheuser-Busch, after consulting with the NFL and Fox, has “decided not to broadcast ‘Wardrobe Malfunction,’” a Bud Light ad, via DDB, that fabricates “a story of how Janet Jackson’s breast ended up exposed” during last year’s Super Bowl halftime show, according to Suzanne Vranica of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. A-B VP/Brand Management & Global Brand Creative Dir Bob Lachky: “Why take the risk? All you need is one person to be offended. Some people don’t want to be reminded of the incident.” Vranica notes A-B “already has turned its reticence into a [PR] coup by posting the spot” on Budweiser.com and previewing it for the media (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/26). In N.Y., Stuart Elliott notes A-B’s ten Super Bowl spots “are well within the bounds of mainstream marketing.” Lachky: “We want to make sure the types of situations we depict and the jokes we tell don’t cross the line of good taste. There’s a heightened sense of awareness where that line is” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/26). USA TODAY’s Michael McCarthy reports TBWA/Chiat/Day will create a game spot touting the February 21 release of Budweiser Select, A-B’s new low-carb offering. Spots via DDB Chicago feature the Clydesdales, Cedric The Entertainer and Nelly with Tim McGraw (USA TODAY, 1/26). Lachky, on the Budweiser Select ad: “We’ll have the spot say ‘coming Feb. 21’ and treat (the spot) like it is a movie teaser” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/26). A-B will also air an ad that pays tribute to the military (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/26).

Pepsi Hopes To Cash In On Sean
Combs’ “Coolness Factor”

PEPSI: In N.Y., Sanders & Petrecca report PepsiCo will air a spot for its Diet Pepsi brand featuring Sean “Puffy” Combs, Eva Longoria and Cindy Crawford. In the spot, Combs drives a Pepsi truck to an awards show, where his “coolness factor immediately makes the borrowed Pepsi truck the new must-have ride.” The ad was directed by Joe Pytka. Crawford’s appearance is a nod to her “memorable Diet Pepsi Super Bowl ads” during the ‘90s. A Pepsi spokesperson “declined to confirm the spot, saying the company has yet to make a decision on which ads it will air during the game” (N.Y. POST, 1/26).

SILVER SCREEN: In Long Beach, Tim Grobaty reported movie ads during the Super Bowl include Disney’s “The Pacifier,” Paramount’s “War of the Worlds” and “The Longest Yard,” Columbia Picture’s “Hitch” and Warner Bros.’ “Batman Begins,” “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory” and “The Dukes of Hazzard” (Long Beach PRESS-TELEGRAM, 1/24). DAILY VARIETY’s John Dempsey reports Paramount will also advertise for “Sahara.” MGM will air a 30-second spot for “Be Cool,” the sequel to “Get Shorty” (DAILY VARIETY, 1/23). ADWEEK’s Karl Greenberg reports Cadillac will use the cast of “Be Cool” to help “promote its sponsorship of Super Bowl XXXIX and support sales” of the Cadillac V-Series. The effort centers on a national five-second short-film competition and the chance to attend a private screening of “Be Cool” with director F. Gary Gray. Cadillac will also launch CadillacUnder5.com on Super Bowl Sunday to support the competition (ADWEEK, 1/24 issue).

CAR MAKERS: In Detroit, Nick Bunkley reported there are “at least six different car commercials running during the game.” Lincoln will tout its new Mark LT truck. Ford and Cadillac will each run 60-second spots. Honda will air two 30-second ads, and Volvo will also air a spot. Univ. of Detroit Mercy marketing professor Michael Bernacchi said there “has never been a Super Bowl with three automakers running at least 60 seconds of ads” each (DETROIT NEWS, 1/24).

COUNTERTOPS: Houston-based countertop manufacturer Cosentino will air a 30-second spot featuring Mike Ditka, William Perry, Jim McMahon and Dennis Rodman. USA TODAY’s Michael McCarthy reports Cosentino spent $1M to produce the spot, which features the stars arguing about “which countertop color best expresses their personalities.” The commercial, via Houston-based Freed, will air during the first half (USA TODAY, 1/26).

2 Legit To Quit: Frito-Lay and Nationwide
Insurance Utilizing Hammer

HAMMERING IT HOME: BRANDWEEK’s Becky Ebenkamp reports Frito-Lay and Nationwide Insurance are both planning spots starring '90s rap star Hammer. Frito-Lay’s commercial, via Spike DDB, N.Y., will air nationally. Nationwide’s, via TM, Dallas, will only run in spot markets (BRANDWEEK, 1/24).

GET THE NET: The GoDaddy.com ad, via Ad Store, N.Y., is “about a buxom young woman testifying before a Congressional committee when her wardrobe malfunctions — significantly less calamitously than” Janet Jackson’s (N.Y. TIMES, 1/26). CareerBuilder.com will air two 30-second spots, via Cramer-Krasselt, during the second and third quarters that parody “dissatisfying work experiences.” The company is supporting with a Web element (CareerBuilder.com).

MOUSE TRAP: In Orlando, Susan Strother Clarke reports Disney, which has aired its “I’m going to Disney” Super Bowl post-game spot – which usually features the game MVP — every year since ’87, will not do so this year. Clarke wonders if the move “had anything to do with” last year’s wardrobe incident, or whether Fox “was demanding too high a price.” Disney spokesperson Craig Dezern said that the company is “focusing on the two big ad campaigns it already has under way,” including “Happiest Celebration on Earth” and “Magic Your Way.” Dezern added, “We’re not saying we won’t do this again” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/26).

BEAN COUNTERS: In Boston, Greg Gatlin reports Nissan, Heineken and Microsoft have purchased ad time locally in the Boston market. Many advertisers expecting the Patriots to make the Super Bowl allowed WFXT-Fox “to ask for — and get — big bucks for local spots, even before” the Patriots advanced to the game. Station execs will not reveal exact prices, but indicated they are more than in ’02, when ad insiders estimated a price range of $130,000-250,000 for 30-second spots. WBZ-CBS charged $150,000-250,000 per spot last year. The Patriots played in and won both of those Super Bowls (BOSTON HERALD, 1/25).



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Brady Crunch: Pats QB Files $2M Suit Against General Motors

Brady Suing Over Cadillac Ad That
Ran After Contract Expired

Patriots QB Tom Brady on Monday sued GM for $2M in L.A. Superior Court for “allegedly using his likeness in an ad” after his contract with the company expired on January 1, 2004, according to the AP. Brady, who is also seeking punitive damages, claims he twice denied a request by GM “to use a print ad featuring his name and photograph in connection” with last year’s Super Bowl. But GM “placed the ad in The Boston Globe anyway,” and Brady claims that the ad also ran in Texas “and elsewhere in Massachusetts” (AP, 1/26). A call to Brady’s agent, Steve Dubin, was not returned, and GM declined to comment (BOSTON HERALD, 1/26).

ONE AWKWARD MOMENT? GM’s Cadillac is a Super Bowl sponsor and is slated to give a new car to the MVP the Monday after the game. Brady is a two-time winner of the award, and last year was upset with Cadillac for late delivery of his vehicle. Brady is currently a 2-1 favorite to win his third Super Bowl MVP award (THE DAILY).



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Bountiful Harvest: Nebraska Nears New Deal With adidas

adidas Dir of Sports Marketing Martyn Brewer (l)
and Univ. of Nebraska AD Steve Pederson

The Univ. of Nebraska has reached an eight-year shoe and equipment agreement with adidas worth close to $23M in cash and products, ranking it “as one of the larger rights deals in NCAA Division I-A athletics,” according to Rich Kaipust of the Omaha WORLD-HERALD. adidas America Dir of College Properties Tim Haney called the deal “one of the top five” in the country. The contract would be the first all-inclusive deal for the school’s 23 athletic programs. The agreement through 2013 includes $600,000 more in cash and $500,000 more in products for the school than under its current adidas deal, which expires June 30. The contract is subject to approval by the Board of Regents



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Kicking In: Nike, Others Buy Into Fox Soccer Channel

Nike has “already significantly increased its ad commitment” to Fox Soccer Channel since its announced rebranding from Fox Sports World, according to T.L. Stanley of AD AGE. Fox Soccer Channel launches February 7. Nike has sponsored Fox Sports World, and Wieden & Kennedy Dir of Broadcast Buying Tom Winner said that Nike “wants to support soccer and thinks a devoted channel will help build long-term interest with both boys and girls.” Winner: “There’s only been occasional soccer coverage on TV up to this point. This may help sustain interest as kids grow up.” Stanley reports that other advertisers already signing on with Fox Soccer Channel include adidas, British Airways and Goen Technologies, the parent company of TrimSpa. Carat Dir of National Broadcast Andy Donchin said, “I see this channel as a great opportunity. It’s not going to be ESPN overnight, but it has real potential.” Donchin predicts that many categories will “see the network as a must-buy, including those wanting to reach youngsters and the burgeoning Latino market”



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On The Spot: Visa Films Ad With Defending Nextel Cup Champ

Busch Acting Very Neighborly
In New Visa Spot

NASCAR sponsor Visa yesterday in Concord, North Carolina, filmed an ad featuring NASCAR drivers Kurt Busch and Rusty Wallace, according to the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER’s Binyamin Appelbaum. While Visa’s advertising “usually aims to convince people that credit cards carrying the company’s brand are easy to use, secure and widely accepted,” its new campaign “boils the pitch to simple affinity.” Visa exec Tony Wells: “We want people to say, ‘I should use this card and keep using it because they do things I’m passionate about.’ It gives them a reason to keep it top of the wallet.” Appelbaum writes that the new spot features “several fans who have won a race weekend in a luxurious infield motor home by using a Visa card.” Busch, the defending Nextel Cup champion, “plays their bemused neighbor.” The ad will debut on Fox’ NASCAR coverage next month. Busch and Wallace later this season “will take turns meeting and greeting sweepstakes winners and taking them for a lap around that week’s racetrack” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/26).

BUY IN: Best Buy will serve as associate sponsor on the Gene Haas-owned No. 0 Chevrolet, which begins its third full season of Nextel Cup competition this year with driver Mike Bliss and primary sponsorship from NetZero (Mult., 1/26).



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Got Your Chips Cashed In? NBA-Licensed Poker Sets On Tap

All Pro Deal To Produce
NBA-Branded Poker Accessories

All Pro Deal will produce NBA-licensed playing cards, featuring caricatures of NBA players, and a poker chip set with the NBA logo, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. The cards and chips will sell for $10 and $129, respectively. While sales of chips alone last year grossed over $500M, Rovell wrote it is “not clear whether the NBA will be able to make a dent in the marketplace.” Meanwhile, Edward Looney, Exec Dir of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said, “The sports leagues used to be the people that would fight like crazy to keep gambling as far away from their sport as they could. We don’t see many of them anymore. And if they want to do things like this, they can no longer say that they don’t want people to gamble on their action.” But NBA Dir of PR Matt Bourne said, “We’re responding to the market trends and how people are spending their leisure time” (ESPN.com, 1/24).

ANTE UP: In this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton notes the NBA-licensed poker products were displayed at last week’s Super Show in Orlando. Also, the World Poker Tour had a booth, and show officials “were impressed enough that they are planning a dedicated poker section” for ’06



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Fishing For A Complement: BASS Inks Cialis To Sponsorship

BASS has inked a one-year sponsorship deal with Lilly Icos’ ED drug Cialis, which receives an interactive presence at the majority of BASS events, including the Citgo Bassmaster Tournament Trail, Bassmaster Elite 50 Series and the Citgo Bassmaster Classic. Elements include signage and an interactive exhibition tent. Cialis will also have a presence on BASS’ TV, print and Internet platforms. Under the agreement, Cialis becomes presenting sponsor of ESPN2’s “Bassmaster University,” which airs Saturday morning as part of the network’s “Bass Saturday” (Cialis).



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Out-Foxed: BCS’ Deal With Fox In ’07 Will Spread Out Games

The BCS’ new TV deal with Fox that begins in ’07 will feature bowl games “spread out over the first week in January, and only the Rose Bowl” –- which signed its own deal with ABC –- will maintain its traditional New Year’s Day slot, according to Mark Blaudschun of the BOSTON GLOBE. Also, the deal includes guaranteed money from Fox that is reportedly “down from what ABC had been paying per game, in some instances as much as” $1M. An official with a BCS game said, “What this is doing is giving us less money, worse dates, with no guarantees of getting even a top 10 team. It sounds like the Rose Bowl is running this show.” Blaudschun notes ’07 marks the first year in which one of the BCS bowls will host two games –- the traditional game plus the title game. That year, the game dates are listed as January 1, 2, 3, and January 8 for the title game in the Fiesta Bowl. But the “problem is obvious for a bowl such as the Orange, which ties in a week’s worth of activities around the New Year’s holiday.” The Orange Bowl traditionally has its parade on New Year’s Eve and its game the next night. The 2010 Orange Bowl will not be the title game and “could be as late as Jan. 5, which is a Monday and clearly at a time when the holiday season is over”


Buck Shots: Fox Analyst Profiled On HBO’s “Real Sports”

Joe Buck Profiled By HBO’s
Bernard Goldberg

Fox Sports’ Joe Buck was profiled and interviewed by HBO’s Bernard Goldberg on last night’s edition of “Real Sports.” Buck said he would not report an MLB Cardinals player if he knew him to be using steroids. Buck: “I’m not in the position as the Cardinals announcer to break stories. I know things that are going on in the front office. I know guys that are about to be released. ... I can’t solve the steroid issue with my little headset on calling the play-by-play. That’s not my job. ... I’m not a journalist.” But Buck has been criticized for how he handled Vikings WR Randy Moss’ “moon” dance in a playoff game against the Packers. At the time, Buck called Moss’ gesture “disgusting.” Buck: “Regardless of anything else that Fox has on the air, anything I’ve ever said before, my job is to react to that specific act done by Randy Moss. That was the way I reacted and that’s the way I’ll react the next time something like that, that I would consider vulgar, is done.” Meanwhile, Goldberg said of Buck’s ads for Budweiser, “The Leon commercials are not only funny, I think there’s a message there and it’s a message about some of today’s greedy athletes.” Buck: “That’s why it works so well, because I think that’s the perception of a lot of professional athletes; that it’s just all about them — forget the team, how much are you going to pay me to do it, and if it’s not enough, forget you — and that’s why it works” (HBO, 1/25).



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Teams Waiting For GPWC Proposal Before Signing F1 Deals

F1A President Max Mosley (l) and
F1 Management Chair Bernie Ecclestone

Ferrari was “left isolated yesterday” as the only F1 team to have signed F1 Management Chair Bernie Ecclestone’s Concorde Agreement, as the remaining nine teams “decided not to rush into a new agreement,” according to Alan Henry of the Manchester GUARDIAN. The remaining teams “are determined to wait until next month to see what counter-proposals will be offered” by the Grand Prix World Championship, the group threatening to create a rival F1 series. Meanwhile, the nine teams asked FIA to postpone a meeting scheduled for Friday “to discuss changes to the technical regulations and cost-cutting measures” for ‘08. The letter stated, “We anticipate that we will be in a position to bring our collective proposals to the FIA by mid-season, allowing sufficient time to consult all parties and reach an appropriate conclusion by the end of the year.” But FIA President Max Mosley denied the request, and an FIA spokesperson said, “The meeting will go ahead. Our objective is to ensure that all the teams have an opportunity to express their opinions in addition to the four teams – Ferrari, BAR, Renault and Williams – who have already submitted their (individual) proposals”



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Go To The Goal: Hunter Says New CBA Could Come Soon

Hunter Feels NBA Will Start
On Time Next Season

NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter said that the labor issues between the NBA and the union “might be resolved by next month’s All-Star Game,” according to Dwain Price of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. Hunter “believes the NBA will start on time next season” even if the framework for a new CBA is not in place by All-Star Weekend. Hunter said, “The owners are interested in trying to reach an accord by the All-Star break. Whether that’s doable or not is yet to be seen, but we are having serious discussions and talks.” Price notes several NBA owners “have an interest in NHL teams, though the exact number is not clear.” Hunter: “These are the same individuals who signed off on locking out the ice hockey players. Who knows? They may be emboldened by the position that they’ve taken there and decide that what they need to do is to apply the same kind of leverage and pressure against our players”



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Marlins Ink Carlos Delgado To Richest Deal In Team History

Will Delgado Signing Impact
Marlins’ Ballpark Effort?

The Marlins have signed 1B Carlos Delgado to the richest contract in franchise history, a four-year, $52M deal with an option for a fifth year that could make the package worth $64M (Mult., 1/26). In Miami, Clark Spencer writes the move is “a stunning coup for a revenue-challenged organization” that is asking the Florida Legislature for $60M toward a new ballpark. Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria said that he has “no intentions at present of paring the roster to free payroll and room for Delgado’s contract.” Loria: “I’m committed to the concept of [MLB] in South Florida and putting together a winning team” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/26). Marlins 3B Mike Lowell said the signing of Delgado “sends a message that we’re here to win. I don’t think you lock up a guy like him and think we’re just going to tread water. Our upper management has been proactive and I think their sights are set on the stadium. I think the plan is to have a stadium with Delgado still on the team” (PALM BEACH POST, 1/26).

REAX: In Miami, Greg Cote writes the Marlins signing Delgado “isn’t as seismic as Shaq’s arrival or as flat-out noisy as the [Dolphins] getting [Randy] Moss would be. But it’s close.” Loria “looks like a man committed to winning. It is time for state government ... to show some commitment in return, and give the Marlins the hand they need to get this new baseball stadium built. The club, city of Miami and Miami-Dade County are doing their share. It is the state ... that is imperiling the whole process” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/26). In Ft. Lauderdale, Juan Rodriguez writes, “Loria possesses sufficient baseball savvy to realize what [Delgado] would do in the middle of the Marlins’ batting order. Tuesday, he exercised the financial tenacity it required to illustrate that point” (SUN-SENTINEL, 1/26).

HERE’S JOHNNY: Padres Chair John Moores, on free agent signings this offseason: “I’m appalled. I am loath to criticize some of my fellow geniuses, and not all of the clubs participated in the orgy. But some of the guys are going to rue the day they paid out so much money in long-term contracts. It isn’t the money so much as the long-term deals. I guess some of these guys got that ESPN Radio money and lost their minds. It’s amazing to me how some owners and players think the players actually get better during the offseason. Some of these guys are lucky to be playing baseball, let alone signing million-dollar contracts” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/26).

Fish get Delgado

TIMING IS EVERYTHING: Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who has spoken with Marlins execs recently, said, “I’m certainly not going to advocate the building of a stadium until we have a team.” But Triple-A PCL Las Vegas 51s President Don Logan argues that there is a “‘need to have a plan in place’ so Las Vegas is prepared when” a team comes calling. Logan said that building a Triple-A stadium “jump-starts the process.” In Las Vegas, Matt Youmans cites a source as saying that the D’Rays are “the odds-on favorite to land in Las Vegas” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/26).



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Source: Red McCombs Raises Price Tag On Vikings To $650M

Fowler’s (r) Negotiating Window With
McCombs Shorter Than Reported

Vikings Owner Red McCombs has raised his asking price for the club from $600M to $650M or more, according to a team source cited by Kahn, Jensen & Walters of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. McCombs believes increasing NFL TV revenues “make his team more valuable, new stadium or not.” The Vikings’ share of TV revenues was $84M this season, and that number “likely will rise above $100[M] in 2006, when a new TV contract takes effect” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/26).

DEALING WITH FOWLER: In Minneapolis, Kevin Seifert cites a source as saying that most of the Vikings’ football-related decisions “have been put on hold until next month,” a move “partially attributable” to McCombs’ attempt to sell the team to Reggie Fowler. The exact length of Fowler’s exclusive negotiating window with McCombs is unclear, but sources said that it “is much shorter than original reports of 60 days.” While football operations “will proceed deliberately, the team’s business side is continuing to function normally.” Vikings VP/Sales & Marketing Steve LaCroix: “We’re continuing to wrap up the 2004 season with our sponsors and evaluations leading into 2005. Season ticket invoices are going out in the next week to 10 days. It’s business as usual here” (STAR TRIBUNE, 1/26).

 

 


Redskins Again Hold The Line On General Admission Seats

Redskins Hold General Admission Tix
Prices Steady For Fourth Straight Year

The Redskins will not raise general admission ticket prices at FedEx Field for next season, marking the fourth year in a row there has been no increase. The price range remains $44-79 per game. The Redskins have been sold out since ’96, and the team’s waiting list for tickets includes over 105,000 names (Redskins). Sportscorp President Marc Ganis: “It’s unusual that they would hold the line for four straight years. Most teams raise prices annually or every other year.” During Redskins Owner Dan Snyder’s “first few years of ownership” after buying the team in ’99, average prices for non-luxury seats increased 29%, parking fees “doubled and prices for many concession items jumped substantially.” Most club seats and luxury boxes “also more than doubled in price.” In DC, Jody Foldesy notes the Redskins ranked second in the NFL this season with an average ticket price of $68.12, trailing only the Patriots

 

 

 


Out In Left Field: Nationals Taking Heat From Ticket Holders

The Nationals have received “scores of phone calls” from people dissatisfied with their seat locations since sending invoices and locations to fans who placed deposits on season tickets, according to Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST. Of the 17,830 season tickets requested, over 10,000 were for infield box seats, of which there are only 5,000 total. The remaining fans “had to be pushed back to the infield box terrace and infield box baseline sections, both of which are in the lower deck but are farther from the field.” Kevin Uhlich, special assistant to Nationals President Tony Tavares, said, “It wasn’t a mix-up or a misfire. It was purely a case of supply and demand.” Heath notes all 900 diamond box seats behind home plate “went to customers on the waiting lists,” and were the first to sell out. But sources said that up to 1,000 of the seats “closest to the field went to government, corporate and other VIPs.” Tavares: “This is [DC], and I had to take care of certain people. ... But this is as fair a process as you will find anywhere in baseball” (WASHINGTON POST, 1/26).

Infield Fly Rule: Nationals Catching Heat Over Seating Assignments

NOT GOING YARD: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Don Muret reports the DC Sports & Entertainment Commission in a design proposal for the Nationals’ new ballpark said the goal “should not be a duplication of other recently built ballfields in the country, but should take the most successful elements of these new facilities and create architecture for Washington that is distinctive and of this time.” 360 Architecture Senior Principal Bill Johnson, whose firm has been consulting with DC for the last two years on a ballpark, said, “They don’t want the next Camden Yards”



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Grounded: ATA Airlines Gives Up Suite At Conseco Fieldhouse

Bankrupt ATA Airlines Giving
Conseco Fieldhouse Suite

ATA Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy protection in October, has “given up its $196,400-a-year luxury suite at Conseco Fieldhouse,” which it has leased since the arena opened in ’99, according to Ted Evanoff of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. ATA owes the Pacers over $800,000, including unpaid suite fees, according to a report the club filed in bankruptcy court. Pacers Basketball Corp. attorney Henry Efroymson said, “ATA and the Pacers have tried to work together to make sure nothing the Pacers do would harm ATA’s long-term prospects for a successful reorganization.” Evanoff notes ATA paid an estimated $1M to sign on as one of Conseco Fieldhouse’s original seven building sponsors along with Bank One, Emmis Communications, The Indianapolis Star and News, Marsh Supermarkets, Miller Brewing and Pepsi-Cola. Conseco, which has also since gone bankrupt, inked a 20-year, $40M deal for the naming rights to the arena

 

 

 


Facility Notes

In Newark, George Jordan reports the Devils selected Morris Adjmi Architects to design the exterior of the new 18,000-seat arena in Newark, while KUD Int’l was chosen to oversee construction. The companies join HOK Sport + Venue + Event, which is designing the interior (STAR-LEDGER, 1/26)....Greg Macdonald, GM of Edmonton’s new Champ Car race, which will replace the Molson Indy Vancouver, said the event has sold 80 suites and is “only three or four away from being sold out at $40,000 a suite. That’s almost triple what Vancouver took in all year.” Macdonald noted 48,000 grandstand seats have also been sold. The race is signed up for five years, with the inaugural event taking place July 15-17 (EDMONTON SUN, 1/26)....In Houston, John Lopez reports Reliant Stadium will host the CONCACAF Gold Cup finals in July (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/26). In Seattle, Jose Miguel Romero reports Qwest Field will host first-round play. All six sites will be announced today (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/26).



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Names In The News

Real estate magnate MALIN BURNHAM has “begun exploring the possibility of bringing the 2016 Summer Olympics to San Diego and Tijuana.” Burnham formed a binational organizing committee, co-chaired by Tijuana business exec GASTON LUKEN and himself, to “determine the feasibility of submitting a bid” to host the Games. The committee consists of five members each from the U.S. and Mexico (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/26).

SING IT LOUD & PROUD: Members of all four U.S. SERVICE ACADEMIESARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE and the COAST GUARD — will perform the national anthem prior to Super Bowl XXXIX, marking the first time such a performance will occur since PRESIDENT NIXON’s inauguration in ‘73. WORLD WAR II VETERANS will also be honored during the pregame show (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/26).

Aikman Acquiring Two
Auto Dealerships

FAME & FORTUNE: Daytona Beach has “started lobbying for a plan that could lead” to Florida lawmakers contributing as much as $75M to help bring a NASCAR HOF to Volusia County. Supporters expect competing cities Charlotte, Atlanta and K.C. to “offer extensive financial packages to try to lure the hall.” Under the plan in Daytona Beach, the state would provide as much as $3M a year for 25 years, if the HOF “would generate at least that much in sales taxes” (Jim Saunders, Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 1/26).

CAR TALK: In Dallas, Steve Davis reports former Cowboys QB & Fox Sports NFL analyst TROY AIKMAN “may soon assume ownership” of ALAN LUKEHART’s LEADERSHIP FORD in Dallas and BIG COUNTRY DODGE near Abilene. The dealerships will be renamed Troy Aikman Ford and Troy Aikman Dodge, respectively. Aikman indicated that the paperwork “should be complete within the next week or so” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/26).

 

 

 

 


Former Presidents To Appeal For Tsunami Relief At Super Bowl

Presidents Bush, Clinton To Pitch
Tsunami Relief At Super Bowl

Former presidents GEORGE BUSH and BILL CLINTON will be at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville February 6, and will appear live on Fox’ pre-game show around 5:30pm ET, as part of a continuing effort to raise money for victims of the recent tsunami in Asia and Africa. The pair of ex-presidents filmed a PSA earlier this month asking for contributions. NFL Dir of Corporate Communications BRIAN MCCARTHY said the NFL has already raised $4M for tsunami relief, including a $1M contribution from the league, through efforts in and around the game. Eagles QB DONOVAN MCNABB and Colts QB PEYTON MANNING also recently filmed a spot appealing for tsunami relief funds, which has aired during NFL playoff telecasts.



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NCAA Men's Basketball Ratings: ESPN Sees Boost

As the college basketball season hovers around the halfway mark, the following chart presents average ratings for the ’04-05 regular season compared with the networks’ broadcasts through the same period last year. Listed below are average ratings for games on ABC through January 22, on ESPN and ESPN2 through January 20 and on CBS through January 16 (THE DAILY).

NET
'04-05 AVG. RATING
SHARE/HHs
NO. TELECASTS
'03-04 AVG. RATING
SHARE/HHs
NO. TELECASTS
% +/-
ABC
1.9
5 share
1
2.1
5 share
1
-9.5%
CBS
1.9
4 share
8
2.1
5 share
7
-9.5%
ESPN
1.1
989,000 HHs
41
1.0
845,000 HHs
57
10.0%
ESPN2
0.5
459,000 HHs
70
0.5
393,000 HHs
55
0.0%



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"Si se le asiste bien, se hinchará a meter goles"

Hugo Tocalli, seleccionador argentino Sub'20, analiza a Maxi LópezSi algún entrenador conoce bien a Maximiliano López, el nuevo fichaje del Barça para la delantera, ése es Hugo Tocalli, actual seleccionador argentino sub-20. Lo tuvo a sus órdenes en 2001 en el Mundial sub-17 de Trinidad y Tobago y después también lo convocó para la selección sub-20, en la que coincidió con otras muchas perlas del emergente fútbol de Argentina como Tévez, Cavenaghi o Mascherano.

Ayer, Tocalli atendió a MD desde Colombia, donde está disputando con la selección albiceleste que lidera el azulgrana Leo Messi el Campeonato Suramericano sub-20. El técnico argentino elogió a Maxi López (20 años, 1,88 m. de estatura), de quien destacó su potencia, su magnífica habilidad para desmarcarse y el gran futuro que tiene por delante. Y más si al lado tiene asistentes de lujo como Xavi, Deco, Ronaldinho y, desde el pasado lunes, Albertini.

Hugo Tocalli hizo una exhaustiva radiografía del 'tanque' que ha fichado el Barça: “Maxi es un delantero potente, de zancada larga, muy fuerte, que toca el balón con las dos piernas y que le pega muy fuerte a la bola. No es un punta de mucha habilidad. Bueno, mejor dicho no es que no sea hábil, pero ésta no es su mejor característica. Es un jugador más de potencia y fuerza que de técnica”. El técnico argentino, ayudante de José Pekerman en la selección absoluta, destaca que López “es un jugador que siempre busca el área, que hace bastantes goles y que tiene ante sí un futuro muy prometedor”.

Aunque físicamente sean jugadores diametralmente opuestos, la comparación con otro azulgrana, Saviola, es obligada. Tocalli tiene muy claro qué los diferencia: “Saviola es más un goleador nato que Maxi López. Javier es más oportunista, de esos jugadores que cazan rebotes, mientras que Maxi es más un delantero que arrastra a los marcadores, que abre huecos y que incluso puede caer a un costado y romper a los defensas más por potencia y zancada que por habilidad”.

No obstante, Hugo Tocalli le ve al nuevo delantero del Barça un potencial enorme que puede explotar junto a sus nuevos compañeros: “Maxi es un delantero que hace muy bien su trabajo. Sabe que lo que puede hacer y ejecuta de maravilla las acciones que mejor se le dan. Es un futbolista que marca muy bien los pases que tienen que darle sus compañeros. Es potente y rápido y eso hace que sus desmarques y movimientos en diagonal sean peligrosísimos. Si tiene a su lado compañeros que sepan entender sus movimientos, puede hartarse de meter goles. Y si algo tiene este Barcelona son jugadores de toque y con visión de juego como Ronaldinho, Xavi, Deco y ahora, Albertini. De cabeza también va bien –añade– gracias a que mide casi 1,90, aunque insisto, su punto fuerte es su enorme potencia”.

Maxi no es internacional absoluto pero según Tocalli “no es por falta de calidad, sino porque ahora tiene por delante a jugadores con más experiencia y tan contrastados como Saviola, Tévez, Crespo, Cavenaghi, Milito o Lucho Figueroa, y Pekerman está contando con ellos”.

Por otro lado, Andrés 'El Coco' Amelli, compañero de Maxi en ell River Plate, considera que el nuevo refuerzo azulgrana “es un hombre con grandes cualidades y un buen margen de mejoría, así que si pule sus habilidades será una pieza clave en el Barcelona” Amelli añade que “no es fácil vestir la camiseta de River y Maxi lo ha hecho con mucha dignidad” y que “fuera de la cancha se trata de una persona responsable, familiar y muy madura para su edad”.

Solari: "Maxi López es uno de los mejores jugadores de Argentina"

El Indio también mostró cierta desilusión al ver que el Madrid no le ha ofrecido aún la renovaciónSantiago Solari aseguró que "Maxi López es uno de los mejores jugadores de Argentina en estos momentos". "De todos modos lo que debemos hacer es concentrarnos en lo nuestro, aunque hay que tener en cuenta que si el Barça sigue como hasta ahora va a ser francamente difícil alcanzarlo", añadió.

El Indio Solari se explayó también sobre su futuro: "quedan cuatro meses para que acabe mi contrato y a día de hoy ha habido silencio. Eso se interpreta a veces mejor que las palabras. El club vela por sus intereses y yo por los míos", dijo, cortante.

"Hay cosas que vengo diciendo desde hace años, pero no con palabras sino con los hechos en el terreno de juego. El club sabe lo que puedo dar. A partir de ahí, no creo que por un gol puedan cambiar las cosas", reconoció al ser consultado sobre si su gol ante el Mallorca podrá convencer al presidente Florentino Pérez para que se decida a favor de su continuidad.



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A punto para jugar en Sevilla


Rijkaard cuenta con Demetrio, que pasó la revisión médica sin problemas, para el partido del sábadoDemetrio Albertini está en perfectas condiciones físicas y si Frank Rijkaard lo cree oportuno podría disputar el duelo del sábado en el Sánchez Pizjuán frente al Sevilla. Lo que ya es seguro es que el italiano entrará en la lista y se desplazará con sus nuevos compañeros a la capital hispalense.

Tras sufrir una lesión que le mantuvo de baja desde finales de noviembre a principios de enero, Albertini ya ha recuperado el ritmo de competición después de haber disputado los tres últimos partidos oficiales con el Atalanta, el último el pasado domingo contra el Lecce. “Su estado de forma es bueno, el propio de un futbolista de 33 años”, comentó el jefe de los servicios médicos, Jordi Ardévol, al término de la revisión médica que tuvo lugar por la mañana en el Hospital de Barcelona y por la tarde en las instalaciones del Camp Nou.

Al finalizar las pruebas vespertinas, Albertini pidió entrenarse un rato, ya que el lunes, entre negociaciones y el viaje, no pudo hacerlo. Con el 'fisio' Jaume Jardí, se ejercitó en el gimnasio y posteriormente saltó al terreno de juego del Estadi para correr durante diez minutos. El italiano deberá esperar unos días para pisar el césped, cubierto ayer por una lona por el frío.

Doble lesión de rodilla

Ardévol recordó, al analizar los resultados de las pruebas médicas y de esfuerzo, las dos graves lesiones que el italiano ha padecido en sus rodillas. “Hay un primer antecedente, más reciente, en la rodilla izquierda: una rotura en el menisco interno, aunque muy pequeña. La mayor parte del menisco sigue íntegra. Y antes, en el año 2000, hubo otro percance en la rodilla derecha: una rotura del ligamento lateral interno. De las dos lesiones ya está totalmente recuperado”, apuntó



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El vestuario coincide en alabar la llegada de Albertini


“Nos puede ayudar mucho en esta recta final” fue la frase más repetida por todos los jugadores azulgrana La llegada de Albertini representa un bálsamo para el vestuario barcelonista, que pedía a gritos refuerzos para afrontar esta segunda vuelta de la Liga y la fase final de la Champions. El centrocampista italiano es además un hombre que gusta a la plantilla por su experiencia, su calidad contrastada y su conocimiento de la Liga española, cualidades que le permitirán adaptarse rápido a la disciplina barcelonista.

La plantilla es unánime en sus elogios. Deco celebró que el cuerpo técnico se haya decidido por “un jugador con bagaje y que ayudará mucho al equipo. Es un refuerzo muy importante”. El brasileño recordó la importancia de haber fichado, teniendo en cuenta que la plantilla se había quedado demasiado corta: “Cuantos más seamos, mejor. Este refuerzo permitirá al míster hacer más rotaciones durante los partidos y eso se notará a medida que vaya avanzando la temporada. Ahora, vamos a necesitar al mejor Barça”.

Damià no lo ve como rival

En la misma línea se expresó el canterano Damià Abella, uno de los 'beneficiados' por la plaga de lesiones pero a quien no inquieta la llegada de nuevos efectivos: “Que lleguen fichajes es muy normal, sobre todo por la cantidad de lesionados que tenemos. Yo estoy muy tranquilo. El 'míster' conoce bien mis posibilidades y que vengan más jugadores no tiene por qué afectarme negativamente”. El joven lateral explicó que Albertini “es un jugador con garantías que ya ha demostrado mucho en el mundo del fútbol, con una calidad contrastada y cuya experiencia nos beneficiará mucho”.

Si toda la plantilla lleva tiempo clamando por la llegada de refuerzos, fue el capitán Carles Puyol quien mejor recogió este sentir general. El defensa catalán reiteró que “el equipo siempre recibe con muchas ganas a cualquier jugador que llega” y avaló las cualidades del italiano: “Es un grandísimo jugador. Tiene mucha experiencia, jugaba en su equipo como titular y conoce la Liga y esto nos puede ir muy bien. Está acostumbrado a jugar en grandes equipos. Además, el míster lo conoce mucho y esto es una ventaja”. Puyol conoce bien a Albertini, a quien ha visto en múltiples ocasiones con el Milan, por lo que se atreve a aseverar que “por sus características y su trayectoria, nos vendrá muy bien para lograr los objetivos marcados”.

Xavi elogia su competitividad

Otro de los jugadores que siempre ha admirado a Albertini es Xavi Hernández. El de Terrassa, que ayer cumplió 25 años, se mostró muy ilusionado con la llegada del primer refuerzo de invierno, un hombre que puede contribuir en gran medida a hacer grande a este Barça y a conducirlo a lograr los éxitos esperados esta temporada: “Por su calidad y experiencia, puede ser muy importante para nosotros. Tiene unas virtudes que nos irán muy bien, sobre todo ahora que optamos al título de Liga y a la final de la Champions. Es un jugador con peso, de los que suma”, explicó.

Tanto Xavi como Puyol conocen al italiano de su paso por el Atlético de Madrid. Por eso elogian algo muy importante en él: su conocido talante competitivo. Una importante virtud que recuerda a la que hizo triunfar a Edgar Davids y al Barça la pasada campaña en esta misma época.

Giuly destaca su trayectoria

El extremo Ludovic Giuly quiso dar su particular bienvenida al nuevo refuerzo. También el francés ha visto jugar en múltiples ocasiones a este centrocampista, del que destacó ante todo “su experiencia y su técnica. Tiene un fútbol que nos va a beneficiar. Todos lo conocemos y lo hemos visto jugar en el Milan. Es un jugador acostumbrado a los equipos grandes y lo vamos a recibir muy bien”. El francés coincide con sus compañeros en que Albertini se va a integrar fácilmente a la disciplina del Barça. Primero, porque es un hombre que ha pasado ya por muchos vestuarios y segundo, por el buen ambiente que se vive en el vestuario azulgrana, sin duda el mejor de los últimos años.

Precisamente calificativos como experimentado, consolidado, competitivo y capaz de dar seguridad al equipo son los que más se han ido repitiendo estos días en el vestuario barcelonista. Si la necesidad de refuerzos era acuciante, la llegada de un hombre con la trayectoria y calidad de Albertini se presume muy interesante para alcanzar los objetivos en Liga y Champions League fijados esta campaña.

Otro de los que ha querido sumarse a este conjunto de elogios ha sido el lateral brasileño Sylvinho, quien no tuvo tapujos a la hora de señalar que “su fichaje era conveniente. Es un jugador curtido que se adaptará muy bien porque nuestro vestuario es bueno. Aquí la gente está muy centrada”. Lo que sí está claro es que Demetrio Albertini llega a un equipo ilusionado, líder en la Liga española y que ya lo ha recibido con los brazos abiertos



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"Este Barça está al nivel del Milan"


Albertini dijo que está viviendo “un sueño” y que “vengo para ganar títulos”

El italiano, que lucirá el dorsal 22, firmó ayer por la noche y hoy será presentadoDemetrio Albertini ya es jugador del FC Barcelona. El centrocampista italiano, después de ser sometido a una completa revisión médica y a entrenarse en solitario durante una media hora, firmó ayer por la noche, junto con su representante Giovanni Branchini, su contrato para lo que resta de temporada. No obstante, entre las dos partes existe una buena predisposición para ampliarlo uno o dos años más si su rendimiento es el esperado.

Albertini, que como 'rossonero' lo ganó casi todo, se mostró muy ambicioso en sus primeras reflexiones en la Ciudad Condal. “Este Barça está al nivel del Milan. Yo he venido para ayudar al equipo y sobre todo para ganar títulos”, aseguró en una entrevista concedida a la página web del club azulgrana.

Con Vicens y sin la familia

Albertini, que se decidió por el dorsal 22 (ahora quedan libres el 11, el 17 y el 21), realizará esta mañana su primer entrenamiento con el grupo y después será presentado oficialmente. Sin Joan Laporta, que aterrizará en la Ciudad Condal el jueves por la tarde tras un viaje a China con el directivo Xavier Faus. El acto lo presidirá el vicepresidente primero, Albert Vicens, junto con el director deportivo, Txiki Begiristain, y el técnico, su amigo Frank Rijkaard, con los que ya comió ayer. Con Albertini únicamente estará su agente, Branchini, ya que buena parte de sus familiares, entre ellos su esposa, Uriana, y sus hijos, Federico y Constanza, llegarán el jueves. “No tengo palabras para agradecer esta segunda oportunidad que me ha concedido el Barça de poder jugar en un equipo grande, tras mi paso por el Milan. En los últimos días me dolía el estómago de los nervios que estaba pasando. La verdad es que estoy viviendo un sueño”, comentó.

Guardiola y el Camp Nou

Demetrio recordó sus enfrentamientos contra el Barça. “No perdí ningún partido y en uno, en casa, marqué dos goles”, apuntó el italiano, que destacó a Pep Guardiola, quien en 1992 le superó en la elección del trofeo Bravo para futbolistas menores de 23 años, y la grandeza y belleza del Camp Nou: “Sin duda es uno de los mejores estadios en los que he jugado”.

El internacional también rememoró su etapa en el Milan al lado de Rijkaard. “Coincidí con él cuando yo tenía 20 años. Yo construía el juego, aunque también corría. Él tenía una gran personalidad, una fuerza y una calidad inmensa. Teníamos características diferentes, pero en el Milan los mediocentros nos turnábamos: cuando uno corría, el otro defendía y después al revés”, indicó Demetrio, que desveló por qué Frank ha optado por él: “Me ha dicho que me ficha por mi experiencia, porque puedo disputar la Champions y por mi colocación”.

Albertini dio a conocer sus principales virtudes. “Se me da bien tanto la fase defensiva como la ofensiva, por lo que puedo aportar equilibrio al equipo. Otra de mis cualidades es que intento a menudo el disparo y consigo algún gol desde lejos”, dijo el ex del Atalanta, que se deshizo en elogios hacia su nuevo equipo: “Me llama la atención su posesión de balón. Todos y cada uno de sus futbolistas son muy buenos, especialmente en el uno contra uno. Aunque esa siempre fue una característica del club a lo largo de la historia”.

Y por último no escondió su satisfacción por volver a la Liga tras su paso por el Atlético. “Es más bonita y espectacular que la italiana, que es mucho más difícil tácticamente”, afirmó



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Albertini: "Quiero ser importante para el Barça"

Portada - Albertini cree que le quedan tres o cuatro años de fútbol y está

Maxi López, el otro refuerzo, aterrizará en el aeropuerto de El Prat hoy a las 17:10 hsMaxi López llegará a Barcelona a las 17:10 hs de la tarde de hoy miércoles. El rubio goleador, ex jugador de River, será presentado mañana en el Camp Nou.

Por otra parte Demetrio Albertini, quien fue presentado oficialmente este mediodía, expresó que "por venir al Barça renuncié al año de contrato que me quedaba en el Atalanta porque esto es un sueño para mí". "Respeto mucho a mis compañeros. Son primeros en la Liga. Yo vengo con ganas de ser importante. Trabajaré con pasión, alegría y profesionalidad porque soy un enamorado del fútbol", agregó.

El estratega subrayó que "he venido para ayudar y haré lo que me pida Rijkaard". Albertini puntualizó que se encuentra "perfecto y listo para jugar el sábado ante el Sevilla si el entrenador lo considera oportuno".

 



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Luxemburgo duda entre el rombo y el doble pivote

Portada - Luxemburgo ensaya un centro del campo en rombo, con Beckham, Guti, Figo y Zidane, sin Gravesen

Vanderlei Luxemburgo trabaja pensando en el próximo partido de Liga en Soria. El técnico no tiene claro aún el equipo y el esquema idóneo para este encuentro. Si bien está muy satisfecho con el resultado que dio el rombo en el centro del campo frente al Mallorca, el entrenador sabe que cada encuentro es una historia. La otra opción del brasileño es volver al doble pivote que venía utilizando desde que aterrizó en Madrid.

El Real Madrid del rombo no debería sufrir variaciones en el once. El cambio de dibujo ha supuesto también una reorganización de buena parte de los galácticos sobre el campo. De esta forma, Beckham volvió a la derecha, Figo se colocó en la media punta y Zidane en su sitio habitual, más a la izquierda pero con libertad de movimientos. Gravesen sería el único pivote, mientras que Raúl y Ronaldo son los dos delanteros. La vuelta al doble pivote, sin embargo, significaría el regreso de Beckham como mediocentro y Figo a la derecha. Guti, en uno u otro esquema, parece ser el gran sacrificado con la llegada del jugador danés.

Luxemburgo está haciendo estos días más hincapié en el aspecto físico ahora que dispone de más tiempo tras caer en la Copa del Rey. A medida que se acerque el partido, trabajará la táctica para salir de dudas y tomar una decisión en cuanto al esquema de juego.

Luxemburgo concentrará de nuevo al equipo hoy mismo para trabajar en doble sesión. La plantilla almorzará en las instalaciones de la Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas tras el primer entrenamiento para volver al trabajo por la tarde. El técnico, sin embargo, no concentrará más de un día a la semana a la plantilla, ya que cree que con una doble jornada es suficiente para no cargar en exceso a los jugadores. Esta es la segunda vez que Luxemburgo concentra a todo el grupo, pero en la primera ocasión lo hizo en dos jornadas. En la víspera del partido de Copa ante el Valladolid concentró a los que no viajaron, es decir, a la galaxia en pleno.


Walter Samuel puede jugar con máscara protectora el domingo

Walter Samuel, defensa argentino del Real Madrid que fue operado hoy con éxito de una fractura en la nariz, podría jugar el domingo contra el Numancia con una máscara protectora, aunque será el propio jugador y los servicios médicos del club los que tomen la decisión.


Luxemburgo hace el once al dictado

El técnico acata la orden de su presidente de no tocar a Raúl ni a Beckham y el madridismo se hace cruces con las suplencias de Owen, Solari y GutiLa condición de intocables de Raúl y Beckham, y el rol de suplentes de lujo que desempeñan Owen, Solari y Guti tienen soliviantado al madridismo, que se hace cruces al ver que los verdaderos galácticos se encuentran en el banquillo. Los debates sobre quién merece o no jugar están a la orden del día. Ahora más que nunca, Wanderley Luxemburgo se siente presionado a la hora de confeccionar el once inicial.

El brasileño sigue el dictado de Florentino Pérez y acata sin rechistar la orden del presidente merengue de no tocar a Raúl ni a Beckham. El capitán es uno de los intocables de Luxemburgo. Sólo fue sustituido en el 'minipartido' ante la Real Sociedad y para perder tiempo. El inglés, que juega por imperativos de marketing, también es indiscutible. Con Luxemburgo sólo ha dejado de jugar tres minutos de Liga (fue relevado en el 87' ante el Zaragoza).

Owen, Solari y Guti se ven claramente frustrados por su situación. El inglés, pese a demostrar que es uno de los rematadores más eficaces de la Liga, no ha logrado hacerse un hueco como titular, y su papel se ha limitado a 'galáctico sustituto'. Su promedio realizador esta temporada es demoledor: un gol cada 130 minutos que deja en evidencia al de Raúl (marca cada 273,5 minutos) e incluso supera al de Ronaldo (un gol cada 151,2 minutos). Otra cifra elocuente que habla de su proeza como realizador es que Owen posee el mejor porcentaje de todos los goleadores de nuestra Liga. La eficacia de Solari también mejora la de Raúl, una sombra del jugador que era hace poco más de un año. Sería una gran sorpresa ver a Raúl y Ronaldo relegados al banquillo. Owen y Solari no cejan en su empeño de reivindicar un lugar en el once titular, pero sus oportunidades de brillar en el campo se encuentran muy limitadas.

¿Guti, Beckham o Gravesen? El controvertido puesto de mediocentro también provoca un enconado debate. Helguera destacó ayer que el trabajo del internacional danés “se nota mucho”, pero agregó que “no tiene la fantasía de Guti”.

'Becks' no se acuerda de Guti

Beckham no echa tanto en falta a Guti en el once inicial. El inglés manifestó ayer al diario 'Ekstra Bladet' que “nuestro sistema funcionó muy bien contra el Mallorca. Gravesen me ayudó mucho, y con él de medio defensivo, Figo y Zidane tuvieron libertad para participar más en ataque”. Beckham también elogió la gran fortaleza de Gravesen. “Es un jugador muy fuerte, lo sé porque cuando luchábamos por el balón en los partidos de la Premier, luego me quedaban moratones y golpes”, recordó



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Solari: "El silencio del club se interpreta mejor que las palabras"

El jugador del Real Madrid Santiago Solari habló en rueda de prensa de su futuro ya que su contrato con el club blanco finaliza el próximo 30 de junio. El argentino valoró negativamente el silencio de la directiva del Real Madrid en torno a su ampliación de contrato: "Quedan cuatro meses para que acabe mi contrato y a día de hoy ha habido silencio. Eso se interpreta a veces mejor que las palabras. El club vela por sus intereses y yo por los míos".

Solari dijo además que no cree que la opinión del club pueda cambiar por un partido, después de recibir una ovación el pasado domingo en el Bernabéu tras anotar un gol: "Hay cosas que vengo diciendo desde hace años, pero no con palabras sino con los hechos en el terreno de juego. El club sabe lo que puedo dar. A partir de ahí, no creo que por un gol puedan cambiar las cosas".

Otras alternativas
El argentino, pese a todo, no desdeña ninguna opción, como la de seguir: "A algunos futbolistas se les ha renovado con dos años de antelación y en mi caso está en el aire. Eso se puede interpretar de alguna manera y hay que pensar en eso sin dramatismo. A estas alturas de partido uno debe pensar que también existen otras alternativas, pero hasta que no suena el silbato no acaba el partido".

Solari no quiso hablar de justicia sobre su renovación. "No soy quién para hablar de justicia o no. El que no se adapte a la filosofía del club no puede estar aquí y yo la respeto. He vivido buenos momentos en estos cinco años. Ganamos siete títulos y jugamos varias finales más. No puedo hablar sobre hipótesis. Quiero jugar al fútbol, he pasado cinco años fantásticos y en estos cinco meses seguro que ganamos algún campeonato más".

"El Barça no es una alternativa hasta ahora"
Una de las opciones que se han barajado en los últimos meses es la del Barcelona, algo que negó. "El Barcelona no es una alternativa hasta ahora. Lo que quiero es agarrarlos, ya que nos lleva siete puntos y hasta el 30 de junio quiero pasarlo y quedar campeones".

Tampoco quiso hablar de reconocimiento o no por parte del club por no haber renovado hasta el momento. "El reconocimiento más grande lo tuve el otro día en el partido. Es lo más grande que te puede pasar cuando me abrazaron los compañeros y el público me aplaudió".



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Morientes: "¿El Madrid? No tengo nada que reprocharme"

Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes smiles during a press conference at Anfield

El fútbol inglés
Apenas acaba de llegar a Liverpool -lleva jugados dos partidos-. ¿Cuáles son sus primeras impresiones?
Me está costando la adaptación, pero ahora estoy mucho mejor. Voy conociendo cosas, mi mujer ya busca casa y colegio para los niños... La cosa se va armando. Además, me encantan las instalaciones del club y, por supuesto, el estadio: Anfield.

¿Qué apodo le han puesto ya los hinchas?
Hay algunos que me llaman ‘Nando’; otros se han enterado de que me apodaban el ‘Moro’. Lo han oído y leído en Prensa, y me llaman así. Y sí, es verdad que ya tienen una canción dedicada a mí, pero, en realidad, estaba tan metido en el partido que ni me enteré de si la cantaron. Además, tampoco mi inglés es muy bueno...

¿Es eso, el idioma, lo que más le va a costar en su adaptación?
No, no es el idioma lo que más me preocupa. Tengo la ventaja de que Benítez habla bastante bien inglés, al menos a mi nivel. Yo le entiendo todo y eso me alivia.


¿En qué se puede traducir esa especial atmósfera que, dicen, tiene el fútbol inglés?
Es cierto que se vive una magia especial antes, durante y después del partido. Son cosas nuevas que te llaman la atención.

Watford's Jay DeMerit and Liverpool's Fernando Morientes

¿Es cierta esa mayor honestidad entre los propios jugadores?
Es muy pronto para que perciba eso. Sólo he jugado el clásico (Liverpool-United) -y ante el Southampton- y ahí no existía ese fair-play que comenta.

El Real Madrid
¿Qué recuerdo cree que ha dejado entre la afición del Real Madrid?
Espero que bueno. Pasé allí ocho años (con el intervalo del Mónaco) muy buenos. Conquisté muchos títulos y me siento orgulloso de haber participado en todos ellos. Confío en que haya dejado una buena imagen.

¿Tiene la sensación de que pudo haber hecho mucho más de lo que hizo?
Yo estoy orgulloso de haber estado siete u ocho años en el Madrid. No es nada fácil. Por ello, no tengo que reprocharme nada. Soy un privilegiado. Sigo jugando al fútbol, que es lo que más me gusta, he podido estar en el Real... No me puedo quejar absolutamente de nada.

¿Pero por qué no triunfó más años?
Mire, para la historia quedarán esos años que jugué. Los detalles de mi salida no son para valorar ahora.

Luxemburgo dijo el otro día que le “dolió” su salida del Madrid. ¿No es una paradoja?
Hablé con él antes de irme y me reiteró que contaba conmigo. Pero yo ya tenía tomada la decisión, y le agradecí sus palabras. Y, claro, prefiero eso a que me dijera que estaba deseando que me marchase.

¿Pero ese apoyo de Luxemburgo no le hizo arrepentirse de su decisión?
No, para nada. No me gusta arrepentirme.

¿Qué feeling tenía con Arrigo Sacchi?
No hablé mucho con él. En realidad, él conoce aún muy poco el club y necesita, como todos, un período de adaptación.

¿Cree que el club se va a reconducir con todos los cambios que se han hecho?
Si ellos han decidido traer a Luxemburgo y a Sacchi será porque creen que van a mejorar algo. No creo que lo hayan hecho para ir hacia atrás.

¿No cree que la afición estará algo desorientada? Gravesen por aquí, Sacchi por allá...
En un club tan grande como el Madrid suceden muchas cosas diariamente, y la gente ya está acostumbrada a todo. Al final, el público llega el domingo, se sienta en su butaca y quiere ver ganar al equipo. Da igual que sea con Gravesen, con Zidane o con quien sea.

¿Quiere decir que los nombres dan igual, que da igual Gravesen que Morientes?
A la gente lo que le gusta es llegar a final de temporada y tener algún título. Cada hincha tiene sus preferencias y eso es lo bonito del fútbol. Pero los que tienen que tomar las decisiones son los directivos.

Sinceramente, ¿conocía a Gravesen?
No. Lo he conocido un poco más cuando vine a Liverpool, porque jugaba en el equipo rival, el Everton. Y sí, me han hablado mucho de él a raíz del fichaje por el Madrid.

Watford's Neil Cox and Liverpool's Fernando Morientes

El Liverpool
Van quintos en la Liga, fueron eliminados de la Copa... ¿Es ésta una temporada de transición para su equipo?
El equipo ha sufrido muchos cambios y muchas lesiones, por lo que es un hándicap conseguir los objetivos deseados. Pero seguro que se va a llegar lejos al final.

Desde fuera, parece que en el Liverpool se deja trabajar a largo plazo. ¿Es cierta esa sensación desde dentro?
Sí, es lo que yo veía también desde fuera. Cuando firman a un entrenador, es para hacer funcionar un proyecto a largo plazo. Y con Benítez está pasando eso. Somos quintos en la tabla... ¡y este equipo es un histórico! Pero no pasa nada. Hay que trabajar y volver a estar entre los grandes. Es increíble la confianza que te pueden dar desde arriba. Así todo es más fácil.

¿Es un tópico decir que el juego inglés le va a beneficiar personalmente?
Mi único objetivo ahora es adaptarme al equipo. Ya me di cuenta ante el Manchester de que el fútbol inglés es muy agresivo, muy físico, muy aéreo, el árbitro deja jugar; entradas que en España serían faltas aquí no lo son.

¿Es verdad que al árbitro se le llama ‘sir’?
Pues no lo sé. Ya se lo diré en unos meses.

¿Es Gerrard tan símbolo del Liverpool como se dice?
Sí, ya me di cuenta de que es un símbolo. Dentro del vestuario también es un líder, muy profesional. Además, por lo poco que he hablado con él, es buen chico.

¿Qué recuerdos quedan de Owen por allí?
La gente le tiene mucho cariño porque hizo historia en Inglaterra e incluso muchos compañeros ya me han preguntado qué tal estaba en Madrid.

Y de Xabi Alonso, ¿qué me dice?
Creo que va a ser un jugador muy determinante y muy importante para nosotros.



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Gerard saves Liverpool again !



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Ibrahimovic in the swim in Turin

By Marcus Christenson

The 23-year-old made a huge impact for Sweden at EURO 2004™

Having joined Juventus FC from AFC Ajax on transfer deadline day last summer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made a mockery of the cliché that it takes time for strikers to settle in Italy. He has looked assured, accomplished and unfazed from the start, scoring five goals in his first ten Serie A games.

Leading role
The 23-year-old had to carry Juve's attack in the early months of the season as David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero both succumbed to injuries. Despite the absentees, Fabio Capello's side had raced to the top of Serie A and qualified for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League by the beginning of November.

The striker learned an enormous amount at Ajax

Flying start
The Swede still cannot quite believe how smoothly things have gone since his move from Amsterdam. "I feel very good," he said. "I get a lot of confidence from the coach and all the people around the club have helped me a lot. I think that's the main reason why it has gone so well so far."

Tactical switch
The switch from playing in the Eredivisie to performing in Serie A has seemingly been done with ease, but Ibrahimovic admits he has had to adapt, saying: "I was used to the team being under pressure to win all their games from playing with Ajax because they are the top team in the Netherlands. But it is a lot more physical here in Italy. It is also a lot more tactical.

Juventus heroes
"You have to play hard against the defenders. Italian defenders are very clever tactically and use their brain a lot. But in the end, I don't think any defenders are better than ours here at Juventus at the moment. Luckily I only have to play against them in training."

The main difference between Ajax and Juventus is that at Juventus you have a lot of world-class players who are the finished article
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Striking difference
Ibrahimovic believes Juventus have the players to be successful in Serie A and in the Champions League, saying: "The main difference between Ajax and Juventus is that at Juventus you have a lot of world-class players who are the finished article. At Ajax there are a lot of talented players, but they are perhaps still learning a bit."

Ideal preparation
Ibrahimovic had a tempestuous three years at Ajax, but believes Amsterdam was the perfect place to further his career. "I had a really good time at Ajax," he said. "I was there for three years and I learned most of my football there; it's a great place to educate yourself as a footballer. It prepared me well for Italy."

Capello role
One of the main reasons for the former Malmö FF player's unmistakable confidence is Capello, who arrived from AS Roma in the summer. "Capello is a winner," said Ibrahimovic. "He creates a team, gets the team to play the way he wants it to play and you don't need to ask questions. You know that he is doing the right thing for the team and the team responds to that. We have played fantastically so far."

Huge target
Ibrahimovic concluded: "This season we want to win all the competitions we are in - the Champions League and the Italian league. We want to go for a double and we have a good chance of doing that." But what would he do then? If he were to win the Champions League and Serie A by the time he is 23. "Then I want to win them again."



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Deco's decade of change

Before FC Porto won the UEFA Champions League last season, coach José Mourinho said: "When things look too hard, then players who take risks appear. Deco is the best one at that; he is the brave one, the one who takes his chance when nobody else wants to."

The 27-year-old reached the final of EURO 2004™ with Portugal

Big moments
Deco's story is full of symbolic moments, like scoring against Brazil in the shirt of his adopted country to give Portugal their first victory in the fixture in 37 years. Or his strike in the Champions League final against AS Monaco FC: "The goal I scored against Monaco was my best moment in that competition, because it was in the final and at 2-0 sealed the game," he said.

Career revived
But before those two nights, he had to resuscitate a career that others had given up for dead. Rejected by Brazil and SL Benfica, when Fernando Santos signed him for Porto from SC Salgueiros in 1998, the club was taking a risk on a player with question marks over his physique and discipline.

Deco won European titles with Porto

Twice reborn
The gamble paid off. "My career has not been easy," Deco said. "I have played in small teams where it is difficult to reach your potential. I have worked hard and I have had to overcome many obstacles, but now I am happy. I have won titles with Porto and played for [FC] Barcelona. The effort has been well worth it.

Key coaches
"I arrived in Portugal being very creative, very technical," he added. "Finally at Porto, Santos showed me the way and convinced me that I had to work for the team, to improve defensively." Mourinho just added the finishing touches. "Mourinho is the best manager I've had," concluded the 1.7m-tall player.

Benfica disappointment
Deco was born in a district outside São Paulo 27 years ago. Known as 'Little Maradona' as a teenager, he moved to Benfica after spells at Nacional FC and Corinthians Paulista. However, his dreams of European success soon foundered as he was moved to Benfica's feeder team, FC Alverca, and then transferred to Salgueiros.

Once I had signed for Porto, I thought for the first time that I could climb the ladder
Deco

Porto ladder
"I did not think I was good enough to succeed in Europe, but it's true too that I was young and I didn't know how far I could get if properly taught," he said. "Once I had signed for Porto, I thought for the first time that I could climb the ladder."

European pinnacle
Having since won three Portuguese titles, three Portuguese Cups, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League with Porto, he has scuttled up the ladder in no time. Having been named as the most valuable player of the Champions League in 2003/04, some have called him the complete midfield player.

Spanish switch
That was enough to earn him a move to Barcelona last summer, and while there was some initial wariness of what his role would be in Frank Rijkaard's side, the doubters have been silenced. "The building of every move passes through his feet," wrote the sports newspaper El Mundo Deportivo recently.

Barcelona dream
For Deco, playing at Camp Nou remains a dream come true. "Barcelona showed an interest in me last season, but Porto wouldn't let me go and the president asked me to stay another year," he said. "I was dying to come here. If I could choose between Barcelona and any other club, I would still come here."



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Sevilla tie survives Spanish snow

The Copa del Rey quarter-finals continue tonight as Sevilla FC take on CA Osasuna but the tie between CD Numancia and Club Atlético de Madrid has been postponed due to the harsh weather in northern Spain.

Frozen pitch
Atlético made the coach journey north to Soria yesterday but are now back in the capital after referee Arturo Daudén Ibáñez declared the pitch unsafe to play on. Los Pajaritos is presently under several centimetres of snow and the actual turf is frozen solid, which officials considered hazardous. The first-leg match has been rescheduled for 2 February with the return a fortnight later.

Missing men
No such problems in the southern city of Seville where the home side will be missing the suspended José Luis Martí and injured Jesuli and Javi Navarro for the first leg against Osasuna. Coach Joaquín Caparrós will field an attacking lineup with Julio Baptista, Ariza Makukula and Carlitos vying for forward places, and Jordi López set to start in midfield.

'Reasons to win'
Osasuna surrendered a 3-0 lead in losing to Athletic Club Bilbao last weekend and coach Javier Aguirre warned: "We won't be lacking attitude, we go into this game on the back of a bitter league defeat so we have plenty of reasons to look for a win. Sevilla have stacks of quality but so do we. We want to make history by reaching the semis - which would be magnificent for our fans."

Tomorrow's tie
Athletic beat Real Valladolid 3-2 in yesterday's only tie and the fourth and final game is tomorrow night with Segunda División B minnows UDA Gramenet hoping to pull off a surprise on their artificial pitch against Real Betis Balompié. For the modest Catalan club, merely having reached the quarter-final is a first.



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N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News
Newsday


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Galatasaray give Yakin a go

VfB Stuttgart midfielder Hakan Yakin has joined Galatasaray SK on loan until the end of the season with an option for a permanent move.

Deal agreed
The Swiss international - of Turkish descent - flew to Istanbul yesterday after the transfer was agreed. The 27-year-old quickly finalised personal terms and after passing a medical this morning officially signed for the team second in the Turkish Superleague.

Disappointing time
Yakin, who impressed in FC Basel 1893's UEFA Champions League campaign of 2002/03, transferred to Stuttgart from the Swiss side last January but failed to make an impact. The UEFA EURO 2004™ participant played only nine matches for the Bundesliga club, including just one this season.



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Inzaghi back for cup test

AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi could make his first appearance in two months tonight as the opening matches in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals are played.

'Ready to play'
Inzaghi is included in Carlo Ancelotti's squad for Milan's home game against Udinese Calcio and could feature as a substitute after receiving the green light from Marc Martens, the Belgian specialist who operated on his left ankle in November. "He is ready to play and I could give him some minutes against Udinese because he needs to return to full fitness," said Ancelotti. "We want to win the Coppa Italia as we did two years ago, so we are taking this competition seriously."

Zoff's first match
In tonight's other tie, Dino Zoff takes his bow as coach of ACF Fiorentina when they visit AS Roma. "I will use the game to get to know better which formation I should use with the players I have available," said the former Italy trainer. "It is very important for us to progress in the Coppa Italia even if we know that Roma are in good form."

Meeting again
It is the teams' second meeting in four days after Roma won 2-1 in Florence in Serie A on Sunday. The Giallorossi are out of Europe and out of contention for the Scudetto so the significance of the Coppa Italia for Luigi Del Neri's men cannot be overstated. Francesco Totti suffered a slight ankle injury last Sunday and is expected to start from the bench.

Other ties
Tomorrow brings the remaining two first-leg matches as FC Internazionale Milano, unbeaten in all competitions this season, travel to Serie A's bottom club and conquerors of Juventus FC, Atalanta BC, while Cagliari Calcio play host to UC Sampdoria.



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Rivals ready for Old Trafford meeting

Having promised Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson that he will produce "a beautiful bottle of Portuguese wine" after tonight's English League Cup semi-final second leg at Old Trafford, Chelsea FC's José Mourinho will also be hoping that his side serve up a vintage performance on the pitch.

Scoreless draw
Following the goalless first-leg draw at Stamford Bridge earlier this month, Chelsea face a tough match against a confident United side. However, the Premiership leaders' own form has been such that few would bet against them progressing to the final against Liverpool FC at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 27 February.

Pragmatic view
Mourinho, who celebrates his 42nd birthday today, was pragmatic about his side's chances as he reflected on the first leg and looked forward to the second. "I was very happy with our performance against United," he said. "They are a great team and they did well to clear two shots off the line. If we score against them at Old Trafford then we will give ourselves a good chance of going through."

Full squad
Mourinho is likely to be able to select from a full squad for the trip to Manchester, with Eidur Gudjohnsen possibly starting up front in preference to in-form Didier Drogba and Carlo Cudicini coming in for No1 goalkeeper Petr Cech. Like his opposite number, Sir Alex was keen to stress that pre-match emphasis should be placed on the players.

'Fantastically well'
"Mourinho's done fantastically well at Chelsea, but this isn't about José Mourinho or Alex Ferguson," said the United manager. "This is about 22 great players on the pitch. Both sides have got match-winners and great players. It is much more important to talk about the players." Sir Alex will be without both Ruud van Nistelrooij and Ryan Giggs, but may welcome back striker Alan Smith to the starting lineup following his recovery from an ankle injury sustained in the first leg.

Enticing prospect
With Chelsea looking for a third League Cup triumph and still in contention for four trophies this season and United under Sir Alex having the enviable record of never losing a domestic cup semi-final in 18 years, the prospects are indeed intriguing.



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Samuel Eto'o is the reigning African Player of the Year

Players from European clubs make up all five nominees for the 2004 CAF African Player of the Year award.

Attacking selection
FC Barcelona's prolific Cameroonian attacker Samuel Eto'o, last year's winner, is in the running against FC Porto's South African striker Benni McCarthy, AS Monaco FC's Togolese forward Emmanuel Adebayor, Ivorian striker Didier Drogba of Chelsea FC, and Bolton Wanderers FC's Nigerian international Jay-Jay Okocha.

Other nominees
FC Internazionale Milano's Nigerian front-man Obafemi Martins and FC Girondins de Bordeaux's Marouane Chamakh are among three nominees for the young player award, with RCD Espanyol's Cameroonian international Idriss Carlos Kameni in the running for the goalkeeper's prize.

Durban date
Meanwhile, Frenchman Roger Lemerre is on the short list for coach of the year after leading Tunisia to victory in the CAF African Cup of Nations, and George Weah, who starred for several European clubs, is one of three nominees for the 'African Legends' honour. All the winners will be announced in Durban, South Africa on 15 February.



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Leaders Lyon look to restore pride

Ligue 1 leaders Olympique Lyonnais have the perfect opportunity to bounce back from their first defeat of the season when they face Stade Rennais FC tonight, while their conquerors LOSC Lille Métropole travel to OGC Nice.

Lyon pride
"It had to happen sooner or later," said Lyon goalkeeper Grégory Coupet after the French champions surrendered their 22-game unbeaten record on Sunday. "But we're a proud side and we intend to show that against Rennes." The UEFA Champions League contenders could have gone nine points clear at the top with victory, but find their advantage over Lille reduced to three instead.

Frei threat
"We never thought the title race was over anyway," said coach Paul Le Guen whose team are used to tight finishes at the end of the season. Although Rennes boast nine-goal striker Alexander Frei in their ranks, they have the worst away record in the division and will be missing key players Ivica Mornar and Kim Källström.

Lille cautious
Claude Puel's Lille will look to maintain their momentum away to Côte d'Azur club Nice, although he and his players are playing down any title talk. "It was great to beat the top side, but we're still one of the small teams," said goalkeeper Tony Sylva. That victory also came at a cost, with midfield player Christophe Landrin sidelined after breaking a rib, and Jean Makoun picking up a suspension.

Monaco poised
Third-placed AS Monaco FC travel to struggling RC Strasbourg less cautious about their own ambitions. Fit-again captain Julien Rodriguez remembers that his team were top this time last year before letting Lyon overtake them, saying: "We found the pressure too much. Now the pressure's on Lyon and if they slip up, we'll be right there."

New management
Behind Monaco, AJ Auxerre will be aiming for their third straight win at home to SC Bastia. Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain FC will hope to register their first league goals this year against bottom-club FC Istres, and RC Lens's new management team of Francis Gillot, Eric Sikora and Didier Sénac test their wits against SM Caen.

Sochaux success
In Wednesday's other matches, AC Ajaccio are at home to Toulouse FC, FC Metz travel to FC Girondins de Bordeaux and FC Nantes Atlantique play AS Saint-Etienne. Olympique de Marseille missed out on third spot on Tuesday as they went down 2-0 at home to UEFA Cup contenders FC Sochaux-Montbéliard.



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Baiano seals return to Europe

Brazilian striker Fernando Baiano has left AD São Caetano in his homeland to spend the rest of the season on loan at Spain's Málaga CF.

Decent campaign
The 25-year-old enjoyed a decent campaign in Europe last year, scoring eleven goals in 22 appearances for VfL Wolfsburg. The German club were keen to sign Baiano but refused to meet CR Flamengo's reported €3m asking price for the player, who subsequently joined São Caetano.

EU rules
Baiano becomes Málaga's second new recruit following the arrival at La Rosaleda of Jorge López 'Tote' from Real Betis Balompié. However, the southern side have now exceeded the maximum number of permitted non-EU players, meaning Paulo Wanchope, Ivan Leko or Marcelo Romero may be deemed surplus to requirements.



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Bettarini picked up by Parma

Parma FC have signed left-back Stefano Bettarini on loan from UC Sampdoria until the end of the season.

Suspension complete
Bettarini, who will turn 33 in February, is now eligible to play after being suspended for five months in August following an investigation into claims of match-fixing involving players from several Serie A clubs.

European run
Bettarini, capped once by Italy last year, has also played for Cagliari Calcio, ACF Fiorentina, Bologna FC and AC Venezia during his Serie A career. Parma are third from bottom in Serie A with 19 points from 20 games, and will face German club VfB Stuttgart in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup next month.



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Jadson secures Shakhtar switch

FC Shakhtar Donetsk have signed Brazilian attacker Jadson Rodrigues da Silva on a five-year contract for €5m.

Two signings
The diminutive 21-year-old is highly rated in his country, scoring 15 goals in 40 appearances for Clube Atlético Paranaense in the 2004 season. Shakhtar general director Serhiy Palkin confirmed the move for Jadson and said the club had also acquired Atlético's 27-year-old defender Iván Saraiva de Souza on a six-month loan.

Medicals passed
Both players have passed medicals and will travel with their new team-mates this week for a winter training camp in Spain. Earlier this month, Shakhtar signed 23-year-old Paraguayan international defender Pedro Juan Benites. The Ukrainian side have no domestic matches until March but face FC Schalke 04 next month in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup.



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Ronaldo volta a ter dificuldades em treino "friorento" do Real Madrid

Real Madrid Intenta Mirar El Lado Positivo De Eliminación Copera

O intenso frio e o forte vento que açoitou o treino do Real Madrid nesta quarta-feira afetaram o atacante brasileiro Ronaldo, que não conseguiu acompanhar o ritmo de seus companheiros em uma sessão física exigente.

Vanderlei Luxemburgo, treinador do Real Madrid, programou para hoje uma sessão de trabalho dupla já que a equipe não disputará nenhuma partida até o fim de semana. De manhã, coordenou um intenso treino na qual o trabalho anaeróbico foi a principal atividade.Os jogadores fizeram intensas sessões de corrida contínua, em diferentes ritmos e intensidades, o que fez com que Ronaldo, como há duas semanas, não conseguisse acompanhar o ritmo de seus companheiros.

O brasileiro parecia estar sofrendo com seu desgaste nos últimos minutos de treino, quando o grupo encabeçado por Raúl González e David Beckham pisava no acelerador e dava tudo de si.

Ao treino só faltou o argentino Walter Samuel, que se recupera da operação de nariz à qual foi submetido ontem e que lhe impedirá de treinar até a próxima sexta-feira.


Após protesto da Inter, Real e Adriano desmentem contato

Ecoou rápido - e bem alto - em Madri o protesto de Giacinto Facchetti, presidente da Internazionale, da Itália, sobre o possível interesse do Real Madrid em contratar o atacante brasileiro Adriano, ídolo do time de Milão.

Tanto que, após a imprensa européia veicular nos últimos dias entrevistas do atacante e bastidores do Real sobre um interesse recíproco, o clube espanhol e o próprio atacante vieram a público refutar qualquer contato ou possibilidade de transferência num futuro próximo."Nem direta, e tampouco indiretamente, o Real Madrid tem mantido contatos com o jogador Adriano, da Inter de Milão. Tampouco o Real Madrid tem mantido contatos com intermediários ou representantes do futebolista em questão", divulgou a diretoria "galáctica" por meio do site oficial do clube.

Na Velha Bota, Adriano sentou-se ao lado de Facchetti para, em entrevista coletiva, tentar, segundo ele, "dar fim a uma polêmica que não existe" e, de quebra, tentar contornar suas entusiasmadas declarações a uma rede de televisão espanhola sobre um eventual contato com o Real."Disse que quero ganhar com a Inter e, por outro lado, exageraram com estas coisas sobre o Real Madrid. Estou bem aqui e quero continuar o máximo que puder", afirmou o atacante.

À televisão espanhola, Adriano disse com todas as letras que o interesse do Real Madrid o deixa "muito feliz" e que espera "realizar o sonho" de jogar na equipe que hoje abriga seus compatriotas Ronaldo e Roberto Carlos, ambos ex-atletas da Internazionale.

O brasileiro revelou também que já foi alvo do desejo do Barcelona, arqui-rival do Real. Adriano afirmou que chegou a conversar com Sandro Rossel, homem-forte do futebol da equipe da Catalunha, mas na época preferiu seguir na Inter."Não sei que significado dão à palavra 'sonho' na Itália. No Brasil, representa uma coisa que pode acontecer também dentro de seis ou sete anos", explicou Adriano à platéia européia.

Portada - Adriano no descarta fichar por el Madrid cuando acabe su contrato con el Inter de Milán

"Quem disser que quero sair imediatamente está dizendo uma mentira. Minhas palavras sobre Arrigo Sacchi (diretor do Real Madrid e espécie de tutor de Adriano na época do Parma)? Disse a verdade, devo muito a ele e aprendi muito com o Parma e com ele. Graças a Deus ele me ajudou muitíssimo, mas isso não quer dizer que meu desejo é ir trabalhar com ele. Espero ganhar a Liga dos Campeões este ano e continuar vencendo na próxima temporada com o Inter", enfatizou Adriano.

A iniciativa de convocar uma entrevista coletiva foi do presidente da Inter, que afirmou ter falado nesta quarta-feira com o presidente do clube espanhol, Florentino Pérez, que em sua gestão já realizou as façanhas de tirar Figo do Barcelona, Ronaldo da própria Inter e Zidane da Juventus.

"Falamos por telefone a exatamente dez minutos e ele me solicitou nosso número de fax para mandar declarações que deseja fazer sobre este caso. Ninguém pode impedir que um presidente ou um treinador de outro clube afirme que desejaria Adriano. Temos um grande jogador que todos desejam e nós estamos com ele", apontou Facchetti.



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L’OREAL ALIGNS GARNIER FRUCTIS BRAND WITH HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS

L’Oreal today inked a multiyear deal with Hendrick Motorsports for its Garnier Fructis haircare brand to serve as an associate sponsor of the No. 25 Nextel Cup Chevrolet, driven by Brian Vickers. The deal includes primary sponsorship of the car for the April 17 Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, as well as the August 7 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Additionally, Vickers will appear in Garnier advertising, POP and in-store displays and other public relations campaigns (Garnier).



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Nicollette would've dropped her towel for John.

What's in the latest 10 Spot?
Madden's just not that Desperate ... T.O. gets OK from God ... Pistons & Pacers. Tea anyone? ... Trump's wedding. Where was Kobe? ... Very Los Lonely ... No close shave for Steelers ... and more.
 
Terrell Owens
After celebrating the NFC title in civilian clothes, T.O.'s ready to suit up.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

1. Eagles receiver Terrell Owens said he will play in the Super Bowl despite the torn ankle ligaments and broken leg he suffered on Dec. 19 because "God is healing me." T.O.'s case was helped by the recent celestial ruling that downgraded pride and avarice from deadly sins to five-yard penalties plus loss of down.

2. The executive producer of Desperate Housewives said he intended to pair Nicollette Sheridan with ABC announcer John Madden rather than Owens in the infamous Nov. 15 Monday Night Football promo. Rather than doffing her towel, Sheridan was going to entice Madden with a six-legged turkey.

3. A Michigan district judge has ordered all 10 people charged in the Nov. 19 NBA brawl -- five Pacers players and five Detroit fans -- to appear at a pretrial conference Tuesday. As a precaution, no refreshments will be served.

4. Meanwhile, Ron Artest returned to practice Monday for the first time since he was suspended for the season for charging into the stands. The Pacers were happy to have Artest back because he brought his trademark intensity and a load of free CDs.

5. A number of sports figures attended Donald Trump's wedding to Melania Knauss on Saturday, including Jets owner Woody Johnson, Patriots owner Bob Kraft, Mets owner Fred Wilpon, boxing promoter Don King and Heat center Shaquille O'Neal. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was also invited, but seeing that he wouldn't be the center of attention, he opted not to attend.

6. The NHL and the players union will resume clandestine talks this week in a last-ditch effort to save the season, again meeting without commissioner Gary Bettman and union head Bob Goodenow. The sides will not reveal the location of the meeting, but informed sources indicate it will take place in Fantasyland.

7. Boxer Lennox Lewis has denied a report that he would end his retirement for a November rematch with Vitali Klitschko. The (London) Sunday Mirror quoted Lewis over the weekend as saying he intended to make a comeback. It seems that in the interim, somebody showed Lewis a tape of the first Klitschko fight.

8. The NFL has pulled Los Lonely Boys from the lineup for a pre-Super Bowl concert series in Jacksonville after the band's drummer was arrested for possession of marijuana. An unfazed spokesman for Los Lonely Boys said the band is used to being excluded.

9. As a result of the Patriots' victory over the Steelers in Sunday's AFC Championship Game, Heinz will send 1,200 bottles of ketchup to Gillette employees in Boston as part of a wager between the teams' stadium naming-rights partners. Even so, some despondent Steelers fans are hoping Gillette will still come through with the razor blades.

10. The Blizzard of 2005 enabled the 10 Spot to stage a marathon DVD viewing session of Sports Night's entire first season. Both seasons of the short-lived Aaron Sorkin (West Wing) show about a SportsCenter-like highlight show are available in one boxed set. The show is very good, particularly when watching one episode after another with no commercial interruptions. Sports Night does feature the usual Sorkin affectations, such as making his characters the smartest people in any room. Anchor Dan (Josh Charles) can't help but inform viewers that he went to Dartmouth, while fellow anchor Casey (Peter Krause) reveals that he made Phi Beta Kappa. The show can veer toward preachiness, but it's an intriguing mix of comedy, relationship-based drama and sports geekdom, all delivered in Sorkin's trademark dialogue-heavy rhythm. One could do far worse while snowbound.

The 10 Spot


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Presidente do Corinthians revela participação no MSI de georgiano

Folha Imagem

Parkatsishvili é acusado de ser da máfia e ligado a Berezovsky

Badri Parkatsishvili, 51 anos, um dos homens mais ricos do mundo, acusado de operações fraudulentas na Rússia, onde é procurado, e de ligações com o crime organizado, é quem está por trás da parceria do Grupo MSI.

Pelo menos, é o que garante Alberto Dualib o presidente do Corinthians. Em entrevista ao programa Terceiro Tempo da TV Record, domingo à noite, o dirigente anunciou orgulhoso que um Badri "com o sobrenome estranho" é quem está por trás do MSI.

– Esse Badri é dono de um time na Geórgia, o Dínamo de Tbilisi, é dono de uma fortuna imensa, dono de televisão, é um magnata que tem alumínio, gás, petróleo, tudo... - afirmou Dualib, deslumbrado.

Badri teria sido indicado por Boris Berezovsky, de quem é amigo e sócio há mais de quarenta anos.

– Não tem nada de falar do homem lá (Berezovsky). Ele pode até participar de algum fundo mas não desse. O que ele fez foi indicar para nós um amigo dele da Geórgia. Nós fomos até lá e fechamos com essa pessoa, que tem o fundo – afirmou Dualib, que, no programa, revelou ainda que Kia Joorabchian tem 30% das ações do MSI.

Badri Parkatsishvili é um dos oligarcas, grupo de empresários poderosíssimos que fizeram fortuna com o desmantelamento da estrutura estatal soviética. Além de ser amigo de Berezovsky, tem relações fortes com Roman Abramovich, dono do Chelsea e acionista do CSKA. Fez negócios com o magnata russo e chegou a administrar US$ 3 bilhões em alumínio para ele.

Influente, tem muito poder na Geórgia, seu país de origem, mas é persona non grata na Rússia, onde fez sua fortuna. Depois de ter deixado o país, em 2000, foi acusado junto com Berezovsky por fraude e desvio de US$ 13 milhões da Autovaz, maior empresa de carros russa. Ambos recorrem da acusação. A Rússia solicitou então sua extradição, mas o pedido foi ignorado na Geórgia.

 


MSI nega e desautoriza presidente corintiano a falar em nome do fundo

Folha Imagem

Kia Joorabchian repreendeu Alberto Dualib

Por meio de sua assessoria, Kia Joorabchian, presidente do MSI, negou "veementemente" qualquer ligação da empresa com Badri Parkatsishvili e desautorizou Alberto Dualib, presidente do Corinthians, a falar em nome do fundo de investimentos.

Pela versão do MSI, a única ligação de Parkatsishvili e o Corinthians é um intercâmbio de jogadores com o Dínamo Tbilisi, equipe que pertence ao magnata.O principal argumento de Joorabchian é que não há sentido em se firmar um contrato de intercâmbio entre dois clubes de um mesmo proprietário.

É a primeira vez que o MSI assume publicamente uma posição diferente da de Dualib. Pelo contrato de parceria estabelecido em dezembro, é o fundo de investimentos que tem a palavra final no caso de desentendimentos.

O aviso de Joorabchian chega um dia após Dualib tentar afirmar sua autoridade na TV Record:
– Quem manda no Corinthians é o presidente! – afirmou


Badri: o possível - e principal- investidor do Corinthians

Book Cover

Mafioso tem sua vida relatada em livro

A ligação de Badri Parkatsishvili com o crime organizado na Georgia, na Rússia e até na Chechênia é retratada no livro "The Godfather of the Kremlin" (O Poderoso Chefão do Kremlin), biografia de Boris Berezovsky feita pelo jornalista Paul Klebnikov, morto com quatro tiros. Leia dois trechos da edição:

"Dos cerca de 60 ou mais chefões de Moscou em 1993, mais da metade era da Georgia (...). O primeiro emissário de Berezovsky no submundo foi seu sócio Badri Patarkatsishvili, um dos co-fundadores da Logovaz. Sempre que os negócios de Berezovsky o levassem a terrenos particularmente violentos, ele chamaria seu sócio para resolver. Badri era georgiano e tinha boas ligações com georgianos importantes em Moscou. Segundo o Serviço de Segurança Presidencial, o Serviço Federal de Segurança (FSB, braço da KGB), e pelo menos uma das maiores agências de segurança privada do país, Badri também tinha fortes ligações com crime organizado no Caucaso.

A posição oficial de Badri na época (93-94) era presidente da mesa diretora da Logovaz – lembra o general Aleksandr Korzhakov, ex-chefe do Serviço de Segurança Presidencial – Na verdade, seu papel era garantir o pagamento de dívidas e providenciar proteção contra gangsters. Durante o regime soviético, Badri era diretor de uma rede de reparos de carros na Geórgia. Mereb, um de seus irmãos, era chefão; o outro, Levan, uma 'autoridade' no crime organizado georgiano. Badri tem apelido, como todo gangster. No submundo o chamam de 'Badar'".

Morte: "Conforme o próprio Berezovsky admitiu mais tarde, ele e seus ajudantes estavam engajados em negociações pouco comuns com vários grupos de crime organizado na época. No começo de 1995, a polícia interrogou um gangster na cadeia, que declarou ter sido procurado pelo ajudante de Berezovsky, Bradi, com um contrato para assassinar Listyev. Antes que o gangster pudesse aceitar o contrato, ele foi preso. Berezovsky então foi observado pela polícia negociando com outro gangster. Em 28 de fevereiro, um dia antes da morte de Listyev, Berezovsky se encontrou com um chefão identificado pela polícia apenas como 'Nikolai' e deu a ele US$ 100 em dinheiro. Em 1 de março, Listyev voltou do trabalho para encontrar seu assassino".



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Angry Serena defends Williams record

USA's Serena Williams reaches to play a backhand during her match against France's Amelie Mauresmo
USA's Serena Williams celebrates her victory against France's Amelie Mauresmo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A defiant Serena Williams has surged into the semi-finals of the Australian Open before lashing out at critics who have suggested the Williams sisters are past their best.

The former world number one thrashed second seed Amelie Mauresmo 6-2 6-2 to reach the last four and insisted she had nothing to prove, even though it is now 18 months since she last won a grand slam title.

Her sister Venus, without a grand slam title since Wimbledon in 2001, was beaten in the fourth round at Melbourne Park but an angry Serena said that claims the Williams sisters are in decline were unfair.

"I don't appreciate that language, to be honest with you," she said on Tuesday. "I'm tired of not saying anything, but that's not fair. We've been practising really hard. We've had some serious injuries. "I mean, I've had surgery. And after surgery, I got to the finals of Wimbledon. I don't know too many people that have done that."

Serena Williams

SERIOUS INJURIES

In the last 16 months, both Williams sisters have been off the tour for periods with serious injuries, while they also suffered the loss of their eldest sister, Yetunde Price, who was killed in a shooting incident in Los Angeles in September 2003.

"Venus had a severe strain in her stomach," Serena said.

USA's Serena Williams stretches to play the ball during her match against France's Amelie Mauresmo

"I actually had the same injury, but I didn't tear it the way she did. If I'd have torn it, I wouldn't have been here. She played a player yesterday (Alicia Molik) that just played out of her mind. "And to top it off, we have a very, very, very, very, very close family. To be in some situations that we've been placed in the past little over a year, it's not easy to come out and just perform at your best when you realise there are so many things that are so important. "So, no, we're not declining. We're here. I don't have to win this tournament to prove anything. I know that I'm out here and I know that I'm one of the best players out here."

In searing heat and against a Mauresmo who said she was only 50 percent fit because of an adductor strain, Williams turned in an impressive performance, cutting down her errors to clinch a comfortable victory. In the semi-finals, Serena will meet fourth seed Maria Sharapova in a repeat of last year's Wimbledon final, which the Russian won.

Serena Williams takes a bow as she celebrates her victory against Amelie Mauresmo

"I think (Sharapova) is a really mentally tough character out there," she said. "I feel like I don't have anything to lose. I think I was way too nervous at Wimbledon. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't breathe. Sometimes you want it too bad that you just freak yourself out." "Now I feel fine. I'm really proud of myself, doing pretty well with my preparation here."



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Sharapova fights past wilting Kuznetsova

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova drew on new-found resolve when she fought back to beat fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-6 6-2 6-2 today to reach the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time.

Kuznetsova, 19, dominated the first set against a tentative and error-prone Sharapova on Tuesday but the match soon became a mental and physical battle to see who could endure scorching heat which hit 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on Rod Laver Arena.

"I need a wheelchair right now," said fourth seed Sharapova in a television interview after her win. "Mentally I just tried to tough it out. I thought this was one of the toughest matches of my life."

Sharapova now plays Serena Williams, the 2003 winner here, in a re-run of last year's Wimbledon title showdown which the Russian teenager won 6-1 6-4. American Williams defeated second seed and 1999 runner-up Amelie Mauresmo of France 6-2 6-2 in their quarter-final on Monday.

The 17-year-old Russian said she had trained hard with coach Robert Lansdorp after her unexpected grand slam success in anticipation of the kind of challenge she faced from fifth seed and U.S. Open champion Kuznetsova.

"I was telling myself mentally just to get through it," Sharapova told a news conference.

"I kept thinking back to my off-season, how hard it was when I was training and I thought I couldn't go any more. But I knew that I had some more, even though my body thought I didn't."



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Federer express - Defending champ ousts Agassi at Australian Open

p1_federeraussie_all.jpg

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- In a matchup worthy of a final, defending champion Roger Federer was graceful and at his relentless best in beating four-time winner Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals of the Australian Open.

The top-ranked Federer extended his winning streak to 26 matches with a dazzling array of stinging winners from the baseline, crisp volleys and 22 aces that often left the quick Agassi flat-footed and the sellout crowd applauding.

USA's Andre Agassi feels the strain during his match Switzerland's Roger Federer

"He just outplayed me," Agassi said. "He was too good. I would suggest to his next opponent that he doesn't look to me for advice."

The 34-year-old Agassi, who came into the season-opening Grand Slam in perhaps the best shape of his life to be ready for matches like this, survived a record 51 aces in his fourth-round victory over Joachim Johansson by exploiting the few chances he got.

Eighth seed Andre Agassi

But one of the game's best counter-punchers never could find a real weakness to exploit against Federer's all-around game."I wanted tonight to be memorable. But it's one I'd probably prefer to forget," Agassi said. "I never got my teeth into it. And when I don't get my teeth into a match, I can look pretty ordinary."

With both players painting the lines and punishing ordinary shots, Federer broke for a 4-2 lead in the first set when Agassi, trying to put a little extra on a second serve, double-faulted.Then, as he did again and again while winning three Grand Slam events last year, Federer found an extra gear when he needed it. The Swiss star saved four break points -- two with aces -- while serving for the set in a game that went to deuce six times. A third ace gave Federer his third set point, and he turned a good service return from Agassi into a backhand winner down the line.

Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland

"I have no secrets," a smiling Federer said. "It's like roulette. I always pick the right numbers."

Federer then broke Agassi in the first game of each of the next two sets and fended off the charismatic American's only other break point, in the fourth game of the second set, with a pair of service winners sandwiched around an ace.

With the crowd urging Agassi to extend the match, Federer finished it off with a serve that Agassi lunged for but could only dump into the net.Asked how he made it look so easy, Federer said: "First of all, a good start always helps, especially against Andre. I really served well the whole match. He never broke me."

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates defeating USA's Andre Agassi

Federer next faces fourth-seeded Marat Safin, who he beat in last year's final. But while Safin was exhausted then after playing six grueling matches that took more than 18 hours, he's been on the court only 101/2 hours through five matches so far, including 90 minutes Tuesday to beat No. 20 Dominik Hrbaty 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.



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NFL Licensee To Test SpongeBob/Super Bowl Products

Outer Stuff Squeezing SpongeBob Onto
Children’s Super Bowl Apparel

Looking to capitalize on Super Bowl hype, NFL master kids licensee Outer Stuff is testing a line of cross-licensed SpongeBob SquarePants/Super Bowl infant and kids apparel next week. Apparel including “rompers,” T-shirts, football jerseys and fleece will be priced from $12-30 and sold at upstairs retailers in the Boston, Philadelphia and Jacksonville markets, including the Foot Locker store at the NFL Experience, where a SpongeBob character is scheduled to make two appearances.

HISTORY LESSON: Cross-licensing was huge for a period in the ‘90s, but the cost of selling a product with two licenses attached and the decline of character-based licensing brought that to an end. The NFL once had cross-licenses with Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters, but the SpongeBob license with Nickelodeon is its first in more than five years. NFL Dir of Consumer Products Tracey Bleczinski said, “We don’t do this very often anymore, but the NFL and SpongeBob are two powerful brands with kids. Marrying them should create product that young consumers will want.” While Super Bowl champion SpongeBob/NFL product is also planned, the license is only for Super Bowl XXXIX product, pending results of the test.



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Taking Flight: Eagles Championship Gear Selling Quickly

NFL Estimates $100-125M In
Super Bowl Apparel Sales

The NFC Championship T-shirts that the Eagles “wore on the field are going like hot cakes,” as “a post-championship Sunday record 5,500 shirts were sold by noon eastern Monday” on NFLShop.com, according to NFL Network’s Rich Eisen (“NFL Total Access,” 1/24). In Philadelphia, Klein & Mason write the NFL estimates $100-125M of Super Bowl memorabilia will be sold, primarily in Philadelphia, Boston and Jacksonville, and the “winning team is expected to account for 60[%] of that total.” In addition to the 5,500 T-shirts, NFLShop.com also sold out its first order of 5,000 Eagles caps. Ampro Sportswear President & CEO Gary Huddell noted that the company “had preorders from Reebok for 50,000 to 75,000 NFC championship shirts,” and added, “We’re ready to run (more) until we win the Super Bowl” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/25).

NOT SO SUPER: An NFL official said that in the past nine months, NFL licensing inspectors “have helped to seize 51,000 counterfeit [Super Bowl] items valued at $3.4[M] and the busiest week of the season is still to come” (JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/21 issue).

CATCH THAT STEELER: In Pittsburgh, Torsten Ove reports the Steelers and NFLP have sued Turtle Creek Sportswear and owners Nicholas and Jennifer Wohlfarth in U.S. District Court for trademark infringement, or “selling what they call unauthorized merchandise.” Specifically, the Wohlfarths produced “a black and gold No. 7 jersey, a couple of ‘Big Ben’ hats and a gray sweat shirt with the word ‘Pittsburgh’ next to the familiar red, blue and yellow hypocycloid stars inside a circle.” But Nicholas Wohlfarth said, “I’ve never produced anything with the Steelers’ logo on it. My stuff is just a good value. It’s never, ever presented as licensed Steelers merchandise.” Wohlfarth added that he “always tells his distributors that his items are not licensed” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/25).



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Reebok Campaign Hopes To Further Infiltrate Hockey Market

Modano Taking Part In Reebok’s
New Rbk Hockey Campaign

Reebok in March will launch a marketing campaign to support the release of its new Rbk Hockey brand equipment line. The campaign, via Toronto-based The Hive Strategic Marketing, is titled “The Switch is On” and will feature Rbk endorsers Blues D Chris Pronger, Stars C Mike Modano, Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk, Flyers RW Tony Amonte, Bruins C Patrice Bergeron, Canucks LW Daniel Sedin and C Henrik Sedin and Penguins No. 2 overall draft pick Evgeni Malkin in ‘04. Campaign elements include print, electronic, out-of-home and TV spots (Reebok). In Toronto, Rick Westhead reported the TV spots will not begin until the NHL returns to action. Sources indicated that Reebok has paid endorsers as much as $400,000 each. Reebok expects sales of its hockey-related merchandise to rise “as much as 35[%] over the next three years,” while Nike, Mission-Itech and Easton “all project their sales this year to jump at least 10[%].” Reebok “already controls about 35[%] of the $500[M] hockey equipment market” through its acquisition of The Hockey Co., and hockey apparel, including licensed NHL jerseys, is worth another $200M for the company. Westhead wrote that with sales of hockey equipment trending downward, any gains made by Reebok “would probably come at the expense of an existing rival.” Reebok Canada’s Dennis Watson: “We absolutely are going to take market share”



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Names & Faces: Carillo Takes A Shot At Serena’s Fashion

Manning Signs Deal With
Image Sports & Entertainment

Celebrity artwork and collectibles retailer Image Sports & Entertainment has inked a three-year, multimillion dollar deal with Colts QB Peyton Manning. The deal includes public and private corporate appearances (Image Sports).

DESIGNING WOMEN: During ESPN2’s coverage of the Australian Open yesterday, ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale said of Serena Williams, “She is this woman who has transcended tennis, clearly, but she says, ‘I was born a designer. I worked hard to be a tennis player. I don’t work hard to be a designer.’” ESPN’s Mary Carillo: “That explains some of her designs” (“Australian Open,” ESPN2, 1/24).

IMAGE CONSCIOUS: Pacers F Jermaine O’Neal, on repairing his image following the November 19 Pacers-Pistons brawl: “There’s a perception now of who I am as a player and as a person. So you want to come back and show them, show your team, your city and all NBA fans, that not only are you a great player but that you’re also a great person.” O’Neal was one of several SFX NBA clients who pledged $1,000 per point to UNICEF’s tsunami relief fund, but after scoring 32 points in the designated January 6 game against the Spurs, O’Neal chose to use his career-high 55 points in a June 4 game against the Bucks. O’Neal is also involved in numerous community initiatives around Indianapolis (USA TODAY, 1/25).

 

 


Finish Line Branches Out With Nike Collection Aimed At Girls

“Maddie” About You: Finish Line
Offering Girls Collection From Nike

Indianapolis-based Finish Line is offering “Maddie,” a Nike collection designed for girls ages 15-18, according to Madhusmita Bora of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The collection is exclusive to Finish Line, and Finish Line Senior VP & General Merchandise Manager Tim Geis said, “We feel there is a big, growing market for this age group. Girls are getting more and more athletic, and it’s a huge potential market for us.” Maddie is the name of a Nike designer’s daughter. Bora wrote the product line, “which ranges from wristbands and purses to sheer pullovers and capris, complements Maddie Max footwear, which hit the market last year.” Finish Line Corporate Communications Manager Elise Hasbrook said that the collection “embraces the idea of a ‘cool’ girl whose life is balanced between school, sports, friends, family and fashion.” Hasbrook: “She’s totally into athletics, but not too hard-core”



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NFL Charts Impressive Sunday With Conference Title Tilts

Falcons-Eagles Earns Best Overnight
For Championship Game Since ‘97

With Fox earning a 28.6/48 overnight Nielsen rating for Sunday’s Falcons-Eagles NFC Championship game and CBS pulling a 27.0/38 overnight for the Patriots-Steelers AFC Championship game, DAILY VARIETY’s Rick Kissell notes the average of 27.8/43 is up 7% from last season but “down slightly” from two years ago (DAILY VARIETY, 1/25). The combined 55.6 overnight is the highest since ’97, when the Packers beat the Panthers and the Patriots beat the Jaguars (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/25). The 28.6/48 for Falcons-Eagles marks the highest-rated conference championship game since Fox earned a 30.7/56 for Panthers-Packers in ’97 (Mult., 1/25). In Dallas, Barry Horn notes this is the second straight year that the early game posted stronger ratings than the late game (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/25). USA TODAY’s Rudy Martzke reports CBS’ 22.0 overnight average for four AFC playoff games is up 6% over last year’s average. Fox’ 21.6 average for four NFC playoff games fell 2% from last season (USA TODAY, 1/25).

PHILLY PHANATICS: In Philadelphia, Don Steinberg notes Falcons-Eagles earned a 57.4/74 locally, 21% above the average of the last three NFC Championship games. In their three straight losses, the Eagles earned local ratings of 48.8/62 in ’04, 46.8/69 in ’03 and 46.3/65 in ’02. Falcons-Eagles was the top-rated program shown in the Philadelphia market since Giants-Eagles’ in Week One (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/25).

Pats’ Local Rating Still Falls Below
Red Sox’ World Series Games

SOX-ED IN: In Boston, Bill Griffith reports the 52.0/67 in Boston for Patriots-Steelers is the highest of the team’s AFC Championship game ratings. Last year’s Patriots-Panthers Super Bowl got a 52.2/78. WBZ-CBS researcher Cheryl Garthwait said that the game had the highest level of Households Using TV (HUT) for a Patriots postseason game, with a 78. Last year’s Super Bowl had a 67.2 HUT level, while Red Sox-Yankees ALCS Game Seven had a 74.1 and Red Sox-Cardinals World Series Game Four had a 76.8 (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/25). But USA TODAY notes the Patriots “still can’t match” the Red Sox, as Red Sox-Yankees Game Seven earned a 56.6/76, while Red Sox-Cardinals Games Three and Four earned a 54.3/71 and 59.0/77, respectively (USA TODAY, 1/25).

NOT SO DESPERATE: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Paul Gough notes that while football “carried the night for CBS by a wide margin in all key measures,” ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” maintained the “impressive numbers it has posted in recent weeks with an average of 25.9 million viewers and an 11.1/22 share in the adults 18-49 demographic” (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/25). Meanwhile, USA TODAY’s Martzke reports that after “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry over the weekend revealed that ABC’s John Madden was the original choice for the “MNF” skit with Nicollette Sheridan, Madden’s agent, IMG’s Sandy Montag, Monday said that Madden “rejected the role.” Montag: “We never saw a script. He declined. The idea never got off the ground with John.” Montag said Madden “doesn’t appear in entertainment segments like that. ... His life is all about football” (USA TODAY, 1/25).

BLUE LINE SPECIAL: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir questions CBS and Fox using a blue line to mark the line of scrimmage, as the line of scrimmage is “so obvious – so patently there. But Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Lou D’Ermilio “disputed the notion that the blue line was a redundancy concerning down and distance,” saying, “It’s not about that. It’s about when the quarterback crosses the line of scrimmage” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/25).

NO SUPE FOR YOU: TELEVISION WEEK’s Christopher Lisotta notes despite the Super Bowl falling on the first Sunday of the winter sweeps period, ABC, CBS and NBC “admitted they have effectively thrown in the towel” for that night. CBS will follow “60 Minutes” in its usual 7:00pm ET time slot with repeats of “NCIS,” “Cold Case” and “Without a Trace.” ABC will air repeats of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “Desperate Housewives.” NBC will follow an original episode of “Dateline” with repeats of the “Law & Order” franchise. CBS Paramount Network TV Entertainment Group President Nancy Tellem: “The Super Bowl, the Oscars – there are certain things you’ve got to say, look, you’re going to do some counterprogramming, but there is only so much you can do. ... You’ve got to accept what happens and take the hit that night” (TV WEEK, 1/24 issue).



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Media Notes

ESPN Inks Vitale To
Long-Term Extension

ESPN’s Dick Vitale has reached a contract extension with ESPN that will have him calling NCAA basketball games through the 2011-2012 season (ESPN).

AFL: The AFL and high-def net INHD have reached an agreement that will make the net the HD home for the AFL through the ’06 season. INHD in ‘05 will feature a minimum of 15 games (AFL). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s John Lombardo reports the AFL has inked a one-year deal with Canada’s Score TV Network to broadcast 20 regular-season games, and a two-year deal with North American Sports Network for up to 60 games throughout Europe. AFL execs did not disclose terms, but said that rights fees “were part of the new agreements.” The league has also renewed a deal with Japan’s Express TV that began in ’04 (SBJ, 1/24 issue).

SKI JUMP: In Denver, Jason Blevins reports Colorado-based Skiing magazine unveiled a revamped design -– set to debut in September -– “in hopes of further differentiating it from its older sibling, Ski.” Both Ski and Skiing are owned by Mountain Sports Media, which is part of Time Warner (DENVER POST, 1/25).

 

 

 


Tee To Green: NBC And USGA Extend Partnership

NBC Secures USGA Tee
Times Through 2014

NBC and the USGA have inked an extension of their current contract that will extend the net’s coverage through 2014. NBC’s partnership with the USGA began in ’95, and includes coverage of the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Amateur. The network will broadcast over 35 hours of USGA coverage this year (NBC). Terms were not disclosed, but SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Andy Bernstein notes the USGA’s annual report states that the organization “generated $92[M] in 2002, the most recent year for which it reports financial data, from tournaments and championships, including broadcast rights fees.” Meanwhile, NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer said, “I think this deal probably goes out further than any other deal in [TV] right now”



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Eternal Sunshine

France Aiming To Keep NASCAR's Momentum Going
Speaking at the NASCAR Nextel Media Tour in Charlotte yesterday, NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France again denied rumors that he is looking to exit the sport to join a group seeking an NFL team for the L.A. market. But some observers seem less than convinced of France’s intentions, writing that he only “downplayed” the rumor and “issued a not-overly convincing denial he’s leaving.” Meanwhile, with NBC/TNT’s rights contract up after next season, France, perhaps to the chagrin of ESPN, indicated he wants to keep the same TV arrangement when a new deal is signed. Speaking of status quo, the upcoming NASCAR season will be the first in three years with no major changes in store. France: “Our goal is to try to keep the momentum that we have, to keep the industry going in the same direction. We got through some things last year that were a distraction, and now we’re all focused on trying to grow the industry.”

French Connection: NASCAR Head Gives State Of The Circuit

France (c) Lays Out NASCAR’s
Goals During Media Tour

NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France, during the annual NASCAR Nextel Media Tour yesterday in Charlotte, said that he “will spend the 2005 season building on the foundation laid last year,” according to Rick Minter of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. France: “Our goal is to try to keep the momentum that we have, to keep the industry going in the same direction. We got through some things last year that were a distraction, and now we’re all focused on trying to grow the industry.” France is “interested in maintaining parity between the various makes of automobile that participate in the sport, trying to cut costs for competitors, working on improving the safety of the cars, continuing NASCAR’s effort to diversify the sport and spreading NASCAR racing beyond the U.S.” There will not be changes to the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship format (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/25). In K.C., Jim Pedley notes that for the first time in three years, NASCAR “did not announce major alterations to the status quo” (K.C. STAR, 1/25).

GOOD RUMOR MAN: In Ft. Worth, John Sturbin writes France “downplayed a rumor that had him leaving NASCAR to become a partner in a group reportedly looking to land” an NFL franchise for L.A. France, on whether his role in NASCAR is about to change: “I hope not. Look, I’m only 42 years old, so it’s a little early for me to retire. So that’s that. We had a great year. I’m looking forward to ’05. We’ve got a deep structured team anyway, but I’m not planning to go anywhere. I don’t know where that (rumor) started” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/25). But in Tampa, Tony Fabrizio writes France “issued a not-overly convincing denial he’s leaving” (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/25).

TV: NBC/TNT’s portion of NASCAR’s TV rights package is up for renewal at the end of the ’06 season and Fox/FX’ package expires after the ’08 season. ESPN & ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer has indicated that he would be interested in acquiring rights to the sport, but France said, “My goal is to renew with the current lineup because I think they get NASCAR really well and try to build on what’s been done” (ROANOKE TIMES, 1/25). Fox NASCAR analyst Darrell Waltrip, noting NBC/TNT have rights to the second half of the season, said, “(NBC) plucked a carrot with the Chase format, and that’s good for them, they’re going up against the NFL. But next year they’re going to have the Chase and the Daytona 500, and we’ll have what’s left. I’d like to see us have the Daytona 500 every year if that’s the way it’s going to be” (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 1/25).

STAYING HOME: France indicated that the Busch Series race planned for Mexico City this year is “part of the sport’s overall plan to market itself internationally, but reiterated that doesn’t mean Nextel Cup races will be staged in Mexico or Canada anytime soon” (David Poole, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/25). France, on NASCAR’s new deal with TSN to form NASCAR Canada: “Right now, particularly with hockey off the air, NASCAR is very popular in Canada on television, so we’re interested in taking better advantage of that and seeing what the opportunities are north of the border” (WASHINGTON POST, 1/25).

STUNTING GROWTH: France added that NASCAR has “no plans to alter future schedules in order to move the final Chase races to different tracks.” France: “Right now we’ve got a nice mix. We’re comfortable with that” (Larry Woody, Nashville TENNESSEAN, 1/25). France indicated that the expansion of the Nextel Cup schedule beyond 36 races “is not likely” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/25).

ISLAND DREAMS: France deferred questions about a N.Y.-area speedway to his sister, ISC President Lesa France Kennedy. Kennedy, on the effort to build a racetrack on Staten Island: “It’s a challenging proposition. Any time you build a facility of that size in a community, you need to educate everyone as to how the overall plan will work for bringing in traffic and that sort of thing. That’s what they’re doing now, one-on-ones with a lot of officials there” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/25).

RUSTY NAILED: In Dallas, Terry Blount writes France does not “think a pension fund for retired Nextel Cup drivers is a realistic possibility in the near future.” France: “Compared to many other leagues that allow it, we have differences in how we’re structured. Our drivers are independent contractors with independent teams.” Nextel Cup driver Rusty Wallace, who is retiring after this season, last week called on NASCAR officials to develop a pension fund for drivers, but Fox’ Waltrip said, “It’s funny Rusty starts thinking this way when he isn’t going to be racing anymore. As long as they grandfather all of us in, I’d be all for it” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/25).



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NHL Face-Off, Day 132: Sides To Meet Tomorrow In Toronto

The NHLPA has accepted an offer from the NHL to resume labor talks tomorrow in Toronto, and the meeting will again occur without NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow, “as was the case last week,” according to Joe LaPointe of the N.Y. TIMES. NHL Exec VP & CLO Bill Daly said in a statement, “The process now will be better served by a less-public approach to the negotiation.” Daly will represent the league along with Flames co-Owner & NHL BOG Chair Harley Hotchkiss and outside counsel Bob Batterman. The union will be represented by Canucks C & NHLPA President Trevor Linden, NHLPA Senior Dir of Business Affairs Ted Saskin and outside counsel John McCambridge (N.Y. TIMES, 1/25). Daly: “We’re trying to craft something that will work for both sides and I can tell you that I think we’re a lot closer than [the players are] suggesting we are” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/25).

Municipalities Like Detroit Taking
Hit From NHL Lockout

INDECENT PROPOSAL? In N.Y., Larry Brooks cites sources who said that the league “will present a plan – perhaps a formal proposal, perhaps an outline – with modifications to its last hard cap offer that would address some of the specific concerns articulated by Linden last week.” The NHL is “likely to widen the mandated payroll range among its teams in an effort to address Linden's observation that it is beneficial for the league to allow big market, big-revenue, marquee franchises to spend more than small-market clubs.” The NHL last proposed a payroll range of $32.4-36.4M per team, but the league may “be willing to widen the gap to up to $10M; say between $29.4M and $39.4M, but with some sort of penalty attached at a certain payroll threshold” (N.Y. POST, 1/25). In Toronto, Al Strachan writes, “The whisper is that despite concessions, the new offer will contain ‘linkage [of salaries and revenues].’ If, when the links are all put together, there is still a hard salary cap at the end of the chain, the PA will have nothing to do with it. But if it’s a form of soft cap, there is hope” (TORONTO SUN, 1/25). ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside cited a “top power broker close to both sides of the issue” saying it is “incumbent on the NHL to show some good faith in relation to the negotiating process,” as opposed to “simply dictating terms.” But Burnside wrote it is “possible the league took a hard stand during last week’s meeting in Toronto in order to enhance the magnitude of its concessions in this week’s offer” (ESPN.com, 1/24).

OPTIMISTS: Linden: “I don’t want to say much because I don’t want to do anything that is going to be detrimental to the process. ... They haven’t cancelled the season yet, so I’m not going to give up” (TORONTO SUN, 1/25). Red Wings D Chris Chelios added, “Almost everybody is starting to think something is going to happen now that there are some talks” (DETROIT NEWS, 1/25). Agent Don Baizley said, “My sense is, with what’s going now, is both sides will go underground for a while. My view is that this is a good thing, frankly” (L.A. TIMES, 1/25). Lightning President Ron Campbell: “As long as the two sides are meeting, we ... remain hopeful something can get done” (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/25).

Alfredsson Taking A Less-Than-Optimistic
Outlook On Upcoming Talks

PESSIMISTS: Senators RW & NHLPA VP Daniel Alfredsson admitted he has not “really talked to anybody,” but said, “I would be very surprised if we were able to get an agreement” (OTTAWA SUN, 1/25). One player said, when asked for a prediction on the outcome of tomorrow’s meeting: “Isn’t this part of the script? It is our belief that the league wanted to make one last offer that they know we will reject ... and then they will use our response to cancel the season” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/25). Another player said, “I’m sure that they’ll throw out another [PR] proposal and I guess that is where it will end” (NEWSDAY, 1/25).

HURTS SO GOOD: BLOOMBERG NEWS’ Curtis Eichelbeger reported the NHL lockout is “bruising municipal treasuries in many of the league’s 30 cities by lowering tax revenue from parking, concessions and wages.” Detroit could lose up to $9M, St. Louis $2.76M and Pittsburgh $1.6M. Detroit Dir of Parking Dept. Ronald Ruffin noted the Red Wings’ lease at Joe Louis Arena expires in ’06, adding, “When the lease was written in the mid-1970s, thinks like lockouts weren’t taken into account. I’m sure the next agreement will be written to protect the city a little more.” Norman Cherrey, an accountant for several NHL players, noted idle players will pay less in income taxes, costing the U.S. Treasury about $354M and states about $57M (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/24).



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League Notes

In San Jose, Elliott Almond reported MLB plans to address testing players for amphetamines when the current expires next year. MLB President & COO Bob DuPuy said that the league “considers stimulants to be a health and safety concern and is proceeding as it did with steroids.” DuPuy, on the recent negotiations to amend MLB’s drug testing policy: “While we did bring up the subject of amphetamines, the focus was on steroids.” MLB execs “wanted to resolve the immediate issue” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/24).

Curry Hopes CBA Framework
Will Be In Place By All-Star Break

ON THE LINE: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Daniel Kaplan reports the USTA has acquired a 25% stake and “has an option to buy majority control” in the AEG-owned JPMorgan Chase Open, which is held in L.A. Terms were not disclosed, but WTA tournaments of “this size commonly sell for a few million dollars.” The purchase means three of the nine U.S. Open Series events leading up to the U.S. Open “will be owned in some fashion” by the USTA. JPMorgan Chase is also a U.S. Open sponsor (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/24 issue).

VALENTINE’S DAY PRESENT? Pacers F and NBPA Michael Curry, on the state of CBA negotiations: “This deal only needs a little tweaking. Hopefully by the All-Star break we’ll have the framework of a deal in place” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/23). But Rockets C and former NBPA VP Dikembe Mutombo, who is no longer a union exec board member, “There will be [a lockout after this season] because I think they are going to push us to the cliff. We’ll no longer be able to work at our own gym this summer” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/23).

 

 

 


Open & Shut: PGA Of America Bests USGA At Whistling Straits

PGA Of America Scrambles
To Lock Up Whistling Straits

Whistling Straits in Wisconsin was awarded the PGA Championship in 2010 and 2015, as well as the 2020 Ryder Cup, and in Milwaukee, Gary D’Amato writes while the USGA “was dragging its feet, the PGA of America swooped in with an offer [Whistling Straits Owner Herb] Kohler quite literally could not refuse.” The USGA “tabled discussion about the 2012 U.S. Open venue” at its fall meeting, but sources said that Whistling Straits “almost certainly would have been awarded the Open” at a meeting at the end of this month. Kohler: “The PGA, by its very structure, is quite a bit more nimble than the USGA. The USGA has a committee structure and the members change every year. So it’s a huge educational process that the members have to go through and it’s continual. They’re ponderous in their decision-making.” But one USGA source said that it is the “modus operandi of the PGA of America to lock up desirable venues with major championships, essentially preventing the USGA from going to them, too.” The source: “They did it with Hazeltine and they did it with Medinah.” But PGA of America President Roger Warren said, “We contacted the USGA to let them know our intentions [with regard to Whistling Straits] and they appreciated that”

 

 

 

 


Puck Drop: WHA To Host Tournament, Set To Play This Fall

The WHA will host a multimillion-dollar, winner-take-all tournament this spring “to generate interest for its inaugural season,” slated to begin in the fall, according to Scott Burnside of ESPN.com. WHA President & CEO Ricky Smith said that “several high-profile” NHL players are expected to play in the six- to eight-team tournament, and added that the event has “secured a ‘major [TV] deal’ and significant corporate sponsorship.” The WHA “plans to proceed as scheduled,” even if the NHL lockout ends in time to save a portion of the season. But “if the NHL does return, the WHA would not compete in the same cities.” Smith said Coyotes RW Brett Hull, Red Wings D Chris Chelios, Flyers C Jeremy Roenick, Stars C Mike Modano, Red Wings G Manny Legace and Blues RW Scott Mellanby have expressed interest in the league, and a source noted that Maple Leafs G Ed Belfour, who had signed on as an owner of a franchise in Dallas with the previous WHA ownership group, is still interested “in pursuing an ownership opportunity.” Smith indicated that his two main partners, Louis Sitaras and Mark McKelvie, “have $50[M] committed to the league’s start-up, enough to secure leases at all franchise locations and negate the need for individual ownership groups in each city.” Burnside noted the WHA has targeted 13 North American cities, including Las Vegas, Toronto, Phoenix, Vancouver, Dallas and Quebec City. The league will have a salary cap of about $14M, and teams would be allowed to spend up to $5M on a designated “marquee” player and $2.5M for a “sub-marquee” player



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Report Says McCombs Has Negotiating Agreement With Fowler

McCombs Reportedly Offers Fowler
Exclusive Negotiating Window

Arizona entrepreneur Reggie Fowler has entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Vikings Owner Red McCombs, “putting Fowler one step closer to purchasing the franchise,” according to a source cited by Seifert & Hartman of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Fowler has not yet made an offer for the team, but his exclusive negotiating window is “believed to be 60 days.” While McCombs last week indicated that he does not think Fowler “has the money to buy the team,” sources said Fowler is willing to pay McCombs’ asking price of more than $600M. T’Wolves Owner Glen Taylor met with McCombs this past weekend but “proved unwilling to meet McCombs’ asking price.” Fowler would become the NFL’s first minority owner (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/25). In St. Paul, Charley Walters notes NFL rules stipulate the lead investor for a franchise must have personal wealth of one-third the purchase price. Fowler: “If I didn’t have the resources, I wouldn’t be here now.” Fowler added that Twin Cities-based exec Denny Hecker will be his “local point man for a purchase.” While Fowler said he is currently in the due diligence process, a source said that there “are no new developments in Taylor’s quest to acquire the Vikings” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/25).

A ROLLING STONE...: Vikings VP/Football Operations Rob Brzezinski, on ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reporting the Vikings were holding off on trading WR Randy Moss because McCombs wants to sell the team by the Super Bowl: “We haven’t had any discussions, internally or whatsoever, about trading Randy Moss. We haven’t even completed internal player evaluations. It’s just erroneous speculation” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/25).

 


NHL Franchise Notes

Burke Denies Move
To Blackhawks’ Nest

In Vancouver, Ben Kuzma notes N.Y. Post hockey writer Larry Brooks cited two sources as saying former Canucks President & GM Brian Burke will become Blackhawks Dir of Hockey Operations when the NHL lockout ends. Burke responded, “Larry Brooks is true to form once again. I have never talked to anyone about the Chicago Blackhawks job and Larry Brooks should visit his physician and get his prescription renewed” (VANCOUVER PROVINCE, 1/25).

MIGHTY DUCKS: In California, Dan Wood reports while the Mighty Ducks have had no layoffs, pay cuts or reduced work schedules since the club “let go seven workers in September, some employees have left the organization voluntarily.” Staffing needs will “undoubtedly be re-evaluated” if the season is canceled, and even coaches and front office employees “are in limbo” as coach Mike Babcock and several others are in the final year of their contracts. Meanwhile, the Mighty Ducks “intend to complete a uniform change in which their current third jersey, the one that says ‘Anaheim’ across the front, would become standard attire for home and road games.” Mighty Ducks Senior VP/Business Operations & interim GM Al Coates, on the Angels changing their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: “We have kind of the opposite mindset” (O.C. REGISTER, 1/25).

WILD: In St. Paul, Brian Murphy noted the Wild laid off ten employees when the lockout began on September 15, “slashed pay 10[%] across the board, and reduced hours among its 225 full-time employees.” Several other staffers in hockey operations “have since resigned for more secure employment elsewhere.” A source said that the pay cuts will increase 25% if the season is canceled, and the club acknowledged that “more layoffs could follow” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/22).

STARS: In Dallas, Richard Durrett reports Stars President Jim Lites has “pledged to offer ‘several hundred’ season-ticket seats at American Airlines Center for $10 per game in the upper level and $50 at both ends of the ice in the lower level,” marking the “lowest season-ticket prices since” ’98-99. The lowest ticket prices last season were $20 in the upper level and $70 in the lower level. Lites: “We don’t really have any choice but to get prices down” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/25).

CANUCKS: Francesco Aquilini, the developer who bought 50% of Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment in November, said of a lawsuit filed against the Canucks by failed suitors and former partners Tom Gaglardi and Ryan Beedie, “I realize [they] are upset and embarrassed at not being able to close the deal they started, but in business that happens sometimes.” Gaglardi and Beedie claim that the Canucks and Aquilini “acted in bad faith and disregarded legal agreements when they brokered their deal” (CP, 1/23).



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MetroStars’ Stadium Negotiations Stall Over Stability Of MLS

NJSEA Reportedly Concerned
About Long-Term Stability Of MLS

Negotiations for an $84M, 25,000-seat MetroStars stadium along the Passaic River in Harrison, New Jersey, “have stalled over concerns from state officials about the stability of” MLS, according to Matthew Futterman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Sources said that the state is seeking a guarantee from team owners “that if the team or the league folds, the state will not end up paying off the entire mortgage.” But MetroStars President & GM Nick Sakiewicz said, “This is a league that is building stadiums, adding teams and signing a major long-term sponsorship deal with Adidas. ... I don’t think anything is going to happen to MLS.” Futterman notes the proposed stadium deal has the state and the MetroStars sharing the $84M cost. However, NJSEA execs are worried that AEG Chair Phil Anschutz, who owns five of MLS’ 12 teams, including the MetroStars, will eventually decide “he is no longer interested in soccer. If he goes, so does the league, the MetroStars and the state’s financial partner”

 

 


Facility Notes

In Minneapolis, Neal St. Anthony reports the partners who control the 24 acres north of Target Center known as the Rapid Park site, which is “considered Minneapolis’ best bet for a new baseball stadium, plan no further lobbying of the Minnesota Legislature and have started soliciting bids from developers for what could be a multiuse development of up to 2,000 apartments, condominiums, townhouses and retail shops.” Rich Pogin, CFO of Investment Management, which owns the site, said, “Everybody around the State Capitol pretty much agrees that nothing is going to happen with stadiums until after the 2006 gubernatorial election” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/25).

LOCKED DOWN: In Seattle, Danny O’Neil reports a bomb threat at KeyArena after the Jazz-Sonics game on Sunday was “determined to be a hoax, the Seattle Police Department finding nothing in a search of the facility that concluded yesterday about” 1:15am PT (SEATTLE P-I, 1/25).

PLAYING GAMES: N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg during testimony over New York Gov. George Pataki’s ’05 budget plan said, “It is very important that the Public Authorities Control Board approve plans for the [West Side stadium] before a delegation for the [IOC] visits New York City next month. Failure to do so also will quickly end the city’s chances of being picked to host the 2012 Games.” The delegation is scheduled to visit N.Y. February 21 (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/25). Bloomberg following his testimony said, “An awful lot of the members of the IOC, including the more senior people, one of the things that they keep coming back to is, will [N.Y.] build the venue they think is appropriate” (NEWSDAY, 1/25).



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Other Side Of T.O. - Terrell Owens had plenty to cheer about in the Eagles' 27-10 NFC title game victory.

Other Side Of T.O.
 
T.O. the teammate
p1_owens.jpg
Terrell Owens hugs Brian Dawkins after the Eagles beat the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.
 

The best move Terrell Owens made last Sunday afternoon was one that few people saw. It came in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room, long after he had bounced along the sidelines and swayed to the sweet sounds of Ciara during his team's 27-10 NFC Championship win over the Atlanta Falcons. As his teammates talked to the media about finally reaching the Super Bowl, Owens vanished to the training room. He let them enjoy their moment instead of overshadowing it by answering questions about whether his surgically repaired right ankle will be healed in time for the game.

I liked Owens's absence because it was another indication that he's willing to be a good teammate in Philadelphia. That's something that he hasn't gotten enough credit for this year. We talk about how he improved Philadelphia's passing game and brought a swagger to the Eagles, but there isn't enough said about the subtle moves he's made to fit in with this team. His absence from the locker room after Sunday's game was one of those.

This is the side of Owens that people haven't seen much of. It gets easily missed in all the headlines he generates off the field. But after being around the Eagles and talking with Owens last week, I sensed that he's become the kind of teammate people in the San Francisco 49ers would never recognize. He's more open, less guarded and he's made obvious attempts to be involved with his team.

When Owens could only get around on crutches after his operation, he was still showing up for receiver meetings, where he'd offer advice to younger wideouts like Greg Lewis and Billy McMullen. During a couple practices last week, he slowly jogged through pass routes and caught passes on the sidelines, just to show his teammates he was committed to returning for the Super Bowl. Given Owens's reputation in San Francisco, he could've isolated himself and emerged when he was healthy enough to contribute again. His willingness to stay focused on the team proves how much he's grown with the Eagles.

As a member of the 49ers, Owens went out of his way to be unlikable. He had hardly any friends and most of his teammates tolerated him only because of his immense talent. He feuded with his head coach, publicly berated his offensive coordinator and constantly denounced the talents of his former quarterback, Jeff Garcia. Owens' critics believe that version of T.O. will eventually emerge in Philadelphia -- presumably if the Eagles ever start losing or Donovan McNabb develops a habit of underthrowing him -- but I'm not so sure of that.



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The World Is Not Enough: Soccer Fans Limited In Cup Tickets

The Golden Ticket: Only 1.1 Million
World Cup Tickets For Sale To Public

Only about 1.1 million of the 3.37 million tickets for the ’06 FIFA World Cup will be available for purchase by the public, according to ESPN.com. Organizers had said about 2.93 million tickets would be available for sale, but that number will “be reduced by the needs” of sponsors, 205 FIFA member soccer federations and others. Countries that qualify for the event receive 8% of the tickets for each of their matches while national associations, tournament sponsors, media, VIPs and the “so-called German Football Family are offered the rest of the tickets, with any unused tickets from those groups to go back on public sale.” If a ticket purchaser’s chosen team does not qualify, or goes out of the tournament, refunds will be available. FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi said that a “priority would be to offer re-sales of unwanted tickets to try to ensure that the stadiums are full on match days, not just sold out.” Linsi: “Not every seat was filled at the [’02 World Cup in France] even when the matches were sold out. That was very frustrating. We want to create an opportunity to return tickets so that they can be ploughed back into sales.” Tickets range from $46-784



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adidas Using BOCOG Sponsorship To Penetrate Chinese Market

adidas Using Olympic Sponsorship
To Boost Presence In China

adidas’ sponsorship of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games is part of the company’s “ambitious hopes for China,” which include expanding stores in the country from 1,300 to 4,000 by ’08 and increasing revenues from $130M to over $1.3B by 2010, according to Chris Buckley of the N.Y. TIMES. adidas Senior VP/Asia Pacific Christophe Bezu: “We foresee by 2008 China could be the No. 3, or with some push, No. 2 market in the world.” Shanghai-based Zou Marketing GM Terry Rhoads said that Chinese consumers spend around $5B annually on sports merchandise and events, compared to $200B or more in the U.S. Rhoads: “Perhaps there’s more hype than opportunities, but there’s no doubt there’s pent-up demand for sports in China” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/25). adidas Global PR Dir Jan Runau, on the sponsorship: “This will give us a great platform for our future growth in China. China is our fastest-growing market. We more or less double our sales in China each year” (AP, 1/24). More Bezu: “China will be a major market in [the] future and China and Asia will be a more profitable market than [the] U.S.” (DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, 1/25).

IMPACT ON NIKE: Baltimore-based Twelve Sports Marketing President & CEO Howe Burch, formerly Fila Senior VP/Global Communications & Sports Marketing, on whether adidas’ sponsorship deal will adversely affect Nike in the long-term: “This is the first Olympics that are being held in China, and so the visibility will obviously be enormous. I can’t say whether Nike will say it’s good news or bad news — but from a competitive standpoint, they certainly have struck a blow.” The AP’s Rukmini Callimachi reported it was “unclear whether Nike had sought the sponsorship deal” (AP, 1/24). DOW JONES NEWSWIRES notes Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning and Nike “can still sponsor individual teams at the Olympics, or simply try to grab billboard space around the various Olympic venues” (DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, 1/25).



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Names In The News

ALEX SHNAIDER’s Toronto-based company, MIDLAND GROUP, is buying the Jordan F1 team for a reported C$69M and “plans to change the name” of the team to Midland F1 next season. Shnaider expects to spend at least another C$122M annually on the team to “keep it competitive.” Shnaider, who plans to use the team to promote Midland Group, which he “jointly owns” with a British partner, said, “The ultimate would have been to set up a team from scratch, but commercially, it makes more sense to buy an existing team” (Paul Waldie, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/25).

AIRING IT OUT: In Boston, Keith Reed notes no airline “currently operates regular, nonstop service” between Boston’s Logan Int’l Airport and Jacksonville, but AIRTRAN added one nonstop flight departing February 4 and returning February 7 after the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl. AirTran spokesperson TAD HUTCHESON said the flights, which cost $268 (coach) and $338 (business class) each way, were “half-full” by yesterday afternoon. Hutcheson: “If people wait, it’s not going to be there” (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/25).

BEING FRANK: Magna Founder FRANK STRONACH’s GHOSTZAPPER took “Horse of the Year” honors at last night’s ECLIPSE AWARDS in L.A. Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner SMARTY JONES was runner-up. Stronach also won an Eclipse Award as “outstanding breeder” for his Adena Springs Farms (MIAMI HERALD, 1/25).

Former President Bush Accepting Tsunami
Relief Check During Rockets Game

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN: In Houston, Megan Manfull reports GEORGE H.W. and BARBARA BUSH attended last night’s Magic-Rockets game at the Toyota Center to “pick up a $200,000 check from TOYOTA for the BUSH-CLINTON FUND to help victims of the tsunamis in south Asia.” Rockets coach JEFF VAN GUNDY, on the couple leaving after the Rockets built a 21-point halftime lead before hanging on to win 89-78: “They left at halftime on us. They haven’t seen us play enough. It’s never over” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/25).

SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT: Pro marathoner JOSH COX, who endorses both PowerBar and Oakley, was eliminated last night as one of the competing bachelors in ABC’s “THE BACHELORETTE.” Aspen Ski Co. instructor BEN SANDS will move on to next week’s episode (ABC, 1/24)....Fox NASCAR analyst JEFF HAMMOND will make his pro wrestling debut February 13 at TNA Wrestling’s “AGAINST ALL ODDS” PPV event. Hammond and partner BG JAMES will wrestle MICHAEL SHANE and KAZARIAN (Tony Fabrizio, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/25).



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Maxi López llegará mañana y será presentado el jueves


Ayer se cerró en Buenos Aires el acuerdo por su fichaje, que asciende en 7,2 'kilos' y que se rubricará en BCNAcompañado por su representante Darío Bombini y por el asesor jurídico de River Eduardo Galeano, Maxi López se desplazará esta noche de Buenos Aires a Barcelona, donde es esperado mañana a media tarde para ser presentado el jueves tras el entrenamiento matinal del primer equipo. Una serie de reuniones celebradas ayer en la capital argentina permitieron cerrar de forma definitiva el acuerdo por el traspaso del joven delantero al Barça, que ahora sólo está pendiente de firma. Una vez cumplimentado este requisito y superada la preceptiva revisión médica, Maxi será oficialmente nuevo jugador azulgrana para lo que resta de temporada y las cuatro siguientes.

La operación supondrá a la postre un dispendio de 6 millones de euros en concepto de traspaso, a los que hay que sumar otros 900.000 euros como compensación al jugador y 120.000 k de cánon para la AFA (Federación Argentina): ambas cantidades están estipuladas por la Ley local y constituyen el 15 y el 2% del montante de la contratación, respectivamente.

Un total de 7,2 millones

Cabe recordar que la oferta formal que el Barça envió a River por fax ascendía a 5,5 millones de euros y que la entidad 'millonaria' pedía 6 'kilos' para dejar ir a Maxi, que percibirá un sueldo de alrededor de un millón de euros más incentivos. El Barcelona acabó cediendo, pues, a la petición de River y pagará un total de 7,02 millones de euros por un futbolista de gran proyección; sin embargo, de los 6 millones del traspaso ahora sólo abonará 2,5.

Una vez atados los últimos flecos, Maxi recibió la llamada de su agente. Tanto el polivalente ariete como Darío Bombini tenían plena confianza en que el acuerdo llegaría; los billetes de avión estaban encargados desde el fin de semana, que ralentizó las negociaciones por cuestiones burocráticas.

”Un premio a tanto sacrificio”

Ayer Maxi López almorzó a modo de “emotiva despedida” con sus ya ex compañeros en las instalaciones de River. “Siento una felicidad enorme”, comentó, “tener la posibilidad de jugar en el Barcelona es lo más. Creo que es un premio a todo lo que uno se ha sacrificado, a todo el esfuerzo. El hecho de recalar en el Barça a mi edad (20 años) me hace sentirme muy contento”.

Siguió el Barça-Racing

Maxi asimismo explicó que había seguido el Barça-Racing (“estoy al tanto de todo”) y reiteró que “intentaré darlo todo” en cuanto se incorpore a la disciplina blaugrana. Al Barcelona Maximiliano Gastón López puede aportarle la presencia de un 'tanque' de área; en los metros de la verdad 'el Alemán' es toda un garantía y se perfila como 'abrelatas' cuando los partidos se atascan y los recursos por bajo no bastan.

Por potencia y juego áreo Maxi es un alternativa válida cerca de portería, pero cuando es necesario también puede retrasar su posición y aprovechar su velocidad para romper la zaga contaria. No estamos ante un '9' torpón, sino ante un futbolista que pese a su envergadura posee un notable dominio del balón y se faja de espaldas a la portería. No es uno de los atacantes punteros del fútbol argentino, pero sí es exactamente lo que necesita el Barça para desbordar y para 'romper'.

Siempre se ha dicho que este jugador con pasaporte comunitario reúne todas las condiciones para triunfar en Europa. Su movimiento es constante, fuerza un sinfín de faltas y desgasta a los zagueros. Aparte, es trabajador y se sacrifica por el equipo. Si a todo ello unimos un carisma indiscutible y un ansia loca por mejorar cada día, sin duda Rijkaard se lleva a un gregario con traje de crack.

Seguimiento en directo

Contrariamente a ciertas informaciones el Barcelona sí ha visto a Maxi en directo. Varios técnicos del club, entre ellos el máximo responsable del fútbol base Josep Colomer, siguieron sus evoluciones para elaborar los pertinentes informes. Colomer aprovechó una estancia en Suramérica destinada a controlar el fértil mercado argentino para asistir al River-Rosario del último Apertura, disputado el pasado 5 de diciembre. Aparte, el cuerpo técnico ha estudiado vídeos del explosivo delantero



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Albertini se ejercitó esta tarde en el Camp Nou

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Demetrio Albertini realizó esta tarde su primer entrenamiento como jugador del FC Barcelona. El centrocampista italiano pisó por primera vez el césped del Camp Nou en una sesión breve, después de haber superado sin problemas las pruebas médicas que se le realizaron durante el día.

Albertini almorzó junto a su nuevo entrenador, Frank Rijkaard -ex compañero suyo en el Milan y uno de los principales valedores de su fichaje- y con el secretario técnico Txiki Begiristain.El medio, que ayer se desvinculó del Atalanta, pasó por la mañana varios exámenes médicos en el Hospital de Barcelona. Y, hacia las 16.00 de la tarde, se dirigió al Camp Nou para que se le efectuaran las últimas pruebas.

A las 18.00 horas, llegó el momento esperado. Albertini salió al césped, hoy cubierto por un plástico para protegerlo de las heladas y, por espacio de diez minutos, estuvo dando vueltas al campo acompañado tan sólo por los fisioterapeutas.Albertini también se ejercitó durante un rato en el gimnasio del estadio barcelonista, donde coincidió con Ronaldinho, que hoy no trabajó con sus compañeros al estar recuperándose de unas molestias en el cuádriceps.

Mañana, a las 13.00 del mediodía, tendrá lugar su presentación oficial, acto al que no asistirá el presidente del club , Joan Laporta, por encontrarse de viaje en China.

Recuperado de sus lesiones de rodilla

La incorporación de Albertini, de 33 años, cuenta con el beneplácito de los doctores del Barça. El jefe de los servicios médicos, Jordi Ardèvol, comentó que su estado físico es bueno, a pesar de las dos lesiones de rodilla que ha padecido en los últimos años. La primera, una operación por rotura del menisco izquierdo. Algo que no reviste importancia, dado que las resonancias magnéticas que se le han realizado revelan que conserva la mayor parte de este órgano. Y la segunda, una operación del ligamento lateral interno de la rodilla derecha que se le efectuó en el año 2000. Según Ardèvol, su rodilla "es estable", por lo que no supone problema alguno.

Albertini podría debutar en el duelo del próximo sábado ante el Sevilla, y su dorsal será el número 22.



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Albertini, preparado para debutar

Tras entrenarse y hablar con Rijkaard, el técnico confirmó que el centrocampista se encuentra en condiciones de jugar ante el SevillaDemetrio Albertini se entrenó por primera vez con el Fútbol Club Barcelona y tras una conversación con Frank Rijkaard, el técnico confirmó que el italiano está en condiciones de poder jugar este sábado ante el Sevilla en el Sánchez Pizjuán.

Antes de la sesión, el centrocampista pasó la revisión médica. El doctor Jordi Ardévol comentó que su estado físico es correcto y propio de un jugador operado de las dos rodillas pero recuperado en su totalidad de ambas intervenciones. Albertini será presentado oficialmente este miércoles.

Albertini, el 22: "Estar en el Barça es un sueño"

Demetrio pasó la revisión médica, hoy mismo se entrenará con el equipo y mañana miércoles será presentado oficialmenteDemetrio Albertini, nuevo jugador del Barça, tras pasar la revisión médica con éxito, aseguró que "hablé con Frank (Rijkaard) antes de dejar Italia y me argumentó por qué me ha querido: por mi experiencia, porque puedo jugar la Liga de Campeones y porque puedo ayudar al equipo".

En una entrevista publicada en la página oficial del club, el estratega, que llevará el dorsal 22, se encargó de remarcar que "tengo la ilusión de un niño". "Confieso que estos días el estómago me hacía daño por los nervios que estaba pasando. No sabía si todo esto se podría convertir en realidad, porque las negociaciones tenían que cerrarse", comentó.

Albertini dijo que "no hay palabras para expresar mi agradecimiento al FC Barcelona por haber hecho realidad esto, que para mí representa un sueño". "El Barca está al nivel del Milán. Pero lo que más cuenta es la profesionalidad. Sea aquí, en el Atalanta, en el Lazio o en el Atlético", indicó Demetrio, quien recordó que "nunca perdí en las veces que me tocó jugar contra el Barça"..



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Albertini supera el reconocimiento médico y ya es jugador del Barcelona

Demetrio Albertini superó la revisión médica con el Barcelona y formalizó su fichaje por el club azulgrana. El centrocampista italiano firma hasta final de temporada tras desvincularse del Atalanta y este miércoles será presentado ante los medios de comunicación.

Albertini, de 33 años y que lucirá el dorsal 22, se entrenará por primera vez con su nuevo equipo bajo la dirección del técnico Frank Rijkaard, su ex compañero en el Milan, aunque en la tarde de este martes ya realizó ejercicios en el gimnasio y algunas carreras en solitario en el Camp Nou mientras sus compañeros se ejercitaban en el campo de La Masía.

Todo indica que será convocado para visitar al Sevilla. El jefe de los servicios médicos del Barça, el doctor Jordi Ardèvol, confirmó que el jugador superó las pruebas "sin ningún problema" y que no tiene secuelas de las dos operaciones de rodilla (de ligamentos y de menisco) a las que ha sido sometido (2000 y noviembre 2003).




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Luxemburgo no dará explicaciones de sus decisiones a los 'galácticos'

Ronaldo anda mosca con los cambios. Desde que ha llegado Vanderlei Luxemburgo ha sido sustituido en los cuatro partidos de Liga -Real Sociedad, Atlético de Madrid, Zaragoza y Mallorca-. La sustitución del domingo por Solari, a seis minutos del final del encuentro, ha sido la gota que ha colmado el vaso y en la que ha quedado claro el enfado del delantero por no acabar los partidos.

Ronaldo se retiró del campo el domingo murmurando, como maldiciendo algo, y cuando entró al túnel del vestuario las cámaras de televisión le cazaron despojándose de la cazadora y lanzándola al aire. Fue la prueba definitiva de que no está contento con las decisiones de su entrenador. No es un mosqueo de un día. Ayer pudimos conocer el por qué de la reacción del jugador. Personas de su entorno nos aclararon que tenía muchas ganas de marcar un gol al Mallorca para demostrarle a Héctor Cúper -su entrenador en el Inter y al que culpa de haber salido del equipo italiano- que es un jugador importante. El cambio frustró su sueño que, añadido a las tres sutituciones anteriores, le hicieron estallar.

Después del partido, en el vestuario, Luxemburgo y Ronaldo no cruzaron palabra. Ni el jugador le pidión explicaciones ni el entrenador se dirigió a él. Ayer, jornada de descanso, tampoco hablaron. El entrenador fue contundente en la rueda de Prensa posterior al partido sobre esta situación: “Si Ronaldo se enfada es problema suyo”.

Lo mismo que declaró Luxemburgo el domingo ante los periodistas es lo que le dijo a la plantilla en los primeros días que llegó al Real Madrid. El técnico ha confirmado la fama de duro con la que venía precedido de Brasil. No está dispuesto a que se genere polémica por una decisión suya. No va a dar explicación a ningún futbolista si juega o no. Ni tampoco cuando haga un cambio. Considera que todos son iguales y que ninguno, por ser más mediático, tiene privilegios. La plantilla ya conoce al verdadero Luxemburgo y el técnico, con el paso de los días, va imponiendo su ley. No hará diferencias con ninguno se llame como se llame y siempre hará lo que crea más conveniente para el beneficio del equipo.


EL JUGADOR INGLÉS ALABA LAS VIRTUDES DEL ÚLTIMO FICHAJE BLANCO
Beckham destaca la labor defensiva de Gravesen
David Beckham cree que la llegada de Thomas Gravesen al Real Madrid le ha liberado a él y a otros compañeros de carga defensiva y les permite tener más libertad en ataque. "Nuestro sistema funcionó muy bien contra el Mallorca. Thomas me ayudó mucho, porque cortó el juego en esa posición, y con él de medio defensivo, Figo y Zidane tuvieron libertad para participar más en ataque", afirmó el futbolista inglés al diario 'Ekstra Bladet'.

El centrocampista del Real Madrid elogió las virtudes defensivas y ofensivas de Gravesen y recordó que ambos se conocían muy bien de su época en la Premier League, cuando él jugaba en el Manchester United y, el danés, en el Everton. "Es un jugador muy fuerte, lo sé porque cuando luchábamos por el balón en los partidos luego me quedaban moratones y golpes. Puede hacer entradas fuertes y recuperar balones, pero no hay que olvidar que también es un buen jugador con los pies", comentó Beckham.


EL FUTBOLISTA ARGENTINO SE ENCUENTRA EN UN GRAN MOMENTO
Solari pide su renovación por el Real Madrid en el terreno de juego
MIGUEL SERRANO. Madrid
Da igual que le pongan de titular o que le saquen cinco minutos. Da igual que le toque jugar la Copa ante un equipo de Segunda B o la final de la Champions. Da igual que le sitúen de interior izquierda, de mediapunta, de lateral o de mediocentro. Da igual: Solari siempre cumple. Ha sido el ‘jugador número doce’ desde que llegó al Madrid (hace ya cinco años) y desde Del Bosque a Luxemburgo (pasando por Queiroz, Camacho y García Remón), todos los entrenadores que ha tenido han echado mano de él cuando ha hecho falta. Porque Solari es como el ‘Equipo A’: siempre aparece para solucionar problemas de otros.

Ahora más que nunca se ha convertido en el ‘empleado del mes’ del Real Madrid. La llegada de Luxemburgo le ha dado ‘vidilla’ al argentino, que ha participado en los cuatro partidos de Liga que ha dirigido el técnico brasileño. Y claro, ha cumplido. Ante el Atlético fue titular por la ausencia de Guti, jugó de mediocentro y hasta marcó. Repitió como organizador ante el Zaragoza (y eso que ya estaba el ogro) y volvió a vaciarse. Su última exhibición fue el pasado domingo ante el Mallorca. A Solari le bastaron siete minutos para demostrar cómo debe saltar al campo un suplente y para poner al Bernabéu en pie con un golazo. Fue despedido por la grada pidiendo a gritos su renovación.

Todos hablan maravillas de él
Y es que todo el mundo habla bien de Solari. La Prensa le pone por las nubes, la afición le adora, su entrenador le pone de ejemplo, sus compañeros ensalzan su trabajo y hasta todo un vicepresidente como Emilio Butragueño admite que cada vez que juega se gana la renovación. Lo dijo después del partido ante el Mallorca y se lo repitió ayer a Efe: “Solari es un ser humano muy correcto, muy noble, y como jugador es intachable: juega los minutos que se le manden, mantiene siempre la misma actitud y siempre que sale nos ayuda, ésa es la verdad”. Palabras que resumen lo que todo el mundo piensa del argentino.

Y en éstas Solari acaba contrato el 30 de junio y el Madrid no le ha llamado para renovar. Con la reglamentación FIFA en la mano, ya es libre de negociar con cualquier club. A día de hoy, su futuro no pinta muy blanco, aunque todo puede cambiar. Ayer Butragueño le puso un poco de sordina al ‘caso Solari’: “Su renovación es un asunto que no nos gustaría llevar a la calle, sino llevarlo con discreción, porque no creo que sea bueno sacarlo fuera”. Por su parte, el ‘indiecito’ no se moja demasiado: “Es un tema del que no voy a hablar. Es mejor dejar aparcada mi renovación y pensar en lo deportivo” (se lo dijo a Efe).

El vestuario, mientras tanto, hace ‘campaña’ para que siga. Si no, lean esta curiosidad. Después de que Solari marcara el golazo al Mallorca y con la afición coreando su nombre, se le acercó Guti y le dijo al oído una verdad como un templo: “Ahora les vas a poner más cara la renovación”. Pues va a ser que sí.


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El canterano Juanfran prolonga un año más su contrato

Juanfran Torres, centrocampista internacional sub '21 del Real Madrid, ha prolongado un año más su contrato con el club y de esta forma su vinculación se extiende a esta temporada que resta y a tres más, es decir, hasta junio de 2008. De esta forma, el jugador nacido en Crevillente (Alicante) y que acaba de cumplir veinte años, amplía su compromiso con un club que ya le ha permitido debutar en el primer equipo. Carlos Queiroz contó con él el año pasado, le hizo debutar con sólo 19 años en Primera división y este año ha jugado en la Copa del Rey.

En este mercado de invierno, han sido varios los clubes que intentan contar con la cesión de Juanfran, pero hasta esta noche, el Real Madrid considera que su objetivo es ayudar al filial a ascender de categoría. El Liverpool de Rafa Benítez, intentó a comienzos de la pasada campaña fichar a Juanfran y en este parón navideño, varios clubes de Primera división, entre ellos el Getafe de Quique Sánchez Flores, trata de obtener su cesión hasta el final de la presente campaña.

Juanfran, tras firmar su renovación, dijo que estaba "feliz por seguir en un club que siempre ha sido el suyo". "Desde crío soñé con jugar en el Real Madrid, he vivido y vivo con todo el deseo del mundo de triunfar en este equipo, y que el Real Madrid valore mi rendimiento es algo que siempre satisface a cualquier chico de mi edad", comentó.



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Timão conquista sua 6ª Copa São Paulo

SÃO PAULO - O Corinthians é o recordista absoluto de títulos da Copa São Paulo de juniores. Esta manhã, no estádio do Pacaembu, o alvinegro venceu o Nacional por 3 a 1, de virada, e conquistou pela sexta vez na história a competição - antes, a equipe dividia o status de maior vencedor do certame com o Fluminense.

Com um time mais "experiente" do que os outros participantes do torneio, já que boa parte dos titulares aturam no profissional nos últimos anos, o clube do Parque São Jorge sobrou ao longo do torneio. Invicto, a campanha alvinegra foi de seis vitórias e dois empates.

O destaque da final foi o meia Dinelson, que depois de um período na equipe profissional foi deslocado para o time de juniores. Ele entrou na segunda etapa, quando o time perdia por 1 a 0, fez dois gols e comandou a equipe rumo ao título.

Artilheiro do Corinthians com sete gols, o atacante Bobô foi outro destaque. Depois de errar um pênalti no primeiro tempo, o jogador marcou, de cabeça, o gol da virada.

Resta saber agora quais campeões da Copinha serão aproveitados no elenco profissional do alvinegro. Com a chegada do fundo de investimentos MSI, o espaço para as pratas-da-casa ficou reduzido.

CORINTHIANS 3x1 NACIONAL

Corinthians

Júlio César; Fabiano, Fábio, Renato e Ronny, Bruno Octávio, Carlão, Elton e Wilson; Abuda (Dinelson) e Bobô
Técnico: Adaílton Ladeira

Nacional
Rodrigo; Ferrinho (Willians), Douglas, Ricardo e Felipe Ribeiro; Nonô, Everton, Xororó (Thiago) e Souza; Caio e Leandro
Técnico: Paulo Sérgio Tognasini

Local: estádio do Pacaembu, em São Paulo (SP)
Árbitro: Rodrigo Braghetto
Auxiliares: Marcelo Carvalho Vangassi e Herman Blumel Vani
Cartões amarelos: Bruno Octávio (C), Nonô (N), Xororó (N), Ricardo (N), Carlão (C)
Gols: Caio, aos 32min do primeiro tempo; Dinelson, aos 8min, Bobô, aos 26min, e Dinelson, aos 28min do segundo tempo



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h53
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Campeões da Copa São Paulo pelo Corinthians sonham com chance na equipe profissional

SÃO PAULO - A história é a mesma em todos os anos, sempre em janeiro. Mais do que o campeão da Copa São Paulo, a expectativa é saber quais serão os talentos revelados pela maior competição de juniores do país. Encerrada a edição 2005 do torneio, surge a pergunta: entre os mais de 2 mil garotos que participaram, quem terá uma trajetória de sucesso no futebol brasileiro?

Os garotos do Corinthians, por terem conquistado o título, são os grandes favoritos nesta corrida. O time do Parque São Jorge venceu a Copa São Paulo pela sexta vez, a segunda consecutiva, e seu elenco conseguiu grande destaque neste vestibular para o futebol brasileiro.

Entretanto, todos sabem que a Copa São Paulo é apenas o primeiro degrau. "Fizemos um grande trabalho aqui. Sabemos que não é uma tarefa fácil e isso valoriza muito a nossa vitória. Mas é apenas o começo. Precisamos seguir com seriedade e muita dedicação para lutar por um lugar entre os profissionais e por um espaço cada vez maior", avaliou o goleiro Júlio César.

No ano passado, dos 11 titulares do Corinthians na campanha do título da Copa São Paulo, nove foram promovidos para a equipe profissional. Seis deles permanecem lá atualmente e três reforçaram os juniores em 2005: Élton, Bobô e o capitão Bruno Octávio.

Não por acaso, os três jogadores foram grandes destaques dos juniores do Timão. "A experiência conta muito. Eles têm uma vivência maior que os outros garotos, conhecem algumas situações que são novas para a maioria. Isso dá muito mais tranqüilidade para o grupo", garantiu o técnico Adaílton Ladeira.

Nesta terça-feira, logo depois da vitória por 3 a 1 sobre o Nacional, Élton, Bobô e Bruno Octávio viajaram para Porto Feliz e foram reintegrados ao elenco profissional do Corinthians.

Além deles, outros garotos podem ganhar uma oportunidade ainda nesta temporada. Aprovados no vestibular da Copa São Paulo, os meninos corintianos agora são a maior incógnita do ano. Todos esperam para saber quais deles conseguirão um espaço entre as estrelas do novo Timão.

Situação do elenco do Corinthians na Copinha:
Júlio César (goleiro): O goleiro mostrou muita segurança durante a Copa São Paulo e se consagrou como um dos melhores jogadores do Timãozinho. Por isso, deve ter uma oportunidade entre os profissionais ainda em 2005. O que atrapalha é a concorrência. Atualmente, os quatro goleiros do Corinthians são Fábio Costa, Rubinho, Thiago e Jonatas.

Fabiano (lateral-direito): Teve uma ascensão incrível durante a Copinha e ganhou a posição de Eduardo. Entretanto, ainda deve esperar um pouco para ter uma oportunidade na equipe de cima. Os dois jogadores que disputam a camisa 2 do Timão são Edson e Coelho, também revelados nas categorias de base do clube.

Fábio (zagueiro): Foi testado por Tite no ano passado, durante o Brasileiro, e não decepcionou. Neste ano, contudo, a relação candidatos/vaga complica o aproveitamento do garoto. Além da recuperação de Marquinhos, que estava lesionado, o Corinthians contratou Marinho e Sebástian Domínguez para o setor.

Renato (zagueiro): Outro que tem remotas chances de ser aproveitado por Tite nesta temporada. O principal inimigo dele é justamente a forte concorrência por uma das vagas na defesa alvinegra.

Marcus Vinícius (zagueiro): Melhor da defesa corintiana na Copinha, o jogador treinou entre os profissionais na temporada passada e foi prejudicado por uma grave lesão. De volta aos gramados, é a primeira opção de Tite em caso de uma necessidade na zaga dos profissionais.

Ronny (lateral-esquerdo): Tem 19 anos e mais dois entre os juniores. Entre os profissionais, Fininho, Renato e Roger são os concorrentes à camisa 6. Com três opções no elenco e ainda esperando a contratação de mais um jogador, Tite não deve recorrer ao garoto.

Carlão (volante): Reserva de Rafael na temporada passada, o volante mostrou características muito parecidas com as do antigo dono do meio-campo do Timãozinho. É discreto e tem muita qualidade nos passes, mas ainda é novo e deve esperar mais tempo por uma oportunidade.

Bruno Octávio (volante): Capitão da equipe na Copa São Paulo, o volante é nome certo entre os jogadores de Tite em 2005.

Élton (meia): Outro nome certo no grupo de profissionais. Mostrou nesta edição da Copinha que não sabe apenas driblar, mas também é eficiente nas assistências.

Dinélson (meia): Surpresa da decisão, entrou no segundo tempo e foi fundamental para a vitória do Corinthians sobre o Nacional. Tem experiência no time de cima e, por falta de opções na armação, tem enormes chances de ser aproveitado pelo técnico Tite.

Wilson (atacante): Já atuou entre os profissionais do Corinthians. Neste ano, além de qualidade técnica, mostrou muita obediência tática. Como essas duas características agradam o comandante Tite, deve ser aproveitado.

Bobô (atacante): Perdeu um pênalti, mas marcou um gol na decisão da Copinha. Foi o artilheiro do Timão (sete gols marcados) e já subiu para treinar com os profissionais.

Abuda (atacante): O centroavante passou de grande revelação a jogador modesto nos juniores do Corinthians. Destaque nas temporadas anteriores, esteve muito apagado em 2005 e perdeu espaço para os concorrentes a uma vaga na equipe de cima.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h51
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GALLIANI: “Kaká mudou o jogo do Milan”

Milan: Galliani, a-2 fa meno freddo
 
MILÃO – Nas páginas do Corriere dello Sport-Stadio, na mesma sede, os Oscar do futebol Aic, outros comentários de Adriano Galliani: “Os três defensores, Maldini, Nesta e Stam, não vieram retirar o prêmio porque estavm ainda revendo em videocassete o gol tomado em Livorno. Brincadeira, claro. Espero que Maldini possa jogar até os 40 anos, como Costacurta, que para mim está no nível dos candidatos, e talvez como Carboni que tem um ano a mais que Costacurta e ainda joga na Espanha como protagonista. Kaká? Mereceu o prêmio, é uma grande pessoa: mudou o jogo do Milan”.


Escrito por fraja8 às 15h48
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RICARDO IZECSON DOS SANTOS LEITE OSCAR - KAKÁ

Há algo novo na série de nomes de Kaká. Algo a mais. Oscar. Desde ontem Kaká é o melhor jogador do campeonato italiano de 2004, seja em sentido absoluto seja entre os estrangeiros. Dois dos cinco Oscar do futebol rubronegro, batizados por um sorridente Adriano Galliani presente no Auditorium de Milano, levam o nome de Ricardinho. O fora-de-série brasileiro tinha fechado 2003 com a magia de Empoli, mas iniciou o ano seguinte com o extraordinário placar em casa contra o Reggina e prosseguiu ao som de gols pesados a marcha pelo título. Depois, no início da temporada, pouco depois do retorno de verão, algum problema físico rapidamente superado. Até aqui, da metade de setembro em diante, foram depositados na conta-corrente de Kaká 16 passes, 6
gols, infelizmente até 2 bolas na trave, mas há tempo para ajustar a mira em alguns milímetros, além de um crescimento tático sob os olhos de todos. “Joga mais no time e pelo time, é jovem e está em contínua evolução. Estou contentíssimo com ele, mais até do que no ano passado”, foram asrecentíssimas palavras de Carlo Ancelotti sobre Kaká. A propósito do técnico campeão da Itália, para ele uma bela satisfação o Oscar como melhor treinador. Se refere ao Scudetto, mas vale para todo este período, inclusive pela Liga dos Campeões, assim como pela Supercopa Européia, a copa Itália e a Supercopa Italiana. Tem qualquer coisa de importante no ar também para Paolo Maldini que poucas horas após o fim de semana dos 20 anos, queima em fio de lã seus companheiros de time Stam e Nesta como melhor defensor. A satisfação de Sheva pelo primeiro gol do ano no Olímpico contra o Roma fica entre as recompensas maisbelas para o campeão ucraniano já primeiro para os jurados de France Football e presente no pódio de Fifa World Player. O primeiro lugar de Andriy foi decidido pelo público com milhares de sms. Os Oscar do futebol Aic viram a participação dos jogadores da Série A que votaram em seus colegas. O Milan transbordou não somente de primeiros lugares, mas também de indicações com dida atrás de Buffon no ranking dos goleiros, Maldini e Sheva colocados até entre os três primeiros nas apurações de Melhor italiano e Melhor estrangeiro, além dos já citados Nesta e Stam entre os defensores.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h44
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CALCIO - OSCAR DO FUTEBOL: 5 TRIUNFOS RUBRONEGROS

photo
 
TODOS OS PRÊMIOS ENTREGUES ONTEM NO AUDITORIUM DE MILÃO

MELHOR JOGADOR
KAKÁ

MELHOR ITALIANO
TOTTI

MELHOR ESTRANGEIRO
KAKÁ

MELHOR TREINADOR
ANCELOTTI

MELHOR GOLEIRO
BUFFON

MELHOR DEFENSOR
PAOLO MALDINI

MELHOR JOVEM
GILARDINO

MELHOR ÁRBITRO
COLLINA

MELHOR GOL
SHEVCHENKO (O PRIMEIRO EM ROMA-MILAN 1-2 DE 6 DE JANEIRO DE 2004)


Escrito por fraja8 às 15h42
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Português José Mourinho é eleito melhor técnico do mundo em 2004

O português José Mourinho, atual técnico do Chelsea da Inglaterra, foi eleito melhor técnico do mundo em 2004, com uma vantagem de 186 pontos sobre o segundo colocado, o francês Arsene Wenger, do Arsenal da Inglaterra, segundo a lista da Federação Internacional de História e
Estatísticas do Futebol (IFFHS).

Arquivo  
Mourinho, campeão no Porto e destaque no Chelsea, foi o melhor de 2004

O brasileiro Vanderlei Luxemburgo, campeõa brasileiro em 2004 pelo Santos e hoje à frente do Real Madrid, foi o 10º colocado.

Mourinho, que na campanha passada levou o Porto a conquistar a Liga dos Campeões, lidera agora o Campeonato Inglês.

Para realizar a votação, a IFFHS elabora uma lista com os técnicos dos clubes vencedores dos torneios continentais, assim como os finalistas da Copa Libertadores e da Copa da Uefa, os quatro semifinalistas da Liga dos Campeões e os técnicos dos 20 melhores clubes do mundo.

photo

Veja o resultado da votação do melhor técnico do mundo em 2004:

1. José Mourinho (POR/Chelsea), com 271 pontos
2. Arséne Wenger (FRA/Arsenal), 86
3. Didier Deschamps (FRA/Monaco), 72
4. Frank Rijkaard (HOL/Barcelona), 71
5. Rafael Benítez (ESP/Liverpool), 62
6. Carlos Bianchi (ARG/Boca Juniors), 57
7. Luis Fernando Montoya (COL/Once Caldas), 56
8. Carlo Ancelotti (ITA/Milan), 48
9. Alex Ferguson (ESC/Manchester United), 26
10. Vanderlei Luxemburgo (BRA/Santos), 19
11. Claudio Ranieri (ITA/Valencia), 18
12. Fabio Capello (ITA/Juventus), 13
13. Hugo Sánchez (MEX/Cidade do México), 11
14. Javier Irureta (ESP/Deportivo), 9
15. Robert Robson (ING/Newcastle), 6



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h39
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Drogba finds his shooting boots

In his first season of European competition Didier Drogba's goals fired Olympique de Marseille to the final of the UEFA Cup and sparked a summer scramble for his signature. The Ivory Coast international was loath to leave France's second city, but the lure of London and the Premiership became too much to resist, and he joined the Russian revolution at Chelsea FC for a club-record €36m fee in July 2004.

Arjen Robben and Drogba scored Chelsea's goals against Portsmouth

Settling in
Things did not start brilliantly for the 2003/04 French Footballer of the Year. He was ruled out for six weeks at the start of October with a groin injury, but two goals in Chelsea's 3-0 Premiership win against Portsmouth FC last weekend lifted Drogba's tally to eleven goals for the season and he is finally beginning to live up to his billing at Stamford Bridge.

Big money
Moreover, he insists that his big transfer fee will be no brake on his success at Chelsea. "I do not suffer from my price tag," Drogba told uefa.com. "People often remind me of the transfer fee, even when we play at home. As soon as I miss a chance it's: 'Why did they spend so much money on him?' There's even a song about it. But I like that. It motivates me"

The Ivorian striker was a revelation at Marseille

'I am satisfied'
"I am satisfied with my first six months here, despite the critics," he added. "People expect me to do what I did last year with Marseille - that's what made them want to sign me at Chelsea - but I'm still just trying to be myself."

Major positive
One major positive for Drogba is his enjoyment of life in the Chelsea dressing room, and being out of the public spotlight when he is not playing football - a luxury he was not afforded in France. However, Drogba admits that he is not yet as settled in west London as he was in Marseille.

Training joy
"I have a working relationship with my team-mates but when we're in the changing room or on the bus, we also have a good laugh," he said. "When we meet up for training, we're really get into it. I also benefit from a little more freedom in everyday life in London. At Marseille, people used to talk about me a lot.

London life
"It's true though I'm not yet getting as much enjoyment from living in London as I was in Marseille," continued Drogba. "However, you just have to bounce back and get on with things, and that's what I'm trying to do. I could have spent years at Marseille but in the end my destiny was elsewhere."

Barcelona beckons
Chelsea made light work of progressing through UEFA Champions League Group H, and now face a meeting with FC Barcelona in the last 16 of Europe's premier competition. They have also built up a ten-point lead at the top of the Premiership, and are on course to secure their first title for 50 years.

Chelsea are a team who are in control of our football and we are playing intelligently, but we're not unbeatable or untouchable
Didier Drogba

Nothing certain
However, the powerful striker knows he and his team-mates must not become complacent. "Everything is going great here but our lead is not enough," he said. "We won't lose many games in a row but we know we will lose some. Chelsea are a team who are in control of our football and we are playing intelligently, but we're not unbeatable or untouchable. We've already seen situations where those kinds of leads have melted."



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h37
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Down but not out - Play-acting is one of the less savoury characteristics of Serie A football

By Paolo Menicucci

Fabio Capello was sick of play-acting

"A mali estremi, estremi rimedi" says an Italian proverb - "Extreme problems call for extreme measures". And it was in that spirit that Italian football recently took a drastic decision in order to help eliminate the widespread practise of gaining an advantage by feigning injury.

Landmark decision
After a meeting between Serie A and Serie B captains and coaches, Italian referees, Italian Football Federation president Franco Carraro and Italian Football League president Adriano Galliani, it was agreed that Serie A players will no longer put the ball out of play if an opponent goes down injured while they have possession.

Luigi Del Neri: "There's no need to stop all the time"

Custom curtailed
From now on the play will stop only when the referee decides that an injury is sufficiently serious to warrant blowing his whistle. Moreover, in line with another decision, teams can no longer expect to have possession back when they deliberately kick the ball out so that a team-mate can receive treatment.

Unwritten rule
In most countries, it is an unwritten rule that players kick the ball into touch as soon as they see a team-mate or opponent down injured, but in Italy in particular, many observers believe that play-acting has seen this good-natured custom exploited for tactical benefit.

'Over the top'
Juventus FC coach Fabio Capello raised the subject in December. "It is over the top now," he said. "We have moved from the professional foul - stopping important actions of the opponent side by committing a foul - to the 'feinting foul' - stopping the action by feigning a serious injury.

Illegal play
"It is a general tendency," he continued. "The fair-play norm has turned into a tactical move." Capello's words had the full support of the Italian media. Gazzetta dello Sport said that Capello's words were: "A declaration of war against illegal play, an electric shock counter to a spreading tendency."

When there is a tackle, whoever loses out goes to ground and then the ball is kicked out. In other leagues, like those in England and Spain, that doesn't happen
Carlo Mazzone

Referee's decision
Several Serie A coaches also backed Capello's stance. "He is right. It should be up to the referee to stop play," said Udinese Calcio coach Luciano Spalletti. Bologna FC coach Carlo Mazzone added: "It was becoming a tactical move, a strategy. When there is a tackle, whoever loses out goes to ground and then the ball is kicked out. In other leagues, like those in England and Spain, that doesn't happen."

Del Neri concurs
AS Roma coach Luigi Del Neri agreed. "In England, matches are not interrupted as often and I think that's the right way," he said. "There's no need to stop all the time as we should be able to understand whether an injury is serious or not. If it's not, I don't see why we should have to kick the ball out. I think the play should stop only when there is a clash of heads in a challenge for a header but not for a simple tackle."

Imperfect world
US Città di Palermo coach Francesco Guidolin had arguably the best solution for solving this problem, saying: "Everything would be a lot simpler if players just agreed not to cheat each other." Unfortunately this solution would only work in a perfect world. Maybe the 'extreme measures' taken this week will have a bigger impact on eliminating play-acting from Italian football.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h36
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Commonwealth Cup in question

By Eduard Nisenboim

Dinamo Tbilisi declined to attend this year's finals

FC Lokomotiv Moskva won the 13th Commonwealth Cup with a 2-1 win against Azerbaijani side PFC Neftchi in the final, but aside from the 1,000 spectators at the indoor Dinamo hall in Moscow or those who had access to Azeri television, few paid much attention.

Sponsors indifferent
While there was plenty of competition for places in the Dinamo arena for the final, major sponsors and television channels showed little interest in the tournament which sees the champions of all the former Soviet republics compete every year.

Viacheslav Koloskov wants to see the tournament survive

Less prestige
With Moldovan side CSF Zimbru Chisinau and Georgians FC Dinamo Tbilisi winning the previous two editions of the competition, there was a strong suspicion that the big clubs in Russia and Ukraine were no longer taking the Commonwealth Cup seriously, fielding youth and reserve team players for many games.

Rock bottom
The latest tournament saw its prestige hit rock bottom. There was little in the way of a financial incentive for any of the teams involved and a lack of sponsorship saw the tournament downgraded from the big Olimpiyskiy complex to the more modest Dinamo arena.

Russian funding
In the past, the tournament has had a budget as high as €400,000, but this year there was barely half that available, with 80 per cent of the funding coming from the Russian Football Union (RFU). None the less, while the sponsors may have lost interest, there is still a strong feeling among coaches and federation presidents that the tournament, which has been played every season since 1993, must survive, although the format may well need changing.

Summer switch
Traditionally taking place in the dead of winter on artificial surfaces, most believe the competition would be more attractive if it involved home and away fixtures and took place in the summer. Indeed the inconvenient timing of the tournament saw two sides withdraw from this year's competition.

Georgian absentees
With most clubs not starting their pre-season training until January, reigning champions Dinamo decided that they had better things to do than defend their titles, and with Georgian champions FC WIT Georgia also having declined, it was left to FC Tbilisi to represent the Caucasian republic in Moscow.

Pre-season preparation
The slightly half-hearted attitude to the tournament was underlined by the fact that both finalists, Lokomotiv and Neftchi, went into the tournament just ten days after returning to training following their Christmas holidays. "We saw this tournament as a part of the preparatory process ahead of the resumption of the Azeri season", said Neftchi coach Agassalim Mirgavadov.

FIFA sponsorship
The main hope for the tournament's future may lie with it being taken under the wing of FIFA whose president, Joseph S. Blatter, hinted on a visit to Moscow that the world governing body would consider financing, promoting and managing the tournament in the future.

Unique tournament
Certainly, RFU president Viacheslav Koloskov is keen to see it survive. "We continue to care about the Commonwealth Cup," he said. "It is unique: there are not any tournaments anywhere in the world with clubs from two different continents meeting each other.

I do not want to see the tournament die
Viacheslav Koloskov

'A great showcase'
"To be honest I do not want to see the tournament die," he added. "It was my idea. The Commonwealth Cup has its place in the FIFA calendar. It is a great showcase for players. We will have discussions on the tournament's future with other federation presidents and Mr Blatter."



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h34
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Eusébio da Silva Ferreira
Date of birth:
25 January 1942
National team: Portugal
Clubs: Sporting Clube de Lourenço Marques, SL Benfica, Rhode Island Oceaners, Boston Minutemen, CF Monterrey, Toronto Metros-Croatia, SC Beira-Mar, Las Vegas Quicksilver, União de Tomar, New Jersey Americans

Eusébio was born in Mozambique before he moved to Portugal as a 19-year-old to join SL Benfica. He was actually lined-up to join Sporting Clube de Portugal, but following a plan hatched by then Benfica coach Béla Guttmann, Eusébio was whisked away to Lisbon and had to be hidden in an Algarve fishing village while the directors of Benfica and Sporting argued over his signature. Within a year, Eusébio scored two cannonball goals in their 5-3 victory against Real Madrid CF in the European Champion Clubs' Cup final. In 14 seasons, he helped Benfica win the league eleven times and the cup five times; he was European Footballer of the Year in 1965; top scorer with nine goals in the 1966 FIFA World Cup finals, and scorer of 41 goals in 64 internationals.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h32
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Faye joins Newcastle influx

Newcastle United FC have completed the transfer of Senegalese international midfield player Amdy Faye for an undisclosed fee from Portsmouth FC.

Third signing
The 27-year-old passed a medical at St James' Park this afternoon and has agreed a four-year contract, becoming the club's third signing of the month after defenders Jean-Alain Boumsong and Celestine Babayaro. Faye will help strengthen the Newcastle midfield, filling the defensive role vacated by the injured Nicky Butt, who may not play again this season because of hamstring problems.

'Valuable addition'
"We are delighted to have him on board and he will be a really valuable addition to our squad," said Newcastle manager Graeme Souness. "Amdy is a defensive midfield player, which is an area we have been looking to strengthen." Faye is available for Newcastle's UEFA Cup campaign, where they play SC Heerenveen in the last 32 next month.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h31
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Ecclestone offers £1.6bn to save F1

business.telegraph in association with Carbon Trust

Bernie Ecclestone, the billionaire owner of the commercial rights to Formula 1, will offer the sport's 10 teams $3bn (£1.6bn) of guaranteed revenues over five years, if they sign up to a new agreement to participate in F1 until 2012.

At a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Ecclestone will offer each team a minimum of $40m per season starting from the end of 2007 - the year the current "Concorde" agreement ends - until 2012.

 
Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone

In addition, each team will be offered a signing-on fee of more than $35m plus a further $7m to $9m currently held in an escrow account as a reflection of Ecclestone's view that they should have been given more for the 2004 season.

Currently the teams with the least points at the end of each season receive about $15m. That rises to about $50m for the winner of the Constructors Championship - which goes to the team picking up the most race points over a season. But under the terms of the new Concorde agreement, the most successful team could get more than $100m.

The deal will cost Ecclestone about $3bn between 2008 and 2012.

All the teams have been campaigning for a bigger slice of the £500m-per-year profits generated by F1, the bulk of which currently goes into Ecclestone's own pocket.

His improved offer is designed to kill off a rival racing franchise being set up by GPWC - a consortium of F1 manufacturers that includes BMW and Mercedes.

In a highly controversial move last week, Ferrari broke ranks with the other GPWC members and announced that it would sign up to Ecclestone's new Concorde agreement after clinching a $100m signing on fee.

Ecclestone believes Ferrari's show of allegiance to his flag will force the other teams to fall into line rather than hold out in the hope of securing a better deal from GPWC.

At Tuesday's meetings the teams will say that they are not happy with what they see as the preferential treatment shown to Ferrari by Ecclestone.

But they acknowledge that the prospect of an Ecclestone F1 series running alongside a rival GPWC franchise would devastate the sport.

Paul Stoddard, the owner of the Minardi F1 team, said: "It is not viable to have two championships. It is a recipe for absolute disaster. The worst scenario is if four or five teams agree to this new [Ecclestone] deal and four or five don't."

Stoddard added that the timing of Ferrari's announcement to sign up to the new Concorde agreement was a "brilliant coup" by Ecclestone.

Nicky Samengo-Turner, the in-house financial adviser to Arden International, which recently won the contract to manage the new Red Bull F1 team, said: "Watching Ecclestone sit down with the teams and the bankers is like watching a Las Vegas card sharp playing poker against schoolboys."

The outcome of Tuesday's meeting will have a direct bearing on whether Alex Shnaider, a Russian businessman, makes a substantial investment in the Jordan team. Eddie Jordan, the majority shareholder in Jordan F1, is seeking up to £15m in exchange for a 49 per cent stake in the team.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h30
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Athletic set the ball rolling

The Copa del Rey quarter-finals open tonight with Athletic Club Bilbao, 23-times winners, playing second division side Real Valladolid, the conquerors of Real Madrid CF.

Weekend fightback
It is 21 years since Athletic last lifted the trophy and coach Ernesto Valverde is keen to build on some impressive recent results - including a remarkable 4-3 league win against CA Osasuna on Saturday, when they fought back from three goals down. "The only downside about great games is that there is always another one to play three days later," the coach said.

'No guarantees'
Valverde added: "There are no guarantees in football, whether you start as favourites or underdogs - our strategy is to make sure we score and stop Valladolid from doing so." An ankle injury has ruled out striker Ismael Urzaiz while right-back Jesús Lacruz also misses out after stretching a knee ligament against Osasuna.

Betis test
Valladolid coach Sergio Kresic, meanwhile, can call on Xavi Moré, who hit the decisive goal against Madrid last week but Javier Torres Gómez is suspended. Elsewhere, four top-flight teams will contest tomorrow's ties - Osasuna visit Sevilla FC while CD Numancia are at home to Club Atlético de Madrid - but the most intriguing clash comes on Thursday when Segunda División B minnows UDA Gramenet face Real Betis Balompié on the artificial turf at the Nou Camp Municipal.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h29
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Di Canio told to explain himself

S.S. Lazio striker Paolo Di Canio faces an Italian Football Federation (FIGC) disciplinary hearing next week where he will be asked to explain the salute he made to fans after scoring in the derby win against AS Roma on 6 January. "Leaving aside any political interpretation of the gesture, Di Canio's behaviour conflicts with the principles of fair play, propriety and integrity," an FIGC statement said.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h28
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N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News
Newsday


Escrito por fraja8 às 15h26
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Van der Sar decides on future

Dutch international goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has signed a contract extension to keep him with English Premiership side Fulham FC until summer 2006. "I've enjoyed my time at Fulham since I joined in 2001. My family are happy and settled," he said. The 34-year-old was due to become a free agent at the end of the season, and had been linked with a move away from the London club.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h25
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Struggling Liverpool must deliver

Liverpool FC enter tonight's English League Cup semi-final second leg away to Watford FC holding a slender 1-0 lead and knowing that success in this tournament may offer their best route to Europe next season.

Three straight defeats
A dismal run of form has seen them lose their last three games including an ignominious defeat by Burnley FC in the third round of the FA Cup, and their current fifth position in the Premiership - seven points behind Everton FC in fourth - suggests that UEFA Champions League football in 2005/06 may elude them.

Benítez criticised
With the League Cup winners qualifying for the UEFA Cup, Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez, whose decision to rest players for the Burnley game was criticised in some quarters, is not underestimating the importance of the tie.

'Chance to put things right'
"In football sometimes you win but sometimes you lose. We are very disappointed, and me and the players feel the same as the supporters," said the Spaniard. "We have lost the last three games but we now have a chance to put things right. This is a good chance to get to a cup final and we go into the game with confidence."

Gerrard boost
Defender Sami Hyppiä is out with a thigh injury and winger Antonio Núñez is suspended, but the good news for Liverpool is that inspirational captain Steven Gerrard - whose goal divided the sides at Anfield - will play despite a slight hamstring worry.

'Wonderful situation'
Watford manager Ray Lewington, meanwhile, views the match as a tremendous opportunity to take the Championship team - England's second division - to a cup final and a step closer to a possible European spot. "I feel really excited like everyone else," Lewington said. "It's a wonderful situation to be in - going into the second leg of a semi-final with a realistic chance."

'Pressure on Liverpool'
Lewington also feels that Liverpool might be suffering from the weight of expectations: "Maybe it'll give them extra pressure knowing that they have to win this game. We'll meet them head-on in that respect - I don't think we'll be found wanting from the attitude point of view."

February date
Whoever wins will make the journey to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in February to contest the final against either Chelsea FC or Manchester United FC, who are set to battle out the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h21
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Sammer happy as Elson signs

VfB Stuttgart have announced the transfer of midfield player Elson from Brazilian side Palmeiras.

'Great potential'
Elson joins for an undisclosed fee and has penned a contract until 2009. The 23-year-old made 30 league appearances for Palmeiras in the 2004 season, scoring three goals. "He is a young midfielder with great potential," said Matthias Sammer, the Stuttgart coach.

Eligible for Europe
Stuttgart had been watching the player for some time and the club's sporting manager, Herbert Briem, added: "He is a technically strong player who can help our attacking midfield play." He will be eligible for the UEFA Cup where Stuttgart face Parma FC in the last 32 next month.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h19
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Money matters to fore in Switzerland

With most clubs in Switzerland enjoying a quiet winter break, attention has turned to the financial problems at Servette FC and Grasshopper-Club.

Servette in turmoil
Geneva side Servette, Swiss champions on 17 occasions, are in the most serious trouble and after having to submit their accounts to a court in their home city in the middle of January, they now have until the end of the month to find nearly €6.5m to avoid bankruptcy.

Debts mount up
Their problems began in October 2002 when French broadcasters Canal+ sold their 43.2 per cent stake in the club, and Servette required the sale of defender Philippe Senderos to Arsenal FC to keep going through the season. However, despite the purchase of the club by French players' agent Marc Roger last February, the debts have not been cleared.

Players depart
Servette lie eighth in the ten-team top division having recovered from a three-point deduction for financial irregularities, but several players have already left this month, including Stéphane Ziani, Eric Hassli, Davide Calla, Leonardo, Kata, Edu, Toni and Furo, though Roger claims to have potential investors lined up.

Grasshoppers cut back
Meanwhile, Zurich outfit Grasshoppers have decided to cut costs by 20 per cent following years of losses, which will no longer be covered by private investors. At the end of 2004 Jean-Paul Brigger stepped down as sporting director after 12 months to return to FIFA and other departures are possible.

Basel sign duo
In transfer news, champions FC Basel 1893, currently seven points clear at the top, have strengthened their defence with the signing of experienced Swiss international Patrick Müller from RCD Mallorca and the promising Reto Zanni from second-placed FC Thun.

Yakin eyes return
Possibly following Müller back to Switzerland is Hakan Yakin, who is looking to leave VfB Stuttgart. After the collapse of a move to CA Boca Juniors, Challenge League side FC Sion have become favourites to land the former Basel attacking midfield player.

February fixtures
Action in Switzerland resumes on the second weekend of February with the Swiss Cup quarter-finals. The league restarts one week later.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h17
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Alonso out for the season

Liverpool FC are resigned to being without midfield player Xabi Alonso for the rest of the season, according to manager Rafael Benítez.

Broken ankle
Alonso suffered a broken ankle in the Reds' 1-0 home defeat by Chelsea FC on 1 January and it was hoped initially he would be back within three months. However, Benítez now fears the Spanish international, a €16m summer recruit from Real Sociedad de Fútbol, will not return to action until next season.

'Will not play again'
"In my mind now I think that Xabi will not play again this season," he said. "After three months, you don't know, some players can come straight back but some players take a lot of time. If Xabi comes back it will be a bonus."



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h16
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European rivals meet in Marseille

In-form Olympique de Marseille can climb to third place in Ligue 1 tonight with victory at home to an FC Sochaux-Montbéliard side also brimming with confidence, while the rest of the action takes place tomorrow.

Marseille revival
Seven points behind leaders Olympique Lyonnais and in fifth position, Marseille have won their last three games and can realistically hope to secure the European berth they missed out on last time round. For midfield player Benoît Pedretti, success against seventh-placed Sochaux is vital. "Any points we pick up away are a bonus, but we have to win all our home games," he said.

Luyindula form
One reason for their improvement has been the turnaround in striker Péguy Luyindula's fortunes. The French international has scored three goals in two matches, and has received excellent service from 17-year-old playmaker Samir Nasri. However, Sochaux's goal machine Ilan misses this game through injury, although the UEFA Cup hopefuls have uncovered their own 17-year-old gem in Jérémy Menez, a hat-trick hero in Saturday's 4-0 demolition of FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

Sochaux ambitions
That result revived Sochaux's ambition of finishing among the European places and victory for Guy Lacombe's men would move them within five points of Marseille. Although their last away success dates back to November, Lacombe won't be settling for the draw. "I know Marseille are in great form, but we're definitely going there to try and win," he said.

Wednesday games
In tomorrow's fixtures, Lyon will aim to bounce back from their first defeat of the season when they face Stade Rennais FC, while their conquerors LOSC Lille Métropole travel to OGC Nice and AS Monaco FC visit RC Strasbourg.



Escrito por fraja8 às 15h15
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The real 'Coach Carter' similar to screen version

photo/movie_pix/paramount_pictures/coach_carter/coachcarter_bigposter-th3.jpg
 
DALLAS - Although it's the end of yet another long day of interviews in yet another city, Ken Carter is lively and eager to promote the movie he inspired.

His snazzy blue tie remains neatly knotted on a white shirt that's as crisp as when it came from the cleaners. He greets visitors to his posh hotel room with eager smiles and firm handshakes, casually referring to the men as "sir." Wow, the interview hasn't even begun and already it's evident that the real "Coach Carter" is a lot like the character played by Samuel L. Jackson — stylish, energetic and really courteous.

Nothing gets Ken Carter going more than talking up the movie's message, his message: Regardless of your circumstances, you can reach high goals by working hard and always doing the right thing.

Whether he's talking about the reason behind the moment that brought him to Hollywood's attention — keeping his undefeated high school basketball team off the court until they become better students — or describing his involvement in the movie, Carter comes alive with the passion, intensity and commitment Jackson shows on screen.

Nothing gets him going more than talking up the movie's message, his message: Regardless of your circumstances, you can reach high goals by working hard and always doing the right thing.

"In our community, 80 percent of our talk to each other and ourselves is negative," Carter says, using a statistic to set up a life lesson — a trick Jackson uses several times in the movie.

"We say, 'I can't do this. I can't lose weight. I can't jump higher.' What if you turn it around and say, 'I can, but I can't do it overnight. So I'm going to take these baby steps.' If you are 30 pounds overweight, you can lose it over the period of a year, or even two years. What matters is that you are getting there."

Carter accidentally became a celebrity in 1999 when he padlocked the gym at Richmond High in northern California because one-third of his players were slacking off in class. The publicity was stoked by backlash from the neighborhood; residents of the impoverished area didn't want to give up the one thing they had to cheer about.

Producers Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins called Carter during the uproar. When they eventually followed up, they discovered a man who provided far more than one moment to build a movie around. They had enough for MTV Films to make a 2-hour, 17-minute biopic that opened last weekend as the most-seen movie in the nation. "When you see this movie, you are seeing the truth," Carter said. "That's why it grabs you and takes you through these emotional roller coasters."

The outline of the story sounds familiar: A tough-love authority figure takes over a group of rogue high school students in a dead-end environment, gives them reason to believe they can rise above it, then teaches them how, with some clashes along the way.

What makes this tale unique is Carter.

A former star player at Richmond, he agreed in 1997 to replace his old coach — but only on a part-time basis because he owned a sporting goods store. Carter did well enough that he drove an expensive car and wore sharp suits, even to practice. His sense of style was meant to show that "not only drug dealers can drive nice cars, dress real well and have good perceptions of themselves." Another of his creeds is that "the way you do one thing is the way you do all things." So he ran the team like a business.

Players referred to him as "sir," and he extended the same respect to them. They had to wear coats and ties on game days and be good citizens on campus, which meant cleaning and painting the school and selling T-shirts to pay for road trips. They also signed contracts vowing to sit in the front row in class and maintain at least a 2.3 grade-point average — 0.3 higher than the state required to play sports.

"Everything we do in life that we consider extremely important, we sign some type of document, from a driver's license to getting married," Carter said. "It was something tangible in their hand that we could refer back to when there was a problem." He believed conditioning was the one thing a coach could control, so he ran them relentlessly, and they ran foes ragged.

Ken Carter takes in the Lakers-Heat game on Christmas Day with the man who plays him in the movie, Samuel Jackson.

The Oilers had only seven plays and each was named for one of Carter's sisters: Diane, Ernestine, Hettie Jean, Cookie, Linda, Deborah and Grace. (He has a brother, too, but there wasn't an eighth play for Albert.)

Carter also challenged players to think about their future. He told them not to dream of being the next Michael Jordan, but of becoming the person who signs Jordan's paychecks. He introduced them to business leaders and took them on field trips to places like Silicon Valley, encouraging them to join the crop of cyber-millionaires.

"If you can be successful on the basketball court, then you can be successful in the classroom," Carter said. "I saw what these kids could be, not where they were, and I planted that dream in them."

Where did he come up with this stuff?

Carter insists it was all instinct. He remembered what did and didn't work when he was a player and threw in some things he picked up in the business world. Everything was done with the intention of getting players to "walk out of their classrooms thinking, 'I'm a very smart person,' and feeling good about themselves," just like he did when he went to Richmond in the mid-1970s.

His formula worked. The four-win team he inherited won 25 games his first season and they lived up to academic expectations. The Oilers started the next year 13-0 and seemed to be doing fine in class, too.

Then Carter received progress reports showing that 15 of the 45 players in his program — varsity, junior varsity and freshmen squads — were violating their contracts. "I had no choice," Carter said. "I put a big lock on the gym door with a chain and a big sign that said, 'All players report to the library."'

Over the next week and a half, six games were forfeited, two by each level. The varsity still wound up making the state playoffs, although they were ousted in the second round. "But guess what?" Carter said. "The kids did win because it changed their lives and their families' lives. That is what's important."

Carter left Richmond in 2002, having sent many of his players to colleges, several on scholarships to four-year schools. The success stories included his son, Damien, going to West Point — after breaking his dad's school scoring record.

Ken Carter's next goal is spreading his message into junior highs to set kids on the right path early. The early box-office figures indicate he's already reaching a wide audience. "What I want the whole world to take from this movie is that respect, self-discipline and being kind will never, ever go out of style. Period."



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h59
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A Savage blow !

Bolton winger El-Hadji Diouf scored a controversial winner to ruin Robbie Savage's Blackburn debut. The Senegal international won a dubious penalty with 15 minutes remaining, going down as goalkeeper Brad Friedel challenged. Diouf scored a close-range rebound after the America keeper had saved his spot-kick.



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h57
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SUPERBOWL AD INVENTORY 95 PER CENT SOLD

The New England Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIV on February 6 with broadcaster Fox asking $2.4million for each half-minute advertising spot.

Fox says it has sold 95 per cent of its Super Bowl Inventory even though the rates are up $100,000 from last year. Anheuser-Busch, which will again be a top Super Bowl advertiser and purchased 10 of the 30-second commercial spots.

Super Bowl advertising has become a major sideshow to the game itself and something of a badge of honour for corporate America. Acres of newsprint are given over to previews and reviews. Creatives at agencies across the States save their best and most ingenious work for Super Bowl which is often used to launch new campaigns.

Brands and agencies remain tight-lipped about their creative approach ahead of the big game although observers believe this year will see a shift away from the wacky humour seen of late.

ESPN.com reported that Volvo, a first-time Super Bowl advertiser, will only say it put together a spot for its new V-8 sports utility vehicle.

Go Daddy Group Inc., a leading vendor of Internet names, will be making its Super Bowl debut. Founder Bob Parsons said his company expects to rake in $200million this year, ensuring that if the ad for www.GoDaddy.com is "a complete whiff, we're still fine".



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h55
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Albertini: "Esperaba este momento como un niño"

Sport

imatge

Albertini saluda a su llegada al aeropuerto

Puntual, a las 11 menos cuarto de la noche, aterrizaba en el aeropuerto del Prat el avión procedente de Milan que llevaba al primer refuerzo de invierno del Barça: Demetrio Albertini

Ha sido visto y no visto. El avión procedente de Milán ha llegado puntual quince minutos antes de las once de la noche. Mucha expectación de medios de comunicación, pero pocas palabras del jugador, ya que ya se sabe que al Barça le gusta últimamente que las primeras declaraciones sean a través de la web del club.

De todas formas, si que hemos podido escuchar sus primeras palabras. Albertini ha reconocido que "estaba esperando este momento como un niño. Para mí y para mí familia era muy importante poder fichar por el Barcelona". Cansado "estos últimos días y horas han sido muy duros", no ocultaba su satisfacción. "Estoy encantado de estar en Barcelona. Me siento muy bien".

Mañana, Albertini tendrá un día completo. Doble revisión médica - en el Hospital de Barcelona y en las mismas instalaciones del Camp Nou - y no se descarta que por la tarde vaya al campo para saludar a sus nuevos compañeros, aunque no está previsto que se entrene. La presentación oficial debe ser el miércoles y, no se descarta que pueda ser conjunta con la de Maxi López.



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h52
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KAKÁ 2 MELHOR QUE KAKÁ 1

A.C. Milan

Amichevole Milan-Cervia 5-2

MILANELLO – As primeiras palavras de Kaká na entrevista coletiva de hoje em Milanello: 

Na primeira fase não foi fácil contra o Livorno, agora nos faltam aqueles dois pontos assim como nos faltam aqueles com o Messina que enfrentaremos daqui a pouco. Nas rodadas iniciais o Milan teve um bom rendimento, não é fácil ficar somente a dois pontos do Juve. Permanecer na luta com eles é importante, nos dá uma motivação diferente e especial no momento de entrar em campo. Para mim também foi o momento de aprender tantas coisas, um momento importante da minha vida e da minha carreira. Aquilo que aprendi no início da temporada agora coloco em prática, eu adoro aprender, gosto de aprender com os meus companheiros, com o treinador, com todos”. 

 
As perguntas e os pedidos feitos a Kaka :
“Maldini? É muito difícil tentar repetir o que ele fez, ele é único, a sua história é belíssima. Estreou muito jovem e esteve no topo, no mesmo clube, por 20 anos. Espero que o Juventus, três empates em quatro partidas, nos permita aproveitar o seu momento não tão positivo. Em todo caso Trezeguet poederá dar aos alvinegros uma grande mão. Creio que o segredo do Milan seja a formação, a capacidade de fazer mudanças e manter em alto nível a qualidade da equipe. Sheva? Cresceu muito, é forte, é bravíssimo, faz ótimos passes. Quem sabe se fosse brasileiro o chamaríamos Shevchenkão e poderia jogar na nossa Seleção, seria uma bela vantagem. Dhorasoo? É muito bravo, como me dizia antes de sua chegada ao Milan Juninho Pernambucano, que o conhece bem. Estou contente também que Hernan Crespo se ache tão bem no Milan e tenha voltado a mostrar todo o seu valor, tudo aquilo que é capaz de fazer.
Espero que se recuperem logo também Simic e Inzaghi. Quem não joga fica triste e não é bom para nós vermos nossos companheiros deprimidos. 

Serie A: Milan-Udinese 3-1
 
Depois, com base nas perguntas, Kaká tocou um pouco em todos os temas atuais:
Em Livorno será duro, como têm sido todas as partidas deste campeonato, sobretudo fora de casa. Eu não lamento nada do ano passado, estou fazendo experiência, os apoios e os gols deste ano me dão muita satisfação. Sobre as câmeras? Quando estou em campo não penso na presença das telecâmeras, penso somente em jogar a partida. Penso que as novidades a partir de domingo não terão nada de especial.
O único ponto desfavorável talvez será o pós-partida, com muitas análises, principalmente sobre a atuação dos árbitros. Segundo o Treinador Ancelotti, cujas palavras são consistentes, eu estou melhor que no ano passado, jogo melhor as partidas e meu desempenho é superior ao ano passado.
Aprender a achar espaços novos e procurar os espaços justos para superar o adversário, deslocar-me para ser importante para o time, abrir espaço para os meus companheiros: tudo isso são coisas que aprendi neste ano e que sinceramente aprecio. Diferenças políticas em Livorno: Se me pedem uma comparação com o Brasil, respondo que não, nós não misturamos futebol com ideologias políticas”.



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h44
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UM NOVO RECORD PARA O CANAL OFICIAL DO AC. MILAN

Milan Chanel, o canal tematico dedicado ao A.C. Milan, com o seu novo presidente e propretario Riccardo Silva (na foto) cortou a faixa de chegada com 50.000 socios. Mas nao se trata so do numero.
O objetivo atingido do canal tem tambem nome e sobrenome, foi o sr. Angelo Cattaneo di Desio a se escrever como socio de numero 50.000. Milanista de fe, ele sera ospede na transmissao e sera convidado para muitas outras iniciativas do Milan.
Milan Chanel, nacido dia 16 de dezembro de 1999, junto ao centenario do timt rubronegro.
Milan Chanel, o brand e awareness respeito aos outros canais satelitares, é um primeiros da Italia, e o numero um dos canais temeticos dedicados a times de futebol. E tambem o top europeu, junto aos inventores desta categoria, Real Madrid e Manchester United.

Uma pesquisa Digitrack mostra que 280.000 pessoas seguem o canal tematico toda a semana.
Segundo a pesquisa sao 69,5% homens e o restante mulheres.
As faixas etarias variam de 14 aos 34 anos e sao predominantemente do sul e noroeste italiano.  A pesquisa mostra que é um publico jovem under 44,com uma percentual de 82,1 %.



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h38
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Milan: Berlusconi a Milanello

Milan: Berlusconi a Milanello

MILANO, 24 GEN - Visita a sorpresa di Silvio Berlusconi, stamani a Milanello. Una puntata a Milan-Lab e poi un brevissimo incontro con la squadra. La notizia e' stata confermata dal vicepresidente Galliani. 'E' stato a MilanLab, non so cosa abbia detto', si e' limitato a dire. Da quel che si e' saputo il presidente dimissionario ha incoraggiato giocatori e tecnico affinche' si lascino alle spalle lo stop di Livorno. Per dirla con le parole di Galliani 'ci puo' stare a perdere una gara ogni 18'.



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h37
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Butragueño: "Esta jornada podemos recortar puntos al Barcelona"

Portada - Butragueño lamenta las críticas de Roberto Carlos a los menos habituales y el mal estado del césped

El vicepresidente del Real Madrid, Emilio Butragueño, mostró su confianza en que este fin de semana sea propicio para los intereses del equipo y pueda recortar distancias respecto al líder, el Barcelona, que viaja al Sánchez Pizjuán, para jugar ante el Sevilla, cuarto clasificado.

"Nosotros somos perseguidores y no podemos fallar, sino esperar a que falle el que va primero para acercarnos. Vamos a ver qué pasa la próxima jornada porque puede ser interesante para nosotros. El Barcelona tiene un partido muy difícil en Sevilla y nosotros nos enfrentamos al Numancia, que desde luego no será fácil, pero puede ser una jornada propicia para recortar la distancia", consideró, en una entrevista a 'Realmadrid TV' y 'Realmadrid.com'.

La victoria ante el Mallorca (3-1) mantiene la buena racha en Liga, aunque ahora la preocupación es el estadio del césped, sobre el que se trabajará a partir de este lunes. "Empiezan las obras y en diez días tendremos el césped nuevo para recibir el Espanyol. Con la técnica de nuestros jugadores necesitamos un césped en perfectas condiciones", resaltó.

Sin embargo, Butragueño quiso "defender a todos aquellos que tienen que ver con el mantenimiento del césped": "Es cierto que no está en perfecto estado, pero ellos son profesionales de grandísimo nivel y una muestra más es su capacidad de reacción ante una situación poco ideal para nosotros".

Portada - Samuel será operado mañana de una fractura múltiple en los huesos propios de la nariz

Agradecido con Samuel
Además, alabó el gesto de Samuel de disputar el partido completo e incluso marcar el 2-1, pese a jugar con una fractura en los huesos propios de la nariz de la que será operado el martes. "Los doctores del club nos han dicho que en condiciones normales una persona no es que no pueda jugar al fútbol, sino que no puede hacer absolutamente nada. En cambio Samuel terminó el partido con la nariz rota. Desde luego tenemos que agradecérselo porque es un gran gesto que demuestra su profesionalidad", concluyó

Butragueño admite que Solari tiene que seguir

Solari es abrazado por Beckham después de que el argentino marcara el 3-1 del Real Madrid el domingo ante el Mallorca

Solari sigue haciendo méritos para la renovación. Eso lo dejó claro ayer el Santiago Bernabéu, que aclamó al jugador tras marcar un golazo, y hasta el propio Emilio Butragueño. El vicepresidente del Real Madrid señaló tras el partido que el futbolista sigue haciendo méritos para seguir.

Todo parecía ya acabado en el Bernabéu, pero faltaba lo mejor. Solari, eso no es noticia, salía una vez más desde el banquillo, pero a su buen hacer añadió ayer uno de sus mejores goles desde que está en el Real Madrid, sino el mejor. El jugador, tras recortar en el vértice del área grande a dos futbolistas del Mallorca, enganchó un zurdazo que se coló por la escuadra de Moya. El Bernabéu sacó entonces los pañuelos y aclamó al argentino.

El caso es que Solari sigue dando argumentos de peso al Madrid para que se decida por la renovación. Emilio Butragueño se encargó ayer de abrir la puerta al jugador, que recibirá una oferta del club en base a incentivos para seguir en el Madrid. “Sé que hay una preocupación social en este sentido. El jugador se ha merecido la renovación cada vez que ha salido. Es un derroche de profesionalidad el suyo”, comentó el vicepresidente y director general deportivo a Canal Plus.

Los argentinos Samuel y Solari salvan al Madrid

Sobre el gol de Solari, Butragueño elogió la jugada. “Da gusto ver un gol así y me alegro por él. Es un golazo y se trata de un futbolista muy importante”.

Butragueño destacó el triunfo del equipo. “Lo importante era la victoria ante un rival que siempre nos lo pone difícil en el Bernabéu. Los puntos nos permiten seguir en la lucha”.Por su parte, Mateo Alemany, presidente del Mallorca, reconocía que “no podemos fallar mucho más, pero es difícil ganar aquí”.



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h28
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Guti: "¿De qué quiero jugar? De titular"

Portada - 'Guti', del Real Madrid, afirma:

José María Gutiérrez, 'Guti', pasó por los micrófonos de Radio Marca. El centrocampista del Real Madrid hizo un repaso al momento por el que atraviesa el equipo y a su situación particular en el conjunto blanco. Pese a ser el segundo capitán "no me considero ni titular ni suplente. Como cada año, depende del momento. No soy indiscutible pero tampoco soy de esos jugadores que no aportan nada al grupo. Este año he jugado mucho pero se repite una situación de siempre. Cuando llega un nuevo fichaje parece que suelo ser el más perjudicado. No puedo ocultar que algunas veces he pensado en dejar el club. Sin embargo, cada vez he ido teniendo más peso específico y siempre he terminado jugando. Eso es lo que ha hecho que continúe en el club al que quiero".

Sobre la llegada de Gravesen, reconoció que: "Sé que mi presencia en el once está un poco más comprometida. Pero se trata de un buen profesional que nos dará consistencia y aportará una serie de cualidades que nos vendrán muy bien. Tiene unas características muy definidas y sumará cosas a este equipo. No creo que se nos pueda comparar. Somos diferentes aunque ya me estaba acostumbrando a mis nuevas funciones".

El tener que entregarse a tareas más defensivas: "me han ayudado a convertirme en un jugador más maduro y completo. Es cierto que estoy más cómodo cuando actúo del centro del campo hacia adelante. Pese a todo, me siento cómodo en mi nueva ubicación y me gustaría seguir disputando muchos partidos ahí".

Portada - Luxemburgo ensaya un centro del campo en rombo, con Beckham, Guti, Figo y Zidane, sin Gravesen

Sin renunciar a nada
Hace unos días, un confidencial de Marca apuntó que el vestuario le prometió a Florentino Pérez que serían líderes en marzo: "Y lo dijimos porque lo sentimos así. Es lo que pensamos y trataremos de conseguirlo. Estamos en franca mejoría, los resultados comenzarán a acompañarnos y el Barcelona no está tan fuerte como a principios de la campaña. Sé que tienen un equipo como para ganarlo todo pero a nosotros nadie no va a quitar la moral. Hace unos meses nos llevaban una gran ventaja y hemos conseguido reducirla".

Guti no descartó la posibilidad de situarse a cuatro puntos del líder tras el próximo fin de semana: "El Barça visitará el campo del Sevilla y seguro que será un choque muy complicado. Los andaluces quieren seguir en los primeros puestos y ya han demostrado que son un adversario muy difícil de superar, sobre todo en casa. Si ellos pinchan y nosotros ganamos al Numancia, la Liga sufrirá un giro inesperado. No podemos renunciar a nada aunque nos preocupa el estado que pueda presentar el césped de Los Pajaritos. Seguro que el frío será muy intenso en Soria y tendremos que adaptarnos a unas condiciones demasiado adversas. Pero bueno, no será una novedad. Ya hemos jugado en Ucrania, en Rusia y lo hemos hecho bien".

En cuanto a Wanderlei Luxemburgo, el internacional aseguró que. "No creo que sea un entrenador duro. Sabe lo que quiere y le gusta que estemos bien tanto táctica como físicamente. Se ha hablado mucho y se ha dicho que somos un grupo que necesitaba mano dura. No es así. Los integrantes de esta plantilla somos los obreros del club y trabajamos en lo que el técnico nos dice. Pero no es una novedad. Lo hicimos con Camacho, también con García Remón y lo seguimos haciendo ahora. Todos los entrenadores trabajan. Ellos viven más para el fútbol que los jugadores. Se pasan 24 horas pendientes de todo, de analizar a los rivales, de cómo mejorar,..."

Luxemburgo Cree Que El Madrid Tiene Aún Que Mejorar

Apoyo a Solari
Guti no eludió hablar sobre uno de los temas de más actualidad en el Real Madrid: "Me alegré cuando marco Solari. Santi es un gran amigo mío y le dije que no había podido escoger un mejor momento para reivindicarse con ese golazo. Puede que no sea un galáctico pero aporta muchas cosas. Sería un error dejar marchar a un futbolista de su categoría. Sé que él quiere quedase y que en el club hay directivos muy inteligentes. Seguro que llegarán a un acuerdo".

Para completar su confesión, reveló un secreto a voces: "Tengo claro que nunca vestiría la camiseta del Barcelona. De eso estoy seguro. No creo que pudiese jugar en otro equipo de España. Me gustaría retirarme en mi equipo de toda la vida pero, si no es así, me encantaría probar suerte en Inglaterra. Aún no he pensado en mi futuro. Cuando cuelgue las botas me gustaría seguir ligado al club pero aún es pronto y no sé que opciones se me presentarán".

Para terminar, mandó un mensaje de optimismo a la afición: "Quiero perdir a nuestros aficionados que nos apoyen como hasta ahora. Ya saben que nosotros vamos a dar la cara por lograr los dos títulos que aún nos quedan. Eso es lo que todos deseamos".



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h24
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Adriano: "Espero cumplir mi sueño y el de Florentino"

Adriano ha abierto las puertas al Real Madrid. Como adelantó el diario Marca el 21 de enero, el delantero brasileño del Inter de Milán es el nuevo objetivo de Florentino Pérez para ampliar su nómina de galácticos y en breve se encontrará con él y Moratti coincidiendo con la boda de Ronaldo. El presidente del Real Madrid tiene claro que el canarinho cumple todas las exigencias para formar parte del conjunto blanco y ha puesto toda la maquinaria para hacerse con sus servicios. Mientras estudia todas las opciones económicas para afrontar un fichaje que se presenta complicado, se ha encontrado con la ayuda inestimable del propio jugador, que ha manifestado sus enormes ganas por formar parte de la pléyade de estrellas blancas.

En declaraciones a Canal Plus, Adriano ha mostrado su disposición por convertirse en el nuevo galáctico madridista: "Estoy muy feliz con las palabras de Florentino. Ya veremos lo que pasa en el futuro, pero espero cumplir mi sueño y el de Florentino". Con esta declaración de intenciones el fichaje del brasileño parece ser más factible. Aún quedan muchos flecos que resolver y largas negociaciones por delante, pero las ganas del brasileño por enfundarse la elástica blanca son un importante paso al frente.

El delantero brasileño agradeció al presidente del Real Madrid el cariño que le dispensa. "Florentino tiene un cariño especial por mí porque sigue mis partidos y quiere que forme parte de su club. Ahora es difícil salir del Inter, pero en un futuro espero jugar en el Real Madrid".

Sobre la posibilidad de ser un galáctico, Adriano sonrió: "Yo quiero divertirme jugando al fútbol. Vine muy joven a Italia para enseñar mi fútbol y después poder jugar en España".

"Sacchi es como un segundo padre para mí"
Adriano también tuvo un recuerdo especial para el director de fútbol del Real Madrid. "Sacchi me ayudó mucho porque era muy joven cuando fui al Parma. Es como si fuera mi segundo padre", subrayó Adriano, que indicó que su intención es "divertirme jugando al fútbol" y asumió tener todavía cosas que mejorar. "Me falta algo más de atención y mejorar con la pierna derecha", indicó.

El Barcelona le tentó
Por último, Adriano desveló que mantuvo también contactos con el Barcelona, pero prefirió comprometerse con el Inter.

"Es cierto que existió la posibilidad de ir al Barcelona. Hablé con Rosell pero preferí ir al Inter. Vine muy joven a Italia para enseñar mi fútbol y después poder jugar en España", concluyó Adriano.



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h18
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Adriano: "Sacchi é como um segundo pai para mim"

 Adriano festeggia un anno di Inter:

Adriano, o atacante brasileiro da Inter de Milão, reconheceu ter estado na mira do Real Madrid e não descartou a possibilidade de "em um futuro" ir parar neste clube, ao qual acaba de chegar Arrigo Sacchi, profissional a quem o jogador chama de "segundo pai".

"É muito difícil sair agora do Inter porque sou um jogador importante para esta equipe. Mas quem sabe o que pode acontecer em no futuro. Posso terminar no Real Madrid", disse o atacante de São Paulo em declarações dadas ao Canal Plus.

Adriano também destacou a importância de Arrigo Sacchi em sua carreira e reconheceu ter conversado com Florentino Pérez.

Inter: Solo palestra per Vieri e Adriano

"Estou muito feliz com as palavras de Florentino. Vamos ver o que acontece no futuro, mas espero cumprir meu sonho e o de Florentino. Estou muito agradecido pelas palavras do presidente do Real Madrid", afirmou o jogador, de 22 anos.

"Sacchi me ajudou muito porque era muito jovem quando fui para o Parma. Ele é, por assim dizer, meu segundo pai", ressaltou Adriano, que indicou que sua intenção é se divertir jogando futebol.



Escrito por fraja8 às 18h17
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'Bellamy is out of order' storms Shearer

Newcastle United's captain Alan Shearer shows his frustration with a decision by the assistant referee during the game

Newcastle captain Alan Shearer waded into the Craig Bellamy row by insisting all the players must toe the line with manager Graeme Souness' wishes - or be replaced.

Hamstrung: Bellamy really is injured here (NealSimpson/Empics)
The former England striker added his side of the story after Bellamy was not even named among the substitutes for yesterday's match against Arsenal after refusing to play wide right.

Shearer told The Journal: 'Craig declared himself injured on Friday dinner time and then was fit on Saturday morning. 'The manager - like everyone at Newcastle United - only wants players who want to play for the club, whether it's in the position they want to play in or not. 'We all want to go in the same direction, we all want success for Newcastle United, and if anyone doesn't want that, the manager will replace them with other players.'

The 34-year-old gave the embattled Magpies boss his backing as he added: 'I think the manager has done a good job. You never get a job when things are going right at a football club. 'Graeme came to Newcastle and knew about one or two problems and he is trying his hardest to sort them out. If anyone can do it, he can.'

Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd tried to defuse the Bellamy row by insisting the matter was dealt with at a meeting on Friday.

'There was a lengthy meeting on Friday between the manager, Craig Bellamy and myself,' Shepherd revealed. 'What was discussed at that meeting is an internal matter and will remain private within the confines of the club. As far as I am concerned, that is the end of the matter.'

Earlier the Newcastle chairman had been quoted as saying that Bellamy was not for sale and that the player had been made fully aware of the club's position at the same meeting. Shepherd said: 'Craig Bellamy is not for sale. The manager and myself have had a little meeting with him and told him that. 'We cannot stop him being linked with other clubs or other clubs wanting him but what we can say is that we have had nobody ask about Craig Bellamy and if we had, it would not matter, because he is not for sale.'

Bellamy's unhappiness can be traced back to October last year when the striker first made it known to Souness that he was unhappy playing second fiddle to a preferred strikeforce of Shearer and Patrick Kluivert. Bellamy was forced to accept a midfield role and is alleged to have told close friends and team-mates in the Wales squad that he had even considered handing in a transfer request. Bellamy was then at loggerheads with the Scot after unleashing a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse at Souness when the United boss hauled him off at Charlton.

The latest row erupted when, fed-up with being asked to play right midfield, Bellamy is alleged to have feigned injury and then walked off the training pitch. Souness said: 'I don't really want to talk about Craig Bellamy. We will address that situation next week. But my real concern is that we have just lost a match 1-0 to Arsenal.'

Craig Bellamy

When quizzed over whether the 25-year-old Wales international striker still had a future at St James' Park, Souness said: 'Craig Bellamy is contracted to the club. There was an incident on Friday which led to me having to have a meeting between the chairman, the player and myself. 'Craig Bellamy is not happy in the position we are asking him to play sometimes and he's gone about showing his displeasure in totally the wrong way, that's why he was not involved. 'Declaring himself injured on Friday and walking off on Friday, then being fit on Saturday. We're trying to create a team spirit at Newcastle, and I'm only interested in having players at the club who give everything for the cause.'

Players' chief Gordon Taylor can only see a parting of the ways if they cannot settle their differences. Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, admitted that he could sympathise with the player. 'It's a difficulty when a player of the quality of Craig Bellamy has made it clear he doesn't want to play wide on the right where he doesn't think he's at his best,' he said. 'He prefers to play through the middle and it's really difficult for him because he only has one career. He is an acknowledged, proven quality striker.

Escrito por fraja8 às 18h13
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Rogério Ceni 'troca' gols por título

Folha Imagem

Goleiro do São Paulo coloca como prioridade ser campeão de um torneio expressivo, fato que ainda não conseguiu em 14 anos.

SÃO PAULO - O gol na vitória sobre o América no último domingo foi o de número 34 na carreira de Rogério Ceni. A emoção de ir às redes do adversário, no entanto, não contagia mais tanto o goleiro, que almeja, enfim, conquistar um título de expressão como titular do São Paulo.

Há 14 anos no Morumbi, o jogador, como titular, foi apenas campeão da Conmebol (1994), Paulista (1998 e 2000) e Rio-São Paulo (2001).

"O gol é sempre secundário. Não é prioridade. Meu objetivo é ganhar um titulo de expressão pelo São Paulo", afirmou o jogador. "É importante fazer o gol e ajuda o time, como aconteceu na partida contra o América, mas prefiro ser campeão", acrescentou.

Rogério Ceni acredita que 2005 poderá ser o ano do São Paulo, que terá como prioridade ficar com o título da Copa Libertadores da América. "Ainda credito que irá chegar mais um reforço para ajudar nosso grupo. Contratamos Josué e Mineiro, que são dois belos jogadores, e tem o Luizão, que logo vai estrear. Começamos bem e temos muito que melhorar. Vamos brigar pelos títulos", discursou.

No ano passado, o Tricolor foi eliminado nas semifinais do torneio sul-americano pelo Once Caldas, da Colômbia, que ficou com o título ao bater o Boca Juniors na decisão. "Não podemos bater na trave novamente", comentou o capitão são-paulino.

O clube do Morumbi está na chave 3, ao lado de Universidad de Chile, The Strongest e o vencedor do confronto entre Colo Colo e Quilmes.

Confiança
O gol no último domingo não foi uma homenagem apenas para as filhas - Beatriz e Clara -, que nasceram no final de 2004. O técnico Emerson Leão também foi lembrado por Rogério Ceni. "Temos outros jogadores que batem bem na bola, mas o Leão depositou confiança em mim. E tive essa chance de retribuir", afirmou.

O goleiro anotou o primeiro gol sob o comandando do treinador. Antes de anotar contra o América, o jogador havia feito dois gols na partida diante do Figueirense, no dia 17 de julho de 2004, pelo Campeonato Brasileiro. À época, Cuca era o técnico do Tricolor.



Escrito por fraja8 às 17h49
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Inside the seven proposed stadium/arena projects for N.Y./New Jersey teams.

Just another building block - Local stadium plans never have the blight stuff  

 

Nothing ever gets built around here. For decades, there have been all these best- and worst-laid plans, all these pricey stadium and arena projects on the drawing board for the metropolitan area. And then . . . another meeting . . . a revised scale model inside a glass case.

The last major-league sports building was opened in 1981, the pedestrian Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford. Since then, owners and developers have lobbied, campaigned and even bought out neighborhoods to fit their dreams. Still there is nothing, even after nearly a dozen years of pro-development, Republican mayoralties.

But nothing can't go on forever. Shovels are bound to meet earth, somewhere. There are seven major projects planned by our big-league teams, seven un-built wonders. They are each unique complexes with varied cost-sharing projections, each with its own potential boons and boondoggles.

1. Devils Arena

Location: Downtown Newark, corner of Broad and Lafayette Streets

Harry Grant came to this same spot in 1985, a man of great mystery and money, of grays and green. The Iraqi businessman, born Uri Chyavi, supposedly had been a successful developer in Israel and Canada. He adopted his American name from a phone book. He wore enormous, face-swallowing glasses, and he owned even bigger plans. Grant said he would pour $1.5 billion into the thirsty city. He would build a new mall, with 200,000 square feet of retail space and 25,000 square feet of office space. He would connect this mall with a walkway to a 30-story, $75 million tower called Grant USA I, which he figured to complete by 1991. He would build condominiums, a synagogue, a hotel and convention center. And while he was at it, Grant would construct the world's tallest building, 1,750 feet high, for about $750 million.

He paid $1.2 million for the century-old Central Railroad Building on Broad Street, a block from City Hall, and began converting it into the Renaissance Mall. He brought in the best architects, the top accountants. "Anything I touch will be Grant-ed," he said.

But as the Renaissance Mall neared completion in 1989, with escalator banks in place and flags flying, Grant vanished. The unfinished, uncovered mall rusted and broke apart. The place became a very different symbol for Newark - one of false promise, of limited potential.

It is on this corner, where the Renaissance Mall still decays, that the Devils plan to erect an urban hockey palace with seating of 18,000. It will be constructed in coliseum style, with curving glass, by Fall, 2007. The Devils say they'll chip in $100 million, while Newark pays about $210 million, which it is indirectly obtaining in complex, $12 million annual installments from the Port Authority.

2. MetroStars Stadium

Location: Harrison, New Jersey, middle of nowhere

MetroStars officials say the site reminds them of a Sopranos episode. It was at this Charles F. Guyon Pipe Fitting plant - a giant, empty monument to the industrial age - where Christopher foolishly announces in one HBO episode, "Let's rob one more truck," and nearly pays with his life.

Walking around here is like sight-seeing at some ancient ruins. The place is rubble - crumbling brick and abandoned tires for miles around, except for this mountain of a factory where the stadium is planned.

3. New Yankee Stadium

Location: Macombs Dam Park, the Bronx

There is a running track here, recently resurfaced, and two men are power walking at a brisk pace in the chill of winter. They are not happy that the Yankees are proposing to build a new stadium here, across 161st Street, from Babe Ruth's house.

"You have senior citizens, disabled people, come here for exercise every day," says Keith Boston, a local resident. But there are few other voices being raised against the 50,000-seat facility, which would cost the city about $300 million in garages and mass-transit stations. The Yankees will pay the rest, about $800 million, and are promising to build new tennis courts and baseball fields to replace the lost park land. The old stadium might house a hotel, a museum and even a high school.

City officials are signing off on this project - provided George Steinbrenner comes up with the cash. Yankee president Randy Levine, says the venture is still green-lighted, still being designed, and that the team hopes to begin construction within two years. The MTA is likely to throw a few wrenches into that timetable, so nostalgic fans need not panic quite yet.

4. New Shea Stadium

Location: Shea parking lot, Queens, between the center field wall and 126th Street

Of all the proposed sites for new stadiums, this is by far the least interesting and controversial. There is nothing here but macadam and steel dividers. The place is dead silent, except for the background clattering of electric tools. The property is bordered on the far side by a series of muffler, tire and body shops. It is hard to imagine how all these overlapping businesses can stay solvent, but there is no shortage of needy autos.

5. The Lighthouse Project

Location: Uniondale, Long Island

The Nassau Coliseum stands like an unsightly pimple on the face of its own parking lot. Like the Meadowlands Arena, this suburban building is aging without grace. There isn't much sports action here, with the Islanders temporarily out of business. Sadly, only one ticket seller is on duty in the arena this day, servicing about three customers. The outdoor restrooms are locked tight.

6. Nets Arena

Location: Corner of Atlantic and Flatbush, Brooklyn

Bruce Bender, executive vice president of Forest City Ratner, points to a smashed car window parked along Pacific St. and says, "This is the old Brooklyn." Bender is pitching the new Brooklyn, which is Bruce Ratner's vision of a $430 million arena for the Nets, part of a $2.5 billion commercial and residential development that has potential to make somebody some money.

7. Jets Stadium

Location: The West Side railyards, Manhattan

A small steam shovel is shuttling track segments between 10th and 11th Avenues, near 33rd Street. There are railcars in waiting here for as far as the eye can see, and cars are making their way toward the Lincoln Tunnel rampways. The surrounding streets are a mix of businesses, residences and warehouses. A FedEx truck is double-parked next to another truck on 33rd, and a third truck is having a hard time squeezing past the cars belonging to reporters from The News and Associated Press.



Escrito por fraja8 às 17h40
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photo

“I shook a lot of hands. I got a lot of endorsement deals done.”
-- Shaquille O’Neal, on Donald Trump’s wedding



Escrito por fraja8 às 17h34
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Escrito por fraja8 às 16h59
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Ticket Prices - World Cup 2006

Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4
Opening Match 300.00 € 180.00 € 115.00 € 65.00 €
Group Games 100.00 € 60.00 € 45.00 € 35.00 €
Final Sixteen 120.00 € 75.00 € 60.00 € 45.00 €
Quarter finals 180.00 € 110.00 € 85.00 € 55.00 €
Semi-finals 400.00 € 240.00 € 150.00 € 90.00 €
3rd place play-off 120.00 € 75.00 € 60.00 € 45.00 €
Final 600.00 € 360.00 € 220.00 € 120.00 €

  • Seats in Category 1 are generally located alongside the pitch.
  • Seats in Category 2 are generally located adjacent to Category 1.
  • Seats in Category 3 are generally located behind the goals or on the corners.
  • Seats in Category 4 are generally located behind the goals or on the corners.

Please note that the diagram is for illustrative purposes only and does not reflect either the exact layout of the stadiums or the precise location in each stadium of the four ticket category types.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h52
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Global internet sales start: At least 1.1 million match tickets on public sale

812,000 match tickets go on sale from 1 February 2005 in the first 2006 FIFA World Cup™ ticket sales period. "But we will release at least 300,000 more tickets for sale before 15 January 2006," announced German Organising Committee (OC) senior vice-president Horst R. Schmidt at a joint FIFA/OC news conference at the Hotel Kempinski Gravenbruch in Neu-Isenburg. "And we know from experience that many more will also go on public sale after that," Schmidt continued.

Click here for the Tickets homepage

According to the most up-to-date ticketing plans, the 12 FIFA World Cup stadiums boast a gross capacity of 3.37 million for the 64 FIFA World Cup matches. However, after taking away seats for VIP guests, the media, a security reserve and seats with restricted views, the gross capacity is reduced by around 440,000. According to the latest estimates, a total of 2.93 million tickets will go on sale.

The first of five sales periods begins on 1 February 2005 and ends on 31 March 2005, although the order in which applications are received has no bearing on the final allocation of tickets. "People should take their time, study the match schedule, and then apply within the given time frame. We're assuming demand will far exceed supply, so we will begin a ballot on 15 April 2005," Horst R. Schmidt explained. The ballot will be conducted electronically according to TÜV certified procedures in the presence of a notary public. Applicants who are allocated tickets will receive written confirmation indicating the number and category of tickets. Final seat allocation will be advised at a later date.

FIFA General Secretary Dr Urs Linsi explained the decision to begin sales for host nation Germany and the rest of the world simultaneously via the internet through www.FIFAworldcup.com. "The FIFA World Cup is a global event so ticket sales have to begin at the same time everywhere," Dr Linsi commented. To ensure as many fans as possible receive tickets, two limits have been placed on applications per household. The first covers price categories 1-3: a household may apply for a maximum of four tickets per match for up to seven matches. The second limit applies to the cheapest tickets in category 4, where a maximum of two tickets per application for up to three matches applies. The cheapest "fan category" includes a total of approximately 260,000 tickets.

The first sales period also features Team Specific Tickets (TST) allowing fans to follow their favourite team from the group stage right up to the Final.

In line with applicable regulations and contractual commitments, reserved ticket quotas are not included in the first sales period. This applies to FIFA member associations (205 in total) in general and the participating nations in particular, each of which receives eight percent of the tickets for matches involving their team.

Further substantial quotas based on net stadium capacities are reserved for the Official Partners and Official Suppliers (18.9 percent) and the TV partners (2.2 percent), whose licence fees constitute a significant proportion of revenues at the FIFA World Cup. "But what we know about the sponsors is that many of these tickets return to the fans by way of competition prizes," commented Franz Beckenbauer.

Later this year the German Football Association (DFB) Organising Committee will offer approximately 400,000 tickets to the so-called German football family - regional associations, first and second division clubs, fan organisations and the FIFA World Cup Host Cities and stadiums. "But our advice in the first instance is for people to apply for publicly available tickets," explained Horst R. Schmidt. Added OC President Franz Beckenbauer: "What I've said to everyone who's come up and asked me for tickets over the last few weeks is to get on the inter-net, because we can't guarantee tickets to anyone."

The 2006 FIFA World Cup OC and FIFA have established the legal basis for ticket sales in collaboration with the European Commission, the Federal Environment Ministry, agricultural and consumer protection agencies and data protection authorities.

With the exception of tickets won in competitions run by companies which are not Official Partners or Official Suppliers of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, tickets are non-transferable.

MasterCard is the official method of payment of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. MasterCard products are the only cards accepted for payment in the first four sales periods. Alternatively, payments can be made by bank transfer or direct debit. More information is available at www.mastercard.com/fifaworldcup.

FIFA and the OC have established clear priorities. "The fans are the defining factor at a World Cup. Our aim is to provide an optimal service, and we're hoping not just to sell all the tickets, but to fill the stadiums down to the very last seat," declared Franz Beckenbauer. Added FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi: "The FIFA and OC Ticketing Sub-committee has laid down the fairest possible guidelines which we hope will work well and be widely accepted." With an eye on the financial situation, Horst R. Schmidt said: "We've calculated ticket revenues of €200 million which we need to balance the books. That's based on selling 90 percent of the tickets, although obviously we'll do all we can to make it 100 percent."

Prices were set in December 2003, beginning at €35 for the cheapest category at 47 group matches (different prices apply to the Opening Match), up to €600 for the most expensive category 1 ticket at the Final on 9 July 2006.

The tickets are totally forgery-proof. Tickets will be dispatched around six weeks before the tournament and feature an embedded chip including access data. Summarised Horst R. Schmidt: "We have an effective weapon in our efforts to put a complete end to touting." Personal data such as names will not be stored on the chip, which contains only access information.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h51
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The Kaiser meets the Kaiser
OC President Franz Beckenbauer delighted the audience during the traditional new year´s reception organised by the city of Frankfurt on January 20th. In the majestic "Kaisersaal" of Frankfurt´s city hall -and with Kaiser Franz II as a silent witness on his back-, Beckenbauer confirmed the agreement covering matches broadcast on giant screens reached by Infront and FIFA.
Copyright: DPA


Escrito por fraja8 às 16h48
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Ten 2006 FIFA World Cup ticketing questions

1. When do sales start and how do I buy tickets?

Match ticket sales for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ begin on 1 February 2005. Applications in the first sales period will be accepted until 31 March 2005. It makes no difference whatsoever whether applicants register on the first day or a few days later, as the time of applying has no bearing on the allocation of tickets afterwards.

Tickets will be allocated from 15 April 2005 by electronic ballot according to TÜV certified procedures in the presence of a notary public. Applicants allocated tickets will receive written confirmation indicating the number and category of tickets. Specific seat details will be assigned at a later date.

Interested parties can register on the internet at www.FIFAworldcup.com and apply for tickets. Postal applications can only be made on the official 2006 FIFA World Cup application form.

This will be available for download from February 1 at www.FIFAworldcup.com. Alternatively you can request the form from

2006 FIFA World Cup™ Ticketing Center (FWTCT)
Re: 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™
60583 Frankfurt am Main

Completed forms should also be sent to this address. Fax applications must be made on the official application form. This is available by fax recall on +49 (0) 900 1 585858 (49 cent/minute from German T-Com fixed lines).

Persons applying for 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany tickets must be at least 18 years of age. Such persons may also apply for tickets for persons under 18.

2. How much do the tickets cost and how many sales periods are there?

Single tickets are on offer in four price categories. The cheapest tickets for group stage matches cost €35. The most expensive seats at the group stage cost €100. The cheapest ticket for the Final costs €120 and the most expensive €600.

To ensure a fair and open process even if demand exceeds supply, and to guarantee as many interested parties as possible receive tickets, ticket sales will take place in five periods. Applications cannot be accepted in between sales periods.

The first sales period begins on 1 February 2005 and ends on 31 March 2005. At the end of this application phase, should the number of applications exceed the number of available tickets for this phase, the tickets will be allocated via ballot on 15 April 2005. There is no difference between an application made on 1 February 2005 and an application made on 31 March. Every correctly completed application enters the ballot with an equal chance of success.

Further sales periods:
1. May 2005 to 15 November 2005
1. December 2005 to 15 January 2006
1. February 2006 to 15 April 2006
1. May 2006 to 9 July 2006.

3. What are the categories?

The 64 matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany will be all-seated. Tickets are available as individual tickets or Team Specific Tickets (TST). Single tickets are valid for one specific match, TST series are valid for a chosen number of matches featuring a specific team.

Individual tickets are on offer in four price categories and TST series in three. Applicants for individual tickets may not apply for TST tickets, and applicants for TST tickets may not apply for individual tickets.

TST tickets are available in a so-called series, i.e. they are valid for a series of matches played by a specific team. A TST series allows the purchaser to attend at least his chosen team's group matches, or depending on the TST variant, further matches up to and including the Final.

4. What is the maximum number of tickets per person household? Are tickets transferable?

Individual tickets are on offer in four price categories. Per household, you may apply for a maximum of four individual tickets for up to seven matches in categories 1-3. In category 4, the cheapest category, the maximum is two individual tickets for up to three matches per household. In the TST category, you may apply for up to four TST series per household. A "household" is defined as one surname at one delivery address.

Each applicant household may only apply for one price category per match. This price category also applies to all joint applicants named on the application form. You may not apply for tickets to more than one game scheduled for the same day. Only one application per household is permitted per order period. A "joint applicant" is defined as a person listed by the applicant by name on the application form.

No-one is permitted to re-sell or re-allocate any ticket allocated to him/her. The right purchased with the ticket to attend a particular match is invested in the person of the applicant or joint applicant and is non-variable and non-transferable. Any attempt to re-sell tickets will be deemed ticket touting / black market trading and will result in cancellation of the ticket. Tickets won in prize competitions operated by companies which are not 2006 FIFA World Cup Official Partners or Official Suppliers are exempt from this regulation.

5. How do I pay for match tickets?

MasterCard is the official method of payment of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In the first four sales periods, only MasterCard card products will be accepted. Tthe following methods of payment will also be accepted: MasterCard credit card, direct debit (for customers not possessing a MasterCard but with a German bank account), and bank transfer (for customers outside Germany not possessing a MasterCard and with no German bank account).

6. When will match tickets be delivered?

Tickets ordered via successful, fully paid-up applications will be delivered to the address supplied by the applicant six to eight weeks ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany. It is vital you ensure a valid delivery address is permanently available to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Ticketing Center.

7. How do I follow the progress of my application?

Once you have completed the internet application, or your postal or fax application has been processed, you may review the status of your application at any time by logging in with a user name and password to the FWCTC website, accessible via at www.FIFAworldcup.com. All forms of application including postal and fax applications must include a valid e-mail address. The user name and password will be sent by e-mail to the e-mail address supplied.

All successful applicants, regardless of the form of application (online, by post or by fax), will receive a confirmation document. This document confirms that the applicant will receive the tickets as specified (or alternatives if the selected option is no longer available). The document includes payment information and notes on how to change the delivery address and payment details.

8. What information must I provide when buying tickets?

The following information must be provided on the application form by the applicant and any joint applicants: Last name, first name, street, postcode, town/city, country, nationality, sex, date of birth, passport number, e-mail address (optional on postal and fax applications), telephone number (optional), further address details (optional).

9. Why will match tickets be personalised?

Tickets will be personalised for security reasons. This measure is intended to support the basic principle of a fair and open sales procedure. It will also serve as an effective deterrent to black market trading.

10. Where can I find detailed information regarding ticket sales?

For more information regarding ticket sales, click on the customer service link in the ticketing section at www.FIFAworldcup.com from 1 February 2005.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h47
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Fenômeno ?



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h39
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Michel Preud'Homme
Date of birth:
24 January 1959
National team: Belgium
Clubs: R. Standard de Liège, KV Mechelen, SL Benfica

Preud'Homme began with Standard, made his national debut in a goalless draw against the German Democratic Republic in April 1978, but missed the 1984 UEFA European Championships and 1986 FIFA World Cup after allegations concerning a match-fixing scandal prevented his selection. Preud'Homme overcame serious problems with nerves to enjoy an excellent World Cup in Italy, and was also one of the finest goalkeepers in 1994 when Belgium reached the second round. After the tournament, Preud'Homme moved to Portugal, joining Benfica.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h34
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Agent error costs Arsenal - Arsenal have been fined oveer negotiations with Quincy Owusu-Abeyie

The English Football Association (FA) has fined Arsenal FC €15,000 for using an unlicensed agent.

Unlicensed agent
The FA announced on its official website that the English champions had been fined and also handed a suspended transfer ban for dealing with an agent who did not hold a FIFA licence while negotiating the contract of 18-year-old Dutch attacker Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.

FIFA article
This contravened article 18(1) of the FIFA players' agents regulations, which states: "Clubs which wish to engage the services of a player may only deal either with the player himself or with a players' agent who holds a licence issued by a national association in compliance with the provisions of these regulations."

Ban threat
Arsenal have been told that should they be found guilty of a similar offence at any time in the two years following the beginning of the suspended sentence on 1 February, they will be banned from making any transfers at all for the duration of the subsequent transfer window.

Pennant on the move
Meanwhile, Arsenal have allowed midfield player Jermaine Pennant to join Birmingham City FC on loan for the rest of the season. The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Leeds United AFC and has struggled to win a first-team place at Highbury since joining the club as a 16-year-old in a deal worth over €3m from Notts County FC in 1999. His contract at Highbury expires in the summer.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h26
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Demora Ao contrário da Net, a operadora de TV paga via satélite Sky ainda não está vendendo nem exibindo jogos do Campeonato Paulista em "pay-per-view". Negocia com a Globosat "condições especiais". Mas deve fechar nesta semana.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h25
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Meligeni indica que deixa CBT em breve

Diretor-técnico da nova administração da CBT (Confederação Brasileira de Tênis), Fernando Meligeni sinalizou ontem que deve deixar o cargo em breve.
"Tenho muita coisa para decidir nos próximos dias. É claro que de qualquer maneira estarei muito próximo da CBT, mas acho que será mais como uma espécie de consultor do que qualquer outra coisa", afirmou o ex-tenista, que ontem participou de um festival no Rio Grande do Sul e ocupa o cargo há pouco mais de um mês.
Meligeni apoiou a chapa de Jorge Lacerda da Rosa, vencedora da eleição que definiu o substituto de Nelson Nastás no comando da entidade no dia 18 de dezembro.
Com o triunfo no pleito, foi nomeado, ao lado do também ex-tenista Thomas Koch, diretor-técnico. O presidente da CBT confirmou que existe a possibilidade de Meligeni deixar o cargo.
"Ele me disse que teria problema de tempo se fechasse um contrato comercial que estava negociando, mas ainda não há nada oficializado", disse o dirigente.

O ex-tenista disse que a nova administração ainda não sabe o tamanho do "buraco" que herdou. "A cada dia se descobre novos fatos, novas contas a serem pagas." Ele afirmou que deve definir seu futuro profissional nos próximos 15 dias. "Quero ajudar no que for possível, como na questão da Copa Davis."
A equipe brasileira, que vai disputar a terceira divisão da Davis, ainda não tem um capitão. A definição do novo técnico deveria ter sido feita na semana passada, mas acabou sendo adiada.
A CBT decidiu ouvir os atletas para chegar a um nome de consenso para comandar a equipe.
"Os jogadores pediram um prazo maior para a indicação e resolvemos atendê-los", disse Rosa, que informou que o novo capitão deve ser escolhido nesta semana.
O Brasil enfrenta a Colômbia entre os dias 4 e 6 de março.
Houve boicote dos principais jogadores, por oposição à antiga administração, nos últimos confrontos. A CBT tinha dificuldade não somente para convocar tenistas mas também o técnico.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h23
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PAINEL FC

Dança das cadeiras

Alberto Dualib pediu a um funcionário do Corinthians um assento longe de Kia Joorabchian na estréia do time no Paulista, na última quarta. Alertado de que o distanciamento seria um prato cheio para a oposição, o presidente corintiano ficou ao lado do iraniano, com quem já tem algumas rusgas.

Dois pesos
Na tribuna do Pacaembu, Dualib ouviu várias brincadeiras de Kia durante a derrota do time para o Mogi Mirim. O presidente da MSI não teve o mesmo senso de humor com Andrés Sanchez. O vice do clube, escanteado pela parceira, puxou papo muitas vezes com o estrangeiro. As respostas eram curtas.

Garoto propaganda?
Nizan Guanaes, um dos publicitários mais influentes do país, está impressionado com a popularidade de Kia entre os corintianos. "O mercado não pode deixar de olhar para um dirigente que dá autógrafos e chega com tanto dinheiro", afirma.

Caminho do dinheiro
Pouco ligado em futebol, Guanaes virou assíduo leitor das páginas esportivas no fim de 2004. Foi atraído pelo equilíbrio do Brasileiro e prevê que com o regulamento mantido pela terceira vez em 2005 as empresas investirão mais nas equipes.

Festejo precoce
O presidente do São Paulo criou um slogan para comemorar a primeira apresentação de Falcão, contra o Ituano. "Foi de doer... o cotovelo de quem falou que não daria certo", disse Marcelo Portugal Gouvêa.

Antes tarde...
O ex-pugilista Servílio de Oliveira demorou 34 anos para ver realizada a promessa de trabalhar no Centro Olímpico em São Paulo. Em 1971 ouviu do COB que atuaria no local, construído cinco anos depois. A convite da Secretaria Municipal de Esporte, será o coordenador de boxe.

Fenômeno único
Antes da chegada de Vanderlei Luxemburgo, os treinos físicos do Real Madrid eram leves. Mas, pelos exames feitos na última semana, só Ronaldo está muito acima do peso ideal.

Melhor que a encomenda
Os brasileiros se surpreenderam ao ver que alguns atletas têm 9% de gordura no corpo, índice que consideram excelente. A marca de Ronaldo, que perdeu três quilos e tem de eliminar mais três, é guardada a sete chaves pela comissão técnica.

Canseira
Enquanto negociava com o FC Moscou, Magrão pediu alterações no contrato por causa dos mimos que receberia. Quis que fosse estipulado o modelo e o ano do carro que ganharia. Depois exigiu detalhes do apartamento oferecido pelo clube. Indeciso, ganhou tempo e, após as mudanças, disse não aos russos para ficar no Parque Antarctica.

Tempos modernos
Affonso della Monica tem aversão a telefones celulares. Mas agora que virou presidente do Palmeiras promete comprar um aparelho e se esforçar para mantê-lo ligado o dia inteiro.

Escambo
O presidente do Fluminense, Roberto Horcades, quer oferecer as próximas cotas de TV a que o clube tem direito para quitar uma dívida de R$ 5 milhões com a Docas Investimentos. A empresa pode tirar a Unimed da camisa do clube. Oferta igual já foi feita pelo Flu no passado, mas o débito continuou.

Devo, não nego
O cartola assegurou à empresa que vai pagá-la e até amanhã fará uma reunião para fechar o acordo. A dívida se arrasta desde 2000 por causa de um contrato de licenciamento. Uma cláusula prevê que em caso de atraso a Docas ganha o direito de explorar a camisa da equipe.

E-mail: painelfc.folha@uol.com.br

DIVIDIDA

Do atacante são-paulino Luizão, em entrevista à Jovem Pan, sobre Kia Joorabchian, com quem negociou, em vão, seu retorno ao Corinthians:
- Ele não sabia quem eu era, com 29 anos fica complicado explicar o que já fiz no futebol.

CONTRA-ATAQUE

Imprensa parcial

Os treinos do Corinthians com as estrelas trazidas pela MSI provocam alvoroço em Porto Feliz, onde a equipe se prepara.
Os seguranças do clube e do hotel do ex-atacante Paulo Sérgio têm dificuldade para controlar a entrada de torcedores. A presença de jornalistas também dá dor de cabeça a eles.
Na semana passada, um homem foi barrado na entrada destinada à imprensa. Ficou no pente-fino simplesmente por estar sem camisa.
Ele se identificou como repórter e explicou que estava no local para entrevistar a equipe. E acatou a ordem de não entrar descamisado no hotel:
- Se o problema é esse, tudo bem. Estou com a minha camisa aqui. É só vestir e entrar.
Atônitos, os seguranças viram o jornalista colocar uma camiseta da Gaviões da Fiel.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h20
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Sólo faltan las firmas para que Maxi y Albertini sean azulgrana

El italiano puede llegar hoy y el argentino lo hará el miércolesLos fichajes de Maxi López y Demetrio Albertini están casi atados. Sólo falta cerrarse y firmar el acuerdo con los clubs puesto que la entente del Barça con ambos jugadores existe desde hace días. Se espera que el centrocampista del Atalanta aterrice en Barcelona esta misma tarde, mientras el delantero de River Plate tiene reservado un vuelo para llegar el miércoles a mediodía con su agente, Darío Bombini, y el asesor jurídico de River, Eduardo Galeano.

Frank Rijkaard, amigo personal de Albertini, le convenció telefónicamente para que dejara Bergamo por Can Barça al admirar su talante ganador, su rigor táctico en la medular y una experiencia que encajará sin problemas en el vestuario barcelonista. Giovanni Branchini, representante del italiano, cerró el acuerdo con el Barça antes de lograr el OK con el Atalanta. El modo de actuar de los azulgrana, a espaldas del colista de la Serie A, sentó mal en el club italiano, que ha demorado unos días la marcha del jugador, que se irá con la carta de libertad.

En el caso de Maxi López, el acuerdo verbal con el Barça se alcanzó a inicios de enero y estaba pendiente de una negociación en toda ley con River. Al no haber cerrado su fichaje por el Benfica, el Barça tuvo que cambiar de estrategia pero teniendo siempre el visto bueno del ariete. Maxi no se mostró ilusionado en ningún momento con la idea de jugar en Lisboa y tampoco le seducía la posibilidad de acabar algún día en el Chelsea ya que su propietario, Roman Abramovich, está detrás de la empresa MSI, que casi se hizo con sus derechos.

El hecho de que en la última semana se centrase el interés en Vincenzo Iaquinta (Udinese) permitió que paralelamente se pudiera trabajar con discreción en el tema Maxi. El Barça se cercioró de que no estaba cerrado con el Benfica y transmitió la oferta formal a River con el OK del cuerpo técnico ya que encaja en el perfil que se pretendía. Una vez se envió el fax al club 'mnillonario' se descubrió el pastel. La opción John Carew (Besiktas) se dejó en 'stand by' por lo que pudiera pasar.

La de Maxi es una operación muy asequible, mucho más que la de Iaquinta y junto con la de Albertini no dañará las arcas azulgrana. Entre ambos no rebasan los 4 millones (lo previsto para el mercado invernal). El Barça sólo pagará ahora un primer plazo de 2,5 millones a River y no todo de golpe dado que los 'culés' necesitan contabilizar los fichajes en el próximo ejercicio ya que la inversión prevista en el plan de negocios de esta campaña está superada.

Pueden estar ya en Sevilla

El Barça aún no tiene decidido cuándo los presentará pero considera muy importante tenerlos ya a disposición de Rijkaard el sábado en Sevilla. Ambos podrán jugar también la Champions



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h19
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Un tridente para soñar

RONALDINHO

El gol fue para la afición. Siempre me ayuda y me motiva para hacerlo mejor”

Era mi primer gol en la Liga de jugada y espero haber abierto las puertas a más”

DECO

Tuve un poco de suerte en mi gol, pero lo importante es que volvemos a estar a nuestro nivel”

ETO'O

El gol es un trabajo de todo el equipo”

Todavía no hemos hecho nada”


 

Eto'o, Ronaldinho y Deco siempre responden cuando se les necesitaFrank Rijkaard había pedido una victoria contundente ante el Racing para ganar confianza tras el sufrimiento vivido en los últimos partidos. Los propios jugadores reconocían que el equipo estaba perdiendo alegría. El bajón no era ningún secreto. Es en esos momentos cuando los que tienen la etiqueta de 'crack' deben dar un paso al frente. Eto'o, Ronaldinho y Deco nunca se han escondido, siempre han dado la cara cuando se les ha necesitado. Pero el sábado demostraron estar más concienciados si cabe de que gran parte del éxito pasa por sus botas. No es casualidad que fueran ellos los que lograran los goles el día que el Barça volvió a disfrutar. El 3-0 al equipo cántabro rompe con los momentos más dubitativos de la temporada y debe ser el trampolín en el que apoyarse para afrontar lo que queda. Eto'o, Ronaldinho y Deco, citados por el orden en el que vieron puerta, confirmaron que forman un tridente para soñar.

Eto'o dio el susto en el calentamiento al quejarse de un pinchazo en el muslo. Pero era un día para los comprometidos y el camerunés, tras ser atendido, dijo que estaba en condiciones de jugar. Sólo necesitó ocho minutos para batir al israelí Aouate por bajo tras hacer gala de su velocidad, recogiendo un gran servicio de Xavi. Con 15 goles es el 'Pichichi' de la Liga, pero él sigue siendo prudente. “Lo más importante ahora es que no nos relajemos ni bajemos los brazos porque todavía no hemos hecho nada”, se cansa de repetir cuando le preguntan, eso sí, sin confundir la cautela con la ambición: “Este año tenemos una oportunidad excepcional que no se debe desaprovechar”. Tampoco saca pecho por su puntería. “El gol es un trabajo de todo el equipo”, insiste.

Volvió la samba

Ronaldinho volvió a bailar con ganas. No era para menos, el 2-0 al Racing, además de ser de muy bella ejecución, era su primer gol de jugada en la Liga después de haber logrado tres de penalti. “Es cierto que todavía no había marcado en la Liga de jugada. Espero haber abierto las puertas a más goles. ¿La samba? No hay nada mejor para celebrarlos...”.

La conexión del brasileño con la afición es total. En el Camp Nou siempre se le ha apoyado, incluso cuando las cosas no le han salido. Por eso el sábado la dedicatoria de su tanto estaba clara: “El gol era para la afición, que siempre me ayuda y me motiva para hacer las cosas mejor”. Ronaldinho celebró que “el equipo vuelve a ser el mismo de siempre: jugamos con velocidad, triangulamos muy bien y acertamos ante la portería”. Y en lo personal, destacó que “aunque no marque mi confianza siempre está al cien por cien, aunque, claro, si marco estoy más contento”. Sobre los rumores sobre una posible salida del club, agrandó todavía más su sonrisa para afirmar que “estoy contentísimo en el Barça y quiero demostrarlo en cada partido que juego”.

Deco, al igual que ante el Espanyol y el Levante, marcó su tercer gol de rebote de los cinco que lleva en la Liga. “Tuve un poco de suerte, pero gol es gol”, contestó mientras se encogía de hombros. Para el internacional portugués, “lo más importante del sábado fue que el juego del equipo mejoró y que logramos una victoria que necesitábamos. Volvemos a estar a nuestro nivel”



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h16
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Rosell admite que "estamos dando un mal ejemplo"


Dijo en 'El Periódico' que hará lo posible para resolver sus diferencias con LaportaSandro Rosell ha admitido en una entrevista concedida al diario 'El Periódico de Catalunya' sus diferencias con Joan Laporta, aunque asegura que hará lo posible por solucionarlas y hace un llamamiento a la unidad del club. “Creo que ya basta; estamos dando un mal ejemplo”, señala el vicepresidente.

Rosell afirma que “nadie es imprescindible, pero creo que aún puedo aportar muchas cosas al club. Yo trabajo para el Barça”. Hace autocrítica y admite diferencias con Laporta, pero asegura que “por lo que a mí respecta, voy a hacer todo lo posible para que se solucionen. El Barça se merece eso y mucho más”.

Sobre Laporta, Rosell comenta que “está muy presionado y, a veces, toma decisiones que no comparto. Él hace lo que puede y yo le ayudaré en todo aquello que me pida. Siempre, claro, que vaya a favor de los intereses del Barça. No me gusta oír hablar de laportistas y sandristas. Todos somos, o deberíamos ser, barcelonistas”. En una línea autocrítica, comenta que “nuestro lema en la campaña fue 'Primer, el Barça' y a veces no lo estamos cumpliendo”.

Admite que “hemos perdido humildad en las formas, hemos perdido contacto con la realidad. Hemos permitido que pequeños problemas internos se magnificasen y se hicieran públicos. Este es un defecto muy común en el mundo del fútbol. Si no rectificamos, el ego y la vanidad pueden hacer que muramos de éxito”.

Explica que “muchos de la junta nos conocimos poco antes de las elecciones, pero compartíamos el mismo proyecto”. Admite errores y comenta que “quizás algunos directivos hemos tenido exceso de protagonismo mediático. Hablábamos de jugadores mediáticos, no directivos mediáticos”. Señala otros errores como la forma de gestionar el caso Valero y afirma que “es surrealista que le hayan preguntado a Ronaldinho si se irá del Barça por un vicepresidente. Ronaldinho es patrimonio del club”.

De Cruyff, comenta que “precisamente ahora que todo va bien, que el entorno que criticaba ya no existe, sus palabras crean tensión y debate. Le diría que fuese más prudente, que pensara más en el Barça. Y que si este año vamos a Sant Jaume iremos todos juntos, porque los barcelonistas ya no quieren malos rollos”. De los fichajes dijo que se ha hablado demasiado y brinda su apoyo a Txiki: “Para él todo es nuevo y todos le debemos dar tiempo y confianza”



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h15
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La historia del día


Jean Pierre, un brasileño apadrinado por Ronaldinho, que cambia el fútbol de sus botas por casa y comida Se llama Jean Pierre Fernandes, nació el 12 de abril de 1978, por lo que tiene 26 años. Jugó en el Vasco da Gama, el Botafogo y el Flamengo brasileños y en el Napoli y la Salernitana italianos (2003/04). Es un mediapunta veloz, muy técnico, de fuerte chut con ambas piernas y dotado de gran panorama, a tal punto que Ronaldinho se ha comprometido con él para encontrarle un club en España en el que pueda demostrar su calidad.

Jean Pierre mide 1.73 mts, pesa 70 kilos y Ronnie le conoce bien, según ha podido saber MD on line. Por esta razón el crack azulgrana le ha prometido a su compatriota que dará las mejores referencias de él a quien se lo pida porque "no puede ser que un jugador como tú no encuentre equipo aquí para jugar".

Lo llamativo es que Fernandes, quien fue internacional sub-17 con Brasil en 1995, le ha confiado al Gaúcho que "solo quiero que me den un lugar en el que vivir por humilde que sea, comida y esta mitad de temporada que queda para mostrar mi fútbol. Seguro que luego querrán que me quede y me propondrán hacerme contrato".

Jean Pierre ha trabajado a las órdenes de Zico, Zagallo, Paulo Autuori y Sebastiao Lazaroni. Ahora se ha puesto en manos de Ronnie para volver a ser feliz en el césped.



Escrito por fraja8 às 16h14
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Albertini, fichado


El centrocampista italiano logró la carta de libertad y aterriza esta noche en BarcelonaDemetrio Albertini ya es jugador del Fútbol Club Barcelona tras haber llegado a un acuerdo con su club, el Atalanta, para recibir la carta de libertad que le permita comprometerse con la entidad azulgrana.

Tras una jornada de continuos tira y afloja entre clubs, que hicieron peligrar el fichaje al negarse el club italiano a que la operación fuera una cesión, finalmente el centrocampista de 33 años logró lo que perseguía y llegará a Barcelona a las 22:40 de esta noche. Mañana, martes, se someterá a la correspondiente revisión médica para después firmar contrato hasta final de temporada. Lo que todavía no se sabe es si será presentado tras la firma o si el acto se llevará a cabo el miércoles.

En cuanto a Maxi López, el Barcelona ha accedido a hacerse cargo del 15 por ciento de comisión al que tiene derecho el jugador por el traspaso. El Barça pagará seis millones de euros a River Plate.



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Perfection - Bjoerndalen sets record with 50th career victory

ANTERSELVA, Italy (AP) -- Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen set a record with his 50th career victory in a World Cup biathlon pursuit Sunday, producing another perfect performance for his seventh win of the season.

France's Sandrine Bailly won the women's 10-kilometer pursuit ahead of Tora Berger of Norway on the closing day of a five-day meet.

Bjoerndalen recorded his fifth straight victory and jumped to the top of the overall standings with 553 points. France's Raphael Poiree, who did not finish Sunday, slipped to second with 542.Bjoerndalen was faultless in shooting and had the fastest time of 32 minutes 16.53 seconds in the 12.5-kilometer cross country. Sergei Tchepikov of Russia was second and Halvard Hanevold of Norway was third. Tchepikov had one penalty and Hanevold two.

Bailly won in 33:6.82, edging Berger by 5.4 seconds. Simone Denkinger of Germany was third, 17.8 back.Russia's Olga Pyleva finished ninth but held first in the overall standings with 484 points. Bailly consolidated her third place with 442 points, behind Germany's Kati Wilhelm.The next World Cup biathlon is at the Olympic venue of Cesana San Sicario on Feb. 9-12. Bjoerndalen plans to skip the next World Cup races to prepare for the world championships.



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NFL Truth & Rumors

With the NFL's regular season over, the rumor mill is heating up. To keep you up to date, we've created a special edition of NFL Truth & Rumors.

Plaxico Burress
Plaxico Burress is ready to hit the free-agent market.
David Maxwell/Getty Images

Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress said he "probably" wouldn't be back following Sunday night's 41-27 loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. Running back Jerome Bettis couldn't say either way.
-- Pittsburgh Tribune Review

LB Kendrell Bell, the NFL's defensive rookie of the year in 2001, was made inactive yesterday, even though he practiced all week. Bell played three games this season because of groin injuries. Bell, who can become an unrestricted free agent in March, said his preference would be to return to the Steelers. "Nothing would bring me more joy than to stay in Pittsburgh. We'll see."
-- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Guard Keydrick Vincent is bound to get a significant raise in salary. He might not get it with the Steelers. According to Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman, Vincent will be one of the top 15 prospects when the free agency wars begin in March.
-- Beaver County Times

If, as expected, New England releases Ty Law, he must be Kansas City's top offseason priority. He can do for Kansas City everything that Terrell Owens did for Philadelphia. Law, even at age 31 in February and coming off foot surgery, is still the best cornerback in the league. He excels at bump-and-run coverage and zone coverage. He supports the run like a strong safety. He's a leader. He's fearless. He has two Super Bowl rings and all the locker-room credibility that goes along with multiple Pro Bowl appearances.
-- Kansas City Star

No member of the Browns management group was expected to attend Sunday's game at Heinz Field. Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is the leading candidate for the Browns' opening, but the Browns likely didn't want to appear to be hounding Crennel.
-- Akron Beacon Journal

A very reliable Eagles source said Terrell Owens, who has been out since suffering a sprained ankle and a broken fibula Dec. 19 against Dallas, will play and play a key role in the Super Bowl. Owens would be the team's No. 3 wide receiver on the natural grass surface of AllTel Stadium and play between 30 and 40 plays in the game. Eagles head coach Andy Reid announced to the Lincoln Financial Field crowd after the team's 27-10 win over Atlanta yesterday that Owens would be back, then backed off it a little in his post-game press conference. "I got caught up in the emotions," Reid said with a smile. "We'll see. We'll see. He was standing right there, so I had to make him feel good."
-- Trenton Times

Look for Randy Moss to jump to the Dolphins. Then a quarterback-to-be-named-later could throw to Moss, Chris Chambers, Randy McMichael and, assuming he returns, David Boston.
-- Orlando Sentinel



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Fox's next move? Put Jillian Barberie in a muumuu.

What's in the latest 10 Spot?
No TV time-delay for Super Bowl. ... Best Darn Sports Show? ... Moss and his butt may be traded ... A-Rod vs. Schilling ... Red Sox to celebrate in Boss territory ... Hockey fan speaks from the grave ... and more.
Numb3rs
CBS gave us both numbers and Numb3rs.
AP

1. The NFL has agreed to allow Fox to air the Super Bowl live rather than with a five- or 10-second delay. In the end, the concern over airing something obscene was outweighed by the fear that Patriots coach Bill Belichick would use the extra time to make ingenious adjustments.

2. The Patriots advanced to their third Super Bowl in four years with a 41-27 victory over the Steelers in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. CBS stressed that New England's victory shows the true importance of team over the media's fascination with Numb3rs.

3. Philadelphia finally advanced to the Super Bowl by beating the Falcons 27-10 in their fourth crack at the NFC Championship this decade. The Eagles say they're just happy to have the opportunity to spend two weeks answering questions about whether or not Terrell Owens will play.

4. A Vikings source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that there's a 60-40 chance that receiver Randy Moss will be dealt in the offseason if the team receives a good offer. Moss has become a major distraction and is reportedly seeking a big contract that's heavily loaded in the rear end.

5. Fox is doing all it can to avoid the FCC scrutiny that hit CBS in the pocketbook after last year's Super Bowl. For instance, the network will change the name of its Best Damn Sports Show Period to Best Darn Super Bowl Road Show Period for a pregame segment.

6. Knicks coach Lenny Wilkens resigned Saturday, though several players felt he had been pushed by the front office. Wilkens was feeling heat after losing nine of 10 games despite the presence of the NBA's best point guard.

7. The odd war of words continues between the Yanks' Alex Rodriguez and the Red Sox's Curt Schilling. Rodriguez said he hopes Schilling continues to talk about his team because it provides added incentive to "beat him up" in the future. Few were surprised at Rodriguez's threat, pointing out that Schilling is one of the few Red Sox that A-Rod hasn't already taken a swing at.

8. It appears only an 11th-hour miracle can save the NHL season, but even that would be too late to help Archie Bennitz. The 84-year-old Canadian died last week and used his obituary as a forum to trash NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and union leader Bob Goodenow from the grave. "He asked that Mr. Bettman and Mr. Goodenow know that they are 'skunks' for denying him the pleasure of watching the NHL this year," read Bennitz's death notice in last Thursday's Ottawa Citizen. "He also asked that Mr. Bettman step aside and give Wayne Gretzky the job that rightfully belongs to him." You tell 'em, Archie. R.I.P.

9. The Astros avoided arbitration with Roger Clemens by signing him to a one-year deal worth $18 million, the highest salary ever for a pitcher. The contract includes some unusual features. Not only will Clemens be allowed to skip some road trips to spend time with his family, but the Astros also will cover any fines that the player incurs from getting ejected from youth baseball games.

10. The Red Sox' World Series Trophy tour makes an interesting stop on Monday. The hardware will be on display from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Towne Field House of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. That should be of interest to at least one Williams alum besides the 10 Spot, namely George M. Steinbrenner III, Class of '52. No word if The Boss tried to stop the Red Sox from encroaching on what he might feel is his turf, though former commissioner Fay Vincent (Class of '60) might have stopped any interference by invoking the "best interest of baseball" clause.

 



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Turning points - Eagles', Pats' futures forged in tumultuous afternoon

Peter King: Super Bowl XXXIX lookahead
 
Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb is a long way removed from the last time he faced the Patriots.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA -- "Too bad about the Steelers,'' the governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, was saying on the phone Sunday night. "A shame. A real shame. It would have been two really fun weeks for the people here.''

That's OK, guv. This looks like a great, and very topical, Super Bowl anyway. Call it The Acela Super Bowl. Nothing fluky about it. The Patriots beat two premier teams in the playoffs by a combined 31 points to get here. The Eagles' cumulative margin of victory over a fair (Minnesota) and good (Atlanta) team was 30. But make no mistake about it: These are the two best teams in the NFL. You might get an argument from Pittsburghers, but they have no cause for it after getting a gift against the Jets and giving up 41 to New England.

"It's going to be a great game," Freddie Mitchell told me last night. He's the Philly slot receiver. "[New England's] team is what we want to be -- consistently great, winning championships. They're not a commercial team. Not a lot of famous guys on their team. They just win.''

Remember the last time these two teams met? Very controversial day for both. Seems like such a long time ago.

Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003. Second game in Lincoln Financial Field history. Each team was 0-1, and each had fallen to 0-1 in rather humiliating fashion. The Patriots got shut out in Buffalo 31-0, just four days after whacking very popular defensive captain Lawyer Milloy because he wouldn't take a major pay cut. The Eagles had been shut out by Tampa Bay 17-0 in the Linc's first game ever.

Two memorable pronouncements were made Sept. 14. The Patriots were in their Philadelphia hotel rooms -- kickoff wasn't until 4 p.m. ET -- when the first one was uttered. ESPN football analyst Tom Jackson looked straight into the camera and said the New England players hated coach Bill Belichick. Because Jackson is such a respected voice in football, and because ESPN is such a media power, the statement made the rounds among the Patriots by the time everyone got to the stadium that day. Whatever has been said in the intervening time about the New England players just shrugging their shoulders over Jackson's statement is a bunch of bunk. Many in the organization were stunned, and Belichick was really surprised. You have to remember that, at that time, Belichick was embattled after cutting Milloy. Whispers about a rerun of Belichick's Cleveland days were circulating around the media.

Since that morning New England has gone 33-3.

That afternoon, as the Patriots were finishing a 31-10 whipping of the Eagles, dropping Philly to a barely-with-a-pulse 0-2, a chant rose up from the crowd. The fans wanted A.J. Feeley to play quarterback instead of Donovan McNabb. "Of all the things you could possibly do as a fan,'' Mitchell told me last week, "chanting for A.J. to play over Donovan was about the dumbest." But that's what the fans were doing, and McNabb and the falling Eagles just had to sit there and take it -- with their bye week ahead, meaning they had to stew about their 0-2 record even longer.

Since that evening Philadelphia is 28-6.

Three conference titles among the two franchises over the past two years, and a combined record of 51-9 since those Waterloo moments. All in all, they're the two best teams in football over the past two seasons -- two Swiss-watch-run organizations with excellence from the top on down. Eagles owner Jeff Lurie, a Bostonian, once tried to buy the New England franchise and is good friends with the Kraft family, who now own the Patriots. Both Lurie and Bob Kraft learned the hard way that the best approach to running a football team when you really don't know football is to get a masterful coach on the premises and let him run the show. That's what Lurie did with Andy Reid in 1999, helped by business-wise GM Joe Banner. And that's what Kraft did with Belichick in 2000, helped by football-wise director of player personnel Scott Pioli.

Postscript to both story lines from 16 months ago: Belichick was so ticked off by the Jackson comment that he stopped talking to ESPN. The only individual ESPN interviews he's done since, I believe, are with Chris Berman, an old friend. And last year when Berman got him to do a sit-down the night of the Super Bowl, Belichick walked onto the ESPN set and greeted Jackson's outstretched congratulatory hand with a bitter blast.

McNabb had a bad throwing thumb at the time of the 2003 meeting with the Pats, which was part of the reason he was stinking up the joint. All he's done since is have his best regular season ever, and take this star-crossed team to its first Super Bowl since the Dick Vermeil days.

The Patriots will try to pound Corey Dillon. McNabb will move Brian Westbrook everywhere and try to get him to make plays in the open field. But the New England defense is as disciplined as a unit can be. Philly's defense is second in that category. I think it's going to be a great game, without many mistakes. The only bad thing is we have the silly two-week gap before the game.



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Double Take: MLBAPA Inks Seven-Year Deal With Take-Two

Take-Two Interactive has reached an agreement in principle on a seven-year deal with the MLBPA for exclusive third-party publishing rights for baseball video games, beginning in ’06. Companies that make video game consoles will still have the opportunity to create games for their own platforms (MLBPA). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Nick Wingfield cites sources as saying the deal is worth $80-90M. But a source close to the union said that the deal is “closer to $150[M], including commitments by the company to market future baseball games.” While console manufacturers may still market games, the agreement “shuts out companies like EA from the category.” EA Sports was a losing bidder in the deal. EA Sports spokesperson Jeff Brown said that Take-Two’s agreement “appears to be pricey because it still allows competition from console makers.” Brown: “It’s not exclusive — it simply excludes EA and lets several other publishers make MLB baseball games.” Wingfield notes Take-Two has been negotiating with MLB for rights to use team names and other assets in videogames (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/24). In this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton writes the “word around Super Show” in Orlando last week was that MLB and the MLBPA “were close to a videogame deal that would approach ... in size and scope” the NFL’s $300M exclusive deal with EA Sports. But MLB Senior VP/Licensing Howard Smith indicated that MLB is “not going the single-licensee route.” Smith: “We knew whatever the NFL did would change the model, and it did. But we’ll never do a single license because it is crazy to lock out the guys who make the hardware. They are the foundation, so we’ll always have at least one of both”


Warriors Come Out To Play: Nike Athletes Ready For Battle

Nike Pro Enters Clothing Battle
With “Warriors” Commercial

Nike’s new $20-30M ad campaign, via Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, “is meant to be the most visible for Nike’s Pro clothing, which competes against brands like Under Armour,” according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. The campaign’s first ad, titled “Warriors,” includes Yankees P Mariano Rivera, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson, Twins CF Torii Hunter, Bears LB Brian Urlacher and Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols. The 60-second spot launched yesterday, including airings on the NFC and AFC Conference Championships on Fox and CBS, respectively. The ad shows the athletes’ “game faces ... in the form of stark, even startling, masks” and shows their “mental and physical game-day preparations ... depicted as if they were readying for battle.” The spots, in 30- and 60-second versions, will run for the next seven weeks during sporting events like the NCAA basketball tournament and MLB Opening Day games. The campaign will be featured on the home page of ESPN.com, and there will be promos in stores like City Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Finish Line, Foot Locker and Modell’s. There is also an outdoor component.

BATTLE TEST: Elliott writes the effort “runs the risk of turning off consumers who may deem it far too fierce or dislike the idea of associating athletes to warriors.” Landor Associates Managing Dir Allen Adamson: “The challenge for advertisers and marketers is to judge where the balance is at any given point in time, and capture the competitiveness but not lose the sportsmanship values of teamwork and camaraderie. You can play near the line and be O.K., but stepping over it can be risky for a brand.” But Nike U.S. Advertising Dir Nancy Monsarrat said, “As a whole it ought to feel like a roller coaster ride. Were you intimidated? Yes. But you want to go back and do it again”


Bay Hill Execs Deny MasterCard Forced Out Event Director

Bay Hill Execs Say MasterCard Not Behind
Departure Of Tournament Dir

Bay Hill Club & Lodge officials insisted that Bay Hill Invitational sponsor MasterCard was not the cause of last week’s departure of Tournament Dir Jim Bell, according to Steve Elling of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. MasterCard signed a four-year deal to serve as presenting sponsor in late ’03. Sources indicated Bell said that he had “grown tired of the wrangling with sponsors and other tournament interests.” But Bay Hill Club VP Roy Saunders, son-in-law of Bay Hill Owner Arnold Palmer, verified that Bell left on his own, saying, “I saw his letter of resignation.” Palmer said in a statement, “The Invitational, presented by MasterCard, has made great progress under (Bell’s) tenure. I personally thank him for his dedicated service. We are extremely pleased with our relationship with MasterCard and appreciate their commitment to the tournament and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women”



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DirecTV Reaches Carriage Deals With ESPN, Fox-Owned Nets

DirecTV has reached a new ten-year carriage agreement with ESPN, “part of a much broader agreement encompassing all Walt Disney Co.-owned” TV networks,” according to Andy Bernstein of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The deal calls for DirecTV “to pay the same annual rate increases for ESPN as does Cox Communications, which reached a precedent-setting accord with ESPN last year” that cut annual increases from 20% to 13%, and then to 9% in later years. DirecTV Senior VP/Programming Acquisition Michael Thornton: “The assumption that it’s similar to the ESPN deals that went before us is largely correct, although given the overall size of the deal there are differences here and there.” Thornton added DirecTV inked a similar deal with Fox Entertainment that includes FSN and all other Fox-owned cable nets. Bernstein reports both deals revolved largely around “retransmission rights,” allowing DirecTV “to continue retransmitting signals from local broadcast affiliates, and also start offering” the ABC and Fox nets in HD



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ABC Plans To Keep “MNF” In Primetime Fold For Years To Come

Exec Feels ABC Will Renew “MNF” Because
Of Importance To Net’s Schedule

ABC President of Primetime Entertainment Steve McPherson, yesterday at the Television Critics Association in L.A., said that the net “probably would renew its deal” with the NFL for “MNF,” according to Meg James of the L.A. TIMES. McPherson: “We’re planning on having [‘MNF’] for many, many years to come.” While ABC loses an estimated $150M annually on the deal, McPherson added that Disney “‘will figure out’ how to make an economically viable deal with the NFL, citing the network’s long tradition and the importance of [‘MNF’] to ABC’s schedule” (L.A. TIMES, 1/24).

DIRTY LAUNDRY: USA TODAY’S Levin & Bianco report “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry apologized for the “MNF” promo on November 15 featuring Nicollette Sheridan and Eagles WR Terrell Owens, saying that “there was no deliberate attempt to stoke controversy with the bit.” Cherry noted that the original plan was to feature ABC’s John Madden instead of Owens, but Madden could not attend. Cherry: “A woman as glorious-looking as Nicollette Sheridan throwing herself at John Madden is just funny.” More Cherry: “I didn’t realize [‘MNF’] was such the family viewing experience.” But Levin & Bianco note in Cherry’s script, “Sheridan’s towel didn’t come off” (USA TODAY, 1/24). McPherson said that he “did not know how Sheridan’s co-star went from being Madden to Owens” (WASHINGTON POST, 1/24).



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Feeling Super

Patriots' Quest For Third Title In Four
Years Among Super Bowl Story Lines
Hype around Super Bowl XXXIX has begun, and the NFL and TV partner Fox must be happy with a matchup of marquee large-market franchises, replete with star quarterbacks and intriguing story lines. Despite one-sided games and a lack of snow for which network sports presidents hoped, ratings for yesterday’s Conference Championships were strong, and the Patriots and Eagles — along with the usual anticipation of Super Bowl creatives — should give the industry plenty to talk about over the next two weeks. Meanwhile, the NFL’s tightening control over the week’s entertainment is evidenced further by the move to pull from the lineup Los Lonely Boys, whose drummer was arrested for possession of marijuana this month. Finally, ABC President of Primetime Entertainment Steve McPherson reiterated that the net will likely keep “MNF,” saying Disney execs will work out an economically-favorable deal with the NFL.



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Fox, CBS Both See Strong Numbers For Conference Title Games

Fox, Eagles Run Away
With Sunday Victories

Fox earned a 28.6/48 overnight Nielsen rating for yesterday’s Falcons-Eagles NFC Championship game from 3:15-6:15pm ET, up 14.4% from Panthers-Eagles last year, which was played in the later time slot, and up 7.5% from last year’s Colts-Patriots AFC Championship game on CBS, which was also played at 3:00pm. CBS yesterday earned a 27.0/38 for the Patriots-Steelers AFC Championship game from 6:45-10:00pm, up 1.5% from Colts-Patriots last year, and up 8.0% from Panthers-Eagles. The chart below compares overnight ratings for each game with both the conference championship game played in the same time slot last year, as well as to the same conference championship game. Local ratings for the respective markets are also listed (THE DAILY).

FALCONS-EAGLES
RATE/SHR
COMP. TIME
COMP. GAME
Overnight rating
28.6/48
+7.5% (26.6/46)
+14.4% (25.0/36)
Colts-Patriots
Panthers-Eagles
Atlanta
47.1/70
n/a
n/a
Philadelphia
57.4/74
n/a
+17.6% (48.8/62)
PATRIOTS-STEELERS
RATE/SHR
COMP. TIME
COMP. GAME
Overnight rating
27.0/38
+8.0% (25.0/36)
+1.5% (26.6/46)
Panthers-Eagles
Colts-Patriots
Boston
51.1/66
n/a
+9.9% (46.5/75)
Pittsburgh
55.7/73
n/a
n/a

REVIEWS: USA TODAY’s Rudy Martzke writes Fox “has to find a way to keep the overhead Sky Cam from annoyingly intruding into live shots from the main cameras.” Fox Sports VP/Communications Dan Bell said that the Sky Cam “is getting into pictures from some of the cameras added for the playoffs.” Martzke: “Fox needs to get this worked out for its coverage of the Super Bowl.” Meanwhile, Joe Buck and Cris Collinsworth “contributed to Fox’s telecast,” but the spotlight “was deservedly on” Troy Aikman. CBS’ team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms “clicked as they had in the regular season” (USA TODAY, 1/24). In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes Buck, Aikman and Collinsworth “had a workmanlike day in the NFC Championship Game, regularly reminding viewers of the obvious: The key to Philadelphia’s victory was the ability of the Eagles defense to contain Atlanta’s Michael Vick.” The telecast “also benefited from the absence of sideline reporter Tony Siragusa” (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 1/24).

WEATHER OR NOT: While both Fox Sports President Ed Goren and CBS Sports President Sean McManus said last week that they hoped snow at the games would lead to higher ratings, NEWSDAY’s Steve Zipay notes that by yesterday afternoon the blizzard “had ended in Pennsylvania and wasn’t a factor. Wind was the determining element in Philly, and CBS was in danger of a blowout with the Patriots ahead 24-3 at halftime.” But the Steelers rallied, and Nantz and Simms “could avoid garbage time until late” (NEWSDAY, 1/24).



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NHL Face-Off, Day 131: Daly Wants To Keep Talking

NHL Exec VP & CLO Bill Daly said he “will be disappointed” if reps from the NHL and NHLPA do not “meet again this week to continue talks,” according to Tim Wharnsby of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Daly: “What we’d like to do is take back what was discussed last week, including some of the things we heard from the union, incorporate them into our thinking and come up with ideas that might lead to more productive discussions this week.” While a report Saturday stated that the NHL BOG would be “asked to meet in New York this week,” Daly said that there “are no plans for such a get-together” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/24).

Batterman Was Bettman’s Eyes
And Ears During Recent Talks

LINDEN NOT HOPEFUL: THE HOCKEY NEWS reported that after the two sides met last Wednesday and Thursday, Canucks C & NHLPA President Trevor Linden in an audio message posted on the union’s internal Web site said that he “sees no basis for further meetings with the league.” Linden added that the NHL is “insisting the only solution to the lockout is with a hard individual team salary cap and is not prepared to compromise in any way.” Sources said Linden told players that the league “refuses to discuss any payroll tax system at any level and is also opposed to real revenue sharing” (THN.com, 1/21). Linden added in the audio message, “I was told that the players would have no input into the economic structure of the league. [NHL counsel Bob Batterman and Daly] said we’d be given the same input into the NHL as auto workers in a [GM] factory. I’m not degrading auto workers, but in the auto industry, the car is the product. We are the labor and the product. I found this portion of the conversation insulting” (N.Y. POST, 1/22). Linden added at a news conference, “There is no middle ground. There is a real lack of compromise and that’s a problem” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/22).

Daly Expects NHL, NHLPA To
Resume Talks This Week

TABLE TALK: Despite Linden’s comments, Daly said in a statement, “We certainly viewed [the meetings] as far more constructive” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/22). Daly: “I believe we’re a lot closer to the same philosophies than they are portraying now.” (CALGARY HERALD, 1/22). Thrashers GM Don Waddell said of the meetings, “The briefing we got from the league was somewhat positive. Unfortunately, at the same time, we heard from the players’ representation that they weren’t as positive about the meeting, and that was disappointing to hear” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/22).

TONE OF MEETINGS: In N.Y., a source cited by Larry Brooks said of last week’s meetings, “Batterman was like having [NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman] there. On Wednesday, during breaks, Batterman was constantly on the phone with Gary. At one point, you could hear Gary screaming over the phone” (N.Y. POST, 1/22). In Calgary, Bruce Dowbiggin reported the tone of the meetings changed “late in the second day, with [Flames co-Owner & NHL BOG Chair Harley] Hotchkiss away in Calgary for the funeral of [Flames co-Owner] Bud McCaig.” With the two sides “working on various approaches to payroll taxes, luxury thresholds – plus an escrow fund to help guarantee cost stability – it was decided to check with” Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow. Daly then did “a sudden about-face” and informed the union reps that the NHL “would henceforth not negotiate any type of tax or assessment scheme as a means to control salaries.” Instead, the NHL would “only discuss hard salary caps on both individual teams and the league overall.” Those caps would range from $34-36M and salary arbitration would be eliminated (CALGARY HERALD, 1/22).

DISPERSAL DRAFT? The N.Y. POST’s Brooks reported Linden asked league reps how teams such as the Maple Leafs, Flyers and Avalanche would get under the proposed salary cap. Batterman said some players from those teams “would be shipped to Pittsburgh and Nashville ... in a dispersal system” (N.Y. POST, 1/22). Maple Leafs RW Darcy Tucker said, “Try explaining it to Leafs fans when we lose four or five guys. But it’s a moot point anyway because we would never accept a cap, so it does not make a lot of difference” (TORONTO SUN, 1/22).

IMPASSE: In Boston, Stephen Harris cited a team source as saying that he heard if the NHL “attempts to restart next season as a ‘new’ league, with a unilaterally-imposed contract between teams and players, current contracts may not be voided.” The source added that the league, “in an effort to make the new deal more palatable for players,” might say, “Okay, we’ll honor all existing contracts. When those deals are up, then you’ll be adjusted to fit with the new salary cap” (BOSTON HERALD, 1/23).

SUPPORT FOR BETTMAN? MLSE President & CEO Richard Peddie said, “We’re absolutely behind [Bettman], and we have been from the start. I know there are a lot of people out there who look at our position skeptically. But it’s been very much our position that the Leafs need a new financial order as well, that the model could not continue for the Leafs” (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/22). But in Ft. Worth, Mac Engel reported league execs “cringed as Bettman answered questions” after rejecting the union’s latest offer in December. One NHL exec: “It’s not that we didn’t agree with his message, but it’s just the messenger.” Another NHL exec added that “it might be time for another commissioner” when the lockout ends. But Bettman said, “I’m doing what we have to do for the future of this game. The spot has chosen itself. This isn’t a spot we chose to be in. This is the reality of where we are” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/23).



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USSF, Players Reach Settlement For World Cup Qualifying

USSF, Union Agree To Open Camp
As Talks Continue

The USSF and the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA) reached an agreement Friday allowing the players to participate in World Cup qualifiers beginning with the February 9 match against Trinidad & Tobago, according to Steven Goff of the WASHINGTON POST. The players agreed to a no-strike clause while the sides continue to negotiate a new CBA. The USSF will give the players a pay raise of about 38%, the amount they have offered during negotiations. The USSF has said that the players are seeking a 108% increase. The players will receive $2,750 per qualifier, up from $2,000. The bonus for each win, which had been $2,200-4,000, will rise to $6,250 for games against Mexico and Costa Rica and to $4,750 against Guatemala, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. USSF President Bob Contiguglia in a statement said, “We certainly believe that moving forward in this manner can help the two parties reach a [CBA] that is not only good for the long-term growth of the sport in the U.S., but is also good for our national team players and our millions of members” (WASHINGTON POST, 1/22). USSF Dir of Communications Jim Moorhouse: “The mediator helped us make progress. This gives us the time to work through a deal (on a new contract)” (K.C. STAR, 1/22).

THE PLAYERS’ AMMO: In Ft. Lauderdale, Jeff Rusnak wrote the players “claimed to have more than sentiment on their side. They also cited their victory over the federation in a 1996 contract dispute that saw the USSF send replacement players to Peru for a friendly.” An arbitrator ruled then that “using scrubs violated the Amateur Sports Act, and ordered players who should have played in Peru to be paid” (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 1/23).

TOO EARLY TO CELEBRATE: In L.A., Grahame Jones notes Friday’s settlement “came only after the players association filed a demand for arbitration” under the Amateur Sports Act. If a final deal is not reached, “the strike/lockout scenario could be repeated next spring at a time when [the ’06 World Cup] will loom even larger” (L.A. TIMES, 1/24).



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League Notes

Financial Issues Force Champ
Car To Cancel Monterrey Race

In Toronto, Dean McNulty reported a “dispute over finances has forced” Champ Car to cancel the ’05 Grand Prix of Monterrey. Last year’s race drew under 5,000 fans. Meanwhile, Molson Sports & Entertainment has agreed to produce the TV broadcasts for all Champ Car races this season for CBS, NBC and Speed TV (TORONTO SUN, 1/22).

PULLING WEED: The NFL has pulled Los Lonely Boys from the lineup for the Pepsi Smash Concert Series in Jacksonville leading up to the Super Bowl after the band’s drummer was arrested this month for possession of marijuana. NFL Dir of Corporate Communications Brian McCarthy: “We were uncomfortable with it” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/22).

WHAT ARE THE ODDS? In N.Y., Smith & Pienciak reported the investigation into race fixing at Aqueduct has been expanded to include Saratoga and Belmont, and is focusing “on whether rogue gamblers may have influenced races” at all three NYRA-run tracks. Sources said that NYRA employees have “turned over information on several races where the odds dropped significantly just before post time” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/23).

 


On A Collision Course: PGA Rains On USGA’s Parade For 2012

Whistling Straits Greenskeepers To Have
Busy Couple Of Years

The PGA of America has awarded the 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships to Whistling Straits, which was also named as host of the 2020 Ryder Cup subject to “sufficient guaranteed quality hotel rooms,” according to Gary D’Amato of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The PGA of America last week pulled the 2010 championship from Sahalee Country Club near Seattle because of its proximity to Vancouver, which is hosting the 2010 Olympic Games. The ’04 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits “broke records for ticket sales, overall attendance and economic impact by a PGA.” The USGA was considering the venue as a candidate for the 2012 U.S. Open, but “now almost certainly will select a different course” (JSONLINE.com, 1/24). D’Amato on Saturday cited a USGA source as saying if the 2010 PGA Championship was awarded to Whistling Straits, then there is “clearly a problem taking the 2012 Open there.” D’Amato noted courses require “several years to recover after playing host to a major championship,” and corporate hospitality and advertising “are difficult sells so close on the heels of another major” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/22).



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Clemens’ One-Year, $18M Deal Tops MLB Offseason Signings

With the Astros signing P Roger Clemens to a one-year, $18M contract — the highest single-season salary ever paid to a pitcher –- the following chart details the most expensive deals to date during the ’04-05 MLB offseason.

RECENT MLB FREE-AGENT SIGNINGS
PLAYER TEAM
SALARY
TERM (YRS)
YR. AVG
04 TEAM
04 SALARY
SAL. % +/-
Roger Clemens Astros
$18M
1
$18M
Astros
$4.75M
+279.0%
Carlos Beltran Mets
$119M
7
$17M
Astros
$9M
+88.9%
Randy Johnson ^ Yankees
$48M
3
$15.75M
D'Backs
$16.5M
-4.5%
Pedro Martinez Mets
$53M
4
$13.25M
Red Sox
$17.5M
-24.2%
Adrian Beltre Mariners
$64M
5
$12.8M
Dodgers
$5M
+156.0%



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Richie Sexson Mariners
$50M
4
$12.5M
D'Backs
$8.725M
+43.1%
Troy Glaus D'Backs