Oi Kaka, fancy becoming the new Denilson?
The law of unintended consequences may complicate Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs interest in Cristiano Ronaldo. If Kaka, the fourth best player in the world (according to FIFA) is worth ÃÂ£103m, how much is CR7 worth?The rumoured Real offers Ã¢ÂÂ ÃÂ£50m, ÃÂ£60m, even ÃÂ£80m Ã¢ÂÂ for Ronaldo once seemed generous but now, post-Kaka, look a bit paltry. Indeed, whatÃ¢ÂÂs to prevent City outbidding Real? Whoever wins the election to replace interim Real president Vicente Boluda might want to reconsider this strategy anyway.
The history of such deals Ã¢ÂÂ where one club bets the farm for a galactically talented player Ã¢ÂÂ suggests they fail as often as they succeed. Zinedine ZidaneÃ¢ÂÂs ÃÂ£46m move to Real was a treat for fans and gave us one of the greatest goals to grace a UEFA Champions League final. But Zizou arrived in 2001, conquered Europe in 2002, and by the end of 2003 Real had begun to implode.
Zizou wallops home in 2002 final at Hampden Park
For every masterly record signing Ã¢ÂÂ Cruyff to Barcelona, Maradona to Napoli, Gullit to Milan Ã¢ÂÂ there are loads of deals which went awry.
The Kaka/City circus must have fascinated a 39-year-old recently retired attacking midfielder called Gianluigi Lentini. His world record ÃÂ£13m move to Milan in 1992 was dubbed Ã¢ÂÂan offence to the dignity of workÃ¢ÂÂ by the Vatican and after a bad car crash in 1993 he never recovered his old form.Perhaps Kaka wasnÃ¢ÂÂt swayed by his Christian beliefs at all. Maybe he just glanced at the history books and decided that risking he might become the new Denilson wasn't worth it Ã¢ÂÂ not even for a sheikhÃ¢ÂÂs ransom.Much has been made of RobinhoÃ¢ÂÂs exit from Manchester CityÃ¢ÂÂs Tenerife training camp. I wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt worry too much. I suspect the imminence of Craig Bellamy has prompted the hyperactive young genius to return to Brazil to buy some industrial strength golf clubs. Same as he ever was?
Ã¢ÂÂHe has seen a lot of football and IÃ¢ÂÂm sure he has a plan.Ã¢ÂÂ That was how Fulham defender Ã¢ÂÂ and Norwegian skipper Ã¢ÂÂ Brede Hangeland greeted the return of Egil Ã¢ÂÂDrilloÃ¢ÂÂ Olsen as caretaker national coach.Critics Ã¢ÂÂ many of whom coach top flight clubs in Norway Ã¢ÂÂ worry that OlsenÃ¢ÂÂs plan is, as Talking Heads might say, the Ã¢ÂÂsame as it ever wasÃ¢ÂÂ: zonal defence and long diagonal passes for a striker to nod into the box.
But DrilloÃ¢ÂÂs return has done something useful: excited interest in the national team which, under Age Hareide, had begun to slip off the mediaÃ¢ÂÂs radar. The April 1 friendly against Finland may sell out.
Olsen: "Hello boys... I'm back"
OlsenÃ¢ÂÂs wellies, Marxism and the ability to identify the height of every mountain on earth should make for entertaining press conferences.
Jim White sees OlsenÃ¢ÂÂs return as proof of footballÃ¢ÂÂs unerring ability to reward failure. But Drillo did manage the most successful Norway team ever Ã¢ÂÂ the national side won 30% of their games before he took over and 70% while he was in charge Ã¢ÂÂ and he is still only 66. LarsArhusÃ¢ÂÂs stats show why so many Norwegians still hope he may get the job permanently. And finallyÃ¢ÂÂ¦
PR email subject of the week: Ã¢ÂÂAston Villa FC hero flies Air Malta.Ã¢ÂÂ I kid you not.
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