What is it with Inter and central defenders? They canÃ¢ÂÂt seem to keep them on the pitch. Last season, Walter Samuel snapped knee ligaments in the Milan derby in December and then Ivan CordobaÃ¢ÂÂs season was ended in similar fashion against Liverpool in the Champions League in February.Added to that, Nelson Rivas and Cristian Chivu were also sidelined at various stages in the campaign. The latest to fall to the curse at the back has been Marco Materazzi who lasted all of seven minutes of TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs TIM Trophy encounter with Juventus, before limping off with what seems to be a recurrence of his long-standing knee problem.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs not safe for you to walk to the stadium alone,Ã¢ÂÂ agreed the receptionist and a customer in my hotel in Port Elizabeth, a World Cup host city, ahead of the derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. Ã¢ÂÂNot safe for a white person.Ã¢ÂÂ
Italy may be gearing up for its annual August shutdown when the whole country takes off on a collective holiday but at least itÃ¢ÂÂs business as usual in the football world with the release of the new Serie A fixture list.For many, the 2008/09 campaign will propel the Italian league back to the forefront of European football and reclaim its title of the Ã¢ÂÂmost beautiful championship in the world.Ã¢ÂÂ
The island-dwelling people of the Balearics are already accustomed to lobster-skinned, barfing, brawling British types ruling their roost for much of the year, thanks to Easyjet and co. But it appears that fans of Mallorca are going to have to get used to a 'guiri' - as the Brits are charmingly called in Spain - doing more than laying siege to their bars, beaches and babes. One of them might actually end up running their football club.The long predicted construction crash in Spain has hit home with a similar seismic shock as Maniche collapsing into a bean bag and this crane-inspired calamity has left the owner of the island club, Vicente Grande, needing to sell up.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a bit early to label Pedro Morales the Chilean Beckham but if the 23-year-old keeps scoring goals like this against the Ivory Coast, the label will start to stick.Morales has just signed for Dinamo Zagreb, one of the most productive finishing schools in European football right now. Some stars, like Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar, midfielder Ognjen Vukojevic, and defender Vedran Corluka, are home grown and sold on. Others, like Eduardo, are imported from South America. polished and then sold on. The academy Ã¢ÂÂ named after two club legends Ico Jitrec and Tatko Kacijan Ã¢ÂÂ is now run by Romeo Jozak, who was assistant coach at Osijek.