The Five Billion Person Party

Notes of a wandering American soccer fan

Archive for the ‘Denmark’ Category

Sponsor of the Year

Posted by steigs on November 21, 2008

Those broad-minded Danes.  Porn for points! 

Former Old Firm stars get interesting win bonus.. porno films

FORMER Old Firm stars Libor Sionko and Ulrik Laursen have been offered a win bonus of two porn videos.

Ex-Rangers midfielder Sionko and former Hibs and Celtic defender Laursen now play in Denmark for FC Copenhagen.

One of the club’s sponsors, sex movie distributors BN Agentur, have promised the squad two porn movies every time they win.

Laursen, Sionko and team mates have risen to the challenge – winning nine of their first 13 games to go one point behind leaders Odense.

Copenhagen, known locally as FCK, screen the films at their training ground – although they refuse to reveal who gets to keep them afterwards.

Club chairman Flemming Ostergaard said: “As far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with it.”

Czech Republic international Sionko, 31, spent the 2006-7 season at Ibrox before signing a two-year deal with Copenhagen.

Meanwhile Laursen, 32, ended a three-year spell at Celtic in 2005, having previously spent two seasons with Hibs.

He is currently Copenhagen’s captain.

Their squad also includes ex-Chelsea winger Jesper Gronkjaer and former Manchester City and Fulham midfielder Niclas Jensen.

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Czeched Out

Posted by steigs on June 16, 2008

The Czech collapse against Turkey yesterday was startling, a rapid unraveling of a previously solid team.  (Wait, Petr “possibly best goalie in EPL” Cech made a crucial error?)  Credit the Turks for an impressive display of fortitude.  My wife M. says she likes to root for teams that show “can do” spirit — clearly she should be cheering on the Turks now, given that remarkable comeback plus the way they came from behind against the host Swiss in that wicked rainstorm.

This may represent the end of an era for the Czechs, who like other smaller nations with strong soccer cultures, usually need a couple of stars to lift them from the “regular qualifier” level to “dark horse threat to win it all” level.  (See also: Croatia, Sweden, Bulgaria etc.)  American fans remember all too well the way we were dismantled by the Czechs at the 2006 World Cup, before the Czechs went awry at that tourney.  They’ve had a handful of world-class players in recent years but they are largely moving on — Pavel Nedved has retired from international play, giant Jan Koller will join him soon, Tomas Rosicky has injury problems and missed this tourney.  They’ve still got Cech but he wasn’t exactly helping the cause yesterday. 

This Czech side peaked at Euro 2004, where they arguably played the best soccer of any team before running into the brick wall of the Greek defense in the semi-finals.  I was lucky enough to see them beat Denmark in the quarter-finals.  What was it like?  Here’s a taste.  For more, read on after the jump.

Around minute 30, the Danes start swaying in unison.  The Czech fans, on the other hand, perhaps provoked by the Danes, begin doing one of the stranger cheers I have seen.  First, they chant “Czech-ia!” and then “Hop Hop Hop” hopping as they say it. 

As best I can gather it means “Onward, Czechs!” but the effect is as if the section beside us is getting a Ramones concert on a frequency the rest of us can’t hear and doing the pogo — either that or offering encouragement to rabbits.  “Hop!  Hop!  Hop!”

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Enlisting in the “Yellow Blue Army”

Posted by steigs on April 7, 2008

The Danish league just kicked off again after the long winter break deemed prudent by the country’s northern clime.  It is a frequent destination for second-tier American players looking for a fatter paycheck than MLS offers and, perhaps, a chance to be spotted more easily by more prestigious European leagues.

One of the stories of this season has been the way perennial powerhouse Bronby FC has faltered.  They currently sit ninth in the twelve team league.  Not long ago, they were regularly winning the league and competing in the Champions League (preliminaries) and UEFA Cup.  I was lucky enough to see Brondby play during happier times back in 2004, and while the game did not go Brondby’s way (a significant understatement), I gained an appreciation for the joys of watching soccer, Danish style, with Brondby fans, rooting on their “Yellow Blue Army.”  (Hint: alcohol plays a role.)  For details, including a recap of the magical Danish Euro ’92 championship and a mini-tour of Copenhagen, read on after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

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