The Five Billion Person Party

Notes of a wandering American soccer fan

Archive for the ‘Life imitates “Dream Team”’ Category

The Kun-Maradona-Riquelme situation

Posted by steigs on June 23, 2009

Otherwise known as “When life imitates Dream Team, Argentina National Team edition.”  Courtesy of Kickette:

Kun [Aguero]  was a nat’l team regular until earlier this month when he was benched for the Argentina NT loss to Ecuador.

– Instead of seeking solace with his fiancée, or spending all his free time dribbling a football, he visited a night club in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires the evening of June 10. He was wearing a black shirt and white cap. Neither of which, we suspect, were his best clothing options.

– Reports say he was accompanied by a blonde. And dancing with a blonde. And leaving – via the back door at 5 a.m. – with a blonde.

– The club PR person confirmed the baller spotting and dance floor antics.

– Kun’s gal, Giannina is definitely not blonde. Neither is their son, Benjamin or her father, Diego Maradona.

– We’re gonna say with 99.9% certainty that the Aguero family tree does not include any blondes either. 

– Rumors swirl and eventually land on Pia Martinez, a topless Argentinean model. She once dated Real Madrid’s Gago but after a video tape of them having sex popped
up, they broke it off. She claims a case of “always blaming the naked chick”
and denies the stories. She says after her rendezvous, publicly and privately, with Gago, “no guys will touch” her.

First, if her pictures are accurate, I refuse to believe that “no guys will touch” Pia Martinez.  More importantly, you’d think if you would marry Maradona’s daughter, you wouldn’t mess around with her — let alone when Diego is the national team coach.  Hmm.  Though it does sound like the kind of thing Maradona would have done back in his day.  A case of do as I say, not as I did…

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When Life Imitates Dream Team, Xerez edition

Posted by steigs on March 24, 2009

Boy, I’m glad that Villareal chose this team to loan out Jozy Altidore to.  Sounds like a healthy environment for a teen.  More from the Guardian:

A brothel. A gun. The dead of night. And a football club president sporting a black eye. Sex, violence, intrigue and the game (football, you understand, not the game): the perfect ingredients for a crime novel. Police have let him off without charge, but Joaquín Bilbao has resigned as president of Xerez after he was involved in a drive-by shooting. In the early hours of last Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, according to reports, Bilbao turned up at a local puticlub and wanted to sleep with a Russian girl. When he took exception to being told that the club was closed, a fight ensued. Rather than go home and cool down, he drove off and returned an hour later. Shots were fired at the door of the club with Bilbao’s gun. The chauffeur said it was him and a bruised Bilbao has walked – free from jail and away from the club. “It’s better for the institution for me to go,” he said but his nocturnal escapades have done little harm to his club: Xerez are top of the Second Division.

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When Life Imitates Dream Team, Atletico edition

Posted by steigs on March 24, 2009

Ah, Atletico Madrid, a romantic mess of the Spanish League.  So stylish right now with Aguero et al, yet so easy to score upon.  And so messed up internally.  The Guardian explains how they are Harchester-worthy:

Resino might have been allowed to ditch Maniche, the pie-munching midfielder Aguirre was obliged to play, but he still has a dressing room where the players do not get on. He still has a squad that’s brilliant up front and awful at the back. He still has footballers so bad that, team-“mates” admit: “You can’t even risk giving them the ball.” He still has a right-back who dislikes football almost as much as the rest of the players dislike him. He still has a captain in a huff and a playmaker who hates his guts. Meanwhile, his best players – all four of them – still want to leave. Above all, Resino still has Cerezo and Gil Marín: a president and director general (and majority shareholder) who are destroying what should be a brilliant institution – boasting some of the noisiest and most faithful fans in Spain – but is instead among the worst in Spain.

Atlético are a complete shambles; in debt and embargoed, torn apart by petty battles between the two men who should be running the place but are forever seeking to get one over on each other and what they can out of the club. The son of Jesús Gil and his former right-hand man. The same men who complete signings independently of each other, argue over whose turn it is to choose a coach and told players that they would rid them of Javier Aguirre at the end of the season and then wondered why, his authority on the floor, results collapsed. The same men who have already told their players that Resino won’t be there next year. Some things never change. And, however hard Resino is, for as long as Atlético Madrid remain in the same hands maybe some things never will.

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Life Imitates Dream Team, Scary Manchester edition

Posted by steigs on February 26, 2009

Police are investigating whether an armed gang of robbers is targeting the homes of top footballers after the fiancee and mother-in-law of the Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher had knives held to their throats by raiders who forced their way into the family home hours after he had left the country for a Champions League match.

Yikes!  Now if this were actually on Dream Team, the mastermind of the “armed gang” would eventually be revealed as a disgruntled ex-teammate or spurned lover of a WAG now with a team member.  Alas, in the real world, it’s likely to be just a bunch of thugs.  At least, this time there was no physical harm done.  Just this: The men escaped with jewellery and watches.

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Life imitates Dream Team, African edition

Posted by steigs on October 16, 2008

Zimbabwe is a land with many problems — aging dictator, insane inflation, civil strife etc.  The people are getting no help from their soccer team, which has just failed to advance in World Cup qualifying, losing out to Guinea and Kenya for a berth in the final round of African qualifying for the first African-hosted World Cup.  The last straw was a 4-2 loss to Namibia, which must have been worse than it sounds, given that Namibia was up 4-0 50 minutes into the game.

So let the recriminations begin!  Round up the usual suspects!  European stars failing to come home to play?  Actually, no.  Witchcraft?  Hmm.  No.  What could it be?

How about a sex scandal?

Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) Henrietta Rushwaya reportedly taking care of sexual needs of a high profile premier league striker spelling the demise of the nation’s hopes of qualifying for international soccer tourneys.

Oh, dear.  What are they talking about?

“Rushwaya and the player have left the senior team in a state of shock. When he comes home especially on a siesta from his overseas club, he camps at Rushwaya’s residence where they live literary like husband and wife…”

Sounds like quite the lady.  Perhaps she could run Harchester United!

Rushwaya herself is known for being generous with her body and numerous scribes have had a go. She is a very kind boss whose generosity has won her friends especially in the media as most of her scandals are deliberately swept under the carpet,” said the source on condition of anonymity.

Yeah, that’s one way to keep the press on your side, uh-huh.  She could certainly fit right in at Harchester United.

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Life Imitates Dream Team, Juventus edition

Posted by steigs on September 2, 2008

Player locking team president in a toilet?

Tiago is desperate to play in the Champions League and was upset at the Bianconeri president for attempting to push him toward Everton and Monaco who are not involved in Europe’s premier competition. Thus, Tiago locked Cobolli in the washroom as a sort of revenge. Rumours suggest that he was locked inside for over an hour before Del Piero heard the patron.

That’s one way to get a transfer, worthy of Harchester.  In typical fashion, who was it who came to the Juve President’s rescue? 

“In any case, Alessandro Del Piero responded to the noise I made banging on the door and offered to break it down.”

Typical Del Piero, always scoring late!

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When Life Imitates Dream Team: the Barton edition

Posted by steigs on May 21, 2008

It’s the summer, transfer season in the English Premiership.  Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton is looking at a relatively novel loan — six months in the penal league:

England international footballer Joey Barton was jailed for six months yesterday for a “violent and cowardly attack” outside a branch of McDonald’s after he became embroiled in a street fight at the end of a drunken night out in Liverpool.

The Premier League player, who signed for Newcastle in a £5.8m deal from Manchester City last summer, had drunk 10 pints of lager and five more bottles of lager before launching a sustained attack on a stranger and punching a 16-year-old boy in the face.

Now 15 (!) beers might be enough to make anyone stupid, if they’re able to be upright.  But Barton has a long history of thuggish behavior:

The incident took place as the player was awaiting trial for two other offences, which he denies; alleged assault and criminal damage of a taxi – for which he will appear before Liverpool magistrates on May 30 – and the alleged assault of a former Manchester City teammate, Ousmane Dabo, 31, to be heard in Manchester next month.

But wait, there’s more!  Courtesy of Wikipedia:

Although he signed a new contract on 22 September 2004, which would keep him at City until 2007, the club considered sacking Barton in December 2004 after an incident at their Christmas party. He stubbed out a lit cigar in youth player Jamie Tandy’s eye, after he had caught Tandy attempting to set fire to his shirt.  Barton subsequently apologised for his actions and was fined six weeks’ wages (£60,000).

The following summer, Barton was sent home from a pre-season tournament in Thailand after assaulting a 15-year-old Everton supporter who had provoked Barton by verbally abusing him and kicking his shin.Barton had to be restrained from attacking the boy further by teammate Richard Dunne.  Barton underwent anger management therapy at the order of City manager Stuart Pearce and paid £120,000 in club fines. 

While I find it puzzling that so many people appear to want provoke an obvious psycho — seriously, attempting to set his jersey on fire? — it seems there’s ample evidence that Barton is a bad, bad boy.  Just the kind who you’d expect to turn up at Harchester United.  Though I’d imagine that they’d upscale the details of his brawl.  A McDonald’s?  Really, Joey, the Arches?  Make that a high-end nightclub…and then have him score a crucial goal when he returns from jail.

Posted in England, Life imitates "Dream Team" | 16 Comments »

A half-time gas

Posted by steigs on April 24, 2008

This is exactly like something that would happen to Harchester United

Brazilian champions Sao Paulo were forced to flee their dressing-room at halftime after it filled with an unidentified spray during their match away to Palmeiras on Sunday.

They were playing the second leg of the semi-finals of their regional tournament against rivals Palmeiras.   Perhaps it’s not a surprise that Palmeiras won the game 2-0 for a 3-2 victory on aggregate.  Or that this happened:

Flamboyant Chilean Jorge Valdivia finished off a breakaway for the second in the 84th minute and appeared to provoke Sao Paulo’s defenders as he celebrated.

Almost immediately, the lights went out and there was a scuffle in midfield as Sao Paulo players remonstrated with Valdivia.

Yeah, that could happen to Harchester.  As well as this follow-up:

Sao Paulo coach Muricy Ramalho has rubbished suggestions that his own club was behind an incident on Sunday, when their changing room filled with a mysterious spray at halftime in a derby match at Palmeiras.

Well, all I can say is that I wouldn’t want to be on the Palmeiras team that next visits Sao Paulo…

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Gerrard and the gangsters

Posted by steigs on April 18, 2008

Another edition of “Life Imitates Dream Team” …

This time the star is the otherwise fairly straight-shooting Steven Gerrard of Liverpool.  Liverpool, you see, is a town filled with rough elements, and when they do you a favor then, as we all know from the movies, you owe them.

When the name of the character witness was read out to the sleepy jury at Lincoln Crown Court this week, even the doziest of their number sprang to rapt attention.

Steven George Gerrard MBE – captain of Liverpool Football Club, occasional captain of England and role model to millions of impressionable youngsters – wished it to be known that he had “the utmost respect” for the man who stood in the dock.

Never mind that the defendant, John Kinsella, was a known gangster charged with tying up a security guard during a £41,000 robbery.

Wonder why Gerrard aborted that move to Chelsea a few years back?  The answer may be here:

With a big wage increase in the offing, he even text-messaged then Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to say he was looking forward to working with him.

Days later, all that changed. Gerrard told a stunned press conference that he had changed his mind and would be staying in Liverpool.

Officially he was happy – but his ashen face and monosyllabic speech told a different story.

The truth, insiders say, is that on the eve of his transfer, Steven had a visit from his father.

Paul Gerrard, who had previously been supportive of his move to the capital, had a stark message for him: you can’t go.

“If you were to leave this city and this football club,” he said, “our lives would become intolerable.”

Steven, sources say, buckled under the pressure.

The precise reasons why this remarkable U-turn came about remain shrouded in mystery.

However, it is known that, at the time, a number of leading gangland figures in Liverpool were determined that their football club’s prize asset should not be lost to the city – at any cost.

Just the kind of story you so often see here in the US with our NBA stars — even the clean ones can find it hard to escape the tougher elements from the ‘hood.

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When Life Really Imitates “Dream Team”

Posted by steigs on March 28, 2008

Courtesy of Pitch Invasion, why not just rename your team Harchester United?

 The man bidding to buy Mansfield Town wants to take this a step further and rename the club “Harchester United”, the fictional name of the team in Sky Television’s soccer soap opera, Dream Team.

I suppose it might be better than being named for a kids team in a Disney film…

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