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FIFA World Cup players

World Cup 06: Saudi Arabia

in FIFA World Cup/Players

Saudi Arabia In this series of posts we shall look at each country’s profile that will see action during the games. We continue with Saudi Arabia (player profile). The full archive is found here.

Saudi Arabia’s team is fortunate to receive great amounts of financial backing since their performance in World Cup 94; though their recent slump in the next two World Cup competitions is disappointing. They are looking to redeem themselves with their triple threat player combination.

They have been Asian champions three times, in 1984, 1988 and 1996. The 1984 and 1988 performance has prompted the country’s authorities to introduce full professionalism on the sport that resulted in their FIFA World Cup finals appearance at USA 94. They lost to Sweden in the second round after beating Morocco and Belgium in the first round.

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Trinidad & Tobago Captain is Rusty?

in FIFA World Cup/News & Features/Players

Dwight Yorke, team captain of Trinidad & Tobago, will have his final game as a Sydney FC player on Sunday against Central Coast Mariners in Australia’s Grand Final.

Yorke said he has two-and-a-half months without a club and without playing competitive football ahead of him.

At 34 years old this year’s event is most likely his first and last World Cup so he cannot afford to keep low in the months ahead and would want his Country to remember their first World Cup appearance.

In lieu of Yorke’s void in competitive games; Alex Ferguson has offered him to train with United. Yorke insists that he need games more than anything else to prepare him as the leader of their country. Besides, the Soca Warriors will be facing England in the second game of the World Cup and Alex’s offer may have an ulterior motive.

I think Alex’s offer is genuine but there is still a conflict of interest and may get back at both Yorke and Alex once Yorke performs well in World Cup games and gets checked against England. Unless the Soca Warriors end up in the cellar, the worst thing that could happen is to be slightly beaten out by England which will surely get their people up and roaring.

The best thing to do is get training and play some games with teams that have the least chance of World Cup encounter. Any takers?

Profile: Ronaldinho

in Players

Ronaldinho

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, nicknamed Ronaldinho Gaucho, was born on March 21, 1980 in the southern city of Porto Alegre. Known as today’s greatest footballer; this young man is another rags to riches story that rose to international supremacy starting from a poor family and was raised in the dirt road-laced settlements of favelas.

His talent was so evident at a young age that he helped Brazil win the World under-17 Championship in Egypt. During that event he was scouted by local club Gremio and signed his first professional contract.

Ronaldinho won his first senior cap for Brazil against Latvia in 1999 where he scored 15 goals in 14 games while playing for Gremio. He then played for Copa America squad of Brazil scoring an incredible goal against Venezuela en route to a trophy win. Later that year, he scored their first hat-trick in the Confederations Cup semi-finals against Saudi Arabia.

Two years later, he left Gremio for Paris St. Germain (PSG) playing only 3 months after and with the help of FIFA due to contract restrictions.

A year after his start at PSG he was voted France’s player of the month for January after hitting 6 goals in 7 games.

During the World Cup 2002 he was best remembered for scoring the famous freekick against David Seaman in Brazil’s World Cup Quarter Finals match against England. The arc and how the ball got to the net were technically difficult but were done through Ronaldinho‘s creativity and talent.

In 2003 summer transfer market, he joined Barcelona for £21m after rejecting Manchester United.

He is a genius on the playing field that could find the net in the most spectacular, outstanding and creative shots. His dedication to the game has continuously raised his level of play throughout the years which led to Barcelona’s renewed domination of the Spanish Primera Division.

Ronaldinho was chosen by Brazil legend Pele as one of the 11 greatest living footballers through FIFA.

To sum up, below is the list of teams and awards he has played and received throughout his career:

Teams Played

1999 – 2001: Gremio de Porto Alegre, Brazil
2001 – 2003: Paris St. Germain, France Ligue 1. Signed for fee of $4.5 million
2003 – F.C. Barcelona, Spain. Signed for fee of between $30 -$35 million

Awards Received

1997: U-17 FIFA World Cup Winner. Voted MVP of Tournament
1999: Copa America Winner
2000: FIFA Confederations Cup. Golden Boot Award – six goals
2002: FIFA World Cup Winner
2004: FIFA World Player of The Year
2004-2005: Primera Division Champion with F.C. Barcelona.
2005: FIFpro World Player of The Year.
2005: European Footballer of The Year – ‘Ballon d’Or’ Winner

The latest sensation from soccer powerhouse Brazil; scores beautiful goals on a whim and dances the samba while doing. He is going to be a force to reckon with for years to come.

Expect a dominating performance from him in the upcoming World Cup 2006!

Profile: Ronaldo

in Brazil/FIFA World Cup/Players

Ronaldo

Believed to be the greatest striker in the world, Ronaldo Luiz Nazario da Lima, was born on September 22, 1976 at Bento Ribero (Rio de Janeiro,Brasil).

The deadliest striker is a combination of both skill and unmatched speed that makes him the last person you want to give a sight at goal; for it shall hit the back of the net more often than you can imagine. His technical soundness for the game has torched so many goalies including extraordinaire Oliver Khan in World Cup 2002 where he scored two goals.

He is a classic example of someone from the remote region and of remote possibilities of success that rose to world elite status.

He is so poor while growing up that he could not even afford the bus fare to play for Flamengo who did not actually pay for the expense. Below is the list of team he played for as taken from About.com.

1988 – Aged 12 years Ronaldo signs for Social Ramos
1990 – Signs Professional Contract, Social Ramos
1991 – Sao Cristovoa – 2nd. Division, Brazil
1993 – Cruzeiro – 1st. Division, Brazil
1994 – PSV Eindhoven – Netherlands
1996 – Barcelona – Spain
1997 – Inter Milan – Italy
2002 – Real Madrid – Current Club

His career is decorated with lots of glory as well as setbacks, which has a lot to do with the injuries he suffered. Being the warrior he is, he kept on coming back from one injury to another to get more goals and more glory.

His finals convulsion in 1998 against France followed by career threatening injury did not stop him from reclaiming glory during the 2002 World Cup that made him the only player to score two goals against the formidable Oliver Kahn.

Some of the most notable awards he has received are found below:

Dutch Cup – 1996
FIFA World Player of the Year – ’96, ’97, ’02
European Footballer of the Year – ’97
European Player of the Year – ’02
World Cup 2002 Top Scorer – 8 goals

Who would not want to be the guy growing from rags to riches like Ronaldo. A dream come true. Not to mention his exotic girlfriend despite his not-so-handsome appearance. Ooop!

Nevertheless, the world needs someone like you!

Goal

Goal

‘…stick together,’ insists Beckham

in News & Features/Players

England captain David Beckham wants the focus to be back to the World Cup and put aside whatever distraction coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has brought because of his departure after the World Cup.

‘The most important thing is we move on from this. For two weeks it’s been a circus and the focus has been taken away from the team and what we want to accomplish in the World Cup finals. We need to stick together and forget what has happened,’ Beckham told The Sun.

I believe England doesn’t have much of a chance this year in winning the World Cup. Beckham is hopeful still.

‘I didn’t know Sven was going, I had no clue whatsoever. It’s sad but, hopefully, in the end it might not be sad at all. If we go all the way in the competition, it would be a great ending for him.’

‘Yes, there’s a new manager coming in, but Sven’s the one who will be taking us to Germany. People ask if it will affect morale but it won’t. It’s the biggest competition in the game and we want to win it.

Beckham knows the kind of loyalty they have between each other.

‘Every one of the players has a great relationship with this manager. We will stick by him and he will stick by us.’

Beckham as the team captain of England is doing his job in encouraging his teammates to be one unit looking at one common goal. I may not be a big fan of them winning the World Cup finals but moments like this builds the character of the team. The question lies on how strong it is for the competition. What do you think?

Beckham : Both Feet on the Ground: An Autobiography

Beckham : Both Feet on the Ground: An Autobiography

Profile: Kaka, Brazil’s Finest Discovery

in Players

Kaka

Kaka is standing out amongst the talented pool of football players in Brazil. According to Pele Kaka is very skillful and already one of the best players in the world.

Ricardo Izecson Santos Leite, Kaka’s real name, despite being only 22 years old has already propelled fellow countryman Rivaldo towards the exit door, has relegated Portuguese legend Rui Costa to the bench and continuously serves as the driving force and brains of AC Milan football club.

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Ronaldo: Deadliest Striker on his Injury

in Players

The deadliest striker in the world and Brazilian legend says about his injury:

“These things happen in football,” he said. “If I was a lawyer, this sort of thing wouldn’t occur. What I need now is a change of luck.”

Ronaldo has a torn right calf muscle, which he suffered in the first half match against Villarreal on Jan. 8. He is now undergoing treatment and would sideline the 29 year old legend for three weeks. This is something familiar to him already.

Remember the injuries he suffered prior to World Cup 2002 where he led Brazil to the Promised Land? This guy is mentally strong and he would definitely be good in time for the World Cup.

I just hope that luck would be there for him and all his fans alike though.

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