Tuesday, August 16, 2011

8 Players Who Should Retire Now

1-Ryan Giggs

FOXBORO, MA - JULY 13:  Ryan Giggs #11 of Manchester United competes against the New England Revolution during a friendly match at Gillette Stadium on July 13, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Football has a way of prolonging some careers and shortening others. At times, it can also cause brutal heartache to fans and players, as they cannot believe their bad luck.
However, some players just seem to stick around longer than necessary. In that scenario, it sees players that were amazing, playing till they are no longer amazing, and then, we get tainted with the old player as the last thing we remember. Ronaldo being a stark example at times.
At other times, players get forced out before they can become great, and it is once again devastating to see the loss of such a talent. Seeing a young player that looked like he would take the footballing world by storm, that is until he fractured his ankle in three places and could never heal correctly, can take the wind out of anyone.
Never the less, be it injury, fitness, age or any other reason, here are eight players that truly are due to hang up their boots for good, and they could be doing themselves, their clubs and their fans a service in the long run by doing so.

2-Cuauhtemoc Blanco

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 22:  Cuauhtemoc Blanco of Mexico reacts during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between Mexico and Uruguay at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Richard Hea
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Blanco seems like the one player who never wants to go away from Mexico. He turned 38 this year and is still kicking around in the Mexican Liga de Ascenso with Irapuato. He scored eight goals last season for them, but I feel I speak for many when I say it's time to hang them up.
He won't make it to another World Cup for Mexico, and at that time, he will be in his 40s and truly would not be seen as the intimidating international he once was.
In all honesty, Blanco should have been done after his time at the Chicago Fire as his fitness was truly slipping as you could see his pace continuing to slow week after week, but he is still going on

3-Sol Campbell

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Sol Campbell of Newcastle controls the ball during the Carling Cup third round match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on September 22, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Sol Campbell has done his best to give one last burst of life to his career as he is due to turn 37 in September. The once Spurs turned Gunners Legend and Portsmouth defender has made the rounds in the last two seasons.
His one match romance with Notts County ended with a return to Arsenal for 14 games and one goal but did not merit him a return full time to his former club. Newcastle United signed him last season to a one-year deal, but only eight appearances made him excess to Alan Pardew requirements for next year.
Campbell now has been reportedly training back with Arsenal, but unless he finds a way to coax a second Jens Lehmann situation out of the coming season, he won't be a Gunner for the third time. His slowing pace also won't win him any points in the EPL, and at this point, he should take the hint and let it go

4-Lealey King

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16:  Ledley King of Tottenham walks off injured  during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage on October 16, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

From 2001-05 Tottenham Hotspur defensive sensation Ledley King looked like he could possibly be the next great English defender, but then it started to unravel. Since then, his body has totally let him down, and he has not has a 30-appearance season for Spurs in that time.
It seems that no matter how well he does to come back, his body just says no. The pain of watching such a promising talent physically fall apart helplessly drives me up the wall, and I know that many have to feel the same way.
I would rather see him retire and keep his dignity and respect before he completely cripples himself more than he already has. Last year, he only played in nine games for Spurs, his lowest total since he only managed 10 games in 2007-08, and if that tells us anything, his body has had enough.

5-Chris Kirkland

BOLTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Chris Kirkland of Wigan Athletic is injured in a chellenge and stretchered off during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic at Reebok Stadium on January 5, 2011 in Bolton, England.  (P
Clive Mason/Getty Images

It's rare that you would see a keeper as a player who should just take off the gloves and retire, but Wigan Athletic's Chris Kirkland is one for the books. The 30-year-old keeper is the exception to the rule for a position that often sees players stay active until their early 40s.
His entire career has been wrought by injury and nearly caused him to retire early during his time at Liverpool where he only made 45 appearances in four seasons on Merseyside.
The one time he got back into the heat of it last season against Bolton, due to on-loan keeper Ali Al Habsi being ineligible to play against his parent club, a collision with Johan Elmander saw Kirkland stretchered off.
It seems he cannot catch a break, and with the Latics permanently replacing him this season by signing Al Habsi to a permanent contract, I believe it is time for Kirkland to make his final bow before closing the book on a frustrating career


MILAN, ITALY - DECEMBER 08:  Ronaldinho of AC Milan and Eyong Enoh of AFC Ajax compete for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between AC Milan and AFC Ajax at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on December 8, 2010 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Clau
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Ronaldinho was once the greatest on the face of the planet. His time at Barcelona was the height of his reign at the top of the footballing world. Since his final years there, he has slowly faded from a former great to a once was.
His 107 goals and 80 assists from 254 games at the Nou Camp in five seasons may never be topped in that short of time frame as the Samba star set the world alight with his electrifying moves and ball skills. However, his off-the-field antics got the better of him near the end of his time in Barcelona, and they did not seek to retain him when his contract was up.
The next stop on his tour of Europe was Italy, and despite a mini-revival for several parts of his AC Milan career, it seems that he is largely past his best. His return to Brazil for Flemengo attracted many fans in his home country, but his playing days in European's elite are over. I for one do not want to watch him spiral even more downward in Brazil as he clings to a career that he alone is responsible for letting fade away

7-David James

NORWICH, ENGLAND - MARCH 14:  David James of Bristol City looks on during the npower Championship match between Norwich City and Bristol City at Carrow Road on March 14, 2011 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

David James is a British footballing icon. He holds multiple records, including the all-time clean sheets record in the English Premier League at 173. The EPL appearances record was his also until Manchester United's Ryan Giggs claimed it last season.
His time at Liverpool from 1992-99 saw him manage the largest single part of both his major achievements as he collected 214 of his 573 EPL appearances with the Reds. The remainder of his games came from time with West Ham United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Portsmouth before their most recent relegation.
James' career has seen him play for over 20 years, but since he has dropped down to the lower leagues, it has possibly harmed his legacy in some ways as he is fading away from memory.
After signing an extension until the end of next season with Bristol City, I believe that one more season should be it for James

8-Owen Hargreaves

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06:  Owen Hargreaves of Manchester United consults with the  team physio prior to leaving the pitch with an injury during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Traffor
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Few players have been through the frustration that Owen Hargreaves has. He was one of the most promising young midfielders in recent generations for England. It seemed a few injuries in Germany were a thing of the past when he moved to Manchester United and helped them to the English Premier League title, and the UEFA Champions League title.
However, since those triumphant days, he only managed five appearances for United in the final three years of his contract. At the end of last season, he became a free agent, and teams will hardly give him a look because of his injury-prone past.
My mind comes to New England Revolution striker Taylor Twellman, as a player that had to hang up his boots to young, but I am afraid Hargreaves needs to take the same bow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bayern M√ľnchen


FC Zurich

Wisla Krakow


Apoel Nicosia

Dinamo Zagreb



Maccabi Haifa F.C.



Odense BK




Tuesday, August 16, 2011  2:45 PM ET



Emirates Stadium

FC Twente                          


De Grolsch Veste

FC Copenhagen


Viktoria Plzen

Parken Stadion



Rubin Kazan

Stade Gerland



Cesc Fabregas tayari ni mchezaji rasmi wa Barcelona baada ya kusaini mkataba wa miaka mitano na mabingwa hao wa Ulaya.
Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas

Nahodha huyo wa zamani wa Arsenal amefuzu uchunguzi wa afya yake aliofanyiwa mara mbili siku ya Jumatatu na atatambulishwa na klabu hiyo wakati wowote.
Arsenal itapokea kitita cha paundi milioni 30 na paundi milioni 5 nyingine zitatolewa kutegemeana na idadi ya mechi atakazocheza na vikombe itakavyoshinda Barcelona.
Siku ya Jumapili, Arsenal na Barca walithibitisha "kukubaliana kimsingi" juu ya kumuuza Fabregas.
"Tunaelewa hamu aliyonayo Cesc ya kurejea katika klabu ya nyumbani kwao na sasa ameafikiana na klabu ya Barcelona," alisema meneja wa Arsenal, Arsene Wenger.
"Tumekuwa tukifahamisha bayana hatukutaka Cesc aondoke na hali hiyo inasalia hivyo hivyo.
"Tunamshukuru Cesc kwa mchango wake katika klabu ya Arsenal na tunamuombea mafanikio huko aendako."
Barcelona imekuwa ikimuwinda Fabregas tangu msimu uliopita.
Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas
Taarifa za mpango wa kuuzwa kwa Fabregas zilithibitishwa wakati wa kipindi cha mapumziko kwenye mchezo wa awali wa kuwania Kombe la Hispania siku ya Jumapili, ambapo Barcelona ilitoka sare ya mabao 2-2 na Real Madrid.
Fabregas tayari ameshafanyia uchunguzi wa awali wa afya yake katika hospitali iitwayo Hospital de Barcelona.
Fabregas alifanya mazungumzo na wachezaji wenzake wa Arsenal kwa mara ya mwisho siku ya Ijumaa asubuhi na hakuwemo katika kikosi cha Wenger kilichocheza siku ya Jumamosi dhidi ya Newcastle katika mechi ya ufunguzi wa msimu ambapo timu hizo hazikufungana.
Hakuwemo katika ziara ya timu ya Arsenal barani Asia na pia hakucheza mechi nyingine za kujiandaa kwa msimu mpya wa ligi, zikiwemo mechi za Kombe la Emirates, kutokana na kusumbuliwa na maumivu ya msuli wa paja.
Mchezaji huyo wa kimataifa wa Hispania, ameshaichezea nchi yake mechi 58 na kwa klabu ya Arsenal amecheza mechi 303 wakati wa kipindi cha miaka minane akiwa kaskazini mwa jiji la London na amefunga mabao 57 katika mashindano yote aliyocheza.
Mwezi wa Oktoba mwaka 2003, alikuwa mchezaji mwenye umri mdogo kuichezea Arsenal katika kikosi cha kwanza, ambapo mechi yake ya kwanza ilikuwa dhidi ya Rotherham United kuwania kufuzu kwa Kombe la Carling wakati huo akiwa na umri wa miaka 16 na siku 177.
Pia alikuwa mchezaji mwenye umri mdogo wa klabu hiyo kufunga bao, alipofunga wakati Arsenal ilipilaza Wolves mabao 5-1 mwezi wa Desemba mwaka huo wa 2003. Fabregas alikuwa katika kikosi cha Arsenal kilichoilaza Manchester United kwa mikwaju ya penalti na kushinda Kombe la FA mwaka 2005, na kuwa kombe muhimu la pekee aliloshinda na Arsenal kwa muda wote akichezea klabu hiyo.
Aliteuliwa kuwa nahodha wa Arsenal mwezi wa Novemba mwaka 2008. Mshambuliaji Robin van Persie anatazamiwa kuchukua nafasi ya unahodha wa kudumu wa Arsenal, ingawa hatacheza mechi dhidi ya Udinese baada ya kufungiwa kutokana na kadi nyekundu aliyooneshwa msimu uliopita walipocheza na Barcelona katika moja ya mechi za Ubingwa wa Ulaya.
Alipobanwa kuhusiana na mustakabali wa Fabregas na Samir Nasri - BBC ikifahamu fika naye yupo njiani kuelekea Manchester City -kwenye mkutano na waandishi wa habari siku ya Ijumaa, Wenger alisema anatumai "hakuna yeyote atakayeihama" Arsenal.