Football News: Some Great Free Kicks, Valcke Gets 12 Year Ban, Is Brazilian Ronaldo The G.O.A.T. And Much More

 

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Some Great Free Kicks, Valcke Gets 12 Year Ban, Is Brazilian Ronaldo The G.O.A.T. And Much More
Image from: sportskeeda.com

1. Benzema says the other Ronaldo is the best player ever
While French striker Karim Benzema plays alongside one Ronaldo at Real Madrid, the Portugese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, he believes the Brazilian version is the best player of all time. Ronaldo was known as 'The Phenomenon' during his playing career, as his time in Europe showed him to be a player of the highest quality. PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan all benefited from his power, pace and skill as he notched up goals, as well as winning a World Cup with the national side despite a career blighted by injury. When I was younger, the way the Brazilian Ronaldo played had an influence on me," Benzema told the Bwin website. "For me he's the best striker and the best player of all time. I watch videos of him, and try to do what he does, but it's not easy. It's impossible to pull off the same moves as he did." Just to give you an idea of how good The Ronaldo (as those of us that are old enough to remember him as a player will always think of him) really was:



Just in case you think he was just a goalscorer:



The greatest of all time? Maybe not, but he is the best since Maradona, in my opinion, and Lionel Messi still has a long way to go to match him for me.

2. Cahill looking to stay in China
Veteran former Millwall and Everton star Tim Cahill is looking for a new club in Chinese football, following his surprise release from Shanghai Shenhua. It was speculated that the 36 year old would be heading off to play in Australia's A-League, but his agent, Ante Alilovic, has said he will stay in the Chinese Super League. He did not add 'where the money is', but it is clear that is the reasoning. "He will stay in China. I'm in Asia now and will be with him in two days to discuss potential deals (and) there are a few interested clubs," Alilovic told AAP. Cahill had scored 11 goals in 28 games while in Shanghai and had only signed a contract extension in November, with no inkling he was going to be unwanted just a couple of months later.



3. Cavani's dad suggests Man Utd would be the place for his son
Unsettled forward Edison Cavani has been struggling to get games in his favoured centre forward role at Paris Saint-Germain, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of him in the pecking order. There were rumours that Manchester United had made an offer to PSG in the January transfer window for him, but no move materialised. Now Cavani's dad has hit out at the way the Parisian's are treating his son and suggested he should move to Manchester United in an interview with Israeli website Sport 5: "Zlatan is not willing to play on the wings. So they gave up on Edinson. PSG themselves. It will be difficult for Edinson in the Champions League this season. Edinson is suffering at PSG. If they let him play as the number 9 he will be happy. Real Madrid and Manchester United would be a good fit for him. We heard that other teams are interested in him. Manchester United are always linked during the transfer window. There is always talk of Real Madrid or Manchester United wanting him, but in the end nothing materialises." Is he really the answer to the Red Devils' struggles in recent years?


4. Champions League round up
Just two games took place in the Champions League last night, as the round of 16 gets stretched out to keep it running over two nights concurrently with the Europa League on Thursday nights. Chelsea went to Paris Saint-Germain, with interim coach Guus Hiddink unbeaten in his second spell as caretaker manager at the London club. Incidentally, his previous spell resulted in just one loss in his time there. PSG dominated the early stages, before John Obi Mikel gave away a needless free kick which Zlatan Ibrahimovic stepped up to take. Mikel decided to make the gaffe worse by bottling it when he was the end piece of the wall, not just turning his back, but moving behind the man next to him, Branislav Ivanovic, and the ball took a deflection off him to wrongfoot Thibaut Courtois. Chelsea stepped up their game and gave as good as they got for the rest of the half, before Mikel made up, in large part, for his errors by scoring the equaliser late in the half. PSG started the second half on the front foot and, while Chelsea fought hard, were mostly the better side and substitute Edinson Cavani started and then finished off a team goal to give the Paris club a slender 2-1 lead to hold onto. Meanwhile Andre Villas-Boas took his Zenit St Petersburg side to his home country of Portugal to face Benfica, where they fought hard to hold onto a draw. With just 60 seconds left, Nicolas Gaitan crossed for Jonas to head home the winner.



5. Ibehre takes just 37 seconds to get himself sent off
Carlisle United striker is starting to develop a reputation, last month's FA Cup replay with Yeovil Town saw him run full pelt at Gloves keeper Artur Krysiak before clotheslining him during a goalmouth scrap between the two sides. Last night the striker was unable to add to his 12 goals in 20 appearances after a high challenge on Accrington Stanley's Matty Pearson led to him being dismissed just 37 seconds into a League Two match between the two sides. Despite losing the forward so early in the match, the Cumbrian side managed to pick up a 1-1 draw.

6. This is one amazing free kick
Reminiscent of Roberto Carlos' fantastic free kick in Le Tournoi many years ago, though with an opposite swerve, could this be the Puskas award winner?





7. Speaking of quality free kicks
Bizarre surrounds, but this is a Finnish Cup match between Inter Turku and FC HIFK, and Joni Aho is about to take a free kick form just inside his own half:


8. Liverpool suffer injury blow
Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart has recently forced his way into the first team reckoning, coming on as substitute in the weekend's stroll against Aston Villa. Sadly for the 22 year old, he will now be sat on the sidelines for a while after suffering what is believed to be ankle ligament damage. Stewart is going to sit out the first leg of the Europa League match with Augsburg while he awaits scans to assess the damage. Klopp also ruled Adam Lallana out of contention: "We lost Kevin Stewart in training," Klopp said. "He blocked a shot and his ankle was not stable. It was a bit bruised so we have sent him for a scan. We think it's the ligament. He trained outstandingly and then this happened. That's not too good. Lucas is back fit but not Adam. He has no chance for Thursday's game."



9. Valcke receives 12 year ban
FIFA's ethics committee have banned Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter's right hand man, from all football-related activity for 12 years for misconduct. Valcke was found guilty of a wide range of offences, including taking private jets for personal use, destroying evidence and trying to push through an undervalued sale of television rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup in the Caribbean. "Mr. Valcke acted against FIFA's best interests and caused considerable financial damage to FIFA, while his private and personal interests detracted him from his ability to properly perform his duties," the ethics committee said in a statement. Valcke also received a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs. "During the course of the investigations, several other acts of potential misconduct arose," the ethics judges said. "By travelling at FIFA's expense purely for sightseeing reasons as well as repeatedly choosing private flights for his trips over commercial flights without any business rationale for doing so, Mr. Valcke gained an advantage for himself and relatives," the statement said. "It was found that Mr. Valcke attempted to grant the TV and media rights for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups to a third party for a fee far below their actual market value and had taken concrete preparatory action in this regard." The ethics panel added: "Mr. Valcke deliberately tried to obstruct the ongoing proceedings against him by attempting to delete or deleting several files and folders relevant to the investigation." This is the second time Valcke has been at the centre of controversy, having been fired in 2006, just months before Blatter picked him as secretary-general in 2007. Valcke was sacked for misconduct following a civil suit brought by Mastercard cost FIFA $90m, after FIFA signed with Visa as a World Cup sponsor.

10. Stoke player never realised terrace chant was about him
Philipp Wollscheid admits that he never knew a terrace chant by the Stoke City fans was about him, because of the way they pronounced his name. "I had not realised that the fans were singing about me or what they were singing," he said in an interview for German sport TV station SID. "They pronounce my name funny." You can make up your own mind up here:

Written by Tris Burke

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