Sabtu, 20 Disember 2008

Henrik Larsson

Henrik Larsson (born September 20, 1971 in Helsingborg, Sweden) is a Swedish international football player.

Having completed seven very successful years with Celtic in Glasgow, Scotland, after the end of the 2003/04 season he signed a 1 year contract with an option for a second year for Spanish giants FC Barcelona.

He started his professional career playing for Högaborg at the age of 17. He subsequently played for Helsingsborgs IF and Feyenoord. He was signed by Celtic in July 1997 for a fee of £650,000. His debut, playing Hibernian at Easter Road, was less than spectacular; he inadvertently passed the ball to the other side, resulting in a 2-1 loss for Celtic.

Larsson scored 242 goals for Celtic, in 315 matches, and in 2001 he won the "Golden Shoe" award for being Europe's top goal scorer. In 2003 Sweden nominated Larsson as the greatest Swedish football player of the last 50 years.

His decision to retire from international football met with much dismay in his homeland and there was much clamouring for him to return to the team for their campaign at the 2004 European Championships in Portugal. Despite initially maintaining his decision to retire, turning down overtures from UEFA President Lennart Johannsen and the Swedish Prime Minister in the process, he eventually returned to the national side to great effect, scoring 3 goals in 4 matches and leading Sweden to the quarterfinals, where they were defeated in a penalty shootout by the Dutch.

Larsson's international record is impressive with 27 goals in 77 games, many of which he played in midfield or as a winger. He has always made his mark on big occasions and has scored at 2 World Cups (1994 at which Sweden came 3rd, and 2002), and 2 European Championships (2000 and 2004). For Celtic his finest moment (if not his happiest) came in the UEFA Cup final of 2003 in which he scored two goals in a 3-2 extra time defeat to Porto of Portugal. His goalscoring feats on the contintent for Celtic mean he holds the record for number of goals scored for a British club in European matches.

He is married, and has two children, Jordan (born 1997) and Janine (born 2002).

David Beckham

David Robert Joseph Beckham OBE (born May 2, 1975) is an English footballer born in Leytonstone, London. He is a midfielder for Real Madrid and captain of the English national team. He is noted for the quality of his crossing and ability to hit free-kicks and corners, particularly at long-range free-kicks and also for his marriage to a Spice Girl. He has played most of his career for Manchester United. Although there are arguably many better current players in world football none are as famous.

Manchester United 1995-2003

Beckham first signed a YTS (youth training scheme) contract (this is similar to an apprenticeship) with United in 1991, and made his League debut in 1995, aged 19. The next year he helped the side to the Premiership and FA Cup trophies and to their dominance of domestic football. In the 1998-99 season, he was part of the United team that won the "treble" - Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, a feat unprecedented in English football, which earned the club's manager, Alex Ferguson, a knighthood.

In total, Beckham scored 86 goals in 397 games for Man United, a rate of roughly 2 goals every 9 games, highly commendable for a midfielder.

Club Career

Real Madrid 2003-present

On June 17, 2003, Beckham signed a four-year contract with Real Madrid of Spain, potentially worth up to €35 million (£25 million, USD 41 million). Plus 2.

Apart from benefiting from his football ability, this transfer gives the Spanish club an opportunity to profit from merchandising, especially in the Far East, where Beckham is enormously popular, and Manchester United have until now had the lion's share of interest. It is probably no coincidence that Beckham was transferred just before Real started a far-eastern tour, but it would be very unfair to say that his marketing potential alone was the only reason for his transfer. At the time of the announcement of his transfer to Real Madrid, Beckham and his wife (Victoria) were on a week-long tour of Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand promoting beauty products, chocolate, motor oil, and mobile phones, which it was reported would earn them more than the entire first year of his Real Madrid contract. (Western journalists are excluded from the Japanese "press conferences" organised by his sponsors because of the embarrassment they would cause him in the West.)

He successfully completed the transfer on July 1 and was presented with the squad number of 23 on July 2. He is believed to have chosen the number as a tribute to his idol, Michael Jordan, who made number 23 famous with the Chicago Bulls. Real Madrid shirts bearing his name and number were sold out in Madrid on the day his transfer was completed and Real Madrid were expected to receive €624,000 for the sale of the shirts.

His transfer to Real Madrid has proven very fruitful for both Beckham and the club. Beckham scored five times in his first 16 matches (including Real's 600th goal in the European Cup/Champions League, against Olympique Marseille on 26 November 2003), a higher scoring rate than his last year at Manchester United (11 goals in 52 games). He has become a favourite of the notoriously fickle Real Madrid crowd, and established an excellent playing relationship with Ronaldo.

During the summer of 2004, Real also signed Englishmen Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate.

International Career - England

By 1998 he was a regular international, and travelled with the England squad to the FIFA World Cup. In the second round of that competition he received a red-card for retaliation, following a foul challenge by the Argentine Diego Simeone. This act arguably cost England the game (which they lost on penalties) and the chance of advancing in the tournament. On returning home, Beckham became the target of criticism, sometimes justified (the accusation of petulance, for example) but much merely gratuitous. He received a similar vilification following his dismissal for a dangerous challenge in the World Club Championships the next year.

Following England's poor performance in the 2000 European Championship (from which Beckham was one of the few players to emerge with credit) and later poor performances, the departure of Kevin Keegan as manager saw Beckham promoted to captain, initially under caretaker manager Peter Taylor and maintained by Sven-Göran Eriksson. His leadership, mainly by example due to his fitness and workrate helped England to qualify for the 2002 World Cup Finals and the 1-5 defeat of Germany in Munich during a qualifier (a pivotal event for English football fans). The final step in Beckham's conversion from villain to hero happened in England's 2-2 draw against Greece. Needing only one point from the match in order to qualify for the World Cup, Beckham dragged an otherwise poor England side to qualification with sheer determination and a perfectly executed, last-minute free kick. Meanwhile, taking the role of captain seems to have helped mature him, in both skill and temperament.

Beckham played in all England's matches at Euro 2004, but failed to shine. He had his penalty saved by former Manchester United team-mate Fabien Barthez in his side's 2-1 defeat to France in their opening group game. Then, when England's Quarter-Final against hosts Portugal went to a penalty shootout, he was the first England player to attempt a shot. Beckham fired his shot far over the crossbar and England went on to lose the shoot-out 6-5 after Englishman Darius Vassell also missed. Beckham later blamed the miss on the poor state of the pitch, the British press blamed referee Urs Meier for the loss (he had earlier disallowed a contentious goal by Sol Campbell) even publishing his phone number and postal address.

The Spanish spectator who caught Beckham's miss put the ball up for auction on eBay España. eBay soon determined that virtually all of the bids, including one for €10million , were fake. When bidding closed on 22 July, the winning bid of €28,050 was made by the Canadian internet casino, which announced that it plans to exhibit the ball around the world for charitable purposes.

Beckham's celebrity lifestyle

Beckham's highly publicised marriage to Spice Girl and media celebrity Victoria Adams, otherwise known as Posh Spice, has made them both popular targets for the tabloid press, which has dubbed the couple "Posh and Becks". They have two sons, Brooklyn, born March 4, 1999 and Romeo, born September 1, 2002, with a third child due to be born in March 2005. Beckham is well-known for his frequent hairstyle changes and has changed his hairstyle for many times after being criticised for influencing teenagers' hairstyle.

David Beckham is, according to the Google search engine, the most famous sports personality in the world, however the producers of The Simpsons decided that he wasn't famous enough to make a cameo appearance in an episode of the show set in London. He is also the most famous metrosexual.

However, he has become more well known in North America since the success of the British film Bend It Like Beckham. It is about a Sikh girl whose ambition is to be a football player because she can play like David Beckham.

In 2001, Beckham became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In the summer of 2003, Beckham was made an OBE in Queen Elizabeth II's honours list.

In May of 2003 Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson ordered David Beckham not to wear his hair band during matches. It has been speculated that he believed it to be too effeminate.

In April 2004, the British tabloid News of the World carried claims by his former personal assistant Rebecca Loos that he and Loos had had an extramarital affair. A week later, a second woman, Malaysian-born Australian model Sarah Marbeck, claimed that she had slept with Beckham on two occasions. Beckham has denied both allegations, describing them as "ludicrous".

In July of 2004, an intruder was arrested at David Beckham's home for scaling a wall with a can of gasoline. The Sun newspaper reported that the man appeared angry with Beckham and intended to burn down the house.

Transfer rumours

Near the end of the 2003-04 season, The Daily Telegraph of London reported that Beckham's major sponsors were trying to arrange for him to return to England for the 2004-05 season. Sources within the family told the Telegraph that Beckham would almost certainly be back in London. Real Madrid denied rumours that they were interested in selling Beckham, and banned British reporters from access to the team.

Because of the extremely high fee that Real Madrid Football team could command for a Beckham deal, and the fact that the other teams that could afford the fee, had financial constraints (Arsenal, Liverpool) or personality issues (Man U) that would have made a deal unlikely, speculation immediately focused on Chelsea, with its billionaire owner Roman Abramovich. Adding fuel to the rumours, Chelsea's manager at that time, Claudio Ranieri, told an Italian newspaper that the club was pursuing both Beckham and Ronaldo, and The Evening Standard of London reported that Chelsea was prepared to pay £40 million for Beckham.

However, on 20 May, Beckham, in a statement issued through his agent, quashed the transfer rumours, stating that he would see out the remaining three years of his contract in Madrid. He added that his wife and sons, who had yet to move to Spain, would join him there. In November 2004 it was reported that Real Madrid intended to offer Beckham a two-year extension to his contract, which would effectively keep him in Madrid for the remainder of his playing career.


Beckham: Both Feet on the Ground: An Autobiography by David Beckham & Tom Watt (ISBN 0060570938)
Beckham: My World by David Beckham & Dean Freeman (ISBN 0340792701)


onaldo is born in the poor suburbs of Rio de Janeiro under the name Luis Nazario de Lima. Driven by his childhood hero Zico, the youngster enters football early in his life. By his 12th birthday he is playing in an organized youth club called Tennis Club Valqueire. With Valqueire, he plays "futebol de salão" or small-sided football with a miniature ball. This is considered an important step in Ronaldo's development as playing with a smaller ball is said to rapidly increase skill. In the following few years, he takes part in various youth tournaments and begins attracting attention. Soon after, Cruzeiro di Belo Horizonte snatch up the youngster on a $50,000 transfer.
Young Luis Nazario gets his big break at the age of 17 when he is called up by Brazil's senior national team. He performs well and is selected for his country's World Cup squad. Because of his tender age, the young Ronaldo is kept as a substitute and watches on as his team wins the 1994 World Cup.
Ronaldo's international appearances help him get noticed by European club PSV Eindhoven. He moves to PSV and instantly becomes top scorer of the Dutch league. With his growing popularity in Europe, Ronaldo is quickly singed by Spanish giant FC Barcelona. At Barca, he gets global recognition by scoring numerous spectacular goals. Moving to Italian club Internazionale is the next step in his career. Rona's start in the Calcio is promising, but playing against rough Italian defenders gradually takes its toll.

The year 1998 marks a decline in Ronaldo's career. He leads his national team to a World Cup Final, but fails to deliver in the decisive match. His squad settles for silver as a wide range of speculations (from illness to black magic) are made about Ronaldo's indifferent display. By the end of 1998, Ronaldo is forced to leave the pitch after a knee injury which he picks up with his club. The injury haunts Ronaldo for a few years causing him to miss the entire 2000/2001 season.
As he recovers, Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid decide to sign him. This change helps the prolific striker to resume his regular scoring.
Rona also returns to the Brazilian national team, scoring two goals in the final and wining the World Cup at Korea and Japan in 2002. In Germany 2006, Ronaldo becomes the World Cup's leading scorer of all time after beating Gerhard Müller's record of 14 goals. Nevertheless, his country exists the tournament in the quarterfinals after losing to France 0-1.
As a footballer, practically everything has been said about the Brazilian soccer player, because of his worldwide fame. Regardless of all the talk, he is a powerful striker who can run through defenders. Before his injury, Rona was a player of great speed with the ability of carrying the ball over long distances. This has changed now as he has gained weight and lost his youthful pelt. He has become somewhat more predictable, but not in any means less dangerous. In one-on-one confrontations, he can beat any defender on Earth. Ronaldo plays with the typical Brazilian flair yet he also has the strenght to outmuscle and go around his marker.

Quick Facts

NameRonaldo Luis Nazario de Lima
Starting Number#9
Born22 September 1976 in Bento Ribeiro, Rio de Janeiro
Height184 cm / 6 feet
Weight89 kg / 197 pounds
Family StatusDivorced from world female juggling champion Milene Domingues with a child Ronald
PSV Eindhoven (Holland)
Barcelona (Spain)
Inter (Italy)
Real Madrid (Spain)
The Extraterrestrial
SkillsSpeed dribbling, finishing

Michael Owan

Michael James Owen (born December 14, 1979 in Chester, UK) is an English football player. He plays as a striker, and is noted particularly for his speed and acceleration. He has enjoyed a hugely successful and high-profile career at both club and international level.

Club career

He first played for his primary school team in Wales, breaking all the local scoring records in his first season. Liverpool signed Owen as an apprentice while in his teens, although as a boy he had been a supporter of their arch local rivals Everton. With Owen's help, Liverpool's youth team won the FA Youth Cup in 1996.

He signed professional forms for the senior team just after his seventeenth birthday in December 1996, making a sensational debut for the team against Wimbledon F.C. in May 1997, coming on as a substitute and scoring a goal. He quickly became a first team regular in the following 1997-98 season, and was that season's joint top scorer in the Premier League, scoring eighteen goals (equal with Chris Sutton and Dion Dublin). That same season, he was voted PFA Young Player of the Year.

He continued to be a consistent goalscorer for Liverpool, and in 2001 helped the club to their most successful season for several years. The team won the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup, with Owen scoring two goals in the last few minutes against Arsenal in the FA Cup final to turn what appeared to be a 1-0 defeat into a 2-1 victory. Surprisingly, however, he failed to score in the team's incredible 5-4 victory against Deportivo Alavés in the UEFA Cup, and was substituted in that game. At the end of the year, he became the first British player for twenty years to win the European Footballer of the Year award.

Due to Liverpool's continued failure to win the Premier League or the Champions League, Owen was often linked with moves to other clubs, although he initially remained loyal to his first employers. However, due to stalled contractual talks in the summer of 2004, and with only one year remaining on his contract before he could leave the club on a free transfer, Liverpool sold Owen to Real Madrid for a fee of 12 million euros on 13 August 2004, with midfielder Antonio Nunez moving in the other direction.

Owen had a slow start to his Madrid career and drew some criticism from fans and the Spanish press for his lack of form, often being confined to the substitutes bench during matches. However, a successful return to action with the England team in October 2004 seemed to revive his morale, and on his first match back with Madrid following this he scored his first goal for the team, the winner in a 1-0 UEFA Champions League group game victory over Dynamo Kiev. He quickly followed this up just a few days later with his first Spanish league goal for the team in a 1-0 victory over Valencia, and also hit the target in the three of the next four games to make it 5 goals in 6 successive matches.

Liverpool (1996-2004)
Real Madrid (2004-date)

FA Cup (2001)
UEFA Cup (2001)
League Cup (2001)
European Super Cup (2001)
Charity Shield (2001)
European Footballer of the Year (2001)
PFA Young Player of the Year (1998)

International career

Owen had a highly successful record at Youth and Under-21 international level, although he was only briefly a member of the England Under-21 team before he made his debut for the senior team in a friendly match against Chile in February 1998. Playing in this game made Owen the youngest player to represent England in the whole of the 20th century.

Owen's youthful enthusiasm, pace and talent made him a popular player across the country, and many fans were keen for him to be made a regular player for the team ahead of that year's World Cup. His first goal for England, against Morocco in another friendly game just prior to this tournament, only increased these calls. The goal also made him the youngest ever player to have scored for England, until his record was surpassed by Wayne Rooney in 2003.

Although he was selected for the World Cup squad by manager Glenn Hoddle, he was kept on the bench as a substitute in the first two games. However, his substitute appearance in the second game against Romania saw him score a goal and hit the post with another shot, almost salvaging the defeat. After that, Hoddle had little choice but to play him from the start, and in England's second round match against Argentina he scored a sensational goal, voted by many as the goal of the tournament and really bringing him to the attention of the world football scene.

England lost that match and went out of the tournament, but Owen had sealed his place as an automatic England choice and his popularity in the country was huge. At the end of the year he won a public vote to be elected winner of the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year title, the award's youngest ever recipient.

He has since played for England in the 2000 and 2004 European Championships and the 2002 World Cup, scoring goals in all three tournaments. This makes him the only player to ever have scored in four major tournaments for England.

In April 2002, he was named as England's captain for a friendly match against Paraguay in place of the injured regular captain David Beckham. Owen was the youngest England skipper since Bobby Moore in 1963, and since then has regularly captained England during any absence for Beckham.

As of October 2004, Owen has been capped sixty-five times for England and scored twenty-eight goals: he is one of the England team's top ten goalscorers of all time.