Saturday Morning Kick-Off

Exciting weekend of football on tap and surely Roma-Inter and Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid top the list of big European fixtures. The World Cup however has been on my mind, making it tough to concentrate on the leagues across the world. In light of this enjoy this YouTube video of the BBC’s Best Goals of the 2006 World Cup. It’s fantastic stuff!

Anyone enough about that now, time to cover other happenings as well so let’s take you for a quick trip around the globe in today’s Morning Kick-Off.

Island Dreams

Plans are afoot for the creation of a Caribbean league next year which will encompass clubs from countries across the region. Teams from places such as Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Bermuda, Antigua, Guyana, Dominica, and St. Kitts amongst others will join together for this regional league which hopes to give participating clubs more competitive matches and increase exposure of these same teams.

Joe Serralta, President of the Puerto Rico Football Federation believes that this could have positive implications for CONCACAF. “With a population of 40 million, this Caribbean league can be developed into one of the most important in CONCACAF”, said Serralta, who has been a big proponent of this idea for many years.

This appears to be a fantastic idea. If successful, this would allow the sport to gain exposure in each country and perhaps provide the incentive to have smaller clubs improve and be more competitive. The situation now in some of these countries is that there are one or two sides that completely dominate every season (like Europe?) so with them moving on to a regional league, there is the possibility it will be a win-win situation. It will be interesting to see what the set-up of this league will be and the logistics and financial issues that will be certainly be present for all the travel these clubs will have to do. More on this in the future when further details are announced.

The Miracle of Salvador Cabanas

Came across a report that Paraguayan striker Salvador Cabanas, who was so ruthlessly shot in a Mexican bar on January 25th is recovering well and was photographed taking free-kicks and shooting hoops at his rehabilitation clinic in Buenos Aires. This is a miraculous story as there were fears initially that Cabanas would die from his injuries from being shot in the head. Doctors actually elected to leave a bullet fragment in his skull because they deemed it too risky to take it out.

His long-term prognosis for getting back on the pitch is not known, however everyone involved is amazed at his recovery in such a short period of time. There is lots of speculation on when he will back playing football and the player himself has stated that he will be back playing very soon. Doctors have not indicated when this will occur or even if it will happen. For now though this is remarkable story and we are all hopeful that this talented player will enjoy a full recovery and get back on the field soon.

Unpaid Rueda Threatens To Quit

News from Honduras and a threat to quit as National Team coach from Colombian manager Reinaldo Rueda. Rueda is protesting that his team have not been paid their bonus ($1.3 million) for qualification to the World Cup finals in South Africa. Honduras qualified for the World Cup for only the second time (the first being in 1982) and Rueda’s work with the team was cited by many observers as one of the main reasons for the team’s huge success.

We see these sorts of things happen from time to time before a World Cup and it is very disconcerting. Surely, the Honduras FA has to give the money to the players and they have come out with a statement saying they will pay up by next week. Usually we see things work out because any FA whose team has qualified for the World Cup would have to deal with a country full of supporters breathing down their necks if any problems arose. And if Rueda left his post as manager of Honduras then that would qualify as a serious problem as he is viewed quite favorably to say the least in Honduras thanks to his team’s achievement in qualifying for South Africa.

Giggs For Wales?

The past few days we have heard some commotion about a return to the Welsh National Team for Ryan Giggs. It all started with Aaron Ramsey’s horrific injury for Arsenal and the fact that he will be out for quite some time. So, Giggs stated that he wouldn’t be averse to a call-up from manager John Toshack in order to fill-in for Ramsey while he remains on the sidelines.

Regarded as one of the best players produced in his country, Giggs, now 36, retired from international football nearly three years ago. The fact is that he is still a fantastic footballer even at his advanced football age. Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed this notion that Giggs might return to the national team and he’s got to be a party-pooper if we ever saw one.

Fergie is probably worried about Giggs playing another season or two for Manchester United and this is reasonable considering Giggs’ continued good play. However it would be a treat for Wales supporters and football fans everywhere who admire Giggs to see him come back. He never seemed to produce his best for his country for one reason or another, but wouldn’t a return be such a great story? A last few matches in the sun for what has been a glittering career of a true football legend.

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1 Comment

Filed under 2010 World Cup, Caribbean, CONCACAF, Morning Kick-Off, Paraguay, Wales

One response to “Saturday Morning Kick-Off

  1. Hola George…
    Frantastic site, I love football worldwide!!!

    I put a link to One Game, One World con International football journalism

    Best regards from Buenos Aires, Argentina

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