Figo29 » Featured For Football and Me Thu, 21 Jul 2016 11:09:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Argentina: The Current Sad Face of Football Thu, 21 Jul 2016 10:52:20 +0000 No president, no football federation, no head coach, no players, no spirit, and nothing at all.

This is not a headline about the political scene in Lebanon. It is about the current situation of Argentinean football.

FIFA, headed by Infantino, has instructed certain names to intervene and fix the situation. But will it be fixed?

In summary, the nation which is sitting on top of FIFA’s football rankings, cannot have a decent football federation and cannot find a coach to take the lead. Pathetic…

With all the rumors and suggested names to take the vacant post(s), do not be surprised if you read your own name among the candidates. It is a circus at the moment and everyone is running like a headless chicken.

The most recent name to head the list of candidates as Argentina’s new manager is Miguel Angel Russo. You can google the man, but you won’t be impressed. Other names thrown into the fire or offered to sacrifice themselves include: Marcelo Bielsa, Diego Maradona, Nery Pumpido, Jorge Burruchaga.

Yet, the future remains uncertain for what once was a great footballing nation.

The steps to fix everything should start with restructuring the football federation, having a qualified president on the helm, and then appointing a real first team manager.


For the federation, I can only think of Juan Sebastián Verón, who is currently the chairman of Estudiantes de La Plata. Diego Maradona won’t be happy with such a suggestion based on his personal views about Veron, but his nomination seems just right. In a time where true men are not available to lead things, Veron can bring his leadership skills into the better of the federation.

As for the head coach of the National Team, the wishful thinking of having Diego Simeone, Jorge Sampaoli, or Mauricio Pochettino, is merely a delusion. On the other hand, the talks about Bielsa, Maradona or others should stop at once. Appointing someone who failed in the past or dreaming or thinking that someone who succeeded as a player will succeed as a manager, does not make any sense at the moment.

So whom would I nominate? I would like to see a coach who has a strong personality and has proven managerial skills and who loves Argentina more than the media and fame. I would think of Matías Almeyda as I yearn for his antics on the pitch, and I need to believe he can show the same spirit and personality on the touchline. I would die to see Roberto Ayala, Batistuta, Crespo, and some real Argentineans among the coaching staff of the new Argentina, but that will never happen. The one name that crosses my mind at the moment and may make some sense is Marcelo Gallardo. He is still young, and he is succeeding as a manager. It might not be the best idea for now, but no one has better options to offer.

While we are discussing names and drooling behind dreams, the future remains unclear for the Tango Nation. I will keep the faith and trust the next head coach of Argentina because I have no other choices, but I will be looking forward hearing the answers of the obvious questions:

  • How will he handle the Messi situation? Will he prioritize talking Messi into reconsidering his international retirement? (I personally believe that Messi will be back into the National Team ad pull a 1993/1994 Maradona-esque return)
  • If Messi doesn’t come out of international retirement, who will be the team’s captain?
  • If Messi doesn’t come out of international retirement, is there hope that Argentina reaches some advanced stages in any upcoming international competition? Or will we have to wait 30 more years for World Cup glory?
  • Will Icardi, Dybala, and other hot names be called into the team?
  • Will he learn from previous mistakes and watch past matches to understand the actual roots of all the problems Argentina faced?
  • Will Higuain be called again into the squad? (Any manager who calls Higuain to the National Team again, should be fired on spot.)
  • Is it possible to find a game plan that actually emulates Sabella’s 2014 one, with the addition of that creative player who will link up the midfield with the attack?

The list of concerns, questions, and worries, doesn’t end, but I will stop here.


It is already more than 30 years since we last saw Argentina as World Champions, and it is less than two years for a similar moment in Russia 2018. My only hope is to see that again before I die.

My will to my daughters is: If Argentina wins the World Cup after I die, visit me in my grave and share the news with me.

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The 9th Dubai International Sports Conference Sat, 27 Dec 2014 12:35:31 +0000 Dubai is the football destination of the world for the ninth consecutive year.
The Dubai Sports Council is organizing the the 9th edition of the Dubai International Sports Conference on 28 and 29 December, 2014, at the Atlantis Palm Hotel, Dubai, UAE, under the generous patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai & Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, under title “Toward Smart Football”.

The 9th Dubai International Sports Conference by Dubai Sports Council
The 9th Dubai International Sports Conference by Dubai Sports Council


The lineup for the conference from speakers and attendees include a host of football legends, experts, and famous faces.

To name a few, here are some of the confirmed:

  • Mehdi Benatia
  • Filippo “Pippo” Inzaghi
  • Fabio Capello
  • Patrick Kluivert
  • Stephan El Shaarawy
  • Gianni Infantino
  • Andrea Agnelli
  • Michel Platini
  • Jorge Mendes
  • Fernando Torres

The program for the conference can be downloaded HERE.

On the eve of 29 December 2014, the second big event will commence: Globe Soccer Awards Gala Dinner.

For the sixth time Globe Soccer will run alongside the Conference and once again promote the Awards for the biggest names in football and reward the real stars of 2014 during its official gala dinner. Globe Soccer will determine the player of the year, the best team, the best coach, the best referee, the leading director and agent, as well as presenting special career and media awards.

the 9th Dubai International Sports Conference


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FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2014 Wed, 10 Dec 2014 08:09:27 +0000 The tournament kicks off today and will be held over the next 10 days from 10 December 2014 – 20 December 2014.

The participating teams are:


Real Madrid is the biggest name taking part in the competition and the title favorite. The Champions League 2014 Winners will play their first match on 16 December 2014. It will be a game in the semi-final (yes, they start the tournament from the semi-finals, which is why a major facelift is needed for the tournament). The Spanish giants will play the winner of CRUZ AZUL vs WS WANDERERS FC.

All eyes will be on Moroccos for the next 10 days especially after the African Cup of Nations dilemma. Real Madrid’s name is synonymous with the tournament, and the name of San Lorenzo and their virgin participation is being highlighted, but I am interested in seeing the performance of Algeria’s ES SÉTIF [Entente Sportive de Sétif – الوفاق الرياضي السطايفي]. The reason is: Algeria’s performance in World Cup Brazil 2014.

First match will be held between MOGHREB TÉTOUAN and AUCKLAND CITY FC, and kick off is at 23:30 Dubai Time [19:30 GMT – 21:30 Beirut Time].

FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2014 Trophy

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The Victorious Thu, 04 Dec 2014 09:26:03 +0000 the_victorious_dubai
The Victorious team has already started touring the Arab countries to discover football talents. For those who do not know what ‘The Victorious’ is, here is a brief summary: Dubai Media Incorporated has launched a Football Talent Academy Show called “The Victorious”. It will be a reality TV show on Dubai TV and Dubai Sports TV and under the supervision of Diego Maradona and Michel Salgado. The show will see off 22 contestants from the Arab countries trying to compete for the title. The winner will be granted $ 100,000 and a chance to join Juventus, Real Madrid, or Hamburger SV.

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