Category Archives: Football

Lebanese Starlet Zackarias Faour Strikes Again

Remember the post about Zackarias Faour? The Lebanese – Swedish player who is dubbed as the “Next Zlatan”?

Well, he just scored a world class goal (and a second goal) in Al Kass International Cup for Manchester City’s U-16 team. If he keeps scoring this way and playing at this high standard, he will soon become a star.

From January 13 to 23 2014, Al Kass, together with Aspire Zone Foundation and Qatar Football Association, present Qatar’s third Al Kass International Cup. Featuring Under-16 youth teams from some of the world’s most famous and decorated clubs, the tournament represents the future of football by showcasing the stars of tomorrow. The Al Kass International Cup is an annual event that will contribute to building on the foundations of a proud footballing nation, up to the FIFA World Cup 2022 and beyond.

 

Zackarias Faour - Al Kass International Cup - MVP of the Match Award

Zackarias Faour – Al Kass International Cup – MVP of the Match Award

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The 8th Dubai International Sports Conference

Maradona, Xavi, Ribery, Guardiola, Conte, Ronaldo (R9) and others will be in Dubai, UAE

Remember when I met Diego Maradona last year? Well, I might not be able to meet him, but the same conference is happening again in Dubai.

The Dubai Sports Council is organizing its annual sports conference on 28 and 29 December 2013. The 8th Dubai International Sports Conference will be held in Mina A’Salam – Madinat Jumeirah – Dubai – UAE. The slogan and umbrella for this year’s conference will “Football Companies – Future Empowerment”.

Speakers and attendees of this year’s version will cover topics like:

  1. Globalization and financial aspects of football
  2. The present and future of football stadia
  3. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil and its technical and organisational aspects
Dubai International Sports Conference by Dubai Sports Council

Dubai International Sports Conference by Dubai Sports Council

The full roster may know some changes, but here are the confirmed names:

  • Antonio Conte – FC Juventus Coach;
  • Carlo Tavecchio – Vice President of the Italian Federation;
  • Diego Armando Maradona – Ambassador of the Dubai Sports Council;
  • Fabio Capello – Russia National Team Coach;
  • Frank Ribéry – Bayern Munich Football Player;
  • Giovanni Branchini – International Players Agent;
  • Josep Guardiola – Bayern Munich Coach;
  • Marco Villiger – Director of the Legal Division, FIFA;
  • Mario Gallavotti – International Sports Lawyer;
  • Massimo Busacca – FIFA’s Chief Refereeing Officer;
  • Mike Farnan – International Sports Marketing Expert;
  • Pierluigi Collina – UEFA’s Chief Refereeing Officer;
  • Ronaldo Luìs Nazario de Lima – Ambassador of the 2014 FIFA World Cup;
  • Umberto Gandini – AC Milan Director;
  • Xavier Hernàndez – FC Barcelona Football Player
  • Uli Hoeness – FC Bayern Munich President

 

The program of the conference is yet to be confirmed but here is what you can expect.

Schedule for 8th Dubai International Sports Conference

Schedule for 8th Dubai International Sports Conference

 

Alongside the conference, there will be the Globe Soccer Awards Ceremony (Audi Football Night), where everyone participating will be available for a gala dinner and some prize distribution (Details HERE).

 


Up-Close and Personal with ex-Footballers

Emirates NBD has a passion for football!

Interviewing Christian Karembeu

Earlier, I wrote about the Dubai Indoor Football Championship by Dubai Sports World that is taking place in Dubai, UAE, between 2 and 6 July, 2013. I was thrilled when I knew about the event as the lineup and the names participating brought some football memories.

Dubai in specific – and UAE in general – always offer similar chances that we are lucky to be witnessing. This event with these stars may not be the best to ever take place but it is a good opportunity for football fanatics that should be seized.

I checked the names sponsoring the event for an idea on whom will be able to provide a meet and greet. Then I thought it is not a possibility and I will just go and enjoy watching them playing.

The Emirates NBD card for the fans to get the autographs of the players

The Emirates NBD card for the fans to get the autographs of the players

Yet, on 2 July, 2013, I got a call from an Emirates NBD – a leading bank in Dubai and the main sponsor of the event – representative asking me if I am interested in meeting some of them. I directly said yes without even knowing who will be present on the day.

I received the invite from the bank and got to know that it is a public one but with a special treat in it for me: Interviewing Christian Karembeu.

I went to where the public was taking autographs and pictures with Santi Ezquerro, Aldair, Rui Barros, Fernando Gomes, and Christian Karembeu. I was accompanied by my friend Wael and we took as many photos as we could while waiting for my interview time.

The interview was swift and held a surprising piece of information. I asked Karembeu about the current status of the French National Team and what is needed to go back to the successes of the Zidane era.

Interviewing Christian Karembeu

Interviewing Christian Karembeu

His reply was about patience and giving Didier Deschamps time to test until he finds his best eleven as it is not easy after the 2010 incidents. He said that France is not that far from where it should be and the quarter-finals stage exit in Euro 2012 is a proof on that. He also hoped that the young players currently representing the first team gain the mental maturity that will enable them develop and prosper. On his current employment status with Greek club Olympiacos, he explained that he is now the special advisor for the team and for the owner Evangelos Marinakis. He offers advice and helps creating development plans for the football academy, while also representing the team as its ambassador in competitions worldwide.

The last part of the interview was about Karembeu’s favorite players. He mentioned Platini, Maradona, Pele and Zico as the ones he likes but his all-time favorite was Socrates. The surprise came when I asked him about his current favorite player. Apparently he is holding high hopes and excited about the Real Madrid youngster Jese Rodríguez. He believes that with Ancelotti, Jese will develop into a great player.

There are more stories on some of the incidents while meeting the players and I will leave that for a later post.

This event has many sponsors but I haven’t seen or heard anyone but Emirates NBD reaching out to the fans, and for that I want to thank them.

I wish every company in UAE sponsoring similar events would do the same great gesture of Emirates NBD. Away from my side interview, meeting football players is one bonding element between the fans and who present them the chance.

Wael with Santi Ezquerro, Aldair, Rui Barros, Fernando Gomes, and Christian Karembeu

Wael with Santi Ezquerro, Aldair, Rui Barros, Fernando Gomes, and Christian Karembeu


Dubai Indoor Football Championship by Dubai Sports World

Mendieta, Karembeu, Kluivert, Aldair and Couto are some of the names participating in the tournament.

It seems I have been living in a bubble and missing out on all the football action in Dubai. The event that will take place from 2 – 6 July 2013 is not the first of a kind. There were previous similar tournaments or matches this year or the last but I did not get the memo.

The stars that will be present in this tournament are not the best in the history of modern football, but they represent part of this history. You may not call any ‘a legend’ but every player in this tournament had his moment or 15 minutes of fame or well dwelled upon career with the corresponding club or national team.

I guess I will not miss any match

I guess I will not miss any match

The tournament is called “Dubai Indoor Football Championship” and it is part of the Dubai Sports World events and tagged as “Masters and Legends – Up Close and Powerful”. Here are the details:

  • Location: Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Date and Schedule: From 2 – 6 July, 2013, daily, according to the schedule on this LINK
  • Teams: FC Barcelona – Real Madrid – FC Porto – AS Roma – Moroccan Stars – Emirati Stars – Algerian Stars – Egyptian Stars
  • Participating Names: Check some of the stars on this LINK

I wanted to lead a campaign through the social media networks available to get any of the sponsors of the event (or influencers/organizers) noticing my presence and giving me the chance to meet all or most of the stars. However, I decided not to do so for many reasons.

I will not lose hope that I will meet one or many of the stars, and I will do the sane thing this time and buy my tickets for all the matches and days of the tournament HERE.

If any of these organizations wanted to make me meet the stars, I will not say no

If any of these organizations wanted to make me meet the stars, I will not say no

Oh, and on a side note, I hold one piece of information (not an exclusive one or a secret though) on how to meet some of the names in Dubai. If you wanted to hear about it, all you have to do is following me on my Twitter account here and ask me.


Edwin van der Sar in Dubai

Edwin van der Sar will be at The Dubai Mall – Star Atrium, on 5 and 6 April from 14:00 to 16:00 for the Goal Junior opening ceremony. There will be football activities such as freestyle events, football matches and a Q&A session. Fans will also have a chance to win a signed football by liking and sharing Goal Junior’s Facebook Post.

There are no confirmations whether fans will be able to meet and greet the legendary goalkeeper. The Manchester United Supporters Club – UAE Branch (MUSC-UAE) have spoken to the organizers about that, but no promises were made as the main reason behind the presence of van der Sar is talking to the youth and promoting Goal Junior.

If you are a football fan, you should go to The Dubai Mall and be around a legendary footballer, whether you managed a photo with him or not.

Edwin van der sar at Goal Junior - The Dubai Mall

Edwin van der sar at Goal Junior – The Dubai Mall

 


Tito Vilanova is Gone – Now What?

Tito Vilanova is stepping down as Barcelona coach due to a ‘tumor relapse’. May he get well soon.

The questions everyone are asking now:

1- Who will take the Barca job?
2- Will Guardiola come back for the rescue?
3- Does ‘this’ Barca squad need a coach?
4- Will Barca’s results be affected; whoever takes the job?

Continue reading


Back to the Field – The Beautiful Game Show

The Abu Dhabi Sports TV, the official broadcaster of the English Premier League in the region, keeps on hosting footballer and managers to be part of their many shows. In one of their shows, The Beautiful Game show, the guest is asked to put his boots on and to go to the football pitch again. On the pitch, the guest is given 10 balls to shoot on an 8 hole board. Each hole on the board is marked by a number that signifies the points the shooter take in case the ball goes through. The tenth shot is counted for double points if the ball goes in.

Continue reading


Chelsea loses the FIFA Club World Cup

Chelsea just lost the FIFA Club World Cup Final to Brazilian side Corinthians. Jokes aside, you tell me what should be done or what is next for the Abramovich Empire. Some say that this title is not the best to achieve and some see it as the end of the world. I am lost and cannot find the words at the moment… 

Abramovich - What's Next?

Abramovich – What’s Next?


Tevez Payslip – Leaked

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez’s pay slip was leaked on Twitter, revealing the details about his exact salary.

Assuming the document is genuine, it tells us that the Argentinean earned a gross wage of 720,287 pounds in March 2010, with an additional bonus of 20,000 pounds for accommodation and a 7,000 pounds ‘M.P. Bonus’.

The document also revealed that a 24 pounds fine from the Football Association hit the City striker’s net 408,397.27 pounds earnings.

In the tax year 2009/10, the pay slip states Tevez was paid just under eight million pounds, but handed over nearly 3.3 million pounds in tax and national insurance.

(source: web and Newstrack)

Tevez Payslip

Tevez Salary Payslip proves they are all employees, right?


Champions League Group Stage Draw 2012-2013

On Thursday, August 30, 2012, the world will be looking toward Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum awaiting the draw result for the Champions League. The event will also include the presentation of the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award that will be contested between Messi, Iniesta and Ronaldo.

The ceremony will kick off at 15:45 GMT (19:45 Dubai Time) where 32 European teams will know their fate and contenders. The teams have been placed in four different pots, where each group will have one team drawn from each pot. The only important rule for the draw is that no teams of the same country are allowed to face each other at this stage of the competition.

The odds for having a “Group of Death” are high, and we might witness a group that will have Real Madrid, Manchester City, Juventus and Dortmund together. The draw may also give us the pleasure of seeing  Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Valencia facing each other.

Champions League Group Stage Draw – The Pots

What are the teams you would like to see grouped together? Whom do you fear of the 32 contenders?


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