|Al-Ahram Weekly Online
3 - 9 January 2002
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
A UEFA poll on its official Web site among fans has revealed the world's best football players according to corresponding positions:
Goalkeeper: Mickael Landreau (France).
Defenders: Manuel Pablo (Spain), Sami Hyypia (Finland), Amedeo Carboni (Italy).
Midfielders: David Beckham (England), Patrick Vieira, (France) Zinedine Zidane (France), Luis Figo (Portugal).
Strikers: Diego Tristan (Spain), Thierry Henry (France), David Trezeguet (France).
Liverpool's French coach Gerard Houllier headed the list of best managers. Far behind was Alaves boss Mane whose side lost to the Reds in the UEFA Cup final.
MANCHESTER UNITED manager Sir Alex Ferguson hinted on Saturday that he might be open to persuasion and change his mind about retiring at the end of the season.
Ferguson, who is to stay on in a consultant's role, nevertheless insisted he was keen to carry out his promise of retiring from the post in which he has made United the dominant force in the Premiership and delivered the European Cup and the Cup Winners Cup in the past decade.
"At the moment my mind is made up about retiring at the end of the season," Ferguson told London's News of the World in a rare press interview. "Is there any possibility of me changing my mind? I don't think so but you never know what might happen."
ENGLISH international striker Andy Cole completed his move from Manchester United to Premiership rivals Blackburn Rovers on Saturday for an undisclosed fee in a bid to gain a place in the England squad for next year's World Cup finals.
The 30-year-old forward agreed to personal terms and signed a three-and-a-half year contract.
Cole, who had struggled to hold down a first-team place at United since the arrival of Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy, revealed his frustration at being left on the bench at Old Trafford. "It was a big decision," Cole told a press conference after Blackburn's 1-0 defeat at home to Derby. "When you leave a club like Manchester United it's always going to be a big decision. But there was no chance of me playing regularly so it did not take me long to make my mind up."
Seoul may recruit
SOUTH KOREA may try to include top North Korean players in its 2002 World Cup squad to boost its chances of making the final 16 in the tournament, Seoul football officials said.
The South Korean Football Association's technical committee said Saturday it was studying the possibility of recruiting North Korean footballers. "If we find any good players in the North and should their presence help bolster the team, then we would ask for government help to bring them here," committee head Lee Yong-Soo told reporters. The committee has already studied videos of the best North Korean players in action, other committee officials said. Lee, however, stressed that South Korea's head coach, Guus Hiddink, would have the final say on whether to recruit North Koreans. Hiddink is on vacation.
LIVERPOOL boss Phil Thompson was happy with Michael Owen's goal in the 1-1 clash with West Ham on Saturday. It was Owen's 100th Premiership goal, crowning a year in which he justified his image as one of the best strikers in the world and was awarded European Footballer of the year.
"It's been a great year for Michael and this just caps it nicely. It was almost written for him, the last game of 2001 and he produces the goods. It was a tremendous finish," said Thompson.
Zambian cash crisis
A CASH crisis has hit 2002 African Nations Cup qualifiers Zambia just three weeks before the tournament begins in Mali.
Zambian Football Association officials say they need an injection of $1.2 million to prepare for the biennial showcase of African football. But the government, traditional backers of the national team, says it can give only $500,000, leaving a shortfall as preparations reach a critical stage.
The drive for funds will not be helped by apathy towards the national team which is considered no-hopers against Egypt, Senegal and Tunisia in Group D, considered the toughest group.
(Compiled from wire services)
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