Loake Shoes: A Fetish Among Men

Can you leave for a midnight party without wearing the best pair of shoe complimenting your dress? One always needs the best pair of shoe both stylish and appealing yet wanting its price to suit their pockets. Whatever the occasion be formal or informal one’s attire is so incomplete without wearing the right kind of shoe. Loake shoes are budding in demand by leaps and bounds especially among the fashion conscious people. In today’s international market it is one the most popular brand of footwear.

Originating in 1880 by Thomas, William and John Loake this footwear brand aims at producing the most durable, comfortable and fashionable men’s footwear at a price that suits all. These shoes should be given no second thought before buying as they are just incomparable. The manufacturers of these shoes strive to provide you with the best of quality material weather it is leather or any other material, durability as they assure the longevity of your shoes and yes they are always update with the latest trend in the fashion market. The class and value of these shoes from other brands is just unsurpassed.

The variety of shoes here at this brand is just enormous. You can’t get your eyes off as these shoes because of their additional features making them so appealing and pleasing. The number of apex shoes manufactured by this brand is on tap. One of them being the Design Loake which is built marvelously. Gunny, Cronus and Loake Boots Rutgers are some of its categories. Gunny shoes are the best to give an informal look. Available in multihued designs and patterns Moccasins are popular among youngsters all over the globe. Popular choices in this category are Priceton, Juventus, Palermo and Lazio.The welted construction and amazing fitting makes men go crazy over the Loake 1880. The use of calf leather which is hand-burnished makes this the most luxurious shoes of all.

It’s not only women who have the fetish for wearing the best pair of shoe on any occasion, in fact, men also have the desire to sport the most trendy and fashionable shoes. This brand has a team of some of the most innovative designers who are always there to create new designs and features that make your pair of shoe stand out at any occasion assuring accountability and quality.

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The England Manager Job – Possible Candidates for the English FA to Consider

I have been watching the attempt by the English FA to name a new manager with great interest, it’s a great way to see how not to do things! Even the way they approached Luis Felipe Scolari was a joke – they knew he couldn’t possibly accept the job before the World Cup but still offered him the job! Yes the FA is a truly wondrous organisation, capable of ineptitude beyond the wildest dreams of the likes of Mr. Bean!

With the only other truly ‘foreign’ coach in the running, Guus Hiddink also ruled out, and Arsene Wenger not interested at the moment anyway, who does that leave? Well I am giving my assessment of the possibilities:

1) Steve McLaren

OK so he’s got Middlesbrough to the UEFA Cup final but he has hardly inspired confidence in me. His team play a poor brand of football, not exactly exciting, despite having money to spend. To my mind they should be at least in Tottenham’s position fighting for 4th with the money that has been spent and the facilities they have. Their training facilities are amongst the best in the world, far superior to Liverpool’s Melwood facility for instance. Yet they continue to struggle in the EPL and not just that but they laboured to reach the UEFA Cup final. It may be harsh but Steau Bucharest are hardly Juventus are they? Yet ‘Boro still had to scrape through by the skin of their teeth! So for me I would have to say no he isn’t good enough.

2) Sam Allardyce

What can you say about Big Sam? His team are capable of playing some of the best football in the top flight, but tend to rely on scrapping their way through. But, unlike McLaren, the money he has available is very low, he has had to accept he can’t get the Yakubu’s of this world and has adjusted his tactics to suit the players he has. The reason I would give him the job if it was my decision are these:

a) his players play for him, there’s never any suggestion they don’t give 100%

b) he will leave no stone unturned on the coaching side to get the best from his players – if giving them ballet lessons will improve their job then he will have them taking ballet lessons no matter who they are (I for one would pay good money to watch Wayne Rooney taking ballet lessons!).

c) he’s not a yes man in any way – he would do it his way rather than allowing the FA any input.

So yes Sam is the man as far as I am concerned – though I would of been just as happy with Hiddink, Scolari, Benitez or Wenger.

3) Martin O’Neill

The first problem, of course with O’Neill is his nationality, though I, for one, don’t care about that, many others do. The second problem is would he want the job? He has enough on his plate at the moment and might not be in a position to accept it. A truly great motivator, and that is one of the main tasks of a national coach, but, and this is a big but, his tactical ability is suspect. But still its good enough to put him in as strong a position as Sam Allardyce in my mind.

4) Stuart Pearce

He would have to be a huge gamble, not because of his lack of experience but because of the bad run his team are on. Personally I think he has to be involved in some capacity if the FA can persuade him. Though my impression of Pearce suggests he would probably pay the FA to be involved in some capacity with the Englad team! But not the man for the job, yet, for me.

5) Alan Curbishley

He performed wonders with Charlton and has to be at least considered for the position. But I believe we will see him managing Newcastle United rather than England, purely because Charlton aren’t seen as a big enough club. I am sure he believes the same and that was behind his leaving the club – he knows the club don’t match his ambitions at the moment. Without European football he won’t get the England job.

The other thing I would have to say is why doesn’t the FA get more of the top coaches involved? Its criminal to have a coach of the quality of Dario Gradi not involved with the FA to sort out their youth policy. If one man knows how to produce young players its him.

Though of course that would take a degree of competence the FA is incapable of and also the swallowing of pride and accepting that maybe someone else knows better about football!

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The Mystery of Mascherano and Tevez

West Ham’s capture of Argentinean duo Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez in August stunned the footballing world. The Hammers had pulled of a massive coup to land two of the games most prized assets, but their arrival came under a cloud of mystery.

Corinthians had a partnership deal with Media Sports Investment (MSI) who invested in the club and it is alleged that the company actually owned the rights to all of the clubs players (due to Corinthians being unable to afford the contracts). The partnership between Corinthians and MSI is thought to have gone sour and MSI are believed to haved wanted to ship-out their most prized assets in order to protect their investments.

Both players arrived from Brazilian club Corinthians within 48 hours after being sounded out about a move to West Ham and arrived for undisclosed fees. Speculation mounted as to who actually paid the transfer fees (if any were paid at all) and to who actually owned the contracts.

It is believed that even though the players are registered with West Ham, MSI still own the players contracts and are only using the London club as a shop window to maximise their investment. Before West Ham were offered the players, reports suggested that MSI approached Manchester United and Chelsea with a similar deal, both clubs are believed to have rejected their offer as they were not keen on the idea of not owning the players outright.

English newspaper The Guardian reported that should any club offer £35m for either player West Ham would be forced to sell them, but it is unclear who would pocket the transfer fee.

Since their arrival at Upton Park both players have failed to make any impact on the Premiership and have admitted that they have not fully adapted to life in England. Neither player is a first team regular in the Hammers starting XI and their arrival has coincided in the clubs slump in form. This is linked to reports that there is a rift in the dressing room and this has clearly had an impact on results as West Ham are flirting with relegation.

Newspapper reports suggest that both players will be sold in the January transfer and a host of top European clubs are thought to be showing interest. It is believed that Mascherano was set to join Juventus during the summer but their relegation to Serie B cut-short any potential transfer. The Turin club are still interested in the holding midfielder and are considering sounding out a potential move in the winter transfer window. Barcelona have also been heavily linked with Tevez as they currently have an injury crisis upfront. Carlos Tevez has insisted that he does not want to leave West Ham and has denied rumours of a rift within the Upton Park dressing room and has stated that he is determined to forge a career with The Hammers.

With mystery over who actually owns the players and their contracts, it will be out of Mascherano’s and Tevez’s hands where they end up in the near future.

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Never Bet on Big Soccer Underdogs

As almost every professional bettor will tell you, backing heavy favourites is a sure fire way to the poorhouse. That’s common knowledge, right? Perhaps, but there’s one problem with that type of thinking: it’s dead wrong.

The received wisdom is the linesmakers skew their odds on heavy favourites because the public love betting on the best teams. The bookies no doubt see a flurry of parlays involving clubs like Chelsea, Barcelona and Juventus every weekend. Surely there’s value in taking the underdog in these situations, isn’t there?

In fact, numerous studies have shown that blindly backing long shots is a losing proposition in the long term. To see why that is the case, we have to understand how a bookmaker operates. Since the bookies take most of their action on short-priced favourites, it’s often assumed they are exposed to big liabilities if all the hot teams win. While this is sometimes the case, and many bookmakers suffer months of huge losses, there are several ways a bookie can protect himself.

It’s important to remember that most heavy favourites are combined in parlays involving at least three teams. A bookmaker only needs one loser to take his customer’s money. As a result, there’s little need to lower the odds on a «public» team. Many sportsbooks will even inflate the odds of a hot favourite to attract new customers, safe in the knowledge that parlay players won’t hurt their bottom line.

If the favourite’s odds are an accurate reflection of it’s true probability of winning, the bookmaker must make adjustments elsewhere. That usually means offering worse odds on the underdog and the draw. Understanding the concept of theoretical hold can make this clearer.

When creating lines, a sportsbook will offer odds on each team that give it a slight edge, ensuring a profit no matter how the game turns out. This is called the Theoretical Hold and is expressed as a percentage. It represents the combined amount of customers’ bets that the bookmaker expects to keep.

It’s called theoretical because in reality a bookmaker rarely has balanced action on all sides. If a bookie takes the bulk of his bets on a heavy favourite, he can offer it at a more generous price and accept a smaller profit margin. Short-priced favourites generally have small margins, but high volumes. Bigger odds mean bigger margins. There’s little incentive for a bookie to offer competitive odds on a big underdog if he doesn’t expect much betting interest in that team.

For evidence of this, look no further than the betting exchanges. At Betfair, for example, the theoretical hold on a soccer money line is usually 1-2%, compared with around 11% at traditional bookmakers. Because the hold is so low and the percent market is close to 100%, the exchanges represent an almost perfect market. They can give us a closer indication of the true probability of an event happening. The following table shows the odds available at several bookmakers for an upcoming match between Qatar and Argentina:

Bookmaker Qatar Draw Argentina Theoretical Hold

Betfair +1800 +660 -500 1.72%

Nordicbet +1100 +445 -500 9.10%

Bet365 +1000 +400 -500 11.05%

Interwetten +900 +400 -667 14.5%

Admiral +850 +365 -455 12.28%

Two things are immediately striking. An exchange like Betfair has significantly better odds on Qatar and the draw, which are the less probable outcomes of this game. But Betfair’s odds on Argentina, the heavy favourite, are in line with the prices offered by traditional bookmakers. In fact, even though Betfair’s market has razor thin margins, it can’t beat the odds on Argentina offered by Admiral, a bookie with a theoretical hold over 12%!

What can we learn from this? If the exchanges are a nearly perfect market, they prove that heavy favourites are fairly priced at the traditional bookmakers, but underdogs are massively underpriced and poor value. Some research has shown that backing all short priced favourites (at -500 or greater) is a profitable proposition in the long term. Now we can understand why. As a general rule, only bet on long shots at the exchanges; if you like to play favourites, stick with the traditional bookies.

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Juve on Top! New Champion of Serie A

Juventus is new champion of Serie A The team beat Cagliari away 2-0 and beat Inter Milan 4-2 in the derby and it was enough for the boys of Antonio Conte to triumph.

So "Bianconeri" have added a 28 Serie A title to her window. They were champions in 2003. This is the first gold for them Kalchopoli since the scandal that deprived the team of two titles and sent it to the Series "B".

But now – round before the end, nothing can stop the "Old Lady". Team unbeaten in the league, although the final of the competition is only one round.

Cagliari against Juve won 2-0, but goals were made by Vucinic in the sixth minute and the sheath that you scored an own goal in the 74th minute.

At the same time on "San Siro" stadio was played real action. Inter hit the big rivals AC Milan 4-2 and also helped the Turin giants to become champion.

The character of "Inter" has become Diego Milito, who scored a hat-trick. He was accurate in 14 minutes and in 52 th and 79 th minute shootout. Maicon dovashi eternal rival, with a goal three minutes before the end, but Milan had previously Ibrahimovic scored in the 44th minute from a penalty in the 46th minute.

The match, which became the Crossbar show was seen by 75,000 spectators at the "San Siro".

More news about Serie A:

"Two goals of Totti did not get the victory of Roma" Roma and Catania match ended 2-2 in its 37th round of Serie A. Both hits for "wolves" were 35-year-old captain Francesco Totti, but not enough to win …

"Juve and Milan with easy victories on Serie A" Juventus and AC Milan defeated achieved victories in the 35th round of Serie A and three rounds before the end of "Old Lady" is still on top with three points more than the "Milan". ..

"Juve on the top after error of Milan" Juventus win with 2-0 away at Palermo in Sicily of the today round of Serie A. "Bianconeri" benefited from the error of Milan, who fell from Fiorentina and it shifted from first place in the standings. Juve on top with 65 points, while Milan is …

"Inter wins in a thriller with 9 goals" Inter record 5-4 victory against Genoa in the debut of new head coach Andrea Stramachoni team. The character of "Inter" has become Diego Milito, who shone with a hat-trick …

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A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Player – Lilian Thuram

His complete name is Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien. He was born on 1 January 1972 in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. Thuram is an ex-professional soccer player of French and his playing position is as defender (Right back / Centre back). He is the most capped player in the France national side history. At the European Championship, most appearances also have been recorded by Thuram with 16.

Lilian Thuram has some experiences with a number of senior clubs of football. His career started with AS Monaco in 1991. Thuram afterward moved to Parma F.C. in 1996-2001 and next to Juventus in 2001-2006 for value of transfer £25 million, and finally in 2006-2008 to Barcelona club. The greater part of his Italian experience was together with Juventus. He gained 4 Italian Scudetti (two were subsequently withdrawn.) In 2008 Lilian Thuram got retirement from professional soccer because of an uncommon heart defect that miserably happened and took the life of his brother.

Subsequent to becoming world champion in 1998, he was an essential component of France’s victory at Euro 2000, which caused the squad being placed by FIFA as favorite from 2001-2002. In addition Thuram participated in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup, as well as Euro 1996, 2004, and 2008.

Lilian Thuram had some honors and award as long as his career as professional soccer player, some of them as an individual honors are include FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 1998, Légion d’honneur: 1998, FIFA 100: 2004, and FIFPro World XI: 2006. And his role with some clubs his achievements are AS Monaco FC (Coupe de France: 1991), Parma F.C. (Coppa Italia: 1999, Supercoppa Italiana: 1999, UEFA Cup: 1999), Juventus F.C. (Serie A: 2001-02 2002-03, Supercoppa Italiana: 2002, 2003), and FC Barcelona (Spanish Super Cup: 2006).

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A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Players – David Trezeguet

His complete name is David Sergio Trezeguet. He is recognized amongst Juventus fans as «Trezegol.» He was born on 15 October 1977 in Rouen, France. Trezeguet’s playing position in the field is as a striker. His father is Jorge Trezeguet. He is a World Cup winning striker for French national football. Currently, when this biography note is being written, he plays in the Italian Serie A for Juventus club. Although Trezeguet is an Argentine ancestry but he participated for the French national side, his countryside.

David Trezeguet has taken part in any club with different country. For example in 1994 he played in Argentina for for Club Atlético Platense. Then since 1995-2000 he played in French for AS Monaco club. Subsequently, he joined in Italy playing for Juventus club since 2000 till now.

With France He acquired the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and European Championship achieved the golden goal in the 2000. In the 2002 Trezeguet participated for France and 2006 FIFA World Cups and Euro 2004 as well. In March 2004, He was christened one of the top 125 greatest living football players. In credit of 125 career goals, on 16 September 2006 David Trezeguet was rewarded a commemorative plate. He took part in 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship as well.

To list his honors, some of his achievements for international level including FIFA World Cup (1998) and UEFA European Championship (2000). And for club level, with Monaco he gained French Ligue 1 (1996-1997), and (1999-2000); for Juventuz club are Italian Serie A (2001-2002) and (2002-2003), Italian Serie B (2006-2007), Italian Super Cup (2002, 2003). As an individual player some of is honors are Serie A Footballer of the Year (2002), Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year (2002), Serie A Top Goalscorer, (2001-2002), and FIFA 100.

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Italian Series A – Sunday’s Calcio

Bologna vs. Chievo Verona

In a match that saw more prudence than an urge to win, faced Bologna and Chievo Verona. Simple moves to be careful more than enough, of not committing any mistake, instead of taking advantage of the opportunities to reach the contrary’s goalpost, was the scene presented by this two clubs that are hanging around the bottom positions of the Italian league. It looked like they didn’t have intentions of scoring, as they let the chances passed them by. Was a boring encounter defined in the final minutes of the first half when the both teams scored once; the second half kept the same way, emotionless, scoreless and shocking ‘trick-less’.

Fiorentina vs. Lecce

This match brought surprises for both clubs, since Lecce obtained the opportunity to ascend by summing 17 points with a victory that places it on the sixteenth position, whereas Fiorentina with 32 points descended one spot being left on the fifth. All the action came on during the first part, when Mario Beretta, the Giallorossi trainer, detected a crack on the opponent’s block and took advantage of it to guide his boys towards the score of the two goals that brought them the victory of 2-1 over the Violas.

Juventus vs. Siena

Juventus, in second place on the table with 39 points, defeated 1-0 the Siena, thanks to the great performance of their captain Alessandro Del Piero, who accomplished a perfect free kick scoring their winner goal. Despite that it was a little boring game, Siena was indomitable for his rival that attacked and constantly chased them and never let them take the control, although they seek insistently tied or lead the scores. In the end La Vecchia Signora defend itself very well and avoided every assault obtaining the success.

Napoli vs. Catania

Arbitration with many failures was one of the aspects that helped Napoli win 1-0 before Catania. This was a game of great difficulty for the locals Azzurri that confronted an adversary that stood powerful, ordered and ready to fight. For the second half Catania remained unyielding, therefore Napoli, which could not see its two best players (Lavezzi and Hamsik) give their best, had no option but to alter their strategy to best their imposing rival. In the end Napoli was capable of going beyond the Rossazzurri defense with their victorious goal.

Palermo vs. Atalanta

Palermo and Atalanta measured their forces in an encounter full of emotions and great goals. On the first half, Palermo managed to decode the offensive attack system of its opponent, which placed ‘The Goddess’ in a dangerous position and gave Rosanero the opportunity to run the game with 2 goals. For the second half Atalanta made some players changes, improving its situation with a tie (2-2) and although the tried to mark a third one, but their rival stopped them; and on the contrary brought the tiebreaker. The match finished 3-2, favoring Palermo with the well-deserved triumph against Atalanta, who played as an implacable adversary.

Reggina vs. Lazio

Another meeting loaded of goals was Reggina vs. Lazio; on its first half the Lazio had it all under control, with its first two scores. The second part was decisive for the Reggina that on its effort to change the scoreboard achieve a tie. The 2-2 draw excited the ‘Dark-Red’ locals but the Biancocelesti dissolved all hopes scoring their third goal that left the final result in 3-2.

Udinese vs. Sampdoria

This couple of teams that are going through bad phases faced in a monotonous game that finished in a low draw of 1-1. Udinese with nine consecutive failures, as a result of this confrontation it is now placed on the eleventh spot of the Italian league, while Sampdoria with 20 points is on the fourteenth position.

AS Roma vs. AC Milan

In a remarkable battle that closed with a tie on 2-2 and that could in fact finished with higher scores, met AS Roma and AC Milan. It was a game where both groups fought vigorously and shown their interest on moving on in the general standings. AC Milan with 34 points remains on the third position, while Roma reached the 24 points for the tenth spot, where it wait for a couple of days only, because now is in the 8th place, as they won a pending match on Tuesday 14, against Sampdoria.

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Calcio – A History of Corruption and Scandal

Italy, a country associated with fine wine, exquisite cuisine, beautiful women, and above all Calcio. The Italians are very passionate when it comes to the latter, but unfortunately their beloved game has a stark history of corruption, and scandal.

The recent Calciopli scandal that shock the football world in the summer of 2006, is just one incident in a long list of problems which has rocked Italian football (and in particular Serie A) since the English introduced the game to the Peninsula. Too many followers of Calcio, this recent scandal did not come as a shock, and in particular to Italians who have become accustomed to corruption, and scandal within their beloved game.

If you look as far back as 1926-27 (the Torino missing Scudetto incident), you will find that each proceeding decade contained at least one event that was surrounded in corruption or scandal. The majority of Italian fans have grown accustomed to this, and are generally not shocked when a new story hits the headlines. It is as though it has become part of Calcio in the peninsula.

There is a theory in Italy that players, officials (and similar) do not fix matches, but rather twist the concept of match fixing – and this is seen as the norm by everyone involved in Calcio. It is hard to explain what I mean when I state they twist the concept of match fixing, but I will try and explain it with a few examples.

It is not easy to fix a soccer match, as all of the games are public events, played in front of crowds (and sometimes TV cameras); with at least three match officials, twenty-two players, two managers, coaching staff etc. There are various ways of getting around fixing a particular result, and it is kind of a tacit agreement over a result. The lower echelon of Italian soccer is renowned for this kind of agreement, and it is also common place at the end of season in Serie A. So what is this agreement? In essence it is ‘settling for a draw’.

Deliberately settling for a draw where the result ensures some mutual benefit to both parties is common in Italy, and since nothing has officially been agreed, nothing can ever be proved. Various bookmakers are aware of this, and you will generally see very short odds on a 0-0 result, or a straight draw.

An alleged recent example can be seen on the last matchday of the 2006/07 Serie B season, when third placed Genoa entertained second placed Napoli. Napoli just needed a point for automatic promotion, and Genoa would join them if they finished 10 points above fourth placed Piacenza. A goalless draw between the pair followed, and was enough to guarantee them both promotion to Serie A.

Towards the end of the 2004/05 Serie A season, both clubs from Rome were facing a relegation battle. At the start of the derby match, both clubs appeared to try, before several conversations took place on the pitch. The result? Only six shots were managed in the entire match, and the game ended 0-0 (a result which helped both clubs).

Even though the Italians accept this as part and parcel of Calcio, they were on the brunt end of a similar alleged result in Euro 2004. Due to UEFA taking head-to-head into consideration (before overall goal difference when ranking teams level on points), a situation arose in Group C where Sweden and Denmark only needed a high scoring draw in order for them both to progress. The match surprisingly finished 2-2, which was a sufficiently high score line to eliminate the Italians (who had lower-scoring draws with both the Swedes and Danes). It was quite ironic that the Italian fans contended the result, stating that the FIFA tie-breaker should have been used, as it would have stopped the Scandinavians half-heartedly playing out the match after the score became 2-2.

Another example of alleged match fixing can generally be seen (again) on the last matchday of the season. Generally a ‘big club’ (with nothing to play for), is playing a ‘small club’ (fighting a relegation battle), and the ‘small club’ usually get a favourable result (one which they normally would not achieve during the course of the season). Inevitably this leads to accusations of match fixing, but this is usually not the case, and it is another form of twisting the original concept.

So why is this not classed as match fixing? The answer is simple – no one expects the ‘big club’ to try to hard (especially in a match that is meaningless). This is worrying, but followers of Calcio have come to accept this.

On the last matchday in Serie A for the 2006/07 season, Reggina needed a victory to be certain of avoiding relegation, and they faced an AC Milan side guaranteed Champions League football. The result? A 2-0 home win for Reggina which guaranteed their safety.

Same season, but this time the example comes from Serie B. Spezia need a victory to be certain of avoiding relegation, and they faced a daunting away trip to Juventus, who had not lost at home all season (but were already guaranteed promotion). The result? A 3-2 win for Spezia which guaranteed their safety. The theory behind the above examples is simple – why try so hard, especially when you have nothing to play for?

The above examples have all been accepted as part and parcel of Calcio, but in some cases the authorities have clamped down, and punished the various parties involved in the scandal. Some of the most famous scandals have made world headlines in the soccer world, and the first of these dates back to the late 1920s.

The 1927 scudetto was taken away from Torino, after an alleged scandal involving their bitter rivals, Juventus. An enquiry found that Juventus defender, Luigi Allemandi, had been bribed by a Torino official, before the derby (for a sum of 50,000 lire). Torino were stripped of their first title, and surprisingly no one was awarded the 1927 scudetto.

In the summer of 2006, an alleged match fixing scandal hit the headlines, named Moggiopoli, after the Juventus general manager. The scandal was uncovered by the Italian police, implicating league champions Juventus, and other major teams including AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, and Reggina;when a number of telephone interceptions showed a thick network of relations between team managers and referee organisations. The teams involved in the scandal had been accused of rigging games, by selecting favourable referees. Juvetus were stripped of their scudetto, relegated, and docked points, whilst the other clubs involved had various points deducted.

To the majority of followers of Calcio, this did not come as a major shock, as many fans regard the referee as corrupt (unless proven otherwise). There are various (well known) examples of refereeing decisions which fans class as corrupt, as they decided key matches, or decided a scudetto: Maurizio Turone’s disallowed goal for Roma against Juventus in 1981; Fiorentina’s loss in the 1982 scudetto; Inter and Ronaldo’s lost penalty, against Juventus, in 1998.

There are hundreds of examples of alleged match fixing, throughout the history of Calcio, and there are various scandals which have come to light, which have been uncovered by the authorities. It seems that followers of Calcio have come to accept this over the years, and it is part of the mentality of the nation to accept corruption.

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World Cup Goalkeepers – Edwin van der Sar

A towering personality Edwin van der Sar is probably the best goalkeeper to have played for Netherlands. Born on the October 29, 1970, he began his football career by playing for his local city team FC Foreholte in Voorhout.

His athleticism and sharp reflexes under the bar brought him to the notice of major clubs. He first moved to VV Noordwijk, and from there to Ajax. He was apart of the Ajax team that won the UEFA Champions League in 1995.

Van der Sar hit big time when he moved to Juventus. In 2001, he joined Fulham, and started playing in the English Premier League. His biggest change came in 2005, when he moved to Manchester United for a rumored 2 million pounds. The green uniform of Manchester United also won him a nickname: Jolly Green Giant.

Van der Sar wore the national jersey for the first time in 1995 when he played for Netherlands against Belarus. Since then he has played more than a 100 matches for his country, and is likely to emerge as the most capped Dutch player.

His crowning moment was when he won the penalty shootout against Sweden in the Euro 2004 quarter final. This was the first time that the Dutch had won a penalty shoot-out. Van der Sar is admired for his grit and determination, and his ability to analyze the moves of the opposition forwards.

Some of the trophies that have come his way are Champions League, European Super Cup, and Intercontinental Cup.

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