odd balls  

news: odd balls  

Out of Africa

Daude Massude may well become the first player from Mozambique to grace the Premiership. The 15-year-old, who is called “Rivaldo” on the pitch, has joined Manchester United’s youth academy after being spotted by assistant manager Carlos Queiroz on a scouting tour of the former Portuguese colony.

No hand-outs

Argentinean idol Diego Maradona has once more shown that he is not the reformed character his recent weight-loss might suggest. Quoted in an extensive interview, that he would “travel to the end of the world” free of charge for his “best friend” Julio Cesar, the flawed genius failed to turn up for the Brazilian’s testimonial in Dortmund as promised. A fee of 200,000 dollars (unpaid) had been demanded by ‘the hand of God’ the day before the match …

War of words

The row between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho is continuing. Arsenal’s manager was quoted as saying that Chelsea’s faltering form is good for the Premiership, which did little to appease his Stamford Bridge counterpart. Both men are currently chasing Feyenoord’s 16 million euro rated striker Dirk Kuyt.

Ladies first

Rachel Unitt celebrated her 50th cap as England’s women took a big step towards qualifying for the 2007 World Cup by beating rivals Holland 1-0 in Zwolle. Hope Powell’s side has made rapid progress in recent years, and now lead their group by three points ahead of the Dutch and favourites France. The Algarve Cup next March will show how far up the international pecking order England’s ladies have climbed.

Cameo performance

Former Sporting and Porto idol, Mario Jardel, also active for Bolton, gave his debut in Brazil last week. The troubled striker came on for Goias in the 75th minute, scored in the 77th and was sent off in the 80th!

Stars in trouble

The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that there is insufficient evidence to pursue rape allegations against Manchester United’s exciting Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo. Meanwhile former Old Trafford great, George Best, has been re-admitted to hospital in a serious condition. The 59-year-old is suffering from a “new and severe” infection.

Down and out

Former SuperLiga team and Uefa Cup participants, Farense, have finally given up the struggle to remain in the professional ranks. The club from the Algarve’s capital has been relegated twice since loosing its top-tier status – and were currently in last place in the third division. Unable to cover debts in excess of 600,000 euros, Farense have been expelled from the league and will continue in the region’s district structure.