Tottenham Hotspur Clint Dempsey is preparing for a Europa League battle with Panathinaikos in Greece, and he wants to win the tournament that most of the world thinks is sort of “meh list.”
“The prestige is there,” the American star said before the game. “You get to play against some of best clubs in Europe. That’s why we are all excited about the possibility of going on a run and doing something special.”
Dempsey knows of what he speaks, having played in the final with Fulham where the Cottagers lost to Atletico Madrid. And there’s some truth to his logic: the Europa league is better than most people believe (and fun to watch to boot).
But… it makes us sad to hear Dempsey talk like this. Remember the heady days of the summer when he was going transfer to a club where he could play in the Champions League? Those were the fun times. Then, it got ugly, then uglier, and Dempsey ended up with the Spurs. Not a bad place to land, of course, but not CL, at least this year.
He knows, he knows:
“Playing at the highest level possible is what you dream about as a kid growing up in a small town. You see these people on TV and you always push yourself because you want to try to get to that level. This club deserves to be in the Champions League really as they finished fourth last year. It was only because of a technicality that they didn’t.”
Luckily, this is football and there’s always next season. The Spurs currently sit in fifth, one spot (and one point) out of a CL spot. It’s going to be a tough slog to get there, but hopefully it will happen. Dempsey belongs in the best competition in the world.
In the meantime, there’s always the Europa Cup. On some level, a cup is a cup is a cup. Raise it high, raise it proud.
Play until you hear the referee’s whistle. In theory, so simple. In practice, it only takes a single second of concentration lapse to become an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.
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Such is life for Karyn Forbes, member of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. In the above video, you’ll observe Forbes, a 24-year-old midfielder, giving away perhaps the most bizarre penalty kick you’ll ever see. You’ll have to watch for yourself to believe it.
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Unfortunately for Forbes, though the whole of the ball might have crossed the whole of the end line, the referee did not blow her whistle… not until Forbes picked the ball up with her hands and carried it to her goalkeeper.
BERLIN (AP) The German Football League (DFL) has given the go-ahead for the possible testing of video replays in the Bundesliga over a two-year pilot phase.
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The DFL says it will be lodging an application with FIFA to take part if the pilot phase is approved by the International Football Association Board at its next annual general meeting on March 5.
The DFL says video replays could be used by a “team of impartial match officials for the purpose of avoiding any evidently incorrect decisions” and that the pilot phase would be preceded by “intensive preparations.”
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These would include the settlement of costs among FIFA, the IFAB, the DFL and German football federation, as well as training for the candidates.
West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.
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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.
“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”
Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.
Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?
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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.
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Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.