Between his foundation, speaking engagements, and the various activities that go into being the former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton’s time is a scarce commodity. When U.S. Soccer wanted to bring the World Cup back to the States, however, Clinton carved out enough time to serve as the face of the project, becoming the bid’s honorary chairmen while convincing celebrities like Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Spike Lee to do their part.
Perhaps that’s why Clinton was so mad when he found out all of his efforts went for naught. Reacting to FIFA’s Dec. 2010 decision to award the 2022 finals to Qatar, the former president reportedly took his frustration out on an unsuspecting hotel mirror, breaking the glass in anger in his Zurich hotel room.
Isn’t it always the innocent that get caught in the crossfire? From The Telegraph:
Bill Clinton looked anything but happy as he strode into the Savoy Baur en Ville hotel in Zurich in December 2010. The receptionists could tell he was irritated, but had no idea just how angry he was.
After closing the door to his suite, he reached for an ornament on a table and threw it at a wall mirror in a fit of rage, shattering the glass.
The former US president, who had spent two years travelling the world glad-handing members of football’s governing body, Fifa, could not believe America’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup had been beaten by, of all places, Qatar.
“Clinton was fuming,” said one well-placed source. “He felt humiliated and felt the decision did not make sense.”
You can just imagine the embarrassment. Here was one of the most powerful men in the world, who leveraged years of his life and connections built up over years in public service, trying to bring a sporting event to the U.S. This wasn’t negotiating Middle East peace or staring down the Chinese during trade talks. This is just soccer, yet when FIFA’s votes were counted, the former president was left on the wrong side of the result, having lost to the oldest enemy in the book.
At least, now it looks like Qatar won the vote through nefarious means, with FIFA investigating the extent to which former Asian confederation Mohammed Bin Hammam was able to, um, “incentivize” voters to write down his home country. The same suspicious we harbor now, Clinton surely had at the time, though as Yahoo’s Dirty Tackle notes, his reaction was more “composed” at the time:
“The FIFA people were in a mood to give it to people who didn’t have it. I think they wanted to make soccer a world sport,” he said the next day, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“They wanted to say, here’s a good non-terrorist, non-bigoted way of embracing — no really, I’m not trivializing this — a way to embrace the modernization attempt of the Middle East.”
Turns out, not so much. Not only did Qatar allegedly win its World Cup through good old fashion pocket-lining, but an innocent mirror lays shattered in its wake.
Which, of course, is one of the least meaningful consequences of this whole Qatar situation. In terms of Bill Clinton, though, it may be the most telling. It’s hard to imagine that the same man who played the saxophone for Arsenio launching a knick-knack at his bathroom wall.
Lukas Podolski has won a EURO, a World Cup, and the Bundesliga with two different sides.
Only Lothar Matthaus and Miroslav Klose have been capped more than Germany’s Polish born Podolski, and he received a hero’s send-off from the home crowd at Germany’s 1-0 win over England on Wednesday.
And of course he sent himself off in style with a gorgeous goal.
[ MORE: Guardiola close to adding $43m GK? ]
Podolski said there were more than 30,000 people from Cologne at the match, where he won one of his two Bundesliga titles.
“That’s when you know where you home is, and that you’ve done a lot of good, also off the pitch,” Podolski said. “That makes me very proud.”
It was a perfect night to say goodbye, and the goal made it almost surreal (Thomas Muller called it “cheesy”).
“This is like a great movie,” he told ARD. “We win 1-0 and I score the goal.
“I know I have a left foot that was probably gifted to me by God, or someone up there, and I can always rely on it. I am proud of these last 13 years.”
Feel good hit of the Spring.
Year Two of the Pep Guardiola era at Manchester City could feature another big goalkeeper purchase.
Claudio Bravo hasn’t panned out in sky blue, and Joe Hart doesn’t look likely to be coming back. Wily Caballero is getting the lion’s share of the minutes right now, playing every minute aside from a trio of FA Cup matches since February.
[ MORE: Podolski scores screamer in German finale ]
$43 million is the fee noted by Abola when it comes to the latest target for Guardiola, a neck-tattooed Brazilian by the name of Ederson.
The Benfica backstop, 23, has 20 clean sheets in 32 appearances this season. He signed a new six-year deal in late January, but money may talk here.
The highlight of Wednesday’s international friendly docket was Lukas Podolski‘s final match for Germany, and the former Arsenal man did not disappoint his crowd.
But first, Canada plays its first match since unveiling new coach Octavio Zambrano.
[ MORE: Zlatan still bitter with Guardiola ]
Scotland 1-1 Canada
Zambrano saw plenty to like from his new side, as Canada went ahead early with a goal from former Scottish youth Fraser Aird. Toronto-born, the ex-Rangers and current Falkirk man got his first Canadian goal against the team he represented at U-17 and U-19 levels.
Norwich City’s Steven Naismith redirected Tom Cairney‘s shot to make it 1-1 before the break, but Scotland never found its way back into Canada’s net.
Germany 1-0 England
Lukas Podolski scored his 49th international goal in his final cap for Germany, and it was spectacular.
Joe Hart didn’t stand a chance.
The match saw big stops from both ‘keepers, as Hart thwarted Leroy Sane on a second half break after Marc-Andre Ter Stegen defied Dele Alli in the opening 45.
Podolski subbed off in the 84th minute to wild applause, but it must sting slightly to know you finished an illustrious career one goal short of a nice, round 50. We guess he’ll have to rest on his millions and millions of earnings and loads of on-field honors.
Vietnam 1-1 Chinese Taipei
Philippines 0-0 Malaysia
Cyprus 3-1 Kazakhstan
Yemen 0-1 Palestine
Cambodia 2-3 India
James McClean is a colorful personality who doesn’t shy away from strong opinions — he once called Jurgen Klopp “a bit of an idiot” — and the West Brom man is using the big stage of World Cup qualifying to proudly honor a deceased ex-teammate.
McClean has long before friends with Derry City captain Ryan McBride, who shockingly died hours after leading his side to a league win this weekend. Given his age (27), few saw it coming even after McBride admitted to feeling ill after the match.
[ MORE: Zlatan still bitter with Guardiola ]
McBride and McClean played together at Derry, and the latter was excused from Republic of Ireland training to attend funeral services this week.
He’s still expected to play a role in Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Wales on Friday, and McClean will don the No. 5 of McBride. Irish defender Richard Keogh usually wears the number and agreed to the change.