Daniel Agger‘s reliance on over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs leads to a scary tale.
Well, it probably leads to a great deal of scary tales, but we only have the one presented to us by The Guardian’s Marcus Christenson and Troels Henriksen.
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Former Liverpool defender Agger tells of the day that finally broke his habit, a day with Brondby that led to his retirement this year at the age of 31.
After wobbling through a pregame routine, jolted by a caffeine shot, Agger has no idea how he got onto the pitch, but he did.
He was not himself, though. His pre-match talk did not make much sense to his team-mates and he struggled with his movement on the pitch. It was as if his vision was not in sync with what was happening around him. Early on he was trying to head a long ball coming towards him but could not see it, misjudged it and it fell on his arm. After 29 minutes, he had to come off. He sat down on the substitutes’ bench but later had to be helped down to the physio room. He does not remember that at all.
We write so much about performance-enhancing drugs that we rarely get to performance-enabling drugs. There are stories like this throughout soccer, football and hockey, but they don’t often see the light of the day.
Cheers to Agger for his honesty.
Former Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has done his good deed for the day. If not the week, the month or this year.
Reports from his homeland of Denmark state that Agger, 29, has helped to send the Danish team to the Homeless World Cup in Chile next month.
Agger, who returned to his former club Brondby last month after nine seasons in the Premier League with Liverpool, forked out nearly $4,000 to send the squad to South America according to Frits Ahlstrom, of the charity Ombold.
Ahlstrom told Danish channel TV2: “I talked to him and said we still had to find 20,000 krone, and he said without hesitating: ‘I’ll give it to you.’ There is no substitute for class and Daniel has it on and off the field, as a player and as a person.”
Well done to you, Mr. Agger, who sent the following message to the squad: “Hope you have a great trip!”
The Homeless World Cup has been taking place every year since 2003 and the reigning World Champions are Brazil who won the tournament in Poland last summer.
For more information on the tournament, where the U.S. will be sending a team, click here. The 2014 Homeless World Cup takes place from October 19-26 in Santiago, Chile.
Three World Cup powers of 2014 have players working their way through the rumor mills today, as we told you about the Dutch and Chilean players tipped for QPR and the Argentine defender excited about Manchester United.
So who else is moving through the gossip pages?
AS Monaco can keep saying Radamel Falcao is going nowhere, but the papers will keep moving him around the world. In this case, the Daily Mail says the 28-year-old Colombian is being pursued by Liverpool and Juventus. The same folks say Atletico Madrid is coming to Anfield for Daniel Agger, while Samuel Eto’o remains in the picture as a potential Liverpool addition.
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As Bayern Munich deals with an injury to Bastian Schweinsteiger, president Franz Beckenbauer is busy poking his nose in Borussia Dortmund’s business. Beckenbauer claims Marco Reus will move to Manchester United… next summer, according to the German paper Bild.
With Jack Rodwell moving to Sunderland from Manchester City, plenty of other Etihad-based names are being mentioned as departures. According to the Express, Micah Richards is being pursued by Roma, Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal. His supposed $7 million price tag isn’t hurting the buzz. Richards is a homegrown City player.
Speaking of Englishmen potentially moving within the country, it seems Andros Townsend could net Spurs some money from Southampton. The Mirror says Ronald Koeman is in pursuit of the winger despite having a $16 million bid denied.
Hull sold Shane Long for a profit, and want to find a replacement for the Irish striker. In this writer’s mind, all three of these links are at least as good as the man they sold: Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck, Watford’s Troy Deeney and Lorient’s Vincent Aboubakar. The latter, a 22-year-old Cameroonian World Cupper, seems especially intriguing and it’s odd that Hull could net him because of the domestic overvaluation of the other two.
Another day of transfer talk has come and gone. Listed below are some of the day’s most notable rumors.
After Queens Park Rangers striker Loic Remy appeared set to make a Liverpool switch earlier in the summer before a failed medical halted him, it appears Chelsea has made a surprise inquiry for the 27-year-old, who would be worth in the range of 10 million euros. And this rumor came following Didier Drogba’s injury.
According to the Daily Mail, Samuel Eto’o could end up starring with Daniel Sturridge at Anfield, as it was reported that Brendan Rogers and Co. are eying the ex-Barcelona striker in hopes of adding another goal scorer to ease the void left by Luis Suarez.
On the heels of Thomas Vermaelen hitting the road for Barcelona, Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has been linked to Arsenal, and the amount they’re seeking for him, 10 million pounds via The Sun, has been released.
AS Roma center back Mehdi Benatia has drawn substantial interest from Chelsea, with the Blues launching a 30 million pound bid for the 27-year-old. While Manchester United are also looking to get his signature, Chelsea seems to be the front-runner right now.
West Ham attempted to snatch up Connor Wickham for 4 million pounds, but Sunderland denied the move. The 21-year-old joined the Black Cats from Ipswich Town in 2011. He went for 8.1 million pounds then.
Federico Fernandez should swapped leagues, leaving Napoli in Serie A to Swansea City in the Premier League for a fee around 8 million pounds, per the Daily Mirror. The Swans are trying to get a work permit for the player before the Manchester United opener.
Despite Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitting the club had received no bids for center back Daniel Agger over the summer, reports in the UK suggest Arsenal and Tottenham are battling it out for the Dane.
Agger, 29, was courted by Barcelona but they instead signed Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal on Saturday. So the Gunners are looking to replace Vermaelen with Agger, while Tottenham Hotspur are also on the lookout for another central defender.
The Daily Express claims that Agger “has his heart set” on a move to the Emirates, while a local publication in Essex claims Tottenham are chasing Agger.
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Last season Agger, Liverpool’s vice-captain, fell out of favor after injury and the likes of Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho jumped ahead of him in the pecking order. The Reds have splashed $35 million on Croatian center back Dejan Lovren from Southampton this summer and that has pushed Agger further down the pecking order.
So, where should Agger go?
If he’s after regular soccer then Spurs would be the better option. Arsenal have Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as first choice center backs, while youngster Calum Chambers has had a promising start at the heart of Arsenal’s defense in preseason. However Gunners boss Arsene Wenger sees Chambers as a holding midfielder and told the press after Arsenal’s Community Shield win that he intends to shop around for a new center back after Vermaelen’s $25 million departure.
Agger could challenge to be a starter for Arsenal but if he wants to play regularly in the Premier League and be a leader on a team that really needs him, he should sign for Spurs and partner one from Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Michael Dawson.
Time will tell where Agger ends up, but he certainly seems to be a man in demand. Even if Rodgers claims Liverpool have had no offers for him.