Selangor Winning Again : Nazmi Faiz Ready For Portugal Trials : Premier League Awards For Sir Alex Ferguson & Ryan Giggs : FOOTBALL NEWS PICKS
Posted in Sports on 16. May, 2012
Harimau starlet Nazmi arrives in Portugal
Harimau Muda star Nazmi Faiz has arrived in Portugal for his highly-anticipated trial with Portuguese Liga side Beira-Mar.
The 17-year-old midfielder, who is regarded as one of Malaysia’s hottest prospects, had previously been plying his trade for Harimau in the Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League, where they currently sit in fourth at the halfway point of the campaign.
However, after a 12-hour journey, Nazmi arrived in Portugal on Monday with his father and agent Marco Guimaraes of Football Management International, and is ready to impress over the next two weeks.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” the talented youngster told ESPNSTAR.com. “Any player in my country dreams of playing in Europe.
“That’s what I want to achieve.”
Beira-Mar recently finished 13th in the 2011/12 Portuguese Liga campaign, and their former players include the legendary Eusebio and Mario Jardel.
Nazmi is aiming to become the first Southeast Asian to play in Portugal, and will be joining China international Zhang Chengdong at Beira-Mar.
Selangor get back to winning ways
Selangor got back to winning ways in the Malaysia Super League on Tuesday by recording a hard-fought 2-1 win over Felda United.
The Red Giants entered the game at the Shah Alam Stadium on the back of two consecutive defeats to Negri Sembilan and Perak, but went ahead in the 38th minute through Azidan Sarudin.
Felda hit back a right after the break through Fardern Kadir but Azidan grabbed his second two minutes later to wrap up all three points for Selangor.
LIONSXII’s title hopes took another big blow as they were held to a 0-0 draw by bottom side Kuala Lumpur, who have only picked up two points all season long prior to Tuesday’s game.
V. Sundramoorthy’s charges, who were missing a handful of key players including Shahril Ishak, Baihakki Khaizan and Juma’at Jantan, struggled to find a way past a resilient KL defence, and are while they are now four points clear of second-placed Kelantan, the Red Warriors still have five games in hand.
Negri Sembilan came back from a goal down to beat Perak 3-1 at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium and notch their third consecutive victory in the process.
Michal Kubala gave Seladang the lead from the spot in the 7th minute but Jean-Emmanuel Effa Owona leveled for the hosts in the 24th minute, before putting them ahead six minutes after the hour mark. Marian Farbak then added a third six minutes from time to sew up the win.
Elsewhere, T-Team edged Sabah 2-1, PKNS FC recorded a 3-1 win at Kedah, while Terengganu were held to a 2-2 draw by Sarawak.
Tuesday’s Malaysia Super League Results
Sabah 1-2 T-Team
Selangor 2-1 Felda United
Negri Sembilan 3-1 Perak
Kedah 1-3 PKNS FC
Kuala Lumpur 0-0 LIONSXII
Terengganu 2-2 Sarawak
Premier League awards: Sir Alex Ferguson named best manager; Ryan Giggs wins best player
Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, has been named greatest manager of the Premier League era while Ryan Giggs has been selected as the best player.
Despite finishing the season trophyless, United’s Ferguson and Giggs won the honours at the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards which celebrated the past 20 years of top flight English football following the formation of the Premier League in 1992.
Ferguson’s United have won the title 12 times, while the 38 year-old Giggs has been part of all of their Premier League title-winning sides.
He has made 598 Premier League appearances and is committed to playing for United next season.
After collecting his award Giggs reevealed that he enjoys playing “more than ever”.
“It’s disappointing not to win the title, but it has been an exciting season,” Giggs said.
“But we’re obviously gutted, although we’re proud of the way we’ve played this year. There are a lot of positives to take from this season.
“I have enjoyed the 20 seasons – that’s why I’m still playing, I enjoy it more than ever. I will go on as long as I’m still enjoying it and I’m getting picked.
“I feel good at the moment.”
The Welshman, too, praised Ferguson who gave him his first game in November 1990.
“I’ve known him since I was 13,” added Giggs.
“He knew my name, my parents’ names and the little details had a big impression on me. It’s the personal touch that sets him apart from anybody else.
“He’s the biggest influence on my career.”
Manchester City to emulate spending habits of Barcelona and Real Madrid in bid to win Champions League
Roberto Mancini has said Manchester City will follow the example set by Barcelona and Real Madrid when it comes to the transfer market this summer by spending in areas that will directly improve their chances of winning the Champions League.
Having led City to their first Premier League title in 44 years, the club’s directors have made clear that Europe’s top prize is next in their sights and that they will provide Mancini with the disposable cash he requires to bolster an already star-studded squad.
And in a bid to challenge the best, it seems the Italian manager will follow their example.
“Barcelona and Real Madrid every year buy two or three players and spend a lot of money,” Mancini told the BBC. “I think for Manchester City it will be the same.
“We need to improve. We need to have the strength to play Champions League and Premier League. For this we need to have a good team, a strong team with a good mentality, but I’m sure we will do it.”
Since City beat QPR on Sunday, a match which saw them trailing to Mark Hughes’ 10-man side until Sergio Aguero scored twice in injury time, the Italian manager says it has been hard take everything in.
Until those two goals were scored it was the red side of Manchester that was celebrating as defeat or a draw for City would have handed United their 20th league title.
“It was a miracle,” Mancini said. “God looked at our game and gave us a helping hand. Football is mad and it’s extraordinary because of that. Games end on the final whistle and you cannot give up.
“We worked very hard. We deserved to win this.”
He added that even when City dipped eight points behind United with just six matches of the campaign remaining, he never lost confidence in his side’s ability to turn things around.
“After [losing to] Arsenal, I thought it was going to be difficult – but I thought it was impossible that United were going to continue to win.”
With transfers and strengthening his side on his mind, there is speculation not only over who it is Mancini will target this summer but also over which players will shown the door at the Etihad.
While most onlookers may back Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez to be top of the exit-list, it seems that despite their troubled seasons, both have retained a good relationship with their manager.
“It’s not difficult to manage Tevez,” he said. “He’s a good guy. We had a good relationship always, Mancini said of the Argentine. “I don’t know why we had that situation in September but in the end he’s a good guy and a fantastic player.”
As for compatriot Balotelli, he said: “Mario is different, he’s young, but an incredible talent. He’s young, and for this reason sometimes he can have bad behaviour – it’s normal. But it’s important for him to understand he can lose his talent.”
QPR set to discuss Barton future
QPR officials were meeting on Tuesay to discuss their summer transfer plans – with Joey Barton also expected to be high on their agenda.
Rangers were set to decide whether to accept the two charges of violent conduct levelled against their controversial captain on Monday and also whether to take any internal action against him.
There were reports on Tuesday they would consider trying to offload – or even sack – Barton, who has three years left to run on his contract.
The midfielder could start next season with a ban that runs into double-figures for his sending-off and subsequent behaviour in Sunday’s Barclays Premier League defeat at Manchester City.
Barton was sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez and then kicked Sergio Aguero before attempting to headbutt Vincent Kompany.
He will receive an automatic four-match ban as it was his second dismissal of the season, and could receive three-match suspensions for each of the violent conduct charges.
On top of that, the FA’s regulatory panel will have discretionary powers to further increase the length of the suspension if charges are found to be proven.
Barton, who was given until 6pm on Tuesday to respond to the charges, claimed on Twitter that his violent actions were a cynical ploy to provoke a City player to be sent off, something the panel may well frown upon.
Barton insisted via Twitter that he had not lost his head but that a team-mate “suggested I should try to take 1 of theirs with me”.
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes said Barton’s future would be reviewed but that the 29-year-old had been an integral part of the club.
“There are experienced people who will come back to me and we’ll review the whole situation,” he told BBC Sport.
“Joey has been an integral part of the club and has played his part.
“This is football, and I’m new to it. I don’t profess to have all the answers.”
Barton on Monday night followed up his expletive-laden Twitter attack on Alan Shearer, his former manager at Newcastle and current Match of the Day pundit, by turning on the programme’s presenter, Gary Lineker, saying: “back under your stone you odious little toad…”
As well as the Barton issue and possible transfer targets, QPR were expected to discuss on Tuesday which players to keep and which to move on from their bloated squad, one which narrowly avoided an immediate return to the npower Championship.
Mourinho backs Ronaldo for top prize
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho claims Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to be named ahead of Lionel Messi as the next FIFA world player of the year.
Messi has carried off the accolade in each of the last three years, collecting his third award in January.
But Mourinho believes Ronaldo would be a worthy winner when the awards come around again, pointing out that a huge part of Real’s Primera Division success this season came due to the remarkable goalscoring feats of the former Manchester United forward.
Although Ronaldo’s 46 league goals were not enough to beat Barcelona’s Messi to the title of the league’s top scorer – known as the Pichichi – they steered Madrid to the title.
And for that reason Mourinho believes his 27-year-old compatriot should be rewarded by FIFA when Ballon d’Or voting takes place.
The Madrid boss told Portuguese TV station SIC: “Cristiano has to win the Ballon d’Or, not because he has been the top goalscorer, he was that already last season, but because his goals have delivered a title.
“Messi scored 50 goals that weren’t worth anything, in the same way that Cristiano scored 42 last season that didn’t stand for anything.
“He hasn’t been able to win the Pichichi and I believe he should be compensated with the Ballon d’Or.”
Mourinho described his first league title in Spain as the toughest he has ever won.
The 49-year-old Portuguese has now won seven championships in four different countries after collecting two league titles each with Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
But he believes overcoming Barcelona has been the biggest challenge of his career.
He told Portuguese sport newspaper Record: “All the titles are well recognised, this is undeniable.
“But I can say that this was the most difficult of the seven titles I have won.
“This was more difficult because we had an opponent that is recognised as the best team in the past few years.
“Throughout the whole tournament there was a great pressure because if we drew we could lose points in the title race. For this reason it has been the most difficult, but also very deserved.”
Mourinho’s team reached 100 points, breaking Barcelona’s previous 99-point record.
“The important thing was to win the title, but when we won it and we could get to 100 points, we maintained a high motivation level and went in search of these victories,” Mourinho said.
“Madrid has won 32 leagues, but this team will be remembered as the team of 100 points, because at this moment it is a unique mark and, I believe, very difficult to beat.”
Liverpool silent on Dalglish exit talks
Liverpool are refusing to comment on reports that manager Kenny Dalglish has left the club.
Dalglish and assistant Steve Clarke are known to have flown to the United States for talks with the club’s owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner.
And numerous reports on Tuesday afternoon suggested Dalglish has left the club.
Liverpool suffered their 14th defeat of a hugely disappointing Premier League campaign on Sunday, a 1-0 reverse at Swansea.
Dalglish delivered their first silverware in six years – the Carling Cup – and guided the Reds to the FA Cup final.
But the Americans are desperate to challenge for the Premier League title and play in the Champions League.
In the last month the restructuring of the club has led to the departures of director of football Damien Comolli, head of sports science Peter Brukner and, on Friday, director of communications Ian Cotton.
And newspaper reports suggested the club’s bosses are lining up Wigan manager Roberto Martinez to take over from Dalglish.
Defeat at Swansea meant Liverpool recorded their lowest total of top-flight league victories (14) and lowest points tally (52) since 1953-54.
They also scored the fewest league goals (47) for 20 years and an eighth-placed finish was their worst for 18 years.
United accept City’s Tevez apology
Manchester United have accepted an apology from Manchester City over a controversial placard held up by Carlos Tevez during their title celebrations.
City striker Tevez, formerly of United, was filmed on TV with a sign which read ‘RIP Fergie’ during his club’s open-top bus tour of Manchester city centre with the Barclays Premier League trophy.
The banner, thought to have been passed onto the bus by a fan, may have referred to a remark by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson three years ago when asked if his side would ever be underdogs against City.
“Not in my lifetime,” the Scot said.
City reacted quickly on Monday night to express “sincerest apologies” while Tevez also spoke of his regret.
United chief executive David Gill told Sky Sports News: “I think it’s right. The club acted pretty quickly.
“I think it was rather silly, frankly, in terms of what it said, but City acted with commendable speed.
“We move on and concentrate on other issues.”
Tevez, who joined City from United in 2009, said he “got carried away in the excitement of the moment”.
The Football Association are looking into the matter after chairman David Bernstein also described the Argentinian’s actions as “silly”.
Bernstein was asked about the incident by MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
Bernstein said: “It looked to me rather silly, more than anything else – an impetuous, silly thing to do. It certainly wasn’t very sensible.
“I think it was a very excitable moment, emotions were running very high.
“As I understand it, and I stand to be corrected, I think someone passed this thing to Tevez who just sort of put it in the air, so I don’t think it’s the most serious thing I’ve ever come across.
“But I don’t know all the facts and I would leave it to the people (at the FA) who will look at it professionally.”
Tevez returned to play a key role in City’s title run-in after an extraordinary dispute which saw him spend more than three months in Argentina without permission.
The 28-year-old failed in attempts to engineer a transfer in January but has recently said he wants to stay at the Etihad Stadium.