Panini fail : Ian RUSH

Rush made his Welsh debut before he had been handed his first start for Liverpool, playing his first match on 21 May 1980 against Scotland in Glasgow, a 0–1 loss. He played his last international match on 24 January 1996 – a friendly match against Italy in Terni which Wales lost 0–3. Rush played regularly for the Welsh national team for more than 15 years, scoring 28 goals (Welsh record) in 73 games. He scored in a friendly against Italy in Brescia on 4 June 1988, the only goal in a shock win. During his career the team never qualified for a major tournament, although in 1991 he scored the winning goal in a memorable Euro 1992 qualifier against Germany on 5 June 1991. On 9 October 1992, he netted a hat-trick in a 6–0 win over the Faroe Islands at Cardiff Arms Park in 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification, the first Welsh hat-trick in over 13 years, and one of only 14 in the nation's history. So the sticker on the left is a fake than I made, first for the topic Ian RUSH : The Integral. But this week-end I find a nice fail in the Colombian Panini album of 1989. In this album and as the national team has benne qualified for the 1990 World Cup, Panini made a special double page with the future stars of the Italian World Cup. Of Course you can see the national idol on the top Carlos Valderrama and others stars like Diego Maradona, Gary Lineker, Dragan Stojkovic, Enzo Francescoli or Ruud Gullit (All OSP's legends as you can see on the right column) and also Ian RUSH for.... United Kingdom !!! Perfectly like Gary Lineker. A big fail for Panini Colombia who didn't know that Gary Lineker played for England and Ian Rush for Wales. 

Ian RUSH : The Integral

Just one word is needed to describe Ian Rush's Liverpool career: goals. The Welshman scored 346 of them in 660 appearances, a club record which will take some beating. Nothing shakes the Kop more than a goal, and no one has caused quite so much structural damage to the famous stand as Rush. More importantly, his predatory instincts were instrumental in the Reds dominating the game for most of the 1980s. He was loved at Anfield, feared at every opposition ground and renowned throughout Europe.  It's hard to believe that such a glittering Liverpool career had such an inauspicious start. Signed from Chester in 1980 for £300,000 (then a British transfer record for a teenager), Rush initially felt he wasn't getting a fair crack under Bob Paisley. He even asked for a transfer. A possible move to Crystal Palace was discussed, though Paisley had no intention of sanctioning the deal. He knew that Rush's time would come. Tall, thin and ungainly, the young striker looked anything but a future striking hero when he broke into the team, but looks can be deceptive. It actually took nine games for him to register a first senior goal, but the floodgates opened from there.It was in 1981-82 that Rushie fully established himself as a Reds regular. Paisley was in the process of rebuilding his team and the new boy's tally of 30 goals in 49 appearances helped deliver an ominous message to Liverpool's rivals. Oh, and there were two new additions to the Anfield trophy room to boot. In November 1982, an awesome display of finishing by the boyhood Evertonian sunk the shell-shocked Toffees during an unforgettable afternoon at Goodison.

The name Ian Rush was now etched indelibly into Merseyside folklore. No wonder Europe's big fish were starting to circle. Often described by his teammates as Liverpool's first line of defence, the Wales international was not just a goalscorer but a hard-working, selfless runner who never gave up the chase. Electric pace and eagle-eyed anticipation meant he was also a nightmare to mark and his attacking partnership with Kenny Dalglish is regarded as one of the best ever.
The 1983-84 season was perhaps Rush's finest. A remarkable 47-goal haul (50 if you count his spot kick conversion in Rome and two goals for Wales) was enough to see him become the first British player to win Europe's Golden Boot. This was a perfect accompaniment to an unprecedented treble of league title, European Cup and Milk Cup, not to mention double player of the year recognition. Running on to perfectly threaded throughballs was Rush's forte and when one-on-one with a keeper you'd bet your mortgage on him netting. But what made him stand out from the rest was the variation in his goals. Of course there were countless close-range tap-ins, but also in his locker were many well-timed volleys, the odd 25-yard pile-driver and occasional header. One of his finest displays of finishing came on an icy night at Villa Park in January 1984 when he bagged a memorable hat-trick. Liverpool's master marksman netted against almost every team he faced but it was neighbours Everton on whom he inflicted most damage.

His memorable double against our Mersey rivals in the 1986 Cup final secured the club's first domestic double but, as the dust settled on that triumph, the blue half of the city was given reason to dance with joy when it was announced that Liverpool's lean, mean, goalscoring machine had agreed to join Juventus.  Unsurprisingly, news of his move, which was to go through the following summer, shook the Kop to its core and a 'Rushie Must Stay' campaign was launched in a futile bid to keep their hero at Anfield. Determined to bow out on a high, Rush signed off by breaching the 40-goal barrier for only the second time in his career and left for the land of the lira with everyone's best wishes. After just one season in Italy, however, he was to make a sensational return. Having been made aware that their former star had failed to fully settle in Turin (it was like living in a foreign country, said Rush at the time), Liverpool jumped at the chance to sign him once more. The predator responded by picking up where he left off, scoring goals for fun and proceeding to smash any goalscoring record he hadn't yet broken. Everton remained high on his hit-list and another brace in the 1989 FA Cup final saw him finally overtake the legendary Dixie Dean as the most prolific derby goalscorer. Three years later he became the most fruitful forward in Cup final history after netting his fifth during the 2-0 victory over Sunderland.  All this was small fry compared to what Rush was to achieve in October 1992, however, when he netted for a 287th time in a Liverpool jersey and in doing so surpassed Roger Hunt as the leading scorer in Anfield history. The same year saw him handed the captaincy by manager Graeme Souness and in 1995 he fulfilled a personal dream by lifting the Coca Cola Cup.  Rush's work on Merseyside was still not done, though, and his last act before leaving for Leeds on a free in the summer of 1996 was to pass on his goalscoring wisdom to striking prodigy Robbie Fowler. While records are there to be broken, it's likely that the number nine's phenomenal tally of Liverpool goals will go unsurpassed well into the new millennium. ven if it is eventually beaten, the fact Rush left the Kop with 346 heart-thumping memories means he'll forever be renowned as one of the all-time Anfield greats.



How old is Radamel FALCAO ?

Since Radamel FALCAO arrived at Monaco in summer 2013 many rumours have suggested he is actually two years older than that. If the Colombian international has rubbished them in the past, commenting on Twitter in 2013 that they are "completely ridiculous". Falcao has also released a copy of his birth certificate in a bid to end the speculation. But some questions are still available and if we have a look back at the pictures and the sticker albums we can make our own opinion. First if we consider this old post on Old School Panini about his father : Radamel Falcao's father. We can see that Radamel Garcia loved to take his son with him before many games. The secound picture of the topic is the most interresting. In this one with the Deportes Tolima we can see Radamel FALCAO's father with his teamate who is an other famous father. On his right side there is Wilson James Rodriguez who is the father of other Colombian international, James Rodriguez of Real Madrid. As we can see in the Colombian Stickers albums they played together in 1988. That's what I posted on this famous topic in december 2014 : James RODRIGUEZ & Radamel FALCAO's fathers
This stickers are from 1988 because in the following year, in the 1989 Colombian Stickers album both players moved in others teams. James RODRIGUEZ's father played for the Deportivo Cali and Radamel Enrique GARCIA played for Bucaramanga : 
So the picture with the Deportes Tolima is from 1988. The matter is simple. Radamel FALCAO was born in 1986 so on this picture just below can we see a two years old boy ?
Of course the boy he's not a 2 years old. At least it's a 4 years old child. And if this he young Radamel Falcao on this picture, some rumours could be true. In 2013 and considering his primary school claim he was born in 1984 and here's only Falcao and no other kids with his dad in other photos, it's a bit of a big coincidence. Isn't it ?

Brazil vs France 1986 - Zico Penalty


Brazil faced France in the quarter-final of 1986 world cup, and the match up was a real high-profile one. France was reigning European Nations Cup champion and Brazil arguably had the strongest line-up since they last won the world cup on 1970. Both the teams were high on confidence and full of star players. Football lovers across the world felt this was too good of a match-up to happen before final. The match lived up to the expectation and had a lively first half. Careca gave Brazil the lead on 17th minute only for France to equalize through Michael Platini on 41st minute. 2nd half was as entertaining as the 1st one. Brazil came very close of scoring again as Careca’s header crashed into the cross-bar. Tele Santana, the Brazilian coach was desperate for goal, and brought in Arthur Antunes Coimbra, the talismanic No. 10, popularly known as Zico, in place of Muller, on 71st minute of the match. Zico, nicknamed as “White Pele” was playing his last world cup, and despite the age of 33, he was still a threat around opponent’s penalty box. Brazilian fans were angry to see their hero on the bench, and were finally delighted to see him on the pitch, their hero sprang into action almost right after coming onto the field. Branco played a one-two wall pass with Zico and then continued a run inside the French penalty area. French goal-keeper Joel Bats sensed the danger and rushed from his line only to foul Branco. Referee Ioan Igna awarded penalty in favor of Brazil. Though Brazil had Careca and Socrates on the pitch, who converted two penalties on their previous match in round of 16 against Poland, this time Zico stepped up to the spot to take the penalty. It was probably the rotation policy of penalty takers in Brazilian squad that prompted the decision along with Zico’s outstanding record from the penalty spot. Zico had missed only two penalties in his career, and was considered the master of the dreaded spot. Joel Bats himself probably was not too confident himself about saving the penalty either seeing Zico walking up to the spot. Branco walked towards Zico and said something in his ear as he was placing the ball in the spot. Joel Bats was standing right in the middle of the goal line, hands in his knees, looking at the ball in the spot. Zico did not have a big run up. He was standing two-step to the left of the spot facing the goal. He bent down a little, took two small steps and shoot the ball low, almost close to ground level, towards little left of Joel Bats. Bats was probably expecting this and saved the penalty with his left hand. 


The rebound fell on Careca who shot it wide amidst pressure from French defence. The whole world along with Tele Santana, Brazil fans, Zico himself along with French supporters were shocked by the turn of the event. No one expected “Rooster” to miss a penalty. Platini went on to tap on Zico’s shoulder to console him right after the penalty. Brazil would have won it had the penalty gone in. It ended 1-1 after 120 minutes. Zico scored in the penalty shoot-out, but Socrates’ shot was saved by Joel Bats, this time diving to his right, during the shoot-out. Brazil lost 4-5 to France to bow out of the world cup, as Julio Cesar hit the post and Fernandez scoring the winning penalty for France. Incidentally, Michael Platini, who was the first person to console Zico when he missed the penalty in the regulation time, would miss his spot-kick during the shoot-out, though his miss did not cost France the match. Zico retired from the national team after 1986 world cup with 71 matches and 48 goals to his credit. He was one of the finest footballers to have played the game, won many accolades, but, somehow, his “missed-penalty” in his last international match lingered for ever in the mind of football lovers across the globe. And now the Penalty's timeline :

Gabriel BATISTUTA with the Deportivo Italiano

In summer 1978 when Argentina won his domestic World Cup, Gabriel Omar Batistuta, a nine year old, living in a small city of Reconquista in the province of Santa Fe, dreamt of one day replicating the heroics of the likes of Mario Kempes, Daniel Passarella and Leopoldo Luque. In pursuit of his dreams Batistuta switched from basketball and started kicking a football on street corners. He was drafted into the Platense Junior team by a watchful scout. While at Platense, Batistuta broke into a bigger Reconquista team and went on to win the provincial championship against the youth team of the renowned Newell’s Old Boys, scoring two goals in the process. Impressed by his performance Newell’s Old Boys snapped him up. A year later, at the age of 19, Batistuta signed a professional contract with Newell’s. However, he experienced an unpleasant debut season and was loaned off to Deportivo Italiano of Buenos Aires. In february 1989 Batistuta and the Deportivo Italiano played the friendly tournoiment "Coppa Carnevale". The Argentine team was in the "death group" with Milan AC of Van Basten and the Napoli of Diego Maradona. With two 0-0 face of the italian monsters the Deportivo made a good impression and versus CSKA Sofia Gabriel Omar Batistuta scored a hat-trick for a 3-0 victory. Then when he went back to Argentina, Batistuta joined one of the titans of Argentine football – River Plate.
Diego and Batigol
Source : En Una Baldosa

La papinade de Bixente

19 Février 2000, Bixente LIZARAZU prouve à l'Europe entière qu'il va mieux. En Effet le basque faisait son retour la semaine précedente en Bundesliga après un repos forcé de 3 mois en raison d'un blessure. Et le champion du monde va soigner son retour sur les pelouse en inscrivant son premier but de la saison (son troisième en bundesliga). Face à Duisburg, suite à un coup franc tiré de la droite par Stefan Effenberg, Lizarazu démarqué aux 16 mètres, sur la gauche de la surface de réparation, réalise une volée digne de notre JPP national. Une toile d'araignée en mois, c'est parfait. Un lizarazu ravi qui déclarera après la rencontre : "c'est le plus beua but de ma carrière" et on le croit sans peine. Un but important pour le club bavarois car Duisburg venait juste de revenir au score 2-1 deux minutes auparavant. Finalement, Lizarazu et ses coéquipiers d'imposent 4-1 et maintiennent une avance confortable sur le Bayer Leverkusen. Mais ce but il est plus important uqel es chiffres tellement c'est un régal pour les yeux : 

Le secret de Bixente pour réaliser une telle volée ? L'entrainement et une nutrition saine comme le prouve cette pub deux ans auparavant : 

Roberto BAGGIO + Andrea PIRLO

In the 2000-01 season at Brescia, Roberto BAGGIO playing behind two strikers in the ‘trequartista’ role. This allowed the Italian coach to utilise Pirlo as a ‘Regista’, a role we often see him occupy today. In essence, the graceful central midfielder was a deep-lying playmaker who sat just in front of the central defenders with two ball winning midfielders either side of him. It turned out to be an inspired decision and one that ultimately had a long term influence on Pirlo’s career. Pirlo went on to make ten appearances for the Biancoazzurri, contributing five assists, his most notable of which coming against Juventus. The playmaker did what he does best, picking the ball up in his own half and floating a perfectly weighted pass over the Juve defence for Baggio, who majestically controlled the ball, rounded Edwin Van Der Sar and rolled the ball into the empty net to give Brescia a late equaliser at the Stadio Delle Alpi. This outsanding goal : 

Roberto BAGGIO : Top 20 Best Goals

Few players have contributed as much to the Italian and world game as Roberto Baggio. Sublimely gifted and fiercely driven with it, Il Divino Codino (The Divine Ponytail) enjoyed an exceptional career on both the domestic and international stage, a career he came agonisingly close to capping with the ultimate prize. Troubled throughout his playing days by recurring problems with his right knee, Baggio lacked nothing in courage in attempting to overcome his injury curse, and made up for a relative lack of stature with flawless technique and an instinctive ability to read the game. Though he spent his entire club career in Italy, starting with Vicenza in the third tier in 1982 and ending with Brescia - 204 Serie A goals later - in 2004, Baggio had legions of admirers around the world, among them current UEFA President Michel Platini, one of his predecessors as a lethal creator and taker of chances for Juventus. “Baggio is neither a typical No9, nor a typical No10," explained the Frenchman. "He’s more of a No9 and a half." Here it comes his Top 20 best goals :

Once Upon A Time Roberto BAGGIO

In 1989 Napoli Italian champions were playing Fiorentina at home. A young, thin, tiny looking player called Roberto Baggio with a shock of long curly black hair picked up the ball in his own half. He then seemed to move with it in a strange diagonal direction. As one defender came towards him, he shifted straight towards goal, and with a little skip over another defender's leg, breached the entire defence. Almu.i without needing to dribble, thanks to a remarkable sense of the space of the pitch, he was through on goal. There, as usual, he was cool enough to dribble past the goalie, get the ball caught up in his legs and still have time to slide it into an empty net. In his career, Baggio scored dozens of goals as good as this one, some of them just as good as Maradona's second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup. Baggio has also been the most prolific penalty taker in Italian football history, converting 86 per cent of his kicks. How odd, then, that he should be remembered above all for a penalty he missed, in the searing heat of the Pasadena stadium: the miss that decided the 1994 World Cup final.

Like many great players, Roberto Baggio has an unprepossessing physique; you would not notice him in a crowd. Yet, that anonymous build masks an elegance of touch and movement rarely seen on a football field. When Baggio scored his two-hundredth league goal in 2004 - after a trademark dribble and perfect side-foot - TV stations showed many of his past efforts. A very high percentage of his goals were items of sheer beauty chips, dribbles, free-kicks, volleys. In the 1990 World Cup he scored the goal of the tournament against Czechoslovakia after a run and delicate chip. Moreover, Baggio scored all these goals from a position that was not that of a pure forward very few were tap-ins or headers  and often for minor clubs - Brescia, Bologna, Fiorentina. Roberto Baggio was born to a well-to-do family in the Veneto rural town of Caldogno in February 1967. His first games were with Vicenza, the best local team, and it was there that he suffered the first of a series of terrible knee injuries that have plagued his career. Turning sharply (in May 1985) he twisted the cruciate ligaments in his right knee. Baggio did not play again properly for nearly two years, after re-injuring the same knee nine months later.

In the meantime he had been signed by Fiorentina. In Florence, he quickly became a hero, striking up a formidable partnership with striker Stefano Borgonovo.20 With Baggio, and Eriksson on the bench, Fiorentina qualified for Europe and got to the UEFA Cup final in 1990. Baggio started to unveil his whole repertoire of goals for the viola fans - the perfect free-kicks, the tight dribbles, the ability to stay cool under pressure. Against Milan, in the San Siro, he again took on the whole opposition defence, and scored. As a penalty-taker, Baggio often waited for the goalkeeper to move. He missed very few, fewer in fact than any other player in the history of Serie A. In 1990 news started to spread in the Renaissance town that Baggio had been signed by arch-rivals Juventus. Fiorentina had just lost the UEFA Cup final to Juvc after two violent games. Fans rioted, and the police were called, but it was too late. Baggio had gone, never to return. Baggio chose Juve at the wrong time. The team had just been re-founded under the 'modern' leadership of manager Gigi Maifredi, who had taken Bologna from Serie C to Serie A. Although 'the divine ponytail' scored regularly, the team did very badly, finishing a disastrous seventh. Nor did Baggio endear himself to the Juventus faithful by his loyalty to Fiorentina. In the Fiorentina-Juve match in April 1991, Juve won a penalty. Baggio refused to take it, and it was missed. He was then substituted, and on his way to the bench picked up and put on a Fiorentina scarf. Weeks of argument followed.

At the end of the season, Maifredi was sacked, and Juve returned to old favourite Trapattoni. Baggio continued to score hatfuls of goals, winning the UEFA Cup in 1993 and being made European Footballer of the Year. He became the key player for the national team, taking the team almost single-handedly to the 1994 final. But domestic honours eluded him. When Trapattoni was replaced by Marcello Lippi in 1995, Juve went on to win the championship, but the relationship between Baggio and his new manager disintegrated. He played a mere seventeen games in that championship-winning season (with eight goals), and moved to Milan the following year. Baggio's fame led to frequent arguments with many of the managers he played under, and he always railed against tactical instructions. Milan's fans (as with all Baggio's teams, apart perhaps from the juventini) loved Baggio, but once again he was marginalized by a succession of managers. He only turned out 51 times in two years for Milan, winning another championship. Desperate to get back into the national team, Baggio decided to move to a smaller club, Bologna.His best season followed: 22 goals and a call-up for the 1998 World by popular demand . In France, manager Cesare Maldini absurdly left him out of the key matches, although he was a hair's breadth from knocking out the eventual champions and hosts with a golden goal attempt. Back in Milan, this time with Inter, the old problems with Lippi re-emerged. Left on the bench, his talent seemed to be going to waste. By the end of the season, his relationship with Lippi had deteriorated so much that the two hardly spoke. He left his mark in his final game for Inter, a playoff for a Champions League place, where he scored two classic goals to give Inter victory. Baggio later criticized Lippi in the first of two highly successful autobiographies, writing that 'he is not my enemy. I simply have no respect for him, just as he has no respect for me.' For a time it seemed as if Lippi would even sue Baggio over this and other comments.

Once again, his career seemed over, but was revived by a small provincial club - Brescia. With Baggio in the team, Brescia reached the heights of seventh place and competed in Europe. In 2002, yet another knee injury seemed to have put paid to Baggio's romantic hopes of one last World Cup with Italy. A miraculous recovery, just 76 days after the injury (and with two goals in his comeback match), put pressure on Trapattoni to pick him, but the miracle did not happen, despite special websites and phone lines dedicated to the campaign: Baggio in nazionale! During the 2003-4 season, as he scored his two-hundredth league goal (and he had already reached 300 career goals), Baggio announced his retirement at the end of the season. As one of the very few players to transcend club loyalties, Baggio even has a club dedicated to him, which attracts fans from all kinds of teams. As a tribute to his popularity Trapattoni picked Baggio for one last friendly match for Italy, where a sell-out crowd applauded his every touch. Apart from his genius on the pitch, Baggio was different to so many of his fellow stars of the 1980s and 1990s. A shy, reflective family-man, he shunned the high living of stars like Vieri and Totti, with their model-and-media girlfriends and expensive night-club and yachting lifestyles. Baggio was a Buddhist in a Catholic country, and rarely displayed the histrionics so common at all levels of Serie A. He knew what he wanted, but he could also express emotions that seemed to have no place in the modern, cash-dominated game. When fellow Brescia player Vittorio Mero died in a car crash in January 2002, Baggio was instrumental in getting a game called off as a result (the players had heard of the accident just before kick-off). He later dedicated goals to Mero and continued to remind fans and players of the tragedy throughout the following season. His decision to play out his final seasons with lowly Brescia allowed him the space and security that he had rarely had in the rest of his career, and he created yet another set of loyal, almost fanatical Baggio-followers. Despite his vast talent, Baggio played only 56 times for Italy, scoring 27 goals (the fourth best, behind Piola, Meazza and Riva). His international career was cruelly restricted by his outspokenness and his resistance to rigid tactics. Had he played 100 times, as he surely should have done, he would have easily beaten Riva's goalscoring record for the national team.
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Who's the best striker ? INZAGHI vs TREZEGUET

Last night I asked this question on Twitter and Facebook : Who is the best striker between INZAGHI & TREZEGUET ?
And when I saw your answers it was nearly a perfect 50-50 %. So I decided to create a vote here (on the top of the sidebar-right) and to analyse the two strikers by the numbers. In green case the best ratio in each competition but it's very close.(Clic on the picture for a better quality)
Now you can vote and make your own choice 

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