Tag Archives: Karim Benzema

Ribery and Benzema face new prostitution related charges in France

By Kevin Koczwara

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything about Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema’s alleged solicitation of a prostitute when she was just 16 years old. In 2010 the news broke ahead of the World Cup in South Africa that the two players — two very important players for the French National Team —  had both had sexual relations with Zahia Dehar, who was 16 at the time of the transgression — she was 18 when she told press and police. The two players apparently didn’t know her age and Dehar backed them up on this in the reports.

We all seemed to have forgotten this news, but like most things involving professional athletes, stories never die. Now this one won’t go away. It looks like Ribery and Benzema — two players who took part in Euro2012 for France — are likely to face new charges related to their solicitation of sex.

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Notes from a spaced out soccer fan, Feb. 22

By Jonathan Gold

(Note: I have officially banned myself from writing about Arsenal – Orient on the advice of my physician. I have absolutely nothing to say about a team that can go toe-to-toe with the best in the world one day and then draw with Leyton goddamn Orient, or why so many good players at Arsenal are out of form or…takes drugs)

Aah, fine. Away we go.

SPAIN

The mighty Sid Lowe over at the Guardian thinks the goal scored by goalkeeper (!) Dani Aranzubia to rescue a point for incredibly dull relegation candidates Deportivo is the biggest story of the La Liga weekend, and he might be right. It was the first scored by a goalkeeper from open play in the history of the league, after all. Personally, I like his name enough that I’ve been going around saying “Arrrranzubia!” to friends and co-workers and that’s the extent my my interest in the matter. Hats off to him, though, big goal.

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Barcelona Thrash Real Madrid to Take Top Spot in La Liga

The Catalonians weren't disappointed at the Camp Nou with Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid. (Courtesy Aldas Kirvaitis)

By Kevin Koczwara

El Clasico was billed as the Messi and Ronaldo show, but we (the media) should have known games aren’t decided by two players on opposite sides. Nope. Games are decided by teams and the individuals on those teams. Barcelona’s 11 men were superior, far better, than Real Madrid’s. The 5-0 win for the Catalans was as easy as that.

Madrid couldn’t handle Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the middle of the Barcelona midfield, and most teams can’t. The two World Cup winners control tempo, don’t give up the ball and eliminate opposing teams attacking players by not allowing them to ever touch the ball. Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil were lucky to touch the ball in the first half. The only chances for Madrid came when Angel di Maria smashed a shot directly at Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and at the end of the half when Ronaldo took one of his two free kicks and missed just wide of Valdes’ post. Other than that, it was a forgettable night for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Mourinho and company came into the Camp Nou with a one point lead over Barcelona in the table, and now, they leave with a two-point deficit and a big time humbling.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading

ESPN Soccernet – Serbia hits rock bottom

Serbian hooligans force Italy, Serbia Euro 2012 Qualifier to be cancelled. The disturbances and violence lasted throughout the day.

ESPN Soccernet Blogs Do Sparsely Supported Teams Deserve Their Place in the Premier League ?

Interesting question, but a really simple answer – yes.

The Guardian – Which clubs’ fans have unlikely friendships with their rivals?

A list you won’t find Celtic and Rangers on.

The Herald (Scotland) – The absence of Scott Brown raises some big questions for Celtic

With Celtic midfielder and captain, Scott Brown, out for around 10 weeks, questions are aroused about the club’s talent.

Zonal Marking – Ireland 2-3 Russia: Irish outpassed & outclassed

The Boys in Green dropped their Euro 2012 Qualifier to a Russia team that outplayed them for more than 90 minutes.

Zonal Marking – The tall tale of Peter Crouch’s aerial abilities

Pundits and coaches alike say that Crouch is a better player with his feet than his head, but the stats tell a different story.

Sky Sports – Henry – We’re here to win

New England Sports Venture and its chief owner, John Henry, finally completed the takeover of Liverpool, and he has already stated his intentions to win.

The Independent – Robinho: ‘I would never protest against being on the bench’

But do I believe the talented Brazilian forward? No. He knows he is too good of a player to be watching from the sidelines.

The Independent – Mourinho rules out January spending

This can’t be true. Mourinho will be looking to wheel and deal some underachieving players (Karim Benzema for sure) for players that fit his team’s style and mold.

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French Need a Revolution

Courtesy Wikicommons Safia Otokoré

By Joe Meloni

It’s odd, at the moment, to think Raymond Domenech was a Zinedine Zidane temper tantrum away from perhaps leading France to a World Cup championship four years ago.

Since the latest installment of the World Cup began 10 days ago, absolutely nothing has gone right for France, and it’s easy to pin the lame-duck Domenech as the guilty party. Piecing together a list of his poor decisions in France’s games thus far isn’t as difficult as, say, finding any good choices he made. Not selecting Karim Benzema or Samir Nasri for a team in desperate need of creativity with the ball or choosing not to play Thierry Henry or Yoann Gourcuff in a game his team would lose, 2-0, stand as some of the most obvious complaints supporters of Les Bleus have of the flighty manager.

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FA Should Punish Sir Alex

Sir Alex has been on the war path lately. He has not been holding his tongue about his true feelings towards referees lately. And maybe the FA should step in, for once. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

Sir Alex has been on the war path lately. He has not been holding his tongue about his true feelings towards referees lately. And maybe the FA should step in, for once. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

By Kevin Koczwara

Am I the only one confused to as how Sir Alex Ferguson can get away with criticizing referees time and again while other managers in England get suspended for their comments? Sir Alex is going to be penalized for his comments about referee Alan Wiley. At times Sir Alex sounds like a high school student criticizing a referee from the stands during his school’s football game.

The FA (England’s ruling body on all thing football and its rules) clearly states:

“Post-match comments in relation to Match Officials and incidents are still permitted provided they are not personal in their nature, imply bias or attack the integrity of the Officials in charge of the match, or in any other respect bring the game into disrepute.”

Ferguson’s comments seem to fit into this domain. He is brash and at times too critical of the officiating in matches. I wish he would accept that Manchester United will lose games, and when they do, it isn’t always a referee’s fault.

And Ferguson has stepped over the line yet again–even as he is awaiting a ban– after the Liverpool match this past weekend. He has commented yet again on a referee’s missed or controversial calls, and this time shouldn’t expect a ban because the FA will probably lump the two into one ban, and Sir Alex will get off easier than he would if the FA would take the two comments as two separate incidents. Or the FA will ignore the comments.

The FA ignores Sir Alex because football in England isn’t the same if Sir Alex isn’t roaming the sidelines, he is a star, a nemesis and an icon when he is around a game. And the FA doesn’t want to risk not having him there for the publicity.

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