Jumat, 28 Agustus 2009

Jose Mourinho Under Fire From Islamic Leader Over Ramadan Criticisms

Jose Mourinho has come under fire once again after the head of the Union for the Communities and Organisations of Islam in Italy (UCOII), Mohamed Nour Dachan, slammed the Inter coach for his recent comments relating to Sulley Muntari and Ramadan.

The 'Special One' replaced the Ghana midfielder after 30 minutes following a poor showing on the pitch. Mourinho claimed Ramadan was having a negative influence on Muntari who practices Islam.

"Muntari had some problems related to Ramadan - perhaps with this heat it's not good for him to be doing this [fasting]," Mourinho told reporters after the game.

"Ramadan has not arrived at the ideal moment for a player to play a football match."

The comments have shocked the Islam world and have caused a considerable storm of criticism as the Portuguese coach finds himself caught up in another row.

"I think Mourinho should talk less," Dachan told La Repubblica.

"A player who practices Islam does not perform less on the pitch. We know that medicine in Sport and mental stability, and psychology make players perform well.

"A player who is Christian, Hebrew or Muslim will have a tranquil mind and will always perform better on the pitch."

Muslims fast between daylight hours during Ramadan, abstaining from food and drink from dawn until dusk.

This means Muntari would have had to play games in searing temperatures without adequate hydration. Experts claim sportsmen and women can suffer if they do not receive good hydration during hard physical exertion.

Goal.com caught up with leading personal trainer and nutritionist Giulio Scala who has worked alongside many professional sportsmen and women as well as elite athletes.

Scala claims fasting can have a big impact on the performance of players when on the pitch.

"A one per cent decrease in hydration can affect endurance by up to 20 per cent," Scala told Goal.com.

"Players performances will decrease due to dehydration as will aerobic capacity, strength and power.

"It would be worse during evening matches as the player would have gone up to 12 or more hours without any food. That means a decrease in energy and depleted glycogen levels.

"A player's capacity physically and mentally for him to work at his optimum for 90 minutes would be highly affected due to inadequate nutrition."

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Lionel Messi Wins European Club Footballer Of The Year Award

Lionel Messi is officially the best player in Europe, according to UEFA, who today named him as both the overall winner of the European Club Footballer of the Year award and as the Europea Club Forward of the Year for his exploits when his club, Barcelona, swept all before them.

The overall prize saw Messi shortlisted alongside the other three positional winners, who are revealed below, before he received the grand award.

The shortlists, as well as the final winners, were selected by sixteen of Europe's top coaches, namely those who led their sides to the First Knockout Round of last year's competition.

As expected, FC Barcelona dominated the nominations and ended up scooping two of the possible five accolades, while English sides such as Manchester United and Chelsea - not to mention Liverpool - were not far behind. Every single nominee came from one of these four clubs.

Here we offer a full examination of each winner, as well as a look at the players each one defeated to earn their prize (or, in the case of Messi, prizes.)

Winner: Lionel Messi

Shortlisted: Edwin van der Sar, John Terry, Xavi

After the four awards below were given out, the respective winners gathered to hear which player out of these four cardinal positions was judged to be Europe's best.

In the end, and to the surprise of few, Messi garnered the award.

The young Argentine was asked to select his crowning moment from a memorable year, but in particularly bashful fashion he offered this response:

"It's really difficult to pick just one. It was an unbelievable year which gave me so much happiness and success."

Winner: Lionel Messi

Shortlisted: Samuel Eto'o, Cristiano Ronaldo

The Argentine was up against some stiff competition for the best forward prize, in the shape of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who reached the final of the Champions League and won the Premier League with Manchester United, and his own former team-mate Samuel Eto'o, now in Italy at Inter.

All told, Messi hit nine Champions League goals last season, making him the most prolific player in the contest. He also provided five decisive assists for teammates.

Winner: Xavi

Shortlisted: Andres Iniesta, Steven Gerrard

Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez was also confirmed as UEFA's club midfielder of the year at today's Champions League draw in Moncao, having beaten off competition from club colleague Andres Iniesta and Liverpool's talismanic skipper Steven Gerrard.

The Spaniard was a part of the smooth-passing, aesthetically pleasing Blaugrana side who attracted plenty of praise from neutrals as they collected an astonishing treble of trophies, with their European win supplementing victories in the Copa del Rey and La Liga.


Winner: John Terry
Shortlisted: Gerard Pique, Nemanja Vidic

Chelsea defender John Terry was earlier named as UEFA's club defender of the year, having emerged as the best from a trio of top contenders which was completed by Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic and Barcelona's Gerard Pique.

The lion-hearted Englishman was superb last season as the Blues won the FA Cup, once again showing all the leadership and commitment of a player who has now picked up this award three times.

"I think just to train hard every day, that's something I try and do myself," he revealed. "Especially for myself, not to get my hands on that trophy (the Champions League) is enough motivation for me. And that's something I'm aiming to do, to lift that trophy with Chelsea Football Club."


Winner: Edwin van der Sar
Shortlisted: Victor Valdes, Petr Cech

Edwin van der Sar was today confirmed as UEFA's official club goalkeeper of the year, having been named as the continent's top glovesman ahead of the draw for the Champions League today in Monaco.

The Manchester United keeper fought off a challenge from Chelsea's Petr Cech, the winner of the award last year, and Barcelona's Victor Valdes, who of course won a treble with the Catalans last season.

Van der Sar enjoyed something of a renaissance last season, defying the critics who felt that he was too old at 38 to keep his place at Old Trafford to set a clutch of clean sheet records.

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Kaka Bertemu Milan Di Liga Champions

Drawing Liga Champions menghadirkan pertarungan seru di Grup C. Dibandingkan grup lainnya, Grup C bakal menghadirkan persaingan sengit, karena terdiri dari Real Madrid, AC Milan, dan Marseille. Satu tim lainnya adalah klub asal Swiss, FC Zurich.

Kendati demikian, pertarungan seru juga akan terjadi di Grup F, dimana Barcelona menghadapi Inter Milan. Dengan demikian, Zlatan Ibrahimovic yang kini berseragam Barca dipastikan melawan mantan klubnya, Inter. Sebaliknya, Samuel Eto'o yang memperkuat Inter akan menghadapi mantan klubnya juga, Barca.

Finalis musim lalu, Manchester United [MU] berada di Grup B yang relatif tidak terlalu kuat persaingannya. Setan Merah bergabung dengan CSKA Moskow, Besiktas dan VfL Wolfsburg.

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