Famalicão’s players are used to performing in front of crowds of 5,000 at a club that was languishing in Portugal’s local amateur leagues a decade ago. When they take the pitch at Benfica’s 65,000-capacity Estádio da Luz on Saturday it will complete a rapid rags-to-riches story made possible by funding from one of Israel’s richest men and his growing relationship with football’s most famous agent, Jorge Mendes. The Israeli is Ider Ofer, whose father is the shipping magnate Sammy Ofer and who has raised most of his estimated $5bn fortune through his shipping, drilling and mining businesses. After Ofer increased his stake in Atlético Madrid from 15% to 32% in February 2018 through his Guernsey-based holding company Quantum Pacific, he decided to expand his involvement in football. His first port of call was Mendes, who had helped in negotiations with Atlético’s then Chinese shareholders Wanda Group the previous year through his … [Read more...] about Rich and famous help Famalicão shake up Portuguese football
Retired football players
The NFL’s old guard is nearing the end. Advances in training, sleep science and nutrition – not to mention the expansion of the league’s passing rules – allow veteran quarterbacks to play into their late 30s and beyond, but time always wins, eventually. Peyton Manning was the first to go. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Peyton’s younger brother, Eli, will soon follow him. Below, we look at what the future holds for the four veterans. Eli Manning, New York Giants Age at start of 2020 season: 39 Admit it: you were excited when Eli started firing against the Eagles on Monday night. There’s nothing we enjoy more in sports than the last ride of an old gunslinger. Monday allowed us to dream of a final Manning season in 2020: he went 15/30 on the night, throwing for just over 200 yards and two touchdowns. And he did so with his signature panache: ducking and weaving in the pocket, delivering a no-no-no-yes pass with defenders draped all over him. … [Read more...] about Farewell Brady and Brees? The NFL quarterback retirement index
“Anger is an energy,” John Lydon famously sang on Public Image Limited’s ‘Rise’. The line has had a fair airing in the past week, used in attempts to sum up the on-stage essence of Keith Flint after The Prodigy frontman’s untimely passing. Flint himself frequently laughed off the perception that he was an angry man but this weekend, Bayern Munich took the phrase and showed themselves to be more than happy to embody it. By the time the clock ticked 17.21 in the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon, as an overwhelmed Wolfsburg team stood dazed on the turf having taken a thrashing that could easily have been worse, it was tricky to work out which scenario should have been the most obvious to us two hours beforehand. That Wolfsburg, who had never won in 21 previous visits to Bayern, were never going to change that? That Bayern’s relentless pace of late, seemingly reaching a familiar crescendo as they entered this match with 11 wins from their last … [Read more...] about Angry Bayern let it all out and nudge Dortmund off their throne
Die meister, die besten, les grandes equipes, the Getafe?! You can almost hear the needle scratch. It is 13 years since Mathieu Flamini played in a Champions League final but he might get the chance to play in the competition again. The man who helped find a way of turning waste into renewable energy has helped turn Getafe into one of the best teams on the continent. Just over a year after turning up for a trial, a 33-year-old biochemical pioneer released by Crystal Palace who hadn’t played football for six months, the former Arsenal midfielder could be returning to the biggest stage of all – and with the most unlikely of clubs. Just look at the league table. Now look again. Yes, that really is Getafe in a Champions League place. Not even the Zombie Porn got them this excited. The club that called upon Jesus Christ in jeans, a bodybuilding dwarf, a man laying an egg, a two-headed motorbike rider, Getafe Tinder, and a melancholic monster to try to fill their ground, a … [Read more...] about Getafe inch closer to making the unbelievable dream a reality
DAVID JAMES swapped his football boots for dancing shoes on Strictly Come Dancing 2019 but was booted off the show in week five. Here is what we know about the footie star. When was David James eliminated from Strictly? David James was the fourth celebrity to depart the show following a dance-off with Mike Bushell and Katya Jones. Craig Revel Horwood chose to save Mike and Katya, with him sayings: “Well for me both couples were pretty much technically equal but the couple who I’d like to save were the most confident performers and that was Mike And Katya.” Motsi Mabuse also picked Mike and Katya and said: “Well I felt that one couple gave me a better performance than I saw the first time so I’m going to save Mike and Katya.” Next to speak was Alfonso Ribeiro, who chose to save Mike and Katya.Alfonso said: “The couple who I’m going to save put on a great show. The technique wasn’t there but they came out and delivered a … [Read more...] about Who is David James, when was the Strictly star eliminated and is he married?