25 Şubat 2008 Pazartesi

Lilian Thuram

Lilian Thuram (born Ruddy, Lilian Thuram-Ulien,
January 1 1972 in Pointe-Ã -Pitre, Guadeloupe) is
a France|French soccer|football player. With the
France national football team|French national
team, Thuram won Wc|1998 and Ec2|2000. He is
currently considered one of the best defender
(football)|defenders in the world.

Thuram's soccer career began with AS Monaco
FC|Monaco of the French Ligue 1 in 1991. Later
stops included Parma A.C.|Parma (1996-2001) and
Juventus - his current club - in Italian Serie A.
Thuram has won the scudetto three times with

For France, Thuram has been capped 103 times (as
of the end of 2004) and scored two goals.
Amazingly, both of those goals came in one game --
the 1998 World Cup semifinal against Croatia
national football team|Croatia, as France won 2-1
to advance to the final. He also played in the
Wc|2002, Ec|96, and Ec2|2004. After a brief
retirement, he accepts to be back in the French
team on August 7th, 2005.

Thuram was named by Pelé as one of the FIFA
100|top 125 greatest living footballers in March

*AS Monaco FC (1991-1996)
**French Cup 1990/91
*Parma A.C.|Parma (1996-2001)
**UEFA Cup 1998/99
**Coppa Italia|Italian Cup championships 1998/99
**Italian SuperCup 1998/99
*Juventus (2001/02- )
**Serie A Championships: 2001/02 2002/03 2004/05
**Italian SuperCup 2002 2003
*France national football team|France national
**Football World Cup|World Cup appearances: 1998
**European Football Championship|European
Championship appearances: 1996 2000 2004

John Terry

John Terry (born December 7, 1980 in Barking) is a
English professional football (soccer)|football
player. He was born in Barking, East London|East
London and went to Eastbury Comprehensive School.

Before being spotted by Chelsea, he played for
Sunday League Team Senrab FC. This team featured
many future stars including Terry himself, Bobby
Zamora, Paul Konchesky, Ledley King and J Lloyd

Terry is a strong, hard-tackling centre back, and
currently, captain, for Chelsea F.C. in the
English Premier League. He came up through the
Chelsea youth system, playing for the club's Youth
and Reserve teams before making his Chelsea debut
in October 1998.

There were strong calls for him to make the full
squad for the 2002 World Cup, his international
chances were ruined after an incident involving a
bouncer at the Wellington Club in Knightsbridge.
Terry, along with team-mate Jody Morris and
Wimbledon F.C.|Wimbledon defender Des Byrne, were
charged with affray. Terry was banned from playing
for England at all levels until the case was
settled. The player was cleared of all charges in
August 2002.

In season 2003/04, his strong, committed and
inspiring displays led to him being handed the
captain's armband by manager Claudio Ranieri when
Marcel Desailly was out of the side. He played
very well in the absence of the French legend,
establishing himself as a genuine contender for a
first team slot.

Terry is now a regular on the England national
football team|England national team, having earned
16 caps, making his debut in June 2003 against
Serbia and Montenegro national football
team|Serbia and Montenegro. He played for his
country at Ec2|2004. He has been the heart of the
Chelsea defense that has been the most
well-marshalled in Football league history in the
2004/5 season, conceding only 14 goals. In that
same season he was voted PFA Player of the Year by
his peers. In 2005 Terry was voted best defender
of the UEFA Champions League tournament of

Early in his career Terry was involved in numerous
unsavoury off the pitch incidents, but he is now
praised as a model professional. Along with Frank
Lampard, Claude Makélélé Eidur Gudjhonson and
Petr Cech, he is regarded as a part of the "spine"
of the Chelsea team. He is especially popular with
Chelsea fans, as he is a Londoner who came though
the club's youth system. He wears the number 26
shirt at Chelsea.

He currently lives in Surrey with his girlfriend,
Toni Poole.

His older brother Paul Terry|footballer, is also a
professional footballer. He currently plays for
Yeovil Town FC.

Gary Speed

Gary Speed (born September 8, 1969 in Mancot) is a
Wales|Welsh football (soccer)|footballer, who
plays in midfielder|midfield. He currently plays
for Bolton Wanderers F.C., after a £750,000
switch from Newcastle United F.C. in July 2004. He
was also captain for the Wales national football
team|Welsh national team until recently, where he
retired from international football after the
side's 3-2 defeat to Poland national football
team|Poland in a Football World Cup 2006|World Cup

Speed began his career with Leeds United F.C.,
winning the title with them in 1992. He moved to
Everton F.C. in 1996, for a fee of £5,500,000. He
then moved to Newcastle in 1998, and while there
he became the club's most dependable midfielder.
Newcastle's manager, Sir Bobby Robson, was sorry
to see Speed leave the club, and acknowledged that
he would do very well for Bolton.

He had been capped for Wales over 80 times, and
holds the record for the most FA Premier
League|Premiership appearances. Besides being a
strong tackler, Speed is noted for skill in set
pieces, often scoring from them.

After his retirement from international football,
he was recommended to take up the mantle of Wales'
manager, by both the former manager Mark Hughes
and fellow Welsh midfielder Robbie Savage.
Bolton's manager Sam Allardyce has urged Speed to
see out the rest of his 2 year contract with
Bolton first. For his part, Speed has stated he
will not apply for the position but would talk to
the Football Association of Wales|Welsh FA if

Jean Tigana

ean Tigana (b. 23 June 1955, Bamako, Mali) has
played in midfield and managed professional
football (soccer)|football extensively throughout
France, including 52 appearances and 1 goal for
the France national football team during the 80s.
Most recently, he took Fulham F.C.|Fulham of
London from Football League Division One to the
English Premiership, and later the UEFA Cup (via
the Intertoto Cup), but was sacked in March 2003.
The club later took him to court, claiming he had
wrongly overpaid for certain players such as Steve
Marlet, but the charges were dropped.

Francesco Totti

Francesco Totti (born 27 September 1976 in Rome)
is an Italy|Italian soccer|football player, who
currently plays for A.S. Roma|AS Roma in Serie A
and the Italy national football team|Italian
national team. A creator as well as a scorer of
goals - not least from free kicks - Francesco
Totti can operate from a variety of attacking
positions but it is in the free role behind the
strikers that his skill and technique are best

Totti was born in Rome, in the San Giovanni
section of the city. His parents are Enzo and
Fiorella Totti. Totti played football throughout
his childhood. He first joined the junior team for
AS Roma in 1989.

==National team==

Hugely talented as a teenager, Totti scored in
Italy's 4-1 defeat by Spain national football
team|Spain in the final of the UEFA European
Under-18 Championship in July 1995. In the final
of the Under-21 competition in 1996, Totti opening
the scoring in a 1-1 draw against the Spanish
before triumphing on penalties.
Totti made his senior Azzurri debut in the Euro
2000 qualifying victory against Switzerland
national football team|Switzerland on 10 October
1998. He played in the finals tournament and
scored against Romania national football
team|Romania and Belgium national football
team|Belgium and played in the finals, losing to
France. More disappointment followed at the
Football World Cup 2002|2002 World Cup, with Totti
failing to make a significant impact and then
being sent off as Italy lost to the South Korea
national football team|Korean Republic in the
second round.

At Euro 2004, Totti garnered negative media
attention when he spat at Christian Poulsen, a
midfielder for Denmark national football
team|Denmark who had marked him for the whole
match. Totti was subsequently banned until the
semi-finals, but did not play in the tournament
again, as Italy failed to qualify for the next

Totti was just 16 when he made his first
appearance for AS Roma in a 2-0 away victory at
Brescia Calcio on March 28, 1993. He scored four
goals in 21 outings in 1994/95 and over the
ensuing seasons became a team regular. He was
named Italy's Player of the Year in 2000. The
following season (2000/1) he helped AS Roma secure
their first league title since 1983, having scored
13 Serie A goals. Unhappily, in the 2001/02
campaign Roma finished runners-up to Juventus, but
Totti returned with a personal-best of 14 goals
during the 2002/3 season.

2003/04: Playing in a more advanced role, Totti
hit a career-high 20 goals as Roma finished second
in Serie A.

2004/2005 : A very disappointing season, with Roma
almost being relegated.

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira (born June 23, 1976 in Dakar,
Senegal) is a France|French football
(soccer)|football midfielder, who currently plays
for Juventus. He captained Arsenal F.C.|Arsenal
and won the Football World Cup|World Cup with
France national football team|France in Football
World Cup 1998|1998.

Born in Senegal in the Cape Verde|Cape Verdian
community, Vieira's family moved to Paris when he
was aged 8; he did not return to Senegal until
2003. Vieira first played for AS Cannes, where he
made his debut at the age of 17 and captained the
team aged only 19. Soon after that, in the summer
of 1995, he was snapped up by Italy|Italian giants
AC Milan, though he mainly stayed in the reserves
and only made two appearances for the first team.

In September 1996, the incoming Arsenal coach
Arsène Wenger asked for him to be bought from AC
Milan before he took up his position. Vieira's
height, stamina and physical strength meant he
settled in England quickly, while his composure
and the quality of his passing meant he became an
integral part of Wenger's stylish attacking side.
While at Arsenal, he made his debut for the France
national football team|French national side, in
1997 against the Netherlands national football

Forming a midfield partnership with compatriot
Emmanuel Petit, Vieira won the Premiership and FA
Cup the Double|Double in 1998, his first full
season at the club. That summer, he was called up
to France's Football World Cup 1998|1998 World Cup
squad. Vieira came on as a substitute for Youri
Djorkaeff in the final against Brazil national
football team|Brazil, and set up Petit for
France's third goal in a 3-0 win.

Vieira's time at Arsenal was beset by disciplinary
problems - in FA Premier League 2000-01|2000-01 he
was sent off twice in two consecutive matches,
though after returning he didn't accrue a card for
28 matches. In all he has been sent off ten times
in his career (nine for Arsenal, once for France).

Vieira would go on to win 2000 European Football
Championship|Euro 2000 with France, as well as a
second Double with Arsenal in 2002. After Tony
Adams (footballer)|Tony Adams's retirement in
2002, Vieira (already vice-captain) became club
captain, since which his temper and associated
disciplinary problems cooled somewhat. Though he
missed Arsenal's 2003 FA Cup final win with
injury, Vieira lifted the trophy jointly with
captain for the day David Seaman.

In FA Premier League 2003-04|2003-04 at Arsenal,
he captained the side on a historic unbeaten
season in the FA Premier League|Premier League,
and in the 2005 FA Cup Final he scored the winning
kick in a penalty shootout (football)|penalty
shoot-out after a 0-0 draw with Manchester United
F.C.|Manchester United. In total, Vieira played
407 times for Arsenal and scored 33 times. For
France, Vieira has appeared 79 times, scoring four
goals as of July 2005.

Vieira's starring performances for Arsenal earned
the attention of several major clubs abroad. In
the 2003 and 2004 offseasons, he was strongly
linked with a move to Spain|Spanish superpower
Real Madrid. The Spanish side reportedly offered
Arsenal £23 million for him, which Arsenal had
agreed to, but after much deliberation Vieira
decided to stay at the club where he made his
name. However, a year later Vieira was finally
tempted away from Highbury. Arsenal accepted a bid
of �20m (£13.7m) from Italian giants Juventus
on July 14, 2005, and Vieira agreed a five-year
contract with the Serie A side the following day.

*AS Cannes (1993-1995)
*A.C. Milan (1995-1996)
*Arsenal F.C. (1996-2005)
*Juventus (2005)-
*France national football team|French national
team (since January 1997)

*FIFA Football World Cup|World Cup
**Appearances: 1998 2002
**Winner: Football World Cup 1998|World Cup 1998
*European Football Championship|European
**Appearances: 2000 2004
**Winner: 2000 European Football Championship|Euro
*English FA Premier League|Premiership titles (3)
: 1998 2002 2004
*English FA Cup (4) : 1998 2002 2003 2005
*Selected to FIFA 100: 2004
*Carlsberg Player of the Year : 2004

Mark Viduka

Mark Viduka (born October 9, 1975 in Melbourne) is
an Australian football (soccer) striker of
Croatian descent. He currently plays for
Middlesbrough F.C.|Middlesbrough in the FA Premier
League|English Premier League, and has also played
for Dinamo Zagreb|Croatia Zagreb, Celtic
F.C.|Celtic and Leeds United F.C.|Leeds.

Viduka started his career in Australia with
Melbourne Knights|Melbourne Croatia (Knights) in
1994, and he also became an Australia national
football team|Australian international the same
year. In 1995 he moved to Croatia to play with
Dinamo Zagreb|Croatia Zagreb, where he stayed for
three years and made an appearance in the UEFA

Celtic bought him in December 1998 for £3.5
million. He was voted Scottish Premier League
Player of the Year after scoring 27 goals in his
first full season at Celtic Park|Parkhead. He was
regarded as a skilled player, able to hold the
ball up well and bring other players into the

The Leeds United manager David O'Leary swooped for
Viduka just before the 1999/2000 season after
tracking the big Aussie striker for some time.
Leeds paid Celtic £6 million, after Viduka told
the Scottish club he wanted a bigger challenge

At Leeds he was expected to line up in a
three-pronged attack alongside fellow Aussie Harry
Kewell and Michael Bridges, but injuries to those
two saw him form a partnership with Alan Smith in
Leeds UEFA Champions League matches, while Robbie
Keane also benefited in their Premiership matches
together. In his first Elland Road season, Viduka
scored 22 goals, and - committed to Leeds - he
signed a new five-year deal in the summer of 2001.

In the 2002/03 campaign Viduka scored another 22
goals, forming a good partnership with Smith and
thriving off Kewell's passing ability.

However, Leeds' off-pitch financial troubles
prompted the club to sell key players, including
Kewell (sold to Liverpool F.C.|Liverpool) and
Keane (sold to Tottenham Hotspur F.C.|Spurs). This
prompted speculation that Viduka would join the
Leeds exodus with FC Barcelona|Barcelona (Spanish
Primera Liga) confirming their interest in the
Australian international along with Premiership
clubs Liverpool and Manchester United
F.C.|Manchester United.

With the relegation of Leeds United to the
Football League Championship, the sale of Viduka's
contract during the summer of 2004 became all but
inevitable. On 8 July, Viduka's transfer to
Middlesbrough F.C.|Middlesbrough was completed.

Viduka's debut season at Boro was initially
impressive but then tarnished by injuries and he
will be hoping that he makes more regular
appearances in 2005/2006 although the club has
augmented its striking options by signing Yakubu
from Portsmouth F.C.|Portsmouth.

Shaun Wright-Phillips

Shaun Wright-Phillips (born 25 October 1981 in
London) is an England|English football
(soccer)|association football player. He is the
adopted son of famous player Ian Wright, and
brother to fellow player Bradley Wright-Phillips
and upcoming youth player Bret Wright-Phillips. He
currently plays for Chelsea F.C..

Released by Nottingham Forest F.C.|Nottingham
Forest at the age of 15 for being "too
small" Manchester City F.C. took him to Maine
Road. He later made his debut at Port Vale
F.C.|Port Vale and went on to become a regular
starter in the Premiership. His determination and
courage make him one of the most exciting players
to emerge from the English Academy in years.

He scored an impressive goal on his England
national football team|England debut against
Ukraine national football team|Ukraine on 18
August 2004, after coming on as a substitute, and
made his first start for England on February 9
2004 against Netherlands national football
team|the Netherlands. On 17 November, he became
one of the main targets of Racism|racist chants
from the crowd at an international "friendly"
between England and Spain national football
team|Spain in Madrid. However, he brushed that
aside with an incredible match-winning performance
in his next Manchester City game at Portsmouth
F.C.|Portsmouth, saying to reporters after the
game, "I just let the football do the talking."

He also has a similar response regarding his
father, saying in an interview with
manchesteronline.co.uk: "The press brought up my
adopted father's name. They relate to his name and
that is fine by me - it comes with the name, but I
will be my own man. I have made my own path and
started to take my own steps."

The England winger completed his £21million move
to Stamford Bridge on 17 July to join the Barclays
Premiership champions and return to his native

Wright-Phillips joins Chelsea on a five-year
contract after agreeing personal terms and passing
a medical.

Aiyegbeni Yakubu

Aiyegbeni Yakubu (born November 22, 1982 in Benin
City, Nigeria) is a Nigeria|Nigerian football
(soccer) player, who currently plays for
Middlesbrough F.C. He weighs 81 kg and is 1.85
meters in height.

A striker, Yakubu started his career at Israeli
team Maccabi Haifa F.C., where he won two
championships and had a phenomanal scoring record
both in the domestic and international
competitions - breaking serveral club records.
After scoring 7 goals in 8 European Cup
appearances (including a hat-trick against
Olympiakos) in the 2002/03 season UEFA Champions
League, Yakubu moved to English club Portsmouth
F.C. on January 2003.

His goals helped fire Portsmouth to the Division
One (now Football League Championship) title,
scoring at a rate of one goal every two games.

During the club's debut FA Premier
League|Premiership season, during which they
finished 13th, he scored 19 times in 40 starts, a
massive return for a striker at a small club.
During the summer of 2004 several other
Premiership teams were interested in purchasing
Yakubu for upto £10 million, but he chose to stay
and help consolidate the club's Premiership

He has been capped several times for Nigeria
national football team|Nigeria, and is a regular
in the national team.

After the 2004-05 season, he transferred from
Pompey to Middlesbrough F.C.|Boro for a £7
million fee.

== Career Data ==

* Maccabi Haifa Youth team (1999)
* Hapoel Kfar Saba (2000)
** A second division club, played on loan
* Maccabi Haifa (2001 - 2003)
** 24 domestic league goals in 50 appearances
** 8 domestic cup goals in 9 appearances
** 7 domestic European Cup goals in 11 appearances
* Portsmouth F.C. (2003 - 2005)
** 19 Premier League goals in 40 appearances
* Middlesbrough F.C. (2005 - )

Mikael Silvestre

Mikael Silvestre (born August 9,1977 in
Chambray-Les-Tours) is a France|French football
(soccer)|footballer, playing as a Defender
(football)|defender. He currently plays for
Manchester United F.C., as well as France national
football team|France internationally.

He began his career with the France|French club
Stade Rennais FC|Rennes in the 1995/96 season. His
time at the club helped build his reputation, and
in the 1997/98 season was signed by
Internazionale|Inter Milan. He made 18 league
appearances for Inter, as well as 6 European Cup
games. Silvestre signed for Manchester United F.C.
on September 10, 1999 for £3,500,000.

Silvestre is adept as both a centre-back and a
full-back, though he has stated that he prefers
playing in the centre. His first season at Man Utd
wasn't exceptional; replacing an injured Ronny
Johnsen in the centre with Jaap Stam; but he has
since improved and is now a regular first team
member, being called up for France's national
squad frequently. He received criticism for his
performance in Euro 2004, where he gave away
penalties to both England national football
team|England and Croatia national football
team|Croatia, before France were knocked out by
Greece national football team|Greece in the

Silvestre's most positive attribute is his pace,
and he often sets up scoring opportunities. He is
also noted for his crossing and tackling
abilities, though he isn't as adept at marking
opposition strikers.

Dino Zoff

Dino Zoff (born February 28, 1942 in Mariano del
Friuli, Italy) is an Italian legendary football
(soccer)|football goalkeeper and the oldest ever
winner of the Football World Cup|World Cup as a
captain of the Italy national football
team|Italian national team in Spain in the
Wc|1982. With 112 caps, Zoff is second only to
Paolo Maldini in number of appearances for the

Zoff spent most of his career at Juventus. He
holds the record for the longest stretch (1142
minutes) without allowing any goals.

After his retirement as a player, Zoff went into
coaching. He coached Italy to a second-place
finish in Ec2|2000. In 2005, he was named the
coach of ACF Fiorentina|Fiorentina after
previously coaching Juventus and S.S. Lazio|Lazio,
on three occasions. But after saving the team from
relegation on the last day of the seasion, Zoff
was let go.

* 1961 - 1963 Udinese Calcio|Udinese
* 1963 - 1967 A.C. Mantova|Mantova
* 1967 - 1972 SSC Napoli|Napoli
* 1972 - 1983 Juventus

Club honors
* 1973 Serie A
* 1975 Serie A
* 1977 Serie A
* 1977 UEFA Cup
* 1978 Serie A
* 1979 Coppa Italia|Italian Cup
* 1981 Serie A
* 1982 Serie A
* 1983 Coppa Italia|Italian Cup

International appearances
* 1968 to 1982 for Italy national football
team|Italy (112 appearances in all, 59 as captain)
* 3 Football World Cup|World Cup Finals

International honors
* 1968 European Football Championship|1968
European Championship
* Football World Cup 1982|1982 World Cup

Teams coached
* 1988 - 1990 Juventus
* 1990 - 1994 S.S. Lazio|Lazio
* 1997 S.S. Lazio|Lazio
* 1998 - 2000 Italy national football team|Italy
* 2001 S.S. Lazio|Lazio
* 2005 ACF Fiorentina|Fiorentina

Coaching honors
* 1990 Coppa Italia|Italian Cup
* 1990 UEFA Cup

Claudio Taffarel

Cláudio André Mergen Taffarel (born May 8, 1966
in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul|Santa Rosa,
Brazil) is a former football (soccer) goalkeeper,
who backstopped Brazil national football
team|Brazil to victory at the Football World Cup
1994|1994 World Cup.

On the club level, Taffarel played for Sport Club
Internacional|Internacional (1984-90), Parma
A.C.|Parma (1990-93 and 2001-02), A.C.
Reggiana|Reggiana (1993-94), Clube Atlético
Mineiro|Atlético Mineiro (1994-97), and
Galatasaray (1998-2001). For the Brazilian
national team, Taffarel is the highest-cap
goalkeeper in its history, with 101 appearances.
Other than the 1994 triumph, he also played in the
Football World Cup 1990|1990 and Football World
Cup 1998|1998 World Cup tournaments.

He had a key role in Galatasary's UEFA Cup triumph
in 2000, he was made the man of the match in the

Andriy Shevchenko

Andriy Shevchenko
#1086; (Ukrainian language|Ukrainian) - Andriy
Mykolayovych Shevchenko, nicknamed "Sheva", born
September 29, 1976 in Dvirkivschyna, near
Kiev|Kyiv) is a Ukraine|Ukrainian soccer|football
player who is a striker for A.C. Milan and the
Ukraine national football team|Ukrainian national
team. Shevchenko started off his career with
Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv, where under the
guidance of Valeri Lobanovsky he flourished into
one of the team's most prominent and skillful

In 1999 he joined Italian side A.C. Milan for $26
million and has been one of their key players.
Since he moved to Italy, he has won the Serie A
scoring title twice, in 1999-2000, and 2003-2004.

In 2003, Shevchenko scored the winning Penalty
shootout (football)|penalty in UEFA Champions
League|Champions League final against Juventus,
giving A.C. Milan the title. Two years later, his
penalty was saved by Jerzy Dudek to hand the title
to Liverpool F.C.|Liverpool (the English side had
one kick left).

In December of 2004 Shevchenko was named the
European Footballer of the Year. He was also named
by Pelé as one of the FIFA 100|top 125 greatest
living footballers in March 2004.

During the summer of 2004, Roman Abramovich, the
owner of Chelsea F.C.|Chelsea, offered a record
sum of 50 million Euro and striker Hernan Crespo
to A.C. Milan in exchange for Andriy. Milan
refused but took Crespo on loan.

After that, the determined Abramovich offered
another record sum of 85 million Euros to AC Milan
and another record weekly wage of 225.000 Euros to
transfer him to Chelsea, but was again refused.

Teddy Sheringham

Edward 'Teddy' Sheringham (born April 2, 1966 in
Walthamstow, London, United Kingdom|UK) is an
English football (soccer)|footballer. He plays as
a striker, and has had a successful career at both
club and international level.

==Club career==
Sheringham began his professional career at
Millwall F.C.|Millwall in 1982 at the age of
sixteen, after impressing a scout when playing for
the small club Leyton & Ilford during a Youth Team
game against Millwall.

He was signed up, initially as an apprentice, and
scored on only his second appearance for the club
in a match away at AFC Bournemouth|Bournemouth in
January 1984. After being loaned out by the club
twice in 1985, to Aldershot F.C.|Aldershot and
later a Sweden|Swedish side, Djurgårdens IF
Fotboll|Djurgårdens, on his return he quickly
became a first choice selection at Millwall, and
during the late 1980s formed a famous striking
partnership with Tony Cascarino. He was the club's
top goalscorer in four different seasons (1986-87,
1987-88, 1988-89 and 1990-91) and played in every
single game of the season for them twice, in
1986-87 and 1990-91.

The 1987-1988|88 season saw the club promoted to
the Football League First Division|First Division,
then the highest tier of English league football,
for the first time. Many had predicted that
Millwall would not survive their first season in
the top flight and would be relegated back to the
Football League Second Division|Second Division in
their first season, but the goals of Sheringham
and Cascarino helped them to finish in a
surprising 10th position. However, it was not to
last, as the following season Millwall were indeed
relegated, finishing bottom of the Division and
returning to the second flight.

The club had an opportunity to bounce straight
back up at the end of the 1990-1991|91 season,
reaching the semi-finals of the Division Two
play-offs, but they were beaten by Brighton & Hove
Albion F.C.|Brighton & Hove Albion and thus
remained in the Division.

===Nottingham Forest===
Sheringham was by now in his mid-twenties and
although loyal to Millwall, not keen to linger
outside of the highest tier of football for long.
Salvation came in the form of a transfer to
Nottingham Forest F.C.|Nottingham Forest, then one
of the major clubs in the country, for a then
record fee of £2 million in July 1991. However,
after two years at the club he found himself a
victim of the pain of relegation for the second
time, as Forest went down at the end of the
inaugural Premier League season in 1992-93.

===Tottenham Hotspur===
He had impressed many with his appearances for the
club, however, and was quickly signed by another
big club, Tottenham Hotspur F.C.|Tottenham
Hotspur, for £2.1 million. Sheringham became a
great favourite of the Tottenham fans and scored
many goals for the club, forming a particularly
impressive partnership with the German striker
Jürgen Klinsmann during the 1994-1995|95 season:
Klinsmann was later quoted as claiming that
Sheringham was the best strike partner he ever

Despite his success and popularity at Tottenham,
however, Sheringham was disappointed that he had
failed to win any trophies with the club, and when
England's largest and most successful club,
Manchester United F.C.|Manchester United offered
Tottenham £3.5 million for his services in the
summer of 1997, he quickly accepted.

===Manchester United===
His early time at United was difficult, as he had
been signed to replace the iconic Frenchman Eric
Cantona, who had retired at the end of the
previous season, leaving him with an imposing
legacy to live up to. He was mocked in certain
quarters when, having publicly stated that he had
joined the club "to win trophies", during the
1997-1998|98 season the team won nothing for the
first time in three years.

The arrival of striker Dwight Yorke at the
beginning of the following season was expected to
push Sheringham out of the team, but instead it
seemed to have the effect of producing a fine run
of form from him. He finally got the trophy he had
waited so long for when United won the Premier
League in May 1999, and it quickly got much
better: they added the FA Cup and the UEFA
Champions League|European Cup to their haul, with
Sheringham scoring in both cup finals, including a
dramatic injury-time equaliser against Bayern
Munich at the very end of the European final. This
treble of trophies was unprecedented by any club
in the history of English football, and has not
been equalled or bettered since.

Sheringham spent two further seasons at Manchester
United, winning two further Premier League titles
and enjoying a fine final season with the club in
2000-01, at the end of which he was honoured with
both the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the
Football Writers' Association Player of the Year

===Tottenham and Portsmouth===
In the summer of 2001 he was allowed by United to
move on a free transfer back to Tottenham Hotspur,
Sheringham considering that at the age of
thirty-five his days at United had reached their
peak. He was welcomed back by the Tottenham fans,
amongst whom he was still greatly respected, and
was made the club Captain by manager Glenn Hoddle.

In 2003 he left Tottenham, many expecting him to
end his front line career, but instead he joined
the newly-promoted Premier League side Portsmouth
F.C.|Portsmouth, his goals helping the club to
remain in the top flight against the expectations
of many, much as they had done with Millwall 16
years previously.

Sheringham, the oldest player in the whole of the
FA Premier League|Premiership, was released by
Portsmouth at the end of the 2003-04 in English
football|2003-04 season, and his immediate future
was unclear. He had stated his desire to find a
new club and remain playing in the top flight for
at least one more season, which would take him up
to the age of thirty-nine - incredible career
longevity for any player, but especially so for a
striker, a position perhaps more than others
usually reliant on pace.

===West Ham United===
Sheringham opted to drop down a division, signing
a one-year deal with West Ham United F.C.|West Ham
United in the Football League Championship|League
Championship. He expressed a desire to help West
Ham earn promotion. In the 2004-05 in English
football|2004-05 season, he yet again belied his
advanced age for a footballer, scoring 20 goals in
league play (third in The Championship) and
helping lead West Ham to the promotion playoff
final, which they went on to win. He was also
selected by a fans poll run by The Football League
as the 2004-05 Player of the Season in The
Championship. In the close season, Sheringham
signed a one-year deal to play for the Hammers in
the Premiership.

* Millwall F.C.|Millwall (1982-1991)
* Aldershot F.C.|Aldershot (1985, loan)
* Djurgårdens IF Fotboll|Djurgårdens IF (1985, a
Swedish club, loan)
* Nottingham Forest F.C.|Nottingham Forest
* Tottenham Hotspur F.C.|Tottenham Hotspur
* Manchester United F.C.|Manchester United
* Tottenham Hotspur F.C.|Tottenham Hostpur
* Portsmouth F.C.|Portsmouth (2003-2004)
* West Ham United F.C.|West Ham United

* FA Premier League|Premier League Championship
(1999, 2000, 2001)
* FA Cup (1999)
* Champions League (1999)
* European/South American Cup|Intercontinental Cup
* Football League Second Division|Division Two
Championship (1988)
* Football League Championship Play-Off Winner
* Swedish Division Two North Championship (1985)

==International career==
Something of a late developer on the international
scene, he didn't win his first England national
football team|England cap until the age of
twenty-seven in 1993. However, he scored against
Poland that year, and under the reign of manager
Terry Venables (1994-1996|96) came to be favoured
as the preferred strike partner for Alan Shearer
in the England team.

The two formed a famous partnership at
international level, as they complemented each
other's strengths: Shearer the out-and-out
goalscorer, big, strong and powerful, Sheringham
just 'dropping off' his strike partner, finding
spaces, creating play and providing key passes,
forming the link between Shearer and the England
midfield. The pairing came to be known as 'The
SAS' ('Shearer & Sheringham') and their most
successful match together was the 4-1 victory over
Netherlands national football team|Holland in the
opening round of the 1996 European Football
Championship|1996 European Championships, held in
England, a game in which they both scored twice
against one of the strongest teams in the

Sheringham continued to be a first choice
selection under new England manager Glenn Hoddle
(1996-1999|99) until the emergence of new teenager
superstar Michael Owen during the course of 1998
saw him overshadowed. Although Sheringham began
the Wc|1998 as a starting player with Owen on the
bench, after Owen replaced him and almost turned
around a defeat against Romania national football
team|Romania in England's second game of the
tournament, it seemed likely that Sheringham's
front line international career had come to and

He was not selected at all for the 2000 European
Football Championship|2000 European Championships
by then manager Kevin Keegan, but the retirement
of Alan Shearer|Shearer (ironically four years
younger than Sheringham) from international
football after that tournament and the arrival of
new manager Sven-Göran Eriksson in 2001 saw a
return to international favour for him. He was
often deployed as a tactical substitute late in
games by Eriksson, valued for his ability to hold
the ball up and create intelligent play, and he
scored a vital goal for England in a World Cup
qualifying match against Greece national football
team|Greece in September 2001.

He was selected as part of Eriksson's Wc|2002
squad and played in the famous 1-0 win against
Argentina national football team|Argentina, almost
scoring a goal with a shot that was well saved by
the Argentine goalkeeper, and made his final
England appearance as a substitute in the 2-1
quarter-final defeat to Brazil national football

At the age of thirty-six, that defeat signalled
the final end of Sheringham's international
career, during which he had earned fifty-one caps
and scored eleven times for England national
football team|England.

Louis Saha

Louis Saha (born August 8, 1978 in Paris, France)
is a French international footballer who plays for
Manchester United F.C.|Manchester United.

He made his English football debut on loan at
Newcastle United F.C.|Newcastle United on January
9 1999, but made the greatest impact of his career
when, during 2000, he was transferred to Fulham
F.C.|Fulham. During the spell of nearly four years
at the club, he scored 63 goals in total.

In January 2004 he transferred to Manchester
United for £12.8million, and wore the number 9
shirt which had been vacant since the departure of
Andy Cole two years earlier. Saha scored 7 goals
in 13 Premiership appearances before the end of
the season, although it was not enough to prevent
the title from slipping away to Arsenal. It
appeared that Saha was the ideal partner for Ruud
van Nistelrooy.

However, the arrival of Alan Smith (from Leeds
United F.C.|Leeds United for £6million) and then
Wayne Rooney (from Everton F.C.|Everton for
£20million) pushed Saha down the pecking order
and he was linked with a move away from the club
less than a year after arriving. In addition his
2004/05 season was badly hit by a succession of
injuries and 2005/06 has begun with Saha again
unavailable for selection due to minor knocks.

An up-and-coming member of the France national
football team|French national team, Saha was a
part of the squad at the 2004 European Football
Championship. He is a friend of national teammate
Thierry Henry.

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Mark Rooney (born 24 October 1985) is highly
regarded as one of the best young talents in world
football (soccer)|football. He currently plays for
Manchester United F.C.|Manchester United and the
England national football team as a striker. He
wears the number 8 shirt for his club, and is
generally given the number 9 for his country.

Rooney was brought up in a suburb of eastern
Liverpool called Croxteth, where he and his two
brothers attended De La Salle School.

As a player, Rooney is noted not only for the deft
touch and pace, but also for his strength and
physical presence which are more usually the
hallmarks of more mature players. While constantly
surrounded by national media hype and observation
since first bursting onto the scene in 2002, it
was not until his performances at the Ec2|2004
that he gained a reputation on the world stage as
he spearheaded the English attack, scoring 4 goals
- England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson compared his
impact to that made by the legendary Brazil
national football team|Brazilian Pelé|Pelé at a
similar age during the Football World Cup
1958|1958 World Cup. Other commentators have
compared him to Manchester United legend Eric

He is currently the youngest player ever to play
for the senior England team, making his debut on
February 12, 2003, aged 17 years, 111 days.
England's youngest ever player previous to this
was James F. M. Prinsep of Clapham Rovers, who
made his debut almost one and a quarter centuries
before, on April 5, 1879, aged 17 years, 253 days.
Rooney is also the youngest England scorer ever
(17 years, 317 days).

===Premiership breakthrough===
Rooney first gained national prominence in October
2002 when he became the youngest* goal scorer in
the history of the Premiership at 16 years and 360
days of age, while playing for Everton
F.C.|Everton. His spectacular goal was a
last-minute winner against the then-League
champions Arsenal F.C.|Arsenal that consigned them
to their first league defeat in almost a year.
Coincidentally, Wayne Rooney also played a huge
role in ending Arsenal's record unbeaten run,
winning a penalty and scoring the second goal, in
Manchester United's 2-0 victory over Arsenal in
October 2004 - Arsenal's first Premiership defeat
in 50 games. At the end of 2002 he won the BBC
Sports Personality of the Year Young Personality

* This record has since been
surpassed by James Milner (footballer)|James
Milner, while playing for Leeds United F.C |Leeds
on 26 December 2003. He was 16 years 357 days. On
10 April 2005, James Vaughan while playing for
Everton F.C. |Everton, scored a Premiership goal
on his debut, making him, at 16 years and 271 days
old, the youngest Premiership goal scorer to date
(July 2005).

===England career===
He has also figured prominently in recent English
national football team|England international
matches, after having become the youngest ever
player to play for England, in a friendly against
Australia national football team|Australia, in
February 2003 and also set a record as the
youngest player to score for England. In 2004
Rooney became the youngest player ever to score in
the European Football Championships on 17 June
2004 when he scored twice against Switzerland
national football team|Switzerland; however the
Swiss player, Johan Vonlanthen, broke this record
against France national football team|France four
days later.

Before turning 17 and becoming eligible for a
professional contract, he was playing for pound
sterling|£100 a week and living with his family
on a council estate. Now, the teenage sensation
has raised that several times and earns an
estimated £50,000 (Euro|€73,500 / United
States dollar|$90,000) a week. Following intense
media coverage of Rooney at the 2004 European
Football Championship|2004 European Championships,
Everton claimed that they would not transfer his
contract for less than 50 million pounds. The club
offered Rooney a new contract for £50,000 a week.
This, however, was turned down by Rooney on the 27
August 2004, leaving Manchester United and
Newcastle United F.C.|Newcastle United to battle
for his services.

The Times newspaper reported rumours that
Newcastle's initial bid was made at the request of
Rooney's agent, who eventually made £1.5 million
from the deal and employs the son of the Newcastle
United chairman. In return for making a bid that
would force Manchester United to try to buy the
player a year earlier than they had planned,
Newcastle would be allowed to bid for a Manchester
United defender. Suspicions were further raised
because at that point in time Newcastle United had
little need for a striker having already got three
top class forwards at the club. The Newcastle
United bid succeeded in forcing Manchester United
to enter the bidding. Rooney handed in a transfer
request to Everton and on 31 August, 2004 Rooney
signed for Manchester United after a contract|deal
worth up to £27 million was agreed. The deal took
place in spectacular fashion and was concluded
hours before the transfer deadline.

The initial fee of £22m is paid directly to
Everton Football Club, the rest of the money
depends on appearances and/or success at
Manchester United and/or England. It is unlikely
the fee will reach the maximum £27m due to the
complex nature of the contract drawn up by Everton
and Manchester United. A final fee in the region
of £25m is more likely. He made his debut for
the club on 28 September, 2004 in the Champions
League against Fenerbahçe, scoring a hat-trick
and also an assist (The match finished in a 6-2
win for Manchester United).

Rooney's transfer fee is the second highest for an
exclusively British deal, with only his new
teammate, Rio Ferdinand commanding a higher fee.
Rooney does however have the honour of being the
most expensive teenage footballer ever, being only
18 when Manchester United spent their entire
seasonal transfer budget on him.

==Personal life==
As with many high-profile football players, Rooney
has been the target of many allegations and
invasions into his private life. This includes
his relationship with girlfriend Colleen
McLoughlin. In particular The Sun, apparently
because of a personal campaign launched by editor
Rebekah Wade, has sought to discredit Rooney
publishing allegations about apparent violent
behaviour towards his girlfriend and members of
the public. Rooney and McLoughlin have both
strenuously denied these allegations.

Rooney also hit the headlines after admitting to
sleeping with a middle-aged prostitute; an affair
which placed his relationship with McLoughlin in
jeopardy, with Colleen allegedly throwing her
engagement ring into a squirrel enclosure.

On 2 May 2005 the http://www.esfa.co.uk/esfa/
English Schools' Football Association and sponsors
Coca Cola decided to drop him as guest of honour
at one of their semi-final contests because "we
could find a better role model". This followed
allegations concerning his private life and
excessive swearing during matches.

Rooney's personal life then made international
headlines when Sepp Blatter, president of the
world football governing body FIFA, said that
Rooney's attitude deserved "a clip around the

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo (full name Cristiano Ronaldo dos
Santos Aveiro; born February 5, 1985, Funchal,
Madeira Islands|Madeira, Portugal) is a very sexy
Portugal|Portuguese football player, who plays for
Manchester United of England.

Widely regarded as one of the premier talents in
European football, Ronaldo originally played for
Portuguese team Sporting Clube de
Portugal|Sporting Lisbon, a team famous for
producing Inter Milan star Luis Figo.

Able to use either foot and play on both sides of
the pitch, he attracted the attentions of Sir Alex
Ferguson in the summer of 2003, when Sporting
Lisbon beat Manchester United 3-1 in the
inauguration of the Estádio José
Alvalade|Alvalade XXI stadium. After the match,
United's players spoke enthusiastically of the
young talent that they had just played against
saying they would rather have him play on their
team then have to play against him in the future.
That was enough for Sir Alex Ferguson to decide
that he wanted the youngster for his team, who
were in the market for a right-sided midfielder,
signing him for £12.24 million pounds after
recently completing the transfer of David Beckham
out of the club.

Since debuting for the famous England|English
club, Ronaldo has earned a equal amounts of praise
and criticism for his flashy style of play and
dribbling tricks. He demonstrated these at the
2004 FA Cup final in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium,
in which he starred, scoring the first goal in
United's 3-0 win over Millwall F.C.|Millwall.

In his second season at United, Ronaldo has grown
as a player, notably starring in the memorable 4-2
demolition of champions Arsenal F.C.|Arsenal at
their Highbury stadium. The doubts over his
'flashy' style and perceived inability to produce
an 'end product', the final killer cross or pass
to set-up a goal, must surely now have been
allayed, as Ronaldo has consistently been one of
United's most dedicated and effective players in a
season of highs and lows. United reached the FA
Cup final, but had disappointing campaigns in the
Premier League and Champions League.

Ronaldo made his international debut in August
2003, against Kazakhstan national football
team|Kazakhstan. He scored Portugal's only goal in
their 2-1 loss to Greece national football
team|Greece in the opening match of 2004 European
Football Championship|Euro 2004, and the first
goal of the semi final against the Netherlands
national football team|Netherlands which Portugal
won 2-1. The final saw a rematch of the opening
game of the tournament and again, Greece national
football team|Greece emerged victorious. Though
the tournament ended in disappointment for
Ronaldo, he had truly come of age as a player.

Ronaldo proudly represented Portugal at the 2004
Summer Olympics|2004 Olympic Games. As of 11 June
2005, he has scored 10 goals in 24 appearances for
his country.

Ronaldo is currently the second highest scorer in
World Cup qualification in the European zone with
7 goals so far, ahead of established strikers like
Andrei Shevchenko and Manchester United team-mates
Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney.

Ronaldo's good looks has also made him a sex
symbol, which he has used to do some modeling.

== Honours ==

*FA Cup winner (2004)
*Euro 2004 finalist (2004)
*UEFA Team of the Year (2004)
*FA Cup finalist (2005)

== Charity ==

Ronaldo has also done charity work, including
recently flying out a young Indonesian tsunami
survivor and his father to attend one of their
World Cup qualifiers, covering all their expenses
and they all contributed money to buy them a house
in Indonesia.

After the two World Cup qualifiers in June,
Ronaldo flew to Indonesia to visit the areas
affected by the tsunami and to raise funds. He
met the Prime Minister of Indonesia, the President
of East Timor and raised over 1 billion rupiah by
auctioning off his personal sports gear.


His second name (Ronaldo) is relatively rare in
Portugal. His parents got inspration from the name
of the US president Ronald Reagan.

During Euro 2004 in Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo
was voted the sexiest player on the Portuguese
national team by PortugalGay.PT website visitors.
Cristiano was followed in the list by Nuno Gomes
and Pauleta.

Ronaldo endorses Nike, Pepe Jeans and Suzuki cars,
among other products.

Ronaldo drives a silver Porsche

Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben (born January 23 1984 in Bedum,
Netherlands) is a football (soccer)|footballer for
the Netherlands national football team|Dutch
national team and Chelsea F.C.|Chelsea, having
recently transferred to the England|English club
from Dutch power PSV Eindhoven. And he has an
girlfriend, her name is Bernadien Eillert.

In his younger years he played for the local
footballclub VV Bedum. Later he transferred to FC
Groningen. In his first season he won the Player
of the Year prize at his club. After two seasons
in Groningen Robben went to PSV for
Euro|€4.2 million.

Again after two seasons of great football at PSV,
he was sold to Chelsea. Manchester United
F.C.|Manchester United was the first in line to
buy Robben. But PSV wasn't happy with the €7
million offer. Chelsea offered €18 million
and PSV sold him.

In Ec2|2004 in Portugal, during a match against
the Czech Republic national football team|Czech
Republic, the then Dutch team manager Dick
Advocaat substituted Robben with Paul Bosvelt. The
Dutch team eventually lost that match after
leading by two goals. That decision brought severe
criticism on Advocaat and as a result, Advocaat
resigned from his post after losing in the
semi-finals of Euro 2004 from Portugal.

In another Euro 2004 match, Robben scored the
winning goal against Sweden national football
team|Sweden during a Kicks from the penalty
mark|penalty shootout in a quarterfinal match. He
did not make his competitive debut for Chelsea
until November 2004, as he was injured in a
pre-season friendly match against A.S. Roma,
breaking a metatarsal bone in his right foot.

However, since returning from injury, Robben (in
combination with Damien Duff) has made an
impressive impact with his explosive speed,
dribbling skills and finishing; and in November
2004 he was awarded the prestigious player of the
month award. In a game against Blackburn Rovers on
February 2 2005 he broke two metatarsal bones in
his left foot, ruling him out for two months.

On March 19, 2005 Robben returned to the Chelsea
team. Robben came on for Duff midway through the
second half and played an instrumental role in one
of Mateja Kežman's two goals. Chelsea went on to
defeat Crystal Palace F.C.|Crystal Palace 4-1. But
injury soon caught up with him again, he is force
to be taken off in a Football World Cup 2006 -
European Qualification Groups|World Cup 2006
Qualifying match for the Netherlands, causing him
to miss a critical Champions League match against
Bayern Munich, which Chelsea went on to win 6-5
over two legs.

Gheorghe Popescu

Gheorghe "Gic�" Popescu (born December 9, 1967 in
Calafat) is a former Romanian football (soccer)
defender (football)|defender, a key part of the
Romania national football team|Romanian national
team in the 1990s.

On the club level, Popescu played for FC
Universitatea Craiova|Universitatea Craiova
(1985-90, he spent a part of the 1987-88 season
with FC Steaua Bucuresti|Steaua Bucharest), PSV
Eindhoven (1990-94), Tottenham Hotspur
F.C.|Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95), FC
Barcelona|Barcelona (1995-97), Galatasaray
(1997-2001), U.S. Lecce|Lecce (2001-02), FC Dinamo
Bucuresti|Dinamo Bucharest (2002) and Hannover 96
(2003). For the Romanian national team, Popescu
stands among its all-time cap leaders with 115, in
which he scored 16 goals. He played for his
country in the Football World Cup 1990|1990,
Football World Cup 1994|1994, and Football World
Cup 1998|1998 World Cups, 1996 European Football
Championship|Euro 96 and 2000 European Football
Championship|Euro 2000.

Lukas Podolski

Lukas Podolski (born �ukasz Podolski, on June 4,
1985 in Gliwice, Poland) is a
Polish-Germans|Polish-German football
(soccer)|football player. He plays for 1. FC

Podolski played for Germany national football
team|Germany at Ec2|2004, where he was the squad's
youngest player. He also attended the Fifa
Confederations Cup in 2005 and scored 3 goals.

Podolski plays in the position of striker. He
often sneaks back into the midfield to get the
ball, then oversprinting his opponents and scoring
with a remarkably cold-blooded finishing touch. As
of 2005, he is seen as one of the most promising
German players.

Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann is continously
praising him because he is lethal both with the
head and with his legs. Because of this, clubs
such as Bayern Munchen have manifested their
interest in Podolski, though he has a contract
with the Köln FC until 2007.

Michael Owen

Michael James Owen (born December 14, 1979 in
Chester, United Kingdom|UK) is an England|English
football (soccer)|football player currently
playing for Newcastle United F.C.. He plays as a
striker, and is noted particularly for his speed,
acceleration and clinical finishing. He has
enjoyed a hugely successful and high-profile
career at both club and international level and
was the European Footballer of the Year in 2001.

==Club career==

He first played for his primary school team in
Hawarden, Wales, breaking all local scoring
records in his first season. From the age of 4 he
attended the FA's School of Excellence in
Staffordshire but also continued to study at the
local Hawarden High School and picked up ten

Liverpool F.C.|Liverpool signed Owen as an
apprentice while in his teens, although as a boy
he had been a supporter of their local arch-rivals
Everton F.C.|Everton. With Owen's help,
Liverpool's youth team won the FA Youth Cup in
1996. He signed professional forms for the senior
team just after his seventeenth birthday in
December 1996, making a sensational debut for the
team against Wimbledon F.C.|Wimbledon in May 1997,
coming on as a substitute and scoring a goal. With
an injury to Robbie Fowler, he was thrust
immediately into action as a first team regular
alongside the likes of newcomer Paul Ince and
veteran playmaker Steve McManaman in the following
1997-1998|98 season. Owen ended that season as
joint top scorer in the FA Premier League|Premier
League, scoring eighteen goals (equal with Chris
Sutton and Dion Dublin), as well as getting voted
as the PFA Young Player of the Year.

He continued to be a consistent goalscorer for
Liverpool, and in 2001 helped the club to their
most successful season for several years. The team
won the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup, with Owen
scoring two goals in the last few minutes against
Arsenal F.C.|Arsenal in the FA Cup final to turn
what appeared to be a 1-0 defeat into a 2-1
victory. Surprisingly, however, he failed to score
in the team's incredible 5-4 victory against
Deportivo Alavés in the UEFA Cup, and was
substituted in that game. At the end of the year,
he became the first British player for twenty
years to win the European Footballer of the Year

Due to Liverpool's continued failure to win the
Premier League or the UEFA Champions
League|Champions League, Owen was often linked
with moves to other clubs, although he initially
remained loyal to his first employers. However,
due to stalled contractual talks in the summer of
2004, and with only one year remaining on his
contract before he could leave the club on a
Bosman ruling|free transfer like Steve McManaman
did, Liverpool sold Owen to the same destination,
Real Madrid, in Spain, but unlike the McManaman
situation, pocketed a fee of 12 million euros on
13 August 2004, with midfielder Antonio Nunez
moving in the other direction.

Owen had a slow start to his Madrid career and
drew some criticism from fans and the Spanish
press for his lack of form, often being confined
to the substitutes bench during matches. However,
a successful return to action with the England
team in October 2004 seemed to revive his morale,
and on his first match back with Madrid following
this he scored his first goal for the team, the
winner in a 1-0 UEFA Champions League group game
victory over FC Dynamo Kyiv|Dynamo Kiev. He
quickly followed this up just a few days later
with his first Spanish league goal for the team in
a 1-0 victory over Valencia CF|Valencia, and also
hit the target in the three of the next four games
to make it 5 goals in 7 successive matches. He
ended the season with a highly respectable 13
goals in La Liga (the season's highest ratio of
goals scored to number of minutes played), as Real
finished runners-up in the Spanish championship.
In August 2005 speculation arose that Owen would
soon part company with Real Madrid in order to
join one of the English Premier League's more
dominant teams and also to secure his position as
England's first choice striker, following Real's
signing of two more forwards. This is only
possible if Owen continues to play first team
football in a competitive league, although England
manager Sven-Göran Eriksson has said that Owen
will always be likely to be selected in the team.

On August 24 2005, Newcastle United F.C. announced
that they had agreed a club record fee of £17
million with Madrid for Owen, although they still
had to negotiate with the player's advisers.
4179194.stm. However, Owen claimed that he would
only be willing to spend a year on loan to them.
This came just a day after Everton F.C.|Everton,
traditional rivals of Owen's beloved Liverpool,
had a bid for the player turned down by the
Spanish club

On August 31 2005 Owen finally signed a four-year
contract to play for Newcastle United, despite
initial press speculation that he would rather
have returned to Liverpool.
ewcastle_united/4196760.stm Roughly 20,000 fans
were present at Newcastle's home ground of St
James' Park for Owen's official unveiling as a
Newcastle player.

*Liverpool F.C.|Liverpool (1996-2004)
*Real Madrid (2004-2005)
*Newcastle United F.C.|Newcastle United

*FA Cup (2001)
*UEFA Cup (2001)
*League Cup (2001,2003)
*European Super Cup (2001)
*FA Community Shield|Charity Shield (2001)
*European Footballer of the Year (2001)
*PFA Young Player of the Year (1998)

==International career==

Owen had a highly successful record at Youth and
Under-21 international level, although he was only
briefly a member of the England national football
team|England Under-21 team before he made his
debut for the senior team in a friendly match
against Chile national football team|Chile in
February 1998. Playing in this game made Owen the
youngest player to represent England in the whole
of the 20th century.

Owen's youthful enthusiasm, pace and talent made
him a popular player across the country, and many
fans were keen for him to be made a regular player
for the team ahead of that year's Football World
Cup 1998|World Cup. His first goal for England,
against Morocco national football team|Morocco in
another friendly game just prior to this
tournament, only increased these calls. The goal
also made him the youngest ever player to have
scored for England, until his record was surpassed
by Wayne Rooney in 2003.

Although he was selected for the World Cup squad
by manager Glenn Hoddle, he was kept on the bench
as a substitute in the first two games. However,
his substitute appearance in the second game
against Romania national football team|Romania saw
him score a goal and hit the post with another
shot, almost salvaging the defeat. After that,
Hoddle had little choice but to play him from the
start, and in England's second round match against
Argentina national football team|Argentina he
scored a sensational goal, voted by many as the
goal of the tournament and really bringing him to
the attention of the world football scene.

England lost that match and went out of the
tournament, but Owen had sealed his place as an
automatic England choice and his popularity in the
country was huge. At the end of the year he won a
public vote to be elected winner of the
prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year
title, the award's youngest ever recipient.

He has since played for England in the 2000
European Football Championship|2000 and 2004
European Football Championship|2004 European
Football Championship|European Championships and
the Football World Cup 2002|2002 World Cup,
scoring goals in all three tournaments. This makes
him the only player to ever have scored in four
major tournaments for England. He even scored a
hat-trick against German national football
team|Germany in the 2001 qualifying campaign for
the Football World Cup 2002|2002 World Cup, the
first English player to score a hat-trick against
Germany since Geoff Hurst, who scored his hat
trick in the 1966 World Cup Final.

In April 2002, he was named as England's captain
for a friendly match against Paraguay national
football team|Paraguay in place of the injured
regular captain David Beckham. Owen was the
youngest England skipper since Bobby Moore in
1963, and since then has regularly captained
England during any absence for Beckham.

As of September 2005, Owen has been capped
seventy-one times for England and scored
thirty-two goals: he now lies fourth in the list
of top scorers for the England team behind Bobby
Charlton (49 goals), Gary Lineker (48) and Jimmy
Greaves (44).

==Private Life==

Owen married his childhood sweetheart, Louise
Bonsall, on 25 June 2005.
http://au.news.yahoo.com/050624/19/uup4.html They
were engaged for over a year, from February 14,
2004. The couple have a daughter, Gemma Rose Owen,
born on May 2, 2003 in the same place where both
her parents were born - the Countess of Chester
Hospital, Chester, England.

The couple had initially planned to get married at
their home, Lower Soughton Hall (near Northop
Hall), but changed plans when they were informed
that if a licence was granted for a marriage
ceremony the venue must be made available for
other weddings for three years.

As of August 2005, the couple are expecting their
second child.

Jay-Jay Okocha

Augustine  "Jay-Jay" Okocha (born August 14, 1973
in Enugu) is a Nigerian football (soccer)
midfielder. He is nicknamed Jay Jay for his
entertaining and flamboyant style of play.

Okocha is currently playing in the English Premier
League as the captain of Bolton Wanderers. He has
previously played for Paris Saint-Germain,
Fenerbahçe, and Eintracht Frankfurt. He is
regularly selected for the Nigeria national
football team.

Known as a hugely skillful midfielder, Okocha has
played at the Football World Cup 1994|1994,
Football World Cup 1998|1998 (where he was named
in the official team of the tournament), and
Wc|2002 finals and many African Nations Cup

Okocha is often described as an African "Diego
Maradona|Maradona", as his style is similar to the
Argentine superstar. He is a member of the FIFA
100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers
selected by Pelé in conjunction with FIFA's
centenary celebrations.

Jay-Jay is a bright example of a complete African
player with his great individual skills, good
vision, passing and shooting.

Roy Makaay

Roy Rudolphus Anton Makaay (born March 9, 1975 in
Wijchen, Netherlands) is a Netherlands national
football team|Dutch international football
(soccer)|footballer who is a striker for the
Netherlands national football team|Netherlands and
Bayern Munich.

Makaay was the European Golden Boot winner for the
2002/03 season for being the top scorer in Europe.
He was first recognised as a talented striker
while playing for Vitesse Arnhem in the mid 1990s
and honed his skills at the Spanish First Division
with Club Deportivo Tenerife|Tenerife and later
with Deportivo de La Coruña where he scored 22
goals in 36 appearances in his most profilic
1999/2000 season. His international caps for the
Dutch national team has been limited due to
previous players like Patrick Kluivert, Dennis
Bergkamp and now Ruud van Nistelrooy who scored
far more goals for the national team and who
played for more internationally renowned clubs.
Makaay did play for his country at 2000 European
Football Championship|Euro 2000 and 2004 European
Football Championship|Euro 2004.

His first encounter with Bayern Munich came during
the UEFA Champions League 2002/03 season when he
scored a hat-trick at the Olympic Stadium,
Munich|Olympiastadion in Munich in Deportivo's 3-2
against the Bavarian giants. The Bayern bosses
then kept a close eye on him through out the whole
season and finally beat off stiff challenges from
Manchester United F.C.|Manchester United and
Chelsea F.C.|Chelsea to get their man. A club
record fee of $20 million was paid to Deportivo La
Coruña. he has since scored 46 and 13 Bundesliga
(football)|Bundesliga and Champions League goals
in his first two seasons at Bayern and the German
giants still expect him to carry the goal scoring
He scored two goals within three minutes in the
first game of the 2005/2006 season against
Borussia Mönchengladbach and secured the win of
his team (3:0) .

Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini (born June 26, 1968 in Milan) is an
Italy|Italian football (soccer)|football player.
Maldini is a defender and predominantly plays the
position of left back, although he sometimes plays
at centre back. Throughout his long career, he
has remained with A.C. Milan. He is arguably the
best defender the world has ever seen, and will
undoubtably go down as one of the world's greats.

Maldini's Serie A debut came in 1985. He has had a
glittering career to date, winning many trophies
with Milan (as of 2005, those include seven Serie
A titles and four UEFA Champions League|European
Cups). One of the great defenders of all time, he
was arguably the best defender (football)|defender
in the world at the peak of his career, and
remains well known for influential captaincy, ice
cool temperament and flawless defending.

Maldini is Italy national football team|Italy's
most capped player. However, he never managed to
win a trophy at the international level despite
playing in the Football World Cup|1994 World Cup
final and the 2000 European Football
Championship|2000 European Championship Final. He
retired from the national team after Football
World Cup 2002|2002 World Cup finishing his
successful career with 126 caps and 7 goals.
Maldini also played in the Football World Cup
1990|1990 and Football World Cup 1998|1998 World
Cups, 1988 European Football Championship|Euro 88,
and 1996 European Football Championship|Euro 96.

Maldini also set a new record in UEFA|Champions
League by scoring after only 51 seconds in the
final against Liverpool FC in 2005.

There was a public appeal in Italy for Maldini to
come out of retirement for the 2004 European
Football Championship|2004 European Championship,
but he rejected the appeal for "personal reasons".
Paolo's father, Cesare Maldini|Cesare, also
captained A.C. Milan in the 1960's, lifting the
Champions Cup in 1963.

Mehdi Mahdavikia

Mehdi Mahdavikia (مهدی
#1740;ا in Persian language|Persian) (born
July 24, 1977) is a soccer player and part of the
Iran national football team.

He currently plays for SV Hamburg in Germany,
having been signed for that club in 2000. He
previously played for the Persepolis FC|Perspolis
club in his native Iran and VfL Bochum in Germany.
His current position is right winger and at times
plays striker. In 2003, he was awarded Asian
Player of the Year by the Asian Football
Confederation. He was awarded Hamburg Player of
the Year in 2003 and 2004 by the fans. However, he
had a poor time in the 2004-2005 season and was
beched. This season he has gained his old form
back and was able to regain his spot as a starter.
He was considered Iran's best player in the
Wc|1998 and was named in the list from which the
team of the tournament was chosen.

Mehdi Mahdavikia's strongest points are his
vision, passing skills, fast paced runs, and
set-pieces such as corners, spotkicks and free
kicks. Apart from being a total professional on
the pitch he is also known as a perfect gentleman
off the pitch always finding the time for fans and
reporters to answer questions or sign autographs.

Mahdavikia was one of the influential players that
played in Iran's crucial 1-0 victory over Bahrain
national football team|Bahrain to qualify for the
upcoming Wc|2006 held in Germany.

Fredrik Ljungberg

Karl Fredrik "Freddie" Ljungberg  (born April 16,
1977, Vittsjö, Sweden) is a Swedish international
football (soccer)|football player playing for FA
Premier League side Arsenal F.C.|Arsenal and
sometime underwear model (person)|model for Calvin

He has also played handball, ice hockey and golf.
He currently resides in Hampstead, London, and in
Halmstad when in Sweden.

Ljungberg joined Arsenal in 1998. He previously
played for Halmstads BK|Halmstads in Sweden, where
he made 139 appearances and scored 16 goals. He
goalscoring rate has improved significantly after
joining Arsenal. Arsenal's manager, Arsène
Wenger, took the unusual step of authorising the
signing of Ljungberg after watching him play for
Sweden national football team|Sweden in their
defeat of England national football team|England
on television, without making a personal scouting
trip. It seemed a strange way to complete
business, but he was hearing good things about the
Swedish midfielder; Wenger was believed to be just
waiting to see how he would cope against English
opponents. Ljungberg passed the test without
difficulty and made a sensational debut scoring
against Manchester United F.C.|Manchester United
(Arsenal's principal rivals for the Premiership
title), coming on the field as a subsitute.

Many consider his "purple patch" of form towards
the end of the 2001-2002 season crucial to
Arsenal's The Double|Premiership and FA Cup
double; Robert Pirès had recently been ruled out
for months through a knee injury. Ljungberg came
in and scored in most of Arsenal's remaining
games, including a stunning finish in the FA Cup
final against Chelsea F.C.|Chelsea.

He is most comfortable in midfield; since the
departure of Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars,
Ljungberg has been a regular in Arsenal's starting
lineup and has cemented his first team place. He
has had to fight with constant injury problems and
occasionally severe bouts with migraines; in 2005
a mysterious persistent hip injury led to fears he
may have contracted cancer, which were thankfully
unfounded. As of May 2005, he has appeared 265
times for Arsenal and scored 68 goals.

For Sweden, Ljungberg played at 2000 European
Football Championship|Euro 2000, the Football
World Cup 2002|2002 World Cup, and 2004 European
Football Championship|Euro 2004. He has appeared
over 50 times for his country.

== Awards ==
*1998 Swedish FA prizes for "Best Midfielder of
the year"
*1998 Swedish FA prizes for "People's player of
the year"
*1998 Nominated for the Sexiest Men In The World
*1998 6th in the Swedish handsome men contest
*2000 Arsenal FC player Of The Month (January and
*2000 Arsenal FC Dreamcast Player Of The Season
competition came 2nd
*2000 AFCi Awards "Most Improved Arsenal Player"
for the 1999-2000 season
*2000 2nd in AFCi Awards "Arsenal Player Of The

Henrik Larsson

This article is about the Swedish footballer. For
the Danish footballer, see Henrik Larsen.
Henrik Larsson (born December 2, 1971 in
Helsingborg, Sweden) is a Swedish national
football team|Swedish international football
(soccer)|football player.

Having completed seven very successful years with
Celtic F.C.|Celtic in Glasgow, Scotland, after the
end of the 2003/04 season he signed a one year
contract with an option for a second year for
Spain|Spanish giants FC Barcelona|Barcelona.

Larsson started his professional career playing
for Högaborg at the age of 17. He subsequently
played for Helsingborgs IF and Feyenoord
Rotterdam|Feyenoord. Although he was finalising
the details of the contract with Grasshopper-Club
Zürich in 1993 he moved to Feyenoord for
£295,000. He was signed by Celtic in July 1997
for a fee of Pound sterling|£650,000. His
debut, playing Hibernian F.C.|Hibernian at Easter
Road, was less than spectacular; he inadvertently
passed the ball to the other side, resulting in a
2 - 1 loss for Celtic. He didn't fare much better
in his first European game, scoring on own goal,
although Celtic did run out 6 - 2 winners.
Larsson scored 242 goals for Celtic, in 315
matches, and in 2001 he won the "Golden Shoe"
award for being Europe's top goal scorer.

In 2004, The Swedish Football Association UEFA
Jubilee Awards|nominated Henke as the greatest
Swedish football player of the last 50 years.

His decision to retire from international football
met with much dismay in his homeland and there was
much clamouring for him to return to the team for
their campaign at Ec2|2004 in Portugal. Despite
initially maintaining his decision to retire,
turning down overtures from UEFA President Lennart
Johansson and the Sweden|Swedish Prime Minister in
the process, he eventually returned to the
national side to great effect, scoring three goals
in four matches and leading Sweden to the
quarterfinals, where they were defeated in a
penalty shootout (football)|penalty shootout by
the Netherlands national football team|Dutch.

Larsson's international record is impressive with
33 goals in 83 games, many of which he played in
midfield or as a winger. He has always made his
mark on big occasions and has scored at two
Football World Cup|World Cups (Football World Cup
1994|1994 at which Sweden came 3rd, and Football
World Cup 2002|2002), and two European Football
Championship|European Championships (2000 European
Football Championship|2000 and 2004 European
Football Championship|2004).

He is married and has two children, Jordan (born
1997) and Janice (born 2002).

Frank Lampard

Frank James Lampard, Jr. (born June 20, 1978 in
Romford, London) is an England|English football
(soccer)|football player currently at Chelsea
F.C.|Chelsea and previously with West Ham United
F.C.|West Ham United. He is a regular member of
the England national football team|England
national team.

He has several famous footballing relatives: his
father, Frank Lampard Sr., was also an England
international. His cousin is Jamie Redknapp, who
has recently retired from football, and his uncle
is Harry Redknapp, who is manager of Southampton
F.C.|Southampton. In August 2005 he became the
father of a baby girl named Luna.

Another product of West Ham United F.C.|West Ham
United's The Academy of Football|youth system,
Lampard rose through the ranks at Boleyn
Ground|Upton Park and spent a brief spell on loan
at Swansea City A.F.C.|Swansea in 1995. He is a
hardworking player with precise shooting and
passing ability. In the 2000/01 season, Lampard
reacted angrily to the news of a £17 million deal
that took Rio Ferdinand to Leeds United F.C.|Leeds
United. Lampard and Ferdinand had been close
friends during their time together at West Ham.
Ferdinand's transfer to Leeds, followed by the
departure of his father Frank, who followed Harry
Redknapp out of Upton Park in May 2001, led to
Lampard's exit from the club. In the summer of
2001, he was signed by then-Chelsea manager
Claudio Ranieri, for a fee of £11.5 million.

Lampard improved much during his time at Stamford
Bridge. His first two seasons were sometimes
bogged down by his massive transfer fees and later
eclipsed by the scintillating form of Gianfranco
Zola, but in his third season there, with the
arrival of Roman Abramovich, he fully blossomed,
establishing himself as a regular of the
multi-million pound Chelsea squad, and a fans'
favourite. An ever-present in Ranieri's squad, he
was the only outfield player to feature in every
league game of the 2003-04 season.

Despite being a midfielder, Lampard has an
impressive scoring ratio since he signed for
Chelsea and a keen eye for goal. Although not a
striker, his intelligent runs and long-range
efforts at the edge of the box often result in
accurate strikes at goals. Lampard also
contributes just as much to the Chelsea side
through his goal assists. He is usually Chelsea's
first choice penalty kick|penalty and set-piece
taker as well. He is also second choice Captain
(football)|captain of the club, behind John Terry.

In the 2004-05 season, Lampard continued his
outstanding form despite the change in coaching
personnel. So impressive was his form during the
UEFA Champions League|Champions League and league
run that former Brazilian captain Carlos Alberto
and Johann Cruyff both referred to him as one of
Europe's best midfielders. He was voted English
Footballer of the Year at the end of the 2004-05
season, after contributing to winning the
Premiership (first time for Chelsea after 50
years) and the League Cup, and reaching the
semi-finals of the Champions League.

Lampard made his full England debut against
Belgium national football team|Belgium in October
1999. Although he never featured in Sven-Göran
Eriksson's squad for the Wc|2002, his form in
2003-04 earned him a well-deserved call-up. He
played for his country at Ec2|2004, scoring three
goals. With Paul Scholes's retirement from
international football, Lampard finally became a
fixture in Eriksson's squad. He was voted England
Player of the Year for 2004 by the fans.

Frank has won 32 international caps for England
and scored 8 international goals. He was a major
asset to his country in Euro 2004, finishing joint
top scorer with Wayne Rooney.

He is currently engaged to Elen Rives. She has
given birth to their first child on 22 Aug 2005.

Patrick Kluivert

Patrick Kluivert (born July 1, 1976 in Amsterdam)
is a Netherlands|Dutch international football
(soccer)|football striker who currently plays for
Valencia CF in la Liga.

Kluivert joined the renowned Ajax Amsterdam|Ajax
youth academy after he was spotted playing for
Schellingwoude, he went on to make his debut in
the senior team on August 21, 1994 at the age of
17 in the Dutch Supercup against win arch rivals
Feyenoord in which he scored his first goal. He
went on to make his mark in Europe scoring an 83rd
minute winner in the UEFA Champions
League|Champions League Final of 1994/95 against
AC Milan in Vienna. He also helped Ajax to win
several pieces of silverware (see below) before
leaving for AC Milan on a Bosman ruling|Bosman
transfer in 1997. His career at Milan started
well when he scored a sensational goal against
Juventus in a friendly match. However at this
time Kluivert's personal life began to cause
problems, he was charged with manslaughter after
running an art critic over in his new sports car,
to which he received community service and a
driving ban. He was also charged with rape on a
separate occasion but he was to be later
acquitted. After scoring only six goals in Serie
A|Italy he left for FC Barcelona where he was
reunited with Louis Van Gaal, a mentor from his
days at Ajax Amsterdam|Ajax. Kluivert formed a
strong partnership with Rivaldo which enabled
Barça to win the Spanish La Liga in 1998/99. He
was released from Barça in the Summer of 2004
along with fellow Netherlands national football
team|Dutch national teammates Michael Reiziger and
Marc Overmars. He joined Newcastle United
F.C.|Newcastle United on 21 July 2004 to team up
with Alan Shearer. However, after only one season
on Tyneside Kluivert was given a free transfer. He
decided to return to Spain to play for Valencia.
Reportedly, the club included a clause in his
contract that allowes for Kluivert to be sacked if
he is lacking in discipline off the pitch.

Kluivert's international career has perhaps not
gone as well as he would have liked; he missed
most of 1996 European Football Championship|Euro
96 with a knee injury but he did manage to score a
brilliant goal against England national football
team|England. At the Football World Cup 1998|1998
World Cup he was red card|sent off against Belgium
national football team|Belgium by referee
Pierluigi Collina after elbowing an opponent,
although he made amends when selected to play
against Argentina national football team|Argentina
in the quarter-finals of the same tournament where
he scored the opening goal. He also impressed in
later matches, although the Dutch national team
did not win the tournament which they were
predicted to do so. At Ec2|2000, after scoring a
hat trick in the quarterfinals, Kluivert missed a
penalty in the semifinal loss to Italy national
football team|Italy.

Kluivert is currently the all-time leading
goalscorer for the Dutch national team with 40 (as
of 2005). In 2004, he was named to the FIFA 100, a
list of the 125 greatest living footballers chosen
by Pelé as part of FIFA's centenary observances.
Interestingly, he was born on the same day as
fellow countryman and FIFA 100 member Ruud van
Nistelrooy. During Ec2|2004, Kluivert didn't play
a single minute, while his team reached the
semi-finals again.

Nwankwo Kanu

Nwankwo Kanu (born August 1, 1976 in Owerri,
Nigeria) is a professional football
(soccer)|footballer, currently playing for West
Bromwich Albion F.C.|West Bromwich Albion in the
English Premier League. He is known for his
height, which is 198 cm (6'6").

Kanu began his career, aged fifteen, at first
division club Federation Works before moving to
Iwuanyanwu National in 1992. After a notable
performance at the Football U-17 World
Championship|U-17 World Championships he was
signed by Ajax Amsterdam in 1993 for $250,000. He
made his Ajax debut in 1994 and went on to play 54
times for the Netherlands|Dutch side, scoring 25
goals. In 1996, Ajax sold him to
Internazionale|Inter Milan for around $4.7
million; that summer he played in the Nigeria
national football team|Nigerian squad that won
gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics|Olympics. Kanu
was named African Footballer of the Year for that

At Inter a medical examination revealed a serious
heart defect; he underwent surgery in November
1996 to replace an aortic valve and did not return
to his club until April 1997. In February 1999,
after just twelve games for Inter, Kanu was signed
by Arsenal F.C.|Arsenal for roughly $7.5 million.
Initially his career was revived under Arsène
Wenger, and he was named African Footballer of the
Year for the second time in 1999.

Kanu's appearances for Arsenal gradually became
less frequent, and in the 2004 offseason, after
failing to get his contract with Arsenal extended,
he moved to West Bromwich Albion F.C.|West Brom on
a free transfer. Kanu played for Nigeria in the
Football World Cup 1998|1998 and Football World
Cup 2002|2002 World Cups.

Kanu is remembered for his classic hat-trick
against Chelsea F.C.|Chelsea, in which one of the
goals was scored parallel to the goal line.

Oliver Kahn

Oliver Kahn (born June 15, 1969 in Karlsruhe,
Germany) is a Germany|German football
(soccer)|football goalkeeper. He stars for the
Germany national football team|German national
team (since 1995) and Bayern Munich|Bayern
München (since 1994). He is known as King Kahn or
Kahn, the Titan for his prowess in the game.

Kahn started his career at Karlsruher SC, and was
transferred to Bayern Munich in 1994 for the
(then) huge sum of 4.8 million Deutschmark,
roughly 2.5 million Euro. Although suffering a
rupture of his cruciate ligament in the next
season, he developed into a most formidable

In 2002, he won the adidas Golden Ball for best
player and the Yashin Award for top goalkeeper of
the Wc|2002. He also started for his country at
Ec2|2000 and Ec2|2004.

He was married to Simone, but split up in 2004,
after he was connected to former barwoman Verena
Kerth, with whom he is a couple ever since.

== Player profile ==
Kahn is a player obsessed by perfection, and
trains fanatically, similar to Michael Jordan. He
is hyper-competitive and always demands 100% from
himself and his teammates. On the pitch, he is a
charismatic, dominant presence who leads his
defense and intimidates the opposition. His
reflexes are stellar, his control of the box is
excellent, and he excels in 1-vs-1-situations.

However, approaching age (and overcoming private
problems), his game has declined slowly. He hit a
nadir when he allowed a jaw-dropping howler goal
against Real Madrid in 2004, but since then, has
recovered to become a worldclass keeper once
again.He plans to remain the No 1 Goalie under the
posts of the german National Team and reach so the
world Cup 2006 in his homeland Germany, although
trainer Jurgen Klinsmann's choices, with him
playing alternatively with Jens Lehmann and Timo
Hildebrand , make the enterprise difficult for
him. Kahn believes he can play at top level for 3
or 4 more years to come.

== Ridicule ==
In 1996, popular German comedian Harald Schmidt
lip-synced Kahn, when he angrily shouted at
colleague Andreas Herzog, by using ape noises
("Uh-uh-uh'). This became a cult, and from that
moment on, fans of the opposing team would taunt
him by making ape noises and throwing bananas at
him. But since his stellar performance in the 2002
World Cup, this has mostly ceased.

== Trivia ==
He demands financial rights for whatever use of
his image, therefore, he does not allow his name
to be used in some football simulation games such
as Football Manager, where he instead appears as
Jens Mustermann (Mustermann being the fictitious
name used in sample IDs and passports, Jens as
provocation, because it is the first name of his
biggest rival, Jens Lehmann).

Thierry Henry

Thierry Daniel Henry (born August 17, 1977 in Les
Ulis, Paris, France) is a France|French football
(soccer)|football player. He currently plays as a
striker for English club Arsenal F.C.|Arsenal and
his native France national football team|France.

Henry is considered one of the most dynamic
offensive players in the game today. Many people
consider Henry to be the most exciting player to
watch in world football. Although he plays as a
striker, his versatility at all aspects of the
game makes him more influential than a traditional
striker, and he often drops deep to receive the
ball from midfield. Combining lightning-quick
speed with tremendous vision and creativity, he
creates nearly as many goals as he scores. Amongst
other things, Henry is well known for his
exceptional pace and accurate finishing which puts
him at, or near, the top of the Premiership top
scorers list each season.

Henry trained at the French Football Federation's
academy at Clairefontaine before starting his
professional career at AS Monaco. He was given his
debut by then Monaco manager Arsène Wenger at the
age of 17. At Monaco, Wenger put Henry on the wing
as a temporary measure because the line was
already led by Brazilian striker Sonny Anderson.

The Frenchman made his international debut in
October 1997 against South Africa national
football team|South Africa. He played in Les
Bleus' 1998 World Cup success, and was joint-top
scorer for France with three goals; he also was
part of the Euro 2000 winning squad, scoring a
further three goals.

Having impressed in the 1998 World Cup, Henry left
Monaco and moved to Italy|Italian giants Juventus
in January 1999 for £14 million. There, he was
made to play on the wing, and in an unfamiliar
position was strangled by Italian defensive
discipline, scoring just three goals while
starting only 12 games for the Bianconeri.

Unsettled in Italy, he transferred from Juventus
in August 1999 to Arsenal for £10.5 million,
reuniting with his former mentor, Wenger. At
Arsenal, Wenger converted Henry into a striker,
where he has flourished ever since. As of August
15th 2005, Henry is three goals short of Arsenal's
all time scoring record (currently held by Ian
Wright). Regarded by many as the best striker in
the history of Arsenal Football Club, Henry has
committed his future to the Gunners and hopes to
extend his stay in North London. He was runner up
for the 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year|2003
and 2004 FIFA World Player of the Year|2004 FIFA
World Player of the Year award while helping
Arsenal run the table in the Premiership.

Henry has been the star of television
advertisements for Nike, Inc.|Nike, Pro Evolution
Soccer, and Renault (once with his
England|English model (person)|model girlfriend
Nicole Merry, whom he married in July 2003) and
will soon front adverts for Pepsi. On May 27th
2005, Henry celebrated the birth of his first
child, Tea Henry. Henry and his family live in
Hampstead, England.

On 16th July 2005, Henry was confirmed as the new
Arsenal captain, replacing as skipper the recently
departed Patrick Vieira.

==Career statistics==

All figures correct as of August 24, 2005