Birgit Prinz and "Zizou" - stars of the show

Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2003 10:04 am
The 13th FIFA World Player Gala, broadcast in over 160 countries and taking place in Basle (Switzerland) for the very first time, so as to focus additional attention on the event itself as well as the "Match Against Poverty" shortly afterwards at the St Jakob Park, has ended the suspense and revealed the identities of the winners of various end-of-year FIFA awards.

As well as their love of the beautiful game, Birgit Prinz and Zinedine Zidane already share the rare honour of being crowned world champions, albeit five years apart. And from now on, the German goal-getter and the French wizard will be able to say that they have something else in common: they both won FIFA World Player of the Year titles in 2003.

This is almost becoming a habit for the Frenchman and he has equalled the record of his Real Madrid team-mate Ronaldo, who has also won the title on three occasions. Birgit Prinz on the other hand takes the laurels for the very first time. The award rounds off an extraordinary year for the striker, coming just two months after Germany's first FIFA Women's World Cup title following victory over Sweden in the Final in Los Angeles.

With 264 points, "Zizou" fended off the challenge of his French international team-mate, Thierry Henry (186 pts), and 2002 FIFA World Player of the Year, Brazil's Ronaldo (176). Meanwhile, Birgit Prinz turned the tables on Mia Hamm, who had beaten her to the title last year, with a total of 268 points (compared to 133 for the American). Sweden's Hanna Ljungberg (88 points) finished third in the vote (see www.fifa.com for a full rundown of results). 100 national team coaches cast their votes for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year 2003 and 142 took part in the men's vote.

source: FIFA

Prinz, btw, said last week, she was considering Perugia's offer to become the first female player in Serie A (Italian Premier Division)
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Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2003 05:07 pm
Zidane, not Ronaldo, is dubbed by the Latin American commentators, "The King of Madrid". Stereotypes would say that the European was to be an effective scorer, while the Brazilian was to be a magician with the ball. It happens the other way around.

As for Prinz's enrollment with Perugia, I don't think much of it. I don't think much of the Perugia team. A lot is spoken about it's marketing strategies (the son of Khadafi, the fight for admitting women in Serie A -Prinz is not the first one, Perugia signed a Swedish female player before-). But the team speaks little or nothing in the field.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2003 06:06 pm
Why do you say the Brazilian would not be the scorer?

With Jardel, Elber, Ronaldo and so many other strikers in Europe I can't imagine why.

Especially since Jardel and Elber (more so with Jardel) really dominated the goal scoring within their leagues.

Jardel is the very definition of effective goal scorer and is even very European about it.

I just don't get it, but given that we generally agree about football I must be missing something. Has Ronaldo stopped dribbling or something?
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Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2003 07:16 pm
Brazilians love to win. But -until this last generation-they loved "jogo bonito" even more.
It is agreed that the best play Pelé ever made did not finish as a goal.
He dribbled some defenders and made a long self-pass, dribbling another defender in his way to the ball, he shot and barely missed.

Ronaldo is technical, like most Brazilians. He plays the way no Klinsman or Scholes would ever dream of (and I'm talking about excellent players). But he relies on his strength at least as much as he relies on his technical ability.

Zidane (like Figo) is cut differently. 80% ability. They are able to dribble, with excellent leg work, four opponents at the time, and then pass the ball through the exact hole where an incoming comrade is arriving.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2003 07:23 pm
Ah, what I was missing is pretty much all of history (I know little before this generation except the really great ones).

In Brazil what they admired most about Zidane was what they called his field vision. They have magicians with the ball (like Denilson) but passing doesn't seem to be a Brazilian stong suit.

I haven't followed football since Corinthians won the World Club Champs. I'm starting to miss it. Been out of the loop as far as sports is concerned.

Have you been following Ronaldo? Is he at pre-injuries greatness?
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Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2003 07:40 pm
IMHO, Ronaldo is excellent today. At his best.
Still, Ronaldo at his best is no Pelé, Maradona, Puskas, Di Stefano or Cruyff.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2003 12:39 am
Agree totally with your opinion about Perugia, fbaezer.

(And share your comments about the other great players.)
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Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2003 12:39 am
craven: jardel f*cked his career when he got into gambling and drinking here in portugal (when playing at Sporting), then his wife left him and so did his childs... anyway, when he was in Porto he was one of the best strikers around, 2 or 3 seasons with most goals scored in europe (and i think the world too), then he got transfered to Galatasaray in Turkey and didnt perform so well. after Galatasaray he came to Portugal again, this time to Sporting and he scored some, but not as many as in Porto...(this is when his career started shaking, he was fat and didn't even run much! )
he's playing in england now, a club that I forgot the name. I don't think he scores many goals now...and I think he's over now! but when he was in his game, he was one of the best (if not the best) player to be in the area and wait for the balls, just to score a goal with the head, (sorry if you can't understand, but I can't find the word i want to use, damn english!) and he always had a nice positioning.

and daaamn, I think Figo is a great player but he's getting old. this year he was ranked 31st on the FIFA ranking you were talking about on the 1st post. Sad

i agree fbeazer, ronaldo is excelent but, as you said, you can't compare him to a pelé, maradona, etc. by the way, talking about those 2 great players, who do you think was the BEST one? pelé or maradona? or someone else? do you know eusébio?

zidane is also a great player, too bad he already said he wants to stop playing soccer in 2 years or so. i love to watch him play.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2003 02:04 am
Seu Ingles é otimo. Mas podemos tambem falar em Portugues, pois morei bastante em Brasil.

Jardel was indeed one of the best "Matadores" in football. I didn't know about his decline so thanks for that.

As to the Pelé and Maradona debate I pick Maradona and Maradona hands down. In terms of skill I think many people far outshine Pelé. I think Pelé most dominated the game but only because the game had yet to evolve a coherent defense.

Watching films pf Pelé makes me cringe at the absolutely horrid defense of him in the box.

I think mediocre players like Denilson have more skill than Pelé did. But they have to face real defenders.

Maradona was a football god, and if he had some brains he'd have had a brighter star than Pelé. Unfortunately he wastes his talent by being an idiot. Probably in similar ways that you say Jardel did.
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