Friday, 30 July 2010

100 Greatest Sports Stars - Number 98 - Annika Sörenstam

Annika Sörenstam giving an interview on the Today Show (aired 24th April 2007), on the opening of her new academy
From the fjords of Sweden, Annika Sörenstam comes in to our list at number 98.  She is often referred to as The Female Tiger as her achievements in womens' golf rank her as one of the most successful golfers (of either gender) in the sport's history.  She won 90 international tournaments before she retired at the end of the 2008 season.  This made her quite comforably the female golfer with the most winds to her name.

The list of her wins is staggering.  She has 72 official tournament wins to her name and that includes ten majors and 18 non-LGPA tournaments.  She also has earned a pretty penny from the sport - her fortune is estimated at well over $US20 million.  She now holds joint American and Swedish citizenship.

She also made history in 2003 when she went head to head against the chaps as the first woman to play in a men's PGA tour event since 1945.  Marketed usually as simply Annika her off course interests include a golf academy along with the usual branded products.  However, she also designs golf courses themselves and, a nobler pursuit perhaps, runs a charitable foundation in her name.

A BBC Tribute to Annika Sörenstam

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

CRICKET: Strauss warns England

England captain Andrew Strauss has warned his team not to underestimate Pakistan in the 1st test at Trent Bridge on Thursday, Strauss has vowed for his team to keep their eyes on the ball. Pakistan are coming off a great victory over Australia in a recent test match at Headingley and Salman Butt's men will be hoping for the same against England.

"It's a big challenge," Strauss told Sky Sports News.

"We saw against Australia that the Pakistan side is dangerous one full of talent. They are used to conditions so was don't have that to surprise them.

"We are going to have to be at our best to win it and that's a good thing for us, not only ahead of the Ashes, but generally because we want to play at our best and hopefully beat the best.

"In some ways it's a precursor because there's a lot of attention towards the Ashes and we can understand that.

"It's wrong to look at any series and look beyond it. All we can do is play well in the series, win the series and go from this series to Australia with a lot of confidence.

"To start looking at Australia at this stage is not helpful."

FOOTBALL: WENGER: Fabregas will stay

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has fiercely denied that Cesc Fabregas is going to Barcelona, Cesc has been surrounded by much speculation that he will return back to home at Barcelona this summer, but Wenger has all along denied that he will sell his captain.

Arsene Wenger told the clubs official website, ( "It is only noise. In our job we have to deal with what we can master. What we cannot influence is not to worry about," Wenger told Arsenal's website (

"He is a very important player for us, he is our captain and we have worked very hard (for him) to be the future of our team and that is why we are always adamant about not letting him go."

FOOTBALL: Lions land duo

Newly promoted Championship side Millwall have pulled off a double coup in the past two days with signing James Henry, previously on loan to the Lions twice has signed up on a three year contract. Also former Charlton and Colchester striker Kevin Lisbie joins the South Londoners on a season long loan.

James Henry previous spells at The Den were in the 2008/9 campaign and again last season scoring a number of vital goals helping Millwall's promotion push which saw the Lions win the play-off final at Wembley, including a hat-trick against Tranmere Rovers

Following Henry's signing yesterday, Millwall manager has moved quickly to secure the season loan of Kevin Libie to bolster Millwall's offensive options when they embark on the season ahead.

100 Greatest Sports Stars - Number 99 - Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe breaks the 400m World Record in 2002.
Nicknamed the Thorpedo or Thorpey, Ian Thorpe, the Australian freestyle swimmer, comes in at number 99 on our list of the top 100 greatest sports stars ever.  All told he won five Olympic gold medals which is a record for an Australian and he was also the first person ever to win six gold medal in a single World Championship.  His results are staggering, 11 World Championship golds (the second highest ever by a swimmer).  The pool was his natural home and as well as being made Australian Swimmer of the Year for four years in a row he was also given the title of Young Australian of the Year in 2000.

He started young, too, first representing his country at the tender age of 14.  Plus he was the youngest individual World Chamion when he won the 400 meter freestyle in 1998 (when he was 16).  From that point there was no stopping the boy wonder and he dominated the 400 meters until his break after the Olympics of 2004.

He had 13 individual long course world records to his name and with teammates five relay world records,  When he won the bronze in Athens for the 100m freestyle it made him the only man to have ever won medals in the 1-2-4 hundred meter combination.  It is unlikely that this track record will be beaten any time soon.

In this video, Thorpe shows the five major strokes important to success in the freestyle event.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

FOOTBALL: Campbell hopes to join Newcastle today

Arsenal defender Sol Campbell is having a medical and is set to sign for Newcastle today, swapping London for the North East according to Sky Sports News. The former England man has impressed a host of clubs with his defensive qualities towards the end of last season.

Sol Campbell has failed to agree deal with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and has decided to look elsewhere, after much specualtion about Campbell's future and strong interest that Sol was going to join Celtic. Campbell has decided that he would prefer to play in the Premier League football with the Magpies.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Alex Higgins dies

Former Snooker champion Alex Higgins has died today, Higgins had been battling throat cancer and had recently been looking frail. The 61 year old body was found in a block of flats.

Alex Higgins would be remembered as the original people's champion and the man who transformed the popularity of the sport. Snooker promoter Barry Hearn said, "I have known him for nearly 40 years,"

"He was the major reason for snooker's popularity in the early days. He was controversial at times, but he always played the game in the right spirit. We will miss him – he was the original people's champion."

Thursday, 22 July 2010

FOOTBALL: Millwall manager extends contract

Recenlty promoted Championship side Millwall have been boosted by the news that manager Kenny Jackett has signed a deal which will keep him at Millwall for another three years, building on last seasons success of winning the league one play-off final against Swindon Town at Wembley, Kenny is keen to building on that success and establish the Lions in the Championship division, maybe promotion to the top tier of English football in the Premier League.

Millwall manager Kenny Jackett said, "I've been very happy at Millwall and I really want to build on what we've achieved going into the Championship."

Manager Kenny Jackett has a superb relationship with American chairman John Berylson and he added,

"I am delighted that Kenny has signed a new contract which signifies his long term commitment to the club and our vision for the future. When we recruited Kenny in November 2007, the first priority was to retain our League One status. Having achieved that, our goal was promotion to the Championship, and on that memorable day at Wembley in May that target was also realised. Kenny Jackett has proved, as we believed he would, to be the best man to lead Millwall forward. As we prepare for an even greater challenge in the Championship next season, I know we are in very good hands. I thank him for a job well done so far, and look forward with confidence and excitement to the future."

FOOTBALL: Martin O'Neill: James Milner wants to leave Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager has today confirmed that England international James Milner wants to leave the Midlanders, speculation has been gathering that Manchester City are interested in signing the winger and now Milner has confirmed to Martin O'Neill that he wants to leave Aston Villa.

Manchester City are a step closer to signing Milner, but Villa say they will only sell at the right price. Should City come up with a reasonable offer for the England midfielder, Milner has turned down a offer of a new contract, which would of made him Villa's best paid player, but he heart is now set on a move away from the Midlands.

CRICKET: Muttiah Muralitharan reaches milestone

Sri Lankan spin-king cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan bowed of internation test cricket today, breaking the World Record of wickets taken. Muralitharan reached the milestone of 800 wickets. the 38 year old went into final day of his last test facing India, needing two wickets to reach the milestone.

Harbhajan Singh was first of the day of Muralitharan leaving the Sri Lankan on 799 wicked, but later Mahela Jayawardene had edged to slip sparking wild celebrations around the ground, with fireworks going off as Murali reached the 800 milestone of wicket-taking.

Take a look at Muralitharan 800th wicket.

100 Greatest Sports Stars - Number 100 - Andrew Johns

At Number 100 on our list of the greatest sports stars (ever!) is the legend who goes by the name of Andrew Johns.  An Australian Rugby League footballer he is thought of by many as the best player of all time.  During his career he was often trumpeted as the world's best halfback.  During the 1990s and the 2000s he captained the Newcastle Knights team at home and played 249 games for the team 0 a record.  He also represented Australia in 2 World Cups and played in twenty one test matches for the Aussie national side.

He retired from the game of rugby league at the age of thirty two in 2007.  This was young, but he had had a lot of injuries which, had he continued playing, would have seriously threatened his health both on the pitch and in the future.  However, he finished playing rugby league as the highest points scorer in the history of the Australian First Grade premiership.  How many pointa?  A total of 2,176.

Andrew Johns was announced as the Best Player of the Last 30 Years by the influential Rugby League Week.  For the imaginary Team of the Century  he was named as halfback.  An outstanding career which places him at number 100 in our list of the 100 greatest sports stars in the universe!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

FOOTBALL: Mancini keen on Landon Donovan

Manchester City manager has today confirmed that he is trying to seal a move for Landon Donovan, City has have splashed out this summer signing Jerome Boateng, Yaya Toure and David Silva. City are now hoping to sign up USA midfield who was loaned out to Everton last season from his USA club side LA Galaxy when their Major League Soccer season came to a close.

Robert Mancini said, "Donovan is a good player. Could be possible,"

FOOTBALL: Joe Cole on joining Liverpool

New Liverpool signing Joe Cole has been explaining his move to Anfield, Cole signed up to a £90,000 a week contract with Liverpool this week. Cole has spent his entire career based at London clubs, but has chosen to move north with Liverpool snubbing both Arsenal and Tottenham.

"I set myself a deadline to make a decision and when I made it I sent a text to Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow and Steven Gerrard and then turned my phone off.

Joe said, "I know I have made the right decision and I am looking forward to the challenge.

"This is a challenge for me. I have played in London all my life. I could have stayed at Chelsea because the fans loved me and I won things, but I wanted to challenge myself and when I knew Liverpool were interested it was a no-brainer because they are the biggest club in the country.

"This is a massive club. I tried to take everything out of the equation, take the financial and location side out and just thought in football terms.

"I thought about the semi-final of the Champions League in 2005 when I ran onto the field and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I was thinking about playing in that atmosphere every week and that swung it for me."

CRICKET: Australia all out for 88

The Australian cricket team have collapsed on day one for the second test at Headingley against Pakistan.

Austrailia were all out for 88.

The Aussies won the toss and decided to bat first, a decision which could come back to haunt them to say the least.

After the problems the Pakistanis had previously, with Captain Shahid Afridi retiring the other day, perhaps the Australians thought they were in for an easy match. However, the Pakistani team today came out fighting, removing all the Aussies for 88. Ouch.

FOOTBALL: Petr Cech ruled out for a month

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has been ruled out for the start of the season with a calf injury, Czech international will be out for a month after a injury his leg while training with the Blues. Petr Cech received a similar injury last season which he suffered in the Champions League against Inter Milan in February which also kept him out for a month.

FOOTBALL: New England Soccer Team Sponsorship Announced - EXCLUSIVE

This morning the England Manager Fabio Capello unveiled the new sponsors who will fund the England team over the next few years by the discrete placement of their logos on the England football shirt.  Postman Pat Capello announced, in an astonishing and audacious advertising move that the team will be sponsored by no less than three companies.  The first is petroleum firm Total, the second the clothing brand fcuk and lastly the parcel service UPS.  That means that TOTAL, FCUK, UPS will now be ensured as the organisation willing to dig in their pockets for the future advertising revenue of the English National Team.

Hurrah for England!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

FOOTBALL: Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema caught up in sex scandal

French internationals Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema have been caught up in a sex scandal and have been placed under judicial investigation on suspicion of soliciting sex with an under-age prostitute.

Police had been investigating a prostitution ring and the players were among those detained. If convicted both players could receive the maximum penalty of three years imprisonment.  Until the case goes to trial Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema have been released from custody pending further investigation.

"One has to ask whether he is not being made to pay for France's World Cup failure,"  exhorted Ribery's lawyer, Sophie Bottai in an attempt to gain the player some sympathy votes even though saying this is likely to infuriate the French public, already fed up to the back teeth with a team (and so its players) which represented their nation so dimally in South Africa.

In an interview with Paris Match the girl in question, who is called Zahia Dehar and is now aged 18 said, "I was Ribery's birthday present."

"Franck approached me in a Paris club. He booked me and flew me to Munich to celebrate his 26th birthday.

"He made reservations at a luxury hotel in Munich. We had sex and he paid me. I was a lovely little present, wasn't I?" Miss Dehar had pleaded with French coach Raymond Domenech not to drop the winger from France's World Cup squad, saying he had been unaware of her age.

FOOTBALL: Liverpool sign Rangers starlet Danny Wilson

Liverpool have today agreed in principal to sign youngster Danny Wilson from Glasgow Rangers, the 18 year old came through the youth setup at Ibrox and Wilson signed his first professional contract three years ago. The Rangers star has been a target for the Anfield target for sometime and everything but the transfer fee has been agreed.

Liverpool are set to announce the deal soon, will Wilson being pulled out of the Rangers squad which flew out for the pre-season tour of Austrailia today, with Liverpool hoping to complete the transfer allowing Wilson to join with his new team-mates at their pre-season training camp in Switzerland.

"We have agreed a deal in principle with Liverpool for the transfer of Danny Wilson," said Rangers chief executive Martin Bain on the club's official website.

"Liverpool's offer will see the club receive £2million up front with add-ons linked to games played, taking the total value of the deal to £5million."

GOLF: Louis Oosthuizen Won the Open with a Little Red Dot

Louis Oosthuizen has won the 2010 Open but it can now be reveled that he had a secret weapon - a little red dot.

In terms of sports psychology, this just goes to show how a simple mental technique can assist in winning a major championship.

What happens is that he paints a little red dot on his golf glove before he plays.

This serves a a constant reminder that he has to focus on the game and not let his mind wander.

As soon as he took his grip he would see the dot.  This helped him to block out all and any distractions and fully concentrate on that single shot as if it was the only shot in the world - none before and none after.

You may be inclined to scoff, but for Oosthuizenit worked in a fairly spectacular way because he eventually won by seven strokes.

So, are we going to see a deluge of red dots on golfing gloves across the globe?  Possibly, but we think it is already quite likey that the manufacturers are lining up to sign Oosthuizen and get millions of the things in to production very quickly indeed.

Not that we are cynical, of course.

FOOTBALL: Martin Jol tells Ajax he wants to join Fulham

Martin Jol has told Ajax told today that he would like to take up the vacant managers job at Fulham, the Cottagers are currently managerless after Roy Hodgson took up the vacancy post at Liverpool earlier this month.

FOOTBALL: Steven Gerrard commits to Liverpool

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has committed his future to Liverpool after being impressed with manager Roy Hodgson's plans. After completing the signing of Joe Cole on a free yesterday, Steven Gerrard has been impressed with Hodgson intent as Liverpool manager.

Steve Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo, "I made it clear that I simply needed to concentrate on the World Cup and then have a decent holiday with my family,"

"I wanted the chance to meet Roy Hodgson privately and having done so, I'm very impressed with his plans for the future.

I've only returned to training today at Melwood with some of the other World Cup players, but I can't wait for the new season to start."

GOLF: Colin Montgomerie names three vice captains

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has named Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley as his vice-captains. Europe face United States in the Ryder Cup which is due to take place at Celtic Manor in Wales in October. Europe are looking to regain the Cup after losing out the United States last year.

Europe are favourites for this years tournament after great success from European players this season, vice captain Paul McGinley added, "Based on world rankings, we're clear favourites,"

He added, "It's not often you can say that about a European side, usually it is only the Americans that are clear favourites. This is undoubtedly one of the strongest European teams we have had."

CRICKET: Strauss - Pietersen will come good

England cricket captain Andrew Strauss has said he has no concerns on Kevin Pietersen lack of form recently and his backing his talisman to bounce back against Pakistan in first test match which is due to start on Thursday 29th July at Trent Bridge. Pietersen has lacked runs recently for England, with his last successful spell being an unbeaten 111 against India in November 2008.

Andrew Strauss told Sky Sports News, "Kevin has just turned 30 but he has got a lot of cricket left in him," said Strauss. "He has had a tough time, there is no doubt about that.

"He has not scored as many runs as he has done in the past. But he is a high-quality cricketer and he will come back and play match-winning innings for us.

"He has had a bit of a break and that has been well received. A new addition to the family changes your priorities a bit and you need to get your life in order. I think he will come out and play really well against Pakistan.

"Kevin wants to be a great cricketer and he knows the way to do that is by scoring runs consistently and putting in match-winning performances and I have no worries that he will do that."

FOOTBALL: Mesut Ozil interests Chelsea

Chelsea are in the hunt for German World Cup star Mesut Ozil, after a botched offer to try and tempt Torres away from Liverpool. Chelsea have now turned their attention to Mesut Ozil, one of the stars of the World Cup for Germany. The 21 year old Werder Bremen player is sure to leave this summer.

Mesut Ozil situation is being monitored closely and after contract talks with Werder Bremen broke down before the World Cup, Ozil has only a year left on his contract and Werder might opt to receive a fee for him now rather than leave on a free next season. Ozil's impressive displays for Germany this summer have attracted the attention of both Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Will Werder Bremen let their star player leave?

FOOTBALL: Joe Cole signs for Liverpool

As we reported here on UK Soccer earlier, Joe Cole has now officially signed for Liverpool, Roy Hodgson has got his man. Beating of competition from Tottenham and Arsenal, Joe Cole has opted to join the mersey-siders signing a £90,000 a week contract and Cole will fly out to Switzerland to join up with his new team-mates.

The arrival of Joe Cole with signal Hodgson intent as Liverpool manager and this transfer could help persuade Fernando Torres and club captain Steven Gerrard to remain at Anfield. Both players have stated that would like to see Liverpool sign Champions League standard players before deciding on their future and Joe Cole is certainly that.

BOXING: Mayweather and Pacquiao fight deadline passes

The fight between two of the greatest fighters on the planet at the moment Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is destined to not happen, the latest twist in the tale saw Top Rank promoter Bob Arum's deadline of 3 a.m. ET come and pass without a word from the Mayweather camp to accept the terms of a deal for a Nov. 13 fight with Manny Pacquiao, to us and probably the rest of the boxing world it seems that Money Mayweather is ducking Manny Pacquiao for some reason.

In previous attempts to get the fight on, Floyd said he would only agree to fight Manny, if the Filipino would agree to blood testing before the fight. This would mean both fighters would need to give blood samples at least 30 days before the fight, but Top Rank promoter Bob Arum suggested that Manny can give blood 14 days prior to the fight. So that stumbling block has been over come.

Floyd boasts that he loves money so much and getting this fight on would be the biggest PPV fight in history. This would make both fighters more money than they have received in any previous fights. Something don't add up right and it seems that Floyd simply doesn't want to fight Manny.

Come on Floyd, pull ya finger out. We hope this sitation can be resolved and the fight date can be set and I'm sure we speak of many fans in the World of Boxing.

But can you see it happening?

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