By almost any measure you choose to evaluate a player’s worth, Martin Palermo was an exceptional striker. The Argentine played in both Spain and Argentina netting 249 goals in 592 games across a career spanning almost 19 years. Slightly worse than a goal every other game, it’s a strike rate to be proud of for someone who, for most of his career, played at the highest level. Even in his international career for La Albiceleste, at a time when his opportunities were stymied by the presence of such luminaries as Gabriel Batistuta and Hernan Crespo, he delivered a highly-creditable nine goals in 15 appearances.
For all that success though, and even taking into account the occasion when he suffered a double fracture of his left leg after a wall collapsed on him whilst celebrating a winning goal for Villareal, the thing that most football aficionados will remember about Martin Palermo is when he had a spot – or perhaps more accurately three spots – of bother in a 1999 Copa América game against Colombia. There’s more to this story than that though. Continue reading →
According to Freud’s model of the human psyche there are three elements which, when combined, comprise our mental state. The Id is the instinctive drives that are ours from birth. The Superego is the part that acts as our moral brake, a self-critical conscience formed from the norms of society and the Ego is the mediating element that balances the desires of the Id and the mores of the Superego. OK, that’s all the psychoanalysis precepts sorted now. So, what has any of this to do with putting a football into the net from twelve yards? Well, it may be that an understanding of this may explain how England managed to overcome their recalcitrance with penalty shootouts. Continue reading →
Zinedine Zidane had the bottle for one in the World Cup final, and Adrea Pirlo invited England ‘keeper Joe Hart to sample the delights of another during the 2012 European Championships; although, by all accounts it left a pretty bad taste in the mouth of Manchester City stopper. Peter Crouch even passed his over the top of the bar. A Panenka isn’t about strength, more correctly it’s about finesse, but you’re certainly brave if you fancy one! No, it’s not another obscure brew of Pilsner lager from eastern Europe. It was created in what is now the Czech Republic and does have a bit of a ‘kick’ to it, however. Oh yes, and its creation does owe something to a glass of beer. Continue reading →