Seven thousand miles, twelve yards and one small step.
On 16 November 2005, in Sydney’s Telstra Stadium, John Aloisi, late of Coventry City and Portsmouth, among many other clubs, but at the time plying his trade with Alavés in Spain’s Basque country, held the fate of his nation’s footballing aspirations in his hands. Donned in the gold shirt of Australia’s Socceroos, he stood a little more than twelve yards from the goal line policed by Uruguay’s ‘keeper, Fabián Carini. The next few seconds would decide if the upstart Aussies would go to the 2006 World Cup Finals. If Aloisi could convert his spot kick, there was nothing that La Celeste, twice crowned as champions of the world, could do about it. Australia would be in Germany, and the South Americans would miss out. Continue reading →
Anyone for a Panenka? Or how a glass of beer changed the world of football!
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 →