Today’s prediction will be from the UEFA Champions League, currently in its round of 16. The match: Russia’s FC Zenit vs. Portgual’s SL Benfica.
Zenit’s crest is okay. Just a single color is nice sometimes, and the little ship at the top is kind of cool. The swoosh-y name would normally be a minus, as it’s too much like a cliched American baseball styling, but the fact that it’s Cyrillic letters saves it. The heavy panel outlines on the soccer ball aren’t helping anything. Meanwhile, Benfica has some interesting stuff going on. I always like a good eagle, and I’ll count this as good, even if it does look a little teddy-bearish in the body. The red and green Portuguese odd couple are here, plus a shield, an old-fashioned ball, and — is that a bicycle wheel? Bottom line: these two are close, and I’d call a draw but for one thing: the “e pluribus unum”. Out of many, one. And that’s how many I predict Benfica will win by: one.
Kickoff is at noon Eastern, broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel.
Update: A team won by one, all right, but it wasn’t the Portuguese side. Zenit 3-2 Benfica, zero points for me on the scorecard.
The Wall Street Journal: Sports Has a New Salary King:
The highest-salaried athlete in professional sports these days may be a Cameroonian soccer player named Samuel Eto’o, who will play his home games for an obscure club in the violence-wracked Caucasus region of Dagestan, Russia.
In a deal announced Tuesday, Anzhi Makhachkala of the Russian Premier League agreed to pay Eto’o's former club, Inter Milan, a transfer fee of $39 million to acquire the 30-year-old forward. The team also agreed to a contract with the player that, given Russia’s favorable tax rates, would net Eto’o $29 million per season. That not only eclipses the estimated $17.4 million salary Cristiano Ronaldo earns at Real Madrid, it also outstrips the net income of top U.S. stars like Manning, Rodriguez and Kobe Bryant.
Via Soccer By Ives: Tuesday Ticker: Gullit axed again, Aston Villa to interview McLeish and more
Gullit was fired by Chechen club Terek Grozny on Tuesday, just five months after being hired as the club’s manager.
He was given an ultimatum to win Tuesday’s game by team management, but a last-minute goal doomed his team to a 1-0 loss and cost him his job. Gullit won just three of 13 games while at the helm, and Terek Grozny sits in 14th place out of 16 teams in the Russian Premier League.
Here’s hoping Gullit can do better at his next club, crest-wise at least. Terek Grozny’s is nothing special, in our opinion.
TagsAlbania Andorra Argentina Belgium Brazil Canada Chile China Cuba Cyprus Denmark El Salvador England France Georgia Germany Greece Guatemala Iceland Italy Japan Mexico Monaco Namibia Netherlands New Zealand Norway Paraguay Peru Portugal Republic of Korea Romania Russia Serbia South Africa South Korea Spain Sweden Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine United Arab Emirates Uruguay USA