Thursday, March 30, 2006


It is definitely a much balanced match compare to last night. Both clubs have great opportunities to score. Although Milan may have a slight more control and possession in the match. It just lack the goals. Both clubs attacked well and hardly any bad tackles were seen.

Shevchenko had many chances blocked. It is quite an unlucky night for him. He could have scored at least 3 goals. Lyon themselves look steady and tough. I am sure the tie is not fully over yet. They could bring some surprises in San Siro for the return leg. Both are equally good at the back. Coupet and Dida had one of the greatest nights of their careers. This is the main reason no goals are scored. Milan did not miss their regular defenders with a stable and solid defence that is really reliable.

Gilardino had quite a quiet night for his standards. Kaka and Shevchenko were the dangermen for Milan. Gattuso is as always very hardworking chasing every single balll. Lyon's strikers Carew and Wiltord are also impressive whole night through. They just lack that finishing touch to kill the match at home.

The other match was Inter Milan Vs. Villarreal. Adriano finally scored but the away goal scored by Forlan could prove very deadly during the return leg. There will be a possibility for another Inter-Milan clash again if Inter go through this time again!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Warning! I was semi-conscious in the 1st half and was 80% conscious only in the 2nd half due to lack of sleep. My review can be considered a half truth / dream.

Nice passing, good flow of football, great offensive surges by Henry, Hleb, Reyes and Fabregas. Arsenal is playing one of the most sexiest football right now! Ashley who? Sol who? I don't remember any defenders by such names and they are playing much better!

Lehmann is superb at the back and Reyes has been mastermining most of the attacks from the left wing. I just feel that the other lads should try their shooting chances more and not to give most of the damn ball to Henry. There are occassions when I see Fabregas and Hleb to be at a better position to score and yet pass the ball to the edge of the penalty box where Henry is to try at a much harder angle.

Arsenal's football is alot patient and alot more focusing on short passes. I remember the good old Real Madrid days. Hai! Well, Juventus without Del Piero and Nedved sure is suffering! Trezequet and Mutu especially are rather quiet in front. Juventus decided to play long balls whole damn night and hoping the forwards will be able to receive at least a few of the chances and go in to score. Unfortunately, I don't see anything effective coming out from there. Their passes are very loose and concentrated on the left wing as well. Too many 50-50 chances taken and resulted in alot of tackles to win the ball.

With 9 men playing in the end, nobody gives them anymore chance to score an away goal. With Vieira, Camoranesi and Zebina out of the next match, the odds are against Juventus to advance to the semis. Things are looking good for Arsenal. Their dream to emulate what Liverpool did last season is so far going well!

I think the prophecy has been fulfilled. Remember what I said in my last post? The Morientes story, the Owen story and now, it could be the Vieira story? Well, the curse of the Champions League lives on! Haha!

There was a delay telecast of the Benfica-Barcelona match. 0-0 was the scoreline and who the heck want to watch a delay telecast knowing the goalless draw? I needed some sleep anyway!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Arsenal VS. Juventus
Benfica VS. Barcelona
Inter Milan VS. Villarreal
Lyon VS. AC Milan

Surely, we know who are the favourites and who are the underdogs. The most interesting clash has to be the first on the list when a former player is coming back to pay a visit.

Arsenal go into the match knowing Juventus have the edge in terms of age and the experience in playing in Europe for all these years. Age may benefit Juventus but speed will be on Arsenal's side for all the younger players they have. Surely speed and stamina is what Arsenal must make full use of.

Patrick Vieira is coming back to visit Highbury for the very last time. I am sure he moved or was forced to move (whichever way you believe the news reports) to have a great chance to advance in Europe to win that trophy that he always failed to get when he was with Arsenal.

I am sure he is as surprised as Real Madrid when they met Monaco with Morientes. Who will have the last laugh? This also reminds me of Owen when he left for Real Madrid when Liverpool won the Champions League last season. This will surely be an interesting clash in that manner. It will go down the same pattern as the both cases I mentioned earlier. That is if the coincidence will be there to compare. It looks likely and there is a chance that fate will repeat itself.

Benfica, Villarreal and Lyon has nothing to prove at this point. They are already the dark horses of this competition and everyone knows how dangerous they are if they are taken lightly. Villarreal for all you know, had been impressive last season. Lyon had shown they are capable of dethroning giants with ease. As for Benfica, I see it as a reunion between Koeman and Rijkaard as two of Dutch's great players of all time. I don't know whether they ever played together as club team mates. I know Koeman coached and played for Barcelona before. It is a reunion for him too.

Arsenal should get a slim win at home.
Barcelona should be able to win slim away.
Expect Villarreal to win away too!
I predict the Lyon-Milan encounter to be a draw.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Barcelona have 8 matches left in the La Liga. They are still in the Champions League. They hace 13 points lead on top, if Real Madrid win tonight, they will have 11 points lead.
1. HOME to Real Madrid (2-3/20) A draw or defeat is possible
2. AWAY to Racing Santander (14/20) A win most likely
3. HOME to Villarreal (8/20) A draw or a defeat is possible
4. AWAY to FC Sevilla (5/20) A draw or a defeat is possible
5. HOME to Cadiz (19/20) A win almost confirmed
6. AWAY to Celta Vigo (7/20) A draw or a defeat is possible
7. HOME to Espanyol (16/20) A win almost confirmed
8. AWAY to Athletic Bilbao (12/20) A win most likely

At the most, Barcelona can only lose 4 matches, which is 12 points. Mathematically it is still possible to chase but Osasuna, Real Madrid and Valencia must win all the remaining matches, which is not possible. Well, at least it is not fully hopeless at this point of time.

Chelsea have 7 matches left in the Premier League. They are currently leading 14 points on top. If Manchester United win both matches they still have to play, they will have a 9 points lead.
1. AWAY to Birmingham (18/20) A win almost confirmed
2. HOME to West Ham (9/20) A draw likely
3. AWAY to Bolton (7/20) A draw or defeat possible
4. HOME to Everton (10/20) A win likely
5. HOME to Liverpool (2-3/20) A draw or defeat possible
6. HOME to Manchester United (2-3/20) A draw or defeat possible
7. AWAY to Newcastle United (12/20) A draw or win possible

Chelsea will drop most likely 9 points with 3 defeats. Same case as above, it is not really hopeless but Manchester United and Liverpool have to win almost all the remaining matches.

Juventus hold 8 points lead in the Serie A. They have only AC Milan to be in the real fight to the end. They are still in the Champions League competition. 7 matches left.
1. AWAY to Treviso (20/20) A win almost confimed
2. HOME to Fiorentina (4/20) A draw or defeat possible
3. AWAY to Cagliari (15/20) A win most likely
4. HOME to Lazio (8/20) A draw or defeat possible
5. AWAY to Siena (13/20) A win most likely
6. HOME to Palermo (9/20) A draw or win possible
7. AWAY to Reggina (14/20) A win most likely

Looking at the remaining matches, I think only Fiorentina is able to give Juventus a defeat. The maximum defeat is probably 2 with another possible candidate being Lazio. Juventus have a better mathematical chance to win the league compare to Barcelona and Chelsea.


I tried to cook my very first steak today. Ingredients? Salt, onion, soya sauce, butter, red wine, BBQ sauce, carrot, lemon, flour and pepper. Haha! I just give it what I have in my fridge.

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This is what you get after 15 mins from the microwave.

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This is when it is finally done in 30 minutes.

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It is abit overcooked for me. I like my steak half-cooked. I will give it 70% out of 100%. Haha! Giving myself some encouragement for future tries.

I also cooked a sea cucumber soup with mushrooms, lean meat (pork), egg, onion and garlic. This is not my first time so I am quite used to prepare it well.

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I am falling in love with cooking. It is quite an interesting process from the preparation process right up to cooking. The only headache is the washing afterwards.

What I really want to try? Baked rice with tonnes of cheese. I love cheese. I also am a lamb/mutton lover, I wish to prepare my own here though I prepared tonnes of them back at home. Yes, lamb/mutton is my favourite meat! It is probably the last domestic meat on earth that is not contaminated with diseases that can spread to human.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


This weekend belongs to the Serie A for a couple of reasons.

Parma Vs. Inter Milan
Juventus Vs. AS Roma
AC Milan Vs. Fiorentina

Barcelona like Chelsea, should win the league this season. It is impossible for the others to chase them. This whole week has been a week about managers. Who will be the managers of England and Real Madrid after the World Cup 2006? It seems like great managers these days don't move club often. It is hard to lure the reputed few to both the country and club mentioned above. I guess when they already have a strong foundation at another club, it is hard to move on.

Friday, March 24, 2006


I always love the liqueur chocolates and I am a chocolate hardcore lover! They gave the chocolate a more higher taste of greatness. I for one grew up helping my grandparents to harvest cocoa, prepare them before Nestle came to our orchards to take them to make cocoa products. Therefore, I had tested raw cocoa fresh from the orchards. It is basically super dark chocolate.

This chocolate is made in Switzerland and have the Stolichnaya Russian Vodka, which are distilled and bottled in Moscow, Russia. The swiss are famous for their chocolates and clocks / watches while where you can get the best vodka if not from Russia?

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When you bite into them, you basically can find the vodka spilling out into your tastebud! Yummy! However, you only have 10% vodka in the total content. Not that much of a high kick. I guess they have to make it more edible to the general public so the product can sell better.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


As the World Cup draws near, there seemed to be a lot of attention of which prodigy will shine the most in Germany. It seems that all fingers are pointed to Messi for what he has shown to the world thus far! I for one agree that this guy is a genius on the ball and can well replace the shoes left behind by Zidane and Ronaldinho when they retire or even before!

We talk about Robinho, Fabregas, Rooney, Cristino Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Adu to be the contenders to be able to take that prodigy title in the World Cup. Well, to me, may the best player wins! I want as much entertaining beautiful football played as any fan on earth will wish for. We will hope all these players will stay injury free and perform to the best of their abilities as we witness in great joy!

Here is a related article written by Andre Santamaria.

Article Taken From:
Title: Resident Amigo: Messi Is the Best Young Player in the World

Lionel Messi went from 13-year-old Newells starlet to the best young player in the world. Resident Amigo Andre Santamaria discusses why.

There are a ton of young stars dispersed throughout the various football leagues of the world. In England, there is the young bulldozer Wayne Rooney and his Portuguese teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. At Arsenal, hot young Spaniard Cesc Fabregas at times seems capable of dominating any midfield. Over in Spain, Real Madrid's Robinho is a young man with immense potential but perhaps with too much weight on his shoulders. There also is Robinho's teammate, Sergio Ramos, who has been touted as the next Fernando Hierro.

In the United States there's the young American midfielder Freddy Adu, who seems to have the best of the African game mixed with the best of the American game, but will need to move to a big European club to prove himself as a true talent. In South America there are River's Javier Mascherano and Boca's Fernando Gago among others.

Then there is Barcelona's Argentine wonder, Lionel Messi, a talent who has proven himself at almost every level of the game. He is not only the youngest player ever to score for Barcelona but also moved up the youth ranks through to Barcelona C, B, and then onto the first squad in the quickest time of any Barcelona player in history.

So what separates Messi from Rooney, C. Ronaldo, Robinho, and the others?

Aside from an impressive list of accomplishments you will find below Messi is the best young player because of a certain unpredictability that he possesses. Yes, it’s true that C. Ronaldo has incredible control and tricks, but how often does he now do something completely unseen or unheard of? Rooney is a tank and can produce goals from most situations but he isn’t the sort of player who is capable of running a game. Rooney is a game-breaker in sense, because he can score at any time. But he isn’t the sort of player that can commandeer a team, who can take the ball from the midfield, beat four players and give it to another forward for a goal. Messi, on the other hand, can do all of the same things that Rooney, C Ronaldo, and the rest can do, and more.

So, really the difference is that Messi is the whole package while the others seem only capable of filling one role on a team. Could you imagine Rooney as a playmaker or C. Ronaldo as anything other than a winger at Manchester United?

What about Robinho, Ramos, Gago, Mascherano, Adu, Cesc, etc…? Robinho is the same brand as C. Ronaldo or Rooney. The triumvirate is a brand of incredibly talented players with wonderful futures ahead of them, but the trio also is a brand of one-sided, one-purpose players.

Cesc is a great youngster with tons of potential, and he is multifunctional, and I believe he will be Messi´s main competition for the title of best young player at this World Cup, with Xavi´s indefinate absence the Spanish national squad will be looking for someone to fill the vacum… that someone is Cesc, and so IF Cesc can prove himself at the international level then he will have thrown his name into the same hat as Lionel Messi´s. As for Gago, Mascherano, and Adu, let’s face it: Any league outside of Europe is not even half as competitive as a European league. How can we then presume to compare the success of an American (South or North) based player like Gago or Adu to that of a European based player? For the American based contingent of the short list of great young talents, it will be absolutely necessary for them to relocate to Europe should they want to top the list some day. Otherwise, they never will have the chance to play against the same caliber of opposition as Messi, Cesc, Robinho, Rooney, C. Ronaldo and friends do.

At the international level, Messi has been an absolute success. In the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, he won the Golden Boot and was voted the tournament’s MVP in leading the Albiceleste to the title against players mostly older than himself.

At the age of 14, Messi crossed the Atlantic from Argentina to try to fulfill his footballing dreams in Europe. He eventually arrived in Barcelona where, after a trial with one of the youth affiliates of the club, he immediately was signed. His initial performances were so impressive that he was whisked up to the C team, with whom he continued to shine. After a brief stay with the C team Messi was moved up again, this time to the B team, until he was 16. Due to some injuries in the first team squad, Messi, all 16 years of him, was given a run in the first team in a friendly against Porto to celebrate the opening of Dragao stadium. The young Argentine made his Spanish debut for Barcelona on October 16, 2004, in the heated Catalan derby against Espanyol, in which Barcelona defeated their crosstown rivals 1-0.

After a string of first team appearances, Messi continued to impress, and on May 1, 2005, he became the youngest players to ever score a goal for Barcelona when he smashed one into the back of the net against relegation-bound Albacete -- he was all of 17 at the time. Since then Messi has become a first team regular in the Barcelona squad, and he recently has begun to outdo even Ronaldinho -- as tough as that is to believe. In the recent Champions League clash against Chelsea in London, Messi was without a doubt the best player on the field. Pristine ball control, creativity, and vision were the ingredients of his Argentine stew, the likes of which Abramovich’s mighty Blues just couldn't swallow.

So what does the future hold for Messi?

Messi will no doubt be given a chance to shine in his first World Cup in Germany this year. Should he do what many believe he is capable of doing, namely carry the Argentine squad to success, he will have to be recognized as one of the best players in the world today, if not the best. And he's just 18! Imagine, Barca soon will have the two best players in the world, though how that plays out will be interesting. Is Ronaldinho ready to hand over the Barcelona crown to his young teammate? Something tells me he won’t mind. The curly-haired Brazilian has been mentoring Messi and his mullet since the youngster arrived at the club.

In the upcoming World Cup the clash between emerging young talents should provide that extra spark which could set Germany afire. Will Adu make an impact enough to make the U.S. roster? Will Cristiano Ronaldo be able to split the defenses of his opposition at will? Will Ramos and Cesc be able to provide Spain with its overdue glory? Will Robinho finally break into the Brazilian squad and win a World Cup with the tournament favorites? Will Rooney and the mighty English team walk on to victory for the first time in 40 years? Will Messi bring the World Cup to Argentina? The real question is: Will another young player prove me wrong when I say that Messi is the best prospect in the world today?

Time will answer all. What is for sure, however, is that at the end of it all, if Messi really is as great as he seems to be, if he really is the real deal, this World Cup could be one for the history books.

Your Resident Amigo,
Andre Santamaria

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


This is probably the forbidden fruit of my state. It is so rare that only my state has it in the whole country. I had given many friends to test it, from Sabah to West Malaysia and they had a hard time eating this fruit.

The preparation for the local olive is to place them inside warm water for around 20-25 minutes. Later, you can eat it raw to appreciate the nice natural smell. For the kids or people who are not used with it, we apply soya sauce and sugar. This will make it more edible to the general public.

My relatives came to Singapore and brought some last month. I decided to give the Singaporeans a testing as well as some foreign China nationals. I tested with Beijing, Shanghai and Fuzhou Chinese and they love it. Singaporeans find it ok too. Most of them said that the longer you taste it, the better and easier it is to eat it. Many love it raw. They said the aroma gets better as you eat the 2nd, 3rd and the following times.

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I told them how rare this olive is as it follows the December durian season, which is the original once a year season. This year is abit odd since the season had been delayed until late January to February. I guess this is the only year where we celebrated Chinese New Year with rambutans growing on the tree at my back yard, durians and all the seasonal fruits are lying around living room tables during visitations to houses. The world climate definitely has gone really wrong!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


(Taken from
Article Title: Who Ate All The Pies? (All Two Hundred Million Of Them)

More than 2,500 English football fans have taken part in the first ever ‘Barclays Premiership Pie Survey’ and given a unique insight into their favourite matchday snack. The results will influence the menu on offer at the ‘Barclays Pie Van’, which will distribute free gourmet pies at Barclays Premiership grounds in March and April.

The survey of Barclays Premiership fans reveals that approximately 225 million pies were eaten inside and outside grounds across England last season.

The average Barclays Premiership fan eats 17.5 pies every season and has visited the same pie vendor for 3.3 years. 20% of fans admitted to buying their half-time pie as part of a superstitious ritual.

This is the first time that Barclays have surveyed fans on their pie preferences and looked at how they differ from club to club.

Summary Of The Survey's Findings:
· Pies are the number-one matchday snack for Premiership fans (40%)
· The average fan eats 17.5 pies every season
· Wigan Athletic’s famous pies are the most popular in the league, followed by Newcastle United’s and Manchester United’s
· Charlton and Sunderland fans are the most ‘pie loyal’ - visiting the same pie vendor for an average of 10 years
· Steak pies are the most popular (29%)
· Thai Chicken is the pie that fans would most like to see on the menu (36%)
· Nearly a third of fans (32%) agreed on the following order of importance for the perfect football-match pie: Filling - Crust - Size - Temperature - Gravy - Weight

The Barclays Premiership Pie Van dished up free gourmet pies to fans at saturday's West Ham v Portsmouth match, and will be doing the same at Aston Villa v Fulham (25 March), Portsmouth v Blackburn (8 April) and Manchester Utd v Sunderland (14 April). Several other dates are to be added to the tour.

Barclays Premiership fans are nothing if not loyal. The overwhelming majority (96%) said their own ground has the best pies.

The only southern clubs to feature in the ‘Barclays Pie Premiership’ Top 10 - the away ground fans voted as having the best pies - were Tottenham, Arsenal and Fulham. Aston Villa fans were generous enough to concede that their local rivals West Bromwich Albion had the best pies.

More details from the Pie Survey:
Preferred matchday snack
1. Pie 40%
2. Burger 12%
3. Chips 11%
4. Hot Dog 7%
5. Sausage Roll 3%

Fans' Favourite Pies - ‘The Barclays Pie Premiership’ Top Ten (away grounds)
1. Wigan
2. Newcastle
3. Man Utd
4. Liverpool
5. Tottenham
6. Blackburn
7. Arsenal
8. Bolton
9. Aston Villa
10. Fulham

Fan’s Favourite Pies - Fillings
1. Steak 29%
2. Meat & Potato 24%
3. Chicken & Mushroom 15%
4. Cheese & Onion 4%
5. Vegetable 3%

Time of purchase
1. Half time 42%
2. Before kick-off 32%
3. After the game 2%

Dream Pie (the pie that fans would most like to see on sale at their club)
1. Thai Chicken 36%
2. Steak & Guinness 17%
3. Chicken Balti 16%
4. Fish Pie 5%
5. Lamb and Mint 2%

Pie Loyalty (on average how often do fans visit the same pie van)
2-5 years 15%
1-2 years 24%
5 years + 8%
10 years + 14%
Less than a year 9%
No regular visits 30%

Club survey results
· Best pies: Newcastle
· Favourite pie: Chicken & Mushroom

· Best pies: West Brom
· Favourite pie: Steak

· Best pies: Man Utd
· Fav pie: Chicken & Mushroom

· Best pies: Wigan
· Fav pie: Meat & potato

· Best pies: Wigan
· Fav pie: Meat & potato

· Best pies: Aston Villa
· Fav pie: Chicken & Mushroom

· Best pies: Newcastle
· Fav pie: Chicken & Mushroom

· Best pies: Wigan
· Fav pie: Steak

· Best pies:
Liverpool· Fav pie: Steak

· Best pies: Man City
· Fav pie: Steak

· Best pies: Newcastle
· Fav pie: Meat & Potato

· Best pies: Tottenham
· Fav pie: Chicken & Mushroom

· Best pies: Arsenal
· Fav pie: Meat & Potato

· Best pies: Man Utd
· Fav pie: Steak

· Best pies: Man Utd
· Fav pie: Steak

· Best pies: Chelsea
· Fav pie: Steak

· Best pies: Liverpool
· Fav pie: Meat & Potato

· Best pies: Portsmouth
· Fav pie: Steak

· Best pies: Newcastle
· Fav pie: Chicken & Mushroom

· Best pies: Man Utd
· Fav pie: Meat & Potato

Monday, March 20, 2006


Singapore has been experiencing some of the hottest days of the year. I am sick of the heat! I'm having some severe food poisoning / indigestion for the past few days. I think I had eaten too much heaty food. Here are some photos of where my bedroom is facing.

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It is nice to wake up every morning to have this nice green view in front of your bed. However, my bedroom is facing the afternoon sun. Therefore, the hot sun shines through those windows directly into my room! I'm staying on the 5th level. Therefore, it is almost impossible to be in the bedroom during the hot afternoons!

The best part is when night falls, I can sleep without any fans at all. The room can be really cool! I guess the nature helps. It reminds me of my own bedroom at home but not as cool. My bedroom is a corner room having two walls with windows. Outside those windows are gigantic mango, jackfruit and bamboo trees. When I sleep at night, I need to even have my blanket on without any mechanical ventilation. It is natural air-conditioner!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


This is the first 18SX post on this blog. This post is specially dedicated to Alphademon! Keep up your wOOts, my friend!

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Imagine if you use these stamps to post something into an Islamic country like Malaysia. I bet your stamps will be censored with black marker so much that you won't even see the date stamped on it! Hahaha!

Saturday, March 18, 2006


(Taken from

LONDON : Eighteen of Europe's richest football clubs have initiated an attempt to kill off the Champions League in its present form and take ownership of the competition from UEFA, the Guardian newspaper reported Saturday.

In what the newspaper called "an internal policy document", it said the so-called G14 group - which includes English sides Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, but not Chelsea - outlines its intention to guarantee the dominance of its 18 clubs in European football.

"Domestic club competitions currently represent, and will continue to represent, the core football activity of the G14 member clubs," the document was quoted as saying.

"International club competitions represent an indispensable complement to the domestic competitions and therefore need to guarantee the participating clubs a reasonable number of matches, so as to allow these top-level clubs the opportunity to effectively forward plan so that they can maximise their chances of a 'return on investment'."

"Governing structures...would be based on a clear needs basis...This would quite possibly involve a detachment of the top professional level from all remaining levels underneath, if this was agreed upon by the clubs."

The document stated that the final reviewed version became "official G14 policy" last December, although a spokesman told The Guardian on Friday that the leaked text was a draft based on discussions.

He added that 10 key principles published on its website on Thursday were the outcome of subsequent talks.

The G14 was formed in 2000 and kept its name when it added four more members two years later. Members include Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus FC, Paris St-Germain and Olympique de Marseille. - AFP/ch


I guess it is time to say something regarding this and identify the trend that football nowadays is so accustomed to.

You have to understand that rumours of transfer will always be the 'IN' thing when a player have not signed and it is really near the period where he can be transferred at a very cheap price or free at all.

Remember Steven Gerrard goes through that phase when Benitez was pressured to win the Champions League to make him stay. If Liverpool did not win the trophy, the question is would he have stayed on? No doubt he comes out from the youth ranks like Owen but Owen moved on. Arsenal is probably a good example of the only club on earth where loyalty still exists. I guess Wenger's policy of signing the young potentials created such situations where if a player really becomes famous, he will be reluctant to go because he feels in debted to how Wenger had brought him up. The process of growing up at Arsenal created such loyalty.

Although not every player is like that. Remember Nicholas Anelka? Although for this example, I would say Anelka is a special case. He is a nomad by the way so you cannot really point him out. Henry is a case similar to Gerrard. Wenger's situation is the same as Benitez a season ago. He is pressured to win the Champions League to make Henry stay on the club. The question now is not what club is interested in him. Rather if Arsenal wins the Champions League trophy, will he stay on? If they don't win it, will he keep faith in the new generation that Wenger is assembling to be world beaters in 1-2 seasons' time? Can he wait? Will he regret it? All answers will come at the end of the season.

Other clubs lure players like bidding for items at some auctions. Look at Chelsea. They buy players who are benched so that the rivals won't get them. The players are handsomely paid (I am sure of that) and they just are contented to sit on the bench. This is definitely not healthy for the competition but I guess this is what you get to have for being rich. Real Madrid could be the other club in this category, together with Barcelona and AC Milan. Still, I remember last time counting the squad members of each club and having Chelsea to top the list with Juventus, AC Milan and Barcelona. Surprisingly Real Madrid don't have that much players compare to them.

Let's look at some of the world's highest transfer fees above 19 million pounds.

Rank, Player, From, To, Transfer Fee (£), Year
1. Zinedine Zidane, Juventus, Real Madrid, 45.62 million, 2001
2. Luis Figo, Barcelona, Real Madrid, 37.0 million, 2000
3. Hernan Crespo, Parma, Lazio, 35.5 million, 2000
4. Gianluigi Buffon, Parma, Juventus, 32.6 million, 2001
5. Christian Vieri, Lazio, Inter Milan, 32.0 million, 1999
6. Rio Ferdinand, Leeds, Manchester United, 29.1 million, 2002
7. Gaizka Mendieta, Valencia, Lazio, 29.0 million, 2001
8. Ronaldo, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, 28.49 million, 2002
9. Juan Sebastian Veron, Lazio, Manchester United, 28.1 million, 2001
10. Rui Costa, Fiorentina, AC Milan, 28.0 million, 2001
11. Pavel Nedved, Lazio, Juventus, 25.5 million, 2001
12. Mickael Essien, Lyon, Chelsea, 24.43 million, 2005
13. Didier Drogba, Marseille, Chelsea, 24 million, 2004
14. Nicholas Anelka, Arsenal, Real Madrid, 23.5 million, 1999
15. Denilson, Sao Paulo, Real Betis, 22 million, 1998
16. Gabriel Batistuta, Fiorentina, AS Roma, 22 million, 2000
17. Lilian Thuram, Parma, Juventus, 22 million, 2001
18. Claudio Lopez, Valencia, Lazio, 22 million, 2000
19. Marc Overmars, Arsenal, Barcelona, 21.6 million, 2000
20. Ronaldinho, Paris-SG, Barcelona, 21.25 million, 2003
21. Shaun Wright-Philips, Manchester City, Chelsea, 21 million, 2005
22. Nicholas Anelka, Real Madrid, Paris-SG, 20.29 million, 2000
23. Wayne Rooney, Everton, Manchester United, 20 million, 2004

Let's see how much worth each player is to the club that bought them. Zidane should be considered a success for all the trophies he brought to Real Madrid during his early years. So will Luis Figo but I am sad he left because of Beckham! Hernan Crespo was a total flop I would say. Just look at where he is now. Buffon is definitely a success and he is still there at Juventus. Vieri? He is to me an over-rated player. Enough said! Rio Ferdinand can be a failure looking at the trophies Manchester United failed to win after he arrived. Mendieta never quite made it in Italy so it was a total failure, Ronaldo too won nothing in particular, so is Veron, a sad case if you look at his performance for the Red Devils. Rui Costa has been sitting at the bench for Milan for a long time and still feeling contented with it. Nedved is definitely a success to Juventus. Essien is so far very impressive for Chelsea and he should be given more minutes to play to really show his worth.

Drogba to me was overhyped just like Cisse and Rooney. I don't see what is so great about him. Nicholas Anelka? He was really one of the best potential players to be great someday at that time. I guess his pride and ego destroy that potential. He did win the Champions League with Real Madrid! Denilson was a disaster for Betis. Injury was the main cause. Batistuta did make himself a God at Fiorentina but I don't think he achieved much at Roma. Lilian Thuram is again another successful story for Juventus. Claudio Lopez? Not really bringing much impact for all that he could have done. Same like Mendieta. Marc Overmars was great for Barcelona I would say, they were just not lucky for not winning anything when he was there. Correct me if I am wrong! Ronaldinho? Barcelona should praise God for this jewel and talent that they managed to get. Even a dickhead knows how good this dude is after the World Cup. I was tremendously surprised that not many clubs actually chased him to the edge! Wright-Philips? He is wasting his talent at Chelsea! That's all I have to say! Rooney? People say he is the best potential player for this era. I say bullshit, the honour should go to Messi or even Robinho! I don't see any talent in him but his agressiveness in pushing forward and using alot of his strength to get into the penalty box. That is talent to you? He reminds me of Eric Cartman of the South Park.

"I am not fat, I am big boned!"

Well, as a conclusion, you can say that Juventus made 3 of the most important and successful transfers at the top 23. Real Madrid bought the most but only two was successful and giving them very short success because of their age. Fiorentina, Parma, Lazio and Arsenal made good transfer earning selling some of their players at such a good price. Losing Nedved could be the only regretting thing for Lazio.

As for Henry, if I am Wenger, I will be proud of him no matter what decisions he made. He groomed Henry to be what he is today so he has nothing to lose. It is natural for Henry as a world class player to want new challenges in other leagues. I just feel that Henry can be really inconsistent sometimes. He can be so anonymous in some matches you thought he is not even in the starting 11. His national team record is not good as well. He always underperform for France. His scoring is not good. I always see him as a player who needs alot of time to adapt to his new environment. Whatever it is, if he chooses to stay, we hope the youngsters will mature fast to support him. If he chooses to go, I just wish he does not go to Barcelona. Haha!

Let's look at the historical transfers of all time. We look at players whom I know better in this era.

Player's Name,From Club, To Club, Fee, Date
Alf Common, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, £1k, 1905
David Jack, Bolton Wanderers, Arsenal, £10k, 1929
Bernabe Ferreyra, Tigre, River Plate, £23k, 1932
Hans Jepson, (Amateur Club), Napoli, £52k, 1952
Juan Schiaffino, Penarol, AC Milan, £72k, 1954
Enrique Omar Sivori, River Plate, Juventus, £93k, 1957
Luis Suarez, Barcelona, Inter Milan, £142k, 1961
Angelo Sormani, Mantova, AS Roma, £250k, 1963
Pietro Anastasi, Varese, Juventus, £500k, 1968
Johan Cruyff, Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona, £922k, 1973
Giuseppe Savoldi, Bologna, Napoli, £1.2m, 1975
Paolo Rossi, Juventus, Vicenza, £1.75m, 1978
Diego Maradona, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, £3m, 1982
Diego Maradona, Barcelona, Napoli, £5m, 1984
Ruud Gullit, PSV Eindhoven, AC Milan, £6m, 1987
Roberto Baggio, Fiorentina, Juventus, £8m, 1990
Jean Pierre Papin, Marseille, AC Milan, £10m, 1992
Gianluca Vialli, Sampdoria, Juventus, £12m, 1992
Gianluigi Lentini, Torino, AC Milan, £13m, 1992
Alan Shearer, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, £15m, 1996
Ronaldo, Barcelona, Inter Milan, £18m, 1997
Denilson, Sao Paulo, Real Betis, £22m, 1998
Christian Vieri, Lazio, Inter Milan, £32m, 1999
Hernan Crespo, Parma, Lazio, £35.5m, 2000
Luis Figo, Barcelona, Real Madrid, £37m, 2000
Zinedine Zidane, Juventus, Real Madrid, £45.62m+, 2001

I guess I can only start at Alan Shearer and he is to me one of the most loyal players left on earth. He snubbed Manchester United for guarantees of trophies and opt for Newcastle United. To me, he is the same equivalent of Raul to Real Madrid, Gerrard to Liverpool, Shevchenko to AC Milan and Henry to Arsenal. Ronaldo? He had more affairs than anybody else reported in the football world. What is loyalty? Denilson did stay long at Betis not because of loyalty, but because he underperformed and been injured for a long period of time. Hernan Crespo? He is what I called a roller coaster-ride career. I don't really know how to rate him but I would say he is at the right place at the right time but didn't contribute much to the success of the club/s he is/was in. Luis Figo definitely is one of the most hardworking players in the world and even now for Inter Milan, I see him sweating all out for the club. I will call that loyalty! Gattuso of AC Milan comes to mind, although he is a more rougher player. Barcelona fans will definitely not as they still regard him as their No.1 villain! Zinedine Zidane as I said above is coming of age and looking forward for retirement with Real Madrid.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Went to the Singapore Philatelic Museum today and grabbed some football stamps.

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I also grabbed the historical 1992 Thomas Cup Malaysian winning badminton team stamp.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006


Yeah, I notice too. This whole list of football posts made my blog so sad. It is like the world around me only consist of football. Then, full stop. Seriously, I am ultra busy with my virtual reality projects. Battling with EON Professional and Quest3D is enough to suck up most of my time. Editing in 3DSMax is also taking alot of time too.

By the way, there are many matches this week that look sexy!

Valencia VS. Real Madrid
Manchester United VS. Newcastle United
Arsenal VS. Liverpool
Juventus VS. AC Milan

Wah! Like so many at one go! Let's go through all of them.

Valencia and Real Madrid only have the second placing in La Liga to fight for. They will surely want this berth for the automatic Champions League qualification for next season. I cannot predict any matches Real Madrid play as long as Ronaldo, Raul and Beckham are on the field formless.

Manchester United like the two clubs mentioned above need to fight for the second placing for the same reason. They should be happy that Newcastle United are in their worst form for ages and without a coach to guide them. If this is not the best time to whack them, when will it be? The only thing the Magpies can rely on now is the consistent Solano. He has been splendid lately. Love that guy!

Liverpool with an automatic starting eleven half-a-season-a-goal-Crouch (he reminds me of Duncan Ferguson, seriously!) and always overhyped Cisse are going to Highbury to play Arsenal. I wonder how much longer before Benitez realized that he is dumb enough to sell off Milan Baros and rely entirely on Crouch, Cisse and aging Fowler? This is the best time for Arsenal to remind him more! Liverpool like Real Madrid are losers from the Champions League so this is another reason to take them on. Benitez seriously cannot rely on his midfielders to score goals for every match! Get rid of Crouch from the starting eleven for goodness sake!

Juventus will take on the superb scoring led by back-from-injury-Inzaghi Milan at home too. I say crush Juventus hard and open up the Serie A competition wide! Actually I wish Juventus will play badly this year so Capello can move to Santiago Bernabeu. We need this guy with neat glasses. I love his glasses. So retro!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


First of all, congratulations to Arsenal for going through.

After that, I just want to say Real Madrid must know how to substitute formless players in the field. If they don't start doing that, they will never ever going to win anything for the rest of their lives.

Salgado was impressive. Ramos was miserable. The defence is as always as thin as a string. When Henry was given chances, he was again given huge space in front. Nobody tried to assert pressure, just stood in front trying to shield him and gave Casillas more target trainning sessions. Lehman is definitely the guy who was impressive for Arsenal. He made the goalmouth looked like the size of (Tom & Jerry) Jerry's home entrance.

What is Ronaldo doing full time on the field? Well, standing at the front of goal, doing catwalks and wasting a good position for Real Madrid to score goals. Beckham? He sent crosses after crosses that are miles away from the penalty box. Only superhumans are able to receive them. His free kicks sucked, his attacking sucked, he wasted good chances to score yet again (he had one during the first leg) when he was one on one with the goalkeeper.

For me, generally tonight's a much better match than last night's Barca-Chelsea. The football is more fast and flowing. Well, both clubs hit the woodwork. Raul was surprisingly a much better player during the match and I would hope Ronaldo goes out and have Robinho or Cassano in. Well, I guess Real Madrid deserve to go out. I don't see why. The reason?

Putting a super slow Ronaldo who hardly was able to run in front was a total pain in the ass to watch! What the f*ck is he doing there? They should substitute him with Robinho even before the second half! Robinho was the best performing player for Real Madrid in the first leg and he only get to play like in the 84th minute?!!! Baptista only comes in at the 68th minute?!!! Baptista had more shot on goal that were far more dangerous and looked far more promising than a 90 minute Ronaldo.

Ronaldo even dared to complain about the fans for his disgusting performance whole season. I say pack your bags and go elsewhere, you crybaby! It is time you realize yourself you are underperforming. David Beckham for all the wasting he was doing with the crosses and freekicks should give that role to someone else. Well, therefore, they deserve to lose for wasting all their resources. Enough said. Blame yourselves.

I guess Arsenal will be the only English side left for the competition. As of now, AC Milan looks ferocious with their free scoring results after results. They will definitely be the favourites again with Barcelona to get the title this season.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


So many free kicks. Hardly any scoring chances, so many fouls. Apart from a few early Ronaldinho tricks and a goal scored himself, everything else is boring.

The match is so dead until the last 10 minutes.


Wasted my sleep!

Saturday, March 04, 2006


This is the clash of the weekend before Champions League resumes the 2nd leg of the last 16 this coming week! Can Roma extend their record? They should be so proud of themselves. If they win tonight, I am sure they will have their morale boosted skyhigh! Totti will not feature but that will not stop them from continuing their great form!

Real Madrid is facing Atletico Madrid with a super in-form Torres. If Madrid lose this match, they can kiss the league goodbye for good this season. They can just concentrate in the Champions League competition. If they lose in London, they will go empty-handed for another season.

I am getting busier as we go into the 2nd part of the semester. More work to be done and accomplished. Well, hope I can go on and fight this through!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


You can say the greatest birthday present for me this year is for Perez to resign as Real Madrid president. Hopefully, it is for the better!

Damn, I'm getting so old! Better plan to start a family soon! Haha! Some friends my age already have like 2-4 children!!! I am very far behind!

I don't want to grow old with kids who looks like 'grandchildren' to me! I always notice in the MRT in Singapore that these ladies who look easily 50-60 years old holding the children in their hands and I thought they are the grandchildren. Until the 'grandchildren' call them 'MOMMY!', I just stare bewildered!

Imagine when the kids enter university, the parents may be in their twilight years of age the most or gone completely! Scary!

P/S: Thanks to Shevy for your 'cheesecake' man! I wish it is that easy to make one.