Túlio Maravilha (43, Botafogo) scores his 994th & 995th goals (by his count)

Brazilian cult hero Túlio Maravilha edged ever closer to his dream of 1,000 career goals with a brace of penalties against Rio Branco in Botafogo’s pre-season friendly on Friday, taking him to 995.

Túlio Maravilha is quite the character.

He claims to be the ‘highest scoring player in activity in world football’, having amassed the above total in a vagabond’s career spanning 25 years, 37 clubs and some 48 moves (he’s played for several more than once).

Ever since his 100th goal, he’s been obsessed with reaching the 1,000 mark, and is known to have had ticker signs in his home counting down to the dream target.

At the tender age of 43 and a half,  Túlio has his sights set on the 1,000 milestone before retiring into the sunset.

Botafogo, with whom he’s most synonymous after three spells, have taken mercy and saved him from the obscurity of the lower leagues by giving him one last shot at the Big Leagues – the Brasileirao Serie A.

Now, those familiar with Tulio will be aware that there’s a difference between say, Messi’s 91 goals in a calendar year and Tulio’s 995 career goals. Like compatriots Pele and Romario before him, he’s been a little creative in the calculation of his goals.

As is obvious from the clip below, he clearly counts every single game, be it a friendly, exhibition match, whatever. Unlike the Great pair he’s trying to emulate however, he’s cooked the books. Sion, for example, give him a mere 6 goals from his short spell with the Swiss club, while he’s given himself 40. Brazilian monthly Placar have consistently been way behind his own calculation, and today give him around 200 less than his 995.

As can also be seen in the clip below, there’s a bit of a circus surrounding the Tulio Show. You’ll also note he has no time for the Jogo Bonito. You don’t reach 995 career goals by faffing about with stepovers and rainbow flicks…

(The second clip shows one of Tulio’s many epic misses during the game, while the third shows Tulio leading the Botafogo prayer huddle, and thanking the club and God for this final chance at glory.)

 

Tulio Maravilha (Botafogo) misses an absolute sitter; 995 goals and counting

43 year old Tulio Maravilha has been banging them in since the 80’s. He’s closing in on the 1000 goal mark after scoring two penalties in Botafogo’s 4-1 friendly win over Rio Branco.

After signing for Botafogo in the summer Tulio hopes to reach the incredible landmark with the club he’s had great success at during 3 different spells.

He’s not helping himself though. With the chance to add another from two yards out Tulio somehow managed to pop it well over the Rio Branco bar.

Watch his incredible miss below:

The Boy’s Special! Barcelona’s Seung Woo Lee (14) scores 4 in brilliant performance

We know full well that Barcelona’s first team has a few special players. For example, there’s one guy who’s managed to score 91 goals in 2012.

Well… the youth team may have a Korean Messi in their ranks. Spotted at age 13 by scouts at the u-13 WC in South Africa, Lee is already making a name for himself at La Masia.

This week, 14 year old Seung Woo Lee scored a ‘Lionel Messi-like’ 4 goals in Barcelona’s 7-0 win against Tortosa. Remember the name in years to come.

Wearing the number 9 shirt, Lee’s incredible hat-trick goal can be seen at 3:35 but we’d advise watching the whole clip.

Watch his full highlights here:

Ferguson hits back at Pardew, describes Newcastle as a ‘wee club in the North East’

It’s been a tough week in the press of Sir Alex Ferguson. Wednesday saw Manchester United come from behind 3 times against Newcastle United to win 4-3, in dramatic fashion.

Since then, Sir Alex has been criticised in the media for his on-pitch half-time tirade at referee Mike Dean. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew then condemned Mike Dean for not reporting the issue.

Sir Alex hit back on Friday describing Alan Pardew as ‘the worst for haranguing referees’. Ferguson also reminded the media that Pardew shoved a fourth official earlier this season.

Whilst complaining about Alan Pardew’s hypocrisy, Ferguson used this opportunity to describe Newcastle as a ‘wee team in the North East’. Cheap shot.

Watch the footage of the interview below:

Great Name, Great Goal: Eye-witness footage of Max Power’s golazo v Crewe

Has there ever been a footballer with a better name than Max Power?!

Power, a 19-year midfielder for Tranmere Rovers, scored his first ever professional goal on Boxing Day against Crewe and – as can be expected from his name – it was a beauty.

Max Power secured Rovers’ first victory in six League One games with a spectacular strike in the 63rd minute after a corner fell to the teenager on the edge of the top-left side of the box.

With minimal backlift and maximum accuracy, Max Power blasted a rocket across goal and into the far corner.

(Below the fold see a clip of the original Max Power…)

Watch Max Power’s golazo below.

Continue reading “Great Name, Great Goal: Eye-witness footage of Max Power’s golazo v Crewe”

[Video] 11-year-old Brazilian wonderkid Cassiano Bouzon is heading to FC Barcelona

Have Barcelona signed 11-year-old Brazilian wonderkid Cassiano Bouzon? The picture is a little foggy.

According to conflicting reports, Barcelona have either signed or agreed to sign Cassiano Bouzon from Brazilian club Bahia. The confusion appears to stem from the rule to forbids players from signing to professional clubs until they are 16.

So what do we know.

Cassiano Bouzon came to the attention of the Catalan giants after a video was posted onto YouTube showing the youngster in full flow.

On the back of his brilliant video, Bouzon was invited for a 20-day trial at Barcelona feeder club Cornella and, after shining in his European audition, rumours are now swishing about that Barca have locked the starlet down.

Despite being 11, Bouzon looks younger. The left-back is still very small, even compared to his peers, however his lack of height fails to act as a barrier from Bouzon stealing the show whenever he gets on the ball.

“I play with the ball glued to my feet. I dribble a lot. I’m fast,” Bouzon told reporters as he touched down in Brazil after impressing Barcelona.

Watch the YouTube video which seems to have propelled Cassiano Bouzon to stardom below.

Leaked! Manchester United’s home shirt for 2013/14

Is this really the new Manchester United home top for next season?

The attached picture surfaced on the internet on Thursday, and has since been passed around several websites and social media platforms as the buzz grows over what may be the Red Devils’ home jersey for 2013/14.

There are several observations about the (alleged) new Man United kit.

The current 2012/13 tablecloth kit looks to be getting the heave-ho in favour of a more classic all-red jersey, however in a bizarre twist the Red Devils seems to be putting a button down collar on their new club merchandise.

Note: Aon will continue being the Manchester United sponsors in 2013/14. New sponsors Chevrolet will begin appearing on the United shirts from the 2014-15 season.

So, do we like?

David Villa linked to Arsenal (Mail), Chelsea (Mirror) & Man City (Star), United may sign Ronaldo-Mourinho in 2013 & PSG eye Baines

Comment & analysis round-up

Quote of the day: “I think Mike Dean might feel slightly disappointed he didn’t do something about it [Sir Alex Ferguson’s ranting]. I think the pressure that was on him was tough for a referee to take. Sometimes when you reflect on a game you think you might have acted differently. You do that as a manager and I think he might have done that as a referee. But it’s an emotional game and apparently they had a cordial discussion. I’ve had a few of those myself and sometimes I’ve ended up in the stands as a result of that cordial discussion.” – Alan Pardew.

Runner-up: “Really and truly this window is the key because, if Demba goes in this window, it will cause us a problem. I think he will stay, but there’s a possibility he could go because of the clause that’s still in force. I won’t let it run until the summer. I’ll do something about it. We will either move Demba on or we will secure him in the summer.” – Alan Pardew.

David Villa: Three Reports, Three Destinations 

Yours for £16m! Arsenal handed price for Villa as race with Chelsea for Barca ace hots up (Mail) Arsene Wenger would prefer a short-term loan for the former Valencia star, who is also a target for Chelsea, but is willing to offer a permanent move if the price is right. However, the fee quoted by Barca is likely to be deemed too much by Arsenal because of Villa’s age.

Villa perk? Fed-up Barcelona striker David is eyeing a January move to Chelsea (Mirror) David Villa wants to quit Barcelona next month – and is targeting a move to Chelsea.

Manchester City in shock David Villa raid from Barcelona (Star) Mancini is also looking to bolster his attacking options as City struggle to defend their Premier League title. The Italian has hit out at his misfiring strikers after seeing his side fall seven points behind leaders Manchester United. Now he could make a move for Villa in the hope the Spanish superstar can revive his faltering title defence. Villa is available on loan and City can easily match his £110,000-a-week wages. Mancini wants to make room for Villa in his star-studded squad by getting rid of Mario Balotelli… Arsenal are also interested in signing Villa but Starsport understands the 31-year-old wants to link-up with fellow World Cup winner David Silva. Villa has not started a league game for Barca since November and wants regular first-team football.

Manchester United: Champions Elect

Ronaldo and Mourinho in, Fergie out? Speculation rife duo could be manager’s leaving gift to United (Mirror) With a growing belief this could be Fergie’s last season, United may gazump PSG to bring in both Ronaldo and Mourinho, who is among the favourites to succeed Fergie, in an amazing coup. Ronaldo remains in touch with former United team-mate Patrice Evra, who said: “He’s done amazing things in Madrid, but has not received the respect he deserves.”

Will anything stand in the way of Man United and a record 20th title? (Ian Ladyman, Mail) The only team that can stop United winning this title is United. Manchester City’s challenge lacks the conviction of last season and that makes United clear favourites at this stage. However, United are so unpredictable that I can envisage them dropping enough points to give their rivals a chance between now and the end of the season.

Manchester United and Manchester City are not in a two-horse title race (Paul Wilson, Guardian) Manchester United are seven points clear at the halfway stage of their Premier League season, and still people are asking the same question. Can a team who keep coming from behind and staging dramatic late recoveries really keep it going for a whole campaign, or at least long enough to secure another title? A glance at the table would suggest the answer might be yes.

Rafa: From Interim To Permanent? 

Rafa the gaffer for good (Rob Beasley, Sun) Rafa Benitez is in line to land the Chelsea manager’s job permanently. The news will shock fans who have slated the ex-Liverpool boss since he took charge last month. But sources inside Stamford Bridge’s corridors of power say the Spaniard is on course to become ‘Rafa the Gaffer’ full-time after some superb results… Chelsea’s top target Pep Guardiola is being linked with a return to Barcelona after his year-long sabbatical.

Chelsea are starting to thrive under Rafa… but it won’t last so long as fans are ready to pounce if things go wrong (Matt Barlow, Mail) Can Chelsea really succeed in the long-term against a backdrop of animosity (or even ambivalence) towards the manager? It never really worked for George Graham at Spurs, despite some success on the pitch. It ended badly for Steve Kean at Blackburn despite the support of the owners. The slightest downturn at Stamford Bridge will regenerate the protests. What if Chelsea win the Premier League with the “interim manager” just as they won the Champions League with the last “interim manager”? Will that change anything? Will they embrace Benitez as one of their own? Will they sing his name and support him to lead the club in the long-term? Probably not, if those sample comments are anything to go by.

Liverpool

Rodgers the dodger: Liverpool won’t sack boss even if his record gets as bad as Hodgson’s (Mirror) Just like Roy Hodgson two years ago, Brendan Rodgers has 25 points from 19 Premier League games. And if Liverpool lose at QPR on Sunday, Rodgers will have the same points total from 20 games which cost Hodgson his job as Liverpool boss. But unlike Hodgson two years ago, Rodgers will NOT be sacked by Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry for possessing such a record.

Messi Could’ve Moved

Messi snubs £205m offer (Sun) Lionel Messi turned down a monster £460,000-a-week offer to quit Barcelona. The Argie superstar was stunned when an unnamed Russian side, believed to be big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala, triggered his £205million release clause. Messi, 25, was also offered a mind-boggling salary totalling £24m a year AFTER tax, according to reports in Spain. Barca were obliged to accept the offer, but Messi swiftly rejected the move after discussions with president Sandro Rosell and his family.

Blackburn: Berg Out, Ali (Who?) In

Two years of misery as Blackburn slither from top-flight comfort zone (Ewan Murray, Guardian) Taken in isolation, Thursday’s sacking of Henning Berg does not rank among the poorer decisions taken by the Indian owners of Blackburn Rovers.

Farce at Blackburn again as owners turn to untested duo (Ian Herbert, Independent) Blackburn Rovers descended into one of the most farcically run football clubs in Britain today, with minimal prospect of finding anyone credible to manage the club in tandem with two coaches – one of them a novice at this level – who are expected to start work imminently. With no one else lined up for the manager’s role, British Indian Judan Ali – who has been involved in a Bollywood football movie and was assistant manager of a London Sunday league side three years ago – is expected to take over the running of the Championship team alongside the former Aston Villa assistant manager Kevin McDonald. Ali would be assistant to McDonald, who is in talks about a No 2 head coach role.

Bollywood star to be Rovers coach after Berg axed (Sun) Bollywood star Judan Ali is set to take a lead role in Blackburn’s new coaching set-up — after another day of high drama at Ewood Park… The appointment of British-born Ali is certain to alarm beleaguered supporters, who are fuming at the way the Indian poultry firm has ruined the club. Ali is a big star in India, having played a footballer in the 2007 feature Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal — a rags-to-riches story set in West London’s Asian football-playing community. He has no pedigree in English football management, yet is likely to pick the team for the game at Oakwell along with academy management duo Colin Hendry and Gary Bowyer.

It’s comical Ali! Blackburn linked to former India Under 15s and Dagenham community coach (Mail) Blackburn’s Indian owners are preparing to appoint English professional football’s first British Asian coach, a 39-year-old former Arsenal trainee who until recently was running a community youth programme in Dagenham.

McLeish At Forest: Fans Get Angry

Alex Nott welcome (Sun) Alex McLeish faces a fans’ backlash after being named as Nottingham Forest’s new boss last night. The ex-Birmingham and Aston Villa chief has been told to take them back into the Premier League.

Forest fans vent anger as McLeish lands manager’s job ahead of Di Matteo just ONE day after O’Driscoll axing (Mail) News of McLeish’s appointment was met with a lukewarm reception in Nottingham. A local newspaper poll ran a list of candidates in the wake of O’Driscoll’s shock exit and McLeish received no votes by way of support. A number of supporters also took to Twitter to voice their frustration after being linked with the likes of Roy Keane and Roberto Di Matteo, who lifted the Champions League trophy with Chelsea last season.

Transfer Lies

Leight move (Sun) Leighton Baines has emerged as a shock £15million target for moneybags French outfit Paris St Germain. PSG have increased their interest in the Everton left-back as they fear losing out on Chelsea’s Ashley Cole.

Chelsea add Baines to shopping list for January (Independent) Chelsea have joined Manchester United and Paris St-Germain as the leading clubs who are considering a move for the Everton and England left-back Leighton Baines, who is valued at around £15m by his club.

I’m going nowhere: Chelsea target Falcao to remain in Spain until end of season (Mail) Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao as he has indicated he wants to remain in Spain until the end of the season.

Fergie in pole position (Sun) Robert Lewandowski is set to complete an £18million move to Manchester United in the summer. The Borussia Dortmund striker will be offered a contract worth £80,000 a week over five years.

Craig’s listed? Frustrated West Brom defender Dawson is a Bolton target (Mirror) Bolton are planning an ambitious swoop for West Brom’s England Under-21 defender Craig Dawson.

Ba takes £2.5m cut (Sun) Newcastle will bank just £5million when top scorer Demba Ba leaves next month. Ba has a clause in his contract stating he can go if a club offer £7.5m — but SunSport understands £2.5m of that will go to the player himself. That leaves Toon boss Alan Pardew with virtually nothing to spend on a top-class replacement.

Puppy Drog (Sun) Chelsea want £10million-rated Lyon and France striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who is nicknamed ‘Baby Drogba’. Gomis, 27, has hit 11 goals in 19 league games this season.

Pot, Kettle… Balotelli

Balotelli in threat to his ex (Sun) Mario Balotelli has threatened to take his baby’s mother to court after she accused him of being irresponsible. The Man City ace, 22, split with fellow Italian Raffaella Fico, before the birth of daughter Pia this month. Balotelli has now reacted with fury after model Raffaella, 24, branded him “irresponsible” and “unconcerned” about Pia in a magazine interview. The footie ace insisted: “I can’t tolerate my honour as a man being damaged.” He has instructed his lawyers to take action against Raffaella if she criticises him in print again.

Picture: The front of Marca today says Gareth Bale is Real Madrid’s summer priority

Following Gareth Bale’s hat-trick against Aston Villa on Wednesday, the front page of Madrid’s leading sports newspaper Marca splashes with the Tottenham forward today.

Marca claim Bale is Real Madrid’s summer “priority” and that the Spanish giants have told Spurs to inform them of any major offer for the Welsh flyer.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has of course conducted plenty of transfer business with Real Madrid in recent seasons, with Rafael van der Vaart joining Spurs from Los Blancos and Luka Modric heading in the opposite direction.

Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen on Gareth Bale joining Real Madrid, despite the fact he may no longer be at the club next season and Florentino Perez values the Spurs winger at 40 million euros, according to Marca.

This is not the first time Gareth Bale has been linked with a move to Spain. But Real Madrid appears to be the most likely destination.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas said after the Aston Villa victory that “a player of this dimension has a market value that is not attainable for most other clubs.”

Today’s Marca front page should also come with the caveat that today is Spain’s Day of the Holy Innocents, similar to April Fool’s Day.