marți, 29 aprilie 2014

Success 2014: Zbigniew Boniek, a former Polish footballer and manager. With Juventus he won the Cup Winners' Cup and the European Super Cup in 1984 (scoring in the final of the former) and the European Cup in 1985

Zbigniew "Zibì" Kazimierz Boniek ( born 3 March 1956 in Bydgoszcz) is a former Polish footballer and manager.
Boniek first played at Zawisza Bydgoszcz and later at Widzew Łódź. He transferred to Italian football giants Juventus in 1982. With Juventus he won the Cup Winners' Cup and the European Super Cup in 1984 (scoring in the final of the former) and the European Cup in 1985. After finishing his professional career at Roma in 1988, he had a successful business career.
As a player, Boniek was known for his blistering pace and acceleration. He was one of the best dribblers of his time and also displayed superb technique. The Juventus president Gianni Agnelli nicknamed him Bello di notte ("Beauty at night", which is a play on the title of the Buñuel movie Belle de Jour) because of his performances in European club tournament matches, which were played in the evening. Boniek was named by Pelé as one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers and by FIFA as one of the 100 best-ever players. On 12 October 2009, he received a Golden Foot career award.

Boniek represented Poland in 80 internationals and scored 24 goals. He won a bronze medal (third place) as part of the Polish team at the 1982 FIFA World Cup.

Boniek has also coached in Italy, with stints at Lecce in 1990–91, Bari in 1991–92, Sambenedettese in 1992–93, and Avellino in 1994–96.
Boniek has served as vice-president of the Polish Football Association, and in July 2002 he became the manager of Poland. He resigned in December 2002, after just five matches (2 wins, 1 draw, 2 defeats, including a 1-0 home loss against Latvia in a European Championship qualifier).
According to reports back in Poland, Boniek had been favored to become the new Minister of Sport for his country, but he denied the claims and stated that he had no intention of taking up the job.
On 26 October 2012, he became the chairman of the Polish Football Association.

vineri, 25 aprilie 2014

Success 2014: Jean-Pierre Papin, a former French professional football player who was European Footballer of the Year in 1991. He was famous for his volley shots that his fans nicknamed "Papinades"

Jean-Pierre Papin (born 5 November 1963 in Boulogne-sur-Mer) is a former French professional football player who was European Footballer of the Year in 1991.

Papin achieved his greatest success while playing for Olympique Marseille between 1986 and 1992. He later played for AC Milan, FC Bayern Munich, Bordeaux, Guingamp, JS Saint-Pierroise and US Cap-Ferret. Papin also played 54 times for the French national team. After a short time as manager of French clubs, he joined the local amateur club AS Facture-Biganos Boïen as a player in 2009, aged 45.
He was famous for his volley shots that his fans nicknamed "Papinades" from his name.

In 1996, after their eight-month-old daughter Emily was shown to have serious cerebral lesions, Jean-Pierre and his wife, Florence, set up an association "Neuf de Coeur" (Nine of Hearts; Papin's shirt number was 9) to help others in that situation and, particularly, to find and apply methods to mentally and physically educate such children.

Although Papin played only 31 matches for Club Bruges, he was elected as its best foreign player by the supporters in April 2008.

Papin scored 30 goals for France in 54 matches. He played at the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico, where France finished third, and at the 1992 European Championships in Sweden. His last game for the national team was in 1995.
At club level, he played for INF Vichy (1983–1984), Valenciennes (1984–1985), Club Brugge (1985–1986), Olympique Marseille (1986–1992), AC Milan (1992–1994), FC Bayern Munich (1994–1996), Bordeaux (1996–1998) and Guingamp (1998).
During Papin's hugely successful spell at Olympique Marseille, with the Frenchman as striker and team leader Marseille won four French league championships in a row (1989–1992), a French league and cup double in 1989 and reached the final of the European Champions Cup in 1991, losing to Red Star Belgrade after a penalty shootout. During this period, Papin was the French league's top scorer for five consecutive seasons (from 1988 to 1992). While at Marseille he won the Ballon d'or, awarded to Europe's top footballer, in 1991. He is the only player to win this award while playing for a French club.
In 1992, Papin joined Italian giants AC Milan for a world record fee of £10,000,000, and was the first high-profile French player to join the Italian league since Michel Platini. However, he never established himself as a regular first team member with the rossoneri due to injuries and adaptation problems. He entered as a substitute during the 1993 UEFA Champions League Final where Milan lost to his former club, Marseille. Nevertheless, Papin has kept good memories of his spell in Italy and frequently cites former Milan managers Fabio Capello and Arrigo Sacchi as his models when coaching is concerned. In 1994, he was transferred to Bayern Munich where his season was again plagued by injuries. In his second season in Germany he was part of the side that won the UEFA Cup against Girondins de Bordeaux, a club that Papin would join the following season. With Bordeaux, he lost the final of the 1997 Coupe de la Ligue against Strasbourg. Papin's career ended in 1998 with Second Division side EA Guingamp.
Papin was a prolific striker on the French scene but, contrary to many other French great players, never really became dominant abroad. He was also part of the 'cursed generation' of French players that came between the Platini era of the 80's and the 1998 world champions boasting the likes of Zidane, Thuram, Henry and company. Despite some talented players like Papin, Éric Cantona or David Ginola the French national team fared disappointingly, missing the 1990 and 1994 World Cups – the later after two humiliating defeats at home against Israel and Bulgaria – and being ousted in the group stage of Euro 1992 by Denmark after a perfect record in the qualifications. It was the only period (1989–1996) in French football where clubs actually did better than the national team.
Papin was also iconic in French pop culture because of his caricature in the satirical TV puppet show Les Guignols de l'Info. At first, Papin was depicted as a rather dumb football player (a common stereotype in France), his only obsession being the many different ways to score goals. When Papin experienced difficulties in Italy, the coverage became more sympathetic, especially with the infamous Reviens JPP ! song where even God Himself would urge Papin to come back to his home country, because "France needs you !"
He was twice linked with clubs in England later in his playing career. First, in March 1994, he was a transfer target for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. Towards the end of his spell with Bordeaux in 1998, he was a target for ambitious Fulham, then a Division Two (third tier) side, and even expressed his desire to sign for the club. However, neither transfer ever happened and Papin finished his career without having spent any time in England.
After a short time as manager of French clubs, he joined the local amateur club AS Facture-Biganos Boïen as a player in 2009, aged 45.

In May 2006, Papin took over from Jacky Duguépéroux as the new coach of RC Strasbourg, who were relegated to the Second Division. He had previously been coaching FC Bassin d'Arcachon, an amateur team, and helped them to be promoted from CFA 2 to CFA. In 2006–07, he guided Strasbourg back to Ligue 1 with a third-placed finish but came under pressure shortly after the end of the season when internal conflicts at the club surfaced in the press. Several players, including '05 league cup final hero Jean-Christophe Devaux, also openly criticized Papin's methods. Initially confirmed as manager for the 2007–08 season, he was forced to resign a week later after it was revealed that he had interviewed for the vacant managerial job at RC Lens only hours after his confirmation at Strasbourg. He was replaced by Jean-Marc Furlan, former manager of ES Troyes AC, while Lens selected Guy Roux as their new manager. Ironically, Papin eventually became the manager of Lens after the club lost at Strasbourg, as Roux resigned only five games into the 2007–08 season. In the midst of the season, Lens and Papin were fighting to avoid relegation to the Second Division. Lens was also eliminated in the first round of both the UEFA cup and the Coupe de France by, respectively, FC Copenhagen (1–1; 1–2) and Second Division side Chamois Niortais (0–1, at home). On 29 December 2009, Châteauroux have hired the coach to replace Dominique Bijotat.He left his position in May 2010 and was substituted by Didier Tholot.

luni, 7 aprilie 2014

Success 2014: Tomas Rosicky, a Czech footballer who plays for Arsenal and captains the Czech national team

Tomáš Rosický is Czech footballer who plays for Arsenal and captains the Czech national team. He moved to Arsenal in 2006 from Borussia Dortmund. He has a brother named Jiří who was also a footballer. He was nicknamed "the little Mozart" for his ability to orchestrate the midfield. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has described him as a player with remarkable vision, precision and first touch. He was born in Prague and started his career at his hometown club AC Sparta Praha.

Rosický made his international debut in 2000 at the age of 19 against the Republic of Ireland. He played for his country at Euro 2000 and Euro 2004 and helped the side qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Rosický shone for his country in the group stages of the qualification campaign, scoring several goals from the penalty spot and setting up Milan Baroš and Jan Koller in particular with accurate and precise passing. He also scored the winning goal in the second leg of the Czech Republic's play-off against Norway to ensure qualification for the finals.
At the 2006 World Cup finals, Rosický scored two goals in the Czech Republic's opening match on 12 June 2006 in a 3–0 victory over the United States, one of which was from 35 yards out and was nominated for the 2006 World Cup best goal. The Czech Republic went out at the World Cup in the group stages, with Rosický forced to move into the attack after injuries to both of the country's star strikers, Jan Koller and Milan Baroš.
At the beginning of the 2006–07 season, Rosický was made captain of the Czech Republic national side, replacing the retiring Pavel Nedvěd, which he took up very well, greatly helping the Czech Republic qualify for Euro 2008.
Rosický missed Euro 2008 due to injury. He returned to international football when he started for the Czech Republic on 9 September 2009, in a World Cup qualifier against San Marino. On 9 February 2011, he started in an international friendly match against Croatia at Stadion Maksimir, and scored a goal in the 45th minute in a 4–2 defeat. On 10 August 2011, he started for Czech Republic against Norway in a 3–0 defeat and was substituted on 68 minutes in Oslo.
Rosický captained the Czech Republic in their opening two matches at UEFA Euro 2012. However, an achilles tendon injury in the second match, a 2–1 win over Greece ended Rosický's tournament, as the Czechs were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Portugal.

Style of play
Rosický has been described as a player having remarkable vision and passing ability along with a good first touch. He is also well known for preferring to use his outside of the foot for passing and shooting.
Wenger said of Rosický: 'He is a real Arsenal man because he is here for a long time. He is really a football player who presents the way we want to play football, because he's a team player who has pace, has a quick brain, understands the game well, and I always like to have him in the team because of all these qualities.'