Pretty funny story i just read…some guy in England placed a bet that Barack Obama would turn out to be the coach of West Ham by the end of the season. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well here’s what happened…
An unidentified bettor wanted to show his friends back in America a betting slip with Barack Obama’s name on it. Knowing He went to bookmaker William Hill and asked for the bet. Obama is a fan of West Ham after a trip he took to England five years ago and West Ham is having a lot of coaching problems with the resignation of Curbishley last week. So, The guy put 10 bucks (or pounds…whatever) at William Hill and they gave him 10,000 to 1 odds for a 100,000 pound win possibility, 260,000 in dollars.
So where did this idea come from? Well, Obama has family in England(his sister married an Englishman), and when he went to England 5 years ago he soon became a fan of West Ham. All his relatives are fanatics and I guess it rubbed off on him.
Obama hasn’t just been a fan in the past 5 years though as his campaign revealed that he is in fact an avid soccer fan and even played a lot as a student at Harvard Law School.
He never really followed it, though, until he was told all about the passion of West Ham fans by some of his English relatives. He’s always keen to find out how his adopted club are getting on.
Barack Obama Campaign Source on Obama’s Love of West Ham
So, who knows, maybe if Obama decides that this whole leader of the free world thing isn’t for him, he’ll take on the task of managing the Hammers.
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Finally, it’s here. It’s been four years since Greece shocked the world and won Euro 2008 and this tournament should be just as exciting.
Alright, if you’re looking for predictions for Euro 2008 you came to the right place. Lets start with the first group, group A. You got Czech Republic, Turkey, Switzerland, and Portugal. Expect Portugal to have an outstanding Euro this year as they will easily top Group A. Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the Portugal side, despite trade rumors that he may leave United to go to Real Madrid, deep into the tournament. He is coming off his best season with Manchester United, and now knows what it takes to be the best in Europe as he won the UEFA Champions League title. Czech Republic should be the second team to come out of Group A thanks to the best goalie in the world, Petr Cech.
Group B has Austria, Germany, Croatia, and Poland. Although Austria will be playing on their home turf, I don’t think they’ll have a chance to get out of this solid group. Germany, an absolute soccer power house, will top the Group. My surprise pick of the entire group stage will be Poland. This is Poland’s first debut in Euro 2008 and I think they have a great chance to be this year’s Greece. Europe should not underestimate Poland.
In the most exciting group France, Italy, Netherlands, and Romania will fight it out in Group C. Now this is obviously the most difficult group as the group contains the World Cup winners and runner up in France and Italy. Both France and Italy will top the group but not without a fight from Netherlands. Luca Toni will put up a huge number of goals just like he did in 2006 and Italy’s defense will lead them to the top of this group. This will be the most entertaining group so make sure you tune in.
And finally Group D. Group D contains the surprise Euro 2008 Champions in Greece so they will play with a huge target on their back. The group also has Russia, Spain, and Sweden. Spain will easily top this group as they along with Portugal, Italy, and Germany are the sure favorites for winning the tournament. Spain’s Torres is an absolute star and should lead the tournament in goals and bring Spain deep into the tournament. Following Spain in Group D will be Greece. They did it four years ago and I expect them to make a move again this year and be this year’s Greece (it does make sense).
Portugal, Italy, Germany, Spain. Pick one of those countries if you want a Euro 2008 champ. Don’t expect a huge surprise winner like in 2004 but don’t count out a couple spoilers like Poland, Greece, and Czech Republic who can ruin someone’s day.
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Samuel Eto’o, striker from Cameroon, has added to Barcelona’s growing problems. He has now said that he will leave if Barcelona does not come up with a trophy by the end of next season. A loss of this magnitude will certainly send Barcelona down to the middle of the Spanish Primera Division. This is what Eto’o had to say…
If we continue not to win any trophies next year, then I will go somewhere else. I’ve done it all in Spain, I’ve reached the heights here and so if I do leave I will go to another league.
Eto’o, who comes off as a selfish player, proves that he is selfish off the field as well. He joined Barcelona in 2004 and has won trophies with the Spanish powerhouse. His team’s performance ended Barcelona’s dreams of winning the Spanish League as they tied 0-0 Espanyol, leading Eto’o to make remarks of possibly leaving the team. With only the Champion’s League trophy to win, Eto’o has become very anxious about his future with Barcelona.
Barcelona has done fairly well in the Champion’s League despite its poor play in Spain. They had a close call last round with Turkish squad, Fenerbahce, but overcame a first leg loss to win in the second leg and advancing to the next round. Barcelona find themselves in the final four of Europe’s most prestigious league matched up with a surging Manchester United team, who unfortunately for Barcelona fans, are playing their best soccer of the year. A loss for Barcelona could send fans into a deep stage of depression as nothing seems to be going right for Barca at the moment. The Eto’o situation is not helping coming into the first leg of the semi-final round and could hurt team morale.
Barcelona fans might not be able to endure another big name loss as earlier this month they learned that fan favorite, Ronaldinho, is more than likely heading to Italy, possibly a trade to AC Milan. Rumors of French superstar Thierry Henry heading back to England have also swirled. Luckily for Barca fans Vice President, Ferran Soriano, shot down those rumors. When asked if Henry will be headed back to the Premiership he had this to say…
I don’t think so. I spoke with him at length a week ago and he is happy in Barcelona. We were a bit disappointed because the team we have is the team to win all competitions and we are not doing very well in the domestic championship. But apart from that he is fine and I’m sure he is not coming back to the UK.
Henry isn’t the only one who has been rumored to leave Barcelona to go to the Premiership. Coach, Frank Rijkaard, has been rumored to be leaving Barcelona to head to Chelsea. Current Chelsea coach, Avram Grant, has been under fire this season and is likely out of Stamford Bridge soon. Rijkaard would be a perfect fit for Chelsea but all remains to be seen. When asked about Rijkaard’s possibilities of heading to the Premiership, Soriano refused to comment.
Barcelona face Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United on Wednesday as heavy underdogs. The 27 year old Eto’o, still has hope though to go to Russia for the Champions League final.
They are a step above us, but let’s see what happens on Wednesday…For me it is a big motivation that they are being classed as the favourites, that makes me even more keen to beat them.
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