[print_link] | Subscribe: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
In this week’s review of the footballing action, we take a look back at the football life of the great Brazilian player Socrates as well as congratulating his former club Corinthians on winning the Brazilian title. Not such a good week, however, for Manchester clubs or for Inter Milan. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below, or highlighted in blue.
Sad news from Brazil where former captain of the national side Sócrates passed away last weekend at the age of only 57. Sócrates had spells with Botafogo and Flamengo, as well as one year in Italy with Fiorentina but the team he was most associated with was Sao Paolo’s Corinthians with whom he played 297 times, scoring a remarkable 172 goals. He played for the national side on 60 occasions, scoring 22 times, and was captain of the 1982 and 1986 World Cup sides. The 1982 side is fondly remembered as being one of the best teams never to win a World Cup and Sócrates was at the centre of a dream midfield that included Falcao, Cerezo and Zico. Sócrates was more than just a footballer – he studied medicine, wrote plays and was very political at a time when being so could get you into trouble. His pro-democracy views at Corinthians during the military dictatorship in Brazil demonstrated his principles, which when added to his brilliant footballing style meant that Sócrates will always be remembered.
Back in October we took a look at the run in for the J-League in Japan and wondered whether Kashiwa, a newly promoted side, could hold on to their lead. Well, they did and they were crowned champions, but it went down to the wire, and the club from Chiba needed a win to make sure of the title. They beat one of the biggest clubs in Japan, Urawa, 3-1 away and held off Nagoya by 1 point. A fantastic J-League title for Kashiwa, their first, and now they will hope they can progress in the Club World Cup to face a dream tie against Santos. And talking about a Brazilian club, congratulations too for Corinthians, who also clinched the title in a close finish on the last day of the league. A draw was enough for the side from Sao Paulo. The team dedicated their title to their Socrates who, as we have said, passed away the day before.
In Italy, Inter’s poor form continued with a 1-0 defeat at home to Udinese. The loss means the European and Serie A Champions of 2010 are just four points above the drop zone. Any title chances are surely gone and it isn’t looking good for the Milan side, who face Fiorentina next in the league. This will be no easy game, as Fiorentina comfortably overcame Roma 3-0. That win meant that Roma stayed stuck in eighth place with three losses in the last five games. bad for two of Serie A’s big guns.
had spells with: played with
is fondly remembered: is remembered in a positive way
his principles: beliefs
(go) down to the wire: be decided in the last match; the result is only clear at the last minute
held off: kept away; kept at bay; repulsed
overcome: beat; defeat
clinched: decided; got; achieved
form: record; results in recent games
big guns: big teams; well-supported and/or successful clubs