The story of the Chilean miners’ rescue has been the big news story this week. After 69 days all 33 miners were rescued from the mine and as they emerged from the rescue capsule each man had a different style of re-appearing to the world – some danced, others prayed, more cried, while one or two simply walked away but the 27th man to be rescued, Franklin Lobos, was given a ball and proceeded to play a game of ‘keepy-up’. Known as the Magic Mortar because of his fearsome shot he played for Chilean side Cobresal in the 1980s before becoming a miner to help pay for his daughters’ tuition fees. Quite possibly the coolest man in football at the moment.
The dismal performance of clubs from the British Isles – that’s England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – makes our bad section this week. Looking at the last two games they have each played their combined record in ten games stands at one win, five losses and four draws. Very poor indeed! Only one victory in the last 10 games between them. Add to that the fact that only England made it to the World Cup in South Africa and performed terribly there and it doesn’t look too good for the teams from the western edge of Europe.
Well, there was lots of international action last week with good and bad results depending on which country you support, but there were no winners in the Italy v Serbia game which had to be called off because of disturbances outside the ground and in the stands. Serbian fans fought with police and attacked their own team bus before the game – apparently Red Star Belgrade fans were unhappy with the Serbian team goalkeeper, Stojkovic – a former Red Star player who is on loan from Sporting Lisbon at Partizan, Red Star’s fierce city rivals. The Serbian fans then threw flares and other missiles onto the pitch and at Italian fans in the stadium. This was all before the kick off, but trouble flared again after the whistle blew. A flare narrowly missed the Italy goalkeeper, Emiliano Viviano. The referee had no option but to call the game off and Serbian fans face at least bans from away, and perhaps even home, games, while UEFA are also looking at banning Serbia completely from international football. Ugly.
emerged: Appeared; came out
‘keepy-up’: To kick the ball in the air repeatedly (as in the photo)
tuition fees: Money paid to a school or university for classes
dismal: very bad, poor, uninspiring
be called off: be stopped, be cancelled
disturbances: problems, fighting, unrest, bad behaviour
flare: start suddenly, erupt,