Mario Gomez-20 Million for That Hair? Yes, Sir!

mario gomez

Transfer season is upon and the incessant churning of the rumour mills are already at it’s peak. Holding true to tradition, transfer sagas involving a wantaway star, a recently triumphant club, and a host of suitors are in full swing. One that has carried on for the past two years has finally come to end with Neymar making a move to Barcelona. Definitely did not see that one coming.

The latest transfer story to bestow our favourite football forums and websites is the alleged end of Mario Gomez’s four year tryst with the Bavarians. Yes, the striker with a hairstyle as impressive as his goalscoring record, looks set to move to another club. All for a mere 20 million euros.

The recently crowned German and European Champions, Bayern Munich, is now under the managerial dominion of Pep Guardiola. Along with him comes his philosophy of hard pressing, possession based football of which Gomez is likely not to be a part of. Old Pep does have a history of selling major players - His first activities as the coach of Barcelona were the sales of Deco and Ronaldinho. What followed after was the creation of arguably the most dominating team the world has witnessed since the heydays of bitter rivals, Real Madrid. With Bayern Munich decimating Pep’s previous team in the Champions League semi-final, the ‘superclub’ titled seems to have relayed into the hands of the Bavarians.

Of course, this will be of little concern to Mario Gomez come the dawn of the new season. Fiorentina are reportedly the frontrunners to bag the German to spear head their attack, with Jovetic likely to leave. It would be a great boost for the Tuscany-based club if it falls through, having secured a Europa Leage spot with an impressive season finish of 4th. This would also make him the second German striker to join an Italian team after Klose’s arrival at Lazio the previous year.

Until then, Mario Gomez enjoys his vacation polishing his impressive trophy cabinet.

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Neymar: The world at his feet

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

Dazzling skills, a venomous shot and blinding pace- all the attributes that define a great forward, and all those possessed by Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. At only 21 years of age, Brazil’s prodigal son is already being hailed as the next Pelé. With the big ticket move to Europe, Neymar is on the cusp of greatness.

Neymar began his career with Brazilian giants Santos, and almost immediately, made an impact, with his elaborate tricks and quick feet. He continued to dominate the Brazilian League for five seasons, and captured the heart of all Brazilian fans. He was an embodiment of the Joga Bonito style of football. However, he had his skeptics, who believed that, while he was able to work his magic in Brazil, he would struggle against the stronger and more physical defenders in Europe and the international stage.

All doubts, however, were put to rest at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, where tough opponents like Spain, Italy and Uruguay awaited. With the whole crowd behind him, Neymar shone brighter than ever, carrying his team to victory, bamboozling defenders, netting 4 goals and creating 2. He won the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament. Neymar and Brazil now set their sights on the biggest prize of all, the 2014 world cup, in front of their own fans. If the Confederations Cup was any indication, not many teams will be able to stop them.

Having conquered the international stage, Neymar now sets his sights on the next challenge- Europe. FC Barcelona have acquired his services after shelling out 57 million Euros. The combination of the current Ballon d‘Or and the future Ballon d‘Or will be a treat to watch.

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Michael Owen calls it a day

The two Argentine defenders, with twenty years of experience between them, didn’t know what hit them. He was past both of them in the blink of an eye. He let fly from the edge of the box, and as always, the ball nestled in the corner of the net. England’s manager Sven Errikksen, therefore, was not exaggerating when he called Michael Owen a “killer”, a clean killer.”

After 17 years of terrorizing defenses, the prolific striker has decided to call it a day. Michael Owen, on Tuesday, announced on his personal website that he will be retiring at the end of the ongoing Premier League season. He will be drawing the curtain on a career decked with  three League  cup medals, one  F. A.cup victory , one UEFA cup and one Premier League trophy.

Michael Owen calls it a day

Owen started his career at Anfield, when he signed for Liverpool at the age of 17. Liverpool managed to pry him from the grasp of Manchester United and Chelsea, who were also vying for the talented youngster’s signature. Owen went on to become a legend in Merceyside, finishing as Liverpool’s top scorer for eight consecutive seasons, from 1997 to 2004, even as he was fighting constant knee and hamstring injuries. He also won English hearts when he scored that amazing goal against Argentina in the ’98 world cup, at the ripe age of 18. In 2001, he led Liverpool to a treble which won him the coveted Baland’or. Liverpool’s fall from grace at the end of the 2004 season, when Owen was at his peak, led to fears among fans that the club was not good enough for Owen.

It was a year later that the inevitable happened. Owen moved to Real Madrid for a hefty 8 million pounds. Owen enjoyed a good run in Spain, even though he was playing second fiddle to Brazilian superstar Ronaldo. Towards the end of his tenure, however,  he was plagued  with injuries and bad form. Eventually, the arrival of big players like Robinho meant that Owen was surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu. He was sold to Newcastle United in  2005 .

Injuries continued to haunt him, and he was forced to sit out the majority of the 05-06  season. He returned after this long layoff to become captain of the club, but soon moved to Liverpool’s arch rivals Manchester United, amidst much controversy in 2009. The highlight of his short stay at Manchester came when he scored an injury time winner in The Manchester Derby. The goal was vintage Michael Owen. Even though that was his only league goal for that season, Michael Owen will not forget his time at Manchester United, as it was here that he won the premier League medal that had eluded him for so long.

Owen moved to Stoke City in  2012  and continues to play there, as of March 19th, 2013, when he announced , “ I now feel that it is the right time to bring down the curtain on my career. I have been very fortunate that my career has taken me on a journey like I have dreamt of.”

His 124  goals in the Premier League  and  40 goals for England, including a hat-trick against Germany,  will remain in the hearts of football fans for many years to come.

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