Lega Calcio

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Tricheur.  Imbroglione.  Cheater.  I don’t mind if we say it in French, Italian or English.  It all translates the same way.  The main reason I hold such disgust for these two world famous footballers is because they both have a knack for cheating.  To go along with their scandalous behavior, I must also proclaim that each one is terribly overrated.  I know people will read this and say, “Henry is one of the best strikers of all time”, and “De Rossi is a solid Azzurri national team player”.  Blah Blah Blah.  As far as, right here, right now, they both stink (in 2010).  Henry now plays for the New York Red Bulls (laugh, sorry no disrespect to the MLS) and De Rossi hasn’t had a solid performance on Roma since about 2008.  I tend to like classy footballers that set a positive example on and off the field; this does not include De Rossi personally phoning Brian McBride after he delivered a vicious facial elbow during the 2006 World Cup or Henry’s UNICEF campaigns (I think he just wants to market his image to make more money).  So before my European readers start to chuck their foie gras and rigatoni toward this soccer loving American chap, I’ll provide you with more of an in-depth analysis as to why soccer fans should continue to ignore these sub-par players.

Thierry Henry.  At one time, he was considered an idol for the French people.  He grew up in the suburbs of Paris and is truly a rags to riches story.  His parents were from Guadeloupe and Martinique and helped him to get recognized at the age of 13 after he literally perfected his “cheating” playing on the streets in his father’s shoes.  I won’t deny that Henry had some good times at Arsenal in the early 2000s.  However, let’s also acknowledge they type of quality this club continuously brings in as far as supporting talent to go along with a top class manager in Arsene Wenger who has been there since 1996.  As a typical striker, Henry pouted a lot when he didn’t receive the ball and a large portion of his 226 goals were off of penalty kicks and point blank shots.  He went to participate in two champions league finals and disappeared in each of them.  That being said, he was also never a solid aerial player and failed to impress in most of his French national team duties.  With Zinedine Zidane at the core, and Claude Makelele helping, a young Henry barely contributed to the 1998 World Cup team that won the big trophy (on home soil).  The 2002 South Korea/Japan World Cup as well as the 2008 Euro Championships in Austria can both be viewed as disappointments for this once speedy superstar.  Maybe he was too busy going to NBA games in San Antonio to watch his big buddy Tony Parker as he looked down Eva Longoria’s shirt (google that one)? The 2010 World Cup in South Africa proved to be a disaster for Les Bleus.  An early group stage exit with Henry mostly watching from the sidelines was a fitting “au revoir” for the Mr. Gillette spokesman.  Speaking of endorsements, does Henry have enough of them?  I see his smiling mug everywhere.  Some say it has taken away his focus over the years including the reason for which he failed to significantly contribute to one of the best teams in the history of club football, the 2008-09 Barca team, while in his 3 years playing for Catalonia.  Monsieur Henry also has drawn world criticism for an alleged cheating fiasco with his British model wife which the Spanish press asserted was the primary reason for his disastrous first year there as he then went on to knock home only 35 goals in his total time there, with his first year seen as truly transitional (mostly coming off the bench).  After almost every top European team turned him away, the Frenchman jumped across the pond and signed with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.  Thus far, in a few months in the MLS, he’s managed to net home only 2 goals and has been quite injured along the way including the way in which he managed to even severely inflict an injury on a visiting goalkeeper for no apparent reason ( taking a swipe on a dead ball resulting in seriously damaging the goalkeeper’s MCL).  We’re still all waiting on that apology.  I’ve read that Henry is often viewed as a “moody” teammate.  Is that why he decided to use the “hand of god” one fateful day last November in a World Cup qualifying playoff against Ireland?  The disgraceful “cradling in” of a last second goal against a tenacious Irish team was “a monumental slap in the face” to a proud nation that worked so diligently in its quest for South Africa, only to be let down by a selfish player, federation, and governing soccer body (Henry, France, and Fifa).  I could talk about this controversy for another 10 pages, but I’ll leave you’ll with one word, “Cheater”.

Flip or Flop.  Dive or Slide.  Drama-filled screams and fake injuries.  Italy is notorious for the above-mentioned behavior.  Their men’s national team was savvy enough to utilize these techniques to win the 2006 World Cup.  One of their so-called “ring leaders” is a 27 yr old, defensive midfielder named Daniele De Rossi, who plays his club ball for Roma.  Whether he was giving elbow digs to opposing players (like Brian McBride of the US team) or falling to the ground crying like a little girl, he exhibited the same smug look.  Again, this world-class footballer can best be classified as “a cheat and overrated”.  As fans, it’s best to focus our attention on players that are better for the game.  De Rossi (not to be confused with the American-Born Traitor Giuseppe Rossi who plays for Villarreal and the Azzurri) has scored an astonishing 10 goals for Italy in 7 years and a whopping 28 goals in 10 years with Roma.  Wow, world class!!! He’s now touted as the next captain for the Italians as they look to replace Fabio Cannavaro who is set to retire from the International game in the immediate future.  The direction of Italy’s team is truly in peril.  I have not seen or heard of a solid performance in the last 2-3 years on either the International or Club pitch from De Rossi.  He’s a “pretty boy” who has a crazy fan base that views him in this celestial manner even though the guy produces absolutely nothing.  He was rumored to be close to signing with Arsenal last off-season but clearly Arsenal had some problems with his character.  His work ethic and motivation are often highly questionable.

The traditional powerhouses of France and Italy have some rebuilding to do.  They are both left with very young squads with considerable talent but are lacking in leadership.  I’d say it’s a better time to support national teams that play the game right, such as, the Spanish and US squads.  Most importantly, as you watch the MLS and Calcio leagues this season; remember to pick out players you like who are not prone to cheat.  My hand of god is watching and it might bloody up your face if I see you in one of two red jerseys, the Red Bulls or Roma.

Thanks for coming to the U.S. to join the New York Red Bulls

Italy's next captain? What a disgrace

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Tim was born and raised in Downers Grove, IL (a suburb of Chicago). He graduated with a degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign and also holds University English Language Excellence certificates. He's fluent in Spanish and teaches both English and Spanish in his spare time. He's a Real Madrid and Chicago Fire aficionado and is partial towards the EPL and LFP. His hope is that the game of soccer can continue to grow in the U.S.A. and for our men's national team to eventually win the World Cup.

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  1. youareanidiot Oct 14 201010:17 pm


    . some pathetic excuse of a football fanatic, you obviously know nothing about the game. you do not write from an educated and informed point of view; you write with an opinionated air of arrogance and stupidity that only someone who knows nothing of what they are talking about can. calling henry, someone who has gone over and beyond to prove their talent to nothings like you, a talentless player is like saying einstein wasnt a genius. how many players handballed in their career? just bc of his status he got it, whereas if someone like bojan did it nobody would have blinked. do you know how many handballs there were in the 2010 world cup? TH is someone who LOVEs the game, and instead of finishing his career possibly being benched on some european team (not one in the EPL b/c he has too much loyalty to play for anyone there except arsenal) he went to the MLS to see what they had to offer, to end his career playing, and to have a new challenge. ps -yes i took the time to leave this comment bc people like you need to know to stop trash talking individuals that do not deserve it. take a good look in the mirror, who do u think u are anyways?

    1. Timothy Ashe Jr. Oct 14 201010:54 pm


      Well, apparently someone is a big henry fan. Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. You must be british and an arsenal fan since most other people don’t care for him. A bit of arrogance? maybe. Stupidity? I live, breathe, and walk football. Have you ever seen me play? Are you friends with Henry? Besides you’r Irish handball reference (which isn’t comparable), not a lot of sound arguments in your comment. Henry took the heat for that handball because he did it on purpose with intent and even admitted that. Luis Suarez of Uruguay was criticized as well in the World Cup 2010 for his intentional handball. Too much loyalty in the EPL? Or, no one wanted him? As far as who do I think I am? Someone who tirelessly researches football matches, articles, and other research outlets to write solid opinionated articles. I’m glad he’s trying to help the MLS, however, intentionally injuring goalkeepers isn’t promoting the game in the states (that’s more of an intentional handball type of move). I’ve also heard Juan Pablo Angel is leaving the Red Bulls at the end of the year because he doesn’t quite fancy mr. thierry taking all of his playing time because of the name he’s branded for himself (I’ll give him credit for that).

  2. Da Gooner Oct 31 20101:40 am


    wow! you’re glass is half empty, while you can list everything bad about one of the best players in the world you have nothing good to say, and your stats are purely hipocritical. so let me breakdown thierry henry’s career for you non believer… third highest goalscorer in prem history, france all time leading goalscoarer, world cup winner, a major part of an undefeated team, prem winner, fa cup winner, champions league winner, spanish leage winner, spanish cup winner, and almost single handedly create one of the biggest anti racism movements in all of football. so before u judge him on a handballthat is no where in comparison to that of say… diego maradona think about the real cheat in this situation… being you by cheating henry of all the praise and accolades he deserves. plus for you to say he intentionally kicked hatman is nothing short of stupid. are you an irish fan?!?!

    1. Timothy Ashe Jr. Dec 3 201011:02 pm


      I’m not only an irish fan, I’m a fan of fair play. Isn’t it a coincidence that it’s coming out that Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs is a huge cheater. He’s been playing Eva Longoria for years. It just so happens that Henry and Parker are best friends. Just because you stay under the radar for a long time and are successful in your sport, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing it the right way. It’s called playing dirty.

  3. ste petrhick Dec 3 20103:12 pm


    If I remember correctly, De Rossi was the one who told the referee he had scored a goal with his hand (against Messina) when the ref didn’t see it. He also apologized personally to McBride right after the game, which is NOT standard protocol. If you look at the photos of the hit to McBride, you’ll see that both McBride’s elbows are up, just like De Rossi’s (whose eyes are closed).
    You spend a lot of time and energy being angry and negative about two specific players, who are no worse (and arguably better) than most. That says a lot more about you than it does about them.

    1. Timothy Ashe Jr. Dec 3 201011:06 pm


      Consider me a soccer pundit. My articles are mostly opinion based. You can agree with some things and not with others. I’ve never said that these players aren’t good enough to play on the professional level. If you’re playing on the national team for France or Italy, you’ve elevated yourself to the highest playing field. Unfortunately, with these two, I don’t think the hype is justified. What does it say about me? That I care about the way players play the game and/or act off the pitch? And by the way, you don’t accidentally give someone stiches like that. That’s like saying Zidane accidentally headbutted someone.

  4. metizh Sep 3 20118:44 pm


    Why is Giuseppe Rossi a traitor? Because he plays for the country which developed him as a footballer and a man? Because he left the country in which he was born, to one with much better resources for his future profession? I bet now he is even regretting being an American citizen (the ONLY type of citizen taxed while not residing within the country). Are you friends with Giuseppe? Perhaps he has good reasons not to play for US (perhaps even better than the ones stated above). Or perhaps you should look at it like him playing for Italy as opposed to not playing for the US.
    You bring up De Rossi’s stats, as a defensive midfielder his international goal production is on par with legends Frank Rijkaard, Cerezo, and Marco Tardelli. Claude Makélélé (who you mentioned yourself as a great player) had a whopping 0 goals for the french national senior side. And only 18 for club over 19 years.
    As for Thierry Henry, say what you want about his senior years, or off-field shenanigans, you don’t win that many footballer/player/team of the year/golden boots (28) without being extremely skilled, no matter how good your teammates are.
    C’est que mon grain de sel :)

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