April 16, 2013
Posted: 1423 GMT
This year’s Masters had its fair share of quiet periods, but in the deepening Augusta gloom it finally delivered the climax for which everyone had been hoping.
A worthy, popular winner, great sportsmanship, some phenomenal shot-making - not least Angel Cabrera’s stunning approach to the 72nd hole when he knew nothing less would extend his challenge - and a final explosion of Aussie joy as the nation’s 77-year Masters curse dropped into the 10th hole along with Adam Scott’s ball in the sudden-death playoff.
Last July, Scott’s family and friends stood, silent and stunned, some in tears, as they watched a TV behind the 18th green at the British Open. Their man had walked off the 14th with a firm grasp on the coveted claret jug, but as they stood there, was proceeding to bogey each of the final four holes, relinquishing what would have been his first major victory. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 1200 GMT
Bayern Munich have clinched the Bundesliga title in record time, reached the semifinals of the European Champions League and the German Cup, and yet they are preparing to say goodbye to manager Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season.
Considering how well the Bavarians have done this year, we have to ask, do they really need Pep Guardiola? I say no they don’t.
Whatever way you look at it, Bayern have had an amazing campaign. Domestically, they are on course to set new league records for victories and points. Read the rest of this entry »
April 12, 2013
Posted: 1734 GMT
The decision late last year by Augusta National to break with tradition and allow its first ever female members has been widely applauded with the general consensus being " about time too!"
Current world No.1 Tiger Woods described the news as "fantastic" while three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson said Condoleezza Rice is one of his favourite people to spend time with.
"Lefty" even played an Augusta practice round with the former U-S Secretary of State who impressed all watching by reportedly sinking a huge 40 foot putt on the very last hole!
Rice - along with South Carolina financier Darla Moore - remain the only female members at the private Augusta National Golf Club - as far as we're aware - and ahead of this year's Masters, club chairman Billy Payne described their joining as a joyous occasion adding "it's just awesome". He added he feels his club is a "beacon in the world of golf".
There's certainly no question that after years of intense focus on the club and its all-male policies –the admittance of two women is very much a step in the right direction but is it enough and will it indeed trigger other iconic venues to see the light of the Augusta beacon and follow suit?
This year's British Open championship venue Muirfield in Scotland for example still doesn't allow women members.
At a packed media press conference on Wednesday I asked Chairman Payne if he felt other clubs should now follow Augusta's lead. He responded that any such move would have to be their own decision while Mickelson declared he doesn't get involved in the "politics" of the game.
Here at Augusta fans out on the course are known as patrons. In truth, while the majority do fully agree it's high time to move on and adapt to the times, I did find a couple of female voices united in their belief that membership issues are down to each individual club.
That said, it's certainly not going to change the growing pressure of that majority to change. In addition to Muirfield - the world governing body of the game outside the USA - The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at Saint Andrews - is also male only.
Since its beginning in 1754, it's simply never had a female member! After almost 260 years - and following the recent example of Augusta - is the time now right for us to even dare to dream of change?
April 9, 2013
Posted: 1807 GMT
Carles Puyol is out. Javier Mascherano is out. All of a sudden, Barcelona have yet another defensive crisis ahead of a crucial Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain.
At a time when speculation regarding a big money move for Neymar continues to grab the headlines, is signing another forward really a priority at the Camp Nou?
Securing a top defender would be a better investment. Without one, future European campaigns could proves fruitless. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 1753 GMT
After taking to the pitch for both Spain and Barcelona, Albert Ferrer knows about performing under pressure.
But how did the former full back fare when he made his debut for the CNN Football Club? Read the rest of this entry »
April 2, 2013
Posted: 1730 GMT
A European champion with club and country who was once crowned the continent’s finest player, Ruud Gullit’s pedigree in unquestionable.
Now the midfielder is adding the CNN Football Club to a CV which already boasts AC Milan, Sampdoria and Chelsea.
The mercurial Dutchman was in the studio to assess this week’s European Champions League quarterfinal ties, a competition he won twice as a player. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: 1156 GMT
How tough is it to win the Champions League? So tough that since the competition's format was changed in 1991, no team has won the trophy in consecutive years.
You may know that the last club to successfully defend its title was AC Milan, and that was a side which had some world class players in its ranks. I am talking about guys like Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten among others.
As I prepare to interview Gullit on the CNN FC show this week, I decided to take a closer look at all the challenges clubs face in winning the competition these days, and I will tell you what, I don’t think any club will win back-to-back titles any time soon. Read the rest of this entry »
March 28, 2013
Posted: 1557 GMT
The Miami Heat’s loss in Chicago on Wednesday was their first defeat in nearly two months and snapped a 27-game win streak.
Miami had needed just seven more wins to beat the all-time NBA mark of 33 consecutive wins held by the 1971-72 L.A. Lakers.
Despite falling short in their history bid, Miami should be praised and respected by basketball fans around the world.
The NBA has long been criticized for teams not taking the regular season seriously enough, and only kicking into gear come the post-season. Even casual basketball fans often admit to bypassing most of the mid-season games and tuning in once the play-offs begin. Read the rest of this entry »
March 27, 2013
Posted: 1653 GMT
He is the former France winger who made himself a hero in Newcastle and north London. Now David Ginola will be answering your questions as he makes his debut for the CNN Football Club.
A flamboyant attacker who dazzled Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur fans with his gallic flair, Ginola was named the best player in England in 1999. Read the rest of this entry »
March 26, 2013
Posted: 1503 GMT
And so Tiger’s reached yet another level of “back.”
It’s been, in the phrase he almost copyrighted, a process. Back playing (remember when that was a serious question?), then back contending, back sticking three or four good rounds together, back winning and now back at world No. 1.
But underpinning everything at the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament at Bay Hill, Tiger was back putting like the best player on the planet.
Not how, but how many, runs the truism. Yet both sides of that oft-coined phrase hold the answer to Tiger’s return to the top. Read the rest of this entry »