"The last European monopoly, in any area, is crumbling. This recently-opened transfer window has underscored, more than anything else, that it is no longer the European football clubs’ birthright to sign the greatest players in the world." -- Leander Schaerlaeckens on the growing clout of Chinese, Brazilian, and (WTF?) Indian soccer leagues in grabbing the top talent
What happens when a multi-millionaire footballer playing for one of England's top club teams refuses to go out and play as a substitute? Possibly, he gets shipped off to prestigious second division northern Irish club squad Limavady United.
Brazilian striker Ronaldo is now "the most prolific scorer in World Cup history." Controversy surrounded him, literally, regarding his weight in the run-up to 2006 (not to mention a bit of competition from an heir apparent named Ronaldinho). But today is Ronaldo's day, and Brasilia's as well as they try to repeat 2002 and add a sixth star to their jerseys. (The list, updated to include Muller in 2nd, Juste Fontaine in 3rd, and fellow countryman Pele in 4th.)