France announces bid to host Euro 2016 too!!!

The French soccer federation launched its bid to host the 2016 European Championship. "We are now officially candidates to host the 2016 Euros and we launch the bid today", French federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes said during a news conference.

Remember that Italy's federation said last week it was also interested in hosting the 2016 championship after losing out to Poland and Ukraine for the 2012 tournament.

Britains Scotland and Wales abandoned plans for a joint bid due to the global economic downturn, but Sweden and Norway are said to be still considering a joint bid.

Although they lost against Argentina without inconvenience, France has won the last two major tournaments it hosted — the 1998 World Cup and 1984 Euro and they know that it is Nasri time!!!


Italy to bid for Euro 2016

Italy will make a bid to host Euro 2016, Italian football federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete said on Monday.

"Italy will present its declaration of interest for the 2016 European championships by (the deadline of) March 9," Abete told a news conference after a FIGC board meeting. He said the decision had been taken after recent consultations with the government.
Italy was beaten in a bid for Euro 2012 by Poland and Ukraine. The country's hooliganism problem was reported to be partly to blame.

"Italy is interested because we cannot shun the challenge of major international events and because we must start virtuous circles that give hope to our football," Abete told Rai radio earlier on Monday, according to Reuters.

The announcement came on the day that Scotland and Wales dropped plans to co-host Euro 2016 due to the financial demands of the expanded tournament.

Euro 2012 will be the last to feature 16 teams after UEFA voted last year to expand the tournament to 24.


Cristiano Ronaldo: “I hope to visit South Africa”

Cristiano Ronaldo says he would like to visit South Africa one day. Well in just 468 days he could well get his wish should Portugal qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

The Manchester United and Portugal star was talking to Kick Off editor Neil Greig at Old Trafford, Manchester during the launch of Nike’s Mercurial Vapor Superfly boot.

Asked whether he had been to Mzansi and what he knew about the country, the winger said: “Last season Manchester United went there and the lads say it is an unbelievable place to go. I hope to go there one day too.”

Speaking right at the end of what was an interesting 40 minute press conference, Ronaldo looked more comfortable and relaxed than when he first walked in.

Facing around 100 media people from all over the globe was probably just as nerve wracking for him than it would be for anyone, highlighting that the superstar is just human after all.

But by now Ronaldo was smiling, joking and was visibly interested in getting his thoughts across about South Africa.

“I know quite a few parts of the world, but not South Africa. I wish to go there one day,” he says.

And Ronaldo will identify with the majority of South Africa’s children, having also spent a large part of his youth playing street football in Madeira, Portugal.

His message to South African kids who love to express themselves with skills learnt on the street, but also desire to reach the highest level like him, is a simple one.

“I started to play sometimes in Madeira in the street. The kids there still love to play football and all would love to be professional footballers one day.

“What the kids (in South Africa) have to do is believe in themselves and try all the time. Everyone has an opportunity and if someone catches the opportunities it is very good. But believe is the best word.”