Icelandic national football team striker, Kolbeinn Sigthórsson, has successfully completed his rehabilitation programme at Qatar’s orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital, Aspetar.
The footballer, who scored the winning goal for Iceland against England at the quarter-finals of the UEFA Euro 2016, sustained a left knee injury while on international duty in September 2016. The injury left the striker, who is currently signed with France Ligue 1 club FC Nantes, out-of-action for a year and a half. Following successful treatment at Aspetar, Sigthórsson is hopeful that he’ll return to the game early next year and may even be ready to take part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
Watch the Full Interview with Kolbeinn Sigthórsson:
Commenting on his treatment in Aspetar, Sigthórsson said he was impressed with Aspetar’s facilities, adding: “[The services] are really top class. The physiotherapy facilities are great and this is the perfect place for me to be in for rehabilitation.”
In an interview held in Aspetar, Sigthórsson spoke about his nation’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ ambitions, saying: “The ambitions of the national team are always high, and the results over the past few years have shown that we can beat accomplished teams. We will go with the mentality to win every match and go as far as possible. Why not have high goals and try to reach them?”
He added: “It’s my dream to go to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, [as is the case with] all other football players. I came [to Doha] with that [goal] in mind and hopefully I can be part of [the team]. There’s still a long way to go, but I’m really positive I can make it.”
Sigthórsson also spoke about the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ saying, “It’s interesting. It’s never been held here [the Middle East] and I think it’s going to be a great tournament. I spoke to people who work here and everybody is enthusiastic about it and they want to make this a great World Cup. The stadiums here are also quite impressive, so I think it will be a really good event and it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. You have everything here to make it happen and hopefully I will come here with my team.”
Whilst reminiscing about his stunner against England, the striker said: “Our win against England, especially for a striker from Iceland, is something you don’t think [is possible] as a young kid. It was a great experience for me and a great moment for our country as well. We all watch England and the English Premier League on TV so to win against England is something you never forget.”
Aspetar boasts one of the most advanced rehabilitation departments in the region, which is integral to Aspetar’s multidisciplinary approach to athlete management. The hospital’s method focuses on assessment and treatment of injured athletes by implementing personalised injury treatment programmes, including the hamstring protocol.
Utilising an evidence-based model, Aspetar’s experienced practitioners aim to return patients to their pre-injury lifestyle as quickly and safely as possible with a proven track record of treating international athletes from the PGA, WTA, ATP, World leaders in track and field, as well as weightlifting and professional footballers from all major leagues.
Aspetar has become an ideal treatment and rehabilitation destination for elite athletes from Europe, including South African 400m world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk, who is currently in Aspetar for treatment, fellow Icelandic footballers Eidur Gudjohnsen and Alfreð Finnbogason, AFC Bournemouth Striker, Callum Wilson, Stoke City goalkeeper, Jack Butland, Northern Ireland and Watford FC footballer, Craig Cathcart, former French International and Sunderland’s footballer, Younes Kaboul, and Club Brugge’s footballer, Abdoulay Diaby.
As the official medical partner to French club Paris-Saint Germain (PSG), Aspetar’s experts have also provided surgical treatment for injured players Thomas Meunier and Ivan Kurzawa.
Oli Shaw’s disallowed goal in the Edinburgh Derby in December has raised arguments for goal-line technology to be implemented in the Scottish top flight but it isn’t just stubbornness holding back these changes – it’s money.
In a league where the richest club’s annual player wage is 17 times larger than the smallest, and many teams still report massive annual losses, money is always going to be a stumbling block for progress in the Scottish game.
When the English Premier League installed their Hawk-Eye system in 2013 it cost each club £265,000 just to set it up and have it approved by FIFA. That price excluded the extra costs to use it on match days plus any repairs and updates.
If similar actions were taken by the SPFL then clubs like Kilmarnock would have to spend over 1/16 of their yearly turnover just to have the technology installed at Rugby Park.
This price tag wouldn’t be such a problem for the larger clubs in the league like Celtic, with a £90.6 million turnover, and Rangers, with a £29.2 million turnover, but of course all 12 clubs would have to be consulted before making such drastic changes.
The financial gap in clubs has also been an issue in much larger leagues with greater attendances and turnovers.
Major League Soccer’s commissioner Don Garber said in 2013 upon hearing of the Premier League’s decision to use goal-line technology: “[The cost] had us take a step back and pause and try to figure out: Is the value of having goal-line technology worth investing millions and millions and millions of dollars for the handful of moments where it’s relevant?”
Even the Bundesliga, one of the top five European leagues that has the highest average attendance in the world, had two clubs vote against the technology due to financial weakness.
“The costs are so exorbitant that this is not sustainable,” said then-CEO of 1. FC Köln Jörg Schmadtke.
Refereeing mistakes are always going to be a burden on football and therefore support must be given to minimise these errors.
But other forms exist such as ‘fifth’ and ‘sixth’ officials, who stand near the goal-line to give advice on goalmouth incidents, or a ‘camera official’ who could see the angles from the television cameras and then advise the on-pitch official with decisions.
The latter of these options would require a rugby-esque timeout rule but this would help referees get a better hold on the game, as many can feel pressured to make a decision rapidly without wasting too much time. With a stop clock this wouldn’t be a problem.
All images courtesy of Sportspiel & Getty Images
The host of RT’s “The Stan Collymore Show” met with some of the world’s biggest football stars in the show’s latest episode, including Pelé, Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and José Mourinho. During the jam-packed half-hour, Stan Collymore went behind-the-scenes of the qualifying game between Ireland and Denmark, attended a charity match for victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, and introduced audiences to all 32 teams who will be heading to the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Talking to Stan Collymore about the upcoming World Cup in Russia, legendary Brazilian footballer Pelé remarked, “It will be very important for us. I wish to stay in this house to see this World Cup. If God listens to what I’m going to say, at least Brazil in the finals is ok.” Lionel Messi, the captain of Argentina’s national team, meanwhile, provided his assessment of the “Luzhniki” stadium in Moscow that re-opened following reconstruction two weeks ago: “Luzhniki is a good stadium, like all modern stadiums which are built now. Great stadium. Great to play in.”
During the episode, Stan Collymore made a special trip to a charity match held in honor of the victims of a recent fire in the Grenfell Tower building in London. Among the match’s participants were Manchester United Head Coach José Mourinho, former goalkeeper for Liverpool David James, four-time Olympic champion in long distance running Mo Farah, and actor Damian Lewis. “I felt deeply the tragedy, and if I can give a little bit to the people that left us, I think I should do it. I enjoyed the day, and I always lose on penalties, so there’s nothing new for me,” José Mourinho said after the match.
Stan Collymore was a center-forward from 1990 to 2001 for various English Premier League teams, most notably Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, and Aston Villa. He made three appearances on the English national team, including a showing at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Following his retirement from professional football, he turned to sports broadcasting, hosting shows on BBC Radio Five Live, Channel 5 and talkSport, before finding his new home at RT.
RT’s “The Stan Collymore Show” takes an in-depth look at the most important events in the world of football in the run-up to the 2018 World Cup to be held in Russia.
The latest episode of the Stan Collymore show is available online at RT.com–https://www.rt.com/shows/stan-collymore-show/410864-ireland-denmark-world-cup/
- Signs are good for top goalscorer Rhian Brewster – Liverpool have given the most debuts to teenage players and are the most prolific poachers of young talent – 24 debutants have made 350 appearances, averaging only 15 appearances each. They’ve also signed 10 youngsters from other clubs, including Henderson and Sakho.
- Foden, Latibeaudiere and Anderson likely to struggle – Manchester City’s teenage debutants average only 9 appearances for the club – 17 teenage debutants have made a total of just 149 appearances, with the most successful being Iheanacho (46 appearances) and Jesus already in 3rd despite only being signed in January (16 appearances)
- McEachran, Guehi, Panzo and Hudson-Odoi won’t make the first team – Chelsea are the worst club for promoting youth in their team – 17 teenage debuts have made a total of 106 appearances, averaging only 6 appearances each before making 90% of total career appearances at other clubs (Loftus Cheek is the most successful graduate with Lukaku being among their biggest losses.
- Arsenal are the best club for promoting youth and they tend to stick around – the 21 players have racked up 934 appearances for the club, averaging 44 appearances each and 73% of their total career appearances have been at the club (success stories include Ramsey, Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain). Great news for Emile Smith Rowe – who played from the bench in India.
- Manchester United are the 2nd best club for producing young talent, but majority of appearances are for their rivals – 20 debutants have gone on to make 1,184 appearances in Europe’s top leagues, but only 48% have been for the club, averaging 28 appearances each (Rafael, Pogba and Welbeck are among the success stories)
- Tottenham are least likely to promote youth, but those that do get a chance make the most appearances – only 10 teenagers have been given Premier League debuts but they have made 701 appearances, averaging 70 appearances each (success stories include Kane, Bale and Walker)
- Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City are very poor at giving their own players a chance, but are among the most prolific at signing teenagers from elsewhere – each club has signed 9 players from other top European leagues, including the likes of Eden Hazard, Raheem Sterling and Ben Davies
- Lyon are the best club in Europe for promoting youth – 29 teenage debutants have made a total of 1,035 appearances for the club, almost 1800 in total across Europe’s top leagues (success stories include Lacazette)
- Athletic Madrid have the 2nd best academy in Europe – 18 debutants have made over 1700 appearances across Europe’s top leagues. Koke is among the best to stay (227 appearances) but De Gea left for Manchester United after only 57!
- Barcelona have the 3rd best academy in Europe – Barcelona’s 17 teenage debutants have made 485 appearances for the club (33% of their total career appearances) before making over 1,000 appearances elsewhere
- Real Madrid are half as likely to promote youth as rivals Barcelona – 11 teenage debutants have made just 150 appearances, only 17% of their career appearances
- Juventus are the worst club in Europe for promoting youth with just 4 appearances each – 17 teenage debutants have made just 60 appearances and only 8% of career appearances are at the club
Image courtesy of https://twitter.com/philfoden
This book is a must read account of the life of a footballer who held a horrible secret, which dragged him down into the depths of depression and pushed him to a world of drug taking and despair, whilst playing at the top of English football.
It is an incredible story which will make you cry and laugh out loud whilst at the same time demonstrate the immense bravery of a man, a survivor.
The Sport Feed have been given three signed copies of the book by Paul for a competition which you can enter here:
Q During Paul’s 6 years at Blackpool he made 201 appearances, how many goals did he score?
Send your answer to email@example.com
The official book release:
As a young lad growing up on a Manchester council estate, all Paul Stewart dreamed of was making it as a professional footballer. It was a dream that would lead him into a nightmare of sexual and physical abuse from which he has still not recovered. Stewart was abused every day for four years by his junior football coach.
He suffered in silence and embarked on a successful career that saw him play for Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Sunderland, scoring in an FA Cup final and winning caps for England. Behind it all, he was a broken man many times he wished he could end his life.
He turned to drink and drugs as a way of coping with his devastating secret. In 2016, Stewart was sitting at his office desk one morning when he read a Daily Mirror story about a footballer who had been abused. His world was about to change…
Paul Stewart: Damaged is one of the most powerful and emotionally charged football life stories you will read.
Check out the many splendid reviews and buy your copy – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Damaged-My-Story-Paul-Stewart/dp/1910335819
Karen Ephraim is a professor of the Master in Coaching course at the Johan Cruyff Institute, Amsterdam. Since 2010, Karen has been teaching the programme which aims to support coaches by improving oneself, using the philosophy of the founder of the institute, Johan Cruyff.
Originally a PE teacher for ten years, Karen went on to become the National Head Coach for the Wheelchair Rugby team and developed her own coaching philosophy aimed at working on “on possibilities and not impossibilities.”
In celebration of our recent webinar with the Johan Cruyff Institute, we wanted to interview a number of female coaches involved with the program. Below, Karen shares her journey into coaching and what life is like in the Netherlands as a female coach.
Read the full interview:
A scheme which combines e-learning and practical football sessions at schools across Italy has won gold in the Best Project category of the 2017 UEFA Grassroots Awards.
GiocoCalciando was developed by the youth sector of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Italy’s ministry of education, and involves over 32,000 students and 2,400 teachers at primary schools all over the country.
“The idea was to provide teachers with a simple tool with which to teach football and convey certain educational messages,” explained the general secretary of the FIGC youth and educational department, Vito Di Gioia.
“GiocoCalciando is a multimedia guide which is split into four levels. In every level there is a multimedia educational part, there’s a quiz with questions and answers, and there’s a video section which allows us to familiarise the children with the exercises developed by our coaches.
“The e-learning part is very important,” he added, “as the kids learn the laws of football by playing an interactive game. Fair play is crucial, as the laws of the game not only apply to football, but also in terms of rules in everyday life. That’s something which is stressed repeatedly in the interactive game. It’s the real aim of the game.”
As well as these elements taught with teachers in a classroom setting, the children also get the opportunity to follow up what they have learnt with a practical session.
“Our grassroots experts come to schools at least four times a year to explain the project. Then they must also train the teachers to run the project over the course of the year,” said Di Gioia.