Fulham to erect Jacko statue
Premier League side Fulham will erect a statue of Michael Jackson outside the club’s stadium in London to commemorate the late pop star’s friendship with club chairman Mohamed Al Fayed. The figure is scheduled to be unveiled next month. The statue had been slated to be erected outside Harrods department store, but that plan was changed because Al Fayed sold the landmark business last year. Instead, it will be located along the banks of the River Thames next to Fulham’s stadium. The club did not specify if goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer would wear only one glove to honor the late singer.
Sporting chance for NFL star
NFL star Chad Ochocinco, locked out in a union fight with club owners, will have a four-day tryout next week with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer. The receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals played soccer as a child but concentrated on football in high school and has played for 10 seasons in the NFL, which shut down last week over financial issues. “Soccer was always my first sport,” Ochocinco said. “That was my first love. Started from four-years-old and once I got to high school, I had to make a decision on what I wanted to focus on and take me to the next level. Due to the NFL lockout, I’m excited to be able to follow my childhood dream of playing for a Major League Soccer team,” Ochocinco said. Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes said; “We’re always searching for players who can help our team and bringing in new talent. We know that Chad is an exceptional athlete and that he loves the sport of soccer, and he did play a lot when he was younger. We’re excited to see how his skills will translate once he arrives next week.”
Makelele regrets criticism
Paris Saint-Germain captain Claude Makelele said on Wednesday that he regretted criticizing Jose Mourinho, his former coach at Chelsea, in his autobiography. “There were lots of misunderstandings,” said Makelele, who played under Mourinho at the Premier League club. “Before I left [Chelsea], there was a disagreement with Mourinho, but that happens between a player and his coach. He’s someone who gave me a huge amount in my career. I appreciate him enormously.” In his book, Tout Simplement (“Quite Simply”), Makelele wrote: “Mourinho is a born winner. He knows how to use you and motivate you to get the best out of you. The problem is that he says one thing but thinks something else. In that respect, he is a cruel and ambitious calculator. At the beginning, we drank together. The problem is that in the third year, he wanted to get all the credit for himself. No-one could be more famous than him.”
Magath gets the boot
Schalke fired coach Felix Magath on Wednesday despite the club clinching a place in the Champions League quarter-finals, saying in a statement it had “very good reasons” for the move. The Bundesliga club’s board said Magath will leave immediately but refused to divulge further details, citing possible legal action. “From the point of view of Schalke, there are very good reasons for this separation,” the club said on its Web site. Last week, Schalke said that Magath, 57, would leave at the end of the season. In a statement released by his lawyer Magath said; “I regret very much that my successful work for Schalke must end in such an ugly way and I wish the club, the team and the fans all the best and much success from the bottom of my heart.”