Bale fee ‘incomprehensible’
Real Madrid assistant coach Zinedine Zidane on Sunday dubbed the astronomical transfer fee his club paid for Wales winger Gareth Bale “incomprehensible” in the current economic climate. Bale signed for the Spanish giants from Tottenham Hotspur last week on a six-year contract for a fee of about ￡80 million (US$124 million). Asked whether Bale was worth the hefty fee paid for him, ex-France playmaker Zidane said: “You need to ask that question in a year’s time.” He told Canal Football Club television program: “Ten years ago, they bought me for 75 million euros [US$99 million] and I said I wasn’t worth it. Today, I tend to say a player is not worth that. That’s football. Unfortunately, it’s incomprehensible with what’s happening today to pay so much.”
Physiotherapist gets injured
Germany’s physiotherapist suffered two injuries as he ran onto the pitch to treat a player during Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Austria. Klaus Eder, who has worked for the German federation for 25 years, tore a muscle in his left leg as he went to tend to Marcel Schmelzer, causing him to fall over and break his finger. “I now have to put into practice what I always tell my patients,” the 60-year-old told the German federation’s Web site on Sunday. “Patience is important and you should not expect a lot of progress too soon. The way the players reacted was very comforting. Philipp Lahm brought me the ice pack, Mesut Ozil and Miroslav Klose held me and led me off the field.”
Masseur stops certain goal
A team masseur prevented a certain goal by kicking the ball off the line during a Brazilian fourth division match and was then chased off the field by the enraged attacking team. Tupi said they would take legal measures following the last-minute incident in their tie against Aparecidense, which led to them being eliminated from the competition. “It was our only chance. If I hadn’t done it, Aparecidense would have been knocked out,” the masseur, Romildo Fonseca da Silva, was quoted as saying by Brazilian media. “I don’t regret it because I did it out of love for the club.” Tupi described the incident as “one of the most shameful episodes in the history of Brazilian football” on their Web site and said they would lodge a protest. TV pictures showed the masseur, wearing the Aparecidense uniform, standing next to the goal when Tupi launched an attack late in the game. As Tupi threatened, he moved into the goal, cleared one shot off the line and then stopped the rebound with both feet before scrambling the ball away, for a double save any goalkeeper would have been proud of. He then turned, ran behind the goal, hurdled the advertising hoardings and sprinted to the dressing room entrance, chased by furious Tupi players. Riot police prevented the livid players from following him down the tunnel.
Williams do better off track
Former champions Williams performed better off track than on in the first six months of the year, with results to the end of June showing turnover of ￡43.5 million for their Formula One business. The figure compared with ￡43.4 million in the same period of last year. Williams, once the dominant team in Formula One with nine constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ crowns between 1980 and 1997, have scored just one point in 12 grand prix so far this season.