Who has got the cure for the sit-at-home blues? Ask Dr Grabthar. Now with bigger, easier to read font!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

[Sport] Retrospective

Stuff has done their 20 best sporting moments of the year. As they are sporting “moments”, rather than overall performances, the All Blacks appear four times, as do the Black Caps and the Kiwis are there twice. Just to spoil their fun I’ll tell you that their number one is Michael Campbell’s victory at the US Open.

I thought that as a sport’s blogger I should do something along these lines and so I bring you the Inaugural Hammer Awards! (also called “the Hammies” or “the Hamburgs”)

I will give a list of categories with nominees and you can vote for the player/team/whatever you think should win by emailing me. If nobody emails I will just pick the winners. I can also give out special awards, so if you think something is missing send that along too.

Best Team (international representation)

  • All Blacks (Lions Tour, Tri-Nations, Grand Slam)
  • Kiwis (Rugby League Tri-Nations, first victory in Sydney in 46 years)
  • Silver Ferns (Constant domination of Australia who are the only other good team)
  • The Knights
  • Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell (Winning their third straight world double-sculls title)*
  • Rugby Sevens team (sixth straight world title)

Note: I also wanted to include the New Zealand A1 GP team but decided not to at the last minute because they haven't finished the season (as far as I am aware) maybe next year.

Best Team (national representation)

  • Canterbury Crusaders** (Super 12 victory number five)
  • Waikato Magic (Winning the National Bank cup by defeating the Southern Sting 65-39 in Invercargill because they had the home final stolen from them)
  • Auckland Blues (NPC victors)
  • Bay of Plenty (Scored the most points (20) against the British and Irish Lions)

Best Team (non-New Zealand)

  • Chicago White Sox (World Series winners)
  • Liverpool (Champions League winners)
  • England cricket team (Won the ashes)
  • New England Patriots (Won three of last four Superbowls)
  • Belmain West Tigers (Won the NRL grand final)

Most Entertaining Series/Tournament

  • Chappell-Hadlee Trophy Series (Cricket)
  • Fisher & Paykel Cup (Netball)
  • British and Irish Lions Tour (Rugby)
  • The last Super 12 ever (Rugby)
  • Wellington Sevens (Rugby)

Sport of the Year

  • Rugby
  • Netball
  • Rowing
  • Rugby League
  • Cricket

Sport-you-could-seriously-not-give-a-sh*t-about of the Year

  • Yachting
  • Kick Boxing (K1 especially)
  • New Zealand Basketball
  • New Zealand Soccer
  • Super 12 Rugby

Best Female Athlete

  • Valerie Vili (Bronze at World Athletics Championships and Oceania record)
  • Nicky Coles and Juliette Haigh (Winning the world coxless pairs title)***
  • Kate McIlroy (winning the women’s race at the World Mountain-Running Championships in Wellington)
  • Marina Erakovic (See here for all her tennis achievements)

Best Male Athlete

  • Michael Campbell (Won US Open, European golfer of the year)
  • Stacey Jones (came out of retirement twice to help Kiwis to victory in Tri-Nations)
  • Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater (Winning the world coxless pairs title)***
  • Mahe Drysdale (World single sculls champion)

Best Performance inside Aotearoa

  • Black Caps successful record run chase of 332 over Australia
  • All Blacks whitewash of the British and Irish Lions
  • Silver Ferns whitewash of Australia
  • Black Ferns whitewash of England

Best Opponent

  • Australian cricket team
  • Springboks
  • English rugby team
  • British and Irish Lions
  • Alinghi

Photo of the Year

1. "Lay up". Duke vs Notre Dame I think (some one help)

2. "Kiss". Fiorentina's Luca Toni (L) heads the ball challenged by AS Roma’s Samuel Kuffour during the Serie A soccer match in Rome's Olympic Stadium

3. "Covered". The New York Liberty's Becky Hammon, in front, guards the Connecticut Sun's 7-foot-two-inch center Margo Dydek, of Poland, during the second half of their WNBA game at Madison Square Garden in New York.

4. "Header" Racing Lens' Eric Carriere grimaces as he heads the ball during the UEFA Cup first round first leg soccer match against Groclin Grodzisk

5. "Ohhhh". Houston Astro recieves back treatment during MLB play-offs

Best Haka

  • Kapa O Pango (against South Africa)
  • Ka Mate Ka Mate
  • Cibi (Fiji’s Haka)
  • Manu Siva Tau (Samoa’s Haka)
  • New Zealand Maori Haka (couldn’t find the name)

Retiree of the Year

  • Matt Te Pou (Most successful New Zealand international rugby coach)
  • David Dixon (Guard for the Minnesota Vikings, record number of games started, at one time was the highest paid New Zealand athlete)
  • Tana Umaga

By Grabthar’s Hammer They Were Avenged (international version)

  • Black Caps successful record run chase of 332 over Australia
  • All Blacks beat England with three men sin-binned for questionable offences
  • New Zealand Maori finally beat the British and Irish Lions
  • Chicago White Sox win World Series
  • England win the Ashes

* This particular award is causing some controversy at the Halbergs as Rowing NZ wants all their crews to be considered one team. I chose the Evers-Swindell twins because I consider them to be a team more than the other crews.

** Yes, I know the Super 12 teams gave up their provincial affiliations but I never liked it. Who are they trying to fool?

*** Yes, I realise they are technically a team but I felt bad about leaving them out of the team category.

[Sport] Quick trivia

Just a quick piece of NFL trivia before we get to the main post. So far this week, after 15 games, three QBs have thrown for more than 300yds: Peyton Manning (336), Brooks Bollinger (327) and Steve McNair (310). All of these QBs’ teams lost (but only by a combined 78-61).

Monday, December 19, 2005

[General] Join Us

Christmas has come early for me. Actually it does every year because Amy and I swap gifts early. So what did we get each other?

iPods (is that the right capitalisation for the start of sentence?)

With no consultation we both decided that the other would like a portable music device. So Amy got a Nano and I got a Video.

We are now part of society. We are one of those zombies with white headphones (though I still prefer my big Sony ones). And I have to say I’m enjoying it. Having all of my music in one place is great! I completely agree with hotrod artist Coop (can’t find the exact link but he loves them, trust me).

This also means that we are now criminals, like every one in New Zealand with an iPod. Six (6) of the songs on my new iPod were legally purchased through online music retailer Amplifier. With a couple of exceptions, all of the other songs are from CDs that I own (ie bought). This conversion method is still, as far as I am aware, illegal in New Zealand. So basically everyone with an iPod has broken the law (unless they buy exclusively from Amplifier) because the only legal music download sites (Digirama and Coke) use files that can’t be played on iPods.

I’m not going to offer an opinion on this other than to say what my philosophy is. I believe that I can copy my own CDs as long as it s for my own personal use (such as on my iPod or in my car); now that I have a paying job, if I want music I will pay for it (either on the internet or on CD); if I can’t find the music I want easily or if I need to decide whether I like a new artist I will bit-torrent it; I NEVER steal New Zealand music.

The only people who should locked up for their music purchases or downloads are the ones who are keeping the stupid fu*king frog on the charts.

Some good news for New Zealand music, local boys Fat Freddy’s Drop, have just won an award for worldwide album of the year at the BBC Worldwide Music Awards.

Finally if I haven’t pimped it before GVOD is awesome. Truly awesome. (also available on the sidebar). Check out the Parkour videos and this guy (yes I DID laugh at the fart jokes!)

Friday, December 16, 2005

[Sport] Just passing the time


What a nice word. Baseball is America’s National Pastime. Not it’s National Sport. It is the way the Nations passes its time.

Here in New Zealand rugby is our National Sport, but not our pastime. I have a feeling that our pastime is cricket. Beach cricket if I have to be specific, but cricket will do. This is probably because cricket takes SO BLOODY LONG. You can play for four days and end in a draw (possibly because all the players have fallen asleep).

Once again I will get angry emails from the usual suspects. But really this isn’t a rant, it’s a chance to pimp out my friend Mike who has some loverly (sic) photos of the cricket up on his site.

Also to Mr Tibby who said to me: “You don’t enough blog about netball!”

Here is a photo for you.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

[General] Hot in the Ciii-tay

You know what it’s a really nice day today. It’s warm and muggy (20ยบ and 80% humidity). It makes walking feel like wading through warm water, not quite as bad as Singapore, but still gooood.

For this reason I am not writing my long-awaited (by me) post on the new weather patterns we are seeing and the possible ill effects, even for the rich folks.

Instead I thought I’d tell you about my day yesterday. I attended a conference that was being put on by a large analytical software company. As part of the conference (and a big incentive to buy their product) the company gave each attendee a ticket to see the premiere of King Kong at Reading Cinemas.

This was, of course, far from the “star”-studded event down the road. Though I’m not sure what makes Don Brash a star? Wasn’t this the man whose election promise was to slash creative funding? The event was perhaps better described as a “star-dusted affair” with the films main actors (sans Jack Black) walking the red carpet, then sneaking out, then sneaking back in for the end. Yes that’s right, we saw you!

I’m not going to give anything away but the film is bloody good! I haven’t sent the original (nor the 70’s version) so I can’t compare stories or atmosphere but the new one is very well done.

The film revels in scenes that have no music. My friends and I have often discussed the way a good scene can be completely ruined by the perceived need for “atmospheric music”. Kong has some very long scenes that have no music at all, and I loved it. Though it may have to do with the following piece of trivia:

Howard Shore had written and recorded much of the score for this film, but shortly before release, he departed from the project. Peter Jackson stated that because of "differing creative aspirations" between the two of them, they both thought it best for Shore to be replaced by James Newton Howard, who was given less than two months to write and record new score for the entire film.

Kong is actually a character and is more the hero than any of his non-digital counterparts, he is also more fleshed out (un-intended pun). Black’s character, Carl Denham, is the exception. Denham can be seen moving through various phases as the circumstances change. Nicely done, but I doubt he (or Adrien Brody) will get the Best Supporting Actor Oscars the studio believes they will.

The effects were convincing. Well I was convinced. Though there was one thing that did piss me off a bit: no one in the film seems to have a fear of heights. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean.

It takes a gigantic Kong-sized dump on the last movie I saw: War of the Worlds (Spielberg Edition). That film was so full of holes and crap acting that it took the idea of “suspended belief” and tied a big fucking anchor to it so that belief stayed well and truly grounded. The small “mob scene” is great and scary but did not save that film. The use of what looked like stock footage and handheld cameras were good and innovative but didn’t happen enough and so didn’t save the film.

Speaking of that. Man was WOTW full of plot and goofs holes! I now have to see the Pendragon Films version which was released at the same time, but stayed as close to the book as possible (to the point where they were wondering if not using an actual culvert would piss fans off). Then again, maybe not. That’ll teach me to stop reading books.

Oh and for those who are interested (which is no one). I am still wading through Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in America: Collected letters from 1968-1976. I’m up to Jan 29, 1970.

And for those visitors from the KF Monkey who are thinking “all this guy does is write about sport”. Hell Hamsters in now in post-production (though there will be a Christmas break) and the official site is up. It is gonna be a great “date flick” with more internal consistency than War of the Worlds.

All photos for today’s blog were kindly supplied by Jenny.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

[Caution] contains strong language]

Note: this is a rewritten version from yesterday.

In recent weeks I have stopped watching, reading and listening to the news. The only things I have seen are those quick headlines TV3 have during the ads after 6pm and the sports news.

The reason for my news-hermitage is that the news is very, very depressing. It used to be I got angry and yelled at the TV. Seriously, Amy was always saying “you know they can’t hear you”. No ones got angrier at the TV than I did. (Well maybe Rogers.)

So I gave up.


[By the way did anyone else see that Ocker Mother Fucker on Close Up @ 7 last night? Commenting on the anti-Lebanese Cronulla riots he said “It’s mob rule…it’s like something you’d see overseas, in the middle east”. There’s a word for people like that and it starts with “Cunt” and ends with “Cunt”.]

I even watch Family Guy (and Clone High when they removed Family Guy) instead of Campbell: Live; though, in all seriousness, I would watch Family Guy over most shows. Campbell is still following up on the whole “oil is running out what are we doing” thing and for that, thanks. He is doing what I suggested.

So yesterday I thought I’d look through the paper. I felt physically ill.

Australian Riots. “Cunts” is not a strong enough word. I cannot think of a strong enough word right now, maybe just a primal scream. Oh and don’t think for a second that [some] kiwis think any different from [their] Aussie brothers in arms.


And then this (from the Monkey):

Let's summarize: Cops mistakenly break down the door of a sleeping man, late at night, as part of drug raid. Turns out, the man wasn't named in the warrant, and wasn't a suspect. The man, frigthened for himself and his 18-month old daughter, fires at an intruder who jumps into his bedroom after the door's been kicked in. Turns out that the man, who is black, has killed the white son of the town's police chief. He's later convicted and sentenced to death by a white jury. The man has no criminal record, and police rather tellingly changed their story about drugs (rather, traces of drugs) in his possession at the time of the raid.

For fuck’s sake!

I give up. This is why I have handing the news-related-blogging reins to my team mates, like Scott (who doesn’t swear as much as me).

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

[Sport] Basin, Reserved

Wellington’s iconic Basin Reserve is to get a new name. The Basin’s new name will be: the Prime Finance Basin Reserve. So actually the Basin will still be the Basin, because nobody except commentators will call it by its full name.

A lot can be said about sports names, especially stadium names. Candlestick Park in San Francisco is now Monster Field for example. Also the long-term deals made for naming rights can mean that stadiums are named after companies that no longer exist.

Prime finance paid “seven figures” for a three year deal. That money will be used to upgrade the stands and other aspects. It would be nice if some of that money could be put into making all the roads go under the reserve. (This is pipe-dream territory)

Without wishing to go too far into Tom’s territory, traffic on game days at the Basin gets all snarled up, mainly because the Basin has no parking. The Basin is not alone in this respect. I can only think of one New Zealand stadium that has adequate parking facilities: the Caketin (Westpac Trust Stadium) but that works more because it is also above the train station and has a dedicated bus service on event days. Southerners may want to correct me on parking facilities in Dunedin and Christchurch. Check out the parking at the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field (photo below, click photo for Google map where you can zoom in).

FedEx Field

It is the largest stadium in the NFL has ample parking and is on major public transport routes (it even has a helipad if you look closely). Or look at the aforementioned Monster Field on a full day. It’d be hell to drive home (barring trains and buses) but at least you can put your car someplace.

I went to the British and Irish (can’t forget the Irish) Lions game against the Bay of Plenty Steamers at Rotorua’s “International” Stadium. Obviously international standards were a little more relaxed when this stadium was built. There was parking for team buses and that was about it. Shuttle buses were picking up passengers directly in front of the gates which meant once out of the stadium you had a crush of people waiting for the bus that was difficult (at best) to get through.

The New York Jets’ recent failed stadium bid for downtown Manhattan (right) had this covered. They planed for a large multi-storey subway platform and transport directly beneath the stadium (apparently it would be pretty hard to make NY traffic any worse anyway). As a side note the plan was for the stadium to be mostly self-sufficient in terms of power as well. It would serve as a convention centre as well, dismissing claims that it would useless outside of sport. A few cafes, shops or restaurants dotted around the base would make it accessible to the public as more than just a sports stadium but as a focal point.

I understand that the Americans have truckloads more money than we do but still, beyond parking and transport issues, in general our stadiums, here in New Zealand, are of a fairly poor standard. Eden Park is crap. Westpac Stadium should’ve had a roof and another tier of seating (but is the best of the bunch).

When we host the (Rugby) World Cup in 2011 we had better have some decent stadiums and at least one with a roof. In 2011 Tauranga will be one of New Zealand’s major centres, larger than Hamilton (and possibly Wellington) on current growth trends. They already have a half-decent stadium in Blue Chip Stadium. That’s half-decent for minor NPC clashes. Currently it doesn’t even have good lights for night games (it does have a good carpark and is on a major public transport route). They need to super-size that stadium and fast!

Crowd control features might be needed too. At today’s cricket match between NZ and Australia (which Australia will win) Westpac Stadium is emptying the first three rows in order to keep irate fans further from players. That means XX unsold tickets. But I imagine that this is less an architecture problem and more of an alcohol one.

That’ll do, I’m off to Hope Bros to watch the cricket and then to catch Deva Mahal. Drop by if you want.

Oh and Jennifer Aniston is letting everyone in the world know that someone has topless photos of her but that she won’t let them see daylight. I mention this here for two reasons.

  • One: to say how mean it is for Aniston to do that considering the sizeable amount of men who will be scouring the net for these picks as we speak.
  • Two: to entice these men to my blog to inflate my hit count (haha).

[General] Working Blogger's Cocktail and Literary Society

Tom is getting us organised into a proper well-oiled fully partially fit fighting drinking machine. I just wonder if we’ll get a dental plan out of this.

ps. this may be my shortest post ever!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

[Sport] Mythology

Here is a brilliant article from ESPN on NFL Myths and Sins. The Sins are what team shouldn’t do in a game if they want to win and the Myths are things that should be true but aren’t.

For example:

Sin # 4 Allowing more sacks than your opponents means a 70% chance of losing the game (I mentioned this a while back about the Houston Texans, nice to see some one back up my speculation).

Myth # 4 having a 300-yard passer usually means you win is a falsehood. In fact if you do you only have a 40% chance of winning. Crazy huh?!

Well worth the read.

Monday, December 05, 2005

[General] Weekends and Hooleys

Ok as you can see from the last post, I still have yet to master html tables but I am working on it.

How was your weekend? Mine was nice enough. We went to Chow twice in the space of twelve hours: first for cocktails on Friday night (Jane says Rosebuds are now her favourite) and then for Yum Cha (or as they call it Yum Chow) lunch. And we did a whole bunch of Christmas shopping.

On Saturday we saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I am personally not interested in reading children’s books BUT I am so into [good] children’s movies, which I am the first to admit that these are.

The film is good and fun. There is less emphasis on the background junk that was established in the first few films (moving paintings, celebrity ghosts, the tensions between muggle-bloods and those of “pure race”). Even Draco Malfoy is just an annoying dick.

However, the film wasn’t as “dark” and “scary” as some had made out. The kids were put in dangerous situations, but they have since the books started. Ron got a bit grumbly but that was about as dark as it got. I much preferred the Prisoner of Azkban. The best bits for me were Ron’s brothers Fred and George who often just show up for laughs.

[This paragraph contains a spoiler for those who haven’t read the book; the rest of the post is SPOILER free] The strangest bit was the ball scene in which two 18yr old boys take two 14year old girls as their dates. I just thought it was odd. When I was at school 18yr olds dating 14yr olds were weirdos.

[Spoilers over]

Perhaps it’s “darker” because they all have longer hair and are all starting to notice the opposite sex.Oh and once again, Alan Rickman is not given enough lines. By Grabthar's Hammer (and the sons of Wothan) he will be avenged.

We saw the film at the Empire which a new cinema in Island Bay. It’s one of these new small cinemas for adults only (no, not like that). Amy was impressed by the size of the screen considering the small size of the building. The crowd were all over thirty (except for us) and it looked like most of them (like us) had chosen 8.30pm on a Saturday for the lack of children in the theatre. There’s nothing worse than seeing a children’s film when the actual target demographic is in the audience. Also the seats are done in pairs like a row of loveseats. This makes them quite comfortable especially when sitting with ones’ partner and uncomfortable when sitting with anyone else.

Sunday we put up our Christmas decorations and went to the Thorndon Fair. The fair was a little windy but we came away with some stuff. But I’ll tell ya, putting up Christmas decorations while listening to a Christmas album will put you in the festive mood faster than anything I’ve ever come across.

So, over at the Monkey, Rogers is grifting the work of others, but for a good cause.

Tom is creating a Blog-Hooley for any Wellington-based bloggers and commentators who want to come along. Post your preferences on Tom’s blog and we’ll see where we end up.

And my new pastime is the Google Video of the Day blog and searching Google Video for random stuff.

[Sport] The Walking Wounded

Gus Ferrotte is knocked out in this weekend's game between Miami and Buffalo.

A lot of teams are suffering from injuries, but this is what happens every season. Normally a team's slump is determined soley by injuries (like the Jets, but I'm not going to whinge here). Last season it was the Panthers who just could not stay healthy, this season it's the Jets. the Rams as well have suffered from hurt QBs.

Injuries can herald the entry to the league of an under-rated second-string player who amazes everyone and becomes a hero (Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger). Or they can show the lack of depth teams have or why those players were at second and third string.

The Jets game a Gillette Stadium against the Patriots looks like a good contest for the Jets if you look at the injury list.

New York Jets at New England Patriots



RB Derrick Blaylock (Ankle)

QB Jay Fiedler (Right Right Shoulder)


NT Sione Pouha (Calf)


RB Curtis Martin (Knee)
SS Rashad
Washington (Hip)



T Matt Light (Ankle)


T Tom Ashworth (Knee)
RB Corey Dillon (Calf)
FB Heath Evans (Shoulder)
RB Kevin Faulk (Foot)
WR David Givens (Knee)
TE Daniel Graham (Shoulder)
WR Bethel Johnson (Pelvis)
OLB Willie McGinest (Finger)
FB Patrick Pass (Hamstring)
SS James Sanders (Ankle)
SS Michael Stone (Ankle)


QB Tom Brady (Shoulder)

Except that the Jets have a giant-boatload more injuries that aren’t listed here, like QB Chad Pennington, C Kevin Mawae, LB Eric Barton, TE Chris Baker, T Jason Fabini, WR Wayne Chrebet, T Marko Cavka, S Andre Maddox, LB Darrell McClover.

Note: according to the above list (which is taken from NFL.com) Jay Fiedler injured his “Right Right Shoulder”. He’s not as bad as Rams’ QB Marc Bulger who has injured his “Right Right Right Shoulder” Steelers’; QB Charlie Batch is out with a “Right Right Right Hand” injury. Indianapolis kicker Mike Vanderjagt has a sore “Right Right Calf”. But easily the worst injury goes to Arizona kicker Neil Rackers. Rackers is out with an injury to his “Left Left”.

The Patriots list doesn’t include their IR players as well (like Rodney Harrison). However (the game has now started) the Pats are using most of the players listed as questionable.

Moreover the lists don’t (obviously) mention those who are just banged up. Both Jets’ QBs Vinny Testaverde and Brooks Bollinger have had injuries in the past two weeks.

Interestingly the team with the smallest injury list this week is the Chicago Bears, who only have Cedric Benson out with a knee injury.

Below is a list of all the injuries for week 13 (this does not include those on the Inujured Reserve list).

Injury Type

Number of Injuries of this type in Week 13









Foot and Toe


Calf, Fibula and Lower Leg


Thigh and Quadriceps






Concussion and Head


Elbow and Arm


Hip and Pelvis


Chest and Ribs


Hand, Thumb, Wrist and Finger












Obviously there is a problem with reporting errors with some team being as specific to say “quadriceps” while others say “thigh”, some say “flu”, and some say “illness”. So I have combined categories where it seems correct to.

Knees are the most injured body part, followed by ankles and hamstrings. The thumb had as many injuries (3) as the finger, the wrist and the hand put together. But it seems that if you want to do the un-sportsmanlike thing of removing an opposition player from the field it would a good idea to aim for the legs. Actually it was this idea that brought about the rule that a player cannot “lead with his head” in a tackle.

The Bengals have two players listed as probable with “tooth” problems. Perhaps the sugary colour of the uniforms has given the players cavities. St Louis has three players listed as questionable and one as probable due to concussion, perhaps they need to stop cheaping-out on the helmets.

Teams are still having to grapple with injuries this week. the Browns lost their highly drafted Braylon Edwards, the Dolphins lost Gus Ferrotte when he was knocked out (photo above) and the Packers' Bubba Franks got hurt in this tackle by Lance Briggs (photo below).

That’ll do for some morning analysis.


ps. This last photo shows how football is truly like a ballet (with 300lb 7 foot tall men).

Friday, December 02, 2005

[General] Bloggers, Transform and Roll out!

A workmate of mine (Rachel this is your first mention on my blog!) just passed this info on to me.

NZ’s first international blog conference - March 17-18, 2006. (I'll put a link in the sidebar as well for the late comers).


I'll be there (or at least that's the plan at the moment) and maybe I'll see you? of course I wont know what you look like... unless I already know you... best leave it there before it gets confusing.

[Sports] These are people in your neeeeighbourhood

Congratulations to Barcelona midfielder Ronaldinho. The Brazilian footballer has just received the prestigious European footballer of the year award at a ceremony in Paris. Ronaldinho pushed aside challenges from goal scoring machine Andrei Shevchenko (Ukraine and AC Milan), the freakish Thierry Henry (Arsenal and France), Chelsea and England hero Frank Lampard, and European Cup winner and Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard (England). A further accolade sees Ronaldinho as a World Footballer of the Year finalist alongside Lampard and Cameroon striker, and fellow Barcelona player, Samuel Eto. Should he win the World Player title he will complete a remarkable triple crown after also securing the inaugural FIFPro World Player of the Year award in September. The 25 year-old apparently born to play football and “the successor to the great Pele” appears to have the footballing world at his feet. You can check out some of his talent here.

He still looks like a horse though.