Angie: The Sports Authority

Welcome to Angie's sports blog! My interesting and funny articles will show you the most recent and interesting news in the sports world.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Football Soccer: Brazilian legend Romario is ready to score his 1000th goal at Maracana

Brazilian veteran footballer Romario is likely to skip Vasco's game against Americano on Wednesday so he can score his 1,000th career goal at Maracana stadium.

As we know, the striker scored his 999th goal — according to his count — on Sunday against Flamengo at Maracana.

"In fact, I was nervous before that encounter. And that's not going to change," Romario told a local radio station on Monday. "I'll practice this week trying to concentrate on scoring the 1,000th goal, which is my objective and everybody is waiting for."

Romario de Souza has said all along that he wants to reach the mark at Maracana, the same place where legend Pele scored his 1,000th in 1969.

Vasco's next clash at the famed venue in Rio de Janeiro will be on Sunday, against Botafogo. The team's match with Americano on Wednesday is scheduled for Vasco's Sao Januario stadium.

It's important to mention that Vasco president Eurico Miranda told local media that Romario will not play against Americano, only against Botafogo. And it's fair to say that the decision didn't catch many people by surprise.

Romario claims he will be only the second player to achieve the 1,000-goal mark, along with Pele.

We have to remember that Pele, who according to FIFA accumulated 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches, scored his 1,000th goal as a 29-year-old.

And Players from the Brazil national squad, who will face Ghana in a friendly in Sweden on Tuesday, took time to sign a team shirt bearing the No. 1,000 on the front — a gift that will be sent to the popular Romario when he reaches the milestone.

The jersey had Romario's name on the back, along with his No. 11. "In the name of the whole Selecao (national team), a big hug and congratulations," read the inscription signed by Bayern Munich player Lucio.

"I must say that Romario has always been my idol and I hope he can score the 1,000th goal soon," Ronaldinho Gaucho said.

What's more, the Brazilian soccer confederation also will give Romario a commemorative medal for his achievement. Everybody waits for the moment.

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Swimming: van den Hoogenband and Phelps chase the glory

Australia is living the passion of the Swimming World Cup. And Pieter van den Hoogenband is living good days as well, since he was the fastest qualifier in the men's 200m freestyle yesterday at the World Championships, just ahead of the American star Michael Phelps.

Indeed, those two were part of the "Race of the Century" at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, with Dutchman Hoogie finishing second and Phelps third behind gold medalist for Australia Ian Thorpe. But Thorpe retired last November and now it's only between Phelps and van den Hoogenband.

The Dutch athlete finished yesterday in a time of 1 minute, 47.36 seconds while Phelps, who won his first gold medal of the meet on Sunday as part of the American 400m freestyle relay team, reached the second spot in 1:47.52.

Phelps is hoping to show he can make another run at Mark Spitz's Olympic record of seven gold medals. In fact, the American plans to swim eight events in Melbourne -- the same eight that produced six gold medals and two bronzes at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

What's more, if his body holds up at these championships, he'll try again to take down Spitz's hallowed mark at Beijing next year.

Park Tae-hwan, who won South Korea's first-ever medal with a triumph in the 400m freestyle on Sunday, was back in the pool yesterday morning, finishing third fastest in the 200m free.

"I would like to win, but if I don't, there are many excellent swimmers who are capable of winning," Park said of the 200. "If I don't win this time I still have the Beijing Olympic Games."

Park admitted that his 400m win hadn't changed him, at least overnight: "It's my first medal and I don't feel any more famous than when I arrived here," Park said. "Now I'm apparently world famous, but I don't feel it."

We must also notice that American Natalie Coughlin qualified first in the 100m backstroke yesterday at 1:00.38. The world record holder has taken on a larger program than usual for these tournaments, with plans to swim four individual events plus the relays.

And Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe was second in this race.

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