January 17 – This Day in Soccer

Barca More Than Just a Club

Barca_logoBarcelona is one of the top clubs in the world and it was on this day in soccer history in 1968 that Narcís de Carreras became the club president and during his acceptance speech coined what has become the club motto, ‘Barca more than just a club.’

Carreras had good intentions but they tended to backfire which resulted in him being at the helm for a little under two years stepping down on December 18, 1969.

The event that ultimately led to him stepping down was the push to hire Helenio Herrera as the new manager to replace Salvador Artigas, whose contract was recently re-newed.  Herrera was hired at almost double the salary but when supporters groups dis-approved of the move the board voted to keep Artigas.

Carreras was away from Barcelona on business when the controversy was at it peak, leaving his number two vice president Pere Baret in charge, and starting the vocal call for Carreras to step aside.

Blanco_CuauhtemocBlanco Born

With a creative flair matched by few players and an aggressive attacking attitude, Cuauhtémoc Blanco has become one of the top players for the Mexico national soccer team and the midfielder was born in 1973 on this day in soccer history.

He was well known for his “Blanco Bounce” move, in which he jumps with the ball held between his feet in between defenders to find a path to goal.

Blanco played for El Tri Colores in two FIFA World Cups, France 1998 and South Korea/Japan in 2002.  He was controversially left off the 2006 World Cup in Germany roster and while former Mexican national team coach Ricardo Lavolpe pointed to poor form and injury concerns, many thought it was due to differences of opinions between the two.

Wear official soccer gear of the Mexican national soccer team.   Available at the World Soccer Shop.  Get in the Gear! Including a officially customized jersey of Blanco.

His top tournament, however, was the Confederations Cup in 1999 where he was the tournament’s leading scorer with 6 goals. He was awarded the “Golden Boot” and “Silver Ball” for outstanding player as well.

The international made a move to Major League Soccer on April 3, 2007, joining the Chicago Fire as a designated player.  In 41 appearances with the Fire, Blanco has scored 11 goals and recorded 18 assists.

World Soccer Shop has the official Chicago Fire soccer jersey and other gear.  Check out the selection.

Blanco made his club debut at the age of 19 with Club America in 1992.  He helped lead the team to their tenth title in 2005.  And went on to win personal honors as Primera Division MVP from 2005 through to 2007.

He spent some time on loan with other clubs during this period Necaxa, Real Valladolid, and Veracruz. He scored a wonder goal against Real Madrid while in Spain.

Soccer Birthdays

1965 – Nikos Nioplias, Greek footballer
1973 – Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Mexican footballer
1981 – Warren Feeney, Northern Irish footballer
1983 – Alvaro Arbeloa, Spanish Footballer
1977 – Ali el Kattabi, soccer player (Sparta)

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