The re-hiring of Bruce Arena as United States men’s national team head coach was always going to bring back nostalgia. In his first tenure as USA manager, Arena guided the Americans to a surprising quarterfinal run at the 2002 World Cup but also left the job in less glamorous circumstances after a disappointing Germany 2006 that saw the U.S. go winless in the group stage. Since his appointment in November to succeed the ousted Jurgen Klinsmann, Arena answered endless questions about those days, more about the good than the bad, and what he had learned since.
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed how he attempted to sign Italian icon Paolo Maldini from AC Milan but was refused by his father. Ferguson, who led Manchester United to 38 major trophies in 27 years at the club, explained how he met Maldini’s father Cesare and inquired about signing his son. Maldini, who retired in 2009, is regarded as one of the best defenders to have played in European football, and Ferguson was keen to add some more steel to his defense.
Vincent Aboubakar picked up where he left off some 50 days ago as he propelled Cameroon to a 1-0 friendly win over Tunisia in their first outing since winning the African Nations Cup. Aboubakar netted the winner for Cameroon in last month’s final against Egypt and repeated the feat with a 15th minute strike in the tourist resort of Monastir. Tunisia twice hit Cameroon’s woodwork during the game and Ali Maaloul came close with two late efforts for the hosts as both countries warmed up for the resumption of World Cup qualifiers later in the year.