1. Cristiano Ronaldo wants… A signed shirt from Messi
Life must be tough for Cristiano Ronaldo. Ignoring all of the women falling at his feet and a wage packet that could choke a dozen donkeys and then some, his time as the single best footballer on the planet was short-lived. Since the emergence of his ultimate adversary, Lionel Messi, after his debut in October 2004, the Portuguese has been playing a waiting game for Messi to eclipse him as the greatest. With the Argentinian outdoing Gerd Muller’s 40-year-old goalscoring record this month, people’s minds are certainly beginning to be made up.
2. Chelsea FC want… John Terry back
What an interesting year it has been for Chelsea. Sacking Andre Villas Boas as their manager after just eight months and 12 days, brought the arrival of now-idolised manager Roberto Di Matteo, the FA Cup and the elusive Champions League trophy to Stamford Bridge. How idyllic that all sounds. Since then, although they sit third in the Premier League and are into the FIFA Club World Cup Final, they seem to have wobbled seriously off the beaten track and find themselves without the nucleus of their side, John Terry and with a manager the fans do not like (or want for that matter). Returning from his four-match ban against Liverpool after the racism row with Anton Ferdinand, things were looking fine and dandy for the Blues. Terry scored within 20 minutes of his return but in the same amount of minutes after that, he was sidelined for 6 weeks with a knee injury. Chelsea’s defense hasn’t looked comfortable since then and they need him back.
3. Gareth Bale wants… scuba diving set
Supposedly wanted by clubs throughout the land – and further afield – Gareth Bale is one of the most talented footballer’s the Premier League has produced. In the final list for FifPro’s World XI this year, the Welshman, 23, has got many years of success ahead of him. However, talented as he is he has the naggingly annoying tendency to hurl himself about like a ragdoll the moment he reaches the edge of the 18-yard box. Throughout Europe, the Premier League is currently the second worst league in the ‘top 5’ when it comes to simulation. With 19 sanctions given out so far this season, Bale is top of the offender’s list with a shameful four yellows. Sort it out Gaz, you’re better than that.
4. Arsene Wenger wants… Bernard’s Watch
Oh, how times have a-changed since the ‘Invincibles’ era. A whole season of 38 games without a loss in the Premiership won them the league title and their streak eventually reached forty-nine games until they fell to Manchester United. They also won the 2005 FA cup, which remains the last piece of silverware they held. Since then, Arsenal have been a squad of ‘nearly-Nigels’. Runners-up and quarterfinalists in numerous cup competitions and missing out on league success for so long has all but condemned Wenger to mistrust from the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust who believe he is too prudent with the club’s apparent £70m available bank balance. A businessman at heart, the Frenchman believes a club should be run responsibly, which is fair enough. But with nothing to prove for such a cautious approach, that silverware seems like a distant memory.
5. Michael Owen wants… Fisher Price medical kit
He was the charm of the nation, the apple of English football’s eye and we all remember THAT goal he scored against the Argentinians. After leaving his boyhood club Liverpool with whom he made a name for himself as a striker with a killer instinct, Michael Owen was feted to become the “next Galactico” by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. After scoring 118 goals in 216 league appearances for the Reds, Owen’s move to Madrid didn’t last long and after a disappointing season with los Blancos, he returned to England. Since then his career has been plagued with injury, and defenders realising he will only attack them on his right side. After spells at Newcastle and Manchester United, the 32-year-old now plies his trade for Stoke City, where he is currently nursing a hamstring injury.
6. Leonardo Bonucci wants… a set of rugby studs
Having run the full length of the pitch, Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci receives a wonderful ball that beats the Palermo offside trap. One-on-one with keeper Samir Ujkani, the gravitationally impaired Italian decides that rounding him is not enough. Instead, what follows is like a scene from a poorly shot budget version of Platoon and he is duly booked for the effort and receives a one match ban. After admitting to his Twitter fans that the dive was ridiculous, the defender was hit with a €2,000 fine. With Santi Cazorla’s poor excuse for a penalty claim against West Brom (which he consequently won) still fresh in our heads, cries of “Too bloody right!” went out all over Europe. As a deterrent, maybe repeat offenders should be supplied with a footballing version of a dunce’s hat.
7. Fernando Torres wants… Jimmy Grimble’s football boots
Is he back? Is it just a figment of our imaginations? Or is Fernando Torres actually beginning to score again? With five goals in three games for the Blues, the 28-year-old has started to look like he wants his name on the score sheet again. Is Rafael Benitez beginning to get the most out of the £50m burden on his shoulders? That may be so, but just to make sure he doesn’t regress back to his non-scoring ways, a pair of magic football boots certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
8. Jose Mourinho wants… Fergie’s job
It’s been long established that Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho share a mutual friendship and respect for each other. It is also common knowledge that Fergie has been considering retirement year-after-year for the past decade or so. ‘The Special One’ will find himself out of a job at the end of the season since falling out with Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, which would be the perfect excuse for the young and vivacious Portuguese to take over from the aging and surly Scot. Keep your eyes peeled, though, as Pep Guardiola will be seeking employment come the summer, so who knows what next season will bring
9. Leon Osman wants… a male grooming kit
Movember, the time of year when gentlemen throughout the land combine in a ritual that puts your masculinity to the ultimate test. There is nothing more manly than the ability to grow a ground-breakingly volumising strip of hair on your top lip and one person who narrowly missed out on achieving that this year was Everton midfielder Leon Osman. Along with countless other Premier League young bucks, Osman was seen sporting what can only be described as something your pet cat would have no problem licking off. Although he did do his bit for charity, maybe he should steer clear of moustache-growing until it’s physically possible.
10. A gift for all… Magnetic coin-attracting headgear
It is a small minority of idiots who hurl racist abuse and projectiles towards the athletes they’ve paid “extortionate” prices to go and watch. But to avoid any future coin-related bloodshed like we saw at the Etihad on Sunday, maybe players should wear specially crafted magnetic headgear (we believe Petr Cech may be testing the prototype) to collect the unwanted spare change that has been thrown towards their crania. A simple idea, but also fiscally advantageous for the target recipient. And footballers love a bit of cash.