Fábio Rochemback – an Unconventional Middlesbrough Hero


John Nicholson of Football365 looks back fondly at Fábio Rochemback’s Teesside adventure…

Fábio Rochemback only played 68 games for Middlesbrough from 2005-2008 but he made a big impression on our imagination and also on the pitch when he ran around. This was due to being, what physiotherapists and cruel gym teachers like to call, ‘a bit of a fat lad’ and the Teesside, parmo-based diet did nothing to correct this tendency, much to everyone’s delight. We all love a chunky lad, sadly increased levels of professionalism have made him a more rare beast these days.

An ex-Barcelona man, Rocky’s time at the club coincided with its most glorious days in the UEFA Cup. Like all husky-sized men, when he hit the ball, it stayed hit and Rocky liked a punt at goal. Usually these went somewhere other than in the goal, but occasionally, my god, he got it right. His final act in a Boro shirt was to a hit a phenomenal free kick to score the sixth goal in the final game of the 2007/08 season, an 8-1 win against Manchester City. You have never seen a ball hit harder.

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Chinese Super League – a new start or a false dawn?


Ethan Meade assesses the state of the Chinese Super League…

It was supposed to be the transfer that heralded the start of a new era for football in the Far East. Didier Drogba arrived in Shanghai in July last year on a two and a half year deal, earning a reported £270,000 a week, greeted by a packed airport of fans all clamouring for a glimpse of a genuine worldwide football superstar. He joined a team who already boasted the services of Champions League winner and long-time France international Nicolas Anelka on their books. And yet, within 6 months, both Drogba and Anelka had left Shanghai Shenhua. So after all the fanfare, where did things go wrong for the pair? And where does it leave the ailing Chinese Super League?

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