Diego Maradona v George W Bush | The Knowledge
Plus: Atlético Madrid's inspiration, the Arsenal Uefa Cup mystery and a city slicker. The Knowledge is taking a well-earned break during the off-season, but you can still send your questions to email@example.com or on Twitter
"Did I dream it, or did I really read about all-round legend Diego Maradona enhancing his reputation by once sticking it to George W Bush?" enquired Donnie Miles in 2007. "I'm sure he called him 'garbage' or something like that. Why?"
It actually happened, during Bush's trip to Buenos Aires for the Summit of the Americas in 2005. Maradona had learned of Bush's impending arrival and made a pledge to lead the protests during an interview with Fidel Castro on his La Noche del Diez (The Night of the Number 10) television programme. "In Argentina, there are people who are against Bush being there," he said. "I am the first. He did us a lot of harm. As far as I'm concerned, he is a murderer; he looks down on us and tramples over us. I am going to lead that march along with my daughter."
The Guardian's report from 5 November recalls the protest: "The tone was struck by Maradona, who wore a 'Stop Bush' T-shirt to an anti-Bush 'counter-summit' that drew some 4,000 protesters from around the world and easily eclipsed the official summit in the public's attention. 'I'm proud as an Argentine to repudiate the presence of this human trash, George Bush,' said Maradona."
The report continues:
The 15,000-strong crowd broke out in a roar as Maradona, riding high on his rebirth as Argentina's leading television personality with his own weekly talkshow, embraced Mr [Hugo] Chávez at the microphone and roared: "Argentina has its dignity! Let's throw Bush out of here!".
You can also watch a news report of Chávez and Maradona at the rally here.
DID ATLETICO MADRID MODEL THEIR LOOK ON AMERICA?
"Along the lines of the question regarding Panathinaikos' apparent Irish lineage, is there any attachment between Atlético Madrid and the United States?" asked Paul Fritsky in 2001. "Or is it similar coincidence?"
It wasn't the USA that provided the inspiration for Atlético's red, white and blue colours: it was a trip to Bilbao. As Antonio Gonzalez explains: "Atlético Madrid was created in the period preceding the Spanish civil war as a split of Athletic Bilbao. At that time both clubs sported white and blue shirts. But in 1911, apparently before Athletic de Bilbao had even thought of it (notice that nowadays the Basques' colours are red and white as well) Atlético de Madrid changed its original blue and white jerseys to red and white vertical stripes and also settled for blue shorts.
"Why? Well in 1911, Juan Elorduy, a director and player at the club, brought back the strip, ironically from Bilbao, after his Christmas holidays and the new colours were first worn on 22 January 1911. The red and white stripes resulted in the team being nicknamed Los Colchoneros (The Mattress Makers), due to their similarity to the fabric used at that time to cover mattresses."
THE ARSENAL UEFA CUP MYSTERY – SOLVED
"While looking at an old league table on Wikipedia (don't ask why), I noticed that Arsenal finished second in the First Division in 1972-73, three points behind Liverpool," noted Vincent Lacey in 2009. "The table gave notes on European qualification for the following season: Liverpool went into the European Cup, Tottenham went into the Uefa Cup because they won the League Cup, and Sunderland (from the Second Division) went into the Cup Winners' Cup after winning the FA Cup. But while third-placed Leeds, fourth-placed Ipswich and fifth-placed Wolves went into the Uefa Cup, Arsenal didn't go into Europe at all! I couldn't find any reason for this; had they upset someone at Uefa, or did someone forget to send an application for entry?"
One of those rare occasions when the question was longer than the answer. As the world and his wife emailed in to tell us, an early hangover from the days of the Inter-City Fairs Cup was the ruling that only one team from any city could compete in the Uefa Cup. Thus, in a disappointingly conspiracy-free manner, Tottenham qualified through their League Cup win, keeping the Gunners out of the competition.
SCOTT PARKER: RECORD BREAKER?
"With Scott Parker joining Spurs, it means he joins the fourth London club of his career (adding to Charlton, Chelsea and West Ham)," wrote Chris Nathans in 2011. "Which player has played for the most London sides, or alternatively the most sides in the same city?"
Plenty of you pointed out that Clive Allen played for seven London clubs – QPR, Arsenal (without actually playing a game), Crystal Palace, Tottenham, Chelsea, West Ham and Millwall.
No one, it seemed, could better that. Andrew Williams suggested Andrei Ivanov, who played for five Moscow clubs (FShM Moscow, Spartak, Dynamo, CSKA and Nika Moscow) in an 18-year career, while William Hogg, stretching the boundaries of Glasgow to breaking point, noted that the Scottish record was likely to be held by Max Murray, who turned out for Queen's Park, Rangers, Third Lanark and Clyde (who played in Glasgow for a time in the 1970s) in the 1950s.
Filed under: Euro 2012
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