Важно совсем не то, что пишут на заборах. Заборы и существуют для того, чтобы на них писали непристойности.(с) И.Порошин
Отсюда http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sp...icle1288774.ece
Winner takes it all: why this should be called the Year of the Showdown
A series of sporting dramas are likely to dominate headlines over next 12 months

Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal

French Open, May 26-June 10

Paris will again stage the most eagerly awaited tennis event of the year as Federer takes another tilt at sporting immortality by attempting to win his first title on the treacherous red clay of Roland Garros.

Many recognise the peerless virtuosity of the Swiss, but purists demand that the world No 1 proves his all-round mastery of the sport before mentioning him in the same breath as the likes of Muhammad Ali, Pelé and Michael Jordan.

Federer’s problem is that he has to overcome the formidable obstacle of Nadal, the 20-year-old Spaniard with an unprecedented 62-match unbeaten streak on clay. Many who witnessed last year’s final, in which Federer was bludgeoned into submission, will feel that the Swiss has to learn new tricks if he is to fulfil his exalted destiny.

Ronnie O’Sullivan v himself

The most naturally talented snooker player to have lived continues to do battle with his inner demons in what has become sport’s most compelling psychological thriller. A manic-depressive whose father is serving a life sentence for murder, O’Sullivan has been blessed with an excess of natural talent and in those rare moments of inner peace glides around the green baize like someone in a hypnotic trance.

But then a demon will bite him. The growing anthology of implosions culminated last month with an extraordinary concession against Stephen Hendry in the quarter-finals of the Maplin UK Championship after missing a red in the sixth frame of a best-of-17 contest.

Insiders are becoming increasingly condemnatory. They would do well to realise that they have a genius gracing their sport whose unpredictability makes for gripping box office.

Floyd Mayweather Jr v Oscar De La Hoya

WBC Light-Middleweight Championship, May 5

This year will provide an overdue reminder of why boxing has produced more unforgettable moments than any other sport. The light-middleweight showdown in the United States is an authentic super-bout that, for once, bears comparison to the iconic match-ups of yesteryear.

De La Hoya is a talented, if ageing, six-division champion with durability, considerable ring craft and immense popular appeal. Mayweather is a gangsta rap-loving “bad boy” with a sharp tongue and sharper fists.

Although Mayweather is arguably the most accomplished pound-for-pound pugilist since Sugar Ray Leonard, he is risking a step up in weight. Added intrigue is provided by the fact that De La Hoya is trained by Mayweather’s father.

Manchester United v Chelsea

Barclays Premiership title race

Although there are 16 matches to go, the tussle for the Premiership title has the hallmarks of a cliffhanger.

United, galvanised by the twinkle-toed audacity of Cristiano Ronaldo, are beginning to exude the kind of swagger familiar in the glory years. Meanwhile, Chelsea are evidencing intriguing signs of vulnerability, particularly as they seek to plug the gaps left by injuries, most notably to John Terry.

United’s superiority to date is not only demonstrated by their lead at the top of the table but also by a sizeable advantage in goal difference, something that Sir Alex Ferguson, their manager, has pointed to as a significant asset if the race goes to the wire. The José Mourinho-Ferguson mind games will soon go into overdrive.

Champions League final

May 23

Domestic fans have long harboured a belief in the superiority of English club football, something that is undermined by an examination of results in the tournament down the years. English clubs have lifted the European Cup on ten occasions and finished runners-up three times. This compares with Spain (11 victories, nine runners-up) and Italy (ten victories, 14 runners-up).

The statistics would be even less favourable had it not been for Liverpool’s heroics in Istanbul in 2005. With four teams in the knockout phase (along with Celtic), however, there is every prospect of an English finalist for the third time in three years, something that would provide genuine grounds for pride.

London 2012 v The Balance Sheet

Those with a predilection for farce will continue to derive sadistic pleasure from the doomed battle to prevent costs from spiralling way above budget in the lead-in to the London Olympic Games.

It is difficult to escape the feeling that mishaps such as the resignation of Jack Lemley, the chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and the unresolved issue of VAT are merely the opening acts in a drama that is set to run and run.

Some naive souls have suggested that public anger will progressively be replaced by excitement as the reality of the Games approaches.

Oh dear.

Rugby union World Cup

September 7-October 20

It will almost be with a sense ofrelief that England journey toFrance to rid themselves of the burden of being world champions.

In the years since Jonny Wilkinson’s dropped goal, the England team have become rugby’s answer to the Keystone Cops, charging about with plenty of energy but no discernible purpose. The only sliver of optimism is that expectations evaporated long ago.

The big question for neutrals is whether the All Blacks can overcome their tradition of serial underachievement at the World Cup by adding to their victory in the opening competition of 1987.

Inaugural FA Cup Final at new Wembley Stadium

May 19

Поучительная статья сама по себе. Ну и традиционное про Ронни. Добавить нечего.

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