Women Adidas F50 Messi 20 years, he’s played for remarkably few clubs in hundreds of
18 December, 2014 at 6:38 am in Construction
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' much-celebrated victory over Bahrain in Wellington, their boarding pass to the 2010 Fifa World Cup finals, is the game Ivan Vicelich recalls most fondly from his long football career.
Another one springs to my mind. It was 1999 and Vicelich's Central United were pitted against the Cosmos - the Kings Arms Cosmos pub team - in the Chatham Cup at Kiwitea St in suburban Balmoral. These were rare days for the great names of football - from the hospitality industry that is. Before facing the might of the Kings Arms, Central United had crushed the Tuck Inn Coffee Shop.
If the memory isn't letting the side down, Vicelich came on in the second half, which seemed unfair on him and the Kings Arms, whose players had shirts which mainly fitted, a high percentage of matching shorts, and worked hard to shut down their more illustrious opponents through a mixture of latish man marking and waving their arms about. The score was only 9-0.
A few weeks later, All White Vicelich headed off to the Confederations Cup in Mexico where he shared the stage with names like Lothar Matthaeus, Alex, Emerson and Ronaldinho against Germany, Brazil and the United States, in front of crowds numbering up to 60,000. What Women Nike Hypervenom Phantom a contrast, one symbolicof Vicelich's career. Having retired in 2008, he popped up as an unflappable veteran in a defensive midfield role above Ryan Nelsen when the All Whites scored three draws, including against 2006 champions Italy, at the World Cup in South Africa.
The veterans of the Kings Arms squad could proudly tell how they had suited up for cup action against a World Cup hero.
The 38-year-old Vicelich has retired from the All Whites, again, but his career keeps on keeping on. His Women Nike Mercurial CR7 Auckland City have won their opening two games of the Fifa Club World Cup in Morocco and face an Argentine club on Thursday morning, with the small matter of Real Madrid lurking. For the umpteenth time, there was Vicelich, gliding around in the middle of proceedings, surrounded by teammates from all over the Women Nike Hypervenom Phelon globe. He is hardly at peak, but one suspects there is a bit of the Conrad Smith effect, that everything works smoother and more confidently for Auckland City when Vicelich is about. To still be playing at that level, at that age, is a decent effort.
Vicelich plays calm, but his career has been conducted at wildly fluctuating levels. This contributes to making it hard to define, especially in a country where rugby's rigid order dominates sports thinking. The most-capped All White has flown under the radar to a degree, partly because he is media awkward. Getting a flashy quote or any quote at all out of Vicelich is like trying to get the ball off him.
Wynton Rufer, Ryan Nelsen, Brian Turner and co are more readily remembered, yet considering the era he has played in, has New Zealand sport ever had a classier, more faithful servant than Vicelich in the way he has combined a stellar international and respected professional career with giving his best for so long to his Auckland clubs. There are nooks and crannies to explore all over the football world for a variety of paydays, but Vicelich returned for an extended twilight at home where football experiences little limelight.
The traditional New Zealand game can tend to the helter and skelter, but Vicelich is always a vote for poise. His influence on domestic football and young players must be more extensive than the obvious.
I watched another Chatham Cup game at Kiwitea St this year and there he was, calm as ever, playing as a defender and a midfielder. Where others charged at headers, Vicelich guided them down to teammates. He always had time, seemed to be in the right place, was essential to the cause. As with his game, the hair - thanks to an ever-present Alice band - was relaxed and in place. There were a few hundred spectators.
For such a long career, of more than Women Adidas F50 Messi 20 years, he's played for remarkably few clubs in hundreds of games around NZ, Australia, Europe and China. Ivan Vicelich is a great of NZ sport. He has won respect within football, and his name is known well enough outside it. But while watching him in Morocco, I wondered if he has been recognised enough.