Wanderlei da Silva, the 27-year-old Brazilian-born forward better known as Derlei, achieved what most players only dream of Wednesday when he scored the winning goal in overtime to give his team, FC Porto, a 3-2 victory over Celtic in the UEFA Cup final in Seville, Spain.
In a match that was dreary until Derlei sparked it to life with a goal in stoppage time at the end of the first half, Porto fully deserved to become the first Portuguese team to win Europe’s second-most prestigious club trophy.
Celtic twice fought back to tie after falling behind, but although Swedish striker Henrik Larsson scored twice on headers -- the first canceling out Derlei’s opener and the second negating Russian midfielder Dmitri Alenichev’s goal for Porto -- the Glasgow club could not manage a third in front of 52,000 fans at the Estadio Olimpico.
Instead it was Derlei who pounced on the rebound of a Maniche shot, evaded defender Jackie McNamara and hit the back of the net with a shot that went off the hands of goalkeeper Robert Douglas in the 115th minute.
“We have made history,” Porto Coach Jose Mourinho said. “It’s very emotional to know that the Cup is ours. The team was started from scratch. It is formed of players who had poor salaries and had never won trophies. Now they’ve won the UEFA Cup.”
World Cup 2006
Franz Beckenbauer, president of the organizing committee for the Germany 2006 World Cup, officially notified FIFA that Germany would like to see the tournament open in Munich on June 9 of that year and end with the final in Berlin on July 9.
Meanwhile, Lennart Johansson, the president of UEFA, said he will vote to increase the Germany 2006 field from 32 teams to 36, as proposed by South America, if a workable way of organizing a 36-team competition can be found.
World Cup 2010
Former South African president Nelson Mandela met the coaches and players of England’s national team in Johannesburg and asked for England’s support in South Africa’s bid to stage the 2010 World Cup.
“If you and the British people support us, I am sure many other countries will do so,” Mandela said. “I am sure you will do that.”
Mandela, 84, was presented with an England jersey with his name on it by England captain David Beckham, who said that “to have it [the World Cup] in a country like South Africa would be amazing.”
England plays South Africa in Durban today.
World champion Brazil and former world champion France will play a friendly international at the Stade de France outside Paris on May 20, 2004, to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of FIFA, world soccer’s ruling body. FIFA was founded in Paris on May 21, 1904.
Luis Cubilla, who led Olimpia of Paraguay to the Copa Libertadores title in 1979 and 1990, returned to the club as coach for the seventh time Wednesday.