Names In The News
Serie A club Fiorentina "has signed Italian national team player GIUSEPPE ROSSI to a three-year deal." Spanish second division team FC Villareal "received an estimated €16M ($21.1M) for Rossi, who has not played a game since Oct. '11 due a severe knee injury" (SID, 1/7). ... The Chinese women's badminton duo, YU YANG and WANG XIAOLI, who were kicked out of the London Olympics "for playing to lose," won a sports honor medal from China's General Administration of Sports. Coach LI YONGBO was among 104 coaches to win an award for Chinese world champions (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 1/7). ... Brazilian football legend PELE will be honored with a bronze statue in the new Maracanã stadium. The statue will be inaugurated when the stadium is scheduled to open on Feb. 28 (FOLHA DE S. PAULO, 1/7). ... ManU defender RIO FERDINAND is "planning for a career after football as the first black JAMES BOND." Ferdinand is "dreaming of a move to Hollywood" after his football career is over and "sees himself as an all-action hero" (DAILY MAIL, 1/6). ... Former Scotland captain MIKE BLAIR has retired from int'l rugby at age 31. Scotland's most-capped scrum-half has "represented his country on 85 occasions, 14 of them as captain" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 1/7).
TRYING A NEW TRADE: Brazilian football great RONALDO, owner of marketing agency 9ine, will go to London to "learn more regarding advertising and evolve in his new career." He will intern with marketing agency WPP, where he will learn directly from CEO MARTIN SORRELL. Ronaldo said, "Learning from Martin will be perfect. I am not going to leave him alone for a minute. I am going to ask him questions all day long." Ronaldo's 9ine agency represents athletes such as Santos striker NEYMAR, UFC fighter ANDERSON SILVA, PSG midfielder LUCAS and Atéltico Madrid striker FALCAO (UOL, 1/7). Sorrell "declined to comment on the nature of the placement" but said that he had already been working closely with Ronaldo in Latin America and on the World Cup and the Olympics, which Brazil will host in '14 and '16. Ronaldo added, "My biggest difficulty so far is with strategic planning, which is what marketing and advertising really consist of. It’s for that reason that I’ve been studying so much -- not so much in classes, but with my team here" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/7).