Sunderland spell ‘a dream’
Former Sunderland midfielder Cristian Riveros is still playing at the age of 36, as he is plying his trade in his native Paraguay with Libertad.
Riveros plays alongside his former Black Cats team-mate Paulo da Silva and the midfielder has been looking back at his career with Cronica, saying his spell with Sunderland in the Premier League was a dream:
Playing in the Premier League [with Sunderland] was a dream. I always say that I am blessed and that thanks to football I was able to make friends, tour countries and get ahead. In Turkey it also went well, they respected me and showed me their love at all times. Being a foreigner I never received discrimination.
Riveros says the players he looks up to were Paraguayan legend Roberto Acuna and ex-Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, a player who he swapped shirts with while at Sunderland:
I looked a lot at ‘Toro’ Acuña and Steven Gerrard, they were the best for me. Today there are hundreds of great flyers, but I played next to Acuña, who was also my usual idol.
Against Gerrard I also played in the World Cup (2006) and also in the Premier League. I have his shirt that we exchanged in England. These are memories that I will have forever.
Despite his advancing years, the 36-year-old is still not considering retirement and hopes to keep playing as long as he can:
I am going to play until the legs tell me enough, I feel very well physically and that is thanks to the discipline that one imposes on this career. I still don’t think about retirement.
Talks ongoing for Campbell’s Falkirk takeover
With Sunderland’s takeover by the partners of Michael Dell still ongoing, a former bidder from earlier in the year is edging closer to taking over Falkirk.
Mark Campbell was keen to buy out Stewart Donald during pre-season but no deal could be agreed and he was then named preferred bidder for Scottish outfit Falkirk in July, with Campbell hoping to get the deal done by August, 31.
Like the MSD takeover of Sunderland however, Campbell’s purchase of Falkirk is yet to be completed but the Bairns’ interim chairman Lex Miller has confirmed that talks have progressed to the next stage:
Mr Campbell and the board met on Thursday and had a positive meeting. Following the talks, negotiations are moving towards the next stage and are being dealt with by our lawyers. Talks will continue to be ongoing.
Clark on how he signed for Sunderland
Lee Clark may have left Sunderland under a cloud but the current Blyth Spartans manager has been discussing how he signed for the club under a drunken cloud.
Speaking to Si Ferry of Open Goal, Clark explained how he talked with many clubs and managers once he knew he was leaving Newcastle United - including future Sunderland and the then Rangers boss Dick Advocaat.
Sunderland were the last club he spoke to according to Clark and that was just due to courtesy, thanks to the midfielders respect for his former team-mate Paul Bracewell but after one drunken night with Peter Reid, Clark ended up signing a long-term deal at the Stadium of Light:
I spoke to various different clubs.
I spoke to Aston Villa with Bryan Little, Frank Clark - Manchester City, Jim Smith with Derby who were Premier League, Aston Villa were obviously Premier League. Celtic and Rangers, Dick Advocaat and the late great Tommy Burns.
Sunderland was the last club I met, I remember meeting Reidy in Manchester and saying ‘Listen Peter, I’ve come out of courtesy’. Paul Bracewell who I played alongside, played a big part in my career. He was Peter’s assistant and he’d set up the meeting and I basically said to ‘I’ve come out of respect, that they’d asked to meet us but there is no way I am going to sign’.
Six bottles of Dom Perignon later, I’d signed a five-year contract!
You can watch the full interview with Lee Clark in the YouTube video below: