Archive | September, 2010

Barcelona’s Travel Woes

30 Sep

Aaaah logistics. Nitty gritty minutiae that deal with the most mundane of subjects and content. Nobody really enjoys dealing with them, but at the end of the day, they are the glue that hold together any planned outing. So, I will now bore you with a problem that is receiving ample space in local newspapers in Barcelona: How to get to Ceuta?

Ceuta is Barcelona’s opponent later this month in the Copa del Rey. The problem is, Ceuta is not located in Spain…it’s in Morocco. Located just across the Straight of Gibralter, this autonomous city of 75,000 has dealt the Catalans a bit of a headache. You can’t fly there because there is no airport. You can’t take a train because the Straight is in the way. And you can’t walk because, well, that’s just not possible. So, here are the options being considered:

OPTION 1: Fly to Málaga in southern Spain, take a coach to the coastal city of Algeciras, ride the ferry to Ceuta.

OPTION 2: Fly to Málaga, coach to Algeciras, helicopter into Ceuta.

OPTION 3: Fly to Tetouan, Morocco, coach to Ceuta

The helicopter ride would take only 10 minutes compared to the 30 by boat. Also, it would avoid any potential sea sickness problems along the way as the meeting point of the Atlantic and Mediterranean isn’t always the smoothest. We wouldn’t want the players to be wretching just hours before the match! However, the helicopters can only hold 12-15 passengers or even less, which means the team would have to commandeer an entire fleet. Oh, and the helicopters are 95 euros each way.

Believe it or not, this is practically front page material in Barcelona. How poor old Barcelona will get to Ceuta to field a youth squad against the third division side. Although there is something rather arrogant yet dashing about flying in on helicopters, landing just next to the stadium, and walking out like FBI agents in any movie ever made. Yet it also degrades the local side a bit – arriving to take care of business and then leaving right out of the parking lot in their fancy helicopters.

Judge as you will, but it’s rather obvious option 2 is their best bet. How could you NOT take helicopters to a match?!

UCL Matchday 2, Day 2 Top Goals

30 Sep

The best very best goals from Wednesday’s Champions League action.

Michel Bastos’ 2nd vs Hapoel Tel Aviv. The BEST GOAL OF THE DAY:

http://video.rutube.ru/e9a29255d6fec86da9be93578a9d361a

Rafael Van der Vaart vs FC Twente:

http://video.rutube.ru/fd9e8da0286191dc794a685af608c5cf

Samuel Eto’o’s 2nd vs Werder Bremen. Exquisite control and a clinical finish – the Eto’o special:

http://www.youtube.com/v/po1JqKbHfTI?fs=1&hl=en_US

Steven Naismith vs Bursaspor:

http://www.youtube.com/v/aMzdp1OND0c?fs=1&hl=en_US

WAG Wednesday Part 2 – Adriana Karembeu

29 Sep

Adriana Karembeu is the face of the French Football Association’s newest advertisement for women’s football. To be honest, they’ll likely find more men than women signing up to play.

When she’s not looking fine in a football uniform, the Slovakian actress/model usually clings to the arm of her husband, former French international Christian Karembeu (they met on an airplane). Not bad Christian. Not bad at all.

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France sponsors want their money back

29 Sep

The principal sponsors of the French Football Federation (FFF) - Adidas, GDF Suez, and Crédit Agricole – are pissed off at the French World Cup team. Most sponsors expect their clients to represent them with professionalism, dignity, and integrity. Unfortunately, none of those endearing qualities can be attributed to any of the 23 men in South Africa over the summer.

Now, the three sponsors would like to be reimbursed to the tune of €4.5 million (I’m surprised it’s not more) for unwillingly being the face of the French insurrection. This marks the very first time a country’s major sponsors have asked for compensation of their investment.

A spokesman for GDF Suez issued the following remarks:

“We are outraged by what has happened. It is a lack of respect for everyone, and something we have never seen before. We well henceforth examine all contracts [with the FFF] through 2014. We cannot ignore what has happened here, as it is very serious. The French team have completely defaced the sport and their country.”

Tell us how you really feel. If I were them, I’d completely pull out of the deal completely. Adidas is doing pretty without this, as are the other two major corporations. And if they aren’t, find a different team since nobody in their right mind is clearing time on their schedules to watch the French national team compete. You’re probably getting less exposure with that team than you would with Slovenia or Lichtenstein.

WAG Wednesday Part 1 – Orsi Feher

29 Sep

Hungarian model Orsi Feher is the girlfriend of Atlético Madrid manager Quique Sánchez Flores aka the Spanish James Bond. Would you expect any less from him?

The best part is she doesn’t just shop and look good. She watches every match whether in person or on television. And according to her, all they talk about is football – tactics, players, positives and negatives.

A hot girl with a football IQ? No better way to start this new Wednesday series.

More shots of Ms. Feher after the jump:

UCL Matchday 2, Day 1 Top Goals

29 Sep

The best very best goals from Tuesday’s Champions League action.

Andrei Arshavin vs Partizan Belgrade. It’s Wilshire’s back heel that makes this so good:

http://www.youtube.com/v/7N7GvET8JJM?fs=1&hl=en_US

Mounir El Hamdaoui vs AC Milan. Suarez’s nutmeg of Nesta is quality:

http://www.youtube.com/v/bJ3njjDKxhg?fs=1&hl=en_US

Zlatan Ibrahimović vs Ajax. You don’t see the long ball from Pirlo, but Ibra’s scissor kick is still classic:

http://www.youtube.com/v/mkJidJJQfng?fs=1&hl=en_US

Marco Borriello vs Cluj. An incredible volley.

http://www.youtube.com/v/y75E-oZtFao?fs=1&hl=en_US

Alexander Frei vs Bayern Munich. Another back heel and a great finish.

http://www.youtube.com/v/Pf_mr_sT2yo?fs=1&hl=en_US

The perfect girlfriend

28 Sep

http://estaticos.marca.com/multimedia/reproductores/embed/embed.swf

Meet Mélody Donchet. The 20 year old Frenchie has freestyle skills that make your jaw drop. She also happens to be rather cute.

She is: the perfect girlfriend.

The Spirit of Shankly take their protests worldwide

28 Sep
There is never a dull moment with Liverpool – especially when the Spirit of Shankly is running things. You know in Argentina and other parts of South America, the barra bravas (their hooligan ultras) actually have a say in club policy. It is common knowledge that these supporter groups can nominate candidates and manipulate elections and club policy. The Spirit of Shankly is simply a bunch of idiots who have zero say in any matter of Liverpool Football Club and resort to bullying tactics and pathetic displays of protest against their American owners. Nothing they do, or have ever done, has forced the club to act one way or another. As one Daily Mail columnist explained a few months back in response to a planned march, the fans were marching from a bar they would be at anyway before the match to a stadium they were planning to be at anyway for the match. Great planning guys.

The Spirit of Shankly has made the Liverpool ownership position the most undesirable job on the planet. Who in their right mind would want to buy this club? One wrong decision and they’ll take to the streets, or they will sing to the demise of the owner’s home country, or spit in his face, or stage sit-ins after the game, or carry out a real protest by not – o wait, they’ve never once boycotted matches.

And let’s just say the club are sold, all is well? Liverpool magically climb from 16th position? The team miraculously stops sucking? No. They will continue to lose and be a sub-par team. But at least the Yanks would be out.

Now that we’ve covered that, the Spirit of Shankly has carried out a new audacious campaign barring Hicks and Gillette from every corner of the world. It is actually mildly humorous, but also a sure sign of the pathetic desperation these fans have resorted to.

More photos after the jump:

(Photos courtesy of Marca)

Barcelona Man Love

28 Sep

Dani Alves and Victor Valdes share a very similar last name. The other day, they decided to share a little bit more than just a name. In a moment of uncensored aggresive and passionate lust, Valdes thrusted himself into the Barcelona right back.

If Victor ever wondered why women always wanted to turn the lights off during sex, he need only look at this picture. Look at Busquets! He can’t get away fast enough!

You don’t become one of the best clubs in recent memory without off the field bonding and team unity. This union may be a bit too much for comfort though.

Charlie Davies recounts the moment he regained consciousness after his accident: "I’m in a hostel and they’re trying to steal my organs"

27 Sep

The pictures speak for themselves. On October 13, 2009, Charlie Davies found himself in a horrific car crash, which claimed the life of one of the passengers. His injuries blow your mind and make you wonder how he is still alive: broken tibia and fibula, broken femer, lacerated bladder, fractured and dislocated left elbow, shattered nose, cheeks and forehead (for which they pulled down skin from the top of his head down to the chin to reconstruct). He probably has more metal in his body now than Wolverine.

Somehow, some way, Davies has recovered in a shockingly short time frame. He has already played a number of matches for the Sochaux reserve team and hopes to be back fully fit to play again for the United States in next year’s Gold Cup.
In an interview on World Football Daily last week, Charlie went into chilling detail about the very first moments when he regained consciousness after the accident:

“I woke up and I was in the hospital. I had no idea where I was, though. I thought I was actually in Honduras. And I looked down and the first thing I saw was all these staples down my stomach, and the first thought that ran through my head was ‘I’m in a hostel and they’re trying to steal my organs.’

So I started to take the staples out of my stomach, and I maybe got to the fifth one and said okay, I’m gonna try and make a run for it now. And as soon as I raised up a little a nurse saw me and sprinted over. She told me [I] was in a serious car accident and that I was in Washington DC. That’s when it all hit me.”
 
If that doesn’t make your spine tingle, I don’t know what else could.

Charlie Davies is an extremely lucky man to be with us today. Throughout the rest of the interview, he amazed me with his positive attitude and his fighting spirit. He understands the ramifications of his actions, and can only grow from the new outlook he has on life. Best wishes to Charlie for a speedy recovery.

And as for all you readers, a simple word of advice: while we grovel at the feet of our footballing heroes every weekend and make light of their social lives, a large majority of them are stupid and irresponsible. All too often we’ve seen cars ripped to shreds by footballers speeding home, some drunk. So do yourselves a favor. Wear a seat belt, don’t drink and drive, and aspire to be the complete opposite of every “too cool for school” footballer out there.

And to be fair and accurate – Davies was not driving nor was he under the influence of alcohol or any drug at the time.

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