Archive | August, 2011

Libyan Rebels Dislike Chelsea and Manchester United

22 Aug

A bright future looms on the horizon in Libya with spectacular scenes overnight of celebration and victory over the decades long dictatorship of Muammar el-Qaddafi. Many have lost their lives during this struggle but they should all be remembered as heroes.

As for those fighters still on the front line risking their lives, and the countless innocent victims of Qaddafi’s regime, one thing has stood out amongst the endless snapshots of war – football shirts.The biggest clubs from England, Spain, and Italy are most except two: Manchester United and Chelsea. Scores of videos and photographs have plastered TV screens and computers, and yet not a single shirt can be found representing the two Champions League finalists from 2008.

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal (above), Juventus, Liverpool, Milan, Inter, and BOCA JUNIORS. Maybe they dislike Roman Abramovich’s oil billions? Perhaps they agree with Balotelli that Manchester is ugly? Whatever the reason is, the photographic evidence does not lie… Continue reading

La Liga Kit Preview 2011/12

18 Aug

Whether the 2011/12 La Liga season begins this weekend or faces two weeks off due to a players union strike, the kits will remain the same. Check out the newest shirts to feature in Spain this coming season. Continue reading

Mourinho Disgraces Spanish Football Once Again

18 Aug

Everything was going so well. Sure, a few harsh and untimely challenges from both clubs, but it will always be an element of this bitter rivalry. For ninety minutes (plus the ninety from the first leg on Sunday), Real Madrid and Barcelona wowed the masses with a display of football that puts both clubs light years ahead of the rest of the competition. Finesse, technique, ambition, and creativity all personified in an open, attacking Supercopa that saw plenty of goals from both sides and Messi’s brilliance to the rescue once again. And then Marcelo ruined it.

In an attempt to “close down” Fabregas on the touchline, the Brazilian launched into a two-footed scissor kick, scything the Catalan to the floor. It wasn’t cynical. It was criminal.  No more helpful was the fact that it occurred in front of both benches, bringing substitutes and coaches into the subsequent melee. Marcelo rightly saw red and luckily, Fabregas did not suffer any serious injury. And then Mourinho ruined it even more.

With a conniving shit-smirk on his face, after standing just feet away from the grotesque assault on Fabregas, Mourinho decided to have some fun. Not knowing whether Marcelo’s challenge had quite possibly shattered Fabregas’ ankle, he meandered into the fracas and plunged his finger into the right eye of Tito Vilanova (video below). Credit Barcelona’s assistant for not completely losing control after having his eye gauged – a show of composure that should be applauded. But what to make of Mourinho? Arsene Wenger now looks completely sane and rational compared to his former nemesis.

It all comes to a head now for the Portuguese manager. His antics over the past two seasons have resulted in an attempted stabbing, conspiracy theories, suspensions, and an overall disregard for the gentlemanly class of Spanish football. Last night trumped them all. The severity of attacking a fellow coach like that cannot be understated. No less after the horrific challenge by Marcelo, when Mourinho should have escorted his left-back straight to the dressing room. But he didn’t. His actions once again represent a tacit approval of the harsh, bullying physicality imposed by his own players on the pitch.

A line has been crossed and it is time for the LFP to show that they truly care about the image of their league and hand down severe punishment on Mourinho. He should be banned for at least five matches – perhaps more. Assault and inciting violence, because he sure as hell wasn’t a peacekeeper, are as reprehensible an offense any manager in any sport can commit. On the eve of a players’ strike which could shut down the opening two weeks of La Liga, an opportunity presents itself for the LFP to display a semblance of credibility. For the sake of Spanish football, let’s hope they do.

(On another note, I cannot allow my fellow Barcelona supporters to emerge unscathed. The monkey chants directed at Marcelo throughout the second half were disgusting and shameful. Racism continues to give Spanish football a black eye, while any sort of punishment from the LFP is as likely as humans inhabiting Mars tomorrow. The “say no to racism” campaign is a complete joke when the suits behind it are spineless, cowardly individuals unable and unwilling to punish the culprits.)

Look Alikes

16 Aug

Ronald Koeman vs Kevin Blom

Barcelona Has Bankrolled Almost Half of Arsenal’s Transfer Kitty Since 2000

16 Aug

While Arsenal supporters are irate at Barcelona’s penny-pinching over the transfer of Cesc Fabregas, they should in fact be grateful to the Catalan club for the amount of income they are responsible for over the last decade. Since 2000, Arsenal has generated €310m from the sale of players. Of that total, a whopping €128m or 41% has come from Barcelona through the sale of six players:

Marc Overmars (2000) - €40m
Emmanuel Petit (2000) – €15m
Gio Van Bronckhorst (2003) – free
Thierry Henry (2007) – €24m
Alexander Hleb (2008) – €15m
Cesc Fabregas (2011) – €34m

Arsene Wenger has always displayed an astute sense of timing when selling his players, but has experienced a mixed bag of results in dealings with Barcelona. Three on that list – Overmars, Petit, and Hleb – were duds at the Catalan club. Van Bronckhorst was a field general at left back for Frank Rijkaard and won two league titles as well as a Champions League. Henry began slowly only to shine in his second season helping Barcelona to the sextuple. As for Fabregas, the sky is the limit.

Shrewd business for sure on the part of both clubs. In the end, Gooners should be more thankful than spiteful for all the cash in their club’s bank account on behalf of Barcelona, and can now justify with some statistical backing the incessant chants of “spend some f**king money.”

Photo courtesy of Sport.es

Boca Supporters Still Despise River Plate

16 Aug

The 2011/12 Apertura has begun in Argentina, and for the first time in its history, River Plate will not be present. After a historic relegation just a few months ago, the Buenos Aires club will compete this season in the unflattering second division. And while deep down, the Boca Juniors supporters may feel some remorse about a season without an opportunity to face their eternal rivals, they are surely not making it known.

At a match over the weekend against Unión de Santa Fé, the home supporters expressed their “love” for River Plate’s descent into anonymity – for this season at least. The song went as follows:

Esa lluvia de mierda, no quiere parar, los de River, que no paran de llorar

Translation: “That shower of shit won’t stop from River supporters, who won’t stop crying”

One can assume that as the season progresses, so too will the depth and creativity of the chants from La Bombonera. This space will surely update you as they emerge.

Video courtesy of Olé

Stan Kroenke and Arsene Wenger Parody

12 Aug

 

A tasty nugget to take you into the weekend. Enjoy the matches!

Millwall Supporters Defend Their Town From Looters

10 Aug

Bobby Robson, manager of Ipswich in 1978, said of Millwall fans after fights erupted throughout The Den during an FA Cup match, “They [the police] should have turned the flamethrowers on them.” When you consider the history of Millwall supporters, that could be construed as a compliment.

It would exhaust too much time and effort to recount the past of Millwall FC supporters, but in short, they were some of the worst torchbearers of English hooliganism in the 1970′s. (There is a great movie called “Green Street Hooligans” which will give you some idea.)

So amidst the anarchy engulfing England at the moment, one would expect that many of these imbeciles are indeed football supporters and hooligans who crave violence for the sake of violence. Well, think again. In times of such chaos, it is the hard-line Millwall supporters who are taking to the streets to defend their home turf from the looters. Singing in unison “no one loots us,” the small group of supporters can be seen pictured above pictured guarding downtown Eltham.

However that was the middle of the afternoon. Once the sun set and the rioters re-emerged, the supporters sprung into action. The two videos after the jump show Millwall supporters and police chasing rioters down the street. It’s a sensational scene by a group of individuals long chided as social enigmas, but still every bit a part of English society as anyone else to defend it. Continue reading

WAG Wednesday Part 24 – Olivia Godfrey

10 Aug

While the city of London and other parts of England burn, the opening weekend of the Premiere League season faces postponement to allow for order to be restored. While your favorite players may fail to appear on television screens for another week, you can be sure that Olivia Godfrey will still feature each and every day on Sky Sports News (simulcast in America on Fox Soccer Channel), much to your heart’s delight.

Plenty more pictures of this beautiful presenter after the jump. And for a more extensive preview of the Sky Sports presenters who will appear throughout the season, check out the TV Babes of England. Continue reading

Pelé To Play In The Club World Cup For Santos?

3 Aug

Armeio Neto, the Marketing Director for Santos FC, has pitched the idea of Pelé making an appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup this December in a potential final versus Barcelona. Pelé, who netted over 600 goals for his former club, will be a sprightly 71 years old when the tournament begins.

Although the likelihood of this happening is minimal, Neto does not wish to discredit the idea entirely:

“I don’t doubt anything. It also depends on the coach. If Pelé is a boost to the team then why not?”

If the manager of Santos thinks a 71-year-old relic will add something to a squad which already boasts Neymar and Gonzo, then perhaps Santos need to ask themselves a few questions. As the voice of reason, Santos President Luis Alvaro Ribeiro expressed a slightly more rational opinion:

“Of course, even though Pelé trains, he would not be able to play for a long time, but one can imagine him coming on at the end of the game to take a penalty.”

And hopefully no more than that. Remember, this is a rather important tournament which every confederation champion takes very seriously. You would be hard pressed to find any appropriate instance for Pele to be substituted on the pitch, unless of course Santos is up 3-0 against Barcelona and the club still has two substitutions remaining (in order to remove Pele immediately after he pulls whichever muscle).

In the seven FIFA Club World Cups, Brazilian clubs have won three titles while the remaining four went to the UEFA Champion. The 2011 edition begins on December 8th in Japan. Santos and Barcelona, who enter the competition in the semifinals, will play on December 14th and 15th respectively.

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