Wow been almost a year since my previous post on my blog! crapady crap! 😛
Well the world of football was only talking about this clash of titans after the conclusion of the semis. Its was tipped to be Brazil’s chance to show what they were made of and a chance for the Spaniards to add to their growing trophy cabinet.
To be frank both teams showed really good skills through the tournament with the Brazilians getting back to boca jonito of sorts. They seemed to have lost that flare which they were better known for. Pure skill and arrogance to show off these were what champion Brazilian teams showcased on a consistent bases.
Spain on the other hand seem to be dominating the world with tiki taka for about 5 years now collecting 1 World cup and 2 European cups. Many find this style really boring as it mainly revolves around possession play and short intricate passing. This has mainly been a major influence from the style followed at F.C Barcelona.
One thing I observed in the finals was that the fans as crazy! Literally crazy for football and more so for team Brazil. Its almost like they make themselves feel like the 12th man on the team. Its going to be one hell of a powerful influence if you ask me in next years FIFA world cup. Opponents as experienced as Spain were also effected by this.
Brazilian coach Luis Felipe Scolari (at the helm for the second time) has done one heck of a job in making this team with a lot of youthful influence. The players seem to have gelled well and pace of their play seems to be their biggest weapon. All this according to me is mainly thanks to their key wingers in Hulk and Neymar. These two when in full flow send shivers down defenders as once the escape its hard to keep up.
Neymar had lot of gossip going around before the tournament thanks to his big money move to F.C Barcelona. Many would agree he hadn’t done much so far, other than show off skills that we love and a few wonder goals. But I have to say he exploded in this tournament big time. His influence in terms of play and on the other players to perform better is exceptional. He brings me glimpses of Ronaldinho on the pitch. Some of his goals in this tournament proved why the big bucks were needed for his services and all that talk doing the rounds was justified.
Spain on the other hand (just as Barcelona at the hands of Bayern) were caught out big time. Their style of play has its own faults where they try to pass the ball straight through the center. I do agree Iniesta and Xavi are more than capable of doing it but they have been put under lot of pressure with teams understanding tiki taka and ways to get around it.
Spain’s defense has been one to worry as Gerard Pique isn’t his usual self these days. He seems to have lost pace and with most of the team bombing forward (including Sergio Ramos at times) its leaves a lot on him to handle when opponents make their fast counter attacks.
Iker Casillas (I consider him one of the best goal-keepers around) hasn’t been up-to the mark too. His confidence sure has hit a low after the previous season, with Jose Mourinioh dishing out some serious stuff. He still has time for redemption but the next season with Real Madrid will play a big factor for him.
But my only concern for Brazil would be their bench strength. Their starting 11 seems to be set and bloody strong. But suppose someone gets injured and can’t play then is the bench ready to play at the same level (I have my doubts). Teams like Germany and Spain have that huge advantage where they have wealth of talent to choose from. This could be a serious factor in the coming world cup.
But then what this all means is teams now will aspire to win games which previously they would have given hope on (playing for a draw of sorts). Spain have lost their invisibility. Brazil are high on confidence. And football is in a new era where the style of successful football could just have a new definition of sorts.
Exciting Times ahead if you ask me. For a Football lover noting could be better. \m/
Brilliant to the core!! \m/
# Glory glory MAN UTD..
Wembley, 28th May 2011
With hype that this would be Alex Ferguson’s chance for redemption on one hand and Barcelona’s chance to cement their credentials of being the best team in the world, this mouth-watering clash was just what the neutrals ordered to bring a close to the football carnival in Europe! With the raw force of Rooney guiding united to their 3rd final in 4 years and on the other hand the mesmerizing skills on Messi Who has out done himself my scoring goals for fun!
With as many as 220 million television viewers watching the epic final that offered different styles of play pitted against each other. With the flamboyant possession football that starves the opponents played out by the Le Marcia grown players and with United’s fast paced counter-attacking style that has taken down so many in the past and Octopus Iker tipping United to win had the Spanish fans in a little bother, with Alex Ferguson with one eye on the record books and other on the tactical style of Pep Guardiola’s wonders. It seemed an Ideal finish to a season that threw so many surprises such as Schalke, Gareth Bale etc to name a few.
When the whistle was blown by the referee to kick-start the final it seemed that Barca neatly got into their passing routine in the early stages but to the surprise of many United were eager to close their opponents and paid of with United coming up on top in the opening 20 minutes or so. But Barcelona gained a grip on the game and were rewarded a goal by Pedro who was picked out beautifully by Xavi in the 27th minute. United were on the back-foot but kept their defense organized with Vidic putting in vital tackles in. In the 34th minute a swift move on the right flank and neat inter-play saw Rooney equalize with a shot into left top corner! The half came to close with a deadlock between the sides.
The second half saw the usual passing proves of Barca and in the 54th minute with Messi finding a little space to play around in front of United’s box fired a thunderous low shot that beat Van der Sar to his left, thus scoring his first goal on English soil! With Barca having full control on the game at this stage Alex sent Nani to improve his attack but Messi with a lighting move on the right side skipped passed Nani and got into the box to put the alarm bells ringing. The ball found its way to David Villa who curled a beauty into the top right corner leaving Van Der Sar no chance thus sealing the clash for good!
With the final whistle the game, saw the Barca players erupt in joy which saw them do a double with the league and the champions league for the 4th time in their history. United on the other hand lamenting a chance lost to add to their trophy cabinet!
“They do mesmerize you with their passing. We never really controlled Messi, but many people said that. We never really closed the midfield well enough to counter them. It’s alien to us to try to man-mark players. We tried to play as normally as we can. In my time as a manager it is the best team we have faced. No one has given us a hiding like that” said Alex Ferguson after the game.
Pep Guardiola said “I didn’t see the Ajax of Cruyff, I didn’t see the Real Madrid of Di Stefano and I didn’t see the Santos of Pele. But if in 10 or 15 years time people remember us for the football that we are playing now, that will make me very happy. If you play this football you need these players. At another club may be I would have problems. I feel privileged to have these players. My future will be very tough as I’ll be at another club with other players, thinking ‘where are these kinds of players?’ “.
It was a final played in great spirits between the teams and it will be interesting to see what future battles between the teams holds for us!
Another article for my side!
Fabio Capello’s England team will have a totally different look considering he has decided to send most of his starters back home considering their grueling club schedules.The most notable change to the side that defeated Wales at the weekend would be starting with the captain leading them out of the tunnel. Capello announced Barry would lead his side out against the “Black Cats” at Wembley.
Capello announced, “Barry will be the captain, He played all the games with me apart from the last one. He is a good player and a good captain. Also he is the player with the most England caps.”
Handing the armband back to John Terry created a storm considering he was pulled up for his off-field fiasco and now the reinstated skipper has been sent back to Chelsea to rest ahead of a busy Premier League and Champions League schedule along with Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson and Wayne Rooney leaves Capello with very few choices left. Barry was his obvious choice considering the Man City man has considerable experience under his belt and has prior experience of leading his former club Aston villa for a period of 3 years. Barry on his part would be eager to put behind his missing of the match against Wales and would be more than delighted by Capello’s peace offering of leading the Three Lions out in their friendly at Wembley.
Barry would be leading a under-strength team out in front of a capacity crowd of 80,000 people with Andy Carroll playing up top. Carroll’s and Cahill’s likely inclusion offers a glimpse of the future and the other players drafted in will be raring to point towards the strength in depth Capello has in his squad. this match would be a feather in Barry’s hat which he would cherish for years to come.
Ghana, who did so well at the World Cup last year by reaching the Quarter finals losing unfortunately to Uruguay, are expected to field a strong line-up and are looking to become the first African team to win at the stadium will pose a stiff task for Capello’s men with Gyan being the main threat.
Barry said, “I can certainly see the reasons for (Capello’s) decision, It’s a tough part of the season, there are good reasons why the players were let home. There will be a few players chomping at the bit to take their chance. It’s obviously going to be a massive moment in my career, a proud one. I’ll be the same player as I always am. You don’t put the armband on and change. I’ve got experience of three years captaining Aston Villa. There is some extra responsibility but I won’t change the way I play.”
He also added, “I was disappointed not to be involved on Saturday but in football things can change quickly, I didn’t play against Wales then two days later I have been asked to captain my country. That’s how much can happen in a short space of time.”
With an impressive show of intent Real Madrid over-powered Malaga 7-0 in front of a full house Bernabeu. Cristiano with his third hat-trick of the season took his tally to 27 goals in 26 La Liga appearances but the Real star limped off the Bernabeu pitch in the 77th minute, immediately after scoring his final goal. He was involved critically in most of the forward play and proved again why he is critical for the Spanish giant’s title chances.
The Portuguese international, who is joint top scorer in La Liga had a Magnetic Resonance scan done at Sanitas La Moraleja Hospital on Friday morning, which confirmed he had suffered a muscle injury to his hamstring, keeping him out for as much as 15 days. The statement on the club’s official website read: “Cristiano Ronaldo has a Grade 1 muscle injury on the left biceps fermoris muscle (hamstring). The player will miss 10-15 days. His recovery is being monitored.”
After the match, Mourinho revealed his thoughts that the muscle injury to Ronaldo could be serious and said, “I don’t know. It seems like a serious injury, that’s the negative note from the game. Especially as Ronaldo doesn’t just do small things. If Cristiano has something it’s something minor, it’s no drama.”.
When asked about his injury Ronaldo said”I hurt myself when I scored my third goal. I didn’t want to risk anything with all the important games coming up so I limped off. The injury doesn’t seem to be too serious though, We were winning the game and there was no need to take any risks. That’s why I left the pitch. However, I don’t think I’ll be able to play against Racing Santander on Sunday.”
Ronaldo has appeared in every league game so far this season, with his goals helping his side retain a ray of hope of reducing the seven-point gap between themselves and current La Liga leaders Barcelona. He now looks to miss Sunday’s game with Racing Santander and the subsequent meeting with Hercules, as well as being doubtful for the all-important second leg of Madrid’s Champions League tie with Lyon, which is currently level at 1-1. Possible return could be for the Madrid derby on March 19th.
Position: Defender (Left-back)
Goals Scored: 3
Joined United: 10 Jan 2006
United Debut: 14 Jan 2006 v Manchester City (A)
With his arrival for £5m from Monaco in Jan 2006, At the age of 24 and having capped five times for France Patrice Evra who was a French League Cup winner in 2003 and also helped Monaco to the 2004 UEFA Champions League final before eventually losing 3-0 to Porto, began his stake to regular 1st team play with a string of impressive performances which not only made Alex Ferguson take note but he became a fan favorite due to his tenasious play every time he wore the red of United.
In his stint till date Evra has a impreesive list of winning three Premier League titles, three League Cups including one as captain in 2010 and winners’ medals in both the Champions League and the Club World Cup. Evra was an impressive performer through the various seasons thus far and deservedly received an honourable mention from Sir Alex at the end of the campaign in 2009–10 in which he started all but one of United’s 38 league games.
His recent problems with the French National team after the 2010 FIFA World Cup and intense speculation of his departure to Real Madrid and possible interest from other big clubs across Europe during the summer has been a problem for Alex. With him putting pen to paper on a contract extension to keep him at Manchester United until 2014 Alex Ferguson can be relieved.
“Ever since I arrived at United, it’s been a dream come true playing here. The fans, the players, the manager and the staff all work hard to make this club the best in the world. I have won a lot in the last five years, but I want to win more and I know that’s the mentality of everyone here.” Evra said.
“Patrice has developed into a key character in the dressing room. It’s great that he’s committed himself to Manchester United. His experience and talent will be increasingly important to us. Patrice is unquestionably one of the world’s best left-backs,” said the United boss.
His links to Monaco will make him a target amongst the home fans when United head to the south of France for Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Marseille for the Round of 16 clash.
- El Niño (The Kid in Spanish)
- 75 goals in 174 La Liga games
- fastest player in Liverpool history to score 50 league goals
- World cup winner in 2010
- At the age of 19, Torres was named Atlético’s captain
With Chelsea spending, Roman Abramovich’s fortune to the tune of £50 million this prolific striker not only left his torrid experience at Liverpool of late but might have taken a huge decision that might affect his career at large!
Becoming the fourth most expensive footballer in history, he now has a lot of dues to repay the Billionaire who according to various reports might have been behind him coming to Stamford Bridge in the first place.
As far as my knowledge of football goes I would say he is by far a truly a brilliant player with bags full of pace and finishing of the highest quality but is this move a required one for both the club and player??
With Chelsea mainly playing a diamond come 4-3-3 formation it makes no sense for the team to buy a out-and-out center forward! Now Chelsea have to basically reorder their formations if the likes of Drogba ( another truly awesome striker ) to gel with Torres. Normal trend in there silver-ware winning seasons Chelsea played with a two wide wing come forward style system where Florent Malouda on the left who would provide the crosses and dangerous runs to the centrally placed players of the likes of Drogba and Lampards and the other side covered with Anelka or Kalou probing the defences for openings!
But with the burden to settle in Torres into the team a new system has to be formulated with Torres not suited to wide play ( unlike his Spanish counter-part Villa at Barcelona ) , Carlo Ancelotti has to wonders as far as i see it!
David Luiz was a though-out buy but as far as my opinion goes Torres might just be a glamour buy! Football sense might say he is too good a player to harm the system but add value in his skills but naturally this transition was not required during Chelsea’s worst run of form!
Liverpool chants at the bridge > ” You should have been at a REAL club!! ” , took my breath away Lol! The poster boy of the mercy side is now all but out of fans with the new Luis Suarez who seems to have brought back the magic in the Red’s and a very talented Andy Carrol waiting to be unleashed, i may have to conclude Liverpool might just have gotten the better deal in many ways!
=> Ancelotti was adamant that the Spain striker’s arrival had not been disruptive, saying: “It is not the fault of Fernando, obviously. I think that he needs to have time. In my opinion, he played well for 60 minutes against Fulham. He had two or three opportunities. He didn’t score but he will score, obviously. He needs to have time, but playing, to improve his combination with the other players. It will take time playing with us”
Coming seasons might prove me correct or wrong, who knows but a buy like this aint to my logic valid at all!