September 14th, 2010

chamakh - oh tan

Preview of the CL Games to day (Group A-D)

And so begins the long road to London.
For the first time since 1992, the UEFA Champions League final will be played inside Wembley stadium. There is a special connection between Wembley and Champions League. Correction: There is a special connection between old Wembley and the Champions League’s forerunner, the European Cup.
Old Wembley was one of European soccer’s grandest stages, and underneath its famous twin towers, five memorable finals were played.
Sir Bobby Charlton earned his knighthood with a two-goal performance that gave Manchester United its first European Cup in 1968. Johan Cruyff’s Ajax danced across the hallowed field in 1971. And in 1992, Ronald Koeman’s extra time winner allowed Barcelona to lift its first European crown.
Conversely, the cavernous new Wembley is a taxpayers’ nightmare, and its field is one of the most hated. But a glorious European story is about to be written under that magnificent steel arch.
Inter Milan enter this season’s edition as title holders, but Rafa Benitez’s side is far from the No. 1 contender. Real Madrid always expect. Barcelona always believe. And Manchester United always dream.
But this might be the year a team from England’s capital wins the trophy with the big ears for the first time. It’s surely won’t be Tottenham and it probably won’t Arsenal. Chelsea, above all, looks poised to win the only honour it doesn’t have on display at Stamford Bridge.
Each team plays six games in the group stage, and the best two in each group advance to the knockout stage. Here is a rundown of Groups A to D, which kick off on Tuesday (we’ll preview Groups E to H tomorrow):
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Who's excited? Who is forming prayer circles? Who is hoping rival teams fall in a hole and never come back?


Crackovia started it's season up again last night (EST time for me) and the video is up on the Televisió de Catalunya site: 

I'd love to translate it for you guys but my Catalan is not 100% therefore, I've got SCREEN PRINTS and the jist of it (spoilers? not really but just in case) :) 

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All Ugly World XI 2010

How was this missed?

After reading about 4,237 different best XI of the decade lists, I thought I’d switch it up a bit. I wanted to consider not just the most gifted players of the Premier League or La Liga or Serie A, etc. but rather the most talented footballers who also possess the uncanny ability to make babies cry and camera lenses crack. Yes, it’s that time- the All Ugly World XI! These are the 11 players of world football who simultaneously make us cringe and smile. The footballing geniuses that fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. Players like Carles Puyol: the Barca hardman who once took a ball to the face, prompting Gol TV commentator Phil Schoen to yelp, “Ouch!” and Ray Hudson to wittily (and accurately) retort, “Ah Phil, it doesn’t matter anyway, poor Carles”.

These eleven masters of the beautiful game aren’t just ugly, they’re downright hideous. And they aren’t just great players, they’re the cream of the crop; starters for their respective national teams and heroes at club level. They don’t win beauty contests, but they sure do win football matches. If you’re lucky enough, you might even see their deformed faces at this year’s World Cup in South Africa or in HD, or better yet- experience their hideous genius in 3D!

Whatever medium you choose, you can’t miss these eleven world beaters, those players with the unique ability to make you both erupt in applause and turn to stone.

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Maradona in Portugal link

Argentina legend Diego Maradona is said to be interested in taking charge of Portugal's national team.

Carlos Queiroz was sacked as Portugal coach last week in the wake of being handed a six-month ban for allegedly insulting anti-doping agents before this year's World Cup.

And Alejandro Mancuso, one of Maradona's assistant coaches during his two-year reign as Argentina coach, claims he has discussed the idea of coaching Portugal with Maradona.

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KING KENNY SPEAKS- On losing a generation & Liverpool No 9


It was right for everybody that Rafa Benitez left – for him and for Liverpool *Football Club.

There just comes a stage in every manager’s career when the board says, ‘You’ve been good for the club but we feel it would be best if you go.’

Sometimes it works the same way for a manager – ‘I’ve done my time. There’s no animosity but it’s time to have a go somewhere else.’

When it was clear Rafa was going, Christian Purslow asked me to get involved in the selection process for the next manager.

“I’ll help in any way I possibly can,” I told Christian. They drew up a list, asked me to come and meet the candidates and then let them decide who the manager should be.

In mid-June, I had to let them know my real views. I wanted the job. I couldn’t miss the opportunity.

One day, I was in a meeting with Christian and the chairman, Martin Broughton, and I formally put my name forward.

“We don’t want you, Kenny,” came the reply from Christian and the chairman. Fine.They explained they had different plans for me, a position with greater longevity.

“We want you for a role at the club that would be for longer than the tenure of the manager,” the board told me. The job focused on player *development. It wasn’t management, though.

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Torres looking forward to Manchester United game

Fernando Torres has recognised the importance to Liverpool supporters of a victory over Manchester United ahead of the Merseyside club's visit to Old Trafford this weekend.

Liverpool have had an indifferent start to the new season, winning one, losing one and drawing two of their opening four matches, the most recent being the goalless draw at Birmingham City on Sunday. But Torres knows that beating United will ignite their campaign.

"It means everything to them," the Spain striker said. "We are the two most successful teams in England but it has not been nice for the Liverpool fans to watch Manchester United have so much success over the recent years. We have a great squad and a great manager, and we really hope to give the fans a trophy this season, as well as beating Manchester United for them.

"The Liverpool fans are great, when you play well they are behind you and when you are not playing the best they are still behind you. I walk my dogs round the city, and before matches like Manchester United the fans will tell you good luck and things like that. It's clear how much the Manchester United games means to them."

Liverpool's last win at Old Trafford was the stunning 4-1 rout of March 2009.

"Nobody ever really wins at Old Trafford and beating Manchester United 4-1 on their own ground is practically unheard of," added Torres, who scored Liverpool's first on that day after they had fallen behind to a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty. "To this day I think that has to be one of my favourite days wearing the Liverpool shirt."

Ahead of Sunday's game, Torres has pinpointed Wayne Rooney as United's biggest threat. "They [United] have some amazing players, but I think Wayne Rooney is their stand out player," said Torres in BBC's Match of the Day magazine. "Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs have had great starts to the season though, and if they were still in the 20's then I don't think my decision would be quite so easy.

"I really like Wayne Rooney, I think he is a great player and a funny guy, so we usually have a little chat at the end of the game."


[Dune] Jessica

Sunil Gulati on the USA Bid: Possibly dropping 2018 bid in favor of 2022 and other questions.

With the FIFA inspection tour complete, U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati, head of the American bid to host the 2018 or '22 World Cup, addressed questions about the five-city stop and where things stand in pursuit of the sport's grand event. Some highlights:

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chamakh - oh tan

Champions League Preview (Group E-H)

Every major soccer tournament has a “Group of Death:” a grouping a four teams where at least three have a legitimate chance not just to win the group, but the entire tournament.
In this year’s Champions League, it’s Group G, which is comprised of Spanish giants Real Madrid, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s AC Milan, Dutch powerhouse Ajax and, well, Auxerre.
Either way, one of the first three teams will not advance, and that is a shame for the knockout stage. But such is the fickle nature of soccer. Just ask the Ivory Coast team that got stuck with Brazil and Portugal at the World Cup in June.
To refresh, the league has 32 teams in eight groups. Every team plays six games and the top two in each group advance to the knockout stage. On Monday, we previewed Champions League Groups A through D. Now we turn our attention to Groups E through H:
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[Dune] Jessica

UEFA's Michel Platini Warns Referees of `Near-Zero Tolerance' of Mistakes

UEFA President Michel Platini warned referees in Europa and Champions League competitions there will be “near-zero tolerance” of officiating mistakes.

European soccer’s governing body is trialing the use of additional officials behind each goal on behalf of rulemakers after a spate of high-profile errors. These included the failure of a referee to see that a Frank Lampard strike crossed the line in England’s 4-1 World Cup defeat to Germany, and Thierry Henry’s handball that helped France to qualify for the tournament at Ireland’s expense.

“I think it’s a very good system,” Platini told a group of invited reporters in Monte Carlo today. “If they cannot see if it’s gone in they should get another job.”

Sepp Blatter, president of global soccer body FIFA, said during the World Cup that the rulemaking International Football Association Board had asked companies to come forward with ideas for technology-based solutions to detect if a ball crossed the line.

Platini said he favored human intervention. Any mistakes would be the fault of individual referees because having five officials made it 99 percent certain that all areas of the field could be seen.

“If you cannot see the ball has crossed the line from three meters away then you are no good,” he said. “There should be near-zero tolerance with regard to referees because they should be able to see everything now.”

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"The Spanish players were dancing over the speakers."

BUENOS AIRES -- Forward Cristian Fabbiani, currently in All Boys, said that the players of Spain's National Team were "relaxed in a pub the night before the game against Argentina, until they lost control".

Fabbiano said that "after seeing the Spanish players in the pub, don't go saying they're more professional than us". In the friendly match of last week, the world champion lost 4-1 against the albiceleste.

"I played in Europe and I know how they're like," he shot, and then, in between jokes, he admitted that the players "ended up dancing over the speakers".

"I didn't see what it was they were drinking," Fabbiani said laughing. "They were all there, even (Vicente) Del Bosque," the former River, Lanús and Newell's player added. "They're unbelievable."


And in case you're wondering who the hell Cristian Fabbiani is, he's this fat guy that once used to be an amazing player and got lost in his way to McDonald's, and became more famous for marrying/hooking up/having kids with with models and causing lots of drama on TV.

And though I'm not particularly fond of this dude, as the tone of the interview shows, he's just joking around and isn't really set to offend or fuck up anyone.