Category Archives: Football/Soccer

San Iker

After one of the tensest finals in recent memory, Iker Casillas gives us the best play of the entire World Cup.

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Filed under Football/Soccer, Living la vida española

Torres Should Be Sanctioned

Torres, whose athletic performance has been well below par during the first round of World Cup play, did at least successfully pull off this fine display of theatrics. The result was a red card for the Chilean player. FIFA often reviews video footage of games to determine whether to sanction players for unsportsmanlike conduct — usually limited to aggression or disrespect for the referee — but this practice should be expanded to castigate unsportsmanlike theatrics and other tactics that undermine the game.

When Thierry Henry’s undetected handball helped France qualify for the World Cup, the French public — in large numbers — actually protested the injustice (one of the first drops in the bucket leading to the popular disrespect for their national squad). It would be nice to see the Spanish press ostracize Fernando Torres for his shameful display. The Spanish should leave the cheap tricks to the Italians and Argentines.

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¡ Que Vivan los Rejects !

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At the end of last season and without much of an explanation, Barça coach Pep Guardiola claimed it was time for his emblematic star striker Samuel Eto’o to move on. Tonight, though, Eto’o had the last laugh as his new team, Inter de Milan, advanced to the finals of the European Champions League Cup by defeating Barcelona on aggregate 3-2.

This year’s big match could be dubbed the Reject’s Final with the high profile rejects from Real Madrid, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, leading Bayern Munich and Inter de Milan respectively to the finals. If Jorge Valdano got egg on his face for letting those two guys go, I suppose Guardiola’s doesn’t look much better.

¡Que vivan los rejects. ¡Vivan!

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Leave Real Madrid or How to Beat el Barça

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It is continuously difficult to find a good argument – other than purely economic – to convince the top football players to join Real Madrid, especially after Inter de Milan just beat FC Barcelona in the first leg of the European Champions League semifinals.

As you may recall, less than two weeks ago Real Madrid suffered a 0-2 defeat at home to its top rival, Barça. This was its second loss to Barça this season. This past year, Real Madrid spent over €300 million on new signings, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, and others but instead of victory, it has begun to resemble the U.S. military; in other words, a ridiculous budget that overshadows its competitors and yet it can’t seem to defeat even the most modest of cave dwelling rivals. I am starting to think that Florentino’s Plan B is to simply buy the entire Barça squad, coach Guardiola included, and dress them all in white; kind of like the U.S. military paying the Iraqi insurgents not to fight (aka, the Surge).

At the end of its spending spree last summer, Real Madrid then dumped Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, both of whom have played major roles in leading their respective new teams to the European Champions League semi-finals (and possibly beyond), while Real Madrid was eliminated ages ago. Furthermore, Sneijder in signing with Inter de Milan has joined a roster that includes a host of Real Madrid ex’s, including Esteban Cambiasso, Walter Samuel, Samuel Eto’o and Luis Figo (now in retirement but acting as a club representative). With Inter’s victory tonight over Barça, and Real Madrid’s continued losing streak against Barça, you kind of wonder what’s left in the arsenal of a Real Madrid player? I guess the easiest way to beat Barça is to just leave Real Madrid and play for somebody else.

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Filed under Essays, Football/Soccer, Living la vida española

Costly Rivalry

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So it might not be the most civil of rivalries, but this sign at today’s Real Madrid/Cristiano Ronaldo presentation in front of some 85,000 people was pretty funny:

Benzema = 35m
Kaka = 65m
C. Ronaldo = 96m
Screwing Laport [president of FC Barcelona], priceless.
For everything else, Florentino [president of Real Madrid] !

Especially considering that Laporta has been complaining to the press about how much Real Madrid has spent, and even the Spanish President, Zapatero, has publicly criticized Florentino, it is all the more priceless. Real Madrid has indeed spent an offensive amount on these new players, and will most likely spend more, but still Zapatero, as an avid and vocal Barcelona supporter, has once again proven himself to be a total buffoon.

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American Socialism Defeats European Capitalism

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It’s ironic that the entire spirit and competitive structure of American professional sports is effectively socialism in practice – its anti-trust violating franchise system, player drafting, revenue sharing, salary caps, player unions, etc – while the European model is almost pure capitalism where only the fittest of the fittest survive, the rich teams always get richer, and the individual athletes have very limited bargaining power.

And guess who wins? Contrary to every belief dear to an American’s heart, the socialist, even communal American model, with its unexportable and indigenous sports, outperforms the Europeans every time. While American football, baseball, and basketball generate astronomical revenues, Europe’s under regulated football is an ongoing soap opera of corruption, scandal, negative balance sheets, and losses.

Who’d have thought that socialism could be more profitable, sustainable, and at least in the mind of Americans, more entertaining. And who’d have thought that the Americans, with considerably less skill, would beat the European champions at their own game (USA 2-0 Spain).

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Boluda Boludo

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Hace unos días Ramón Calderón declaró que dimitir no solo era de cobardes sino también era acto de una persona que tenía cosas que esconder. Menos mal que escogió la cobardía y dimitió, aunque según su propia lógica, él mismo habrá tenido algo que ocultar.

Ahora sin Calderón en medio, ¿podrá el Real Madrid recuperar ese camino de Florentino Pérez de consolidar al Real Madrid como el club más grande y global del mundo? Pues con su pelo engominado, americana de marinero fantasma y panza mafiosa que conjuntamente resumen todos los malos esterotipos del madrileño chulo, el Real Madrid ha puesto al menos global del mundo mundial como su nuevo presidente. Solo su apellido Boluda es ligeramente internacional. ¡Hala Madrid!

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