Saturday, May 22, 2010

2010-05-16: Malaga 1 - Real Madrid 1



Sadly, a title wasn't to be this season...
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To the few who follow me in this space, I extend my apologies for being an absentee these last few weeks. I have spent them renovating and moving in to a new flat as well as preparing for my wedding tomorrow. I'll be back in a couple of weeks and will surely dive in head-on into the endless list of things Real Madrid that's to talk about.

Monday, May 10, 2010

2010-05-08: Real Madrid 5 - Athletic Bilbao 1

Looking to the World Cup through the eyes of La Furia

In the coming weeks, Vicente Del Bosque will be one of the coaches who will bring more attention in to the Spanish football world and there are some aspects to consider if you're a fan of World Cup 2010 betting.
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36 days before the start of the World Cup players, media and fans of the Spanish team will be on the lookout for the squad, especially when some injury problems have emerged, that no one has expect.
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Major figures such as Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres are injured, while Xavi Hernandez has been showing some problems in recent weeks.
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For the Spanish national coach is clear that this is a very high number of possible absences in the national team, mainly because they could not have the physical condition to play a World Cup after recovering from injuries.
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But for all this, the positive aspect for Del Bosque is that he has an extensive list of good players, plus an operation way to work that has been characterized by the easy adaptation of the players to the group.
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Going back to injuries, so far the most troubling is the one of Fernando Torres, Liverpool striker which has gone into surgery twice in just three months.
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Undoubtedly the absence of Torres would be a blow to Spain, especially as they arrive as one of the favorites to win the title of South Africa 2010.
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However, many Spanish media have said that Torres has not 100% assured his participation in the World Cup but is expected that the "Niño" Torres only loses the first game of the Spanish national team against Switzerland.
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On the other hand, the perspectives for Fabregas and Iniesta recovery are much more encouraging and can be taken as a fact that they will be ready for June.
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Finally, the last concern for "La Roja" is midfielder Xavi Hernandez, who despite his injury in the left leg does not abandon his place in midfield for Barcelona.
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Vicente Del Bosque will show the list of 23 players selected on May 20th before traveling to Austria, where Spain will make its final preparations before South Africa.

Friday, May 7, 2010

2010-05-06: Real Madrid Talk Podcast

This week, we talked about our La Liga title prospects as well as some postseason tidbits on what may happen this coming offseason.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Greatest Barca of all Time? Really?


Mourinho and Inter Show the way to Beat Barca.
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Days before last Wednesday’s big match between Barcelona and Inter Milan at the Camp Nou…
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Gerard Pique said something to the effect of "We will make Inter hate their profession for 90 minutes.”
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A Barca player said ’90 minutes in the Camp Nou is a long time’ – invoking the spirit of a Madridismo’s Juanito to suggest that Barca were going to do a ‘remontada’, a comeback… a tradition and legacy of Madridisimo.
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But by the time the final whistle of the match blew, every member of Inter’s squad and technical staff were practically on the field loving their profession.
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But by the time the final whistle of the match blew, we all found out that 90 minutes at the Camp Nou is still just 90 minutes… and that the remontada still belonged to Madridisimo
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Inter as we know conceded merely one out of the 2 goals Barcelona needed to score to overturn the 3-1 deficit they had when they walked out of the San Siro. That lone goal was scored by Barca’s Central Defender on the 80th minute. That lone goal was all Barca had to show after playing a match with an extra man following their ex-colleague’s (Thiago Motta) expulsion from an Oscar-winning performance by Sergio Busquets (he’d be great for a war flick I’d imagine – grimacing and wincing in excruciating pain like he’d been shot in the face with a shotgun).
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Some (many Cules I’d imagine) would say that last Wednesday was a dark day for football: as the functional, pragmatic and (yes let’s call it that) defensive football of Jose Mourinho’s Inter ruled the day… that the Blaugrana were the martyrs of Tiki Taka and beautiful football. What a load of crap: to say such a thing (that the ‘good side lost’) would be to suggest that football is only to be played the way they do and that those who opt for a more direct / defensive / pragmatic / functional form of football are in the wrong.
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While it is true that Barca’s fluid, pass-till-they die style of play is very attractive and (until recently) effective, we cannot discount that what Inter achieved over the 2 legs of football is a great accomplishment. They faced the greatest Barcelona side ever, beat them 3-1 in the first leg and held on with only 10 men to concede only one goal to advance to the final of the Champions League.
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The sad part about what happened over the 2 legs of football which culminated last Wednesday however was the how Barcelona behaved themselves throughout the tie. They resorted to playground conspiracies: accusing the referee of favoring Inter because he and Inter coach Jose Mourinho happened to be both Portuguese. I mean, even for a conspiracy theory it already sounds outrageous!
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Glory for Mourinho - Infamy for Valdes
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Then we also remember Victor Valdes’ ridiculous display of unsporting conduct: attempting some sort of Undertaker-from-the-WWE-type of choke-slam on Jose Mourinho as the Portuguese tactician rushed the pitch to celebrate with the travelling Inter fans. Let’s also not forget the fact that the Barca ground staff pulled a cheapshot on the Inter fans and coaching staff by switching on the sprinkler system of the pitch to give them their early shower in some absurd hope of literally dampening their celebrations: showing us that such behavior that reeks of lacking class can not only be found in bad-tempered players who are emotionally shattered by a result, but also through to the staff of the club. One has to ask the question then: who are the clowns that run the club so as to allow even the ground staff to behave in this manner? Oh yeah… that would be Joan Laporta.
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I mentioned in the last podcast that this may actually be the week when Barcelona flush their season down the toilet. Getting eliminated in the Champions League was the first part of that. Too bad for Madrid though that Villarreal couldn’t do the job on the Cules last night: I guess we have to just keep ourselves optimistic and push them all the way to the last match of the season to win it.
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Either way, after all the scathing and ridiculous criticism leveled by countless Cules against us Madridistas as they claimed that they were the ones standing on the high ground with their tiki-taka and once-in-a-generation batch of homegrown stars… painting us as villains…. They finally unraveled as a bunch of play-acting, unsporting and conspiracy-theory spouting sore losers.
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Note to the Cules: In a perfect world, Winners are not only teams that win and do so beautifully: they also know how to lose graciously.
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It is now clear that I among many were wrong when we said that this is the greatest Barcelona team of all time.