Bilbao Special Jersey To Revindicate Cup

16 04 2009
Bilbaos Kit To be Used For Copa del Rey final (Europapress)

Bilbao's Kit To be Used For Copa del Rey final (Europapress)

When stepping on to the pitch at Mestalla, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao will both have 24 conquests in the Copa del Rey.   In an effort to begin the campaign to become once again the undisputed Cup King, the Basques presented an exclusive jersey that will be exclusive to the Copa final.  Below the illustrations explains the teams participating in the match as well as the date.

Logo On Athletic Jersey For Copa Del Rey Final (CanalAthletic.com)

Logo On Athletic Jersey For Copa Del Rey Final (CanalAthletic.com)

Based on your sources, Athletic has 23 or 24 titles.  If one were to include the 1902 title, which waswon by Vizcaya FC (who would merge with Athletic Club and Bilbao FC to make what is now Athletic Bilbao).  This is why Athletic jersey will have a special crest on their jersey as a symbol to claim that title. The jersey will be exactly the same one they have been using all season, but for this match the crest will have a black background with the present Copa Del Rey as well as the trophy that was won in 1902.  There will also be five stars and two smaller trophies that symbolize the 24 trophies that the club wants to have recognized.

Press Conference

The symbolic and vindicating character of this jersey is very important for everyone,” said club official Carlos del Campo.  That point of view ws not looked upon by various club members whose hopes were let down after the anticipation that was built by the club’s marketing campaign leading to the unveiling on Thursday.





Champions League Wrap

15 04 2009

Bayern Munich 1-1 Barcelona
BAY: Ribéry (47′)
BAR: Keita (73′)
BAR adv. on 1-5 agg.

Chelsea 4-4 Liverpool
CHE: Drogba (51′), Alex (57′), Lampard (76′, 89′)
LIV: Fábio Aurélio, Xabi Alonso (28′ pen), Lucas (81′), Kuyt (83′)
CHE adv. on 7-5 agg.

Arsenal 3-0 Villarreal
ARS: Walcott (19′), Adebayor (60′), Van Persie (69′ pen)
ARS adv. on 4-1 agg.

FC Porto 0-1 Manchester United
MAN: Cristiano Ronaldo (6′)
MAN adv on 2-3 agg.





Confirmed Lineups

14 04 2009

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Bayern Munich: Jorg Butt, Phillip Lahm,Lucio, Martín De Michelis, Christian Lell; Andreas Ottl, Zé Roberto, Mark Van Bommel, José Sosa; Franck Ribéry, Luca Toni
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Barcelona: Víctor Valdés, Eric Abidal, Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué, Dani Alves, Andrés Iniesta, Touré Yaya, Xavi, Seydou Keita, Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o

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Chelsea FC: Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Alex, Ricardo Carvalho, Michael Essien, Florent Malouda, Michael Ballack, Solomon Kalou, Didier Drogba

Liverpool FC: Pepe Reina, Álvaro Arbeloa, Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher,  Fabio Aurélio, Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso,  Yossi Benayoun, Kuyt, Fernando Torres





Madrid Media vs. Barcelona

13 04 2009
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Raúl is the hero. Huelva upset at Iturralde.

For nth time this season the Madrid press have come out with cover pages stating how Barcelona were once again aided by referees.    For the nth time this season, the Catalans respond by saying that Juande’s Madrid won with coma-inducing style.

The word of the month for As and Marca was chorreada. In simple English the vulgar translation is “the shits”- the kind that runs down your leg, to be more graphic.  This month the new word is villarato. There is no translation for this one.   The closest you can come up with is the relationship that Joan Laporta has with Spanish  Federation president José María Villar.  I guess the Madrid press are saying that the fix is on. So does the Madrid press think that Sports Director Fernando Hierro is in on Barcelona winning as well?

Marca hinting that Madrid is on a roll with Juande.

This is the way Spain’s biggest rivalry has been brewed for decades.  This time around chorreadas that are being said (and I use in the verbal diarrhea context) is like the pot calling the kettle black. It is borderline asinine and they seem to talk out of both sides of their mouth.  Somehow everyone in Madrid forgot about the era from 1939-1975 when this guy Franco was in charge.  There were very few beneficiaries, and Real Madrid was one of them.  I am sure that El Generalísimo had way more power in the federation than Villar.  The Madrid press will never admit to this-ever.

This past weekend was a prime example.  A foul that was called by Basque ref Iturralde González on Marco Ruben on Victor Valdés.  Valdés hit Ruben with his shoulder and Iturralde called a free kick outside of the box.  He also did not call a handball inside the area by Sylvinho.

What the Madrid press does not mention is that there was a handball inside the box on the other side and Iturralde González did not see it either.  Ramírez Domínguez must not have been told of the fix since he did not call a blatant penalty in favor of  Valladolid when Goitom was knocked down. The no-call led to a Madrid counter-attack and eventual second goal of the match.

So for the Madrid media, Barcelona is not being helped any more or any less than Los Merengues. This is the typical drivel that you hear in leagues all over the world’ regardless of sport.

If there is something that we can agree upon in all of this is that there is no fix in Spanish football- the refs just suck.  They aren’t that good to fix a game.





Van Gaal Is Top Candidate For Munich Job?

13 04 2009

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According to early reports coming out of Germany, there is another little bit of irony added to their Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday.    Van Gaal mentioned that he was delighted to become the Bayern coach in an interview with NRC.

The AZ president and the fans want me to extend my stay at the club and become AZ’s Alex Ferguson. However, I still have the ambition to coach a big team or a national side and I will certainly leave AZ in 2010.

He also did mention that his next step was to move to a big club or even coach a national team. Although his current contract with AZ Alkmaar expires in 2010, there is a clause stating that he can leave if he obtains an offer from Italy, Germany, Argentina, Spain, or any of the Dutch national teams.

Currently AZ Alkmaar is in first place and has the possibility of winning their first title in 28 years with a win against Willem II.  They would also become the first team since Feyenoord (’98’-’99) to win the title outside of PSV and Ajax.





La Liga Week 30 Wrap

12 04 2009

Numbers seemed down this week in La Liga mostly due to the Easter holiday, but that did not reduce the excitement in the league.  Barcelona continue their ways en route to their 19th league title.  The Blaugrana Ballet showed offense, yet they were not as sharp when it came time to define the game.  Andrés Iniesta scored in the first minute in front of an open goal after Thierry Henry crossed the ball in the six-yard box.  Morris would double the lead for the Blaugranas when he would deflect an Iniesta pass into the back of the Recre net.  Lio Messi missed a penalty kick in the match.  Víctor Valdes also established a new scoreless streak which is nearing th 500-minuite mark.

Real Madrid in the meantime kept pace with a 2-0 win against Valladolid at the Bernabéu.  Although Madrid did not show much on the pitch, Raúl opened the scoring for the Merengue and Guti would set up the Arjen Robben for the clincher.   Once again, the champs were efficient and continued their unbeaten streak in the domestically.  Madrid have not lost a match in La Liga since November when they lost to Barca at the Nou Camp.

Málaga showed why they are the surprise team of the tournament as they have reached Europa League spots and are just three points out of the Champions League next season.  Duda and Eliseu buried a hapless Villarreal side  2-0 at El Madrigal who seemed more focused on their midweek Champions League clash in London against Arsenal.

Barcelona 2-0 Recreativo

BAR:  Andrés Iniesta (1′), Morris (68’og)

Villarreal 0-2 Málaga

MAL:  Duda (37′), Eliseu (86′)

Mallorca 2-0 Almería

MLL: Cléber Santana (60′), Gonzalo Castro (90′)

Real Madrid 2-0 Valladolid

MAD; Raúl (44′), Arjen Robben (82′)

Sporting 2-3 Valencia

SPO:  David Barral (35′) , Mate Bilic (71′)

VAL: David Silva (18′), David Villa (55′ pen), Mata (88′)

Numancia 0-0 Espanyol

Racing 2-3 Betis

RAC: Peter Luccin (5′), Nikola Zigic (32′)

BET: Edu (19′), Achille Emana (29′, 53′)

Osasuna 2-1 Athletic

OSA: Masoud Shojael (21′), Sergio (82′)

ATB: Pablo Orbaiz (24′)

Sevilla 0-1 Getafe

GET:  Gavilán (82′)

Deportivo 1-2 Atlético

DEP: Bodipo (87′)

ATM: Agüero (44′), Simão (70′)

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Champions League- Away Leg

8 04 2009

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Arsenal Take Home Cake (And Away Goal)

Villarreal 1-1 Arsenal

VIL: Senna (10′)
ARS: Adebayor (66′)
If there was a match to watch because of the beauty of the goal it was this one.  Marcos Senna opened the scoring for the Yellow Submarine with a hellfire of a shot from about 25-30 meters out, beating out Manuel Almunia early on, but it would be their first half that would be a clinic in moving the ball around.  Arsenal came back in the second half simply had the home side defending everything within their own 18.  The English side absolutely dominated the game in the second half and that form would be established after Togolese international Emanuel Adebayor scored one of the top ten goals of the tournament. Read the rest of this entry »