A Football Report: How can FIFA distinguish Iniesta, Messi and Xavi?
10.01.11

The modern player he adores, predictably enough, is Lionel Messi. “He plays like a child in a playground, unaffected by tactics, teammates or opponents.” But Messi would not, he believes, be as great as he is if it weren’t for Pep Guardiola “who does not try to confine his talent but gives Messi all the space he can express it.”

And that, in a nutshell, is what Baggio would like more coaches to do: “One should never denigrate talent, as happens far too often at grassroots, when young players are told off for trying a backheel or some clever dribbling.

“For me, football has always been about trying something difficult, truly inventive or an action that will be truly remembered. I’ve never really been satisfied by the easily scored goal.”

That vision of football, he feels, has been undermined because “modern football is increasingly dominated by the coaches, their narcissism, their tendency to put themselves above the team and their players.”

04.02.11

via abcworldnews:

Real Madrid Player Drops Trophy from Bus During Parade, Then Bus Runs It Over

The Guardian

The trophy fell on to the tarmac in front of the moving bus and was run over. “The cup has fallen!” Ramos cried out.

TV pictures showed the cup disappearing under the slow-moving bus at a spot close to its right front wheel.

The bus came to halt while some players peered over the edge to see where the cup had gone and others continued to bounce up and down.

A group of firemen and police then appeared to recover the cup, which was not seen again as the party continued. El Mundo newspaper’s website reported that the cup had been smashed into 10 different pieces.

Here’s a link to a better video. Dios Mio! Mala Suerte Sergio (aka Mr. Butterfingers)

(via matthewkeys)

21.04.11

Football, at its best, is a beautiful cabroncete

via afootballreport:

By Eric Beard, writing from Barcelona

When 90 minutes were up and the whistle blew for extra time, time, for a moment, seemed suspended. Perhaps it was exhaustion, frustration, unbelievable pressure, or just two things wonderfully canceling one another out, but every player on the pitch in Valencia for the Copa del Rey had a moment of pure “what more can I do?”. Maybe it was Xavi finding a few inches time and time again only to find that Mourinho’s defensive shape was absolutely perfect. Maybe it was Pepe’s glorious header off the post or Dani Alves’ near-perfect performance making Mesut Ozil seem nothing more than malignant on the wing. Maybe it was Messi after being kicked by Xabi Alonso or Ronaldo not getting a few calls because of his reputation or Pedro seeing he was marginally offside moments after erupting into ecstasy. Every player will tell you that they cherished those minutes against their rivals, but at the same time those minutes were filled with the highest degree of irritation. But is all this angst, all this trepidation, simply football at its highest form?

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And the crazy thing is there are two more to go in the next couple of weeks. The first match was edge of chair madness. The second was amazing bordering on transcendent. What’s next????

22.04.11

via afootballreport:

“If Barcelona win the Champions League it will be with the Bernabéu scandal.”

The man who loves to talk. Following Real Madrid’s 2-0 Champions League home defeat to eternal rivals FC Barcelona, where Jose Mourinho was sent off in the second half, once more entertained the world of football with a raging and highly controversial post-match press conference. The room sparked when the Portuguese manager stated: “If I tell UEFA what I really think and feel, my career would end now.”

This was the turning point in the manager’s speech which preceded with a harsh criticism directed towards Pep Guardiola, “I hope one day Guardiola has the chance of winning a brilliant, clean championship with no scandal.” Jose Mourinho believes there is a conspiracy which involves UEFA benefiting FC Barcelona as he said “They have to get to the final, and they’ll get there, full stop.”

In the conference, the manager boasted that with both FC Porto and Inter Milan he won a “clean” Champions League in 2004 and 2010. However, this video which was created to accompany this post, shows a different story for both of those adventures. Maybe Jose should take a look too. - Posted by Dominic Vieira, follow on twitter

This video is simply #brilliant. Anem Pep i Barcelona!

The music is “Tive Razao” (I Was Right) by the incredible Seu Jorge.

30.04.11
Francesc “Cesc” Fabregas ~ FC Barcelona Vintage Football Cards
Barca - Best club team in the world. 
Check the cards out.
via Feeldesain and @barcastuff

Francesc “Cesc” Fabregas ~ FC Barcelona Vintage Football Cards

Barca - Best club team in the world. 

Check the cards out.

via Feeldesain and @barcastuff

21.01.12

afootballreport:

Looking back at Messi’s first goal with FC Barcelona.

Yes, he’s scored 234 goals with Barça. But just hold on a minute won’t you? We need to go back to 2005 for this. We need to go back to when Andres Iniesta had a full head of hair and Ronaldinho did whatever he pleased with a smile on his face. You’re on board for this? Alright then.

It was the 87th minute and Barça were up 1-nil against Albacete. Leo came on for Samuel Eto’o, the man who eventually left Barcelona with 130 goals to his name. Lionel Messi would go on to score in the dying seconds of the game, of course.

Yet few remember that on his debut he scored two remarkable goals. One was wrongly disallowed. It was a perfectly timed run to the far side, with an Albacete defender ruining the offside trap. Ronaldinho slipped him in with an exquisite flick, and Messi chipped the ball casually into the side-netting. Of course, the goal did not stand, but it only took another minute for Ronaldinho and Messi to create the exact same combination. The second time around, there was no denying the young Argentine’s class. The Camp Nou had witnessed the beginning of something they never could have imagined. A 17-year-old Leo Messi scoring two goals in two minutes.

No one had their hands in the history books at that point, but they do now. And they’re keeping those books wide open. Lionel Messi is FC Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer at the age of 24. I’m not here to discuss if he’s better than Pelé or Maradona because genius is unquantifiable. And if you’re here to mindlessly compare legends, then may an angry Pepe be unleashed on to you.

The truth is, we may not appreciate him every game. We may not even appreciate every goal that he scores. We may have become accustomed to the ridiculous. But there is no reason to say that Leo does not deserve to be in the position he is in. Goal number 234, enjoy your time in the spotlight. It won’t be long until 235 comes around…

Messi. The Best. Full stop.

21.03.12

via afootballreport:

Xavi Hernández - The Mister / Señorío

It’s easy to forget the little things. Xavi may complete 100 passes every game, and while each one may not stand out exquisitely, there’s something to be said for the sum of its parts. That creation, that compilation cannot be captured by YouTube highlights. Part of the allure of Xavi’s sheer dominance in the midfield is the fact that his genius cannot be denied, but it can also hardly be compressed into a 4 minute YouTube video.

That being said, this video by Johan Giraldo has provided a fantastic rebuttal to my previous sentence. Like Xavi’s passes, it’s the little things that make this video so refreshing, like a selection of vintage footage, deft touches, shots that show his character on and off the pitch, and a distinct lack of dubstep. [Thanks to Sarah L for the sending this our way. Get Involved. Posted by Eric]

Xavi is midfield. #dope

(Source: youtube.com)

02.01.13