Thursday, September 30, 2010

Barcelona's Travel Woes

Aaaah logistics. Nitty gritty minutiae that deal with the most mundane of subjects and content. Nobody really enjoys dealing with them, but at the end of the day, they are the glue that hold together any planned outing. So, I will now bore you with a problem that is receiving ample space in local newspapers in Barcelona: How to get to Ceuta?

Ceuta is Barcelona's opponent later this month in the Copa del Rey. The problem is, Ceuta is not located in's in Morocco. Located just across the Straight of Gibralter, this autonomous city of 75,000 has dealt the Catalans a bit of a headache. You can't fly there because there is no airport. You can't take a train because the Straight is in the way. And you can't walk because, well, that's just not possible. So, here are the options being considered:

OPTION 1: Fly to Málaga in southern Spain, take a coach to the coastal city of Algeciras, ride the ferry to Ceuta.

OPTION 2: Fly to Málaga, coach to Algeciras, helicopter into Ceuta.

OPTION 3: Fly to Tetouan, Morocco, coach to Ceuta

The helicopter ride would take only 10 minutes compared to the 30 by boat. Also, it would avoid any potential sea sickness problems along the way as the meeting point of the Atlantic and Mediterranean isn't always the smoothest. We wouldn't want the players to be wretching just hours before the match! However, the helicopters can only hold 12-15 passengers or even less, which means the team would have to commandeer an entire fleet. Oh, and the helicopters are 95 euros each way.

Believe it or not, this is practically front page material in Barcelona. How poor old Barcelona will get to Ceuta to field a youth squad against the third division side. Although there is something rather arrogant yet dashing about flying in on helicopters, landing just next to the stadium, and walking out like FBI agents in any movie ever made. Yet it also degrades the local side a bit - arriving to take care of business and then leaving right out of the parking lot in their fancy helicopters.

Judge as you will, but it's rather obvious option 2 is their best bet. How could you NOT take helicopters to a match?!

UCL Matchday 2, Day 2 Top Goals

The best very best goals from Wednesday's Champions League action.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WAG Wednesday Part 2 - Adriana Karembeu

Adriana Karembeu is the face of the French Football Association's newest advertisement for women's football. To be honest, they'll likely find more men than women signing up to play.

When she's not looking fine in a football uniform, the Slovakian actress/model usually clings to the arm of her husband, former French international Christian Karembeu (they met on an airplane). Not bad Christian. Not bad at all.

France sponsors want their money back

The principal sponsors of the French Football Federation (FFF) - Adidas, GDF Suez, and Crédit Agricole - are pissed off at the French World Cup team. Most sponsors expect their clients to represent them with professionalism, dignity, and integrity. Unfortunately, none of those endearing qualities can be attributed to any of the 23 men in South Africa over the summer.

Now, the three sponsors would like to be reimbursed to the tune of €4.5 million (I'm surprised it's not more) for unwillingly being the face of the French insurrection. This marks the very first time a country's major sponsors have asked for compensation of their investment.

A spokesman for GDF Suez issued the following remarks:

"We are outraged by what has happened. It is a lack of respect for everyone, and something we have never seen before. We well henceforth examine all contracts [with the FFF] through 2014. We cannot ignore what has happened here, as it is very serious. The French team have completely defaced the sport and their country."

Tell us how you really feel. If I were them, I'd completely pull out of the deal completely. Adidas is doing pretty without this, as are the other two major corporations. And if they aren't, find a different team since nobody in their right mind is clearing time on their schedules to watch the French national team compete. You're probably getting less exposure with that team than you would with Slovenia or Lichtenstein.

WAG Wednesday Part 1 - Orsi Feher

Hungarian model Orsi Feher is the girlfriend of Atlético Madrid manager Quique Sánchez Flores aka the Spanish James Bond. Would you expect any less from him?

The best part is she doesn't just shop and look good. She watches every match whether in person or on television. And according to her, all they talk about is football - tactics, players, positives and negatives.

A hot girl with a football IQ? No better way to start this new Wednesday series.

More shots of Ms. Feher after the jump:

UCL Matchday 2, Day 1 Top Goals

The best very best goals from Tuesday's Champions League action.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The perfect girlfriend

Meet Mélody Donchet. The 20 year old Frenchie has freestyle skills that make your jaw drop. She also happens to be rather cute.

She is: the perfect girlfriend.

The Spirit of Shankly take their protests worldwide

There is never a dull moment with Liverpool - especially when the Spirit of Shankly is running things. You know in Argentina and other parts of South America, the barra bravas (their hooligan ultras) actually have a say in club policy. It is common knowledge that these supporter groups can nominate candidates and manipulate elections and club policy. The Spirit of Shankly is simply a bunch of idiots who have zero say in any matter of Liverpool Football Club and resort to bullying tactics and pathetic displays of protest against their American owners. Nothing they do, or have ever done, has forced the club to act one way or another. As one Daily Mail columnist explained a few months back in response to a planned march, the fans were marching from a bar they would be at anyway before the match to a stadium they were planning to be at anyway for the match. Great planning guys.

The Spirit of Shankly has made the Liverpool ownership position the most undesirable job on the planet. Who in their right mind would want to buy this club? One wrong decision and they'll take to the streets, or they will sing to the demise of the owner's home country, or spit in his face, or stage sit-ins after the game, or carry out a real protest by not - o wait, they've never once boycotted matches.

And let's just say the club are sold, all is well? Liverpool magically climb from 16th position? The team miraculously stops sucking? No. They will continue to lose and be a sub-par team. But at least the Yanks would be out.

Now that we've covered that, the Spirit of Shankly has carried out a new audacious campaign barring Hicks and Gillette from every corner of the world. It is actually mildly humorous, but also a sure sign of the pathetic desperation these fans have resorted to.

More photos after the jump:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Barcelona Man Love

Dani Alves and Victor Valdes share a very similar last name. The other day, they decided to share a little bit more than just a name. In a moment of uncensored aggresive and passionate lust, Valdes thrusted himself into the Barcelona right back.

If Victor ever wondered why women always wanted to turn the lights off during sex, he need only look at this picture. Look at Busquets! He can't get away fast enough!

You don't become one of the best clubs in recent memory without off the field bonding and team unity. This union may be a bit too much for comfort though.

Charlie Davies recounts the moment he regained consciousness after his accident: "I'm in a hostel and they're trying to steal my organs"

The pictures speak for themselves. On October 13, 2009, Charlie Davies found himself in a horrific car crash, which claimed the life of one of the passengers. His injuries blow your mind and make you wonder how he is still alive: broken tibia and fibula, broken femer, lacerated bladder, fractured and dislocated left elbow, shattered nose, cheeks and forehead (for which they pulled down skin from the top of his head down to the chin to reconstruct). He probably has more metal in his body now than Wolverine.

Somehow, some way, Davies has recovered in a shockingly short time frame. He has already played a number of matches for the Sochaux reserve team and hopes to be back fully fit to play again for the United States in next year's Gold Cup.
In an interview on World Football Daily last week, Charlie went into chilling detail about the very first moments when he regained consciousness after the accident:

Kid gets a face full of goal post

Here's a prime example of following your shot. After taking a rather dreadful PK, the shooter chases down the rebound hoping to slot the ball into an empty net with the goalie having lunged in the opposite direction. Problem is, the shooter is TERRIBLY slow and allows the goalie to scramble back and tackle the ball away...

What happens next is fabulous. The poor kid eats the post with an emphatic clank, sending head and body flying backwards. At least his teammate was around to knock the ball in off the other team for a well deserved own goal. From all accounts, the kid may have the post tattooed on his face for a little.

David Villa sees red for left jab

Lost in Barcelona's 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on the weekend was David Villa's straight red card which will very likely result in a 2-3 game suspension. In some fairness to Villa, Gurpegi was riding him like a jockey and somehow avoided a whistle himself with the referee standing nearby. However, Villa lashed out with his left fist and was immediately sent off. An end to a frustrating evening no doubt.

And a frustrating season as well, as Villa has only found the back of the net three times in all competitions. For some players that would be a thrill. But not the calibre of Villa. 31 shots, two posts, nine turned aside by great goalkeeping. He's also given the ball away 61 times, most of any player on the team.

You can only really point to bad luck. Obviously, his summer was a successful one and it seemed as though he could score blindfolded at the World Cup. He has had a number of guilt-edged chances so far this season but simply can't score, and we all know he is one the deadliest strikers on the planet. This punch was expected at some point, I imagine, and the Barcelona press have practically ignored the entire episode. Their only worry is that he may miss his first opportunity to face former club Valencia. It only goes to show that they, and any Barcelona fan for that matter, are confident he will start scoring at some point. He is just too good not too.

Hopefully this is the first and last such episode from Villa. A team already thinned out at the forward position can ill afford less options.

Sara Carbonero slips, almost falls, gives the audience a revealing shot

Happy Monday! We'll get to the football in a bit but I thought there is no better way to start the week than with Footy for the Soul's favorite gal - Sara Carbonero.

A couple days ago Sara was backstage at a talk show, strutting her stuff, and looking incredible doing so. Suddenly, her left heel gave way and she headed for the floor. However, Sara showed great balance and athleticism to keep herself from making a complete fool of herself, and in the process gave us a rather revealing glimpse up her skirt. In fact, she actually paused for a split second to make sure everyone noticed. Thank you, Sara. Thank you.

Full video with slow motion replay after the jump:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

League leaders Mainz put Bayern to the sword with two cracking goals

They came for the day to take care of business. No, seriously. With Oktoberfest ongoing, no hotel offered peace and quiet for the visiting team. So instead, they flew to Munich Saturday morning, out classed and shut down Bayern, then jumped on a plane to head home. Six matches. Six wins. Ten points clear of last year's champs.

In what was an open and very lively affair, Mainz impressed and showed no nerves whatsoever. They also claimed two superb highlights for goals.

Allagui's cheeky back heel for the first:

Szalai's classy winner:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ball boys gone mad

On Wednesday, Belgian side Lierse hosted Anderlicht in Round 8 of the Pro League, and made the experience none too easy for the visitors. Especially goalkeeper Silvio Proto. After retrieving his own ball for a goal kick, one of Lierse's ball boys gave him a piece of mind - instead of the ball. So good in fact, that Proto looks over his shoulder three times before getting back on the field where he is subsequently hit by flying debris.

Unfortunately, we don't know what was said, but the kid didn't stop there. After the match was over, he waited on the sideline to confront the goalkeeper as stewards struggled to keep the little fire cracker at bay. No punches were thrown, except for a rather sarcastic round of applause.

Which got me thinking - this is surely not the first time ball boys have caused trouble with opponents. Here is some video evidence to back it up:

Tottenham ball boy vs Famagusta

Chelsea ball boy snubs Gerrard handshake

Brazil ball boy scores a goal...THAT COUNTS

Tottenham "ball man" vs Robert Pires

Hannover ball boy vs crazy Jens Lehman

Thursday, September 23, 2010

17 year old does her best Maradona impression

There's not much commentary I can add to this. Just make sure your volume is turned up and you can hear. Her name is Kumi Yokoyama, and she scored this winner to send Japan to the women's U-17 World Cup where they will face South Korea. You tell me what's more shocking: the goal itself or the lunatic with the microphone.

Cruyff has asteroid named after him

According to De Telegraaf, asteroid 14282 has been renamed Johan Cruyff after an initiative led by Dutch science journalist Carl Koppeschaar. Cruyff is 9km in diameter and makes its way around the sun every 5 years, 3 months, and 18 days. It can currently be found over 400 million km from the sun in between Mars and Jupiter.

Koppeschaar started a petition to rename the asteroid after the Dutch great a few years back. "He was not only a great football, but also very committed to his Foundation and others. Now, he is the first Dutch sports champion in the sky." Koppeschaar tried to contact Cruyff to inform him of the news before it became public. Cruyff, however, was too busy criticizing someone or something in the world of football.

Cruyff the asteroid was discovered by astronomer couple Ingrid and Cees van Houten.

As if he really needed something else to inflate his ego.

Ferguson had better things to do than manage his own squad

On a day where Manchester United demolished Scunthorpe United 5-2 in the Carling Cup to avoid another shocking upset on the day, Sir Alex was nowhere to be seen. Under the weather? Banned? Sick relative? None of the above. Ferguson was actually in watch their Champions League group stage opponent Valencia face off against Atletico Madrid at the Mestalla. As a result, the "legend" of Bebe remains intact has SAF still has yet to witness him in the flesh. So too did Michael Owen's two-goal performance go unnoticed.

Does anyone else see a problem in this? Understandably, the Carling Cup is the least important and most meaningless of all the competitions. But there is a principal here being shit on. The manager of a club should have no right to completely abandon his squad on game day to scout teams in another countries. And why is the FA silent on the matter? After all, they claim to be the judge and jury when deciding if a manager has fielded his strongest squad, and will levy heavy fines if they deem otherwise. Yet, they see no problem in managers choosing when to manage.

The bigger issue here is that SAF did not simply scout his future opponent. He was doing business!! Rumors are circulating the United skipper is now in for Atletico keeper David De Gea and fancies the 19 year old as a future replacement for Van Der Sar.

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. SAF has a job to do as manager of Manchester United and that is to manage his team. If there are future foes in Europe he wants to prepare for, then send scouts or go when your team isn't playing. Think about the young kids on United's squad. The Carling Cup is a competition for the youth prospects of every club to make their mark and impress the manager. It is really the only time they can expect significant playing time. And yet their manager could care less. He had better things to do.

It's time the FA act. Ferguson continues to get away with murder on a weekly basis, and they look gutless by turning a blind eye.

(Photo courtesy of Marca)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fat Ronaldo sneaks up on his teammate

So this popped up on Fat Ronaldo's twitter page on Tuesday. The helpless sap bending over to receive Ronaldo's man juice is Dentinho - a 21 year old striker for Corinthians. Fat Ronaldo's tweet read as follows:

"@mlkdentinho amarrando cadarco do tenis na musculacao ! Acho q ele nao viu quem tava atras..."

"Dentinho tying his shoe laces in the gym. Guess he didn't see who was standing behind him...!"

Turns out the whole thing was a joke staged by fatty himself. I think it's safe to say Ronaldo has lost any urge to utilize the weight room and get back in shape. As long as he stays away from those trannies, I've got no problem with his priorities. Makes for good material, no?

Thierry Henry's new crib

All the necessary specs and pictures to make your mouth water. [Daily Mail]

Mainz players get a little carried away

Yesterday, Mainz defeated Cologne by a score of 2-0 continuing their perfect start to the season: five wins in five matches. A rather surprising start to the campaign for a team that finished 9th last season and already sits five points clear of second placed Hoffenheim.

The players, not surprisingly, are riding this wave of euphora on a weekly basis and yesterday took it to a whole new level capped off with that ridiculous "number one" cut-out. Luckily, a loss would have still kept them atop the league so the sign would have played regardless.

What on earth is that yellow rod in Lewis Holtby's hands you may be asking?

Meet Andrea Kaiser - Germany's sexiest TV WAG

Andrea Kaiser is a sideline reporter for Germany's SAT.1 television sports affiliate - RAN. She is a lifelong supporter of SpVgg Unterhaching, a third division team located in the suburban outskirts of Munich.

She is currently dating Lars Ricken, the former Dortmund midfielder whose career was cut short by injury. Ricken scored this famous long distance goal against Juventus in the 1997 Champions League final, making him the youngest to do so in a final as well as the quickest (16 seconds after the 21 year old came on).

But now he's retired and his girlfriend is super hot. So enough about him and back to her. Andrea has also appeared in FHM in addition to your television screen. Ain't she just splendid?

More photos after the jump:

Kaká flexes his vocal chords in duet with his wife

Sidelined by injury with no chance of returning to Real Madrid's starting XI, Kaká continues to find side projects to occupy himself. This time it's music, where he has successfully debuted his song writing and singing prowess. Entitled 'Presente de Deus' or 'Present of God' (go figure) and entirely written by the Brazilian, the love ballad features none other than his incredibly attractive wife Caroline Celico who is an up-and-coming singer herself (

To be quite honest, Kaká actually sounds pretty good, although he rarely tests the limitations of that divine voice by staying in low octives throughout the song. However, it complements her voice nicely. As for the music video photo gallery, it leaves you wanting more. Where are the home videos? Where is the scene where they dress in white running along the beach holding hands? Where are the dancers? I think they could have done a little bit better on that front. But this isn't Rolling Stone, it's a football site!

Implications? Well, it is not the first time football players from Spain have tried singing, nor is it the first time Real Madrid players have taken to the studio either. To be fair, he is no Guti or Sergio Ramos (nobody is).

There are some worrying signs here, though. Between this new twist, featuring in video game advertisements, and receiving love from Hollywood's most famous cougar, Kaká is turning into a full blown diva! I think the writing is on the wall for an obvious move.

Next stop: Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham has already sent Kaká an audio demo tape and brochures for houses.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

French airline offers Ribery prostitute discount

Passengers on Corsair were offered an end of summer deal - buy one ticket and get the second 50% off. In fact, one of these exclusive coupons was named after Franck [Ribery] and his 18 year old sex pal, Zahia (prostitute not included). The coupons read as mock quotes from four different couples, saying the following:

"For that price, I'd take Zahia" - Franck

So if I use that coupon, does that ensure a prostitute will be seated next to me? Or does it mean I'm the prostitute flying to a client? Corsair is the airlines on which Ribery flew the now famous escort to meet him in Munich for evenings, and afternoons and mornings I would imagine, of scarface passion. Not a bad marketing ploy at all.

The airlines has since removed the advertisement and France's most overrated player is now demanding an apology. Fat chance buddy. Nobody owes you an apology for making light of your sex-capades with an underage girl. This is the price you pay for committing adultery. It sucks, but at least your wife hasn't filed for devorce yet!

If for some reason you forgot what Zahia looks like, or you want to be refreshed, take the jump.

Biggest cheat in history

I'm at a loss here. Have you EVER seen a finer piece of acting on the pitch? I thought Drogba, Ronaldo, Busquets, and Dani Alves were the trend-setters, but this lady has taken it to a whole new level. She has cheated the game in the most abhorrent and impressive way possible. Her name is Ramona Bachmann of the Swiss national team...neutral my ass. The offense took place in a World Cup qualifier against England last week.

Let's look at the "attack" specifically. Rachel Brown, England's keeper, clearly took a double swipe at her opponent. A fierce haymaker to the right side of the head coupled with a swift chop at the right ankle sending poor Ms. Bachmann to the floor like a sack of bricks. You would need a special code to pull that off in a video game let alone real life.

Brown should be ashamed of herself. Disgracing her country with such a pre-meditated and vicious attack. She even has the nerve to stand over Bachmann's lifeless body and taunt her, with arms out as if to say, "Had enough?! Want another round?! There's a lot more where that came from!"

Thankfully, justice was served. Brown received a straight red for her actions and has been forced to go into hiding. At least the referees are doing a good job out there.

Daniel Agger is my hero

Daniel Agger is fed up with Woy Hodgson's tactics. He's fed up with English tactics.

On a local television show in Denmark, the Liverpool center back unloaded on his manager:

"The manager has a philosophy that we're playing football further up the pitch and then you have to play a different kind of football at the back.

That's not my style. That's not the type of football player I am. I like to keep the ball on the ground. And I'm going to keep doing that. Whether he'll use me or not, time will tell."

Absolutely brilliant Danny boy. It's no secret how much I detest the English style of play - limited ability to possess for significant lengths of time, resulting in long balls and clearing lines without regard for the simple pass. Playing further up the pitch would be construed as an attacking mentality, and it is. However, it is far from efficient if play begins with a defenseman kicking the ball as far as he can. Why give yourself a 50% chance of winning possession when you can have 100% assurance from a timely, simple, well executed pass? Last time I checked, Barcelona's back line play at midfield and you'll never see a long ball.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Portugal's new manager

Reports out of Portugal suggest the Football Federation has reached an agreement with Paulo Bento to become the next manager of the national team. He was at a loss for words upon hearing the news.

(Photo courtesy of

Sara Carbonero calls CR7 a selfish pig

I love women. I love beautiful women. I love beautiful women who love football. I especially love beautiful women who love football who openly criticize one of the best and self-centered players in the world.

Queue Sara Carbonero (pictured above with her boyfriend who we see enough of on a weekly basis). On a Telecinco program this afternoon, Sara commented:

"Ronaldo doesn't care about anything...He has always been like this - selfish and individualistic on the pitch, and Real Madrid bought him as is."

Actually, it's even better to watch her say it in person:

Jessica Kastrop is Cruel

I really wish the title could have read, "The gift that keeps on giving." Unfortunately, Ms. Kastrop put the kibosh on that one.

It has been almost a month since that famous Saturday afternoon when an errant ball from Khalid Boularouz struck the Sky reporter in the back of the head (it never gets old). A moment which vaulted her onto every computer and television screen around the world. And if she thought that was bad enough, Khalid rubbed salt in the wound the following week by supplying her with a dopey looking helmet - or a match made in heaven for Petr Cech depending on how you look at it.

Anyway, Playboy Magazine, always trying to make a dollar off an innocent young woman's moment of fame, approached Ms. Kastrop after the incident.

A nice glass of Iniesta?

That's right folks. Prepare to romance your significant other with a wonderfully tasting glass of Iniesta...or a whole bottle if you want to accelerate proceedings. Apparently, Andrés is bored of being so damn good and winning World Cups, so he's found a new day job to keep him occupied - wine making! Based in his hometown of Fuentealbilla, Iniesta plans on harvesting his vineyards very soon with the hope of bottling his product in the near future.

Of course, this wine will be a reflection of the little man himself - light, subtle, sweet, sparkling, and charming. Probably a bit too weak for the Lucios and Puyols of the world. However, I can just picture Guardiola laying back with his feet up listening to Coldplay, and a cold glass of white Iniesta at his side (there will be red and sparking line produced as well).

In fact, Iniesta sampled the wine with his teammates last season.

Needless to say, Andrés seems to be cooking up the ultimate aphrodisiac...

Lesbian club re-instated after goal celebration kiss

In 2009, a player from a lesbian club in Ecuador's Liga de Floresta women's football league celebrated her goal by locking lips for a passionate kiss with a teammate (I looked far and wide for video evidence but there is nothing - trust me). As a result, both women were red carded and the team expelled from the league. The club, cultural y deportivo de Guipúzcoa, appealed the decision and have just been re-instated! However...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mourinho is none too pleased

Real Madrid may have defeated Real Sociedad 2-1 on the road following a stroke of brilliance from Di Maria and some luck off a deflection, but they still don't look anywhere near efficient. What do you think José?

Friday, September 17, 2010

New FIFA 11 Ad

An awesome 'mini-movie' to introduce the world to the second best football video game on the planet. Sorry folks, Winning 11 Pro Evolution is just flat out better.

In any event, amidst the stars who are featured in this video, you'll notice Rooney playing at a higher level than we've seen in many months. And Kaká, who probably got more playing for Madrid in this two minute video than he will all season.

Don't you just love fantasy land?

Matches You Can't Miss This Weekend

Amid the endless number of football matches available for viewing this weekend, here's three can't miss encounters. That means - unless your girlfriend is dragging you to some lame brunch with her parents (which is still not a decent excuse), get your ass to a TV and watch!


The bitterest and most hotly contested of the northwest derbies. Pride and much needed confidence boosts are on the line Sunday at Old Trafford – perhaps more for the players involved than the teams themselves.

Wayne Rooney, who as one United correspondent so aptly described as filling 'more column space than the Iraq war in recent week,' needs to get back in the headlines for good things. Between cheating on his pregnant wife and playing terrible, anonymous football, Rooney needs to up his game and what better platform than this. Luckily for United, Berbatov has started to show his £30 million worth. Rio Ferdinand is back from injury. Can he sure up a United defense which has shipped four points and more injury time goals in the past two weeks than SAF's already red face can take?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mascherano is getting soft

One of the game's toughest and reckless tacklers is changing face. In an effort to adapt to Barcelona and La Liga's style of play, Mascherano told Barça TV:

"Every day I am listening and learning new concepts...all I need to do is change that "chip" of mine and I know I'll be successful in this league"

Hmm. That chip you say? I guess he's referring to his debut with Barcelona against Hercules in which he almost got sent off. Although it did take him 20 minutes to receive his first yellow, and since I anticipated that taking place 19 minutes earlier, looks like he's already improving!!

A Rather Cheeky "Throw In"

So the other day, team red faced off against team white in an indoor footy match in Ukraine.

Team white was given a throw-in from the near sideline when this happened:

Now that is one of the most intelligent pieces of craftiness I've ever seen. Teams make a mess of throw-ins all too often these days. The ball should be played to feet - not the chest, or shoulder, or head. Apparently, this guy had the right idea to tap the ball ever so gently to his teammate's foot. Look at the central defender, who glances over his right shoulder exactly four times to check his man, and subsequently gets burned.

Team red's reaction is absolutely priceless - dumbfounded and dejected. Staring at each other, speachless, as if the world is crumbling around them.

Champions League Group Stage Round 1 - Top Goals

There were some cracking goals over the past two days. Some needed finesse. Others required technique and power. And then Barcelona showed off their ever-sexy PlayStation talent and rubbed it in the face of Panathinaikos.

All the very best goals from the first two days of group stage matches after the jump

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gareth Bale - Right out of a Dr. Seuss Book


Kung-Fu kick FINALLY sees red

Only 38 minutes into the match yesterday, Schalke's Benedikt Höwedes decided to impale Lyon's Jimmy Briand with his boot (fast forward to 1:20 in the video).

Höwedes was immediately sent off for an early shower. Perfect call by the referee, no doubt. Yet in light of this foolish attempt at the ball (and to be fair, he was kinda going for the ball), I'm confused. Actually, I'm beyond confused. This is the kung-fu kick that finally met the wrath of the referee?! Watch the video - his leg doesn't even extend fully. It's practically bent at a 45 degree angle upon impact. My dog can deliver a better kung-fu kick than that. Maybe Ivan Bebek showed him red for a horrible interpretation of Bruce Lee, and sent him to the locker room to mull it over and feel pathetic.

Real Madrid vs Ajax Preview

Real Madrid open their Champions League campaign under José Mourinho at home against Ajax. Wahoo! For an in-depth analysis of both clubs, look elsewhere. Today, we focus on the one supporter who could turn the tide of the match.

Chelina Manuhutu. This stunning Dutch babe, when she isn't posing for FHM and the like, adorns herself in the red and white of her hometown club Ajax Amsterdam. You better believe she'll be watching the match today on the edge of her seat. With all the playboys on Madrid, her presence in the stands would probably do a decent job distracting them.

Either way, all we really care about is what she'll be wearing. Away kit? Home kit? Scarf? Track suit? Those stupid scarves with half devoted to each team so nobody knows who you support? It's a distracting question in and of itself. However, I've been kind enough to give you some ideas of what route she may take...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Cesc tapping up. Only this time it's an ex-gooner!

Barcelona's tapping up of Cesc Fabregas over the summer is well documented. In fact, pretty much everyone except his pet dog made a public statement to woo the Catalan back to the Camp Nou.

Messi started tapping even before the end of the season, then admitted to sending his buddy text messages. Xavi played prophet during the World Cup. Gerard Pique got dreamy. Captain Puyol led the charge. Pedro claimed it was a no brainer. Biscuits spoke up over tea. Even Coach Pep threw his weight around in South Africa.

With nobody left to talk up the Arsenal skipper and the transfer window closed, one of Wenger's best has admitted the ex-Barcelona youth star will undoubtedly make a return to his hometown club.

Gilberto Silva, admitted Fabregas' fate is sealed.

"'He is a great player and a good guy. I wish him well at Arsenal, but sooner or later he will return to Barcelona."

First off, I love that Silva wishes him well at Arsenal. It sounds like he's just arrived there and has yet to prove himself. Heroic PK with a broken leg at the Emirates against his former club? No good. Cesc still needs some encouragement to play well since he's been AWFUL...

In any event, it's nice to finally hear an Arsenal guy say what everyone is thinking. Although I wouldn't be surprised if the Daily Mail, who published this story, comes out tomorrow with breaking news that Barcelona players paid Gilberto Silva to make these comments. Would you doubt it?!

(photo courtesy of the Daily Mail)

Stjarnan get a taste of their own medicine

They are famous for their elaborate goal celebrations: sitting on a toilet, riding a bike, water sports. And then of course the one that brought them to fame - the salmon catch.

Well, finally, another team in the Úrvalsdeild Karla (Iceland's Premiere League) has had enough:

I'm no fisherman but that doesn't look like the cleanest of catches. His teammate (#17) appears to have lost patience reeling in the fish and hacks the poor thing to death. A bit violent for the children, but you could also see it as a metaphor for the Valur players putting their opponents to the sword.

And indeed they did. Valur not only scored the above goal, but another four on top of that to defeat the home side 5-1. For all their antics, Stjarnan are sitting mid table with a goal difference of only 1!!

I'm surprised it has taken this long for another team in the league to do something about these aspiring Broadway actors. Perhaps, they simply don't care about a team that's let in 36 goals in 19 games, lost more games than they've won, and sits 13 points of the pace. Yeh, that's good enough reason to ignore them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mourinho Jr. Posts a Clean Sheet

José Mário dos Santos Félix Mourinho loves defensive football. It is not anti-football. It's just boring and tough to watch. If you're a Real Madrid supporter though, things may be worse than they seem. Dad is so enraptured in his philosophy that his own children can't avoid it.

Last week, 10 year old José Jr. made his debut for CD Canillas, a Real Madrid affiliate youth club based in the neighborhood of Hortaleza. Striker? Not a chance. Creative or attacking midfielder? Pff - quit dreaming. Defensive back? Bushleague!

No, young Mourinho has chosen to play between the sticks. Coming on at half time, José Jr. made three great saves to secure his club's 9-0 thrashing of San Roque. Perhaps those nine goals is a little much for dad, but the big fat zero is all that counts.

One can also find Ronald Ronaldo (no joke - fat Ronaldo's son) as well as Théo Zidane (pictured below).

Florentino Perez has reportedly placed €100 billion pricetag on their heads to prevent Barcelona from swooping in...

Has parity engulfed Europe? Or are the good teams just playing poorly?

It's an interesting question midway through September. Look at the tables for the top five leagues in Europe and you'll see some familiar faces, but not many. You may even recognize more clubs in the bottom three than the top three. Promoted teams and bottom feeders from last season have seized control of this campaign with impressive starts, while perennial powers have yet to hit their stride - assuming they do hit it at some point. And while those powers may simply be off to a slow start, many have already exposed some weaknesses which will surely be a factor come February, March, and April.

Looking at the 14 promoted sides in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and England, only two find themselves in the drop zone. Six sit in the top half of the table, and each of those is in sixth position or better. Meanwhile, teams like Schalke, Lyon, Auxerre, and Roma sit in the drop zone. Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Milan have already been blanked by promoted sides. Manchester United blew two leads in injury time. Clearly, this is not the script we were presented with when the season kicked off.

Ominous forecast or early season jitters? Let's take a closer look at each of these leagues to see what's really going on.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Goals of the Weekend

Technique. Technique. Technique. You couldn't help but notice the overriding theme of the best goals from this past weekend. Whereas power and fury normally characterize such goals, a different type of skill was utilized. For those who can appreciate individual brilliance and tidy footwork, sit back and enjoy. Everyone else, go lift weights.

You will be hard pressed to find a better goal than this. In fact, you won't. It's the goal of the weekend. From Aguero's ability to beat two men, to Simão's lay-off. And Forlan's finish? Clinical of course.

A splendid half volley from West Ham's Scott Parker. The only bright spot on a miserable day against Chelsea.

Count 'em. 23 passes strung together by the Arsenal before a perfectly lofted pass by Fàbregas to Vela for the finish. (apologies for the poor quality)

Cassano's second for Sampdoria was a perfect give-and-go. His run is met by a perfect chipped pass for Cassano to bang home.

The lone exception: Porto vs Braga. A 3-2 victory for Porto, with each of the five goals oozing power, class, and technique.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Demi Moore Hearts Kaká

So Kaká celebrated the one month anniversary of his surgery on September 5th and couldn't help but tweet about it to the world. In response, one of America's biggest football fans...Demi Moore....decided to send him a get well message:

@mrskutcher Sending energy 4 a quick healing!RT @RealKaka Sept 5 did a month of surgery Lots of physical therapy &an excellent outcome Soon I'll be back

I love Kaká's enthusiasm about returning - to where exactly is a different issue altogether. The most obvious option is Real Madrid's bench where it is clear he would have no place on the field. Or perhaps a trip to the other side of Milan?

Either way, a little cougar love from Demi can go a long way in a man's healing process.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Spanish Youngsters Show Their Class...Again

On a day when the first team got rocked by Argentina 4-1, Spain's U-21 team continues to dazzle the competition with its exquisite skill and technique. With a free kick set up roughly 25 yards out, the Spaniards put together another cheeky display of how to make fools of your opponents. Don't feel sorry for Poland. They should have done their homework.

Happy New Year

With the Jewish new year getting underway this evening, and yours truly taking a short break from the footballing world, I thought I'd take this opportunity to send my regards to all those Yiddo players and fans out there who will be celebrating as well. So...

Tottenham's Yid Army
Jonathan Bornstein
Benny Feilhaber
The Glazers - sorry folks, it is unwise to be overly cruel during the High Holiday season so the Glazers get a pass
David Beckham - his maternal grandfather is Jewish, and apparently gave Becks a nice big Jewish ego
Hapoel Tel Aviv - may this year bring you much success in your first ever appearance in the Champions League group stages
Loyal fans - keep on reading!

Best wishes for a happy, sweet, and vuvuzela-less new year!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Being an English Goalkeeper is Tough

You might think the title refers to the rather obvious fact that English goalkeepers are sub-par for the most part. And while it is true, there is another more pressing issue for them. Not only are they committing blunders at an astonishing rate on the field, they have also been excluded from the latest hooker affair to hit the footballing world (and the second in England in two months).

This one involves England's biggest crock at the moment, Wayne Rooney. When he wasn't performing disappearing acts on the pitch for the national team, Wayne had sex with 21 year-old escort Jennifer Thompson of Bolton. To be precise, seven times in four months while his wife Colleen was pregnant with their first child.

While her parents believed she was serving drinks as a bartender, Jennifer was serving up her body instead to six defenders, three midfielders, and four strikers, with two of the players married with children. NO GOALKEEPERS!!  Is it because they make less money? Or did she watch the World Cup and make a logical business decision - find the best players with the most money and earn the most of your other hooker buddies. Sleep with a goalie and you'll be a laughing stock or broke.

Let's be straight here though. While I poke fun at this latest episode involving adultery and infidelity, it is completely inexcusable. Perhaps the English press should stop posting headlines calling their national team coach a jackass, and start attacking the heartless pigs who care more about spread-eagle young women than playing good football for their country - and who then use the manager as their excuse for playing so poorly.

And if you thought that was bad, England is also suffering from a rapid increase of injunctions granted by the High Court to allow footballers to keep their mistresses silent. And the media STILL blame Fabio Capello for England's football demise?

Perhaps this whole idea of blooding the young players is not simply because they are more skilled than the veterans who litter the roster at the moment, but they can guarantee 100% focus since they are too young to have wives and children to cheat on.  Just a thought...

(More photos of Ms. Thompson after the jump)

Sara Goes Back to Work

Ms. Carbonero made her first appearance for Italy's Premium Calcio  last week - looking as fine as ever. I see no reason to take the time to translate her brief monologue for you since, to be quite honest, who cares!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Here's a few stories to get you through the next day or so. Enjoy all the great matches this weekend (and the not so great European qualifiers), and pray that your star players don't get injured on meaningless international duty.

The story of Bebe - the ex-homeless 20 year old unknown Alex Ferguson clearly overpaid for [Daily Mail]

AWESOME vintage/retro football advertisements from back in the day [Original Winger]

Marco Boriello is way too proud of his sexy girlfriend Belen Rodríguez. I'd be too [Marca]

Iceland's Stjarnan have taken their goal celebrations to a whole new level [Dirty Tackle]

UEFA has jumped on board to ban those stupid vuvuzelas from their competitions [UEFA]

Problem solved? England seeks better fortunes with a new kit [Kitbag]

(photo courtesy of

Udinese Has a New Face

Say hello to Nina Senicar, a 24 year old Serbian goddess. While you're at it, wish her a congratulations as well. Ms. Senicar has been named the official face of Italian club Udinese, which basically means she'll model all the team gear and make it look 10,000 times better than it would on a fat, drunk, ratty looking supporter. It's pretty safe to assume team apparel sales will rise astronomically.

More of her spread after the jump.

Mourinho Claims Ronaldo Doesn't Dive. Um....

There is really nothing more sublime and entertaining than a José Mourinho interview. Arrogant, confident, and blunt, Mourinho will tell you everything on his mind in the most straight forward manner possible. He'll answer your question, and follow it up with the unthinkable. Speaking at the conclusion of the annual "Elite Club Coaches' Forum" in Nyon, Switzerland, José defended his prima donna superstar:

"Cristiano is a player who doesn't come from a culture of simulation."

That is correct. One can't possibly make a practical argument that Portuguese players don't dive. It's insane! After all, their neighbors in Spain are rampant cheaters, and the Italians have crafted a wonderful culture of deceit. Yet in Portugal, a metaphorical wall has been erected to defend against this culture of cheating the game by faking injury...Caution the authorities because I think someone broke through the defenses: Exhibit A.

"In some cases the simulators are those that have more protection, and those that are honest many times are the ones who get hurt."

Is he trying to tell us that divers should continue to dive because if they don't, physical contact will result with the threat of injury? I guess we should we feel bad that Ronaldo is missing 2-3 weeks with an ankle injury because he's an honest player. He's a guy that doesn't deserve such bad luck because he plays the game like a true professional with the utmost class. Hm...Exhibit B.

"I wouldn't be a hypocrite if I said that Cristiano is fouled very hard. And the yellow cards - or they aren't given or they arrive late."

Again, and this goes back to the pity issue above, Cristiano is treated unfairly by referees. You can't miss it. Kicked and kicked and kicked with no punishment handed out. And we should feel bad for him. It's not as though his pretty step overs, flicks, and tricks get under the skin of opponents. It's not as if other players see him as a show boater. They're out to get him because he's just so damn good. Senseless, mindless, and fouls of intent. I really feel bad for Cristiano. What has he ever done to deserve such rebuke?! - Exhibit C.

Thierry Henry is "The Starchild"

Thierry Henry is teaming up with....KISS?!

For only $40, fans can go watch FC Dallas host Henry and the Red Bulls, followed by the RockN The Park show two days later where none other than KISS will take the stage!! As a New York resident and casual supporter of the Red Bulls, something about this bothers me juust a bit... Maybe it's the fact that ANOTHER TEAM is using OUR designated player to increase THEIR ticket sales and fill THEIR stadium to earn THEM more money. Sounds like some form of ambush marketing to me. Although on second thought, I guess it's the MLS, where everyone helps everyone to promote the league's image. In the case of the Red Bulls, this is the nicest thing anyone in New York City has ever done.

But let's get to the real meat of this story. I sure as hell hope Henry is on that stage with Gene Simmons and the gang. Afterwards he can chill backstage, get drunk, and have sex with barely legal groupies. Or maybe they'll let him play the match with the face paint on! I'm not aware of FIFA regulations against such a thing. Look at the shit-smirk on that face. He looks like he just finished a multiple homicide and is plotting his next scheme. If they let him play like that, defenders would run the opposite direction.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bob Bradley Re-Signs

Some are asking, what might have been. Caution trumps ambition. I couldn't agree more with either of those reactions to Bob Bradley's four year extension by US Soccer. On the first comment of what might have been, we saw the peak (although apparently not) of Bradley's ability as manager. He took us to the final of the Confederations Cup, the farthest USA has advanced in any FIFA sanctioned tournament. We also won our World Cup group for the first time in history. Then we bowed out as swiftly as we entered. Bradley asked his players for everything, and received even more in return. But now it's time for a change. It's time to look forward to the next four years of American football and more importantly, to the next generation. A large number of players on the US squad will be well over 30 in 2014 and a complete overhaul of the system is needed.

Transfer Day Finale - Winners and Losers

What a frenetic 24 hours! After a relatively quiet summer transfer window due, in no small part, to the economic choke hold gripping every debt-laden club around the world, August 31st closed with a bang. Big name players, overpriced players, and a cheeky cheeky move by a certain north London club chairman. It's safe to say the face of many leagues changed dramatically across Europe.

Now that the dust has settled, here are the winners and losers from yesterday's action.

Transfer Window Wrap-Up by the Numbers

Now that the 2010 Summer transfer window has come to a close, here are the cold hard facts regarding cash flow:

Top 5 Spending

Manchester City €145.45m
Real Madrid €81m
FC Barcelona €71.5m
Juventus Turin €56.45m
Rubin Kazan €43.1m

Top 5 Money Makers

FC Valencia €83.55m
Inter Milan €53.2m
S.L. Benfica €49.7m
FC Barcelona €45m
FC Liverpool €37.6m

Top 5 Transfers

David Villa to FC Barcelona €40m
Yaya Touré to Manchester City €30m
James Milner to Manchester City €29.7m
Mario Balotelli to Manchester City €29.5m
David Silva to Manchester City €28.75
Ángel Di María to Real Madrid €25m

Transfer revenue and expenditures of the top 5 leagues

                                        Expenditure                 Revenue                      Total

Premier League                  €421.8m                    €185.45m                  -€236.39m

Serie A                              €294.55m                  €274.74m                  -€19.81m

La Liga                              €260.87m                  €250.77m                  -€10.1m

Bundesliga                         €156.6m                    €142m                       -€14.6m

Ligue 1                              €139m                       €172.55m                   €33.55m

(courtesy of