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Group of Death

December 4, 2011

Though I wasn’t able to watch the Euro 2012 draw live, I was still able to keep tabs with it with the help of Twitter and Tumblr. Social networking sites exploded in chaos when it was announced which nations were part of Group B, and believe me, I was just agog as well.

In perspective, here they are – the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Denmark.

Based from how Germany has been playing for the past year, the chance of the Euro 08 Runner-Up not making it to the knockout stage at the least is slim at best. In fact, I would go as far to say that I firmly believe that they will make it to the finals in Kiev. They are just THAT GOOD. Meanwhile, I reckon that Portugal and the Netherlands – with some of Europe’s top scorers Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin Van Persie respectively – would be left to slug it out for the second qualifying spot in order to make it to the quarter-finals. But then again, Denmark isn’t exactly a team of pushovers, either.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a brand new group of death!


El Clasico at its Absolute Worst – UEFA CL Semi-Finals Leg 1

April 28, 2011

The game was a disaster. It’s nothing that should be remembered. It definitely WAS NOT a classic. Simply put, the game was such a disappointment and disgrace that even footballers themselves are condemning it. Diving and fighting was such a prevalent part of last night’s match-up – it was as if one wasn’t watching a game between two of the best football teams in the world.

The game started sanely enough. It was apparent that Madrid were going to stick with the ‘defense is the best offense’ strategy, which sent some people scoffing. To quote Rio Ferdinand loosely, “Real Madrid are doing what they have to do in order to win. The last time they played expansive football against Barcelona, they were beaten 5-0.” Barcelona, meanwhile, stuck with their same-old strategy – ‘pass around the ball until a chance to score a goal comes along.’ I cannot deny however, that the first half (sans the fighting) was EXTREMELY BORING. Barcelona spent so much time passing the ball around their own half. Other people think this may be beautiful football, but I beg to disagree. Of course they can pass the ball to each other with accuracy – majority of the Madrid players are waiting along the Madrid half of the pitch for Barcelona’s attack. But yes, to each his own. I digress again furtively that is not the kind of football that I am fond off.

The second half was much more interesting – in a god damn awful way.

Allow me to state that as early as now, despite of the fact that I am a Madridista, I will not be defending my team’s wrongdoings. Marcelo and Di Maria had their share of diving. Ozil played rough (this one’s up for debate actually, as I think that ALL players in the pitch should ALWAYS play rough, and he wasn’t necessarily playing unfairly). Most of the players in white had their fair share of barraging the referee incessantly with complaints as well. Some of Ramos’ actions (eg. picking up Messi abruptly after a fall) may be considered rude. Also, Mourinho is a whole other story (I’ll get to him later).

But in all honesty, Busquets, Pedro and Alves just played dirty. I’m not going to hold back – they were a pathetic excuse for world-class footballers. Slight contact was made on both Busquets and Pedro by Marcelo and Arbeloa respectively during the first half, and they both fell down while clutching their faces. It was apparent, however, that NO CONTACT was made on their faces when several instant replays were shown. What on earth was that? I was severely disappointed and mad with the behavior of these two players, players who clearly aren’t even PLAYING football in actuality. It’s like they were just so desperate to get Real Madrid’s players carded that they would result to diving.

Also, at half-time, scuffles ensued at the mouth of the dug-outs. Until now, I’m not clearly sure of what happened. I’ve seen photos however of a man in a suit (from Real Madrid most probably) grabbing Barcelona goalkeeper Pinto around the neck, and Pinto slapping Arbeloa. The slap resulted in Pinto getting a red card.

During the second half, Ramos was yellow-carded (thus resulting in him missing the next leg at the Camp Nou) for body checking Messi (Messi fell to the ground). However, replays show Messi elbowing Ramos’ legs while the latter was walking away. Messi also commits an intentional handball, but fails to get a rightful yellow card for it.

And Alves. Oh my. Pepe was red-carded for a tackle on Alves that resulted in the latter to fall down, clutching his ankle. Replays, however, show that absolutely NO CONTACT at all was made of Alves’ ankle! Here, look at this carefully. Furthermore, Alves was stretchered off the field, only to return seconds later – PERFECTLY ALL RIGHT – to the game! What on earth was that!? To quote Rio Ferdinand, this time in verbatim, “If you ever see me go off on a stretcher and then run back on play, I give everyone on here the green light to hit me with a two-footed tackle.” There you go. That’s about as unbiased as you can get.

Moreover, can somebody please explain to me how Valdes managed to get himself involved in all the fights that ensued?

Mourinho, of course, contested the referee’s decision on red-carding Pepe. Hell, I also would have! To make matters worse for Real Madrid, Mourinho was sent to the stands by the officials for protesting too much. I am absolutely certain that this was the final nail to Real Madrid’s coffin. The more pivotal one, however, was clearly the sending off of Pepe. Pepe was integral to the defense, and was one of the most reliable men on the pitch for Real Madrid.

But there you go. Jose Mourinho once again ends the game against Barcelona with 10 men. That’s 4/4 now.

Surprisingly, there was actually something amazing that happened in this farce of a match. Messi scored two absolutely brilliant goals, and I would never dream of taking away from him compliments that he rightfully deserves. He was phenomenal. The first goal was pretty much inevitable (goal went through Iker’s legs) while the second was a result of poor defending, most probably due to the fact that the Madrid defense was one man short with Pepe out of the game. To quote Rio Ferdinand once more, “Messi saved that match from being talked about exclusively for all the wrong reasons.

This game was absolutely disgusting to watch. I expected world-class football. I expected fighting and diving, but I did no expect them to fully occupy the match. To cap things off, this El Clasico was the worst football game I have EVER watched.

Madrid will be having their hands full at the Camp Nou next week with Ramos, Pepe, and Jose Mourinho banned from the game. However, as most footballers are fond of saying, anything can happen in football.

Final Score: 2-0 for Barcelona

Prelude to El Clasico, Leg 2

April 16, 2011

El Clasico is finally upon us once again. Mind you, this is the first of FOUR clasicos that will occur in the span of eighteen days, so this match-up can definitely set the tone for the rest of the games.

I’m sure that November 2010’s El Clasico is still fresh on everybody’s mind. After all, last leg, Real Madrid suffered an excruciating loss under fierce rivals Barcelona at Camp Nou. We were simply battered at 5-0. Will history repeat itself?

I think not.

First and foremost, Real Madrid will be playing will all of its key players present, as opposed to to last time when Higuain – an integral part of the team – was out with an injury. Furthermore, I believe that the team has matured, and that they play much better together now. I am also certain that advancing to the semi-finals of the Champions League has done wonders to the boys’ confidence. Lastly, the game will be held at the Santiago Bernabeu, and it is without any doubt that I say that the 12th men will be present.

I also admire the fact that the boys have resisted responding to the taunts presented by the Barcelona players, because surely, we’re better than that. Oh, and Valdes, Pique? Not cool. Not cool at all.

To wrap this all up, the team needs to go into the game with their heads held high, and to play their best. That’s it. Should they lose, the fans will have their back. Should they win, the fans will be beside them every step of the way. Hala Madrid!

Yes, I’m still alive.

April 12, 2011

Now that I’m finally on vacation after what appears to be the most tiring term in college yet, look forward to a number of opinion-oriented posts over the next few days. Just so I won’t forget them, I’ll even list down the posts’ working titles below.

  • The Fernando Torres dilemma – love him or hate him
  • Karim Benzema shuts his crtics up (God, I’ve had this in my mind for the longest time
  • Michael Owen – is he past his prime? (I don’t know why but I’ve really become fond of him over the past few weeks)
  • Real Madrid vs Tottenham (CL Quarterfinals Leg1)
  • Prelude to El Clasico Leg 2
  • El Clasico Mayhem (Copa Del Rey Finals and CL Semi-finals)
  • World Cup 2014 Qualifiers – Azkals
  • Azkals – too much fame?
  • Liverpool vs Manchester City Leg 2 (I’ll probably be doing this one first, being that this game happened only last night)
  • Liverpool FC- No way to go but up
  • Why does Cristiano Ronaldo keep getting hate? (But yeah, really, I don’t get it)
  • LeBron and Liverpool FC
  • Kaka scores twice, but is Kaka finally back for good?

Wow. I didn’t realize that I wanted to write on so many topics. I promise to finish writing all of these articles before the summer season comes to a close!

Bits and Snippets

February 1, 2011

He’s not a red anymore. It’s been a day already and I still can’t grasp the situation. So yeah, here are bits and snippets of how I feel. Most of these were taken from Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook.

“I would never stop loving Liverpool. Same goes, I still love Torres no matter what. It’s just the circumstances.”

“Torres is actually gone. He actually left us. He’s really gone. Ohmygod I just can’t.”

I can’t deny how happy he looks in all his new photos. I can’t be the big person, not yet. I can’t act like I’m happy for you, not yet. This is still too much. It still hurts.

“I will always love him and I will always be a fan, but I will never deny that the way he left Liverpool was wrong.”

“Forever a Nando fan wherever he plays. Forever a Red no matter who’s wearing the crest.”

“I read somewhere that Torres won’t play on Sunday, because either result can damage him psychologically.
I love Torres and I ALWAYS will, but I can’t deny that I’m disappointed with the way that he left. It would have been different if he announced his desire to transfer on January 1 – but no, he didn’t. As a matter of fact, he encouraged Liverpool fans to keep supporting the team as latest as January 9. But lo and behold, just 20 days later, he decides to move. For me, this is what makes the whole thing wrong. I always knew that he would be leaving, but the manner in which he did so is just unacceptable.
It would be weird seeing Torres in blue. But yeah, he looks REALLY happy – happier than I’ve ever seen him this season. I hope that he does get that CL trophy – or maybe even the PL title – with Chelsea this season (since Liverpool’s out of the running). He will always be one of my favorites, and that will never change. I guess it’s just that I’m still really sad right now.”

His armband proved he was a Red.

January 29, 2011

Chaos was rampant last night.

Several articles popped out that Fernando Torres himself requested that Liverpool take a look at the bid Chelsea made on him, and fans were beside themselves with worry. I’m not going to lie – I was one of these fans. My heart was somewhere on my stomach, and I honestly felt like panic was clogging up my throat. Other fans were looking down upon these fans who worry and were saying stuff like, “Torres has stated a number of times how he loves us. He’s not going to leave us. Stop believing everything posted on the internet.” I tried to calm down, because let’s face it – these fans were telling the truth. As recently as January 9, Torres released a statement that he was with Liverpool through thick and thin. However, as much as these fans made sense, I wish that they understood how the other fans felt. Why is it not ok to worry? Why is it wrong to panic?

I panicked because last night’s transfer rumor hit too close to home, and not because I don’t have enough trust in Torres. The reason is as simple as that. I’ve been watching him play, and disregarding these past games with King Kenny in charge, he simply isn’t happy. He’s not playing like he wants to – rather, he plays because he knows he has to. I know that one of the reasons as to why Torres went to Liverpool was because he wanted to win trophies, and – let’s face it – he hasn’t won any yet. But as the night went on and no official statement has been made by Liverpool or Torres, I began to breathe better. I guess the fans were right. Just another rumor.


I woke up to an OFFICIAL statement from Liverpool – Torres DID submit a transfer a request, though it was turned down. The fact that Torres wanted to leave broke my heart. I love him, and I will always wish the best for him in everything that he does, but I feel hurt. Why now? Now that we’re on our way up? Also, I realized that despite of the fact that we may keep him for the rest of the season, his transfer is seemingly inevitable once summer comes.

I really don’t want Torres to go. Honestly, I want him to stay. I want him to rediscover the passion and love that he has for our club. I won’t deny, however, that I’m starting to accept the fact that he will leave – maybe not today, but he will, and there’s nothing I can do about that.

A Prelude to Liverpool’s First Match of 2011

January 1, 2011

I may not have been a fan of Liverpool for years such as others, but I have seen them at their best. I’ve watched countless videos from past seasons. I’ve watched Istanbul. I know what the boys – the TEAM – are capable of.

So what exactly is wrong with us?

It seems like we can’t go up, no matter what we do. Something’s adamantly different with how we play. Is it really Roy’s fault? Is Torres’ seemingly lack of desire to do ANYTHING to blame? Are the boys simply not good enough?

No. I don’t believe so.

I’m not Roy’s biggest fan, but let’s face it. We never gave him a chance. We never had his back. And I have no idea what’s up with Torres, either. However, despite being plagued by injuries, the Nando we all know is still there. He did score that brilliant goal against Chelsea after all. Furthermore, I believe that the boys are gradually getting better. Amongst others, Lucas has improved leaps and bounds, and Meireles has been nothing but consistent.

So what’s the problem, really?

I just have no idea. I’m just hoping that we win against Bolton today. Quite simply, we NEED this more than anything right now.