A special edition of blitzen awards for you today. See if you can identify the theme! 😉
All Hands On Deck Award: This was a team that came out right from the kickoff looking like they meant business. They were all over the ball and all over the field—Puyol was playing so far forward at times he was the only one in the opposing box! A true team effort.
That Sinking Feeling Award: Real Madrid, who will be going into today’s match with Atletico Madrid with a slim one-point lead in the Liga race and one eye looking over their shoulder at a rampant Barça who are coming very close to taking it off them. Realistically I don’t expect RM to drop points against Pathetico today, but the psychological pressure the meringue players are under right now could lead them to make uncharacteristic errors. Here’s hoping!
The Band Played On Award: Messi just keeps making his sweet, sweet music on the field. Yesterday’s goal put him at 61 for the season, with plenty more goal scoring opportunities to go. Will he crack 70 this year? Maybe not, but he will surely come close. So sit down, Pele! That’s enough out of you.
He’s The King Of The World! Award: If you didn’t tear up when the crowd gave Rey Abidal an ovation in the 22nd minute, you are a heartless beast. First indications (via Rosell and Abi’s wife on his Facebook account) are that the operation went well and both patients are in good condition. Such a relief!
Unsinkable Molly Brown Memorial Award: Ibrahim Afellay, who has today been declared medically fit and available for the team after the better part of 7 months out. Congratulations and welcome back! I am really looking forward to seeing what he can contribute to this team in its current incarnation (did he ever get to play with Cesc or Alexis before he got injured?). Maybe he will even get a few minutes against Levante this weekend?
Full Steam A Head Award: Pedro’s head, that is. What a fantastic header from one of the shortest guys on the team! And from a set piece! Who says we can’t beat Stoke now, eh? Eh?
White Star (Goal)Line Award: To the linesman who disallowed Xavi’s goal after failing to see that at least 75% of the ball had crossed the line. Boo! An Injustice for Football!
SOS (Signs Of Sentiment) Award: I absolutely adore it when Iniesta launches himself into Messi’s arms like that. Like a shot of pure joy to the heart. And after that same goal Pep sought out Tito specially for a big hug as well. This must be the huggiest team in the world. 😀
Stretching The Metaphor Past Its Snapping Point Award: Um, something about Puyol & Mascherano being like icebergs that other teams run into and sink? Yes.
And a special Feliz Cumpleaños to Thiago Alcantara, who is celebrating his 21st birthday today! A round of manitas for all!