Categorized | Match comments post

History or Misery

It’s here – today – 20:45 CET.

The chance for Spain to create history and win 3 major tournaments back-to-back.

Will the La Roja boys be furia or will they be manso?  The odds aren’t much in their favour – they haven’t beaten Italy in a competitive 90 minutes since 1920.

The teams are making their way into the stadium as I write this.  La Roja looks very concentrated and serious.

Tournament Stats so far (shamelessly lifted from the UEFA Euro official site):

Click here to convert the kick-off time to your time:  Spain vs. Italy

Click here to watch the Preview Show which starts at 20:00:  Preview Show

Click here if you need a link to watch the game at 20:45:  Game Links

Please share other links in the comments.

¡Vamos España!

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146 Responses to “History or Misery”

  1. mom4 says:

    Silva again…*sigh*

  2. nzm says:

    Official Spain line-up:

    Casillas
    Arbeloa Ramos Pique Alba
    Alonso Xavi Busquets
    Silva Cesc Iniesta

    How original.

  3. nzm says:

    Official Italy line-up:
    Buffon
    Chiellini
    Abate
    Barzagli
    Bonucci
    Marchisio
    De Rossi
    Montolivo
    Pirlo
    Balotelli
    Cassano

  4. messifan says:

    It’s fair to say that Cesc moving to Barcelona has helped his place in the national team. Go Cesc!

  5. nzm says:

    Team on the pitch for warm-up.

  6. nzm says:

    Playing the offside trap will be crucial to contain Balotelli and Cassano.

    Spain needs to keep 4 at the back – especially when Silva loses so much ball.

    The momentum for attack needs to come from Spain’s midfield.

    I saw great German analysis for Italy’s 1st goal against them where Italy came at them with 4-5 players in the frontline and completely overwhelmed the German defence. Hope that La Roja has also analysed that play.

  7. messifan says:

    Ramos and Pique better not do anything stupid. I hope they have a good game. Never thought I would say that about a RM player :D

    • Jim says:

      Not sure why you would single them out. Trouble is more likely to come through the FBs imo. They have been pretty good so far after a shaky start. Looking forward to the game. I still think Alonso and Silva lose possession too much for Spain’s possession game but no matter what happens Spain have done well and confounded a few of my friends who were assuring me that I was watching the end of an era. Plus I drew Spain in the sweepie at work :)

  8. Jim says:

    You’ve got to admire Bouffon’s singing of the national anthem. Way to go ! No offence but it’s about time Spain got an anthem with words. We should’ve lent them Flower of Scotland. At least we’ d have contributed to a major football event :(

  9. messifan says:

    Wow!!!!! Please hold on to this lead :D

    Have to say Silva has been working hard. Xavi looks really lively too :)

    • nzm says:

      Silva still losing too much ball. He really needs to tidy up this part of his game. Defensively he’s been solid.

      A revitalised Spain huh? Holding something back for the main event, perhaps?

      Looks like VdB may be bringing on Llorente/Torres and then sitting back in a more defensive role and doing an Italy by feeding the long ball forwards.

  10. nzm says:

    Cassano off for Di Natale!

  11. nzm says:

    Italy down to 10 men for the rest of the game.

  12. Looks like the extra day of rest did Xavi a world of good. Iniesta is a beast. Tito also have to make sure that Xavi is rested properly into the next season.

  13. messifan says:

    Torres scored! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

  14. messifan says:

    Well, I guess Llorente won’t get his minutes :(

  15. messifan says:

    And Xavi has been amazing!!! Xavi is not suffering anymore :)

  16. messifan says:

    Mata scored. Let’s bet on a manita.

  17. messifan says:

    Congrats Spain!!! History!!!!

  18. barca96 says:

    All 4 goals created by Barça players.

    Xavi deserves the MOtM award with a magnificent display and 2 assists.

  19. messifan says:

    And Torres wins the Golden Boots because he scored three goals and assists two according to twitter. How did that happen?

  20. Blau-Grenade says:

    A lot of respect for the Italian soccer team and Cesare Prandelli for the way they played this competition. Spain just had that little bit extra. They marked Pirlo and Cassano out of the match. That nullified their 2 main play-makers. And then Spain scored with the unlikeliest of scorers, David Silva and Jordi Alba. The game was over at that point. The Thiago Motta injury was the nail in their coffin. Italy were already beginning to be pretty tired at that point.

  21. nzm says:

    Buffon was sheer class in his interview.

    He was asked if the Italian team ran out of luck, and he replied, “No, Spain was simply much better than us.”

  22. nzm says:

    4-0 is the largest winning margin of any Euro or World Cup final. (According to German commentators.)

    • Helge says:

      How come that you watched the ZDF broadcast (living in Barcelona, being originally from New Zealand, if I remmeber correctly)?

      Or have you watched it with a German friend of yours, the one you once mentioned in a comment about patriotism during football matches (and the non-existence of it for some people like me)?

      • nzm says:

        We have a VPN connection in Germany which allows us to stream the ZDF broadcast to our computers.

        The commentary is so much better than anything on Spanish TV – it’s full of facts and good observations, whereas the Spanish commentary is all about screaming over-excitement, and they block all the ambient atmospheric noise, from the stadium, out of the audio feed. The after-match analysis is also world-class on ZDF.

        The Spanish commentators love to hear themselves talk!

  23. nzm says:

    Cesc’s shirt is a dedication to:

    Dani Jarque
    Manolo Preciado
    Antonio Puerta
    Miki Roque

  24. nzm says:

    Ex-German goalkeeper, Oli Kahn, was just asked who could have beaten Spain today.

    He replied, “No one from this planet.” :D

  25. nzm says:

    Pique doing his usual thing and cutting down the goal net! :D

    • Helge says:

      Ah damn it! I must have missed that scene, and I was wondering, why the hell does Piqué not take the goal net with him ?!?
      Did he cut the whole net, or just a small part of it?

      Maybe he wants to stick them all together and present it to Shakira as her wedding dress :D

      • nzm says:

        He cut a lot out of this one – pic here: Pique with net

        Much more than he was allowed to do with the net after the CdR Final – he was only allowed to take a small square!

        Wedding dress for Shakira? Sexy! He’s been planning this for a while then – since before he met her. He first took the net from the CL final in Rome! :D

        • Helge says:

          Probably it is exactly that creativity and romanticism with which Piqué won her over ;)

          At least it’s a better way to chat someone up than wearing his ‘F*ck me I’m famous’ cap or shirt!

          Sprichst du und dein Mann/Freund perfekt deutsch? Habt ihr oder einer von euch deutsche Vorfahren, oder ist das berfuilicher Natur?
          Mein Cousin wohnt seit ca. 10 Jahren in Neuseeland, er ist in England aufgewachsen und unterrichtet nun in NZ deutsch an einer weiterführenden Schule.

          PS: Ich würde öfter gern die spanischen Kommentatoren hören, eben weil sie so emotional sind. Die Deutschen sind ein bisschen einschläfernd. Naja, irgendwie möchte man meisst das, was man nicht hat oder haben kann…

          • nzm says:

            Hi Helge

            Sorry that I didn’t see this before now!

            I’m afraid that my German is not very good! I understand a lot more than I can speak or write! My spoken German is about on the level of a 3 year old kid! Luckily, my German in-laws can speak a little bit of English, so we manage!

            Seems a lot of people move to NZ. I prefer to be in Europe! I find that NZ is so expensive when we visit that I wonder how people manage to live there now!

      • nzm says:

        More pics – you can see the size of the hole that he cut!

        http://twitpic.com/a2uys0

      • nzm says:

        And an animated gif of Pique cutting the net!

        http://www.twitpic.com/a32z9g

  26. nzm says:

    Iniesta MotM.

    • messifan says:

      Yay!!! Man of the tournament too?

    • nzm says:

      Kind of disappointed that Xavi didn’t get it – with his control of the match and the 2 assists. His stripping the ball off Pirlo for Torres’ goal was a thing of beauty.

      • Helge says:

        Maybe even the best mstch from Xavi of the whole season. It was a perfect way to silence the critics; props also to Piqué who seems to be getting bsck to a more solid defensive shape.

        Oh, and Jordi Alba – he’s already the deal of the season! I love my Catalans to return home :)
        If there was a sort of newcomer award, it should go to either Jordi Alba or Mats Hummels. Domestically, they are not newcomers at all, but this was there international explosion, on the big stage.
        Kudos to Valencia for not asking continuously more money for Alba, because they easily could have asked for 20 mio. But even as the transfer talk was stuck, they promised to not raise the asking prize during or after the Euros.

        • Messiah10 says:

          I think a lot had to do with his contract only having a year off. It was a fair price for the circumstances. I’m sure they could have gotten more if they started a bidding war after the Euro’s. Your right. Fair play to them. I’m so happy to see Xavi! back. Hopefully, he gets a lot of rest before preseason starts. Tito will have to be cautious of all our players who were at Euro, except for Valdes! :)

  27. providence says:

    la furia roja

  28. messifan says:

    Credit to del Bosque for building such a strong defense and uniting the squad after a brutal domestic season. Arbeloa is not great going forward but he’s a traditional RB in that he can defend. Ramos and Pique understand each other day by day. Alba has speed and really great with the ball.

    I thought the double pivot worked well in this game as well as in the first game.

    And lastly, big thanks to Pep Guardiola and Tito for introducing the false nine and to del Bosque for taking the risk to put Cesc in that role. I thought Cesc had a good tournament, understood his role and able to associate with Xavi, Iniesta and Silva a bit more.

  29. Gogah says:

    when do they give out the golden ball and boot

  30. blitzen says:

    First of all, kudos to Italy. They were brave, they came out to play, and in the first half they were really good. They were a bit unlucky to go down by two goals, and would have scored one if Casillas wasn’t so good. Unfortunately for them, they had to use their subs early and lost a player to injury. After that they didn’t have much chance of coming back into it.

    Iniesta was MOTM (and IMO man of the tournament), but this was also the first game where Xavi has really looked like himself. He had some brilliant passes, including the one to Jordi Alba for his goal. As I said on twitter, Alba has apparently already been assimilated into the Barça Hive Mind. Here is the gif: http://twitpic.com/a2soxd

    Fair dos, Casillas has been fantastic, and Ramos had an excellent tournament. When he plays for Spain he’s not nearly as thuggish (I suppose he knows he can’t get away with it) and steps up his game. He was no Puyol, but he and Pique made the best of it and did well.

    Silva scored a lovely header today, but that shouldn’t fool people into thinking he had a great game. He was the worst passer on the team (and that even includes Arbeloa, who was decent enough today) and gave the ball away way too cheaply. I really think the EPL has ruined him. I was so happy to see Pedro come on for him. Pedro did have a huge missed chance, but his passing & pressing were great.

    I feel bad for Llorente, because he is a great player, but I honestly didn’t see a place for him at this tournament. The only game I could have seen him starting was vs Portugal, and VDB chose Negredo instead. Maybe not the right choice, but in the end it didn’t make any difference. Cesc was basically the main “striker” of the tournament (although Torres won the Golden Boot LOL!), and Llorente was never going to play alongside either of them.

    Anyway, well done Spain! Congratulations!

    • nzm says:

      Agreed.

      Pedro was hugely offside for his chance, so it wouldn’t have counted. Just as well when he missed like that.

      Silva’s head didn’t so much as guide the ball into the net – Cesc’s hard shot rebounded off Silva’s head!

      Alba had a great game tonight – the first defender ever to score in a Euro final. He needs some coaching in setting the off-side trap – which he’ll get at Barca!

    • mom4 says:

      I’d give Golden ball to Ini but MotM for this game to Xavi. IMO. It’s so good to see him playing more like himself again.

      Agree 100% about Silva. I’m grateful for the goals, but so many attacks died at his feet.

      Now, the status quo can be restored. I can go back to disliking RM players. Iniesta can get married and live happily ever after. Maybe he’ll celebrate this tournament the same way as the WC and we’ll get another Miniesta. Xavi can party for a few days and then rest whatever is left of his tendons. Mario can be thankful for the schooling he got today. And we can turn our thoughts to the fact that our first real game is against THEM.

  31. Xingxian says:

    Congratulations to the Spanish ones out there!
    :D
    Very pleased with this result.

  32. Vj says:

    So, imagine a Spain -

    VV
    Puyi – Pique – Alba
    Xavi – Busi – Thiago
    — Cesc – Iniesta
    Pedro! ——- Villa

    *Mindblown*

    • nzm says:

      I think that Casillas is the best GK for the La Roja game. He comes out, attacks the ball and is great in the air. VV just doesn’t have those qualities in abundance when compared to Iker.

      VV can’t read the corner balls and the high balls as well as Casillas. He’s better in a one-on-one situation, but those are rare in the La Roja game.

      • Vj says:

        Even your imagination has tactical sense :D

      • blitzen says:

        Casillas is a real tournament player. He never gets nervous in the big games, which is a real advantage for the team, and in a shootout I would never bet against him. He still frustrates me because he doesn’t play the ball out from the back like Valdes would, but for the NT I have absolutely no problem with him as #1. His calmness and leadership are irreplaceable.

    • Xingxian says:

      Wow. That would be pleasantly weird to watch for me.

  33. lea_terzi says:

    I have to give it to Iker. He is a huge part of Spain’s success.
    A bit unfair to the opposite team, having to go through THAT midfield, confront great team defence and probably the best CB pairing in this tournament, and after all that face Casillas in goal. No wonder they break down.

    It’s a small miracle, how many goals Barca scores against him :)

  34. nzm says:

    Interesting Stats at the bottom of this article on the match:

    Spain defend Title

    Click on the Tabs to see the complete analysis.

  35. nzm says:

    Casillas became the first player to reach 100 International wins. He has also not conceded for 509 minutes which is a new GK record.

    Torres became the first ever player to score in 2 consecutive Euro finals.

  36. Ryan says:

    I feel sorry for my future kids and grandchildren because I am going to talk their ears off about how I was witness to the best soccer team in history! Euro ’08 champions, World Cup ’10 champions, and now Euro ’12 champions! And they won this tournament without their best defender and striker, Puyol and Villa! Ay dios mio, que emociones!

    And how about Alba, eh? Scoring his first goal for Spain in the final!

  37. Any idea who won the Golden Ball? Hand it please to Iniesta. Xavi was the best player of the final in terms of impact, but still for me Iniesta should be the MOTM. The amount of space he was creating for Xavi to operate was incredible.

  38. Gogah says:

    Can’t remember another crop of players that dominated club and international football so consistently like these guys – hats off to them.

    I keep thinking if messi is cursing himself for not taking the offer to play for la Roja. Can you imagine the numbers and the football.
    There would have been absolutely no dispute against him being the best ever, by a distance.

    anyways, hope the boy wins something big for his country.

    as for the game yesterday, i can’t help but think that spain got a bit lucky. Chiellini is a beast, his loss so early allowed us to stroll down his flank like a park. Prandelli also got his selection wrong, Di Natale should have started.

    and Oh, Welcome to Barcelona, Jordi Alba. The bugger reminds me a lot of Dani Alves. Now we have two energiser bunnies on wither flank. It’ll be interesting to see how Tito will seek to inject some defensive stability in this team.

    • lyd says:

      So you wanted Prandelli to break the starting11 that beat Germany? Thats hindsight talking!

      And remember Di Natale is 34. Had Spain not showed up in such vintage form, the game was supposed to go to extra time, where Natale would have had a greater effect.

    • Gogah says:

      not hindsight lyd.
      You might think prandelli would be crazy to alter the team that beat germany. in normal circumstances, against any other top team, this might be the way to go. but this is spain we’re talking about, one with a distinct style. you HAVE to absolutely prepare the game specifically for the opponent, not stick with what appears to be a winning template. in the semis, balotelli was the difference.

  39. barca96 says:

    Now Football ‏@Now__Football

    Busquets has now won the Euro’s x1, World Cup x1, La Liga x3, UCL x2, Coppa DR x2, UEFA SC x2, Club World Cup x2. At the age of 23. #wow

    WOW!!

    • nzm says:

      and Spanish Supacopa x3. :)

    • Messiah10 says:

      Thanks for that barca96. I was just thinking how in all of the pundits heaping praise there’s been none for Busi! Ridiculous. ESPN put up Spain’s “notable” players ages in regards to WC ’14. His name wasn’t even on there!!! Made me P.O.’d! He is quite simply irreplaceable. I’m sick of his name somehow being lost in translation. He’s won everything there is to win and done it in style. He hasn’t pulled any of the shenanigans he used to in over a season or two. It should be said that these pundits were also questioning whether Spain were “boring”. Idiots.

  40. barca96 says:

    Mario Balotelli: “I will invite Shakira to the final, so that she can see what I will do to her boyfriend Pique.”

    Most probably just a joke but I noticed the postman having a few words with Busquets during the match. I’m pretty sure Busi was provoking him because it always started with Busi saying something to Mario.

    I don’t understand this guy, he is skinny and all bones but yet loves to do stuffs like this. Puyol & Pique can’t always back him up.

  41. barca96 says:

    I’m gutted that Kanoute went to China. I’ve wanted him to come to Barca for 2 years now after the failed plan B Ibra. What is up with these African players moving to China?

    • nzm says:

      Money? Lots of money? More money than they can make anywhere else in the latter stages of their careers? :D

      I’d be doing it too.

      China has a surplus of US$$$s that they need to offload in some way!

    • Messiah10 says:

      Yeah, agree with nzm. I don’t blame players in the latter stages of their career moving to China now. They can make as much as in 2 years there as they have in 6-8 years in Europe. We’ll see how they do over there. Anelka has had some issues with his team. They named him coach and then tried to name someone else. I think culturally it could be like moving to Mars. It won’t be easy, but if they somewhat adapt, their families will be set for life.

  42. providence says:

    Official: Barcelona player Andres Iniesta has been chosen
    as best player of the Euro #euro2012 #fcblive

  43. providence says:

    uefa squad of euro 2012

    Goalkeepers; Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain),
    Manuel Neuer (Germany).

    Defenders: Gerard Pique (Spain), Fabio Coentrao
    (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Pepe (Portugal),
    Sergio Ramos (Spain), Jordi Alba (Spain).

    Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (Italy), Steven Gerrard
    (England), Xavi (Spain), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Sami
    Khedira (Germany), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Mesut Ozil
    (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Xabi Alonso (Spain).

    Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cesc Fabregas (Spain),
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimovoic
    (Sweden), David Silva (Spain).

    • barca96 says:

      Haha and Cesc isn’t even a forward.

      I’m glad Busi got the recognition he deserves.

    • nzm says:

      It’s a shame that Lahm is there over Hummels – although the latter didn’t have a good game against Italy, I still think that he performed better than his captain.

      And Ibra makes it over Bendtner who was more dangerous for Denmark? Sheesh.

  44. providence says:

    Mou…or wateva cow noise u’ll make, wanted to use Madrid to revamp n reunite his so called Portugal and destroy d Uniteful spanish team but he didn’t suceed. in the end he’s d loser once again… viva espana.viva iker.viva iniesta viva alonso.viva ramos
    viva fabregas. viva silva….

  45. nzm says:

    Iniesta: Player of the Tournament

    Torres: Golden Boot

    Ramos: Castrol EDGE Index Winner Ramos pipped Cristiano to win this with his performance in the final. Third was Pique. Seven Spain players are in the Top 10.

    Team of the Tournament: 10 Spanish players included – of which 6 are from Barca, 3 from RM and 1 from Man City. Could this be the first time that the Golden Boot winner is not included in the TotT?

    • blitzen says:

      Early in the tournament when Spain weren’t looking like world-beaters, I said that Iniesta had the look of a man who was determined to drag them to the final if he had to carry them on his back. At times it did seem like he had to.

      So for me, his MVP of the tournament award is completely deserved. He was top notch from start to finish. It’s a travesty that he will never win the Ballon d’Or.

    • lyd says:

      Ramos becomes the first player in history to win this uber prestigious Castroll award twice in succession.
      (Sorry Ramos..u know business is back to normal now :P)

      UEFA team of the tournament could be better. Surely Karagounis/Modric/Moutinho played better than Gerard. Or Arshavin/Djagoev/Karplyanka/Yormolenko than Ibrahimovich. No sign of Hummels either. Strange!

      Really happy for Iniesta. Once a cult hero, now a true global star, living legend. Hope he keeps playing forever.

      And Torres. Deserving award, especially for his selfless assist to Mata. More importantly, the kid had fun as he got to play some genuine football consistently after a long long time.

      • nzm says:

        I just left a similar comment re Hummels above – and would have put in Bendtner over Ibra!

        • lyd says:

          Hmmm. Bendtner is a good contender too.

          nzm, i was thinking of an allstar Euro lineup featuring non-spanish players, which is going to compete against Spain. I am willing to use Prandelli’s 352 for starters. One good thing about my team is that CR dont get to feature :)

  46. nzm says:

    Anyone follow Paul Radley in twitter?

    Perhaps he needs reminding just who the La Roja captain is!

  47. barca96 says:

    Looks like the only way to stop Spain is to host all future tournaments in Stoke in February.

    hahahahahahahahahaha

    Haven’t laughed that loud in a long time. Some English man are truly funny!

  48. blitzen says:

    The celebrations will be streamed live here:

    http://www.clubseleccion.tv/home/es

    Starts around 1 pm EST I think.

  49. nzm says:

    Pepe Reina is hilarious. He’s always the one who introduces the team to the crowd.

    Tonight, and forever more, Busquets will be known as “Sergio del Bosque Busquets”. :D

  50. Messiah10 says:

    I really think Spain can/will 4-peat! I honestly don’t see a team that can beat them, unless Messi goes Messi and takes Argentina on his shoulders ala Maradona ’86. NO ONE can score against them! Their defense is impeccable. Xavi will be a huge hole/void if he’s not 100% in 2014, but he can be used as a deep lying play maker as he was in EURO12. I am still worried about him this season as I stated in earlier posts, even with his world class finals game. If I were Tito I’d let the national team players have preseason off. Except for Valdes. Germany may be able to take Spain off the mantle in ’14 because they’ll have more experience and be very hungry after their semi defeat. I’m not so sure they need a out and out striker. Gomez will be a couple years older. Klose won’t be in the team? They could start Rues, Goetz, Podolski up front & Ozil, Bastian, Muller in mid in a 4-3-3. They’d have Khedira & Kroos as well. Interesting thought?

    • barca96 says:

      How about Goetze?? He seems to be a forgotten man.

    • nzm says:

      They also have Lars Bender who would be so much better than Boateng. He’s a midfielder, but he played at RB when Boateng wasn’t available for one of the matches, and he was better than Boateng. Very versatile player.

      Loew needs to get tough with his team and start weeding out the ones who don’t give the results.

      Podolski is a lazy SOB who only does enough to stay on the pitch. He’s useless in defence and won’t track back unless he really has to. He played a big part in letting Balotelli score the 2nd goal. Incredibly, he and Lahm were covering Balotelli, and Podolski only trotted back with no urgency, allowing Balotelli an easier shot at goal.

      Gomez is just Gomez. Unless he gets the perfect ball to his feet or head, he’s useless. A big waste of a player position when fast movement and versatility is needed.

      Klose is too old now and should just go. Schweinsteiger needs time to properly recover from his injuries. Kroos is borderline decent/useless – he’ll disengage his brain to take a useless pot at goal when more finesse and ball retention is required. Badstuber needs to be shaken awake.

      I’d love to see:

      Neuer
      Bender – Mertesacker – Hummels – Lahm
      Mueller/Khedira – Schweinsteiger – Oezil
      Reus – Goetze – Schuerrle

      This frontline could really cause some problems for any defence.

      • Clouseau says:

        Yeah, it’s terrible to see eith what happened to Poldi.Hard to believe that he was once on par with Rooney now they are Worlds apart.I wonder how he will do @Arsenal him playing as LW is only another Copy of the Walcott issue.

        I only hope that Schürrle won’t follow the same path. He is special kind a type of forward Germany have waited patiently for long times.

        Won’t think it would workout for Germany to play with false 9 but if anybody is capable to do the job it’s Supermario Götze.
        But i’d like only once to see Götziller trio to play as forwards just for curiosity ;)

        • Messiah10 says:

          I don’t rate Walcott very high at all. Don’t let his goal at Euro’s fool you. That was a once in a lifetime shot. I watch a lot of Arsenal games and have never seen him do that. He can’t cross balls into the box at all. He does have pace but is dispossessed easily because he doesn’t have the ball skills to retain possession. Podolski is far better than him. I was disappointed with his Euro’s but I think he’ll adapt to PL well. It suits his game. He poured in 18 goals for a relegated side this year. He barely had any chances from lack of creation, so when he gets a chance, he buries it. I agree about his defense. It lacks and needs addressed, but I feel Wenger will get the best out of him.

          • Clouseau says:

            Me neither,haha.Far from that. What i meant is that the Gunners constantly expressed their dissappointment by Walcott lack of intelligence and Wingplay.Podolsky like Theo can’t beat up his man 1o1 and he doesn’t add that much of widths..
            What i’m sure of that he is going to team up very well with van Pervert as he will open up him the needed space and vice versa.

            But yeah it’s true the EPL suits him very well, pacy play and lot of spaces for him to use.Now with playing in a better Team he can show all of his skills.Perhaps it’s going to be the fresh air he needed.
            Wouldn’t be the first Time when Arséne convert a supbar Player to a Worldbeater :)

  51. ooga aga says:

    barca friendlies esta pretemporada

    july 24 at Hamburg
    aug 4 at Paris St Germain
    aug 8 vs Manchester United in sweden
    aug 11 TBA
    aug 20 vs Sampdoria (Trofeo Gamper)

    can you believe it, only 3 weeks til preseason.

    • ooga aga says:

      looks like i missed:

      july 29 vs Moroccan all-stars in Tangiers
      july 31 “catalan supercup” vs espanyol

      phew! full plate.

      • Clouseau says:

        First i was happy that Barça cancelled the asian preseason Tour but this one isn’t that better every three or four day a game? And still not counting Supercup against EE…

        Not optimistic about that Pretemporada..

    • hansh says:

      Holy CRAP, three weeks til preseason! That’s exciting, but I feel bad for our boys who are working hard about 11 months a year.

    • Messiah10 says:

      I just translated that. Wow. What a comment coming off a 3peat and unifying a country in the throws of a dire financial crisis. Great timing! Leave the politics be for a while sir.

  52. barca96 says:

    What do you guys think of Platini’s idea of having an Euro where it will be staged all over Europe?

    I am in favor of this because they will use already built stadiums instead of spending money to build stadiums for Euros. Ukraine, Poland and S. Africa etc. won’t be able to regain the $ spend for many years to come, if ever.

    • Messiah10 says:

      I’m not sure I like it. It sounds like a lot of traveling unless they keep groups in 1 location, give rest for travel, and then resume the same format with Quarter Finals. I can’t believe they’re expanding the tournament. The quality of the lesser teams is already extremely poor. It will only worsen with an expanded format and the quality of the matches will reflect that. I think the Euro’s should be held at major European countries who already have the infrastructure(i.e. stadiums, airports, hotels, major roads). It should be rotated between England, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, & Portugal. Russia is to big and the travel would be immense unless they kept it to a region of Russia. Any countries I’m missing?

  53. barca96 says:

    So you’re going to stay up until 4 or 5 am Asia Pacific time to watch this match and go to work on Monday morning? That’s quite a dedication

    Yeah the only time I do this for a non-Barca related match.
    Technically it’s not true because there are a handful Barca players in the team :)

  54. barca96 says:

    First Deschamps. Then Conte and now Ciro Ferrara is becoming a manager too! Urgh. Whenever I hear these names, it brings back painful memories of 1996 CL Final.

    They (Juve) were superb! I don’t understand how come nobody mentioned their team as one of the greatest ever.

    That was the first time I understand about the usefulness of pressuring the opponents. They hunted in packs. One of the first things that came to my mind during the early stages of Pep’s area was how it reminded me of Juventus’ intense pressuring team of the mid 90′s.

    I remember saying to my friends that it looked that they had extra players on the pitch.

    • Clouseau says:

      I think it’s due them beeing knowed as founded guilty for systemly doping their team. They have been about three Times or more at CL Finals but only won once? Back then it was fun to see Milan buying the names but Juve making the names xD

      But yeah that was a hell of Final i remember the young Davids shooting a horrible penalty..so horrendously weak the keeper didn’t even have to move..man how was i pissed off at him that Night :)

      Ravanelli played some good stuff with Baggio still my favourite italien Player.Curious to know what happened to him?

    • Clouseau says:

      Bayern Munich managed to get Mathias Sammer as new Sporting Direktor.Bayern reacted of the sudden Success of BVB and their admirable sporting Policy.The high defeats against BVB has led them to depart with Nerlinger.
      Sammer was the Sport Director of DFB(Ger FA)with him Germany managed to successfully rejuvinate their Youthpolicy. He was the only one on the DFB Camp who stand his man against Löw&Bierhoff as he had a critical View to most of their approachement.
      Smart move for Bayern but a big loss for the german Football.
      Sammer is a serious admirer of Pep Guardiola and always expressed his desire to see him coaching in the Bundesliga. Maybe he can make it possible now that he got the influence for it.

      But one thing is fur sure Bayern got one hell of a quality Football Expert and intellectuall man but above all unlike Nerlinger a strong personality,never fears conflicts and defends his views strongly.The last Guy with that kind of personality(Klinsmann)was chased out away by Hoeneß :))

  55. barca96 says:

    I really don’t understand how these things work at times (UEFA & FIFA).

    Balotelli only had 1 good match. Against England. How on earth was he selected in the team of the tournament? Same applies to Silva & Torres.

    Do they just look at the stats instead of observing the players?

    • Messiah10 says:

      Balotelli had a few good matches. Even when he didn’t score he created a lot of havoc for the defenses. He pressured well and relieved pressure and held the ball up so Pirlo could get it back. I thought he had a hell of a tournament. Maybe, it’s more down to him not melting down and quitting. This is the 1st time I’ve watched him and he’s continued to try hard even though his team was getting beat or he wasn’t scoring. He seemed mentally focused and that maybe why he’s stood out for the officials. If he takes that back to Citeh, he could have a hell of a season. A big “IF”. Maybe he has turned the page and matured. He is only 21! He could be a force for years to come.

    • Ryan says:

      Are you confusing his game against Germany with England? Scoring two against Germany in a semi-final is huge!

  56. Clouseau says:

    That was never meant to as reply to barca96 :

    Bayern Munich managed to get Mathias Sammer as new Sporting Direktor.
    Bayern reacted of the sudden Success of BVB and their admirable sporting Policy.The high defeats against BVB has led them to depart with Nerlinger.
    Sammer was the Sport Director of DFB(Ger FA)with him Germany managed to successfully rejuvinate their Youthpolicy. He was the only one on the DFB Camp who stand his man against Löw&Bierhoff as he had a critical View to most of their approachement.
    Smart move for Bayern but a big loss for the german Football.
    Sammer is a serious admirer of Pep Guardiola and always expressed his desire to see him coaching in the Bundesliga. Maybe he can make it possible now that he got the influence for it.

    But one thing is fur sure Bayern got one hell of a quality Football Expert and intellectuall man but above all unlike Nerlinger a strong personality,never fears conflicts and defends his views strongly.The last Guy with that kind of personality(Klinsmann)was chased out away by Hoeneß :))

    • Messiah10 says:

      Thanks for the info. I was sad to see Klinsmann pushed out, but in the end, the U.S. got him, so it worked out for me!

      • Clouseau says:

        Yeah, I guess it was a good for both sides to work with each other.Klinsmann is americanized anyway :)

        In Germany he made sure to clean out the old-fashioned thinking/approachement of the DFB and the Bundesligaclubs.
        By adding american.Fitnessexperts,building a modern Trainingcenter only for usage to DFB internationals etc.

  57. garry says:

    hey if i remember correctly, wasn’t Euler ‘supposed’ to give his views on our club’s transfer targets (‘promised’ in the article on transfers by other mods) ….would love to hear his views on the subject…..and thanks to him for the countless posts on tactics. They are eulertastic!

  58. Kimcelona says:

    Off Topic..but does anything really stay on topic here? LOL

    I may be the ONLY one here but I want Spain to drop out of the Olympics really early, like the first round hopefully, so Alba (ESPECIALLY), Thiago (if he acutally does get to go), Montoya and Tello can have rest and a preseason with the rest of the team.

    Am I the only one concerned with Alba not having a chance to integrate with his teammates, or getting to know some of the ins and outs of his new coach? He played EVERY minute of EVERY match of the Euros and now will be going to the Olympics after signing with a new club? Dont like it at all.

    Montoya and Tello going is another issue…didnt Tito say he needed to see these guys in preseason to make final decisions on whether they would be kept or loaned out/sold? Hows he gonna determine all this if they’ll be off at the Olympics missing preseason, possibly most of it if Spain goes all the way?

    I’m not a Spain supporter so for me Barca needs far outweigh Spain needs.

    • Messiah10 says:

      I was shocked to see him included in the squad. I hope he pulls up with cramps or something and doesn’t play much. I don’t care about the Olympics and never have. It’s too political and corrupt, much like FIFA. I only recently started watching Olympic football. I’ll be interested in watching Brazil because they’re pinning a lot of hope on this Olympic squad. It’s their only competitive tournament besides the Confederations Cup before WC ’14. I’m really not into any other Olympic sport they have. Maybe the 50 & 100 yd dash. Snooze fest. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  59. Gogah says:

    I’d love to see Barca play a full strength Spain team (without the first choice barca players of course)

  60. Helge says:

    @nzm: I wrote a reply under your comment about Piqué cutting the net :)

    • nzm says:

      sorry for the late reply, Helge!

      • Helge says:

        Better late than never :)

        I know it’s always a problem to refer to older comments on this site, because most people only look at the newest posts.

        And to be honest, I didn’t check for a reply before right now, because I’m learning almost 24/7 for my upcoming exams.

        So I hope you understood what I wrote to you in German, but if you understand Oliver Kahn’s analysis of football, this should not be too much of a problem ;)

  61. Ethan says:

    Anyone have a DL for the final?

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