Happy 23rd Birthday Lionel Messi

Who wants a birthday hug? (Getty Images)
Usually we refrain from individual birthday congratulations, but in this case, we will make an exception. Today is MESSIah’s date of birth, so let’s celebrate. Mr. Messi has now been with FC Barcelona for 10 years and in that short time has gone from a boy needing growth hormone treatments to the greatest player on the face of the earth. His accomplishments are myriad, both with the blaugrana and the Albiceleste, and he has gone on to become a vocal leader as well.

Since arriving, the Flea has amassed 127 goals and 52 assists in 247 appearances, winning 4 Liga titles, 2 Champion’s League trophies, 1 Copa del Rey, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 3 Supercopa de Espana trophies, and 1 FIFA Club World Cup title for the team. As an individual, he has won every award available to him at the club level, culminating in the FIFA World Player of the Year and European Golden Shoe awards for 2009 (more information on all his awards is available on Wikipedia). Now widely regarded as the best player in the world and one of the best players ever, Messi is with Barcelona for a long time to come and we want to wish him the best here.

Of course, any mention of the man could not go by without mentioning his charitable works. He is also a principled young man (I can call him that because I am older than he is) who represents a number of groups bearing his own name to help children suffering from diseases and poor education as well as working with UNICEF.

So in honor of your birthday Leo, we want you to go out and have a tasty, delicious adult beverage, and make sure there is a mic around when you do it.

Happy Birthday!

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  1. vicsoc8
    June 24, 2010

    My girlfriend just came back from Barcelona bearing lots of gifts including a pair of the awesome new red shorts. She also took about a million pictures of the Camp Nou for me, despite not being interested in football at all. I’m a lucky man.

  2. Kari
    June 24, 2010

    Usually I’d be mad a being Hectored, but in this case, I don’t really.

    Happy B-day, Messi! I hope you stay for another 10 years and then finish your career in Argentina!

    And yes vicsoc8, you are very lucky dude.


  3. Kari
    June 24, 2010


    WOOOOOO! Japan 1 – 0 Denmark!

  4. Kari
    June 24, 2010

    25 min. in and two Japanese players have been booked for time wasting. Let me repeat that. 25 min. into the match in the FIRST HALF two Japanese players have been booked for TIME WASTING; one was in the 11th min.

    Anyway, I’ve loving the Japanese fowards, Keisuke Honda in particular and the goalkeeper.

    Anyway, Japan FK!! C’mon!

    • Kari
      June 24, 2010

      HOLY FREAKING GOLAZO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      • Auld Super
        June 24, 2010

        I saw the boy Recoba get a hatrick of free kicks a few years ago while playing for Udinese. He was some player when he wanted to be.

        • Shekhu
          June 26, 2010

          I was just recalling Recoba when Uruguay was playing Korea.. What a player!!

  5. vicsoc8
    June 24, 2010

    Another fantastic free kick and it’s 2-0!

  6. Kari
    June 24, 2010

    Japan’s quick movement from the forwards and solid defending has been the story of the first half.

    Another Poulsen is getting ready to come on, just 34 min. into the match. Jorgensen coming off.

  7. Kari
    June 24, 2010

    In the other match, it looks like Holland have taken the lead through van Persie. Didn’t see the goal though.

  8. Kari
    June 24, 2010

    Japan has had an amazing first half. Their movement off and on the ball has been world class–it’s causing Denmark all sorts of problems. They play so well as a team.

    Apparently, they’ve been training focusing on speed and fitness and training in altitude. It’s doing wonders for Japan.

    HT 2-0 to Japan! Yosh!

  9. Auld Super
    June 24, 2010

    Happy birthday to Leo, the second greatest player to ever play the game after the mighty Diego (heading for first). He’s after lighting up this pretty poor world cup and showing rooney and the ronaldo for what they are, over hyped petulant toerags.

    • Vj
      June 24, 2010

      Pretty poor? Did you watch last few matches? The amount of upsets, drama, tension has been second to none..

      And just as I type this, Denmark pull one back to make this a nail biting last 15 mins!

  10. Kxevin
    June 24, 2010

    Scary thing is he seems to be getting better in his role as playmaker. Wouldn’t that be something that the detestable dumbass Maradumber, in asking Messi to shoulder that burden, returned him to us an even more amazing player.

    • Vj
      June 24, 2010

      He may be as mad as DomDom, but all the group stage success he’s had has led me to question – Is there a method to his madness?

      Another Goal, this time by Japan! This is turning out to be quite a goal-fest!

    • Dave
      June 24, 2010

      Well I think thats the role messi will occupy in the future, Rikaard mentioned this messi as a deeper midfielder

  11. Kari
    June 24, 2010


    Unselfish from Honda, pulling it back for his teammate to score for his first goal in his WC debut

    MOTM surely!

  12. Kari
    June 24, 2010

    Yeah! Japan through to the Round of 16; two golazos from freekick, my personal fav being the first on from Honda, and another after nice play again from Honda.

    3-1 Japan FT

    • lovelymofo
      June 24, 2010

      And he was close to scoring a fourth for Japan! Nifty!

      I really enjoyed the matches today. Some interesting match ups!

      • Kari
        June 24, 2010

        I loved it too! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I felt people jumped to conclusions and put too much emphasis on the first matches. The WC has started to really pick up now. Who woulda though that both finalist would be out in the first round and finish bottom of their respective groups? We have an Argentina-Mexico rematch, England-Germany grudge match, a possible Brazil-Spain match up (although I don’t really want that to happen…)

        All in all, I can’t wait for tomorrow!

        • Ryan
          June 24, 2010

          Watching the games here in Japan, I’m really glad that Japan ditched the horrible form they had during the pre-tournament friendlies. Honda really is something else! An aggresive and clinical Japanese player; I didn’t think they made those!

  13. ballbeav
    June 24, 2010

    uruguay, argentina and paraguay all won their groups.

    brazil probably will too.

    but i hope chile doesnt.

    anyway, this world cup is showing that south america is where it’s at…

  14. Dave
    June 24, 2010

    The technique on those free-kicks was terrific

  15. Ciaran
    June 24, 2010

    For anyone amazed by Keisuke Honda’s freekick, I found this great video of his older ones… he’s been doing it for some time… I’m looking for a video from his freekick against Sevilla and I’ll add it in a moment…

    • Ciaran
      June 24, 2010


  16. Euler
    June 24, 2010

    Keisuke Honda was extremely impressive today. You have to give him a great deal of credit. Mostly he’s played as a midfield play maker in the past. Today as in Japan’s prior matches in the Cup he’s assumed the role of the lone striker and has been very effective despite playing out of position.

    Japan came into the World Cup in complete disarray and expectations for the Blue Samaurai were very low even in Japan.

    For Honda to step up and assume the role of lone striker for a national team that was suffering from effectiveness up top is really a tremendous effort given where he usually plays. He was very effective in disrupting a Demark sqaud that focuses it’s game on it’s defensive solidity. His movement and skill just gutted what Denmark relies on tactically.

    • Ryan
      June 24, 2010

      Wouldn’t it be insane if that “top 4 at least” proclamation from the Japanese coach actually came true?

  17. I can see them suprising one or two more powerhouses. I mean they did pull off Pearl Harbor, pretty damn tricky if you ask me.

    As for “my drunk Messi”

    I think he says….

    You wanted the treble……here is your treble…..and we will bring you the treble again next year (manly) Visca Catalunia>>>> Barca players go crazy at this point, I don’t know if it was because he was coming out of his shell or what, but the team loved it!!!

  18. Pyro
    June 24, 2010

    Messi says the year that is coming we’ll keep going and win everything, we are gonna celebrate everything again. Thank you for everything, Visca el Barca y Visca Catalunya

  19. Helge
    June 25, 2010

    Guys, mark this date in your calendars!
    Sport.es published a pro-Ibra report as the leading article. They say his stats haven’t been that bad at all and Pep might give him a vote of confidence!

    • Jnice
      June 25, 2010

      They are only doing this to save face because they are idiots. They realize that Pep has no plans to sell Ibra, so they backtrack and look at the stats and say “Pep might give Ibra a second chance.” Ridiculous.

  20. June 25, 2010

    btw auld super,
    mihaljovic had a hattrick too from fk’s while he was playing for lazio.
    the good ol lazio days.sigh

    • June 25, 2010

      and they were all from similar distance.
      like the halfway line between the goal and the half line of the field

  21. Eklavya
    June 25, 2010

    Dunga not too well dressed this time 🙁

  22. messi_fan
    June 25, 2010

    The Yaya has scored for Ivory Coast

  23. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Interesting match. How does Brazil breakdown a team that is dropping deep defensively and not pressing much at all past midfield? Playing Melo and Silva in midfield where does the creativity come from, particularly with Kaka out? Dunga has built this team to depend on moments of individual brilliance to get Brazil by in games like this as there’s not a lot of imagination in midfield for Brazil overall.

    Fábio Coentrao has been very impressive at LB for Portugal. He’s been perhaps their best player so far in this cup. He’s extremely good with the ball at his feet but also maintains his position and defends well in space. Not very strong but uses his pace well. Today he has to stop Maicon and is doing well.

    How silly was that CIV player getting Kaka sent off with a red last match by embellishing? The only way CIV can even possibly advance is for Brazil to destroy Portugal and he handicaps Brazil in doing so.

  24. Dave
    June 25, 2010

    Pepe’s in the wars. Frankly couldn’t happen to a bigger diver/injury feigner.
    Match needs to open up-and Baptista is more a road block than a creative influence. Team is short on creativity, without kaka it is workman-like.
    needs a playmaker- Diego was left at home so can’t see anyone else doing it

    • Jnice
      June 25, 2010

      Dani has had more influence on the game than Baptista. He doesn’t command the ball.

  25. Eklavya
    June 25, 2010

    Just saw the highlights of the other match. CIV should be up 6-0!

  26. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Portugal is giving everyone a template for how to play Brazil. Argentina in particular as they are likely going to deploy 5-6 outfield player who are going to play deep and have primarily defensive responsibilities.

    Spain though can’t play Brazil this way. They are going to have to play up high and dispossess Silva and Melo of the ball in order to break up Brazi’s possession. But that also opens them up to Brazil’s strength which is scoring on the counter.

  27. messi_fan
    June 25, 2010

    Is Alves playing as badly as the commentators are saying? I’m at work so i can’t watch the match

  28. Helge
    June 25, 2010

    I don’t understand the German commentators. They still expect Brazil to play “jogo bonito”, how much do they know about Dunga?!? Incompetent retards… 🙂

    I’m sure that Brazil will never entertain on the level that many people still seem to expect during this WC, Dunga puts effectiveness and winning above all. A draw was enough to secure first place, so Brazil drew. I really can’t stand them under Dunga.

  29. Kxevin
    June 25, 2010

    Alves didn’t exactly cover himself in glory that match, it must be said. But it was about the quality of match that was expected, when Brazil was through, and Portugal simply had to not concede. Ick.

    • Jnice
      June 25, 2010

      I thought Alves was fine, his movement and everything was better than most out there. His set-pieces sucked, though.

  30. Kxevin
    June 25, 2010

    And my condolences to Kari, as Silva is headed to Citeh, for around 35m. Can’t believe he’d be okay with not playing Champions League, but what do I know? The Yaya is also. They’re assembling quite the squad over there with all that money, it must be said.

    • Jnice
      June 25, 2010

      That’s what I’m saying. They’ve signed Jerome Boateng as well. With maybe another defender and another REAL striker, they might be fighting for the title next season. If I’m Arsenal and Man Utd, I’m kind of nervous because they seem to be resting on their laurels and looking at their squads, they aren’t too hot to me

      Plus, last season, City had a stretch where they tied like 8 or 9 straight matches. Had they won just a few of those, they would be in qualifying for CL and not Tottenham.

  31. theMaginator
    June 25, 2010

    If I were arsenal right now I would be scared of loosing Cesc because Citeh is getting stronger and stronger. Imagine is they loose Cesc. Which they will.

  32. Luis
    June 25, 2010

    Any news on the Spanish lineup? Will move villa to cf to make way for andres even tho he was good on left the last game. I’ve heard chile have very attacking tactics. Can they also play a tactical defensive game which. They probably won’t, and nor should they. Banking on a draw hasn’t worked well for teams thus far.

    • Euler
      June 25, 2010

      They are perhaps the most interesting squad at the cup tactically. They play a very dynamic 3-3-1-3 and drop players back when not in possession. They will also change formation to enhance the back line – they played 4 at the back against Honduras which was running a one striker up top. Against the Swiss two striker formation he Bielsa used a 3 man back line.

      What they do against Spain will depend partly on how Del Bosque lines up Torres and Villa. If Villa is out on the wing in a 4-4-3 I’d expect Chile to use 4 in the back. If it’s Torres and Villa together centrally Chile will use 3 in the back. Bielsa will likely substitute early to make sure he as the right formation on the back line.

      They’ve been absolutely terrific this World Cup. Extremely impressive.

  33. poipoi
    June 25, 2010

    one hour and a half to go!! no liveblog?? 🙁

    villa torres iniesta
    xavi busi xabi
    capde pique puyol ramos

    we gotta go through ANYHOW with a doble pivote a triple or whatever go del bosque we love you park the bus lol

  34. June 25, 2010

    so i guess most of you guys watched the porto vs brasil match.
    make sure to watch the highlights of ivory coast, especially that goal from yaya.
    he chose a corner and slides it in instead of using his power as usual.
    btw he is their creative player and the dm at the same time i noticed.

  35. Vj
    June 25, 2010

    What no liveblog? I can host one if that is required..

  36. james89
    June 25, 2010

    chilean players flipping and flopping all over the place.

    …and villa with the PEDRO

  37. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Right there we saw the value of width. Chile is playing 3 in the back against Torres up top as a single striker.

    Xabi Alonso set up that play very well. The weakness in a three man backline is along the flanks. Alonso moved the ball into that open space for Torres to run into. There’s a great deal of space along the flanks and that’s why the defender got caught 1 vs 1 with Torres and the keeper had to come out so far.

    Brilliant strike by Villa. I guess he’s pretty good along the left flank.

    And it’s very fortunate that he scored that goal because Spain is having significant difficulty handling Chile’s relentless pressing. Xavi in particular has been absent because Chile’s not allowing any time on the ball.

  38. y2k156
    June 25, 2010

    Spain are through now. Sadly i cannot feel happy for them.

    Busi doing his acting thing and referee giving out yellows to chile and none to spain for similar offences.

    Goals were brilliant though and am really happy for iniesta.

  39. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Chile is now in big trouble. Their system depends on pressing very hard across the pitch and one man down they can’t do it.

    The reason why Chile picks up so many cards is that they tactically foul in order to prevent other sides from countering as Chile plays a high defensive line and presses all over. They are very open to the counter if it develops quickly.

    Second foul on Estrada was nonsense and Torres played it up but Estrada should have picked up a second yellow on an earlier foul anyway.

    • lovelymofo
      June 25, 2010

      Yes, Estrada should have been off for the foul on Iniesta.

    • Vj
      June 25, 2010

      He fouled Iniesta which led to the goal, which wiped out their +2 goal difference.. The Swiss only need a win in order to qualify, if Chile don’t score any more goals..

      Spain looks set to top the group and avoid Brazil.. I for one would like to see Pique owning Thong Boy again..

      • lovelymofo
        June 25, 2010

        Right? Chrissy has never scored against Barça, so I expect to see Pique OWN his ass.

        Plus, Portugal should be out if only for Pepe’s New Edition hair.

    • June 25, 2010

      torres was clipped. although it was an accident, there is no player that wouldve stayed on their feet.

  40. Jnice
    June 25, 2010

    Great match from the Barça boys. Busquet’s flick over one of the Chileans was lovely.

    Torres and Capdevilla have been awful. Torres’ touch is disgusting in a bad way and Capdevilla was afraid of Sanchez.

      • Hilal
        June 25, 2010

        So did Iniesta… didnt see it effect his play. Ibra was coming off injury after injury all season, didnt see very many ppl give him the benefit of the doubt. Torres has been poor, simple as that, and not just this game, but all the games.

    • Vj
      June 25, 2010

      Iniesta has looked sluggish too.. It’s really hard to come out firing on all cylinders after an injury..

      Capdevila’s match can be summed up by that throw in he messed up..

  41. Ramzi
    June 25, 2010

    Iniesta intercept…Iniesta pass…Iniesta receive…Iniesta pass…Iniesta receive…Iniesta pass (to the net)!

  42. Kari
    June 25, 2010

    Villa is now the most prolific goal getter in Spanish WC history with 6 goals (and counting) and now has 41 (?) international goals. He’s also tied with Higuain with 3 goals. Score more, Guaje!

    LOVE how both goals are from Barca players (Yay Andres! Forcefield disables during crunch matches it seems 😀 )

    Can’t wait till our season starts up again

  43. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Del Bosque made a very interesting tactical change for Spain in that half. Xabi Alonso was playing deeper than Busquets. That’s the first time that’s happened in this Cup. Alonso is usually in the more advanced position with Busquets deeper in a more defensive role.

    Del Bosque perhaps was concerned about Chile’s pressing up high. In order to give the defenders a sound outlet to play the ball out of Spain’s own third he had Alonso drop deeper to engage in link up play with his passing.

    Very impressed with how Spain is playing in this 4-3-3. They are using width so much better than they had not only in the first cup match but also in the run up. Alonso has been a big part of that with his diagonal balls. Pique was as well last match.

    Villa out left has been amazing. I can’t wait to see him play out there for Barca. It is going to be unbelievable. Villa-Ibra-Messi will be a stunning front line.

    • Euler
      June 25, 2010

      It was but that’s very poor defending. 3 defenders are standing there and none of them close out an attacking player shooting from there? There were three defeners there. At least one has to close out the player.

      • Vj
        June 25, 2010

        Puyol hasn’t looked like the leader he is here.. Spain have to sort out that defense if they are to win the World Cup..

  44. Vj
    June 25, 2010

    Torres comes off for HeWhoShallNotBeNamed..

  45. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Chile is at risk for becoming prisoners of their own system here. 2-1 loss and they go through in all likelihood. But they are so wedded to pressing that they keep making aggressive tackles that are far too risky. They cannot afford to have another player sent off. That could open the flood gates for Spain.

  46. Kari
    June 25, 2010

    So, watching Spain right now with Torres off, I wonder if Kxevin still thinks that Villa can’t lead the line…

  47. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Chile’s fitness is remarkable. Their players cover so much space. They press and press and press even a man down. It’s really something. They aren’t pressing as hard as they opened up with but even now they aren’t dropping back to defend. They are pressuring the ball.

  48. Auld Super
    June 25, 2010

    There’s allot of stories going around that we are looking to buy Torres, the new president ( Rosell ) is a huge fan by all accounts. I know he’s having a bad world cup but he’s a class player, the problem is he is very injury prone and for what he’d cost I’d nearly hang on to the dreaded Ibra instead.

    2nd goal there made in Barca, can’t wait to see the goal machine playing for us next season.

    • Jnice
      June 25, 2010

      I don’t know… maybe I’m crazy, but i have never thought Torres was all that. Especially not with Spain or Atletico Madrid. His game is more suited for England and Premiership sides, not us.

  49. Hilal
    June 25, 2010

    Once again, Sergio Busquets is one of the best players on the pitch, wonderful performance so far.

    • Euler
      June 25, 2010

      Busi has been very good. Against a team that presses so hard and closes players down so fast, having a defensive holding player who is a good passer, composed on the ball and strong in positioning is a particular advantage.

      Spain’s deep midfield play has been very good, including Xavi and now Fabergas dropping deep to ensure players who are highly skilled on the ball are bringing it out of Spain’s own third to avoid turnovers if Chile pressures the ball.

  50. Vj
    June 25, 2010

    LOL Silva wants to come on but the play doesn’t stop.. and the ref blows the whistle..

    Spain and Chile go through..

  51. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Congrats to Chile. Good to see them go through. They are a terrific squad. Very impressive.

    Spain is better right now with Villa out on the left. Teams know that Spain likes to play through the middle and have adjusted tactics.

    But that’s leaving Spain with large amounts of space to exploit along the flanks. That’s the area where Villa is going to be most difficult to mark and where he’ll have the most space and time on the ball. In addition, one of Spain’s real strengths is those precise diagonal long balls from Alonso and Pique. But if you don’t have an attacking player out on the wings those passes aren’t as dangerous.

    But all this depends on Torres finding his form and so far he’s been awful.

  52. y2k156
    June 25, 2010

    Happy for Spain and Chile. Chileans have lost quite comprehensively to Brazil before so i expect them to lose again. Spain will find it difficult against Portugal (they have a mean defence) but expecting Spain to go through.

    Happy that the Swiss did not get through. Lots of interesting match up’s coming along. Cannot wait!

  53. Ramzi
    June 25, 2010

    And that Busquets moment was not a dive. A clear yellow card. Just for the record. As it was mentioned above. Check again.

  54. Jnice
    June 25, 2010

    I thought Busi was great, but of course in other blogs and forums, he still receives the most hate. Clueless fans. I bet if he scored a scorcher from outside the box, he would all of a sudden be considered to be having a good match. Sometimes the clueless fans are only convinced by goals.

    • jordi™
      June 25, 2010

      Even Marca gave him top marks and called the best player.*http://www.marca.com/2010/06/25/futbol/mundial_2010/selecciones/espana/1277498641.html?a=LO22a51313d65fb317718352096ee214034&t=1277514747

      It just proves the people still hating on him dont watch the games and just pigeon hole him based on his name.

  55. Blow-Grenade
    June 25, 2010

    Oh yeah baby!!! La Fuera Roja!!!!
    Que Golazo’s from our very own Ghostface, and our ‘recent’ very own David Villa.

    • tutomate
      June 25, 2010

      La FUERA? Roja.

      I know what you meant though.

  56. poipoi
    June 25, 2010

    mvp busi all the way!!!

    and the rest were just… bad, even xavi and iniesta. to me it’s vicente’s fault only, not the players… I won’t stop 🙂 we were lucky villa sent that ball in and iniesta came back to the midfield to throw some walls and score his annual goal. chile played well and could have won the game perfectly, we did not have that many goal chances me thinks.

  57. Dave
    June 25, 2010

    Spain need to be more clinical and they’re not as fluid as before. Need to improve big time

  58. tutomate
    June 25, 2010

    I was not impressed with La Madre Patria today, they were not running half as hard as Chile was. They have to try harder if they want to win the WC. Over all their movement was good when it pertains to opening up for a pass, but when not in procession they did not pressure as they should they kind of just went back to defensive positions a la Arsenal instead of pressuring like Barca.I think they are too used to playing European sides. Hopefully this shows them how they play on this side world.

    Chile was very impressive I would love for them to pull the upset on Brasil.


  59. ballbeav
    June 25, 2010

    puyol was not involved at all, which is a good thing. i didnt even see a close up of him on the screen ONCE the whole game! and casillas had very, very little to do. without a deflection its 2-0. the yellows were just, as euler said, chile was fighting but a little too slow to those tackles, because….spain was a little too quick. thats how you lose a man. spain was superior. but yeah they need to do more. still glad to see south american send all 5 teams through. plus mexico and US, the americas did well. and honduras kept the swiss out as well.

  60. Euler
    June 25, 2010

    Torres getting Estrada sent off was a complete dive. The replay is awful. Very cynical and very embarrassing, particularly given how poorly he played.

    Difficult to complain about squads from other countries like the Italians when one pull maneuvers like this one by Torres.

    Estrada could have been sent off for the prior tackle but ultimately he wasn’t given that card. Torres decided to do some play acting to get him thrown out knowing it would decrease Chile’s ability to press.

    Interesting tactic to take for the member of a team that’s lost 2 games in it’s last 45 or so to take. Particularly for a star player lauded for his toughness.


    • Tim
      June 25, 2010

      I think it is pretty clear from that .gif that there is contact between the two players and going at high speed he is always going to fall there. Not a yellow card offense probably, but out of the corner of the ref’s eye it looks bad.

      • ballbeav
        June 25, 2010

        that gif is not good enough quality, if you watch a good quality replay i thought he actually knicked both his feet, one after the other. even estrada’s gait takes a little hiccup from the contact. torres sold it and it probably shouldnt have been a yellow either way but it wasnt a complete dive i say.

  61. Kxevin
    June 25, 2010

    Spain looked impressive at times, and crappy at times. Pique’s last-second deflection kept Chile from scoring first, luckily for them. What is there to say about the Villa strike, really. Placement, opportunity and timing, off the first touch, which made it even more impressive.

    No, Kari, I still don’t think he can lead the line, match in and match out. He could for a stretch against Chile, but imagine if he were the sole target and it wasn’t a 2-0 lead. Players such as Villa need someone to open up space for them. Dare I say on the wing, Villa looked a lot like Henry of the good year, with his pace and movement. I also like the way he was hustling after balls and battling for possession. As the announcer noted, rare were the times that you saw him doing that at Valencia. He might as well get used to it, since that is the Guardiola way.

    Busquets appears to be growing up before our eyes. He was so impressive today. It makes that Yaya sale seem all the more well-timed, I have to say. I still don’t think he’s the man, match in and match out, but wow. And he’s only getting better. There was one sequence where I had to check to make it wasn’t some little midfielder running around, as he drove up the sideline, throwing ballhandling skills at the defense.

    If we don’t do anything stupid (yes, like sell Ibrahimovic), we’re the best club in the world next year, period, full stop. Villa is an absolutely immense addition, and man, was it good to see Iniesta doing what we all know he does so well.

    And Torres? Really? Could anyone, after these matches, be entertaining any notions of a Torres for Ibrahimovic swap? Only one of them has had two knee operations and looks to be (so far) a shadow of himself. Yes, the 18 goals in 22 matches stat for Liverpool is an impressive scoring rate. But I just don’t see it happening. As someone noted, Sport is sniffing the air like a bird dog, and they don’t see it happening either, despite their best efforts. Hence the “maybe Ibrahimovic ain’t so bad after all” piece today.

  62. jordi™
    June 25, 2010

    Also how farcical have some of these MOTM awards been? Yes im talking about Thongboy getting 3 in a row.Hell he even gave over the award to tiago himself in the game before this last one.

  63. Miguel
    June 25, 2010

    wow. i’m really glad chile progressed to the knock out round, & i’m especially glad it wasn’t @the expense of espain.

    i’m feeling lucky. i’m heading to the horse track. $3 beers before 9.

  64. messi plz do the best in the next match plz plz plz …….i am waiting to see your best performance……. i really really really miss you same as your lover its my true tough……………. from bangladesh

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