Spain – Switzerland U21 Final LiveBlog [Update with Thiago GOLAZO]

C’mon, guys, it’s a final — you knew there was going to be a liveblog.

And blitzen, I don’t remember giving you access to my mind. Kindly get out. 😀


Categorized as Liveblog

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


    1. heh, to be fair, I didn’t. 😀 I believed you guys, but I haven’t watched enough B team to really know anything about him…not that I think I do now after just a few matches, but yay anyway!

    2. Cesc Fabregas had this to say on his twitter about Thiago’s goal:

      Que golazooooo!!!!

  1. “Spain are the new Brazil.” From perennial underachievers to becoming the new hegemony… what a time for Spanish football!

    1. Thiago has cojones. Going for that in a final! What a playa!! *in the slumdog millionaire gameshow host voice*

  2. It was painfully obvious that bojan is unhappy during d teams celebration. When did he get the Bobo nickname or does that belong to someone else?

  3. Why the hell are we offering €40million for Cesc again?
    Thiago is 20 and would start in any midfield in Europe at the minute, with the exception of our own.
    Give him the minutes and he could be the best midfielder of his generation.
    He has the ball control, passing and technique and certainly has the confidence to really make it in our team. I really hope that Cesc doesn’t come this summer and we spend the money or a world class central defender and a forward.

  4. Jesus, time to jump off the Cesc bandwagon, lie him stay at Arsenal til 2013, the year before he is out of contract (i think) then we get him on the cheap. By that time Thiago will be as good of a player as Cesc, and a much more natutral fit…..FML, I am falling in love w/ our youngsters this summer!!!!! We are really building a dynasty here

  5. Someone made this comment over at the Guardian:

    They win when they are expected to win.
    They win with no internal fighting.
    They win without even have to courtesy to get any proper injuries or at least some sort of crisis along the way.
    They win playing the best football.
    They win without ever looking like they are not going to win.
    They win by only doing what’s necessary to win and not a dot more and thus conserving energy and enthusiasm for yet more wins down the road.
    They have all the best players.
    The have all the best substitute players.
    The b’stards probably have all the best reserve players.

    They make me sick.


    1. I managed to find a few nuggets of denial and hate on the Spanish team in the comments on that article. People still remain skeptical of Spain… don’t know why.

    2. Of course! Wouldnt you be skeptical of a team that won the Euro’s, the following World Cup, the Under 21 Euro’s, that are tipped to win this years Euro’s, whose National team contains 2 of the 3 Balon D’Or finalists, and is represented by no fewer than 8 of the most recent Champions League winners.

      Wouldnt you be skeptical?

      Nope 🙂

      Probably Arsenal fans, angry because Cesc doesnt start for la roja.

  6. For those of you who missed the Copa Libertadores 2nd leg. Paulo Henrique Ganso player highlights. Mmmm!


  7. Hey is nexy years FIFA POTY/Balon De oro based of last season, and if so, is Messi not the heavy favorite to brig home a third consecutive goldern ball thinngy??

  8. Across the globe boys get chewed up and spit out through the football machine.

    It is really remarkable to watch Freddy Adu play right now after all of these years, all the hype, disappointment and marginalization.

    Adu is playing brilliantly. He is easily the most talented player the U.S. has on the pitch. His skill on the ball and touch are exactly the qualities U.S. players never seem to have.

    It’s like watching a player come back from the football dead.

    1. Hopefully these 2 performances get him away from Turkey’s 2nd league and into a team he can develop further.

    2. Absolutely. Though reportedly it’s been going to the Turkish second division that really got him to turn things around. Perhaps it was hitting rock bottom.

      He should definitely be in a better league.

      He has talent.

    3. Euler, you read the news about Chelsea joining the bidding for Sanchez? Haha, anyway….

      Fun game to watch. Like you say, Freddy is definitely the most talented of the US players (sorry Dempsey fans), I contend that he should’ve been in the team long ago. I mean, Jozy wasn’t playing for his club yet he was still an automatic starter.

      Oh, and I don’t like Michael Bradley, I don’t care what anyone says or how many goals he manages to score. He lacks fluidity and has already lost the ball 3 times in crucial areas in the midfield. I will never be convinced he is a quality player. He certainly isn’t better than Mo Edu.

    4. You’ll have to wait till Senior Bradley is not the coach for his son to be dropped though.

    5. Also – on the Chelsea news for Sanchez – I saw that. I am really hoping it’s not true as that will simply add to the circus. I think the story was only in the Daily Mail so it could just be completely made up.

      That said – they could really use Sanchez. Chelsea’s midfield is terrible and needs to be completely refashioned.

      Playing Sanchez as a trequarista will only help Torres. And pairing Sanchez and Lukaku would be a very good duo moving into the future.

      There are also new reports of City once again increasing their offer.

      This I do believe. Mancini must be raising hell about getting Sanchez at all costs.

      The pressure on Sanchez to sign with City must be getting overwhelming. I bet his agent is also telling him how much money he would be losing not going to City.

      Barca can’t compete with City or Chelsea. So don’t even bother trying.

      Just have to hope Sanchez really does only want to play at Barca and is going to force Pozzo’s hand.

      But it’s getting very complicated. And the Copa is coming up…

      Both Chelsea and City can afford to wait if need be as their owners will just free up more cash for a signing after the copa even if it’s last minute.

      Barca has a lot of business that needs to be taken care of.

      But I fully expect us to spend endless amounts of time on Fabergas very shortly…

    6. But I fully expect us to spend endless amounts of time on Fabergas very shortly…

      Listening to Talk Sport today, everyone in England seems to be convinced a deal will be struck this summer. Former Arsenal players are even encouraging Wenger to sell.

      I still remain skeptical, but it seems increasingly likely he may come.

      Also, Arsenal fans on twitter need to shutup with the “Thiago plus 40m for Cesc” nonsense. Like Ramzi said earlier today, it should be the other way around. 🙂

    7. Arsenal fans on twitter need to shutup with the “Thiago plus 40m for Cesc” nonsense

      Thank God I don’t have Twitter. I’d be going thermonuclear on those foo’s.

  9. Years ago the U.S. took England as it’s model for developing it’s national football program.

    And the U.S. never recovered from that strategic mistake. Rather than pattern itself after say – Germany – they picked England.

    In 2006 when they had the chance to correct course – they passed it up and didn’t hire Jurgen Klinsman.

    Instead – Bob Bradley.

    There’s so little systematic understanding of the game. As in England – something negative happens and it’s just a mater of not giving enough “effort” or “heart”, etc.

    Just as with England – the U.S. over and over and over gets killed between the lines. Gio is just running rampant through that space. But the U.S. just doesn’t seem to understand this.

    The U.S. was up 2-0. Now it’s 2-2.

    The Fox announcers – former players – are now saying that the key to the game is “solidifying the back four.”

    The back four is terrible – they have no pace.

    But the fundamental problem is between the lines – not the back four. If you provide the opposition time and space on the ball between the lines the back four is going to get picked apart.

    They don’t even understand the problem that needs to be fixed. It’s just so fruitless.

    1. When you say that they used England as a model, what do you mean? Do you mean in terms of style of play, or to do with the set up of player development, etc?

      (This has very little to do with the gold cup, and much more to do with the fact that I know next to nothing about American football).

    2. It’s the entire foundation for how the U.S. has set up their development programs and how the game is played. How it’s understood and conceptualized.

      Just as a concrete example – the U.S. adopted the 4-4-2 and never really changed that base formation.

      The emphasis is on “physicality” and “hard work” rather than technique and possession.

      Style wise – they play long balls all the time. And then run. And run more.

      Kids at a very young age are put out on the pitch and just told to play rather than instructed in skills.

      It’s the whole program and way the game is understood.

      We taught ourselves how the game “should” be played by looking to England – tactically, stylistically, and organizationally.

      And the same problems England runs into the U.S. has – only the U.S. is much less talented. It’s not pretty.

  10. Jnice,

    Very entertaining match. Both teams really lack pace at the back and are still trying to push up and that’s making the match completely wide open.

    On Bradley – he is quintessential U.S. player. Lots of “heart,” “effort,” “leaves it out on the pitch,” etc, etc. He has all of the fictional things that don’t really matter but has very poor touch, limited on the ball, doesn’t have much pace, doesn’t circulate the ball quickly, etc.

    Bob Bradely is just an awful manager.

    And the U.S. falls behind – once again from play between the lines.

    They are awful in this region – and always have been. And no one bothers to fix it.

    The manager doesn’t seem to know what the problems are. So they never get fixed.

    Sunil Gulati not hiring Klinsmen in 2006 is a mistake the U.S. won’t recover from for years and years. What a horrible decision. The guy in the country who knows more about the game than anyone else wants to be able to define the program – and you say no. You’re asking for too much “control.”

    I haven’t seen Adu play much at all in years – have to say – he looks very good.

    You can watch for 5 minutes and it’s clear that he can play in ways that no one else on the U.S. can.

    I really hope he gets out of Turkey.

    The U.S. is getting killed in exactly the region of the pitch he’s theoretically responsible for.

    1. Sunil Gulati not hiring Klinsmen in 2006 is a mistake the U.S. won’t recover from for years and years. What a horrible decision. The guy in the country who knows more about the game than anyone else wants to be able to define the program – and you say no. You’re asking for too much “control.”

      It’s just silly.

    2. While Klinsmann had a refreshing WC2006 with Germany, his success was based on personal and social qualitites rather than tactics. The fact that the current head coach Joachim Loew was the tactician and Klinsmann was more of a motivator was actually widely reported in the German media.

    1. Beautiful touch. Just wonderful.

      He should be a much better player at the club level than he’s been.

      All that said – I still absolutely hate that thing on his head. And I especially hate it because it reminds of the dumb thing Ronnie used to wear as he deteriorated.

    2. And I especially hate it because it reminds of the dumb thing Ronnie used to wear as he deteriorated.

      Yup. I maintain (somewhat jokingly) that Ronaldinho’s form deteriorated because of that stupid thing.

      Gio used to be my boy. I was sad for awhile after he left.

    3. It was a brilliant piece of skill.

      Must be absolutely electric inside of the rose bowl right now.

      Outrageous goal.

    4. He didn’t even look up. Incredible close control and then he has the awareness of where the goal is, chips the ball into the one area no defender could have gotten a head to, all in the span of 5 or so seconds. Ridiculous.

      Also, ditto on the headband. I saw the Ronnie-Gio connection early, when he was still on the team. He seems to have picked up a lot of Ronnie’s habits. A shame.

  11. Looks like Mexico’s going to Brazil in 2013. 😛

    That makes Brazil, Spain, and Mexico. In a month, we’ll know who represents CONMEBOL. Copa America starts next Friday!

    1. Copa America starts next Friday!

      Can’t wait.

      Wish I could watch Chile knowing that Sanchez is our player….

  12. They lost a 2 goal lead vs Brazil in 2009 and did so again tonight; what a shame the US can’t finish as strong as they started! Great game by Gio, although I had quite a laugh at how many times Chicharito was offside. It seems that he got caught offside vs. Barcelona and never found his way back. 😆

    1. Horrible loss. Bob Bradely once again. There were serious tactical issues for the U.S. from the very start. A fortunate goal off a set piece doesn’t change that.

      And again – he doesn’t make the needed adjustments.

      Mexico just killed them in terms of using space.

      And the sad thing is – the U.S. won’t even learn the right lessons. They will probably conclude that this entire disaster occurred because Cherundalo was hurt. That was a factor but not the primary one. And Cherundalo and the reshuffling of the back line are not sufficient to account for just getting trashed after being up 2-0.

    2. As long as they don’t think it happened because of Adu and his supposed defensive liabilities, I’ll be happy! Until Bradley leaves I don’t expect much inspiration in tactics or an overarching strategy. It felt like he banished Torres after a few mediocre games – he doesn’t seem to like small and technical players.

    3. Good point on Torres. He seems forgotten and never got a sufficient chance.

      This is part of Bradley’s issues – he doesn’t try to develop players or the team. And when you are coach of a an NT that is trying to get better you have to develop talent. It can’t all be outsourced to the club teams.

  13. Congratulations to Mexico. This is one of the most promising groups of players they’ve had in some time.

    If Gio actually develops and meets his talent – they could be quite good with him playing behind Chicharito.

    Their backline is really limited but their attack is impressive.

    I think JDS could add quite a bit as a central midfielder though they may need to change to a 4-3-3 type formation for him to really work.

    It’s good to see Mexico with this kind of promise.

    1. Oy vey. I don’t think I can make that. Either I go to bed now and get up in…6 hours….or stay up. Yeah, it looks like it’s impossible…

    2. Haha. 5:30am is always a tough call. Either you get up immediately or just fall back asleep.

      Where are links going to be available? barcastuff probably?

    3. Heh heh, now you guys finally get to experience what it’s like for us watching Liga games on the other side of the globe. 4am alarms set every other day.

      *laughs evilly*

    4. That’s something I don’t miss about East Asia. Games are sometimes on an ridiculous times, haha.

      The US is much better by comparison.

  14. Pobrecito Bojangles on the u21 tournament:

    “”I have not had a good time but I have been ready when the coach needed me. I wanted to play more a prominent role but that was not possible. The important thing is that in the end, we were champions.”

    Sounds like his entire season, to be honest.

  15. I am glad that Thiago scored such an amazing goal in such an important match. I have never doubted his ability in the past and I do not doubt that he can function wonderfully in Barca. What I am glad about is that his performance in the tournament will surely put more pressure on Barca against putting him in the transfer market, if at all they have been mulling over it.

    1. just from the first paragraph you can tell its completely made up by some random person who doesn’t know anything.

      Since when has Thiago had a nickname “little Xavi”? I’ve never ever heard of this.

      Complaining about playing time? that would work if the author published that in December, not June/july when the season ended about a month ago.

  16. GOOOLLLLL!!!!! Deulofeu!

    Is it just me, or are these kids pretty effing good?!?

  17. argh! The disadvantage to the match being at 11:30 instead of 5:30 is that there are other people who are awake who can make you run errands. Can’t watch the match, but I take it the the wee blaugranas aren’t doing too badly?

    1. Nope, not close at all. Except for the time Unzue decided to dribble in the box….

    1. Spanish federation. I guess similar to how they love to make La Roja play their matches all over Spain, they do the same for these finals. Still strange, though.

    2. I read an article on this once- someone was saying it has to do with the fact that the federation (either the president, or the whole governing body) is elected by regional football associations, and so in order to keep them all happy, they play the national team matches all over the country. It may be for the same reason.

  18. I’ve never seen a female official in a Spanish game before. I hope she knows the offside rule. 😉

  19. Subs are needed. Barça looking tired and getting sloppy. I don’t know why Dongou hasn’t been put in yet.

    1. Espanyol has been much better this half. I have no idea how that header didn’t go in. Lucky for Barca.

    1. Goals by Deulofeu and Gustavo. Barca were brilliant in the first half, not so much the second.

      My MOTM is Deulofeu, he never stopped working.

    2. Haha, he should’ve started or come in earlier in the 2nd half. He’s a menace.

      Anyway, 2-0 FT. Juvenil A make it a triplete this season. A lot of talent in this team. 7:30 am… finally going to go to sleep now. Hopefully I wake up in time for the Germany-Canada World Cup match.

      Let me leave y’all with a Thiago stat via Opta Jose:

      120 – Passes per 90 minutes by Thiago in U21 Euro2011, 38 more than any other player (Ander, 82). Pivotal

    3. You guys shoulda seen the México flags dudes were waving from their cars in the streets here. Freeway was a giant parade I heard. Nuts.

  20. Congrats to the boys for the win.

    Deulofeu is still a couple of years from the first team, but it’s nice to have such a natural attacking talent in our ranks. Hope he pans out.

    This was my first good look at Espinosa, but I liked what I see. Great on the ball and his game shows maturity. Possibly one for the future.

    There’s definitely talent abound in this team, and I look forward to seeing some of these guys make the jump to Barca B next year.

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