Ukraine-Greece liveblog

It’s international break and I’ll be watching the Ukraine-Greece match on ESPN2, which means a liveblog for you. You’re such a lucky fool. Check below the liveblog for some Barça-related news.

Gaby Milito played 45 minutes in a friendly against Bolivian team with the world’s most original name: Bolivar. This was his first match for FCB in 569 days, which is a very long time. Welcome back, Gaby!

The entire starting lineup was Pinto, Maxwell, Milito, Márquez, Bojan, Pedro, Jeffren, Ilie, Armando, Oriol Romeu, Palau. The last 2 in that list are from the Juvenile section of the club and the two prior to that (Ilie and Armando) are from Barça Atlètic. The match ended 4-1 with goals from Márquez and substitutes Gio and Benja (2), both of whom are from the Juvenile section.

Valdes wants to face off against Crynaldo in the Clásico because he wants to beat the best. It’s always good to hear that sort of thing from a player, even if it’s a bit forced. Like I’ve said before, RM are going to have to bring it and bring it something nasty in order to beat us, no matter the injuries/absences on either side. This is the real deal and it’s a week and a half away.

-Samuel Eto’o is on his way back to the Camp Nou next Tuesday and he says he’s prepared despite having received a slight injury on international duty. He played in Cameroon’s last match (and scored) so I’m sure he’ll be there in Barcelona come that most absurd of nights, where I hate on Samu and wish him nothing but the worst luck.

La Roja returns to the scene of their Euro2008 victory when they play a friendly against Austria this afternoon. Let’s hope that our boys get some rest, what with the Athletic match coming so soon afterward.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.

167 Comments

  1. Hilal
    November 18, 2009

    //www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11833_5702795,00.html

    I know a lot of ppl remain unconvinced, but I always thought Robinho was a really gifted player who only needed the right club and I think we can be that club. Hope we get him.

    • November 18, 2009

      i know a lot of people will disagree, but I totally agree with you

    • Tutomate
      November 18, 2009

      I agree that many will dis agree because I disagree. For that kind of money get Villa.

    • drew
      November 18, 2009

      i think we will go for villa in the summer, but we cant in january.
      thats why we only want robinho on loan and not full purchase.
      just my thoughts

    • Hilal
      November 18, 2009

      Exactlty what Drew said. Of course i would take Villa over Robinho any day, BUT firstly he is not available till the summer and second he will cost more than Robinho. We could probably get Robinho for about 35, whereas we know from experience that Villa wont be sold for less than 45, maybe 50. Especially if the likes of Chelsea or Utd are in the picture. We all know how greedy the Valencia pres can be otherwise we would probably already have Villa. Man City dont need money so if Robinho really wants to leave and they can get an able replacement I doubt they will be too fussy about how much he is sold for. In fact I could actually see them selling him for less than what they paid. All that being said I do not think we will buy him in Jan, if anything we will get him on loan and see how things go. If, as i suspect, he becomes the player that he really should be then we will buy him in the summer. The risk there of course is that if he has an amazing few months playing for us his price will go up.

    • November 19, 2009

      as much as I would love to see Villa in blaugrana I just don’t see it happening, the stubbornness of Valencia’s front office, and the price tag they are going to slap on him (at least 45 million euro if not more), I just don’t see Barca negotiating with that. But hey, I would love to be wrong and have Spain’s 2nd (soon to be first) all time international goal scorer on our side. But I see no problem with pay 3mil for a 6 month loan on Robinho, nothing to lose.

  2. nic
    November 18, 2009

    that motherfucker seluk,again speaking about yaya will leave for chelsea or manU in the next summer,just after yaya saying his future is with barca…
    does anybody want to shoot that motherfucker?

    • November 18, 2009

      Anyone who crosses The Yaya shoots themselves regardless.

  3. jordi
    November 18, 2009

    Villa is now 9 goals away from raul’s record

  4. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    Whos watching France – Ireland? Ireland are winning 1-0, good work by Duff, terrible marking by France…aie aie aie!

  5. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    Half time 1-0 for Ireland. Ok, so:
    France haven’t been playing as a team since a goal and they were shit before the goal.
    Aloue Diarra fumbles too much with the ball! France need more players comfortable with the ball at their feet, Evra and Lass are good examples of these. Toulalan’s holding skills are needed.
    Lloris and Sagna are playing well. Gignac needs to be more attentive!

  6. ElShowDeJason
    November 18, 2009

    Ugh… Puyol and Pique still on the field for Spain.

    Busi is on, but i think thats a good thing…

  7. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    Lilian Thuram, Zidane and Laurent Blanc are all at the stadium watching the match!

    • eklavya
      November 18, 2009

      I meant Barthez not laurent blanc.

  8. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    Wow spain 5-1¡!¡!¡

  9. lovelymofo
    November 18, 2009

    Navas is kicking ass and taking names. I’m so glad he’s worked through his anxiety issues to participate.

  10. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    HOOLY SHIT FRANCE SAVED BY LLORIS!!!!! Crazy match!

  11. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    France are getting into the rythm now…

  12. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    OOOOOOOOOOOO KEANE ALMOST SCORED AGAIN!! Mama mia!!!

    • lovelymofo
      November 18, 2009

      Not shocked that he missed that tho.

  13. jordi
    November 18, 2009

    luckily for france keane just failed to score

  14. jordi
    November 18, 2009

    Why is Benzema on the bench ???

    • eklavya
      November 18, 2009

      cause he sucks

    • cliveee
      November 19, 2009

      because Domenech the bitch finds his horoscope does not match with Benz all too suddenly.

  15. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    Lass almost killed france there…the commentator screamed ”NOOOON” LOL

  16. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    Ok france are going into extra time!

    • Annie
      November 18, 2009

      Thanks for the updates eklavya, I’m in class and can’t watch the match. Keep them coming 🙂

  17. Ciaran
    November 18, 2009

    Ireland! Ireland! Ireland!
    Part of me wants to see France at the World Cup because of the players they have but I’m Irish so fuck em.
    At least if they don’t make it Domenech will get the boot, which long term, is better for France anyhoo…

  18. Kxevin
    November 18, 2009

    Extra time, Henry still playing. Boy, he’s going to be daisy fresh for Inter. No way he plays against Bilbao.

    • Ciaran
      November 18, 2009

      I’m right saying that you’re a France fan Kxevin?

    • eklavya
      November 18, 2009

      Kevin! Are you watching the match?? I am!! Crazy one!

    • Corrine
      November 18, 2009

      PS: greece going to the world cup is a fucking disgrace!!!

    • Corrine
      November 18, 2009

      oops that wasn’t supposed to be a reply to kxev

    • RobertS
      November 20, 2009

      Right you are. “Win at all costs” mentality is rubbish, whether it’s playing for the counterstrike (or hoping for penalty kicks), or diving in the box, or handballs. I’m Ukrainian, but even if I weren’t I’d hate to see such negative football be rewarded. By playing 5 defenders, Rehhagel prompts opponents to play down to Greece’s poor talent level – which Mikhailichenko did not do, hence we will not go to SA next summer (of course, poor finishing on our side had a lot to do with that). I hope seeded team in whatever group Greece draws is not France (which lacks coaching brains) or South Africa (which lacks talent), as all others will take them apart; open question whether or not teams in pots made up of Asian, African and North & South American teams (which will round out groups) have paid enough attention to aptly combat Rehhagel’s anti-football.

  19. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    WTF!????!?? Anelka!!!!!!! Should have scored that!!! no penalty!

  20. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    gOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAALLL!!!!!!

  21. Ciaran
    November 18, 2009

    HAND BALL. Fuck

    • Ciaran
      November 18, 2009

      off side as well.
      Fucking Henry Cunt

    • Ciaran
      November 18, 2009

      Cheating faget Henry.
      I hope he scores an own goal to balance it.
      Unbelievable cheating from one of the best role models in world football

    • Andrew M.
      November 18, 2009

      agreed. terrible

    • eklavya
      November 18, 2009

      hhhahahaha

    • Blaugrana561
      November 18, 2009

      hahaha, henrys such a legend.

    • Corrine
      November 18, 2009

      faggot? excuse me? barcelona fbb is too good for that kind of language 😛

    • stowe
      November 19, 2009

      seen messi do it too

  22. Corrine
    November 18, 2009

    woah handball man

  23. Kxevin
    November 18, 2009

    Titiiiiiiii! gALLAS! AUUUUGGGGH!!!!

  24. lovelymofo
    November 18, 2009

    I was confused for a minute, didn’t know if they had allowed the goal to stand.

  25. Kxevin
    November 18, 2009

    “Hand of God.” Ireland is justified in being vexed.

  26. Tajh
    November 18, 2009

    HAND OF GOD TO SEND THEM THROUGH!!! just classic..

  27. Ciaran
    November 18, 2009

    Henry should be banned from playing in the World Cup for that. They do not deserve to go through on a play like that.

    • November 18, 2009

      *cough* Pique, Chelsea, champions league semi-finals *cough*

    • Ciaran
      November 18, 2009

      Ball to hand for Pique. Henry controlled it.

    • November 18, 2009

      whatevz dude, still a handball either way

    • skyislm
      November 18, 2009

      tyler, i believe you are joking. even if not, please keep it that way.

    • ballbeav
      November 18, 2009

      cough, Ballack had a handball in the box in the same match. search youtube ballack messi

    • Corrine
      November 18, 2009

      plus he was offside

    • tyler
      November 19, 2009

      All I’m saying is missed calls are such an integral part of football history, such as Pique’s, or Ballack’s, or even the “Hand of God”. You can’t call Henry a cheat and Maradona a hero for doing the same exact thing. If it were me, and I’m Henry playing for perhaps my last World Cup ever, yeah I’m going to handball the hell out of that sh*t and hope a ref doesn’t see me. And if you wouldn’t do the same, well I guess that’s why we’re on a forum right now, and he’s going to play in the World Cup come June.

    • ElShowDeJason
      November 18, 2009

      agreed. That was absolutely shameful.

    • Alexinho
      November 18, 2009

      Poor Ireland. They always get screwed in clutch situations by bad calls.

  28. drew
    November 18, 2009

    hand ball!

  29. Andrew M.
    November 18, 2009

    yeah i was going to call henry out as a cheat but then again i can think of many handballs that have gone our way….

  30. Tajh
    November 18, 2009

    Ok yes its cheating but when playing for your country with everything on the line i can totally understand it….Its the Ref who let it stand btw.

  31. soccerchick
    November 18, 2009

    SLOVENIA is going to WC!! Beat Russia 1:0 (Dedic 44′)
    Quite surprising!!

  32. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    FRANCE QUALIFIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Corrine
    November 18, 2009

    a “hollow victory” indeed

  34. lovelymofo
    November 18, 2009

    Well, they qualified. But I doubt they’ll do well. Especially with that loony coach they have.

  35. ElShowDeJason
    November 18, 2009

    Fuck you Martin Hansson

    you single HANDEDLY screwed Ireland out of their deserved qualification.

    and Henry… you cheating bastard… i hate the French National team so fucking much…

    • eklavya
      November 18, 2009

      hahaha all these comments are making me laugh somehow 😀

  36. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    OMG even Sarkozy is there LOL!!

  37. drew
    November 18, 2009

    why is it so easy to hate them!?!?

    • Kxevin
      November 18, 2009

      Because of those cool-ass shirts.

    • ElShowDeJason
      November 18, 2009

      True that. Those France Jerseys are pretty sweet…

    • Eklavya
      November 19, 2009

      Yeah but nothing beats Russia’s away jerseys! 😀

  38. Vj
    November 18, 2009

    Wow.. someone shouted hand.. I could hear it even in India 😛 ..

    France celebrate as though they have won the Cup..

  39. Vj
    November 18, 2009

    So much angst! Have to admit, this is how some Chelsea fans felt..

  40. Jim
    November 18, 2009

    More worryingly for us I thought Henry looked awful. I’m beginning to wonder if he can hold down a place for another season.

    Benzema is also rested and has a lot to prove.

    • stowe
      November 19, 2009

      he was playing that crazy coaches system. he will look better in the beauty of pep’s system

  41. jordi
    November 18, 2009

    Blobbie Keane should have scored more than 1 of his hat-full of chances and it wouldnt have come to this.

  42. eklavya
    November 18, 2009

    no russia in the world cup!!!

  43. john
    November 18, 2009

    That’s got to be one of the more shockingly obvious, shameful, ref-should-go-into-hiding-and/or-be-investigated, non-called handballs. No comparing it to Pique v. Chelsea. Obviously, intentionally contacted and controled and then continued to play the ball. That he was offside before the blatantly intentional, red-cardable foul is almost (but not quite) beside the point. Henry just became eminently more hate-able, in a world wide way (excepting, of course, France).

  44. Tajh
    November 18, 2009

    why do so many hate France here??

  45. Andrew
    November 18, 2009

    I will rather see the more talented French team in the WC. It is that simple. I remember the last French team in 2006 at the WC that was also coached by Domenech. They were as clueless as this team. But the players got it together with Zidane directing matters, they came within a whisker of winning the cup. That is what a team with talent is capable of doing. Yes, they are playing terribly right now. But this is a team that is capable of winning in spite of Domenech. When Ribery is back from injury, with players like Benzema , Henry and Anelka, they can compete with any team out there. Writing France out because they are not performing well at the moment is foolish, as is writing Argentina out for that matter.

    Henry did not cheat, it is the ref’s responsiblity to catch these things. And you can’t blame the ref either,there were many bodies in the way. Blame FIFA, not the ref.

    • john
      November 18, 2009

      Um, but Henry DID cheat. Yes, ref’s job to punish him, but there’s no denying his intentional and game deciding infraction. I don’t hate France, I’d even rather them go than Ireland (sorry Ciaran). But there’s no denying that Henry intentionally broke one of the most fundamental rules of football and that France are now going to the world cup based on the direct result of that.

    • Andrew
      November 18, 2009

      Yes, I know Henry broke the rules. But fouling a player and getting away with it is also breaking the rules.

  46. Kxevin
    November 18, 2009

    I will grant the hand ball, but Henry was on. The replays showed that.

    Look, players will try any, all and everything. Messi “hand of God-ed” a goal in last year, and nobody said boo. If the ref doesn’t call it, what’s Henry supposed to do? Wave off the goal himself?

    Not sure why the France hate. Henry and Abidal are ours.

    • ElShowDeJason
      November 18, 2009

      it has very little to do with who is on there. I love Messi, but hate the Argentine national team, and would have loved if they didn’t qualify.

      same with Henry and Abidal. I love it when they play for us, but when they have their France jerseys on, It doesn’t make me like the team.

      The fact that Henry would cheat shouldn’t surprise anyone considering the the way they eliminated Spain in the last World Cup. Puyol is covering Henry, and preventing him from getting to a longball, and as soon as Puyol gets close enough, Henry bundles himself to the ground as if he had been sniped. The falsely awarded freekick lead to the only goal of the match.

    • UAI
      November 18, 2009

      “lead to the only goal of the match”. That match ended 3-1. A falsely recalled big “detail” like that might make you revise the remaining finer details in your narrative of events

    • ElShowDeJason
      November 18, 2009

      did it really?

      oh well…

    • Eklavya
      November 19, 2009

      Haha. Pwned! Sorry had to say it 😀

    • Boat Forever
      November 19, 2009

      LOL… ROFL

    • Kari
      November 18, 2009

      Spoken like a true France supporter 😛

      I don’t really support either France or Ireland but methinks the issue here is the intention. I didn’t see it (but will soon see it everywhere), but from what I read, Henry INTENTIONAlLY controls the ball, and continues to play it. He knew what he was doing and the consequences.

      You could argue to ref didn’t call it, and shame on him, but the fact that the full intention was there, and CONTROLLING the ball, and continuing to play it regardless, knowing what is one the line is vexing. France supporters and Henry will be like, “phew, we’re through! Who cares how we did it. Yeah…it wasn’t REALLY the right thing to do…but the circumstances y’know…”. That’s a piss off for Ireland supporters and players who wanted to qualify for the WC for the first time in a long time (or ever). They were just as desperate, but you didn’t see THEM attempting to handball it.

      And it wasn’t one of those quick ‘what the hell’ moments either. It was, from what I read, planned and executed (and how!) Not to mention, that was the goal that knocked out Ireland. Talk about piss off.

      But meh. In the end, you really need luck to go through. We had a lot of that against Chelsea and France got it against Ireland. Does that mean they’ll go on to win the WC. Who knows. Karma might make it so that we see a repeat of ’02. And with Dumbenech, karma fancies its chances.

      Anyways, at least this means that Henry will have nothing to blame if he continues his march to see how much newspaper space he can cover due to his crappiness.

    • jordi
      November 18, 2009

      It happened pretty fast, the second touch was probably intentional but its not like the ball was in the air for ages given him the time to think, yes, im definitely going to catch this one.He probably could apologise though.

      *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPjvKlxX7sM&feature=player_embedded

    • Kari
      November 18, 2009

      Whoa, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Musta stumbled on an Irish/Ireland-biased site. Thanks for the link jordi.

      I guess it was kinda one of those quick ‘what the hell’ moments. But the problem I have is in the slow-mo, when it initially hit his hand at 0:13, he took another touch, keeping it in the air. If you’re comparing it to Messi, a) it was way back against Epanyol in 2007, not last year, b) we didn’t win the match (it ended 2-2)) c) it was ONE quick motion.

      I’m not REALLY defending it (but it WAS against Espanyol…), but they’re not all that similar.

      Anywayz, what’ll also shape this argument is if Henry is man enough to admit it. I think his statement’ll go something like this, “I wasn’t really aware it hit my hand/ it wasn’t intentional. Anyway, it’s not like I score a goal with my hand, I just put it into a goal-scoring position where it could have been defended or a team-mate could have score. The latter happend.

    • john
      November 18, 2009

      ‘If the ref doesn’t call it, what’s Henry supposed to do? Wave off the goal himself?’

      Henry is supposed to refrain from intentionally handling the ball and then playing it through to Gallas. He got excited and impulse got the better of him? Then yes, in fact, I would greatly respect a player who would admit to it and at least bring it to the ref’s attention. I remember watching a match where an attacking player tripped in the box and the ref called a penalty. Not only did the player dispute the ref’s call, but intentionally sent the penalty kick wayward when the ref insisted. It might seem ludicrous to hold professional athletes to these standards, but why shouldn’t we?

      p.s. I found both Maradona and Messi’s goals despicable as well.

    • November 18, 2009

      Robbie Fowler (or however you write it).

    • November 18, 2009

      And you need to add VNR goal to the Mix.

    • November 18, 2009

      Right, I referenced the Messi hand of god goal against Espanyol in a personal email about this. If YOU were in Henry’s position, what would you do? Not put out your hand? Not celebrate the goal? If you say you would gladly give up a place in the World Cup for “fair play” you’re full of shit. Period. Cause you wouldn’t and Henry didn’t.

      I’m not saying what he did was right, but in a way, it’s the same question as diving. Ngog was guilty of diving against Birmingham City, but it got his team a crucial point so I don’t think he’s worried about the headlines. Neither is Henry. And while that’s bad, it’s only human nature to try to win. I wanted Ireland to win, to be honest, but what Henry did wasn’t caught by the ref and that’s 1) bad of Henry for doing it and 2) bad of the ref for not enforcing the rules. But it’s not something you wouldn’t do and I think that’s an important point.

      Anyone who claims Henry is a unconscionable cheat is a liar. I claim that outright and you can dispute it, but I believe it and will always believe it. He’s a cheat, sure, but he’s a cheat like you and I would be cheats if we could qualify for the World Cup.

    • Ethan
      November 19, 2009

      Agreed.

    • BA
      November 18, 2009

      Messi’s goal was in a 3-1 rout of some modest Spanish club in La Liga, Henry’s was to deliver the deciding goal in extra time of a World Cup qualifier. there shouldn’t be a difference, but there is.

    • Boat Forever
      November 19, 2009

      Messi’s goal would have won us La Liga FYI

    • Aeneas
      November 18, 2009

      Henry had a handball and remains Henry. Nothing else. Anyone who has ever played football, ever, has touched the ball with his or her hand. Life goes on.

    • cliveee
      November 19, 2009

      Henry has completed his move to be a true legend now. He wouldn’t be as just as a true legend if he did not commit one of those controversial “sins” in football.

      But a foul is a foul, I wouldn’t be proud of cheating like this. Don’t wanna apply a double standard when we hate divers and play-actors so much. Wordless for the game, but the result is that “FUCK YEAH FRANCE IS THRU!”

      I don’t hate France, I only hate Domenech. I don’t even want to call him a coach. The presence of him in the French team shows how much FFF have to do to ‘clean’ their system.

  47. Kevo
    November 18, 2009

    you have do to bad things to be the best.
    still love Titi, regardless but that handball was some funny shit.

  48. yogi
    November 18, 2009

    well, i do not hate france but right now, i feel more for ireland though i am not an ireland supporter by long way. they got cheated by a blatant hand ball. and henry did take two touches and pretty conscious ones at that. the ref could not have seen it but the assistant ref should have. am not expecting any action from fucking administrators of the game who are not exactly bright to begin with. i do believe that henry (and all subsequent deliberate misdeeds) should result in ban or suspended ban so that footballers will know that cheating will bring penalties. but the ball less wonders of zurich will rarely take right step so sadly we will continue to see intelligent plays from players.

  49. November 18, 2009

    Anyone watched Spain first half?
    If it happened and you watched it again, Check who was the player who played most of the wrong passes for Spain. I barely watched a Spanish international playing more wrong passes than right ones.

    • Tajh
      November 18, 2009

      Who played most of the wrong passes??? Im guessing its Busquets

    • jordi
      November 18, 2009

      cesc

    • Aeneas
      November 18, 2009

      A stunning dress for a size 5 can look terrible on a size 8

    • Aeneas
      November 18, 2009

      or a size 3, whatever-Cesc should stay where he is needed.

    • drew
      November 19, 2009

      the guy our board wants to spend 50mil on who if comes will most likely make JDS or thiago leave

  50. jordi
    November 18, 2009

    “Yes, it was a handball, but I’m not the referee,” said Thierry Henry. “I was behind two Irish players, the ball rebounded and hit my hand, I continued to play, the referee didn’t whistle. I can’t say that it wasn’t a handball. Yes, it was a handball.”

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