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SHARES
3 April 2008
Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón has done some bloody stupid things and wasted a bloody lot of money on a bloody lot of rubbish.
SHARES
2 April 2008
An email arrived in my inbox this morning from a fellow Argy football fan with the title F.*.*.K.I.N.G M.U.P.P.E.T.
SHARES
2 April 2008
As that vastly underrated football pundit Lenny Kravitz used to say, it ain’t over till it’s over. But, after the first legs of last night’s UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, it is very nearly over for two teams and Barcelona and Manchester United seem destined to clash in the semi-finals.
SHARES
2 April 2008
Barcelona's fairly useful 1-0 win over Schalke 04, in Gelsenkirchen, means that the Catalan press continues to go through more ups and downs than Lindsay Lohan on a pogo stick. It's with a tangible air of disappointment that Sport cover Tuesday night's Champions League victory. And that's not surprising considering their director, Jose Luis Carazo, is an objectionable old fart forever pontificating on La Liga Loca's television on where things in the Kingdom of Catalunya are going wrong. And he insists on wearing those stripy shirts with white collars, once favoured by David Mellor and city types currently screwing over the world economy. (Takes deep breath)."Everyone is guilty! From the players to the president", screamed Josep Mª Casanovas like a big girl, over the weekend, after the defeat to Betis. "Barcelona showed they have the squad to cover all contingencies", he wrote on Wednesday, having downed a bottle of chill pills and done a faster U-turn than Maniche spotting a ice cream van staffed by strippers. "The victory doesn't mean that the club have left the woods", grumbled Mundo Deportivo's Francesc Aguilar, another pundit it took 0.0056 seconds for La Liga Loca to take a dislike to after he popped up on La Sexta, on Sunday night. El Pais write that "Barcelona come alive again in Germany" - which works better in Spanish, to be fair - whilst AS were typically underwhelmed by the whole affair and gave Thierry Henry zero points for his performance, which, let's not forget, produced an assist for Bojan's goal.
SHARES
2 April 2008
Fans of Brazilian football may have wondered why I haven’t written a single line on the fierce battle for the São Paulo State championship since this blog kicked off, late January. Sure, there was plenty of early action in the country’s leading regional tournament where great performances from small clubs like Guaratinguetá, Ponte Preta, Barueri and Noroeste breathed fresh air into the top of the table for most of the competition.Meanwhile, the big four (Palmeiras, São Paulo, Corinthians and Santos) were struggling big time. For some rounds, none were in the top four, setting up the prospect of two unexpectedly rural semi-finals.But, as so often is the case, the season was just getting started and, when the push came to shove, the giants awoke. With a few games to go to the end of the first round, all of them are fighting for a spot in the semis. After Sunday’s results, Guaratinguetá remain top, maintaining their Cinderella season, but the powerhouses are snapping at their heels.With a record-breaking streak of nine consecutive wins, Palmeiras (2nd) sealed their ticket to the semis by pounding São Caetano 3-1 at home. It took a while, but Vanderlei Luxemburgo, hands-down Brazil’s best coach, finally made his newly assembled star-filled side play ball. Palmeiras share the tag of favourites with São Paulo (3rd), who just need a win against little Juventus at home to clinch their berth in the final four. Adriano scored twice at the weekend to lead Muricy’s boys past Bragantino. Not an eye-popping performance, but it did the trick.Corinthians, for whom winning the Paulistão is a matter of honour – it’s their only shot in the elite since they’ll play in the national Second Division this year – have slipped up meaning qualification is now out of their hands. They’re in 5th and will need to beat Noroeste and wait for a São Paulo or Ponte Preta (4th) draw. But their dreams are still alive... for now.Only for Santos did the reaction come too late. The team of coach Emerson Leão paid for their relegation-like results at the beginning of the tournament, and, despite responding with a fantastic streak, winning seven of eight, saw their title hopes gone after a draw with Rio Clarob. So now to the last round, next Sunday, which will decide if São Paulo and Corinthians progress and, last but not least, the semi- final clashes. If they keep their current positions, a Palmeiras vs São Paulo showdown is coming. Adriano and Co. are dying for revenge since Palmeiras routed them 4-1 in their regular season match. Which means it’s gonna get nasty... at last!
SHARES
2 April 2008
I write this from my hotel room in Rome, having watched United beat AS Roma 2-0 with one of the most impressive away performances in the club’s history.
SHARES
2 April 2008
The Italian newspapers are as baffled as the AS Roma players.How on earth did Manchester United leave the Stadio Olimpico with what appears to be an unassailable 2-0 lead from the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final?“Italy 0-3 England,” was how Corriere dello Sport summed it up. “After Milan and Inter, Roma are also beaten at home by the English,” they added.
SHARES
2 April 2008
First there was fear and loathing, now we have chaos and violence. It has been one of the saddest couple of weeks in Argentine football for years.
SHARES
1 April 2008
It seems that Bernd Schuster is not the only manager in Madrid to have an uncontrollable evil dark side, as Javier Aguirre does, too. While the alter-ego of the man at the helm of Real Madrid has taken to getting up in the night, logging onto his website to criticise his own managerial decisions, Atlético's Mexican man of mayhem has been much more public in his polemical pronunciations.By day, Aguirre is a smiling, joshing and japing mild-mannered manager. But come match day, he turns into a potty-mouthed, X-Rated video on legs. The former Osasuna coach first showed signs of this bi-polar behaviour against Real Zaragoza, early last month, when he reportedly yelled "you're going down to the second!" - but with extra naughty words - to Zaragoza team doctor Jesus Villanueva, as he passed by the rojiblanco bench. "I didn't know who he was", confessed a contrite coach after the game. "I thought he was the ball collector".

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