Much like Timbuktu, Vladivostok is one of those places whose name conjures up evocative images of some distant outpost at the worldÃ¢ÂÂs end.Ã¢ÂÂVladivostok is far away,Ã¢ÂÂ Lenin once opined. Ã¢ÂÂBut itÃ¢ÂÂs ours.Ã¢ÂÂ The Soviet UnionÃ¢ÂÂs founding father never gazed out upon the Pacific coast, unlike the statue of him outside the city's grandiose train station does.
Ã¢ÂÂThey didnÃ¢ÂÂt just save my dream, they saved my life.Ã¢ÂÂ ThatÃ¢ÂÂs how SebastiÃÂ¡n VelÃÂ¡squez perceives Real Salt LakeÃ¢ÂÂs decision to select him during the MLS Superdraft in January.
Not being the miserable types who snipe and sneer without reason, we at FourFourTwo are bang up for the Olympics. Not least because it represents a chance for immediate salvation after inevitable disappointment at the Euros. Dammit!
You could have been forgiven for thinking it was the opening ceremony to an Olympic Games, such was the spectacular opulence surrounding the gala event Shakhtar Donetsk held to celebrate the clubÃ¢ÂÂs 75th anniversary last year.
The moment Lionel Messi and his supporters had long been waiting for finally arrived on Tuesday evening. But for those paid good money and under threat of the sack unless gushing things are written about him, it was probably a match they had been dreading for some time. How do you raise the already justifiably stratospheric level of praise into something beyond the outer reaches of our galaxy?