Bendita Camino: Why I Love Atletico Madrid

April 23, 2014

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“I ambled into a random bar near the center of the Spanish capital on September 18, 2005, looking to catch Atletico Madrid, which was hosting Barcelona at Vicente Calderon Stadium in a Sunday nightcap. There was a television bolted in the upper-left corner of the room, and rarely did eyes stray from it. It was standing room only in this old man’s bar. There were men who were born during the Spanish Civil War; men who were born to parents who lived through the war; almost everyone inside was alive during Franco’s reign. It was like stumbling into a house of worship on a holy day. Everyone knew why they were there.” Grantland


Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea: Tactical Analysis | The battle for a compact midfield

April 23, 2014

“Atletico Madrid and Chelsea went head-to-head at the Vicente Calderon in the Champions League semi-finals. It was a tactical battle that was certainly not pleasing to the eyes, it was never going to be. Both sides are in their respective title races but Atletico Madrid are in a  much better situation while Chelsea’s contention could come to a halt this weekend. Mourinho has been desperate for a Champions League with Chelsea, and a record third with a different club while Atletico Madrid are looking forward to a first final in 40 years.Outside of the Boot


Champions League: Real Madrid strikes, holds firm in win over Bayer

April 23, 2014

“Fabio Coentrao was excellent at left back, keeping Arjen Robben relatively quiet and getting forward well to link with Cristiano Ronaldo. Right back Daniel Carvajal dealt superbly with Franck Ribery, and Karim Benzema led the line with great intelligence, but for Real Madrid this was a victory rooted in defensive discipline. As ever Xabi Alonso was a mode of calm, sitting just in front of the back four, but the key for Madrid was Modric.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


Raheem Sterling and Liverpool Style Can Provide World Cup Template for England

April 23, 2014

“Raheem Sterling is a player whose sense of adventure and willingness to try the unusual brings a sense of glee. No neutral fan could watch him running with abandon at the Norwich City defence on Sunday and not feel a warm glow, while his goal against Manchester City, nonchalantly sending Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany to chase an imaginary foe, was breathtaking. There is something very special about those rare, still moments in football, when the goal suddenly emerges before a player and you know he has to score—those moments of potential fulfillment when the goal is inevitable.” Bleacher Report – Jonathan Wilson


Argentina’s 10 Best Home-Based Talents Bound for Europe

April 23, 2014

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Natacha Pisarenko
“Argentina has a reputation as a footballing giant for a good reason. With the possible exception of Brazil, no other country exports so many wonderful talents across the world, giving leagues from Spain to Sweden and Italy to Israel a South American flavour. As the Torneo Final reaches its closing stages, many of the latest generation of youngsters are already being watched attentively by European scouts, hopeful of finding the next Messi or Kun Aguero. But who are the top young players currently playing in the Primera Division?” Bleacher Report


Team Focus: A Good Season for PSG and Blanc – But Where Next?

April 23, 2014

“When Thiago Silva lifted the Coupe de la Ligue trophy, high in the main stand of the Stade de France just after 11pm on Saturday night, the Paris Saint-Germain captain and his teammates celebrated with gusto. There was no tokenism, no sense that this was a mere trinket of consolation – just roars of joy. It was, evidently, a moment that PSG needed after the challenging spell that has followed their Champions League exit to Chelsea. The defeat at Stamford Bridge hit to the heart. It was a night on which, after André Schürrle’s opening goal for the hosts, the swagger drained out of Laurent Blanc’s side alarmingly quickly. The team with the third highest average proportion of possession in this season’s Champions League retreated into their shells to such a point that they ended up with just 48% in the match that they had bossed in the opening 20 minutes.” Who Scored


Why David Moyes’ sacking sows seeds for success

April 23, 2014

“After ten months of fighting against the inevitable, David Moyes cleared his belongings from his desk at Carrington, which Internet memes have consistently sought to show he didn’t look quite right sitting at from the very start. Given the long-standing success of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Scot always seemed doomed to fail, but his sacking will only temporarily damage the image of Manchester United football club. The resounding silence from Old Trafford despite media reports telling of Moyes’ dismissal lacked class on a human level, but the Red Devils’ managerial hotseat now represents a good opportunity for a top class coach, as opposed to an untenable position where David Moyes wittingly rested himself half-knowing the eventual consequence of his decision.” simonhfootball


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