Champions League reform? Yes, please.

November 24, 2015

“Every May, there’s a special occasion held in our humble abode and it tries to combine the best of European food and football. It usually falls on a warm, late spring evening, which sees windows open and a cool breeze wafting the smells of a busy kitchen around the whole apartment. An annual four course dinner, themed around two particular countries, complete with paired wines, is served over the course of a few hours. Last year we bounced between Italy and Spain for an aperitif, a starter, the main and a sweet. We cook, we eat, we get merrily drunk and we watch the UEFA Champions League final.” Football Pink

The case for Lionel Messi for SI’s 2015 Sportsman of the Year

November 21, 2015

“To understand just how good Lionel Messi was this year, you have to go back to his lowest point. It was January 4, Messi started on substitutes’ bench and Barcelona lost 1-0 at lowly Real Sociedad. The following day, Messi missed training with ‘a stomach bug,’ which is a euphemism in Spain for playing hooky. Andoni Zubizarreta, Barcelona’s sporting director, was sacked. Luis Enrique, the coach, was said to have offered to resign. Sandro Rosell, the president, resigned soon after over transfer irregularities. English clubs were readying bids for Messi. In short, Barcelona was in crisis.” SI

The Ten Oldest Stadiums in Spain

November 21, 2015

“Before I start, I have to admit that there is a flaw in a club claiming to have the oldest stadium. It’s a bit like Trigger’s Broom (or Theseus’ Paradox if you’re that way inclined). Can something which has had all of its component parts replaced over the course of time, remain fundamentally the same? Well for the sake of this article, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. Quite simply here are the 10 oldest stadiums in Spain. Just a couple of criteria apply; The current stadium has to be on the site of the original ground and it must have hosted a match in any of Spain’s top three tiers. So in reverse order, in at number 10 is… ” Inside Spanish Football

The Academy Series | 10 best Barcelona products: Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi feature

November 16, 2015

“FC Barcelona’s La Masia is renowned in football and with good reason – it is undoubtedly one of the best youth academies in the world. The training regime at La Masia focuses on performance over results. With good performances, victories and trophies will arrive in due time. Parents are instructed to ask the youth players, their kids, whether they played well instead of ‘did you win?’. This has bred a philosophy-centric education system at Barça. The implementation of concepts from Total Football by Johan Cruyff focuses on technical ability and football intelligence – players being trained to make the best decisions on the pitch, having the technique to execute ideas which were seen and thought of a few steps in advance of their opponents. Out-thinking and out-playing rather than out-muscling the opposition.” Outside of the Boot

Barcelona: More than a club, more than a nation?

November 6, 2015

“Stern words from Spain’s LFP president Javier Tebas, of course referring to Catalonia’s desire to move towards independence. In recent weeks we have witnessed the success of pro-independence parties in regional elections, showering optimism over Catalonia and causing just a little concern in Madrid. Catalonia’s biggest football club just happens to be one of the biggest clubs in the world and as a result, FC Barcelona has at times been at the very heart of the debate. The strained relationship between politics and football has been tested and will almost certainly continue to be.” Football Pink

Champions League team of the week: Bayern and Barcelona impress

November 6, 2015

“It is no surprise that Bayern Munich have three players in the Champions League team of the week after their superb display in the 5-1 win at home to Arsenal. Germany forward Thomas Muller weighed in with two goals, and Barcelona duo Neymar and Luis Suarez join him in attack after scoring in their win over BATE Borisov. For the second matchweek running there is just one Premier League player in the XI, with Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho celebrating his part in the win in Seville which saw City into the last 16.” BBC

Hump Day Dumpster Dive: European club vows to fight racism with racism

November 3, 2015

“There is so much bloody soccer happening. Arsenal is awesome terrible awesome terrible. Bayern Munich just served up another reminder that we shouldn’t even bother watching any of its games until the Champions League semi-finals. José Mourinho is living out a terrible nightmare that will probably end in an eight-figure payout deal. Manchester United is…zzzzz. Let’s get to dumpster diving.” Fusion


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 231 other followers