The Paradise of Real Madrid

July 14, 2009

marie pieta 2
William Adolphe Bouguereau, 1876
“The Paradise I yearned for called to me like the chirps of a nightingale in spring. I had seen the flames and punishments of hell, and was excited by the promise of eternal bliss and delight. Was it odd Bernd Schuster would be my guide? Yes. Was it strange he could fly? Even more so. But I suspended disbelief and tightly grasped Bernd’s hand as we flew over the malebolgia, and we soon descended into a dense oak forest.” (The Run of Play)

Transfer Talk: Didn’t See That Coming (The Offside)
“Even kit number transfers can leave us perplexed. Perhaps the strangest rumor of the day involves, once again, Michael Owen and those blokes from Manchester United. Not only did he get the surprise contract, but he’ll also reportedly be given the hallowed No. 7 previously worn by that greasy chap now residing in Madrid (amongst others).”

Manchester City Set To Adopt 1-1-8 Formation (Three Match Ban)
“Manchester City’s insistence on signing strikers on top of strikers has given me an overwhelming sense of déjà vu and I think I know what it is. It’s the sort of managerial tactics I employ in the transfer market when I’m playing on Championship Manager. The capture of former United striker Carlos Tevez is the latest addition to a squad that already includes the following international strikers: Valeri Bojinov, Robinho, Felipe Caicedo, Ched Evans, Benjani, Craig Bellamy, Roque Santa Cruz and Jo who has been farmed out to on-loan to Everton for the rest of the season.”

Typical transfer tactics (WSC)
“There has been much deliberation about the “spirit of the game” over the past couple of days. The game in question being cricket, with England’s time-wasting tactics during their draw with Australia having prompted a barrage of criticism. There has also been some support for the rather desperate ploys carried out by Andrew Strauss’s team including the suggestion that Australians, the pioneers of sledging and not averse to slow play themselves, are not best placed to pose as upholders of the game’s ‘spirit'”.

Football Returns To Baghdad (World Cup Blog)
“It was but a mere friendly against a walkover opponent, but in terms of symbolism it was on par with a World Cup final. More than six years after its last international game in Baghdad – and with an Asian trophy in its cabinet since then – Iraq returned to Al-Shaab Stadium and thumped fellow recent home-returnees Palestine 4-0.”

Video: Norwegian player scores the easiest 40-yard free kick you are likely to see (Off the Post)
“Sometimes goals are scored from 40 yards and the keeper can do absolutely nothing about them. This is not one of those instances.”

Pro Vercelli: End of the Season, Pro Vercelli: The Battle of Milan (The Run of Play)
“There was no heroic surge. We set a punishing pace from the outset, and we kept it up to the end. For a time it looked as though Inter would keep it up with us, but they’d faltered by midseason, and when we finally won the scudetto—in a 4-1 home win against Genoa, with goals by Fábio (2), Michele Proietti, and Riccardo Caprioli; all players under 23, the latter two in their teens—we did it without much drama.”

Andrés Iniesta

July 14, 2009

“Andrés Iniesta Luján (born 11 May 1984 in Fuentealbilla, Albacete, Castile-La Mancha) is a Spanish football attacking midfielder who currently plays for Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona. His willingness to play anywhere on the pitch, coupled with a natural humility, has earned him the sobriquet El Ilusionista, El Anti-Galáctico and most recently San Andrés, or Don Andrés from the Catalan press.” Wikipedia, Guardian, Times, YouTube, (1)