France Is Back in Football Hunt

March 17, 2010


“It’s elementary sports psychology: To produce their best in the biggest moments, athletes are advised to recall peak performances from the past. But as Bordeaux prepares to face Olympiakos for a place in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals tonight, Laurent Blanc, coach of the French club that’s been the surprise of this year’s tournament, will focus his team’s attention not on the six European matches it’s won this season, but the only one it didn’t.” (WSJ)

Mid-Week Review Show: EPL Talk Podcast
“Looking back on the mid-week action for Premier League sides in Champions League, Europa, and within the Premiership, analysts Laurence McKenna and Kartik Krishnaiyer join host Richard Farley on this version of the EPL Talk podcast.” (EPL Talk)

Match Of The Midweek: Chelsea 0-1 Internazionale
“How would you feel if you were Roman Abramovich after this evening’s Champions League match between Chelsea and Inter? When he disposed of Jose Mourinho just over three years ago, it was reportedly a show of player power the likes of which the English game had seldom seen before.” (twohundredpercent)

Different Routes Yield Same Result
“One of the joys of sports is that they confound just about any theory that attempts to explain them. When Real Madrid was eliminated from the Champions League last week, and Manchester United produced one of the biggest victories in its history, it was reasonable to conclude that stability counted for something.” (NYT)

Italian press celebrate Inter’s victory over Chelsea
“Having held a grim-faced silenzio stampa (press silence) for the past week, Jose Mourinho’s relationship with the Italian media had reached a new low on the eve of Inter’s Champions League return leg against Chelsea. A touchline ban, a pitiful display against Catania and ongoing grief with Mario Balotelli had formed a simmering backdrop to the game, with the Nerazzurri lumbered with the added burden of being Italy’s sole survivors in the competition.” (WSC)

Chelsea vs. Inter Milan
(footytube)

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Analysing Brazil’s fluid system at close quarters

March 17, 2010


“Dunga’s Brazil side isn’t popular back home. The use of two holding midfielders, the tendency to play on the counter-attack and the overlooking of the likes of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Pato have all seen him accused of playing in an un-Brazilian way, by ditching the classic Brazilian principles of yesteryear for a more patient, less spectacular way of playing.” (Zonal Marking), (Must Read Soccer)


In places without a name, ‘Pelada’ films the football we never knew

March 17, 2010

“In Jan 03 I started a website of world soccer and called it ‘The Global Game.’ The idea hardly seemed original. I was aware of similar online soccer resources—for example, the Football Culture site the British Council once maintained. In discovering world football and its power to connect people I was a bit like a child who realizes she can skip a flat rock across a pond. I’ll congratulate her, but I don’t want to tell her that it has been done a million times before.” (The Global Game)


Colombia’s time to host World Cup?

March 17, 2010

“Brazilian midfielder Mauro Silva checked in his luggage to travel to to Colombia for the 2001 Copa America, and then had second thoughts. Scared by the country’s reputation, he decided not to go. I remember feeling a similar trepidation at exactly the same time when I boarded the plane in Rio to fly up and cover the tournament. What on earth was I letting myself in for?” (SI – Tim Vickery)


World Cup Moments: Philipp Lahm Kicks Off The World Cup Properly, 2006

March 17, 2010

“When discussing the history of any sport, any talk of the “greatness” is bound to be met with a quick hop in a time machine, going back into the annuls annals where myth and storytelling often displace fact and reality to the back seat. And this was necessary in a time when most could only follow sport through the words of others; words which were often embellished, contorted, polished, creating an aura which far superseded the event. Similar to the children’s game which starts with a simple sentence at one end of the room and morphs into something entirely different by the time the exercise ends.” (World Cup Blog)