Inter v Bayern: Champions League final preview

May 21, 2010


Jose Mourinho
“This is what the Champions League is all about: England’s best side against Spain’s best side in last season’s final in Rome, Italy’s best side against Germany’s best side this season in Madrid. This is an intriguing match-up between two sides who have underachieved in Europe in recent years, and between two of the greatest tacticians in modern times. The Italy v Germany clash is emphasized when you consider the situation regarding both countries’ UEFA coefficients (which determines the number of European places each national league is allocated) where Germany currently leads Italy by 0.155 points.” (Zonal Marking)

Champions League Final Preview
“The most anticipated event of any European season, this year’s Champions League final looks set to be yet another intriguing battle both on and off the field, with several fascinating plot lines running through the pre-match build-up to further stoke the fire of what should be a wonderful spectacle and, perhaps more appealingly, a struggle for tactical supremacy between two of the game’s most astute Coaches. As one-time Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal’s Bayern Munich and his former translator, Jose Mourinho’s Inter prepare to face off in the magnificent surrounds of Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, The Equaliser looks at the potential line-ups of both sides and tries to get the measure of the personnel and systems these two prestigious sides may look to use on Saturday evening.” (The Equaliser)

CL Comment: Five Ways Inter Can Beat Bayern Munich
“Keep The Tempo Running High. Inter are not a team generally linked with fast flowing football, and many believe that they’d struggle were they plonked straight into a Premier League fixture list. Besides that being a pointless argument, it also overlooks the fact that some of Inter’s better performances this season have come against teams who like to play the ball around at speed (see Chelsea, Barcelona, Genoa, Milan, Palermo…) Therefore, should they go for the spoiling approach in trying to deal with Arjen Robben et al, they may be on the wrong track. By allowing the game to be played at a decent pace it will give them extra opportunities to punish Bayern on one of their notorious counter-attacks.” (Goal)

Champions League Final Is Clash of Coaches
“As Bayern Munich and Inter Milan take the field for Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final, even the most ardent football fan could be forgiven for taking a second glance at the match program: Just who are these guys? In a tournament that’s supposed to be dominated by the world’s greatest players, the 2010 final is conspicuously short on star power.” (WSJ)


Book Review: Soccer, Passion, Politics and the First World Cup in Africa

May 21, 2010

“Ahead of the World Cup in South Africa, a spate of books on African football was to be expected. Africa, after all, has traditionally been underserved as far as football writing goes. Until last year, the genre could more or less be summed up in three books: Peter auf der Heyde’s Has Anybody Got a Whistle?, Filippo Ricci’s Elephants, Lions and Eagles, and a brilliant chapter by David Goldblatt in his magisterial The Ball is Round.” (Pitch Invasion)


World Cup Preview: Group F

May 21, 2010

“The 2010 World Cup kicks off in just three weeks time, so by this point the majority of football fans everywhere are only using products made by official tournament sponsors and eating impala for breakfast. Our intrepid Wikipedia monkey Dotmund has once again put his vuvuzela aside for just long enough to take a look at another of this summer’s groups. Today we find out about the reigning champions, a South American dark horse, a team from a very long way away and a European team who have only ever been in the World Cup before in disguise.” (twohundredpercent)


32 Teams: One Dream

May 21, 2010


(ESPN)


The Joy of Six: Things we miss about the World Cup

May 21, 2010

“The Goddess of Victory. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the Fifa World Cup Trophy. As five-kilo dods of solid 18-carat gold with two malachite layers go, it’s as serviceable as they come. But just look at the name of it again. The Fifa World Cup Trophy. A functional and corporate monicker betraying a complete lack of invaluable – and dear God how they’d love to buy some of this – old-school glamour.” (Guardian)


World Cup Tales: The Battle Of Santiago, 1962

May 21, 2010

“We hear a lot about the decline and fall of western civilization these days, but moral outrage at the behaviour of footballers is nothing new and, indeed, players at the World Cup finals this summer will have to go a long way to outdo the most serious incidents of player-on-player violence in the history of the tournament, many of which considerably predate the coming of colour television, to say the least. In this respect, the group match between Chile and Italy at the 1962 World Cup finals probably remains the most infamous example of a World Cup match that became something else. It wasn’t the first – three players, for example, were sent off during a quarter-final match between Hungary and Brazil at the 1954 tournament in Switzerland – but, even now, it sets the high water mark for outright violence on the pitch during what is supposed to be football’s showpiece tournament.” (twohundredpercent)


Indy to join with Carolina RailHawks in celebrating soccer with new and classic films

May 21, 2010

“We’re just three weeks away from the start of a little soccer competition in South Africa. The 2010 FIFA World Cup begins June 11, and to mark the month-long occasion, the Independent Weekly and the Carolina RailHawks will partner to sponsor a series of soccer-themed films.” (IndyWeek)


Scottish Football: A Season Review

May 21, 2010


Newlandsfield Park, Shawlands“With the Cup Final and the play-offs finishing at the weekend – and no Scottish involvement in any other football that may be taking place in the next few weeks – that’s another season over. It’s been a year that’s seen more nationl team failure, the depatures of George Burley and Gordon Smith, and even more soul-searching than usual about the future of the domestic game. So what’s been happening and where does it all go from here?” (twohundredpercent)


England coach Fabio Capello interviewed

May 21, 2010

“World Soccer: You have experienced everything in your career as player and manager but never as coach at a World Cup. How are you approaching that? Fabio Capello: Of course a World Cup itself is not a new experience because I was there as a player. Right now we are preparing everything, studying all the different situations which will arise between here and South Africa including during our training camp in Austria. We are working very hard together – not only the players but also everybody else who has to work for us with the media, with the kit, the travel, the logistics, the accommodation and so do.” (World Soccer)


World Cup Moments: Maradona & Saeed Owairan Do Solos, ‘86 & ‘94

May 21, 2010

“That goal? Surely not. Many forget that Maradona didn’t take one off after his dazzling heroics and choice words from the English in ‘86. In between the quarterfinal of legend against England and final against West Germany, there was a semifinal against Belgium. Sure, Belgium has scraped through twice by the very skin of their teeth and Maradona’s Argentina was Maradona’s Argentina, but one doesn’t make a World Cup semifinal entirely undeserved. (We know, England.)” (World Cup Blog)