Nico Di Jerlando. …A MORAL VICTORY AND HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON FOREVER…
“Sunday was a moral victory: Spain clearly deserved to win not only the World Cup but also the actual game at hand. The great Johann Cruyff came out today and accused the Dutch of being anti-football and, among other crimes, ‘hermetic.’ He’s right about the anti-football. The Dutch strategy was as predicted: Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong set out to kick the Spanish into submission so Robben and Sneidjer would have a chance to win the game for Holland. Spain refused to let this happen and, as with Germany, imposed their methodical game of possession, albeit with more bruises, and won, as they so often did, 1-0.” (The Paris Review)
“Standing on the streets of Barcelona – capital of Spain’s Catalonia region – last Saturday, one would have had no idea that the country was preparing to watch its national team compete in the World Cup the very next day. That afternoon, over a million people flooded the downtown to protest a decision issued Friday by the country’s constitutional court striking down some provisions of the territory’s 2006 autonomy statute. That legislation devolved a number of important powers to the region, but was challenged by the country’s conservative political party, the Partido Popular. In their ruling, the judges found that “Our constitution recognizes no nation but Spain,” in effect dealing a blow to Catalan nationalists.” (TNR)
“In purely chronological order, Football Further presents the 10 best goals of the 2010 World Cup. Apologies for the video quality. FIFA leaves us no choice.” (Football Further)
“Liverpool medical staff believe the adductor injury sustained by striker Fernando Torres in the World Cup final may not be as serious as initially feared. Torres, who returned from knee surgery just in time for the finals in South Africa, pulled up in extra-time during Spain’s victory over Netherlands, leading to universal gasps of concern from the red half of Merseyside.” (ESPN)
Cisse targets future Liverpool return
“Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse admits he would relish a dream return to the club, and insists that he never got the opportunity to prove himself at Anfield. Cisse, currently plying his trade with Greek side Panathinaikos, joined Liverpool for £14 million in 2004, having been singned by Gerard Houllier just before he was replaced by Rafael Benitez.” (ESPN)
Nabil El Zhar and Emiliano Insua set for Liverpool FC exit while Reds eye move for Paul Scharner
“MOROCCAN winger Nabil El Zhar wants a move away from Liverpool. The 23-year-old is frustrated at the lack of first-team football at Anfield and is not convinced he will be given a chance to impress new Reds boss Roy Hodgson.” (Liverpool Echo)
“We’ve been looking at English non-league football all week, and in something of a call-to-arms, Dave Boyle suggests that more supporters of non-league clubs need to take charge of their own destinies.” (Pitch Invasion)
“The 2006 World Cup final left behind very little except for the headbutt. Zinedine Zidane’s baffling last act as a player overshadowed the result, and a penalty-kick winner always feels like a co-champion, not a conqueror. In any case, Italy was a weak champion. Oh, a tough, clever, talented side, no doubt—but no one really wanted to play like them. With just about everyone playing in Serie A, they did not have a style or philosophy to export. The squad went stale almost instantaneously, and by Euro 2008, it was obvious that the Italian moment was just a moment. The next great Italian side, Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan, fields very few actual Italians.” (True Sland)
“Somalia’s most feared insurgent group, the Shabab, claimed responsibility on Monday for the coordinated bombings that killed more than 70 people in Uganda as crowds gathered to watch the final match of the World Cup.” (NYT)
“Yes, I also hope for a dutch victory,
if only to reward the high expectations of the dutch,
and the incredible deception that awaits the populous
(and my dear son) in case of a spanish defeat.
Although it does seem that the spanish,
as a nation, need it more these days.
It has been complete madness these last few weeks here.
It lead me to the conclusion that people will take any
excuse to go out of their mind.
It is a most peculiar thing.
On the other hand, like that thing called love, it has a lot to do with beer.”
“That’s it then. Spain beat The Netherlands in a game that was persistently scrappy until extra-time. There were countess fouls. The main Dutch plan, facing Spanish artistry, was to kick at ankles, tug shirts, and manhandle opposing players. But Spain won – a victory of grace and technique over muscle and force. All good, really.” (The Globe and Mail)
“After decades of careful refinement, precision training and deep aesthetic study – then canning all that nonsense – Sunday’s World Cup was the scene for the unveiling of Dutch football’s latest revolution, the new style of ‘Total Bastard Football’.” (Fisted Away)
” There is nothing that annoys football commentators more than seeing players wave an imaginary card after they have been fouled. Jonathan Pearce, Peter Drury and co seized on such displays during the World Cup with weary despair. Some of the things imported into British club football from abroad in recent times are tolerated – over-elaborate stepovers and wearing undershirts displaying messages for God are just about acceptable – but the card mime is beyond the pale.” (WSC)
“The World Cup is over. Carlos Puyol is a world champion but still refuses to get a haircut. Africa’s first World Cup has ended without any of the players falling prey to lions and tigers like in Kenya, or polar bears or unicorns for that matter. As far as we know, Jacob Zuma hasn’t married anyone else and the universe is still in decent running condition, not great, but decent.” (Nutmeg Radio)