Uruguay light the way

July 25, 2011

“In the end, it was only a slightly surprising result. The 2011 Copa America might not have gone the way of holders Brazil or hosts and favourites Argentina, but Uruguay were probably the next in line to win it. Sunday afternoon’s 3-0 win over Paraguay was the result most expected after the semi-finals, and sees the Celeste lift their 15th Copa, pulling clear of Argentina, who they’d previously been level with on 14 tournament wins.” ESPN

Future bright for Copa kings Uruguay
“The record 15th Copa America triumph came with a fair dose of suffering – the only way Uruguay know how. They drew both their first two games. Then they mounted a heroic rearguard action in the quarter final against hosts Argentina, where they had a man sent off in the first half. But in the end it was conclusive. And so was the message from Buenos Aires after the 3-0 win over Paraguay in the final – last year’s run to the World Cup semi finals was no fluke. Uruguay are back.” BBC – Tim Vickery

Uruguay 3-0 Paraguay: Tabarez gets things right
“Uruguay won their record 15th Copa America with an excellent, controlled performance. Oscar Tabarez likes to spring a surprise with players and formations, but it was his expected XI for this match, in the 4-4-1-1 system that can reasonably be described as his first choice shape throughout this tournament. Gerardo Martino’s side was less predictable – he made four changes from the semi-final win over Venezuela, but kept roughly the same system – a narrow 4-4-2 / 4-5-1 with Pablo Zeballos making forward runs from a wide-left position, although Nelson Valdez sometimes switched positions with him. Uruguay were better all over the pitch – they were more secure at the back, more potent upfront, and most crucially, they won the midfield battle.” Zonal Marking

Uruguay’s Copa América triumph ushers in another golden age
“This has been a tournament that has persistently defied expectations, but not in the final. Uruguay were comfortable winners over Paraguay, collecting a 15th Copa América title and so, on Argentinian soil, moving past Argentina to become the most successful team in the tournament’s history.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Suarez pays tribute to team-mates
“Luis Suarez was named Player of the Tournament after helping Uruguay to a 3-0 victory over Paraguay but paid credit to his team-mates for the success. Suarez scored the opening goal and set up Diego Forlan for the third to round off a hugely impressive tournament as Uruguay cruised to victory.” ESPN

The Rise and Fall of Héctor Cúper

July 25, 2011

“What do Sir Alex Ferguson, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Carlo Ancelotti, José Mourinho and Josep Guardiola have in common? They are the only members of an elite group of managers who have won the UEFA Champions League twice. As members of the group, they are always guaranteed work at the top level of world football. This season a familiar face returns to Spain, a man who has come as close as anyone to entering this group. Héctor Cúper will probably feel he is the unluckiest manager in football.” In Bed With Maradona

Eredivisie season 2011/12 preview: the title contenders

July 25, 2011

“In the build-up to the start of the 2011/12 Eredivisie season, 11tegen11 will review all Eredivisie clubs to discuss the tactical implications of all summer changes. Nine Eredivisie clubs will kick off the new season with a new manager and several clubs have seen key players leave, freeing up space to fit in young talents and new acquisitions. The first chapter of this preview series will discuss title contenders Ajax, Twente and PSV.” 11 tegen 11

Build It and They Will Come – Passion For LEGO Football Stadiums

July 25, 2011

“I love football. No seriously, I do. And when I was little I loved Lego. Who didn’t. I was a very serious Lego builder. But I had rules. All of my constructions had to be in one colour. I couldn’t half finish a structure using a different shade, oh no. I would have to take it apart and build it smaller. I would spend hours sketching designs before building them, making my Dad take loads of pictures before knocking them down again. Nobody wanted to see a day old structure, irrespective of how good it looked.” In Bed With Maradona

Alexis arrives, Bojan blubs & Kaká runs out of credit

July 25, 2011

“There was grinning and gushing, shrieking and spurting in the Catalan capital last weekend, as there was finally something for Barça fans to talk about aside from how stupendously superior they are to every other side on the planet and how much they hate those dastardly dastards over at the Bernabeu.” FourFourTwo

Which Striker Should Jose Mourinho Sign?

July 25, 2011

“José Mourinho has already splurged €55m on five players this summer but the Real Madrid coach and newly appointed ‘sporting manager’ wants one more. In an echo of last year’s narrative, the Special One is desperate to sign another striker so he doesn’t go have to go out hunting with Karim ‘the cat’ Benzema, as he complained last time round when Gonzalo Higuaín knacked his back. Here are the four frontrunners whose names have been bandied around in Spain as the main men who could join the Santiago Bernabeu strike force.” Football365