Venezia and Happy Endings?

December 23, 2012

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“As with any city whose economy is reliant on tourism, Venice has a strange relationship with its visitors. The money that these bring is welcome but their presence – especially the noise and chaos they create – isn’t. Given that it once was a seat of power that controlled large parts of Europe, its current status as a piece of antiquity to be gawked at perhaps renders the tourists all the more irritating to the locals. Not all tourists are the same, however. Certainly not those who come with promises of restoring some of the city’s glory even if this comes through a football pitch.” In Bed With Maradona

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Corinthians: brilliance in solidity

December 23, 2012

“Corinthians truly are the sum of their parts but they will need to buy themselves time inside Chelsea’s half to do justice to the nature of their football. Incision, precision and an ability to maintain shape both when attacking and defending are the identity of this side. Players are rotated, the formation is tweaked and yet coach Tite (pictured below) knows his game plan will be adhered to. Sitting pitchside in the October balm of the Joaquim Grava training-compound on the outskirts of São Paulo, Corinthians coach Tite knows what elements his team needs if it is to triumph against Chelsea two months later in Yokohama. In fact, Tite has been clear about this since, well, who knows: perhaps since his team’s July conquest of the Copa Libertadores which settled the identity of South America’s representative to be sent to the Club World Cup. Conceivably, it could even have been as far back as May when Corinthians’ participation was yet uncertain and Didier Drogba and Company conjured up an east-bound ticket from Munich. This is because, beyond the vagaries of micro-tinkering in the face of impending opponents, Corinthians know what they play at, and play it well.”
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Lionel Messi finishes 2012 with 91st goal

December 23, 2012

“Lionel Messi concluded his record year with his 91st and final goal of 2012 in Barcelona’s 3-1 win at Valladolid on Saturday, which the team dedicated to ailing coach Tito Vilanova. Messi scored in the 59th minute by dribbling between a defender’s legs before making it 2-0 after Xavi Hernandez had opened the scoring two minutes before halftime. Barcelona’s players wore T-shirts before the game with messages of support for Vilanova, who had throat surgery to remove a second tumor in two years on Thursday.” ESPN


Liverpool demolishes Fulham 4-0

December 23, 2012

“Liverpool winger Stewart Downing had a rare day to remember at Anfield as his first Premier League goal for the club wrapped up a comfortable victory. Only last week the England international had said he may leave Liverpool next month after manager Brendan Rodgers said he could go. If that was the incentive to put himself in the shop window it worked as he registered his first league assist in setting up Steven Gerrard — after Martin Skrtel’s opener — and capped his performance with a goal of his own before Luis Suarez added an injury-time fourth.” ESPN