The Eye Of The Storm: Luis Suarez Prepares To Jettison Liverpool For Madrid

June 2, 2013

Luis Suárez
“The disconnect between the reality of the professional footballer’s relationship with the game and the package that we are sold is one of the greatest disconnects between the reality of the game and the mental image of it that we are expected to swallow. Much as we like to kid ourselves – and, indeed, it’s possible to argue that we need to be able to build this mental construct in order to maintain our interest in the game – otherwise, though, that love affair between fans and players is not an evenly-distributed two-way street. Footballers are professionals, and unlike the rest of us their retirement age is not only young, but also indeterminate and also comes with no guarantees of any other career paths becoming available once those leg muscles have become a little too tight to keep up with younger players.” twohundredpercent

The Pros and Cons of Selling Suarez
“Before going any further, if Luis Suarez wants to leave Liverpool FC, then the only issue is one of acquiring the best possible transfer fee. Various quotes are appearing in the media, with the player’s words being analysed and different meanings construed. As I write, the latest is that he’s quoted as saying that he definitely wants to leave. Above all else, I don’t think he’s the kind of player, both in terms of ability and personality, to keep hanging about if he’s unhappy. He’s someone that needs to be smiling. He’s been at Liverpool for two and a half seasons, and although the club and its fans have stood by him through difficult times, he hasn’t got to play Champions League football. He joined without it being on the table, but presumably the plan was to be in it by now. He turns 27 next season, and by conventional standards that will mean he’ll be at his peak.” Tomkins Times – Paul Tomkins


Brazilian football must get real

June 2, 2013

“In professional football, money is, always has been, and always will be a key factor. However, not necessarily a decisive one. If it was then Brazil would have at least three representatives in the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores – South America’s Champions League. Instead, Brazil was only a penalty miss away from losing all interest in the competition at the quarter-final stage. The country’s last standing survivor, free-scoring Atletico Mineiro, was 12 yards and 30 seconds from elimination. All Tijuana striker Duvier Riascos had to do was score the stoppage-time penalty and his club, Tijuana of Mexico, would be through to the last four.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


The best La Liga XI of 2012/13

June 2, 2013

“The 2012/13 La Liga season saw Real Madrid’s title defence overwhelmed by a devastating Barcelona outfit, with the Catalan giants losing just two matches and going agonisingly close to breaking their rivals’ record points tally of 100. Atletico Madrid put up a fight for much of the season but were forced to settle for third, and it is hard to go past the stars of the top three teams as we select the best starting XI from across Spain.” ESPN


Adios Mourinho: The managerial ‘mercenary’

June 2, 2013

“When Jose Mourinho arrived at Real Madrid in the Summer of 2010, I – like all Madridistas – was full of optimism and hope. Mourinho arrived in Madrid off the back of an unprecedented treble at Inter, completed in the Bernabeu no less, when he lead Inter to their first European Cup since 1965. This would be the man that would end the dominance of Barcelona. The side that had won two league titles and a European Cup since Madrid last lifted any silverware. This period also included four straight defeats to Barça and, especially after the return of Florentino Perez and his ‘Galactico’ policy, this wasn’t easy to take.” Think Football


Albania cast their net wide and reap the dividends

June 2, 2013

“Albania has, for all of its footballing history, been a minnow, never qualifying for the finals of a major tournament once, or really ever coming close for that matter. Their largest margin of victory was a 5-0 result against Asian also-rans Vietnam in a friendly in 2003. Most of today’s best ethnic Albanian footballers are representing other national teams. During their last qualifying campaign for Euro 2012, Albania could only muster wins against bottom side Luxembourg and Belarus, flaming out of qualifying once again.” World Soccer