Tactician’s Corner: Atlético runs out of steam in heartbreaking CL loss to Real Madrid

May 26, 2014

“Finals don’t often come down to pretty football, especially those that go into extra time. That doesn’t mean the tactical battles are any less compelling, as Real Madrid’s 4-1 win in the Champions League final over Atlético showed. Both managers made strange decisions in their starting lineups. Diego Costa, supposedly fit after his horse-placenta hamstring treatment, didn’t even last 10 minutes for Atlético, while Sami Khedira played a rather ineffective hour in just his third appearance for Real since recovering from a serious knee injury.” SI

Atlético reaches its breaking point as Real Madrid claims La Decima
“It turns out there was a breaking point for Diego Simeone’s magnificent Atlético Madrid side, and it came with 10 minutes of extra-time remaining. The club had won La Liga and was within two minutes of winning a first ever Champions League. Even after conceding to Sergio Ramos, there was still a chance it could cling on through extra-time for penalties, but once Gareth Bale had headed Real Madrid into the lead, it collapsed — physically and emotionally shattered. Marcelo’s late drive and Cristiano Ronaldo’s even later penalty added an unrepresentative one-sidedness to the scoreline, but there was no shame in defeat.” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid (aet): Tactical Analysis | Game changing substitutions from Carlo Ancelotti
“The Champions League is always a very exciting competition, but this season provided a few more edge of the seat encounters than most others. After a season of incredible football from many teams across Europe, we got to the final in Lisbon last night, which like almost every other game in this season, was exciting from start to finish. Atletico as always, worked had, fought till the end, and made things very difficult for the opposition, but at the end of the day, the sheer determination and energy from Real made the difference, as the Galacticos 2.0 made history by reaching La Decima.” Outside of the Boot

Sizing up the Real vs. Atletico tactical battle
“Big clubs have a nasty habit of ruining their little city rivals’ celebrations. When Everton finished above Liverpool for the first time in years back in 2005, beating them to the final Champions League spot, the Reds went out and won the European Cup. When Manchester City’s 35-year wait for a major trophy ended with their 2011 FA Cup final win, Manchester United clinched the Premier League title on the same day.” ESPN – Michael Cox

Know Your Enemy: Ghana winger Andre Ayew

May 26, 2014

“For Andre Ayew to exhibit weariness when talking about his career is understandable, considering the status of his father — brilliant Marseille and Ghana attacking midfielder Abedi Pele. ‘What my father achieved in Ghana is huge,’ Ayew said. ‘He brought a lot to the country. I’m very proud of what he has done, but this doesn’t have any bearing on my game. Sometimes people may make useless comparisons. I suppose it’s normal, but I had to learn to live with that. Some people thought that maybe I would take the ball and dribble past ten players then score. There was a huge expectation.'” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Before Pelé there was Andrade

May 26, 2014

“Colette, the ‘Grand Dame of French literature’, lived with fame and scandal throughout her life. The novelist and performer caused a riot at the Moulin Rouge in 1907 when she simulated sex with another woman on stage. She seduced her stepson when he was 16, telling him: ‘It’s time you became a man.’ She had three husbands, two messy divorces and a string of lovers, both male and female. In 1924, when Paris hosted the Olympic Games, Colette met, and was captivated by, one of its participants: José Leandro Andrade. Their upbringings could not have been more different: Andrade was a Uruguayan footballer who had slept on a dirt floor in his childhood and spent little time at school. But Colette was not the only famous Frenchwoman smitten by Andrade.” Guardian

Brazil’s World Cup training starts amid protests

May 26, 2014

“Brazil’s national team has started its World Cup preparations amid protests in Rio de Janeiro. A bus bus carrying the players to its hilltop training camp was surrounded by striking teachers chanting slogans against the tournament. Later, upon arriving at Granja Comary, players were greeted by fans – and more protesters. Thousands of people have protested against the cost of staging the tournament beginning next month.” BBC