Daily Archives: February 15, 2023

Liverpool, Real Madrid and terror at the Champions League final: Fans’ stories


“The Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid should have been one of last year’s great sporting showpieces — a meeting between two of European football’s aristocrats, in one of Europe’s grandest venues, in one of its finest cities, for arguably club football’s greatest prize. Instead, the day turned into a nightmare for thousands of supporters. …”
The Athletic (Video)

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Barcelona’s ban on opposition colours and their fear of another Camp Nou takeover

“‘I am ashamed of what I’ve seen. We will take action.’ These were the words of Barcelona president Joan Laporta after the second leg of last season’s Europa League quarter-final with Eintracht Frankfurt. In April 2022, his club had just suffered their second European embarrassment of the season. The first was elimination at the Champions League group stage that autumn. The second saw them knocked out of the Europa League at a Camp Nou overflowing with away fans. …”
The Athletic

Manchester City and the Bruising Battle to Avoid Losing It All


“The phone rang at 8 a.m., and the Manchester City communications official answered right away. A reporter was on the line, requesting comment on the news emanating from the Middle East that morning in 2008: that City, a Premier League soccer team with an unremarkable history and dust gathering in its trophy cabinet, had just been purchased by a wealthy Arab sheikh, the brother of the ruler of the United Arab Emirates. … Within an hour, the news that Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan had become the owner of Manchester City was out. A new era had begun. With the stroke of a pen, a venerable, well-liked and occasionally tragicomic member of English soccer’s establishment had become one of the richest teams on the planet, a usurper-in-waiting to the game’s elite. …”
NY Times
YouTube: Could Manchester City be relegated?

Valencia hurtle towards relegation as another protest engulfs Mestalla

“Most of Valencia’s fans didn’t see the goal that momentarily pulled them clear of the relegation zone but they did see the goals that pushed them back in again. They were at Mestalla on Saturday night but not in Mestalla when Samu Castillejo’s 16th-minute shot put them one up against Athletic Club. Instead, they were still outside, desperate to escape the abyss. Beyond the wall, Castillejo’s first goal since September came to a backdrop of empty seats and packed streets, yellow everywhere, but at least offered brief hope of a first win in three months; when those fans finally headed in, it was taken away again, a 2-1 defeat deepening their desperation. …”
Guardian

Bayern switching the play tormented PSG’s exposed defence — and Coman made them pay


“For many years, the Champions League has decided the narrative of the whole season for Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, regardless of their domestic performances. In this one, that applies more than ever. The turbulence both of these European giants are experiencing in their own leagues has put more pressure on the playing squads and their respective managers, Julian Nagelsmann and Christophe Galtier, going into their face-off in the Champions League’s round of 16. …”
The Athletic
Guardian: Kingsley Coman returns to haunt PSG and give Bayern Munich the edge

1930 FIFA World Cup Group 1

“Group 1 of the 1930 FIFA World Cup was one of four groups in the opening round of tournament. The group featured Argentina, Chile, France and Mexico. Play began on 13 July 1930 when France defeated Mexico 4–1 in the opening match. Lucien Laurent scored the first goal in World Cup history after 19 minutes to give his side the lead. France played again in the second fixture, suffering defeat against Argentina in a controversial match which saw the referee mistakenly blow the whistle for full-time six minutes early.  …”
Wikipedia