Tuesday, August 11, 2009

European travels

I have been travelling around in Europe for a month, and although with the break, there wasn't much football on my busy programme, I did nevertheless notice some things:
-I was in Barcelona when R.D. Espanyol inaugurated their new stadium by winning a 3-0 victory against Liverpool. I have always felt some sympathy for Español for being the "little guys" in Barcelona, and was happy to see them play well. But it was nevertheless truly sad to hear, barely a week later, that Español's captain, Dani Jarque, passed away due to heart failure during a training session in Italy.
-While in Barcelona, I also watched FC Barcelona's trianing match against L.A. Galaxy. Barcelona was far superior, presaging a strong next season, although the victory of 2-1 was arguably too small.
-Great free-kick goal by Beckham! Good that he will be back among the stars in Europe, where he belongs!
-And the Ibrahimovic fever has set in in Barcelona, although the Swedish striker has yet to play a match; his shirt can already be purchased everywhere in the Catalonian city. It will indeed be interesting to see how he unfolds in Barcelona!
-I was also in Austria, a country whose football history I still know very little about. I was only in Vienna, and seeing signs of the two city clubs, Austria and Rapid Vienna, I had to find out about their status, only to find out that Red Bull Salzburg won the league last season. While there, Salzburg in fact qualified to the final qualification round of the Champions League after defeating Dynamo Zagreb 1-2, while Austria Vienna continued to the next round of the Europe League qualification, after defeating Vojdovina 4-2.
-Salzburg is up against Maccabi Haifa FC in the next round.
-I was in Berlin as the Bundesliga season 2009-2010 got underway. The locals of Hertha Berlin, who are still hoping to bring a title to the capital, defeated Hannover 1-0 in the season debut, while defending champions of Wolfburg defeated Stuttgart 2-0.

It was a great trip, but now I am also looking forward to all leagues getting underway for the next season!

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