Sunday, July 12, 2015

There will never be a greater Real Madrid goalkeeper

Iker Casillas is leaving Real Madrid for FC Porto. He is a living legend; he has been one of the most important - if not THE most important - part of Real Madrid and Spain for many years, having won every single title that there is to win in football. The past season he has been unreasonably insulted and humiliated by the Real Madrid club that he gave everything to, but still he is leaving without bitterness, saying that he will always be a Real Madrid fan.
That is exactly why is and will always be one of the greatest players of all time, and surely forever be the greatest goalkeeper Real Madrid and Spain have ever had and ever will have.

Monday, July 06, 2015

USA World Champion

In reality the World Cup final between Japan and the USA was over in the first 16 minutes, when USA was leading 4-0. The Americans, and most notably Carli Lloyd, had started like lightning, while the Japanese defense had not realized that the match had started.
Japan's defense was dreadful during most of the match, but this does not take the credit away from the USA. Carli Lloyd's three goals were fantastic, and her third goal, from the halfway line, will surely go over in history.
Japan grabbed on to whatever small hope they might have by scoring two goals through Yuki Ogimi and a Julie Johnston own goal, but soon after Tobin Heath made it 5-2 to ascertain American dominance. The only little respect Japan won in this match was that they continued fighting to the very end, but in reality the USA were far superior and are rightful World Champions for the third time and first time since 1999.
It has been a great tournament, and I look forward to next year's Olympic tournament next year (where the Women's game has been far better than the Men's for a long time!).

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Chile Campeon

The dream came true for Chile: they won the Copa America. It was one of those excellent 0-0 matches which any of the sides, Argentina or Chile, could have won. In the end penalty kicks had to decide the match, and after Messi's goal, it was Higuain who was to miss; as often happens, Higuain did not even hit the goal in a goalscoring position. When Ever Banega's shot was saved by Claudio Bravo, Alexis Sanchez scored coolly to give Chile their first title ever. Alexis Sanchez has had a rather anonymous tournament so it was highly deserved that it was him who scored this important goal.
Congratulations to Chile, but another huge disappointment for Argentina.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Warm-up for Chile-Argentina

These two videos, by Argentino QL, are hilarious!
Vivamos Esta Copa Sin odio
Argentino QI (I love the Condorito)

Vivamos todos un gran partido!

Japan-USA Final!

The Women's World Cup has been excellent, and the final is already highly anticipated to anyone that has followed the impressive growth of Women's Football over the last decade.
Japan-USA is a repeat of the 2011 Final in Germany, when the Japanese took their first World Cup title winning 3-1 in penalties after 2-2. In 2012 both teams again faced one another in the Olympic final, this time with the North Americans taking the Gold medals after a 2-1 victory.
The USA are probably slight favourites to take a title, which would be their third, making them the most winning football nation of the tournament (Germany has won twice). Playing in Canada is almost like playing at home, and in particular in the semifinal against title favourites Germany, when they won 2-0, the USA ladies were incredibly well-organized and showed their outstanding physical form.
Japan are in fact the only team of the tournament that has won all of its matches. They have been steady, disciplined, and continue playing a high quality fast-passing style of football. They will punish any mistake, just like they did to England in the semi-final, and will be eager to take revenge of the 1-2 Olympic defeat in 2012.
Of the players I must mention the two captains and veterans, who may be playing their last World Cup: Amy Wambach from the USA and Homare Sawa from Japan. Both in their mid-thirties they have nevertheless been solid foundations for their teams advances to the final. No matter what happens on Sunday, they are already to be remembered as two of the greatest women footballers of all time.
This Final will be at least as great as any Final the men play!!! So make sure to watch it!!!!

Excellent Peruvians and the coming final

One of the few positive aspects of this Copa America has been Peru. They were in a difficult group with favourites Brazil and Colombia, as well as a difficult Venezuelan side, where I do not think many gave them much of a chance. There is nevertheless no doubt that they were the best playing side of that group, and deservedly took second spot after a lucky Brazil. In the quarterfinals they beat Bolivia and in the semifinal gave Chile an excellent fight, only to lose 2-1.
As the news focus more on the coming final, few noticed that Peru beat Paraguay 2-0 to take third place in the tournament. This is a well-deserved result for a country that for many year has been under-performing. The new coach, the Argentine Ricardo Gareca, has organized the team, playing good offensive football, and expectations will surely be high as they enter the World Cup qualifiers this fall.

In the meantime we all justifiably have high expectations to the final between Chile and Argentina: two teams under two Argentine coaches that will want to attack and have outstandingly skilled players. It has all the ingredients to be a fantastic match, but I certainly fear that it will descend into ugly nationalism and unfair play.
I hope not.