Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 5 Moments of 2012

As we wind down 2012, here are what I see as the top 5 footballing moments of the year. Enjoy!

  • Messi unstoppable -The Barcelona and Argentinian superstar broke Das Bomber's 40 year old record for goals in a calendar year. Messi finished the year with 91 goals compared to Muller's 85 in 1972. Yikes.
  • Manchester City winning the EPL. The Citizens finally captured a little bit of the glory versus their cross town rivals - United. They did so in dramatic fashion during the last game of the year. The question becomes, can City continue to challenge and have they built their team for the long run? Their early crashing out of the Champions League leaves some wondering what this means long term.
  • PSG being acquired by a bottomless money pit. Speaking of Manchester City, the Man City of the Seine has seen a similar level of cash made available. Leading to the signings of the likes of Ibra and Silva. PSG has even found itself in the conversation for the likes of Ronaldo. Much like City, PSG will have to see if this new strategy will pay off in the long term.
  • Drogba goes out on top. Before heading off to China to join his Chelsea buddy - Anelka, Drogba found a way to put his stamp on the season by pulling Chelsea to Champions League glory. His equalizer in the dying moments of the finals and then his cool penalty kick were the final acts, but his play during the entire Champions League showed why he remains a force in football.
  • Spain does the unthinkable. The only story that could be #1 for the year - La Roja winning another international title! And with such devastating effect. Spain completely took apart Italy in the finals and in doing so became the first nation to win 3 international tournaments in a row. Unbelievable. 
It has been a great football year, without a major tournament in 2013 things might be a little more quiet. Although I think that the Confederation Cup will be worth watching - Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, Mexico and Italy all present. What stories will you remember from 2012?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

OH MY ..... you will not believe what came out of Domenech's mouth

I read this little sound bite from my favorite former French national team manager...click here. For those that cannot read French what Dumenech basically said:

He would love to go on and manage the USMNT. That they always get to the World Cup, they only have two "real" games versus Mexico. You get to visit some nice warm islands. And in the end no one really cares...

I cannot believe that he would believe ANYONE would give him another job to run a national team. At least not a nation that is half decent. Although I would laugh if he came to run the USMNT, after all the grief I took from my American soccer fans during Domenech's reign of terror...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Champions League - Match ups we want to see

So we have slogged through the group stages of the Champions League and are finally ready for the real competition to start. Don't get me started on the fact the whole thing needs to change, especially now that the Europa League might get dissolved. Sorry but I think things were better when there were three cup competitions and the CHAMPIONS of the domestic leagues played for the Champions League title! It also made, the then, UEFA cup mean something. But I digress...will rant about that in an another post.

We know the winners and runner ups and can start making wishes for the match ups we would want to see.

Interesting potential match ups -

PSG v Arsenal. Much has been rumored about Wenger and his connection with the PSG leadership. Could it be a try out for the future manager for PSG?

Celtic v Manchester United. Now that would be a tasty tie...SAF anyone?

Bayern v Real Madrid. Talk about a heavy weight battle.

Of course I have a rooting interest for PSG, so here are the teams I would not mind drawing:
Shaktar and Celtic

Teams I want to avoid: Really all the other teams!

Group A

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
France Paris Saint-Germain 6 5 0 1 14 3 +11 15
Portugal Porto 6 4 1 1 10 4 +6 13
Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv 6 1 2 3 6 10 −4 5
Croatia Dinamo Zagreb 6 0 1 5 1 14 −13 1
  DZ DK PSG POR
Dinamo Zagreb 1–1 0–2 0–2
Dynamo Kyiv 2–0 0–2 0–0
Paris Saint-Germain 4–0 4–1 2–1
Porto 3–0 3–2 1–0

Group B

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Germany Schalke 04 6 3 3 0 10 6 +4 12
England Arsenal 6 3 1 2 10 8 +2 10
Greece Olympiacos 6 3 0 3 9 9 0 9
France Montpellier 6 0 2 4 6 12 −6 2
  ARS MNP OLY SCH
Arsenal 2–0 3–1 0–2
Montpellier 1–2 1–2 1–1
Olympiacos 2–1 3–1 1–2
Schalke 04 2–2 2–2 1–0

Group C

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Spain Málaga 6 3 3 0 12 5 +7 12
Italy Milan 6 2 2 2 7 6 +1 8
Russia Zenit St. Petersburg 6 2 1 3 6 9 −3 7
Belgium Anderlecht 6 1 2 3 4 9 −5 5
  AND MAL MIL ZEN
Anderlecht 0–3 1–3 1–0
Málaga 2–2 1–0 3–0
Milan 0–0 1–1 0–1
Zenit St. Petersburg 1–0 2–2 2–3

Group D

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Germany Borussia Dortmund 6 4 2 0 11 5 +6 14
Spain Real Madrid 6 3 2 1 15 9 +6 11
Netherlands Ajax 6 1 1 4 8 16 −8 4
England Manchester City 6 0 3 3 7 11 −4 3
  AJX DOR MC RM
Ajax 1–4 3–1 1–4
Borussia Dortmund 1–0 1–0 2–1
Manchester City 2–2 1–1 1–1
Real Madrid 4–1 2–2 3–2

Group E

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Italy Juventus 6 3 3 0 12 4 +8 12
Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk 6 3 1 2 12 8 +4 10
England Chelsea 6 3 1 2 16 10 +6 10
Denmark Nordsjælland 6 0 1 5 4 22 −18 1
  CHL JUV NSJ SHK
Chelsea 2–2 6–1 3–2
Juventus 3–0 4–0 1–1
Nordsjælland 0–4 1–1 2–5
Shakhtar Donetsk 2–1 0–1 2–0

Group F

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Germany Bayern Munich 6 4 1 1 15 7 +8 13
Spain Valencia 6 4 1 1 12 5 +7 13
Belarus BATE Borisov 6 2 0 4 9 15 −6 6
France Lille 6 1 0 5 4 13 −9 3
  BTE BAY LIL VAL
BATE Borisov 3–1 0–2 0–3
Bayern Munich 4–1 6–1 2–1
Lille 1–3 0–1 0–1
Valencia 4–2 1–1 2–0

Group G

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Spain Barcelona 6 4 1 1 11 5 +6 13
Scotland Celtic 6 3 1 2 9 8 +1 10
Portugal Benfica 6 2 2 2 5 5 0 8
Russia Spartak Moscow 6 1 0 5 7 14 −7 3
  BAR BEN CEL SM
Barcelona 0–0 2–1 3–2
Benfica 0–2 2–1 2–0
Celtic 2–1 0–0 2–1
Spartak Moscow 0–3 2–1 2–3

Group H

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
England Manchester United 6 4 0 2 9 6 +3 12
Turkey Galatasaray 6 3 1 2 7 6 +1 10
Romania CFR Cluj 6 3 1 2 9 7 +2 10
Portugal Braga 6 1 0 5 7 13 −6 3
  BRA CFR GAL MU
Braga 0–2 1–2 1–3
CFR Cluj 3–1 1–3 1–2
Galatasaray 0–2 1–1 1–0
Manchester United 3–2 0–1 1–0




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